Tag: owning a pet sitting business

TITLE - Email Marketing Ideas for Your Pet Sitting Business

Email Marketing Ideas for Your Pet Sitting Business

I get a lot of pushback with regards to email marketing. Most of my students don’t use an email autoresponder like MailChimp, Active Campaign, or Infusionsoft in their pet sitting business.

They say, “I don’t want to be pushy. I don’t want to send emails.”

I get that. I used not to like it either, and it made me feel uncomfortable.

QUOTE - Email Marketing Ideas for Your Pet Sitting Business


Thus, this is why people and business owners should have an email strategy in place in their business. Today, I want to go through different email marketing types you can implement in your pet sitting business.

Have a welcome email.

When you sign up with a new customer, you want to have an email that shows them exactly who you are, easy to follow steps and systems to go through to onboard them to your company.

They will now know who you are, how you do business, what their responsibility is as a customer and your responsibility as the business owner.

I’ve had many welcome emails that I keep making better as time goes on. A welcome email is one of the easiest ones you can start with. Have a welcome email to open your arms and welcome your new customers to your pet-sitting business.

Offer an educational email.

You’re keeping in touch with your customer base, or your customer prospects, to stay top of mind with them so that when they are ready to buy or are willing to schedule service, you’re going to be the first person they think of. You do this by offering value and educating them.

Think of what you can send to your customer prospects and customers that would make them think like, “Wow, that’s an excellent email.”

Think of anything newsworthy in the pet sitting industry. Think about cross-promotions with other pet businesses in your area. Would your customer love a $30 coupon to a local pet store?

You and these businesses can work together and cross-promote, educate, and provide value to the people on your email list.

Think of different, fun ways. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What would my customer find value in? And if I were the customer, what would I like to see in my inbox?

Write promotional emails.

You’re allowed to promote yourself and your business. You are in business to make money.

“Hey, Christmas is coming up. Are you headed out of town for vacation? I would love to take care of your pets. Here’s a pop-up sale we’re doing. Book your summer services now. Pay in full, and you’re going to get $39 off your service order.” So on and so forth.

Don’t be shy about promoting yourself, even with social media.

Create triggered or transactional emails.

You are offering a free download, a free PDF, a free coupon. When a potential client sees those and they say, “Yes, I want that. Here’s my first name and email.” boom, an automation kick in.

You don’t have to go home and say, “Ooo, I have to send this person that asked for this PDF, the PDF when I get home.” It just happens automatically.

Use lead nurturing emails.

When someone does raise their hand and says, “Yes, I want what you have to offer on your website,” you want to have a campaign set up where you are nurturing them.

You are letting them know, “Hey, this is who I am. These are my pet care values. These are the paying points that I help solve for my customers.”

You always want to speak to the benefit and outcomes that your customer prospects will get by choosing your pet-sitting service.

You can easily do this in a well thought out, nurture sequence. Your customer prospects can get, let’s say, four to five emails from you, one a day, and each of those emails is going to help move them along the process to them becoming a paying customer because you’re the only logical choice. That’s what that lead nurture sequence does for you.

Create re-engagement emails.

Often, we have these pet-sitting clients come, sign up, and use us. We don’t hear from them again.

You can do different re-engagement campaigns to offer a big high-value coupon if they book service within the next two weeks.

You could say, “Hey, Christine. I haven’t heard from you in quite some time. Here is a 40% off coupon that you can use towards your next service. If you sign up by…”.

You want to add scarcity, so put a deadline date in, and then that is going to re-engage them. One, to become active on your list because they’re taking action within the email. Your email service provider is going to say, “Okay, this person’s active.” Then, they’re also going to book service, and you want to get them re-engaged with your company. You want to nurture them again, and you want to stay top of mind with them.

That is email marketing 101 in a nutshell. Don’t be fearful about it.

You can check out MailChimp; if you want to get started to test this out on your own. It’s free for the first 2000 subscribers. Then you can choose one of these emails to implement in your business.

Take action, and then really think out an email marketing campaign for your business. Because email marketing works.

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TITLE - How to Manage Your Pet Sitter's Lack of Response Time

How to Manage Your Pet Sitter’s Lack of Response Time

I’m doing a follow-up to a video I did a few weeks ago, wherein I gave a tip to include due dates when requesting things from your team of pet sitters or customers.

I received a follow-up question from a community member.

“Colleen, I loved that video. I implemented it immediately. However, I still heard crickets from my staff of pet sitters. What would be your next step? Or what consequences would you institute if this happened to you?”

I would call a meeting with the said sitter and say, “I sent you this email on this date. I gave you this due date. Number one, I never received an acknowledgment. Number two, you did not turn in the video by said date. Why is that?”

Then you listen to their response.

QUOTE - How to Manage Your Pet Sitter's Lack of Response Time


You don’t want to be that person, just the talking head. Take time and listen to what they have to say.

Then I’d say, “Okay. A requirement for this position is I need this video to create a trust factor for our customer prospects. I also need you to respond to me when I request something from you. I’m going to ask you, is this still a position you are interested in doing?”

