Best Practices To Prepare Your Business For Tax Season

If you don’t prepare your business for tax season, it will usually end up stressful at the last minute.  I know many pet business owners moaning and groaning wishing they hired that bookkeeper or kept better records. Personally, for quite a few years it was opening a bottle of wine, printing out every bank statement, and recording a year’s worth of expenses in about 5 hours of time.

Ok, so it might have been more than one bottle of wine… 🙂

In the process, I am sure I missed a lot, classified in the wrong categories, and “forgot” a lot of other items. Doing an entire year in one session is never recommended.

So how do we not fall into this trap and how can we prevent this from happening ever again? Here are some


Best Practices To Prepare Your Business For Tax Season

Start Early

By “starting early” I mean doing it as the year goes on. Every single month, as soon as that bank account statement is ready, reconcile it with your Quickbooks or SlickPie account. Keep on top of it while the expense page is fresh in your mind. Was the Amazon delivery for groceries or new business card holders? Doing this will eliminate another step of having to go research it in Amazon. It will help you prepare your business for tax season little by little.

Get The Right Categories Set Up

Each business will differ, with no two the exact same but getting the typical categories set up early will help you prepare your business for tax season. Examples: Meals and Entertainment can be broken down into: personal, staff meetings, interviews. Or taxes: FICA, SUTA, etc  Having the right categories will help you do projections for your business and potentially let you know where you might be bleeding money. Was all that money you spent with one company on advertising really profitable?

Consider Getting A Bookkeeper

If you don’t have a background in accounting, my best piece of advice would be to contract a local bookkeeper that you can trust to keep things checked and balanced. If you are a cash and check business this is HUGELY important because sometimes payments fall through the cracks. You are so busy running your business, you don’t realize that you missed collecting a $60 check from Mrs. Green. A bookkeeper can help you project, predict, and strategize your cash flow. When tax time comes he/she will already have a lot of your books taken care of so there will be no scramble as you prepare your business for tax season!

Find An Accountant You Can Trust

Most people only see their CPA once a year. Sometimes they just work virtually. As a small business, it is important to see your CPA a few times a year, especially for tax planning purposes. When your business grows, there are different types of corporations that you can file as that would help keep your tax bill lower than if you didn’t. A good CPA will give you options, if there are any, and be able to strategize with you. I would recommend asking your local networking groups and other small business owners who you trust who they use to get a recommendation.

Wrap Up

So to sum it all up, you can wipe away the crazy tax prep planning in March and replace it with a steady plan that works for your business throughout the year. Doing so, you will have less stress, ease of planning, and potentially less of a tax bill to pay because you have accounted for all your expenses and collected all your accounts receivable! Do just a little every month and you can always be preparing your business for tax season!

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2 Of The Most Important Requirements To Establish With New Pet Sitting Employees

How exciting! You just hired a new pet sitting employee for your company and now comes the training period. But how exactly do you teach someone and ensure that they not only understand but will agree to all the policies and procedures you have created for your business? How do you make sure they respect the boundaries that they are working in and your position as their boss?

Every day you’ll fight an uphill battle if the rules and boundaries of your pet sitting company aren’t properly set up. That means having a training program that teaches your staff members the employee handbook and training manual.

If you don’t have these things, prepare for your foot to hurt a lot – and often –  as you’re basically shooting at it as soon as you pop out of bed.

Just having rules isn’t enough, though.

They need to be clear, constantly updated and taught in a way that ensures employees
A) understand and
B) agree

 

 

Requirement #1 When Employees Understand:

For new pet sitting employees to understand rules, you’ll need a few different things during training such as:

  • Funny videos, pictures, and good personal stories stressing the importance of certain policies.
  • Handbook and policies are written in language that is simple, easy to read, and to the point.
  • An effective shadowing process to tie up loose ends at the culmination of training.
  • A process of about 1-2 weeks. It should be drawn out over a few days (and up to a few weeks) and may include shadowing in the field too.
  • Ultimately, the best way to make sure they’ve satisfied your company’s “understanding” requirement is that you could administer an employee-exam covering important policies and things employees frequently mess with.


