Tag: owning a pet sitting business

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.

How to Stay Organized and Motivated When Working From Home quote

 

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.

pet sitting safety tips quote


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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Implement Quickly

Implement Quickly and You Will See Results

“The biggest difference between an average income and financial freedom is Implementation.” –Bill Glazer

There are some people in this world that take action and implement and sadly there are others that don’t. Let’s just say I have 2 different people purchase my product, 9 Secrets to Building a Stellar Team of Pet Sitters.

This product includes everything one needs to create a fabulous team of competent pet sitters. It has the EXACT documents, emails and procedures that I use to build my team of 30+ pet sitters. All these two people have to do is implement the systems and strategies in their own businesses. The first person grabs it and runs with it. They go home and take everything they were given and put it into immediate action. The other person takes it home and reads through it, then puts it down. Then a month later picks it up again and thumbs through it all the while humming and hawing that they’re “too busy,” or that they “know this stuff already,” or they’ll “get to it next month.” Now, from those two types of people who do you think is going to have the more successful business? The first person, of course! This person is a doer! They IMPLEMENT. They don’t need to ask questions, or over-analyze or complain or make excuses. They just do it and they do it quickly.

pet sitters implement quickly

Would it surprise you to learn that most successful millionaire entrepreneurs believe that implementation (a.k.a “getting things done”) have named it as the number one KEY to success? That doesn’t surprise me at all… because it’s true!

I’m no stranger to procrastination. I understand it completely, but I can say with total confidence that when you finally decide to just bite the bullet and get something done, it is far less painful and time consuming than what you have created in your mind. Therefore, it’s worth the effort. Plus, the satisfaction that you’ll get from finally putting a check mark next to that task is priceless!

Here is a mantra that I follow in my business, “ACT WITH SPEED.” I have learned first-hand that it is not only the act of implementation, but actually the speed with which you do it that will show you a drastic return on your investment.

Your Homework Assignment:

  1. How can you implement more effectively?
  2. What do you have on your To-Do list for a long while? Put a deadline on the tasks, write them on your calendar and get them done! No excuses please.

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!

Enter Your Info Below to Download The Complete Checklist For Starting a Pet Sitting Business!

 

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Stop Working In Your Pet Sitting Business!

You will make amazing strides in your pet sitting business when you start working ON your business.

I have some exciting news!!! I have recently taken the next big step in my own pet sitting business…. I have hired a Sitter Manager. Woohoo!

I’m going to rewind a bit to first tell you how I found myself in the position of needing to make this hire for the continued health of my business.

Many moons ago I hired my first “virtual assistant,” whose job title is now, “Client Happiness Manager,” or “CHM” for short.

My CHM is responsible for:

  • Scheduling
  • Answering the phones
  • Client communications
  • Processing new clients
  • Sitter schedules
  • Office administrative support

My responsibilities as the owner were:

  • Marketing
  • Client attraction
  • Client retention
  • Sitter recruiting
  • Sitter screening
  • Sitter processing
  • Sitter management
  • Dealing with B.I.G. issues (Ugh! We hate those, right?)

So, as Pet Nanny has continued to grow by leaps and bounds, my CHM and I found ourselves working around the clock and more importantly, we constantly found ourselves with a shortage of qualified pet sitters. This in turn was stopping the growth of the business. Do you see the vicious cycle here? This is when I knew it was time to bring in additional support.

First, my CHM and I had a sit down and mapped out exactly what we needed the new administrative person to handle. What became crystal clear was that we needed someone who would be responsible for:

  • Sitter recruiting
  • Sitter interviewing
  • Sitter screening
  • Sitter processing
  • Sitter management
  • Vet & pet store relations
  • Back-up to the CHM

In short, someone that would keep our sitter roster, chock-full with awesome Pet Nannies and also serve as the back-up to my CHM on weekends and when she needed some time off. This would then free up my time to beef up the marketing piece and have more time to dedicate to my most favorite peeps… My coaching clients. It would also give my wonderful CHM some breathing room before she went bonkers on me. 😉

So, as you can see, bringing on additional support is going to help me to exponentially grow my pet sitting business.

As pet sitters, most of started our business because we are first, animal lovers. We start by doing the pet sitting ourselves happy as can be because we get to play with pets all day. Then we hit a financial plateau, because there are just so many clients we can squeeze into a single day. Then, in most cases we hit burn out, because running around morning, noon and night, 365 days per year is a recipe for disaster.

The answer to this very common problem is to remove yourself from doing the actual pet sitting. In other words, “stop working in your business and start working on your business.” This is how you will be able to expand your business and make a lot more money in this industry. Another perk… You have your sanity and your free time back. Check… Check!

