Tag: pet sitting business

5 Things I Would Have Done Differently In My Pet Sitting Business

Tips I wish I had known when I started my pet sitting business

It’s hard to believe but it’s been 19 years since I first started my pet sitting business! There have been ups and downs, but I’ve learned a lot along the way and today I want to share with you the five things that I would have done differently (if I knew then what I know now.)

Hopefully, you can learn from these tips and do them differently in your pet sitting business, so that you can get where you want to be much faster.

One: Have a clear vision of the results you want to achieve

The first thing I would have done differently is to have a clear vision of the results I wanted to achieve in my business versus just flying by the seat of my pants, which is pretty much what I did.

I had no plan, I had no vision, I had no idea what I wanted to create, I had no idea what I wanted to make each month.

It took me a long time to get to where I am now because clarity equals power, and I didn’t have any clarity. Be clear on what you want to achieve, and you’re going to get there much faster.

Two: Hire help as soon as possible

If your business depends solely on you, you do not have a business, you actually have a job. I know because I did this.

I had a job for many years. I created a large job for myself. As my business was ramping up and I started getting all these customers, and I was booked out all the time, I worked 12 to 15 hour days, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

I had no idea how I could stop being the sole person that was managing the business and doing all the client work. When I finally learned how to do it, and I built a strong team, things started to happen really quickly. I created a balance in my life and my work, which is just so important.

Your business is supposed to add to your life, not to make you miserable, exhausted, and burned out.

5 Things I Would Have Done Differently In My Pet Sitting Business

 

Three: Use technology to expand your business

The third thing I would have done differently is I would have leveraged technology so much sooner.

If you are still doing everything manually it is going to be hard to grow your business successfully. There are tools out there now which can save you time, energy and in the end help your business to bring in more money.

There are online scheduling systems, automation tools for your emails and social media marketing which will make running your business so much more efficient and profitable.

Creating processes and systems that happen automatically through the use of technology was a game changer for my pet sitting business.

Four: Understand the lifetime value of your customer base

Your lifetime value of a customer is how much a customer is projected to spend with you during their lifetime with your business. It costs way much more money to acquire a new customer than it does to incentivize your current customers to book from you more often, this, my friends, is a game changer.

I should have been nurturing the relationships by staying in touch with these customers instead of just assuming that when they needed pet sitting or dog walking that they would call me. That’s an assumption you don’t want to make.

People forget who they work with. People want to do business with people. They want to know that by you staying in touch with them that you care about them, that you care about their pets, and they’re going to easily remember to book with you each time they need service.

By staying in touch with them you’re also going to create raving fans. It’s not just enough to have customers in this crowded marketplace. You want your customers to be raving fans who use you all the time and are going to spread the word about you and your business.

Five: Hire a business coach 

I waited way too long before I hired my first business coach. Back then, there really weren’t any pet business-related business coaches, so mine was not in the pet field and yours certainly doesn’t have to be either.

If you find someone who runs a business that you admire, that has the results that you would like in your business, that has the business model that you want to follow, go and hire them. Ask them to help you to get you to where you want to go. It’s a shortcut. You don’t have to try to figure all these things out on your own.

So, these are the five main things I wish I had known back when I started my pet sitting business. I hope they help you to design and run the business you are dreaming of.

 

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How to be More Productive in Your Pet Sitting Business

It’s time to get focused on our pet sitting business growth plan. The plan starts by identifying and eliminating our productivity time sucks so that we can accomplish great things in our businesses. Below are my 7 tips on how to be more productive.

#1. Take a Pause Between Tasks

There are some days when I wake up and realize that I have a never-ending list of tasks to complete. I frantically write them all down in my notebook and then jump on trying to get them all completed. This is NOT an efficient way to manage your time or your tasks.

Solution on How to Be More Productive:

  1. Prioritize what is immediately necessary.
  2. Take a quick pause between tasks and ask yourself, “does this really matter,” or “is this moving me closer toward my pet sitting business goals.”
    • If the answer is no, then move onto the next immediately important task.
    • You can go back to the previous tasks when your more important tasks have been completed.

Tip: Trust me on this one. I can’t tell you how many times I have tried barreling through my tasks just to realize that my day was gone, and I had gotten nothing of actual importance completed. Prioritization is key!

