Tag: how to run a pet sitting business

5 Tips To Deal With Grief While Running Your Pet Sitting Business

5 Tips To Deal With Grief While Running Your Pet Sitting Business

Last May, my dad unexpectedly fell ill and ended up passing away in the hospital. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he was in the hospital for 19 days, and I was unable to see him during this process. It was a very tragic experience.

Thus, the reason I haven’t done a video for some time. I’ve taken some time for myself away from my pet sitting business.

But now, I’m back. I still get emotional, and I wanted to do a video for you guys about how to deal with grief while running a business. Regardless of the amount of pain that I was in, a business still had to be taken care of.

I’m sharing with you what I did to help me get through this and still have my business running while I took a little bit of time for myself.

#1 I communicated with my team.

My team knew what was going on. I’ve talked about the importance of having a team to support me in my pet sitting business. From the moment my dad became sick, I kept my team abreast with open communication. You don’t have to burden your team with too many details, but having that line of communication open so they understand what you’re going through and can step up.

#2 I leaned on my support network of family and friends.

I leaned on the people I needed in my life. I probably could have used a little more support if it wasn’t for the COVID. I would have loved some more support in terms of people coming over.

During the funeral, we were only allowed to have ten people. It meant the world to me when I found all my friends standing there when I walked out of the funeral.

#3 I spoke with a counselor regularly via Zoom.

Due to COVID, you can’t see anybody face to face. I was able to speak with her, and she’s helping me through my grief. One of my beloved students gave me a book to read, and my counselor reads it with me. We’re working through it together so she can help me with it.

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#4 I changed my scenery.

This is not possible for everybody and I get it. But in Philadelphia, riots were going on, and it was too much for my brain and heart to handle. So I went to our family beach house to calm and soothe my soul. If possible, I highly suggest this. I think that’s one of the best things that I did to renew my mind and help me through this difficult time.

#5 I delegated as much as I could to my team.

Some people bury themselves in their work to get through their grief. I’m unable to do this. My mind was just not in it, so I gave as much to my team as possible, and they were helpful.

Thus, the importance of building a team and structure around you. You never know when things like this will happen. Having people, you can lean on and delegate to will make a world of difference. I would have never been able to get through this without them.

Lean on the people around you.
Build that support system.
Build that team.

I don’t wish this on anybody. But this is life, and things do happen. Anyone that’s experiencing any grief or tragedy, this is how I got through it.

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TITLE - Create a Container Around Your Time

Create a Container Around Your Time

This post is written at the time of COVID-19, where many of my students and pet sitters are locked inside their homes. This allows them to work on their businesses. Here is the problem: they are having a hard time creating tangible results for their business.

QUOTE - Create a Container Around Your Time


Most of the time, the issue is with Parkinson’s law: Work expands to fill the time available for its completion. Whatever time you allow yourself to work, you will find enough work to fill that time.

For example, if you give yourself seven days to complete a project, you will find enough work to fill that time. If you give yourself two days to work on the same project, it’s going to take you two days.

Remember, work does not only expand to fit the time. It also contracts to fit the time you allow for it. It’s best to decide how much time something is going to take.

How do you do this? By putting a container around your time.

Utilize Your Calendar

What results do you want to create by the end of the week? It’s not about watching a video or completing worksheets. It’s completing the worksheets and implementing strategies that are going to get you results. By putting a container around your time, this leads us to the next tip below…

Give Yourselves Deadlines

You can’t have loose, haphazard time parameters or it’s going to fill up that time. If you don’t give yourself a deadline for let’s say, building out a full hiring system for your company, it might take you two years to finish because you didn’t give yourself a container.

If let’s say, you give yourself two weeks for the same work, that work is going to contract and you are going to produce that result in two weeks.

The best way to grow your business is to work on your time management skills, creating a container around your time, and to utilize your calendar to complete your deadlines.

Howdy, Pet Lover! Are you struggling with attracting new clients to your pet sitting business? Would you like to have a consistent pipeline of new clients coming to your business? Well, wait no longer, my friend. Grab my FREE report, 125 Ways To Get More Pet Sitting Clients. This resource is 100% FREE and is my gift to you. Enjoy!
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How to Stay Organized and Motivated When Working From Home

How to Stay Organized and Motivated When Working From Home

I haven’t done a pet sitting visit in about 13 years. So I know what it’s like to be in your house and trying to be productive and motivated. Here are nine tips for you on how to do this.

Create a Miraculous Morning

How you start your day is absolutely everything. Don’t turn on your phone once you open your eyes, reading the news of Twitter, and taking all negative information. You are not starting the day on the right foot.

I get up, have breakfast, do workout, shower, then do my meditation and prayer practice. These activities calm my mind, so I positively start my day. That can be your morning routine.