Requirement #2 When New Pet Sitting Employees Agree:

When it comes to agreeing, we aren’t just talking about signing on the dotted line. When your employees don’t just know the policy, but truly agree with it, you’ll have an easier time offering them constructive criticism and giving out consequences.  It’s your job to make sure they agree. You’ll want to go out of your way for this one.

 

Include Your New Pet Sitting Employee To Get Them To Agree

During training, let them engage with you about policy and keep open the possibility of you tweaking or changing the rules based on their advice. Verbalize to them that you’d truly do something like that.

Create multiple opportunities like this to give them skin in the game. Hear their concerns and make them feel as comfortable as humanly possible to offer such wisdom back. Stay strong when you must.  

Be ready to defend and explain the reasons why certain policies mean so much to you. If you write policy with a strong moral and safety background, you’ll have little to debate.

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Create and Discuss Hypothetical Scenarios To Get Your New Pet Sitting Employees To Agree:

You should make sure that you go out of your way to ensure they agree with all the policies. Help your new pet sitting employees come up with issues they might experience.

Come up with separate hypothetical examples of employees where mistakes were met with constructive criticism,  

A) getting a strike

B) being suspended

C) getting fired

Show them how, in each example, you didn’t get upset, but simply gave the consequence. Ask them if this type of system they can be happy operating under. Get them, beyond all doubt, to say “I 100% agree to how this company runs.” Then, you can finally have them sign on the dotted line of your company’s employment agreement (that was looked at by your employment lawyer!).

 

The Business (You) Will Come Out The Good Guy:

When you get your new pet sitting employees to understand and agree, you preserve the relationship; the system does the consequence giving, not you.  Giving consequences are already awkward enough.

Giving consequences in a, non-confrontational manner, with as little words and interaction from your part, is how it’s done right. Do, however, tell them to please voice their concerns if they have any – and hear them with unconditional empathy and a refusal to argue.

Don’t offer any more than you must on your end though – let the system do the talking.  When you do it this way, you simultaneously preserve your relationship and boundaries. Then, the only thing you’ll have to focus on is giving the rewards – something that is much more powerful and wayyy more fun anyhow.

 

*****
David Steinberg is the owner of David’s Pet Services (DPS) – a Dog Walking & Pet Sitting Co. based out of West Hartford, CT. In his last profession, he was a certified psychotherapist where he worked 1-on-1 with children and young adults and provided psychoeducation to adults on parenting.

David feels the transition from therapist to dog trainer and business owner was seamless – with lesson learned including conflict resolution, positive reinforcement, and relationship building, he now feels equipped to ensure obedient doggy-clients, satisfied human-clients, happy employees, and a healthy business.

If you love adorable pictures of puppies, check out his Instagram Also, here’s his website, facebook page, twitter!

 

 

Happy New Year From My Kitchen Table…

Happy New Year! ….as I start writing, it is 8:23 here in Arizona. I felt compelled to just write but realizing this was much longer than a Facebook status, I thought to post this here… I am talking to you.

The business owner who is stressed, worried, overwhelmed, unbalanced, and willing to be vulnerable.  Here is an excerpt from an email I received this morning,

 

Hello, I am just feeling very overwhelmed in my business. Even if I just continue onward myself and don’t hire an employee I still need to figure out how to say no without being afraid I’m going to lose a client. Setting boundaries for my clients and how to handle that without offending anyone….

 

And don’t I get it!!!

I have felt that exact way. In fact, sometimes I STILL feel that way. It is called self-doubt, stinking thinking, decrease in self-confidence, and lack of boundaries.

But as I sit here, at my kitchen table writing to you tonight, while my husband is at work, and Olivia is asleep in her bed- I am reminded (Thank you Facebook TimeHop) of where I used to be.

My story IS your story

In order to drive home a point about this New Year (skip to the bottom of this if you are antsy)…. I feel like I need to take you on a trip down my own personal memory lane.

