dog walking business

The Problems With Owning A Dog Walking Business

Operating a business in the pet industry is tough no matter what you’re doing. One especially tough business to run, however, is a dog walking business. Partly because it just sounds so fun! I mean think about it, walking dogs for a living? Sign me up!

I’m here to tell you that it’s not all puppy kisses and rainbows – sorry! Today let’s discuss the many problems there are with owning a dog walking business, so you’re prepared should you choose to open one. P.S. – Running a pet sitting business (yes there IS a difference) is NO walk in the park either, but that’s another blog for another time.

The Problems With Owning A Dog Walking Businessdog walking business

Predictability

In a dog walking business, you’re going to be doing the same thing at the same time on the same days, consistently. Dog walks are usually Monday through Friday in the middle of the day. Most of the time your clients are at work, so they won’t need you on the weekends.

You might be thinking “Guaranteed income every single week? Sounds good to me!” And that definitely IS a good thing! But as a dog walking business you’re going to be missing out on what’s considered the cash cow of pet sitting businesses – holidays. Unless your clients choose to take a vacation, they will be home on the major holidays and won’t need your services. So ultimately you’ll be missing out on those holiday upcharges, which can be a really big boost for small businesses.

Hiring Is Hard

Hiring for a dog walking business is different than hiring for any other type of company. You’re looking for a very specific person to work very specific hours. People that work a 9 – 5 or even students in class all day won’t cut it. You’ve got to find people that are available in the middle of the day, Monday through Friday. This is tough because not a lot of people have this type of schedule. Set your focus on the retirees, stay at home moms, or people that work from home. That pool will likely be your niche.

In addition to availability, you’ll need to hire people that are tough physically and mentally. Hiring a sweet little old lady may not work, because your four-legged clients may overpower her. People that are in physically strong condition are a must. Another factor that comes into play is the weather. Dog walkers have to be tough and endure all types of weather including rain, intense heat, extreme cold, storms, snow, etc. Trust me when I say it’s a challenge to find someone that is willing to brave all of those elements.

Losing One Client Can Be Devastating

In a dog walking company, every client is your bread and butter. For pet sitting companies this isn’t so much the case, unless it’s someone that books consistently all the time (which isn’t the norm). But for dog walkers, almost all of your clients are dailies. So when you lose a client, or a dog gets injured, or even a reduced schedule can be a big hit on the business. This is why it’s so important to always be working towards bringing new clients on board!

Not All Companies Stand Out

And not for the reason you think. Even still today there are so many business owners that do not know the difference between a pet sitting company and a dog walking company. This is why you’ll see dog walking companies that moonlight as pet sitting companies and don’t call themselves what they really are. Don’t be this person 🙂

Overall, running a dog walking company can be super rewarding. It definitely can be fun work, but there are stressors that come along with it just like any job. Once you have your model figured out along with your systems and processes, there are lots of opportunity for time off and “hands-off” managing. The problems talked about here are just a few downsides to starting your own business, but like I said, everything has pros and cons!

If you’re interested in starting your own dog walking company, be sure to check out this guide I created specifically for you here.

Start A Pet Sitting Business

hiring dog walkers

Review: The Top Websites For Hiring Pet Sitters & Hiring Dog Walkers

When hiring pet sitters or hiring dog walkers, it can be difficult knowing where to start. There are so many different websites out there where you can post job ads – so how do you know which one is the most lucrative? Today we bring you a review of the top sources for hiring for your pet sitting business, so you know which ones to invest your time into.

Review: The Top Websites for Hiring Pet Sitters & Hiring Dog Walkershiring dog walkers

Indeed

Indeed describes itself as the world’s #1 job site. And we can’t blame them. They pull in over 200 million unique visitors to their site every month. One of the main reasons why Indeed is great is because it’s FREE to post jobs. Or if you’re really in a pinch, there is an option to pay for your ads so that they are shown to more applicants. Plus, if you’re feeling extra proactive, you can search through resumes and invite potential applicants to apply for your job.