If they say, “Yes, absolutely,” say,

“Okay, wonderful. But moving forward, I’m setting this boundary, which is the personal responsibility that I’m requesting from you. This is how we do business around here. You ignoring my emails is no longer going to fly.”

If they say, “No, this isn’t actually for me,” you are better off.

Think of it this way. Let’s say your customer left a last-minute note. They’re running out the door, and they said, “Oh shoot, there are two new plants by the slider. I need to have the sitter water them.”

Do you want a sitter to be like, “I don’t know if I’m going to do that today. I don’t feel like it.”?

No, of course not. That is pretty much what that sitter did to your professional email, requesting a video from them and giving them a duty. They blatantly ignored you.

Now, it may have fallen through the cracks. There may be a reason. With this specific situation, people are often nervous in front of the camera, and instead of telling you that, they may have just tried to ignore it.

This isn’t a total deal-breaker. It would be best if you instituted what you’re going to allow and set the stage for what you expect from your team of pet sitters.

If they explain, “I’m just really nervous about being in the camera,” give them helpful tips and tricks.

If they say, “No, this position isn’t for me,” you’re better off. That is how I would personally handle it. It doesn’t have to be a contentious conversation.

It could be a friendly conversation. “You’re amazing. I love how my customers love you, and the pets love you. But here’s the deal. I am the owner of this company, and I need to know when I send you a request for something that you, one, acknowledge and, two, get back to me in a timely fashion. If that’s not going to work, then this business relationship isn’t going to work.

I hope that makes sense and you find that helpful.

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TITLE - How to Overcome Fearfulness in your Pet Sitting Business

How to Overcome Fearfulness in your Pet Sitting Business

One of my past students tagged me in a pet-sitting forum. I went through this thread, and the topic was about me as a coach and if my pet sitting business programs were worth it.

Some past students had terrific things to say, while others I have never spoken to or met were saying awful rude things. They said I was arrogant, full of myself, and anything I had to offer is a waste of money.

I was taken aback for a minute. I read through the thread, closed my eyes, felt it, and I said “How does this feel? It does not feel good. I’m not going to lie.”.

QUOTE - How to Overcome Fearfulness in your Pet Sitting Business

 

A couple of years ago, such judgment would have derailed me and have me in tears. I feared putting myself out there to start the coaching business and thinking about what people would say and if I’m good enough.

After all years of mindset work, working on my internal self and thoughts, and understanding what judgment means, I realized that I am good no matter what.

Do the internal work. Understand that not everyone will like you.

When you understand that no matter how nice, kind, and giving you are, there will be people who love you, those that are neutral to you, and those who will not like you, it is an inevitable fact. It would be best if you embraced it.

Embrace it and put yourself out into the world regardless. Understand that you are worthy.

How many pet owners can you service and take excellent care of their pets if you start working on this fear of judgment? Don’t let it hold you back.

Understand that for those people who are going to hate, let them hate. The ones who love you and are going to love your services are the people you want to attract to your business, and they are the ones you want to help.

As for the haters, wish them love, but be on your way.

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TITLE - Quick Tip on How to Increase Response Time From Your Pet Sitters

Quick Tip on How to Increase Response Time From Your Pet Sitters

I had a weekly private coaching call with one of my students when she let me know that she had sent an email to her pet sitters requesting a video from them. She will use the videos on her website and marketing materials to create the know, like, and trust factor with her prospective customers.

The sitters didn’t respond or acknowledge the email.

QUOTE - Quick Tip on How to Increase Response Time From Your Pet Sitters


So I suggested the following.

(1) Rewrite the copy of the email.

Start with:

Dear First Name,

Last week, I had requested a video. This is why I am requesting it.

(2) Then, explain the importance of the request and include instructions on how to do it

For example:

Don’t stress out about it. It’s easy, peasy. Grab your iPhone, introduce yourself, let them know what your pet care values are, and that you’re super excited to meet them and their furry pals.

(3) Always include a due date

Anytime you are requesting anything from your staff or requesting a testimonial from your clients, always include a due date. People respond to due dates. Otherwise, it just sits in their inbox as something to do when they get to it.

I hope this helps.

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Direction & Control if Using ICs as Pet Sitters

Direction & Control if Using ICs as Pet Sitters

People have strong feelings about using pet sitting independent contractors as employees. I have much information on this subject that I want to share about this as long as nobody emails me or posts crazy things.

I successfully built a high six-figure business, using independent contractors for 17 years. I switched to employees in 2018 because I kept getting audited. They kept coming for me, and I kept winning the audits.

The last time they came for me, they said just one year after I’d already won the previous audit that no record of that audit and that they were going to do it again. It was an exhausting situation, and I didn’t feel like fighting it anymore. I just wanted the monkey off my back. Thus, I let this win, and I switched to employees.

And it’s been great.

There hasn’t been a big difference. I do team meetings, they do marketing for me, and they can have car magnets (not that I use car magnets. If I wanted to, I could have them do that). Employees get the perk of getting benefits now, which they appreciate.

Direction & Control if Using ICs as Pet Sitters


Understanding the direction and control aspect of using pet sitting independent contractors and ensuring you create the correct framework will help you when you get audited.

Your clients direct and control your pet sitting independent contractors.