 

This year… In January, my husband became a Nurse. Something he has worked SO HARD for and it is just (seriously) in his PORES he is so good at it. It also gave him an incredible schedule where we works all weekend and Monday afternoons and then off the rest of the week. We are both able to be home and with Olivia and I am able to work when I need. =balance

Easter Sunday is when I knew I wanted to move on from my pet sitting business of 14 years and in a few days, I found a broker and had it on the market. The decision was easy for me. My goal was always to sell once I had a family and my real passion is helping others achive their goals through coaching.

In May, on Mother’s Day (I can’t make this stuff up) Olivia started walking.

The end of May, we took our first family trip over Memorial Day to Cape Cod. I had so much anxiety about this one. To all you Mom’s who have traveled with little ones… my GOSH they have a lot of GEAR! Then, add into it Olivia’s medicine that needs to be refrigerated, and her feeding challenges…. I was terrified of being that Mom with the screaming kid on the airplane. Although, in all honesty, Olivia isn’t a screamer, she is an explorer. She doesn’t sit still. Taking a red eye with her own seat proved to be great and she slept the 5 and 6 hour flights. (Yay!) It also proved to us that we don’t always need to be a on a strict schedule with her. It was empowering.

The end of May, my pet sitting business was officially sold too. (record time at top dollar!)

Then came July where in FIVE DAYS we sold our house and bought a new one… and let me tell you, this was total randomness. We weren’t even planning on it. The opportunity just presented itself and rather than think of all the things that could go wrong, we JUMPED.  And it was the best decision of our lives…. aside from getting married, of course! 🙂

In July was also Olivia and I’s bday’s. Mine is the 18th and her’s is the 21st. There are certain times of the year that are major triggers for me….. her Bday is one of them. You see, being a Mom stuck in NICU for 6 months…. wondering (first) if she was going to live, (then) the quality of life she was going to have… was such a battle. I do have PTSD from it and learning to manage it is a challenge when the triggers appear. This year, we kept it a low key birthday for her. It was fun, intimate, and perfect for us. 🙂

Around this time, I decided to revamp Jump Consulting. I started working on a complete rebrand of the company and a new business plan. Now that I was down to one company, I could really dream big and figure out my visions and set goals. And that is exactly what I did. I forumulated a terriffic team, and admittedly kissed a bunch of frogs to get there. But now, I have such a soild support team that I am so greatful for!

In August we got into our new home, and wouldn’t you know, Olivia started eating SO MUCH BETTER! It was insane the progress she has finally been making. Not to mention our incredible renown feeding therapist that occasionally comes to our home to do some private sessions with us. Her name is Marsha and she has changed our LIVES. (If you have feeding issues with your kids, let’s talk!)


And now, since then…. I really feel like my family and I have been finding our groove. For those of you just getting to know me, here is my life the past few years before that:

Oct 2012 – Met Alex, my hubby
June 23 2103 – Engaged
Jan 4th 2014 – Married in Scottsdale, AZ
Jan 11th 2014 – Married in Skopje, Macedonia then honeymoon in Rome.
Jan 28th 2014 – found out I was pregnant
May 25th 2014 – found out it was going to be a tough pregnancy and on bed rest.
July 21st 2014 – Olivia was born at 0lb. 12oz. 10 inches long. (One of the 50 smallest surviving babies on record!)

Jan 10 2015 – hubby started school for fast track to be a Nurse (gone working or studying all the time)
Jan 19 2015 – after 185 days I took her home from hospital with Oxygen and NG feeding tube. 80 hours a week of nursing in my home day and night for the next 6 months…
2015 – I was in survival and processing what happened in NICU. (Our bodies have an incredible ability to fight or flight. I fought, then months later I comprehended it all) Lots of tears, grieve, anger, frustration….and some days, there still is. 2015 was a decompressing and starting to heal year…. I was so tense too…. just waiting for the other shoe to drop because I was conditioned that way with NICU. We would get calls in the middle of the night, “Olivia stopped breathing…..” or something else equally as crazy. 🙁

Are you tired yet? I am!

It feels like my husband and I have been on the run for the past few years. If you told me that we would have all this in front of us, I would have sabotaged it.