One of the reasons that Indeed is NOT so great however, is because you’ll get a lot of bogus and spam applicants. I’m talking about people that are just sending out their resume to the masses, with no regard to what the job is. I know some pet sitters that have had to wade through over 100 applicants to find 1 or 2 winners. But the reality is that hiring takes time, and wading through applicants you can automatically disqualify is just part of the process. No matter what, you have to stick with it!

Check out what other business owners have to say about Indeed:

Indeed has been a useful resource for us – drives the most applicants. However, applicants almost never send anything helpful via Indeed. We send back a standard response of ‘Thanks for your interest, please apply via our website.’ That helps narrow down the pool a bit!” -Robin Brown, Manhattan Mutt Company LLC

“Very few of the folks on Indeed bothered to read my posting. The ones who had relevant experience often didn’t bother with the cover letter and very few sent a cover letter at all.” – Annamarie Hessman

Craigslist

Craigslist can be another great source for hiring pet sitters and hiring dog walkers. The website has been around for over 20 years, and has quickly become the premiere website for posting classified ads. Another great thing about Craigslist is that it is totally free to use. It is also is really great about protecting your privacy. When you post an ad, applicants will be able to contact you without seeing your email.

TIP: Try posting your hiring ad in multiple categories such as part time, gigs, domestic, etc. This will allow you to reach more applicants!

But, Craigslist does have some downfalls. There is a lot of spam job ads on Craigslist, which lessens it’s credibility. A lot of people do not consider Craigslist a legitimate source for applying to jobs. It may be harder to reach the demographic you’re aiming for.

Here’s what pet sitters have to say about Craigslist:

“Craigslist has been the biggest success with 3 amazing employees.” – Nicole Brown, Miami Pet Concierge

Hireology

Hireology is a little different than your typical job posting site. Think of it more as a hiring “hub.” According to their website, Hireology allows you to manage all hiring activity from their platform. This includes writing job descriptions, posting to job boards, interview candidates, and running background checks. It allows you to keep all of your information in one place, including applications, resumes, interview notes, etc.

Keep in mind that Hireology is not free! If this sounds like something you’re interested in, you’ll have to request a free demo. If you like the software, there will be an additional cost, which is determined by the size of your business, how many employees you currently have etc. Hireology is also billed on either an annual or multi-year basis. One business owner reported paying $400 for one year.

“Hireology is a portal for CL [Craigslist] and Indeed for me. I do not plan on renewing after this year. My company is not big enough, nor do I hire enough people to justify the elaborate portal.” – Julie Fredrick, The Pet Sitter Of Boise

NextDoor

Nextdoor is also a successful platform for hiring pet sitters or hiring dog walkers. For those of you who don’t know what NextDoor is, think of it as Facebook for your neighborhood. You’ll be able to interact with your neighbors, share reviews of services, post classified ads, etc. It’s the go-to place to find all about what’s happening in your neighborhood.

For pet sitting businesses, it’s a great way to reach local talent and potential clients. You’re able to advertise your business as well as post job postings. But there is a downside – Nextdoor recently partnered with Rover, so they do give preferential treatment to Rover sitters. They have also implemented a pet directory, which is a plus, so you’ll be able to see which of your neighbors have pets. Good information!

“NextDoor is a disaster. I was ostracized for trying to help a neighbor find her missing dog, but when I gave her my email address someone accused me of soliciting business. Apparently, you’re not allowed to advertise your personal business on this site.” – Nicole Brown, Miami Pet Concierge

Facebook

Facebook, the most popular social media outlet in the world, has rapidly become another premiere platform for hiring. Although they have just rolled out their new job posting feature, many pet sitters say it is useless at this point. Not many people are using it yet.

Some business owners say that by posting their ad on their business page, and then boosting the post via a Facebook advertisement has proven very lucrative. Definitely something to consider!

No matter which platform you choose to utilize to post your hiring ads, one thing is for sure: you must always be hiring! Admittedly, there are many problems that can arise when hiring, but it is still so important that you continue to do it, regardless. I preach this time and time again because I still get stories of pet sitters who are stuck. Business owners that have to bend to the whims of their employees because they can’t afford to lose them. I can’t stress enough how important it is that you are in control. After all, a ship can’t sail without it’s captain!

Pet Sitting Employee Handbook

 

pay staff more

Should I Pay Staff More If I Raise My Rates For My Pet Sitting Company?