#2. Steer Clear of the “Perfectionism Predator”

According to communication expert Anett Grant: “Perfectionism is the predator of productivity.” This is another point that I have great familiarity with. I suffer from something called “perfectionism paralysis.” This characteristic can be defined as aspiring towards impossibly high goals. The thought of or the inability to reach certain perfection sets me on a procrastination and paralysis cycle where I look for any reason to not release a product or program for fear of criticism that the project is not perfect. Does this sound familiar to anyone? I catch myself doing this quite often. I really need to keep myself in check with it.

Solution on How to Be More Productive:

Here is some advice for you that my mentor once told me, “good is good enough. Get it out there! You can always go back and make changes after it is released.”

pet sitting business

TIP: Read Getting Things Done by David Allen

#3. Beware of the Social Media Time Suck

The problem with social media is that you can log in to send out some work tweets or business Facebook posts, but then you check your news feed and then next thing you know two hours has passed, and you have gotten nothing of substance done.

Solution on How to Be More Productive:

  1. Set specific time blocks per day for using social media for business.
  2. Save your personal social media time for after business hours.

You can also use it as a distraction. Every time you receive a notification that a picture was posted of you, or that you were tagged in a post, your immediate reaction is to go check it out. Am I right? These distractions are eating up valuable time in your day and keeping you from accomplishing your pet sitting business goals.

Solution on How to Be More Productive:

  1. Turn off all notifications from your social media outlets.
  2. Set specific times to check for updates.

#4. Meditate for Massive Growth in Your Pet Sitting Business

Don’t run for the hills just yet. Meditation can be off-putting to some people. I’m not sure why, but it most definitely scares some. Don’t be afraid!

Meditation has been proven to reduce stress, improve focus and concentration, increase emotional intelligence, improve creativity and your overall health. These are all pretty awesome things, so why not give it a shot?

Solution on How to Be More Productive:

Download the HeadSpace App. This free app will get you started on a simple and easy meditation practice, and all it takes is 10 minutes per day. That’s it! I challenge you to give it a try.

#5. Stop Multitasking

Multitasking is trying to do more than one thing at a time and can be one of the worst productivity killers. In the age of smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, email, facetime and social media, it is so easy to multitask without even realizing it. And here’s a newsflash, our brains are not wired to work that way. Researchers found that when we attempt to multitask, the brain “bottlenecks” the information and quickly moves its attention from one thing to the next, instead of addressing the items simultaneously. Rather than becoming more productive when faced with multiple tasks to accomplish at once, this suggests we only become more frazzled—and thus less able to handle the challenges of a high workload.

Citation: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24516634

Solution on How to Be More Productive:

  • Find a distraction-free place to work. I suggest the library.
  • Block out distractions by shutting off all of your devices.
  • Set a timer and work in two-hour time blocks without distraction.

Tips: Just in case you don’t trust yourself to block out all of the distractions on your own some apps can help you out. Check out:

  1. Dark Room, a full screen, distraction free, writing environment. Dark Room is just about you and your text.
  2. Anti-Social is an app that makes it easy for you to target and block any distracting website so you can be more productive.
  3. Rescue Time is an Internet tool that tracks what users do all day so they can learn where they’re wasting time, get better at self-management, and make changes that amp up productivity.

#6. Get a Grip on Email

How often do you feel swamped by email? My guess is pretty often. Pet sitters receive email all hours of the days and night with requests and changes from current clients, new client inquiries and emails from their staff. It is endless! I honestly feel like I can write an entire mini-course on this subject, but for today, I’m going to give you some quick tips.

Solution on How to Be More Productive:

  1. Do not check email continuously throughout the day. Set specific times for when you will check and answer emails.
  2. Set boundaries and expectations with your clients by setting an autoresponder that clearly states your office hours and when they can expect to hear back from you.
  3. Create templates of often used replies so that you can quickly cut and paste.
  4. Unsubscribe from any emails that are polluting your inbox. (I hope they’re not mine, but if so, I get it. ;))

Tip: You can always create a Feedly account and subscribe to the RSS feeds from the writers who content you want to read. This way you’ll still receive the updates, but they’ll be neatly organized.