But I have learned from it.

I am stronger because of it. I have that as EVIDENCE that I can make it through things and that, sometimes, God has to carry me through it because stuff just gets that real.

When business owners tell me they are tired. They don’t have time. They can’t be out doing pet sits every single day and need to learn better systems and processes. I 100% get it because I was right there too and I proved how to make it work time and time again.

So Now It Is New Years Eve….

…I don’t know what the future holds, and you know what? I don’t even really WANT to know…

I want to have goals and plans… but I also understand that it is okay if they don’t come true.

I don’t believe in New Years Resolutions. I don’t think that a day on the calendar can change things. We are always making these resolutions.. but never really reflecting on what they were the last time we promised ourselves something. Did we win? loose? Knock it out of the park? Fall short? I feel like these promises to ourselves can be made on ANY DAY.

I just know that I want balance.

And I want balance for everyone that my light shines out to. (Notice I didn’t say who I coach?) I want balance for everyone around me. That’s a tough thing to achieve. I believe it comes with having priorities in life and then making plans to accentuate the priorities.

For example, I really wanted to be there for Alex and Olivia. I wanted to be present. I didn’t want to have a bigger company or take it to the next level. I totally could, but it wasn’t in my heart. So I made the choice to get out. At the time, I was terrified. I was taking a big pay cut. But I was committed to my priorities in life, being my family. Olivia taught me what’s really important. Much like I am sure your own children have done?

Side note – It really is amazing how these tiny little humans can do that for us, isn’t it? 

Saying NO is easy, if you have priorities.

Back To The Email

Getting back to the except that I showed you above. The email in my inbox… that gal is buried by her company. She is making decisions based off fear and not her priorities in life. My advice to her is this:

If you want balance in your life, you have to fight for it.

Are you are worried about your income yet are overbooked? Raise your rates if it is only one of you or hire people. The second rule when I coach people is “who cares about the competition”  The writer has a fear of missing out that is dragging her down. Not everyone who calls is a client. It is mathematically impossible. I would encourage her to figure out who she wants as a client. Define them.

 

All About Balance

But friends, it is all about balance in life. Balance in your time, relationships, carbs (lol!), money, etc.

I want to encourage you ALL to seek balance in your life. I feel like if you can achieve balance in your life, everything else will (more easily) fall into place.

My rule #1 is “You are your own worst enemy.” And you are! Here is the thing… there is no secret to pet sitting and dog walking. It seems like everyone is doing it these days.

Here is the thing… there is no secret to pet sitting and dog walking. It seems like everyone is doing it these days.

But what is really important is those who are successful – they went for it. They have failed MORE TIMES than the ones who are struggling. Do you know why they are successful?

And when I say successful, it could really mean anything. I am not saying the company with the most money, staff, profit margin. Successful according to their own desires.

Anyways…. did I mention that I am also sick right now? My nose is really telling me, “Get off the computer and go lay down” So I am going to wrap this up now….

Ever notice how kids are SO happy and carefree? 🙂 Giddy up!

My Wish and Prayer for you in 2017

I pray that the person reading this is able to be true to themselves. Find and stand up for their priorities by creating balance in all areas of their life. I pray that we all understand that being a workaholic and too busy do not lead to a healthy and balanced life (despite what society tells us) and that in the end, you and those you love are happy and healthy.

Happy New Year. From my family to yours!
Bella

(PS) Now it is 9:12 and I have to edit, format, add some pictures, and post! 🙂
(PPS) Edits finished at 9:32pm

know-marketing-working

How Do I Know If My Marketing Is Working?

Marketing is tricky. Some people love it, and some people hate it, but I think we can all agree that it can be tough. Think about it. You’ve just come up with a fantastic marketing plan, and you’ve started implementing it.

Good to go right? Well, not exactly. Step two is figuring out if it’s actually working, and learning to adapt if you decide that it isn’t. Today we’re going to look a couple of easy ways that you can measure whether or not your marketing is actually working.

Marketing: How Do I Know If It’s Working?