Your clients ask them to be there at a specific time and have outlined the pet care plan for the independent contractor to fulfill. You are simply the connector between the IC and your client.

This setup is how I won all the audits that I went through. I went through the 20 point checklist as well, had everything set up correctly, etc. You can ask employees to use car magnets, wear clothes with your logo, etc.

If people are using IC’s, I believe it’s their choice and great if you’re using employees.

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The key to freedom in your pet sitting business

The Key to Freedom in Your Pet Sitting Business

Systems in your business are the key to your success. Imagine your business running like a fine-tuned machine. You have time to spend with family, take a vacation, play a sport or hobby.

You are the bottleneck in your business, and you are stopping yourself from being able to grow to a higher level. It’s taking up all your time. Your business is supposed to add and expand your life.

Systematizing everything takes yourself out as the bottleneck of your business.

You should have a system for new client calls, what happens when they sign up, an onboarding process, hiring system, marketing system, what to do when the website goes down, and the protocol when a sitter locks himself out of the house, etc. When everything is organized, then that is when you will gain your freedom back.

The key to freedom in your pet sitting business


Use Google Drive to organize your online business hub.

This will make it simple to delegate to your team, have things done, and complete it to your standard. There will be no questions about how you want something done in your business.

Use screen recordings when explaining things.

You have your computer showing step by step by step, how you want something done. Plus, you have an outline format.

The system runs the business, and the person runs the system. You should not be the system in your place, and that’s what most pet sitters are doing.

I hope this helps.

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TITLE - What to do when you lose motivation with your pet sitting business

What To Do When You Lose Motivation with Your Pet Sitting Business

There’s this thing called motivation that ebbs and flows. Some days you wake up, and you’re like, “All right, I’m ready to do this,” and you get a whole lot of stuff done. The next day you don’t feel like doing anything and don’t want to work on the business.

This feeling is normal. You’re a normal human being.

Motivation is a discipline, not a feeling

Think about professional athletes. They have to wake up every day to train to be in shape. I highly doubt that these people want to do this all day every day, but they don’t have a choice. They are working at it every single day to play at their peak performance level.

It’s the same with your business. You need to learn to act even when you don’t feel like it.

QUOTE - What to do when you lose motivation with your pet sitting business

 

Recommit to Yourself

It would be best if you told yourself, “Okay, this is what I set out to do. This is the business that I want to create. These are the results that I want to create. I’m the one that’s going to make them happen, and I’m going to do this whether I feel tired, whether I feel sad, whether I feel groggy. I’m going to wake up, and I’m going to work on my business every single day.”

Little steps add up. So every day, work on three tasks. You get more done, that’s amazing. If you can get three tasks done every day, you will grow leaps and bounds in your business.

So again, motivation is a discipline, and it is not a feeling. Once you learn that and get that mindset and say, “I just don’t feel like doing it, but I’m going to do it anyway,” you are going to reap the rewards.

Take this time to recommit to yourself, to your business, and to your future self, because your future self will thank you for doing so.

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TITLE - What To Do When a Pet Sitter Services a Client Without Your Knowledge

What To Do When a Pet Sitter Services a Client Without Your Knowledge

One of the downsides of building a team of pet sitters is when one of your sitters provides service for one of your clients behind your back. I can’t tell you it is not going to happen. It’s more of when it will happen. Here are ways to handle it.

First, evaluate how you feel about the pet sitter.

If this sitter is a good hire, who you enjoy working with, provides fabulous service to your clients, and you don’t want to lose them, I suggest having an in-person meeting.

If they’re an independent contractor, make sure you have their independent contractor agreement. If they’re an employee, make sure you have their signed employee handbook.

Then have a sit-down and go over their job description, expectations from them, and how they breached the contract, what lengths you can go if you decide to pursue this, whatever is mentioned in the contract. Mention you love working with them, and you didn’t want to do this, and that you must come to an understanding.

If this person is not someone you trust and don’t want to work again, have a meeting via Zoom or in-person and let them know what is in the contract, what they breached, and what you’re going to do because of it. At this point, you can decide whether you want to take legal action or not.

QUOTE - What To Do When a Pet Sitter Services a Client Without Your Knowledge_ver03


Don’t go to the client.

You might want to let the client know, in a nice way, “Listen, this is how my business works. It is against our company policy for clients to subcontract pet sitters.”

Thus, you need to decide if this client an ideal client? Is this somebody that you want to continue working with? It’s all about the decisions that you need to make about the people they are.

I wouldn’t like to work with this client again. If this is a client that you usually wanted, maybe you were out of town, maybe there was a reason and extenuating circumstance. They contacted the sitter outside of the company, outside of you, perhaps then you’ll have a different decision. Take note of it on their client record inside your pet-sitting software, and be aware.

Communicate expectations with the sitter.

Tell the sitter what is expected of them, what they signed, and what lengths you can legally go to if you decided. Remind the client kindly about your policies and leave it at that.

Have a system.

What are you going to do when you find out that someone on your team breaches their contract? Have it all mapped out to know exactly what to do, and you don’t have to guess. You’re just following the company protocol.

All right, guys, I hope this helps.

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