#7. Set Aside Time for Yourself

Taking time off is one of the most difficult things for a pet sitter to do. For whatever reason, you are expected to be on call 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. An expectation that I will never quite understand. This is not a healthy lifestyle and is most certainly a recipe to spoil your productivity. You need time off to clear your mind and recharge your engines.

Solution on How to Be More Productive:

  1. Schedule your time off at the beginning of the year and alert your client list, so that they can plan their trips accordingly.
  2. I would also suggest hiring another pet sitter to cover your visits or contacting another local pet sitting business owner to cover your workload during your time off.

Bonus: My #1 Pet Sitting Business Success Secret

Click Here to see my #1 Pet Sitting Business Success Secret

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Productivity Hack for your pet sitting business

Super Simple Productivity Hack for Pet Sitters

A simple tool to help pet sitters get more done with less stress

If there’s one thing I’m certain of, pet sitters are short on time, which is why I’m excited to share this week’s business building tip that will show you exactly how you can create more time and get more efficient in every area of your life.

You and I all have one million things going on in our brains each and every day that we need to get done.

For our pet sitting business, we need to get a newsletter out, we need to get marketing emails written, we need to schedule all those clients, we need to send that client a baby gift, we need to reach out to that sitter to figure out what’s going on with her summer schedule, the list goes on. And it never stops!

Then, on top of all of that, you have your personal stuff to take care of.

For me, it might be events at my children’s school or signing up the kids for camp, packing for a camping trip, getting the car serviced, etc.

When we have all this stuff swarming in our heads overwhelm sets in, and overwhelm causes inaction. When we have too much to do it’s easier to just ignore it than to actually get it done.

This is where my super simple productivity tool can help pet sitting professionals just like you.

The Weekly Brain Dump

STEP 1

Each week, preferably on Sundays, I want you to get out a piece of paper and do a thorough brain dump on every single task that you can possibly think of that you need to get done. Include personal tasks as well as those for your pet sitting business.

STEP 2

Cross off the things that you do not need to complete this week.

STEP 3

Schedule the remaining tasks onto a calendar of your choice. And the most important point – make sure you include due dates because if you don’t schedule it, it’s just wishful thinking.

I’m going to repeat that – make sure each task has a due date!

Make The Brain Dump one of your success habits to get you where you want to go, so much faster. It may be simple, but it’s an effective tool to help your pet sitting business grow.

FREE PDF Download For Pet Sitters

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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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!

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

 

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4 Pet Sitting Business Building Productivity Tips

Last week I discussed the importance of implementing with speed. This week I want to give you some very simple productivity tips. This is what I first teach my high-level pet sitting business coaching clients. I realize they may seem too simple to even matter, but trust me if you follow these tips you will become so much better at completing your tasks and growing your business faster.

Pet Sitting Business Building Productivity Tip #1: Before you start working on ANYTHING for the day, sit down for 5-10 minutes and WRITE DOWN your top 3 important tasks for that day.

Most people run straight to their email first thing in the morning. Don’t do this. Your email messages all come from people searching for answers from you. So, what happens? Your day starts by you reacting to the needs of everyone else. Not from a centered place where you are organizing the most important needs of your business for the day.

The 3 tasks that you choose for your day’s to-dos, should all be able to realistically be completed that day. The tasks can most certainly be part of a bigger project. Just be sure to keep them simple and attainable. The 3 tasks should also have importance to the growth of your business. Please nothing like, “call hairdresser.”

If you complete your 3 tasks, feel free to add more, but only start with 3. Too many tasks will overwhelm you, which will then cause procrastination.

Pet Sitting Business Building Productivity Tip #2: Always think of these two things when deciding which tasks to focus on…

  1. What tasks will bring me more pet sitting customers/leads for my business?
  2. What tasks will generate more revenue for my business?

When you focus your day on tasks that will GROW your business, you will start to see big results. You can also use my similar hack to plan out your week as I describe here.

Pet Sitting Business Building Productivity Tip #3: Tackle your hardest and most dreaded tasks first.

“The most valuable tasks you can do each day are often the hardest and most complex. But the payoff and rewards for completing these tasks efficiently can be tremendous.” ― Brian Tracy, Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time

Pet Sitting Business Building Productivity Tip #4: Work in 2-hour time blocks without interruption.