For those of you who are yelling at your computer right now, “But I started this business, so I can work with animals!!!!!” I get it. It’s a tough decision, but the honest truth is that you will most likely live the scenario I explained above until you make the jump from “Pet Sitter” to “Pet Sitting Business Owner.” I do have some good news for you though. If you insist, you can be the “permanent backup.” Meaning, if a sitter gets sick or has an emergency, you can fill in for them. Then you can get your animal fix. Sound good? 😉

pet sitting business

Your Homework Assignment: Take an assessment of your pet sitting business…

  • Are you doing all of the pet sitting visits, dog walks and house sitting stays on your own? (You shouldn’t be.)
  • Are you dedicating 4 hours per day on marketing your business? (You should be.)
  • Would bringing on additional pet sitters or office support help you to actually grown your business and make more money (I bet you it would.)
  • Is it time to bring on some support, so you can stop working IN your pet sitting business and start working ON GROWING your business? Food for thought.

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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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11 Ways To Generate Trust With Your Pet Sitting Customers and Prospects

The best piece of advice I can give you for owning a pet sitting business is to create a reputation for yourself and for your business as being “trustworthy.” In this industry, our customers are in essence, giving the keys to their homes to complete strangers. They’re basically saying, “Come on in (while I’m not here) and take care of my precious pals and worldly treasures.” If you think of it from this perspective, you can see how hiring a pet sitting service is a very scary thing for our customers. It is your job to show your pet sitting customers and customer prospects that you and your business can be trusted implicitly. So, how do you create trust with your pet sitting customers and prospects? Here are 11 ways…

#1. Owning a pet sitting business requires a professional website

  • You literally have 3 seconds to make an impression on your website visitors. If you have a poorly designed and unprofessional looking site, it’s going to be a serious detriment to your credibility and will most likely result in lost opportunities.

#2. Include your business phone number at the top of every page on your website

  • Phone numbers that are front and center invoke trust.
  • Answer the phone when it rings! People will feel immediately comfortable if they know they can get a live person on the phone when they call.

#3. Post your credentials on your website by including the logos to associations for which you are affiliated

#4. Crush them with social proof!

  • Showcase the positive experiences of others who have used your pet sitting service. The more the better! If you only have a few, don’t let that stop you. You have to start somewhere.
  • Dedicate an entire page for your positive reviews. Here is an article on how to use social proof when owning a pet sitting business.

#5. Make it personal

  • People trust people. Showcase who you are on your About Us page. Tell your story on this page and be sure to include a picture or a video, so people can connect with you.

owning a pet sitting business

#6. Have a Meet Our Team Page

  • Your prospects will feel more at ease if they can visually see who will be coming into their homes. I suggest using video, but at the very least, include a picture and write-up of each team member.

#7. Have a blog on your website

  • Fresh and relevant content, for which your prospects will find valuable, is not only good for search engine optimization, but it also shows that your business is alive and kicking, which breeds trust.

#8. Include a Privacy Policy

  • Be clear about what you will and will not do with any personal data you collect. Make it easy to read.
  • You can have one generated for you by Ibuenda.

#9. Clearly communicate what your customers can expect from your services

Be crystal clear on exactly what your customers can expect from using your service. Click To Tweet

This is the knowledge-bomb!

  • Don’t ever promise anything that you can’t deliver on. It is better to under-promise and over-deliver.
  • Lay out your Polices and Procedures and be sure they understand all of them.
  • Let them know exactly when they will hear from their sitter to schedule their registration meeting.
  • Let them know exactly how they will hear from their sitter when they are gone.
  • Let them know how you will communicate with them.
  • Let them know exactly what will happen at each and every visit or house sitting stay.
  • Let them know how you will follow-up with them.
  • Let them know how they can schedule and how long they can expect for a service order to be processed.
  • MANAGE THEIR EXPECTATIONS! If you deliver on what you promised, they will trust you and they in turn will spread the word.

#10. Offer a Guarantee

  • Offering a guarantee will alleviate your customer’s sense of risk.
  • Pet Nanny offers a 100% money-back guarantee. I know that we offer superior service, so I’m not worried about people cashing in on this offer, and if a sitter does mess-up, I want to give my customer’s their money back. Why should they pay for a service they didn’t receive?
  • You may from time to time come across an unscrupulous individual, who is purposely trying to take advantage. When you do come head to head with this person, give them the refund and chalk it up as the cost of doing business (I’ll tell you a good story about this at a later time.)

#11. Keep in touch on a regular and consistent basis

  • Creating a “Stay-In-Touch Marketing Plan” will help to keep you top-of-mind with your customers and customer prospects, but it also essential for owning a pet sitting business. When your customers can rely on the fact that they will hear from you on a consistent basis, they also know they can rely on you to take care of their most prized possessions.

 Your Homework Assignment:

  1. Go to your website as if you were a first time visitor and ask yourself, “would I trust me based on this website?” If the answer is no, it’s time to revamp your site.
  2. Start to implement some or all of these 11 ways to generate trust with your pet sitting customers.

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!

Enter Your Info Below to Download The Complete Checklist For Starting a Pet Sitting Business!

 

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