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How Long Has Your Marketing Cycle Been Up?

A rookie mistake that I see a lot of business owners make is not leaving their marketing cycle up long enough. Don’t be that person! Marketing cycles, like anything worthwhile, need time to grow and prosper. You have to give it an opportunity to reach its full potential.

For example, if you had a newsletter that comes out every other month, you have to keep it going for a substantial amount of time. This will allow you to get through a couple of cycles so you can accurately see whether or not it’s working.

If you want to look more generally, I recommend a bare minimum of 6 months for something that comes out every month. Again, this healthy amount of time will set a nice foundation where you can analyze your progress.

 

What Does “My Marketing’s Working!” Mean To You?

Saying that something “is working” is a broad, subjective term. Something that’s working for someone else may not satisfy what you’re personally looking for. This is why it’s important to define your objective before starting a new marketing cycle.

Is your goal to get new clients?

Or is it to gain exposure in new areas?

Or maybe it is something else?

These types of questions are what you should be asking yourself when deciding whether or not if it’s working. You have to set your own goals and then simply look at the metrics to see if you reach them.

If your goal is gain new clients and you don’t, well then your marketing isn’t working! Time to try something new. While it’s important to stick to a strategy for a healthy amount of time, don’t be afraid to change it up now again if you’re not getting desired results. In the end, you have to choose something that meets and exceeds your goals!

Tracking Your Marketing is KEY

In order for you to accurately know if your marketing is meeting your goals, you absolutely have to track your it with numbers.

Knowing figures such as how many new clients you’ve gained or how many website hits you’ve gotten are important. If you don’t track your marketing, you may not know what you should attribute any changes in your business to.

A great way to track is to do an A/B Split Test. For example, try a strategy one way, then change it up a bit and do it slightly differently. Then compare and contrast! You’ll be able to fine tune your strategies and really see what works and what doesn’t. After doing this a couple times, you’ll have your technique nailed.

You can also use online programs such as Hootsuite to track your social media analytics. They also offer a 30 day free trial so you can see if it’s for you. Or, if you want to track your email marketing, try AWeber. They’ll help you keep track of your email clicks, subscribers and more.

What Does It All Mean?

Overall, only you will know if your marketing is working. You can definitely get lots of helpful feedback from a variety of resources – but in the end you have to do what you feel is right. With most things in business, you have to go with your gut. Don’t be afraid to step out of the box and completely scrap an idea if it’s not working – but at the same token, make sure you are giving it a chance to work!

Even more importantly – define your goals so you know whether or not you’re achieving what you want to achieve. Use the tools at your disposal like the online programs listed above as well as the people in your life. So there you have it. Yes, marketing can be tough, but there are so many ways in addition to what I’ve listed here that can help you simplify and expedite the process.

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get creative!

 

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does your pet sitter job posting have these 3 key ingredients to success?

Does Your Pet Sitter Job Posting Have These 3 Key Ingredients for Success?

Imagine this. You are the owner of a successful pet sitting company that is booming with business. So much so that you’re ready to take on some new staff. So you create a job posting, upload it, and …. no responses. Sound familiar?

Well I’m here to tell you that it’s not you, it’s your job posting. Let’s take a look at a few key ingredients that every pet sitter job posting needs to be successful and engaging.

Beautiful young businesswoman conducting a job interview seated at her desk in her office holding a folder and smiling at the potential female candidate

Beautiful young businesswoman conducting a job interview seated at her desk in her office holding a folder and smiling at the potential female candidate

An Engaging Pet Sitter Job Posting Is Just Like Marketing

When you’re creating your pet sitter job posting, it is very easy to fall into the trap of making it about yourself. You know, the endless list of “Musts.” Not only is this type of job posting daunting to a potential applicant, but it’s boring and it doesn’t stand out.

Writing your pet sitter job posting is NO DIFFERENT than writing your marketing and promotion material. Think about it. When marketing to clients we don’t say things like “Must have a clean house, must have a lot of money, must follow all my policies,” etc. We would have no clients!