If you’re a pet business owner, you know that business is constantly changing. One of the things that constantly changes is the prices of goods and services. There may come a time in your business where you raise your rates, whether it’s because you’re trying to slow down business, make more money, or just make ends meet. But when you raise your business rates, should you pay staff more? Today let’s talk about the answer to this important question.

Should I Pay Staff More If I Raise My Rates For My Pet Sitting Company?

pet sitters' wages

Calculating What To Pay Your Staff

It can be difficult figuring out what to pay your pet sitter. But rest assured, once you find that that number you should never need to alter it, regardless of what your rates are! Yep, I’m giving you permission to keep your staff’s wages the same, even if you raise your rates. Raising your rates should be an opportunity for you to make more money, and if you raise your staff’s wages in the process, you’re kind of defeating the purpose.

To start, you’ll need to find the lowest price you can charge your clients and still make a healthy wage. Think of this number and write it down. Then, figure out what the wage would be for your staff off that number. Keep in mind your staff pay (labor) should be roughly 32 to 35% of your total business revenue (factoring in taxes and raises). That number you come up with is the number you’ll pay your staff whether you’re charging $20 a visit or $200 🙂

You want to have it spelled out in your employee manual what the wage is. Be clear that this wage has no bearing on current client rates and it doesn’t change based on the type of pet sit. If your staff asks about raises, I recommend telling them that raises are yearly based on merit.

Charge More, Make More

When you charge, you and the business make more. Like I said earlier, if you pay staff more when you raise your rates, you’re kind of defeating the purpose. The method above I spoke about is what you should use for piece work – or getting paid per visit. Basically, what you charge clients has NO impact on what you pay your staff. 🙂

Price increases happen constantly in business. It fluctuates. When you don’t have enough staff, you increase your rates for new clients. When you need to get your staff busy, you decrease the rate to the lowest rate you can afford. Having a pricing structure will really allow you this flexibility.

As business owners, it’s easy for us to get caught up in the needs of both our clients and our staff. I encourage you to start thinking more about yourself! In business, we should never think about what clients will “handle” with pricing or what staff will “work” for. This causes you to forget about the most important part of the equation – YOU!

Pricing Structure

cost of hiring pet sitters

The True Cost Of Hiring Pet Sitters In Your Pet Sitting Business

If you have employees in your pet sitting company, then you know how valuable they are to your business. But you may not have considered the cost of hiring pet sitters. Before we go into costs, I want you to think about how much a new employee could be worth to your company? How much revenue are they capable of handling in a year? Write that number down. Now let’s flip the script and think of how much does it cost to have an employee and look at it as an investment.

The True Cost Of Hiring Pet Sitters In Your Pet Sitting Business

cost of hiring pet sitters

Personality & Background Tests

While completely necessary, personality and background tests can be a costly part of hiring pet sitters. Tests such as the Orion Test are an important component of getting the applicant’s story, but these things are definitely not free. Background checks also can cost around $30-$60 each time you run them. Needless to say, these things add up!

Fun Fact: Did you know that personality tests are illegal in Massachusetts? Sorry MA friends!

Training

Training is another large portion when discussing the cost behind hiring pet sitters. Not only are you investing the money into the pet sitter who’s training them (unless you do it yourself), but you’re investing time and resources. If you pay the trainee, you’re also racking up a cost there. Hiring a new pet sitter definitely takes a lot of time and resources, so you want to make sure you’re training the right person!

New Hire Set-Up

It may (or may not) take quite a bit of time to get your new pet sitter “set-up.” This includes in your pet sitting software system and payroll company as well as setting them up with an email account and Google Voice number (if you do those things!). Also think about the time it takes to put your new hire on your website, complete with their photograph and biography. The point is it takes time to get your new pet sitter completely set-up in your company, so we have to include that when discussing the cost of hiring pet sitters.

New Pet Sitter Starter Kit

Do you provide your new pet sitters with supplies when they start with your company? This is something I personally never did in my company, but I know that lots of business owners do. This may include poop bags, first aid kits, business cards, magnets, fliers, bark cards, and more. When you give these supplies to a new hire, factor in the cost. All of these items may be inexpensive individually, but like everything in business, it adds up!