Get Dressed and Showered

A lot of people work from home in their jammies, dirty-ish type of clothes. Don’t spend your day in slippers or bare feet. It isn’t good for your mind or productivity. My suggestion is to get up and wear something clean and nice, with shoes. No need to wear anything fancy.

Have a Designated Workspace

Not everybody has a home office, but it does something for your mind and productivity to be able to go to a specific space where you can work. It could be a dining room table or a kitchen table.

See It Through Strategy

On a Sunday or Monday morning, sit down and have a power planning hour. You will dump every single thought and task you have on paper. It should take about an hour.

Get them out in your head and write it all down. Then schedule them on your calendar. You can also use Google Calendar. You’re taking everything on that list and organize on when you’re going to complete it. Then you throw that list of all your tasks and to-dos. You know you have already had everything written down, and you know your future self is going to show up and do it.

Have your Finish Friday Hour

Schedule time to go through all your tasks. See what you have and haven’t completed for the week. For the things you didn’t complete, you’re going to take note of those, and they will go into your next planning power hour. This is organizing and time management.

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Do not mix your home chores and workday tasks

Work hours are for work hours. You have to be strict about this. If you stop what you’re doing to put in the laundry or to fold a load that’s in the dryer, everything is going to take you so much longer to get it done.

Define Boundaries with your Family and Friends

I don’t get it why people think I’m available to them at every moment. So guess what? My phone is now on do not disturb mode during office hours. I check it to make sure my kids are fine at school, but 95% of the time, I don’t respond to my friends. I am focused on what I’m doing.

Every time you hear that ding, you stop. It takes your focus off on what you’re working on, and if it is not urgent, it’s not going to help you with where you want to get in your business. Do be strict with yourself and put on the do not disturb.

Get up and move.

Have scheduled breaks where you get up and go for a walk. Take the dogs out for a walk. Get some fresh air. Or do some weight exercises. Put on some music and dance around to get in a good mood. Do anything to get your body moving. Have 10-minute breaks scheduled so you have time to breathe. This is going to help you with your productivity.

Meal prepping.

When working from home, you can get into some bad habits with what you’re putting in your body because the fridge is right there. My suggestion is to get your dinners ready for the week on Sundays. Prepare everything ready to go, so it’s nice and easy. Have healthy snacks on hand that you can grab, versus not having anything in the house except for something that’s not good for you.

Design an end of the day routine.

My end of the day time is usually at 4 PM. That is the time when my kids would get home from school. You need to have ‘triggers’ for your brain to shut down and be at home and present. Otherwise, you might become a recovering workaholic. So shutting down your email, shutting out of your Facebook, getting your inbox to zero, and then that’s it. You are done for the day.

We want to make the most out of our time when we are in our houses, and this is how you’re going to do it.

Below is a FREE PDF you can download as guide to being productive and motivated working from home.

Howdy, Pet Lover! Are you struggling with attracting new clients to your pet sitting business? Would you like to have a consistent pipeline of new clients coming to your business? Well, wait no longer, my friend. Grab my FREE report, 125 Ways To Get More Pet Sitting Clients. This resource is 100% FREE and is my gift to you. Enjoy!
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YES! Send Me The Complete Checklist of 125 ways to get more PET SITTING CLIENTS!

 

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Pet Sitting Safety Tips

Pet Sitting Safety Tips

As mentioned in the video above, here is a copy of COVID19 Letter 2 to Clients and Health Safety Guidelines for my clients during these hard times.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the pet sitting industry has been hit real hard. A lot of us are struggling with it, but I’m here to remind you that this is temporary.

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Guess what? Now is the time when you can sit down and focus on your business. Let’s try and look at the positive of the situation and make the most of our time.

As examples, here are some updates regarding my company.

(1) In Pennsylvania, where I live, Governor Wolf said that animal care was not an essential business. So we closed our doors entirely, and I furloughed my entire staff of pet sitters. These make them eligible for unemployment, and they will have a position with me when my company opens its doors again.

(2) I kept my three managers working in streamlining the business. We go through our manuals, update our standard operating procedures, go through our email list, create a marketing action plan, etc.

(3) Last week, Governor Wolf moved animal care over to the essential business list. By the time I’m recording this video, we have not yet reopened but I have drafted a letter, wherein I try to evaluate who among my clients needs pet care services.

If there is a need, I then contact my sitters and say, “If work becomes available, would you be willing to get back out into the field?” Then based on those responses, I’ll be matching up my customers with the sitters.

(4) I provided COVID-19 healthy safety guidelines for both sitters and clients, as listed below.