Instead, try to list out the many benefits and bonuses of being a pet sitter in your job posting just like you would with your clients. Things such as, “Your bosses will always greet you with tail-wags and kisses” or “You won’t have to do your hair and makeup.” are eye-catching.

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Enticing statements like these gets people excited to read your job posting and ultimately apply, which in turn gives you a large pool of applicants to choose from. It’s a win-win!

 

Consider the Audience Who is Reading Your Job Posting

When someone is looking for a job, they’re looking at a ton of difference sources and websites. This means that they could be sifting through hundreds of job postings a day. Bottom line? You’re not only fish in the sea!

Try to consider how the potential applicant is feeling. They are probably feeling depressed because every other job posting they have come across is filled with “musts,” requirements, and stipulations. This might make them feel inadequate. It’s a depressing experience.

So when they come across your dog walker or pet sitter job posting,  it needs to be happy, exciting, and stand out. Now you may be thinking, “But Bella, I want people to know what I’m looking for!”

You have to understand that even if you include a bunch of “must” statements, nobody is even reading them!

I hate to say it, but you are still going to get applicants who should have disqualified themselves. So it truly is a better approach to make your pet sitter job posting happy and upbeat if for no other purpose than to get those applications flowing. You can sift through the good, and the bad later.

Your Pet Sitter Job Posting Should Be Up and Active All The Time

It is easy to get into a mindset of only hiring when we need to be. This is actually not ideal, as applicants and employees can be fickle. As a business owner, you have to be ready for whatever comes your way.

Basically, we need to be looking for people all the time. You need to find people even when you might not have work for them. Why? Because if you’re only hiring when you need them, this can lead to bad hiring decisions.

It’s the same thing for any member of your business team. For example, you don’t want to be finding a lawyer or an accountant when you need them. You will be scrambling and stressed out. You want them to be ready to go and standing by.

The Bottom Line

Sometimes getting successful applicants is just as hard as securing long-term clients. But the way you attract them both should be the same. It’s important to consider the audience you’re writing for and tailor your pet sitter job posting accordingly.

Pet sitting is a great job with so many benefits. So, make sure you spell them out for your applicants to get the best response. And remember – always be hiring!

 

Employee Quick Start

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4 Ways To Post For Your Social Media Accounts

We all know that being a pet business owner isn’t only just about loving puppies and kitties. You have to fill so many different roles day in and day out. So when it comes to marketing and posting to your social media accounts, you’re thinking to yourself,

“how am I ever going to have time for this?”

Lucky for you, there a number of resources that can help you. They provide you with ways to schedule your marketing so that you’re not tied to your computer 24/7 waiting to post at those prime-time posting hours.

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4 Ways to Post to Your Social Media Accounts

You Could Purchase Scheduling Software:


MeetEdgar and Hootsuite are two online programs that are in the business of granting you the gift of time. MeetEdgar’s basic plan is $79.00 a month and gives you all the tools to connect your social media accounts and schedule publishing. HootSuite’s set up gives you these same tools, but ranges from $9.99 to $99.00 a month. The final cost depends on the amount of  features you want, and the number of users on the account. HootSuite also offers a 30 day free trial here.

NOTE: You still need to come up with the content to post all of this!

 

You Could Hire a Company:


But what if you’re looking for something a little more hands on that helps you actually create the content? Another option is that you could hire a marketing firm, such as The Marketeering Group, that will manage your accounts and create content for you. But, you’re looking at a $400 price tag plus a $450 set up. Yikes!

 

You Could Hire An Individual:


What if you’re looking for a little more of one-on-one type of help? You could hire an individual marketing consultant, like Sandy Rowley, who will optimize all of your social media accounts. But again, we’re looking a premium fee of $399 a month.

Maybe now you’re saying to yourself, forget it! I’ll just do it myself, or hire a blogger to write for me. While that definitely helps your pocketbook, you have to consider the time it takes to produce effective content. It’s also important to think about that you may have to micromanage this blogger to make sure they give you what you want.