Hiring Advertisements

Do you spend money for hiring ads on sits like Craigslist, Indeed, or Hireology? While these ads may have brought you in some quality applicants, this is yet another cost to factor in to the equation. Paid advertisements are great because they can have a much larger reach, but they can be costly and of course do add up. If you’re having trouble thinking of places of where to find pet sitting applicants, check out this article here.

Overall, there is a clear and large cost to hiring pet sitters. It’s basically inevitable for any company with employees. What’s important is that you recognize this cost, and then try to minimize it. Minimizing both the financial cost and time spent by streamlining processes will make your business run smoothly and will make you a happier business owner!

Pet Sitting Employee Handbook

pet sitting website

How Do I Know If My Pet Sitting Website Is Current?

Your pet sitting website is the online home base for your pet sitting business and is often the first point of contact potential customers have with your brand. Did you know that you only have 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) to make a good first impression? This is how little time it takes new visitors to form an opinion about your website and decide whether they will stay or leave.

According to web credibility research from Stanford, 75% of users admit to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on their website’s design. If you don’t want new customers to find you online, then you don’t need to do anything to your site. However, if you do, make sure your website doesn’t fall into any of the below categories.

How Do I Know If My Pet Sitting Website Is Current?pet sitting website

Not Mobile-Friendly

If your website is still not mobile-friendly in 2017, then you are leaving money on the table. Your pet sitting website must respond to the size of the screen it is displayed on. According to comScore’s new report, 2017 US Cross-Platform Future in Focus , nearly 70% of digital media time is spent on mobile devices.

It’s all about creating a great user experience for customers on the go. Eliminate distractions by using hamburger menus, removing busy navigation on smaller screens, and focus on a simple, easy to navigate design. Be sure to include a clear Call-to-Action to increase conversion rates.

In fact, Google has started penalizing sites that are not optimized for mobile devices. Not only does a responsive website keep visitors on your site longer, but it also helps with your search engine optimization (SEO). Wondering if your website is mobile-friendly? Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see how easily a visitor can use your website on a mobile device.

Outdated Design

You might not realize how badly an old and outdated design can hurt your pet sitting business. If it’s been a while since your website has been updated, and it looks ignored or just plain old, it can give your visitors the notion that you neglect other areas of your business as well. If it is hard for you to update your pet sitting website, your blog has not been updated in 2 years, or your website copyright isn’t 2017, you’re sending the message to your visitors that your site is gathering dust.

Your website may have great SEO, but when a potential customer lands on your outdated page, there is a good chance they are going straight back to Google. If your competitor has a professional, modern and user-friendly website, new visitors will automatically give your competitors more credibility. Remember, your website is a direct reflection of your business, and potential customers will judge your pet business based on the quality of your website.

 

Frustrating User Experience

Your website is a 24/7 salesperson and one of your most powerful marketing tools. If your page is too cluttered and confusing to navigate, it might be time to think about upgrading your pet sitting website. Great user experience leads to happy customers and more conversions.

Be sure to use easy-to-read fonts, adequate line spacing and lots of white space. Also, periodically chec k your website for broken links. Modern web users are impatient and will not wait for a slow website to load. If your site doesn’t load almost instantly, you will lose their attention. A 2-second delay in load time during a transaction results in abandonment rates of up to 87%! Test your website’s speed to make sure slow page load speed isn’t frustrating potential customers.

Lack of Unique Images

Since you are in the pet industry, your website should be telling your story using pictures of the pets in your care. If your website is lacking high-quality original photography, it may be time for an update. It is important to avoid low-quality images on your pet sitting website as this will reflect poorly on your brand.

When adding new photos to your site, it is imperative to follow best practices for file size compression and naming for SEO. Invest in professional photos for your website of your team and the pets in your care. As a pet business, stock photography can decrease trust in your business if it is overused. The best way to convey your brand and services is to use original images – be unique and stand out from the competition!