Pet Sitter Guidelines

  1. Pet sitters should sanitize their hands before entering our client’s home
  2. Pet sitters must wash their hands for 20 seconds immediately after entering the client’s home
  3. Pet sitter refills the water bowl after washing their hands
  4. Pet sitter wipes the leash with an antibacterial wipe or spray.
  5. Pet sitters wipe off any surfaces touched with an antibacterial wipe or spray, including door handles, keypads, and lockboxes
  6. Pet sitter washes their hands when exiting the client’s home
  7. Pet sitter is to alert the Pet Nanny office if they suspect an illness and are uncomfortable returning to the client’s home

Client Guidelines

  1. Client wipes down any surfaces like door handles and faucet handles with an antibacterial cleaner or wipes before the pet sitter arrives for their visit
  2. Clients are to have soap, paper towels, and running water immediately available
  3. If the client is home and the pet sitter arrives for a visit, there are two options
    • Option one, the client washes their hands, prepares their dogs for their walk, and then does a hand-off at the door with their pets sitter
    • Option two, the client goes to another part of the house while their pet sitter follows the procedures stated above
  4. If the client does become sick on a day where we have a scheduled visit, the client is to let the office know as soon as possible so that we can cancel the scheduled visit and any upcoming visits

Here are other ways you can do to create cash flow during these hard times:

  • Contact your customers and give an early booking discount. If they book any visits for the summer now, you might want to give them a little discount
  • Offer concierge services if you’re comfortable going out. People are scared to go shopping and doing that sort of stuff
  • Poop scooping services

This pandemic is temporary, and we’re all in this together. I am here for you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need anything whatsoever. Stay healthy, stay well, and I’ll talk to you soon.

Hey there, Newbie Pet Sitter! Are you feeling stuck or overwhelmed with starting your pet sitting business? Fret no longer, my friend. I’ve got ya covered!

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Tax Tips for Pet Sitters

Tax Tips for Pet Sitters

Plan ahead and never again get caught short at tax time

Taxes used to stress me out more than you can imagine. Every year I would be shaking in my boots as I anxiously awaited to hear what I owed. The problem was that I never planned ahead. Why didn’t I plan ahead? Because I didn’t know how. You don’t know what you don’t know. Now you will know. Pet Sitters that follow the simple method below will always be prepared for the tax man.

Tax Tips for Pet Sitters

#1. You need to stay on top of what your quarterly tax payments need to be and if you’re making more money than you anticipated, you need to be putting more money aside for taxes.

#2. Create a separate account for your taxes: I use Capital One 360 (previously ING.) It’s super- easy to create an automated savings or checking account.

 

#3. Name the account “The Government’s Money”: The money you deposit into this account is not yours. It is the government’s money. Labeling it like this will be a gentle reminder that the money is not yours to touch. Do not borrow from this account!

#4. Deposit 20%: Every single time you make a deposit into your business account, you transfer 20% of that deposit into your tax account.

I most definitely suggest that you consult with your accountant about tax planning, but if you follow these simple tax tips for pet sitters you will always be prepared for tax season. Hallelujah!

Today is tax day and I’m completely prepared. I never thought I would see the day. I’m a happy Pet Nanny!

Your Homework Assignment:
If you don’t already have one, open a tax account where you can easily transfer at least 20% of your business deposits into. Then name the account “The Government’s Money.” You’ll thank me later. 😉

Hey there, Newbie Pet Sitter! Are you feeling stuck or overwhelmed with starting your pet sitting business? Fret no longer, my friend. I’ve got ya covered!

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Hire Slowly and Fire Quickly

How to Run a Pet Sitting Business – Valuable Advice

Hire slowly and fire quickly. This is the advice that was given to me by my mentor many years ago. It is a line that is always in the back of my mind whenever I coach on how to run a pet sitting business. It is advice that has kept me safe for many years, but recently I went against my better judgement and did the exact opposite.

A Story To Illustrate This Point

Rewind to about a year ago. I unexpectedly lost a longtime sitter with a full midday roster, which translates to VERY important clients that would soon be without a dog walker. I of course went into a total panic mode. I posted my job ad and started interviewing almost immediately, but the pickings were slim. I made the decision to hire someone I knew in my gut was NOT a good fit for Pet Nanny, but I had no choice (I thought.)

So, this pet sitter started with little to no issues, but as time progressed I started to receive some negative feedback. I knew I should let her go, but against my better judgement, I took the advice of someone who felt that it would cause way more of a ruckus to let her go than to keep her on. Again, I went against my gut and kept her on. STUPID!!!

Now, fast forward to about one year after she was hired. Our Client Happiness Manager set-up a shadow walk between this pet sitter and a new pet sitter. The new pet sitter reported back to Pet Nanny Headquarters that this veteran sitter had A LOT to say… A lot of negative things. She said that she takes clients’ reservations all of the time and that Pet Nanny has no idea. She also said that she brings her boyfriend with her whenever she wants and that you don’t actually have to stay for the entire time on visits. All three of these points completely go against Pet Nanny Standards and the Code of Ethics that each sitter signs when they join our team. This is not how to run a pet sitting business.

