The one man show, isn’t always easy….

So I’m heading to Pennsylvania to stay with my girlfriend in a week or so celebrate Passover….which should be interesting, so I’m doing some research on the area, to find some cool stuff for us to do. They are about 45 minutes away from Philadelphia and since I already planned out the time frame to be away from school, and not miss any of my clients needs as well. I want to have some fun while away. Anyone know of some things going on or where to go? Besides dog parks, which I know we will visit with her Golden!

That is the tough part about this business – leaving, planning vacations. As a one man show, I find it tough to to be able step away, successfully. As a small business owner, I know that is the biggest and most difficult thing – to grow, so I shouldn’t complain. 21 years old, in school, successful business. However, while I am away, I wish I was also earning money with clients. So I think the next post will be about how to grow, when to hire employee’s and what my next steps are. It may be a little bit though, because after this trip comes finals, and I need to ace them.

Anyway, I found a couple really good FREE DIY Carpet cleaning tips for your pesky little animal friends that can be found here. I will definetely put some of these to good use with my larger furry friends who tend to have bigger stains.

Thank you to a local Carpet Cleaning in New Hope for sponsoring this ad and providing tips and tricks on your website for all of us who may not have the funds to frequently get our carpets professionally cleaned. We appreciate you, and know that your customers have been satisfied with your pet stain removals for years – I know my girlfriends family will recommend you over any of the other ones they have used so that’s a good sign.

+++ For the referrals.

Talk to you all soon.

– Marion

Growing your business online – The basics for pet sitters

To follow up on my last post about growing your business it’s important we look at the basics of how the internet can help scale any business.

Yellowpages and direct mail, may still work, but for animal sitting? Probably not. There are a lot of ways to go about it, but the best way is through internet marketing. While this is only my opinion, and maybe it’s because I am techy and young, I just know I search for everything I do and need online. I find the person with the best reviews or best ranking, and I reach out.

There are many ways to target your ideal audience for pet sitting, outside of the internet too…think Vet offices, boarding places (if they let you, sometimes competitive), local gyms, coffee shops, etc. However, my biggest ROI has been through my website, working on growing out my Facebook Page, and getting customers just from there.

It’s not easy, and for some business owner’s who are less techy it may serve as a difficult battle; but it doesn’t need to be.

Here are some free ways to help your business online:

1) Free advertising on craigslist!
2) Facebook groups, business facebook page, and status to grow your base.

And if you don’t have a website, get one…now. This is where I made the mistake personally for a few years. I didn’t know there was a way for me to have people who were searching for me, see my website, see my services. I knew that I provided the top quality, and best care for their pets, even better than my competition but outside of word of mouth, nobody could find me.

I took the time to create a simple website, learn some basic skills and get my website ranked in my local city, here is some pointers, if you have a website:

– Make it just like you, AWESOME!
– Make it readable, and not boring.
– Make sure it is mobile friendly!
– Make sure you are writing a good amount on each page about what you offer.

These are just some tips, I have used to help me grow my business and I know will help you as well.

Thank you to a Philadelphia SEO Company, Local Marketing Solutions for sponsoring this ad, and giving us some good idea’s and feedback.

If you guys have any free pointers as well, feel free to share so we can all grow our businesses online to be better and busier with our furry friends.

Tips for pet sitters

Since I’ve started pet sitting, I haven’t seen it all…but I have seen a lot. I have a few tips for some newbie’s that may be helpful when trying to grow your new business and some things you may encounter.

I call it my 5 steps to be more than just the pet babysitter….

1) Network…and get the word out:

You will need to start letting people know you are starting a business, what it entails and what you charge. Tell your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and offer yourself to help with any small pet related task. Create a Facebook page for your pet sitting services, and be active on it! Ask for reviews to build trust – on to #2.

2) Build trust by giving superior care and service:

In every business, you want to provide top of the line service and customer service but it is imperative to start this early. Good referrals are great but bad reviews are worse. You will need to make sure you are not only representing yourself, but now your business and services. You want to leave an impression. Create referral bonuses, discounts, etc.

3) Figure out service you want to provide specifically (if not all):

Become the expert. If you want to walk the animals over, if you want to pet sit at the homeowners home, or yours. All of these decisions are crucial to make sure that you are focused on your goals, and give you the best chance of success. This also allows you to be super focused on this specifically. If you want to do it all, that is fine too, but start with one specialty, become trusted, knowledgeable and then it allows you to make it a scale-able business.

4) Hone in on specialty services:

This is the up sell to customers and potential clients. Are your targeted clients the ones that work – and want their dogs to walked while work? Why not offer play time with another dog, a bath, teeth cleaning, dog park, etc. All of these can increase the revenue you are bring in. Is your target client the people who go away on vacation throughout the year and their pet stays with you? If so, how about offering a bathing service the day they get back, so they are nice and clean.

5) Scale it:

This is the hardest part because it is the most work. It requires time management, and organization. As you start getting more clients and customers, its natural that you will become busy. Trust me, this is a good problem to have, but you need to make sure you can maintain the trust and superior care the animals and owners have come to expect. If you drop the ball here, it is game over.

I hope some of these tips help you in deciding if pet sitting is right for you, or helps you build and scale your small business. If you have any questions or comments let me know and if you have other small things you have implemented, scare the resources!

And here’s a cute video just because 🙂

What is a pet sitter?

Well, someone who sits pets, obviously…but it’s more than that.

Petting sitting or animal sitting is a similar to babysitting but for animals. But again, it’s more than that. Many pet sitting companies offer a wide variety of services to walking, feeding, overnight sitting/sleepovers, emergency transportation, vacation sitting, in-home house sitting, bathing, teeth care, special care for young animals, or for older. But it’s not like boarding, but sometimes there is confusion between the two. Pet sitting is usually defined as act of caring for a pet in the home of the owner or “parents” while they are away. The pet sitting I do, is a mix of both, I care for patients in their owners home, and in my home/apartment (if needed).

Some people love their pets like they are family, and if they are, they need and should be treated as so. However, there is actual facts and advantages in pet sitting over boarding:

  • They get to stay in their regular environment and that reduces their anxiety.
  • Diet, exercise activities are the same.
  • They do not have to travel to a boarding location and be around other animals.
  • THEY ARE HAPPIER.

While in-home pet sitting doesn’t work for everyone, I often take on clients, who want their pet to be cuddled at night, and run free, and know that the services in-home can sometimes be limited or more stressful for the owner. Some pet sitters only watch certain animals, whether just dogs, or just cats. Me? I will watch any animal, because I love animals…and I am also a semi-broke college student.

Every pet owner has different ideas of what a pet sitter to do, so it’s always good to go in with the open mind and be flexible. Everyone’s pet is different, responds differently and has different needs so be mindful that it is a business and the customer is always right!

If you are unsure if this business is right for you, there are some basic things to consider:

  • Do you love animals? (If no, maybe it would not be a good idea…)
  • Do you like the idea of working from home, or creating your own schedule?

There are obviously, more things to consider before becoming an pet sitter but these are some of the basic duties and things to consider before jumping in.

Personally, I love to love animals, and like the wet kisses, and don’t mind cleaning up the accidents!

dog-kitten-cuddle

If you are interested in learning more, keep following for more information on how I started to turn my dog walking business into pet sitting and how it is helping me learn more about myself, and animals while continuing my education.

Introduction

Hi everyone! Stay tuned for my first post on what exactly animal sitting or a pet sitter is so you can get a better idea of what I do!