This means you turn off your cell phone, your email, your instant messaging, your Skype, your Facebook, your Twitter and anything else that is a time-suck for you. You then set a timer for 2-hours and you work without distraction until the timer sounds. You then get up and walk around and take a break for at least 15-minutes.

Pet Sitting Business Building Productivity Tips

 

Your Homework Assignment:
Start implementing these productivity tips tomorrow and do them all for at least 3 weeks. That’s how long it takes to create a new habit. I think you’ll be absolutely amazed at what you’re able to achieve. Let me know how it goes. Good luck!

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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Why I was Attracting Non-Ideal Pet Sitting Clients

Why I was Attracting Non-Ideal Pet Sitting Clients

 

One of the most common discussions among my students, and in my Facebook community, is how to find premium pet sitting clients who are easy to work with, who treat you with respect and who are prepared to pay premium prices.

I understand this dilemma because at the beginning of my pet sitting business journey I had exactly the same problem.

When I started my pet sitting business back in 2001 I had no idea how to run a business, how to set up a business, how to set myself apart from the rest, and I just threw a bunch of gunk up onto the wall to see what stuck.

That was my marketing strategy.

How you present your business matters

And the result was that I presented myself as a hobbyist versus as being a professional company.

I attracted non-ideal pet sitting clients who didn’t respect me, who haggled with me, who were not pleasant to work with.

I was very, very unhappy.

Why I was Attracting Non Ideal Pet Sitting Clients

 

Then, there was a moment with one specific customer that really changed my perspective on who I was prepared to accept as a client and who I should be trying to attract to my business.

This client lived in a giant mansion and booked me to visit her house five times a day, so the bill was quite large for that specific assignment. Then when she got home,  she wouldn’t pay me.

I emailed her, I called her, I emailed her invoices. Finally, she said, “If you want your money, you need to come to my front door and ask me for it face to face.”

And that was it. That was a defining moment with my business. I realized I was not prepared to accept being treated rudely or without respect on a day-to-day basis.

In fact, I almost quit the business because I was so unhappy.

Set yourself apart from the crowd

I had this roster filled with customers that I couldn’t stand. I worked seven days a week, 365 days a year and I was extremely unhappy, and I almost quit.

But I turned it all around and here we are in 2019, and I have an amazing business that’s bursting at the seams filled with ideal clients.

I have a staff of 40 pet sitters, I employ three managers, and the business is killing it.

So I’m here to tell you that I am living proof that you can have a hobbyist business and turn it into a professional company that will provide you with a lucrative career.

It is possible but you need to set yourself apart from the hobbyist and all of the people that have come in and saturated the market.

Don’t worry you don’t have to do this on your own. Join my Facebook group – Pet Nanny Coach Community for advice, support, and tips on growing your pet sitting business.

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 I Get Results For Your Pet Sitting Business

Hundreds of pet sitting business owners have used these techniques

Today, I’m going to give you an insight into my methods for teaching and how I get my students results.

I’ve been in business since 2001 and not only have I created a successful pet sitting business, I have taken the methods I used to grow my own business and taught hundreds of others how to do the same.

I do this using two separate frameworks, one for people who are completely new to the pet sitting industry and ready to start their own business, and a second system for those pet sitters who are ready to expand and grow their business.

Simple step-by-step frameworks to get you results

Both systems use an easy-to-follow, step-by-step framework which guides my students through learning and then implementation towards direct results in their pet sitting businesses.

If you are ready to start your own pet sitting business or have already started but struggling to get results then the Launch and Grow system is for you.

In the Launch and Grow course we start with the basics such as how to correctly name your pet sitting business, how to analyze your competitors and how to legally set up your business.

From there we move onto the profit plan where we discuss how to position your business to make money, how to attract clients through marketing, how to stand out of the crowd, and what to do on a regular basis so that you always have clients coming in.

We cover the cornerstone of your business, your website. You will learn how to set it up so that it both attracts and then converts clients and turns them into loyal customers.

We also talk about how to get clients quickly. So for those who are brand new or those who are really struggling and need clients, I give you my foolproof method on how to get clients quickly.

And then after we implement all of this, the next step is building a team. And that’s what we dive really deep into in my Multiply Mastermind program.

This is everything you need to do to multiply your business to six figures and beyond. I have an entire framework on how to take your business to that next level and multiply it quickly.

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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