When this information was relayed to me, it felt as though someone had punched me in the stomach. I thought to myself, how many other pet sitters has she tainted with her selfish and self-serving views? How many clients had she tainted with her inability to keep her thoughts to herself and simply provide the top quality pet care that Pet Nanny promises? Ugh! I didn’t even want to think about it.

how to run a pet sitting business

Next, my manager and I jumped into fix-it mode. We knew we had to immediately stop this pet sitter from ever visiting another Pet Nanny client’s home. My manager called her and told her to meet her at a local establishment where she requested all of the keys to be returned to her. She then explained to this sitter the standards of Pet Nanny which she was clearly not living up to, as well as the provisions of her agreement with us, which she was clearly violating. The sitter swore up and down that she did none of these things. My manager wished her the best and they went their separate ways. Oh, and I forgot to mention that we removed her from our website and revoked her access to the Pet Nanny database before this meeting took place, just in case this sitter wanted to access her client list and wreak more havoc.

The Moral of The Story

The moral of the story is hire slowly and fire quickly. If you always try to hire proactively (as I talk about here in this blog post,) you won’t ever have to ignore this advice. And…. Always listen to your gut, because it’s always right!

Your Homework Assignment: Take an assessment of your staff. Is there anyone that you should cut loose? If so, do it!

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It’s Ok to Have a Successful Pet Sitting Business

 

Success in Your Pet Sitting Business

Today, our topic is SUCCESS, which is usually a taboo topic that people don’t like to talk about. Why? I’m not quite sure, but I definitely used to be one of those people. Well today, I’m going to talk about it, because there’s nothing to be ashamed of about being successful with your pet sitting business.

Having a successful and happy life is something that I am super proud of, and part of that success comes from my amazing pet sitting business. It has brought me so many blessings both financially and emotionally. It has taught me countless things about animals, people, life and business.

Let The Haters Hate and Keep Being Awesome

I’m here to tell you today that there’s nothing wrong with you achieving success through your pet sitting businesses, and don’t you dare let the haters dim your light and your dream. You know who I mean. Those solo pet sitting business owners who don’t want to grow a team and scale their businesses (totally fine, by the way!) Some of these haters will go around saying, “Oh, she’s just in it for the money,” or “They don’t care about the animals,” or “They must provide awful service.” This is backward thinking, and negative statements made by people with limiting beliefs, and I have no time for it anymore!

Today I’m telling those people that they couldn’t be more incorrect! I can tell you from personal experience that nobody loves pets more than I do, but there came a time where I was unable to continue working the number of hours that I was working. Seven days a week, 365 days a year wasn’t a lifestyle that I wanted to lead. I was unhappy and exhausted, and by the end, I wasn’t giving the best pet care, because I was utterly burned out.

Focus on the Growth of Your Pet Sitting Business

Since I started focusing on the growth of my business and hiring heart-centered pet care professionals to join my dream team, my company has grown exponentially because they are out there providing amazing pet care and our customers rave about us and refer us all over town. I’m now also able to service many more pet owners in my community due to the excellent pet sitters on my staff.

There is no shame in my game. I am proud of my pet sitting business. It affords me the time to be able to do the things that I love like paddle and tennis. It has also given me the opportunity to be a stay at home mom with my three children, Lucy, James, and Connor. It has given me the financial freedom to own a beautiful home and take vacations. My business has been a blessing!

pet sitting business

The Equation for How to Make it Happen

If this is something that you want, I challenge you to go for it! But you have to go and get it. It’s not just going to come and fall in your lap. It takes hard work and focus. You need to learn, and you need to implement, and you need to go grab your dream.

I used to walk dogs and daydream. I would think “I would really love to have a big business. Maybe one day it’ll just happen.” That’s not the way it works! It starts in your mind, but here’s the formula:

Thoughts equal feelings which inspire your actions, which create your results.

So my advice here for you today is to take massive action in your business. Get out there, start learning. Go for it. Grow it, if that’s what you want to do. There is no shame in it.

And if you’re already out there killing it, don’t hang your head, don’t be embarrassed, and don’t let the haters out there make you feel poorly because you’ve created an awesome pet sitting business doing what you love and serving your community through your incredible business with an inspiring mission. Be proud, my friends.

10K Month Pet Sitting Blueprint Strategy Session

If you want to have a one-on-one personalized 10K Month Pet Sitting Blueprint Strategy Session with me, go to www.MeetWithColleen.com to apply. You will walk away with a personalized step-by-step framework anf action plan that I will email to you after our call.

10K Month Pet Sitting Blueprint