10 Tools & Strategies for Your Team of Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers
We’re going to go through 10 strategies and tools for pet sitters that I regularly use in my business and I couldn’t live without.
1. Comprehensive onboarding system for your dream team of pet sitters.
The best thing you can do when you are growing your team is to create a well-thought-out and streamlined onboarding system so that your pet sitters have a clear understanding of what is expected of them and what they can expect from you. You want to create properly trained pet care professionals that will do an outstanding job. You’re going to do that through your comprehensive onboarding system.
2. Organize your team members’ information and documents in a cloud-based software like Google Drive.
I love Google Drive. We keep payroll documents, background checks, signed handbooks and contracts, incident reports, paid time off submissions, and key tracking organized there. You name it, and we use Google Drive for everything. Couldn’t live without it.
3. Use a payroll company.
For years, I spent way too much time writing checks manually. I regularly wrote twenty-five checks at a sitting. I don’t know how long that took. Now I use a payroll company named Gusto. I love them. Another option would be Paychex.
4. Use a pet sitting software.
I did a video on this last week. You want to invest in pet sitting software. Options include Time To Pet, Precise Pet Care, LeashTime and Pet Sitter Plus. If you’re on a tight budget, try PocketSuite. There are lots of options out there at different price points.
5. Use Zoom for virtual conferencing.
I love Zoom. We do all of our sitter interviews over Zoom. We do training calls, team meetings, and regular check-in calls with our team of pet sitters. It makes it so much easier. No more having to meet people at Starbucks and have them stand you up. That was a huge time suck as well. So use virtual conferencing like Zoom.
6. Use Facebook groups to create a community.
You want to create a community with your team of pet sitters and your internal staff. You don’t see them a lot. They are independent and out working alone, but you can create a community using a Facebook group. You can announce Sitter of the Month. You can have fun contests. We have Favorite Pet Friday, where the pet sitters post their favorite pet of the week. Sitters can find coverage if they need help with finding someone to do their visits. We can discuss issues that have popped up. We can point out things that went well. We highly recommend Facebook groups.
7. Use Slack for internal communication.
I use Slack for my internal communication, meaning my team of managers and virtual assistants working for the company. Many of my students also use it for their team community. So instead of using a Facebook group, they use Slack and love it. It has a mobile app, so all your communication with your staff would go through that app, and everything is trackable and searchable within the app. So check it out.
8. Use Asana for project management.
I love Asana. I also use this with my internal team of managers and virtual assistants, and it’s for our project management. It’s how we keep track of all of our to-dos and who is responsible for what. And then we have due dates on everything.
9. Use JotForm or Google Forms for surveys.
Every three months, I ask my pet sitters to complete a survey. I want to know how they like the job, do they have too many visits, do they not have enough visits. This is how you can anticipate how much longer people will be with your company because the last thing you want is having a sitter quit on you unexpectedly, and then you’re left with their schedule of visits that you have to fill. If you use the JotForm to keep in touch, you can anticipate issues. We also share our client and pet profiles that our clients fill out. They fill out the JotForm. Then we share that with the sitter as well.
10. Use SendOutCard or ThankU.io for greeting cards.
These are greeting card software apps. We use it for a lot of stuff. I send sitters gifts for their year anniversary, if they are Sitter of the Month, etc. We also use it for new clients.
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