 

Poor Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

If your business is not on the first page of Google for your most relevant keyword searches, then it might be time to re-vamp. Every day, you are competing for attention and placement in search engines. It is essential to use a tool, like Yoast, to ensure each page and image is optimized on your site. SEO helps search engines, like Google and Bing, figure out what each page and image on your website are about. SEO is always changing, so it is important to keep search marketing a priority. If you aren’t frequently updating your website, then odds are your site isn’t optimized for search engines.

But before you decide to update your website, make sure you develop a plan. It is important to ask yourself a few questions before starting. What is the main goal of your website? Do you want your visitors to call you or book services online? What do you want them to see? Are you going to build it yourself? What is your budget? Whether you are creating a website on your own with Wix or Squarespace, or working with a company like Barketing Solutions, keeping these 5 tips in the back of your mind will set you far ahead of your competition!

For more on pet sitting websites, be sure to check out these articles:

 

5 Major Pet Sitting Website Problems I See In The First Fold

Create Your Pet Sitting Website In A Few Easy Steps

What Do Colors Mean On Your Pet Sitting Website

Have You Copied A Pet Sitting Website?

Today’s blog is brought to you by Erika Godwin. Erika is a Co-Founder of The Barketing Blog and the Chief Marketing Officer of ProPet Software, a boarding kennel, dog daycare and pet grooming management software.

pet sitting website

 

hiring dog walkers

The Problems With Creating Your Own Pet Sitting Employee Manual

Developing a pet sitting employee manual may be one of the most overwhelming projects you undergo in your pet sitting company. There are lots of different components involved in order to make the manual complete and well-done. Today we will discuss some of the problems with creating your own employee manual as well as the solution to those problems.

The Problems With Creating Your Own Pet Sitting Employee Manual

pet sitting employee manual

Time

Creating an employee manual takes TIME. A lot of it. Sometimes, it can even take up to a year. This is because you’ll be writing, conducting research, gathering helpful resources, and consulting with experts. These experts may include an HR representative, lawyer, editor, and a typesetter. It takes time to gather all of the necessary information to develop a complete employee manual. Once you have it all put together, you’ll need to have it lawyer reviewed which can also take time.

Ultimately, because this is such a large project, you’ll be spending a large portion of your time working on this document. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but you should be prepared to make a major time commitment!

 

The cost of creating your own pet sitting and dog walking employee handbook

 

Constantly Changing

Business is ALWAYS changing, and as this happens, you’ll need to update your employee manual accordingly. You may decide to change a policy or procedure, so you’ll have to make sure you update your manual as needed. Additionally, state laws can change too regarding time off, jury duty, breaks, etc. You’ll definitely have to remember to update your employee manual to reflect the most current laws. It’s crucial that all of your new hires have the correct information.

It can be difficult to stay on top with all of the changes in your business. It’s good to review your employee manual often so that you can make necessary changes as needed. You don’t want it to become outdated!

Legal Jargon

Employee manuals are not just all about your business practices and procedures. There’s lots of legal mumbo-jumbo that has to be in there too. This includes portions such as jury duty and equal opportunity employment. This part will be very research-heavy. Consider the fact that you will have to spend time not only researching the law, but interpreting what you’re reading. Then you’ll have to finally narrow down exactly what to include in the document. This is where having a lawyer on your team becomes VERY helpful!

Dog Walking Employee Manual

Including A Training Manual

When creating your pet sitting employee manual, you’ll have to decide if you want to include your training manual as well. What’s even the difference?

While I personally think they should be two separate documents, some pet sitting companies choose to include it. If you decide to include the training manual, you’ll want to be sure that your document presents all of the relevant information in an order that makes sense. Or if you decide not to include the manual, you’ll want to decide which information you want to include in each document.

Professional Writing

The writing used in an employee manual or training manual is not nearly as fun as writing blogs! Sometimes it can be difficult to write professionally so that your document is well-respected. Again this is where having a lawyer and an editor on your team comes in handy. Remember that this document will be given to your new hires, and they will have a perception of your company after reading it. You want to make sure that it puts you and your company in the best light!