Social media marketing

 

The Pro’s and Con’s of Hiring Someone


PROS: Your social media is always current, up-to-date, and you don’t have to worry about it anymore. Awesome!

CONS: None of these programs, people, or companies have experience in the pet business industry. They are costly. They are relying on you for a lot of what to say and the meat of the content. 

For marketing to be successful, you must have four key ingredients: consistency, knowing the brand, understanding the industry, and relating to the consumer.

 


Better Marketing With Bella

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Better Marketing With Bella was created to solve all of these problems. Not only do you get access to an industry expert with a fresh marketing mind, your wallet will be practically thanking you! This program is the only one of its kind in the industry. made by a pet business owner, for pet business owners.

Only 7 businesses will be accepted into the program in order to ensure quality service. If you want to be apart of the action, make sure you go to here to get your name on the list before space fills up.

 

is dog boarding in my home legal?

Is Dog Boarding In My Home Legal?

We have so many ways in this new instant economy to make money that businesses like dog boarding are sprouting up everywhere. It is awesome!

But in the pet industry, the job of watching a pet while their parents are at work or out of town seems to be a job that anyone can do it. I have heard it all. Eight year old neighbor kids walking dogs, the person inbetween jobs, making some quick money to pay their electric bill by letting dogs come stay with her, and even some full blown businesses that have a bunch of hosts homes everywhere where the company sends the dogs to stay overnight.

prices on website

 

There Are Big Responsibilities When Considering Dog Boarding

In home dog boarding comes with some huge responsibilities both before they start their business and after. Although, focusing on the cute and adorable dream of caring for the pets…sometimes it is neglected.  One of the biggest responsibilities is finding out if they are even allowed to have a dog boarding business in their own home. It is almost implied that if you can sign up for one of these easy to use websites like rover.com, care.com, dogvacay.com etc that you very well can make money boarding dogs in your home.

But is it legal?

 

No one will know Bella!

Sometimes I hear, “Aw, no one cares about me Bella. I am just making a little side money. What’s wrong with that?”

Ah! But people DO know. They find out through seeing different dogs and people come to and from your home. They find out by your website advertising and your facebook page that is posting pictures.

Your neighbors can hear the dogs, they can see the dogs, and sometimes… they can SMELL the dogs.

People know.

And what is worse, is some of the people who board dogs in their home might be building a business that isn’t sustainable.

All it takes is for one person to call the zoning board to have them come knocking on your door. They did this to Kristie Glazer in Philadelphia. A neighbor reported her and they literally knocked on her door ready to nail plyboard on her window frames and board up her home.

Can you believe that?!?!  You can hear the full story here

She had to stop that business and ultimately, made a huge dent in her families livelihood.

client care notes

 

You Want To Do The Right Thing, Don’t You?

If you are going to go into business for yourself, don’t you want to know that you are doing the right thing? Don’t you want to go to bed at night knowing that you have proper training, insurance, structures, approvals, contingency plans?

If you don’t, something like what happened at Green Acres could happen and you could have 20+ dead dogs on your hands and criminal charges against you. Or what about these horrible cases that made the news:

  • Dog attacked at in home boarding
  • Dog Attacked and killed at in home dog boarding,no zoning.
  • Dog died sparked zoning investigation.zoning investigation.   The article states: “What we’re now discovering is all these boarding operations opening under the guise of pet-sitting,” said Animal Care and Control Director Dianne Sauve”

Yeah, this stuff is REAL.

You want to confidently tell your clients that your insurance covers you 100% for anything that happens.

You want to know how to properly introduce new dogs to your pack to avoid anyone getting bit in the face or have one of them injure another four legged client at your home. You want to know what happens if one gets out of an enclosure and damages your home or themselves while you are at the grocery store.

This is a very serious business.

 

Let’s Start With The First Check Mark You Need In Order To Be Up And Running:

Before you can even THINK of inviting dogs and cats into your home in exchange for money, you must look to see if it is even legal OR what you need to do to BE legal.

pet sitting employee manual

DO THIS: Contact City hall and ask if a special zoning license is needed to have a dog kennel in your residential house.

 

To show you what I mean, I took 30 minutes and googled for you. Here is what I came up with for some locations.

Los Angeles: You need a permit

San Diego –  7 or more pets

Ft Wayne Tx
Residential Kennel Permit $300
Commercial Kennel/Cattery Permit – (Requires Zoning Approval)
* 6-15 dogs/cats $150
* 16-25 dogs/cats $200
* 26 or more $250
* Omnibus Permit $200

Seattle/King County
4 + dogs or cats
Need permit

Minnesota Cities –Very long, you should read through it.

South Bend Indiana – Read Section 5-60

Maricopa County – $328 for a permit.

Utah – no more than 3 dogs in one home.

Louisville, KY – any boarding facility needs permit.

Fairfax County, VA – Depends on square footage

 

 

In the end, don’t you want to know that you are operating a legal business? Don’t you want to know that you have the proper insurance? That you won’t be fined? For some, it is a risk they are willing to take, but how moral is it to be operating (knowingly) and illegal business?

 

No One Said It Is Easy.

In some places, you will do your best attempt and call City Hall but the person on the phone might not know. Or they might not have any laws. Some that do require laws and permits hardly ever have inspections so then all you see are the bad cases in the news when things go wrong.

As a professional pet care provider, let’s do all that we can to bring the integrity of our industry up by doing everything we need to do to operate legal businesses.

If you would like to help the integrity of this article and you locate the statute in your town or county, feel free to add it to the comments section and I will add it to the list above!

 

rover dogvacay insurance

 

rover dog sitter coachingpet sitting facebook group

items at costco for your holiday gifts to clients

Items At Costco For Your Holiday Gifts To Clients

You might remember that in a previous blog, I gave pet business owners 11 unique holiday gift ideas to give to your clients. Today, while at the #costcomomhour, I was inspired!  I realized just how much items there are at Costco for holiday gifts to give your clients so I made a video to show you.

Costco Mom Hour:

Costco Mom Hour happens once a year (I think?) when Costco teams up with the local City Mom’s Blog all over the country. If you haven’t visited the blog in your town, you should. You can look it up here. It is an incredible blog hosted my local mom bloggers aimed at bringing local tips, hacks, recipes, and SO MUCH MORE.

It is a high-quality blog and I you should personally check it out or look into how you can advertise your pet business with them.   Maybe, exchange a few blogs. I have done that in the past and it was a great success.

costco mom hour
I found out on FB about the event last night and thought, “Well, Costco is sorta my fav store, so what the heck!”   Alex was nice enough to watch Olivia so I went solo.

What started out as a personal mission, shortly turned into an inspirational moment that I thought was worthy of the 90 minutes it takes to produce and publish a blog for you. Below, is a SnapChat story of my adventures. (PS – You can friend me at Bellamaria30)

Items you can find at Costco for holiday gifts:

If I didn’t sell my pet sitting company in May, I totally would have bought all of these things at Costco for holiday gifts. I just love the high quality that Costco provides and the bulk pricing. Watch my Snapchat below, to see what I would have bought…. and more importantly what you could go buy now at Costco for holiday gifts.

I suggest starting the video at the 50 second mark 🙂


Cat Calendar $8.99
Candles $9.99 or $19.99
Starbucks gift set $19.99
Gift Cards 25% off
Dog Toys $10.99

It Doesn’t Have To Be For Holidays

Because of the high quality products and bulk pricing, these items and more can always make great gifts to pull out of the closet when you need them. Maybe you want to start giving all new clients a free gift? Maybe you need some raffle prizes for your next pet event in your community? Maybe you just need to offer some great pick me ups for your staff with the 25% off gift cards Costco always has?

Gifts Can Help With Marketing Your Business

On Nov 16th at 6pm EST I will be hosting the 2017 Pet Business Marketing Plan class. In it, you will be able to create a plan that will help market your business on and offline.  I will show you how to put it on auto pilot, and how it can build on top of itself year after year. Consider checking it out and see what you can learn to enhance your pet business in 2017!

2017 Marketing Plan For Your Pet Business