So I know this sounds like a lot, and you may be wondering when you’re ever going to have the time to undergo this overwhelming project. If you just simply don’t have the time to create your own pet sitting employee manual, consider outsourcing the task. We currently offer a fully customizable pet sitting employee manual where you can input your information and be DONE. You won’t have to worry about missing anything, as our document is already lawyer reviewed! Learn more here: http://jumpconsulting.net/pet-sitting-employee-manual-handbook/

 


If you do want to continue with creating your own pet sitting employee manual, more power to you! Just be sure to consider the costs of creating your own employee manual here.

 

 

staff stealing clients

How To Make Sure Your Staff Aren’t Stealing Clients In Your Pet Sitting Business

When you lose staff members, it’s always questionable whether or not they are going to take clients with them. It’s just the nature of the business. Your pet sitters are in your client’s homes, building trust and relationship with them. This goes even if you have a team-based model. Unless your clients are having a new pet sitter every day, chances are the client and your pet sitter will connect with each other. This is actually a great thing, because that pet sitter is representing your company, and you want to leave a good impression on the client. Today, let’s talk about how you can ensure that your staff aren’t stealing clients in your pet sitting business.

How To Make Sure Your Staff Aren’t Stealing Clients In Your Pet Sitting Business

staff stealing clients

Communication Styles

One of the biggest reasons why staff may be able to steal pet sitting clients may lie in how you allow them to communicate. Many pet sitting software systems allow staff to send and receive messages through this system. This means that the client will never have access to the pet sitter’s email or phone number – which is a good thing! Allowing pet sitters and clients to communicate freely serves well to build their personal relationship, but bodes badly for building a professional relationship with your company. It causes the client to become loyal to the pet sitter themselves, and not necessarily to your company.

Even using Google Voice in this day and age is not ideal. It does well for hiding the staff member’s number, so it does protect their privacy, but it still allows the client and the staff member to communicate through text messaging. When I had my pet sitting company, it was a rule that staff members were only allowed to send care notes and nothing else. If clients replied with questions, they were to be forwarded to me and I would follow up with them. Not only did this eliminate information slipping through the cracks, but it allowed the client to build rapport with me and my company, rather than the staff member.

Hiring The Right Type Of Person

To make sure that your staff aren’t stealing clients, you have to make sure you’re hiring a certain type of pet sitter. You want pet sitters who are followers and not leaders. Pet sitters that are able to follow directions and who are loyal to you are your ideal. While leaders are admirable people, they are they most prone to leave and start their own company – surely taking your clients with them!

You also want to make sure you are hiring staff who have a high ethical standard, i.e. someone who would have difficulty stealing from others. This isn’t always an easy trait to recognize in pet sitting applicants, so I urge using outside resources. One great resources is the Orion Test. It’s a personality test that you can give to pet sitting applicants that will allow you to find out information about them – like if they’re prone to steal! It is scary accurate and truly a necessity in the pet sitting hiring process.

Keeping Up Morale

Another crucial way to ensure that your staff aren’t stealing clients, lies with you as “the boss.” 🙂 I’m talking about making sure your staff know they are appreciated! Your staff should always feel that you think very highly of them and that you have their back. Having a good relationship with your staff allows them to feel like they would never want to do anything against you. If you constantly clash with your staff, it makes them resentful, and ultimately more apt to take clients on the side – even if they have high ethical standards.

I’m not implying that you should be a push-over, but you should strive to have a a healthy and happy working relationship with your staff that is beneficial to everyone.

Keep in mind that while staff can steal clients, sometimes clients reach out to staff once their gone! The best way to see if this is happening is to track your client’s trend in booking. If you notice that it has decreased or completely stopped after a staff member that serviced them has left, you may have some additional research to do.

employee handbook

How Much Will It Cost To Create My Pet Sitting Employee Manual?

An essential to component for any pet sitting business with staff is an employee manual. Creating one is definitely a daunting task, and the cost of making one comes in many forms. Developing a pet sitting employee manual is going to cost you time, money, and resources. Today let’s break down exactly the cost of creating an employee manual.

How Much Will It Cost To Create My Pet Sitting Employee Manual?

Time

One of the biggest costs of creating a pet sitting employee manual is easily your TIME. Before deciding to make your own manual, consider how many hours of your time it will take. Then, think about how you much your time is worth per hour. If you find that after considering these factors, it isn’t worth your personal time to create one, you may want to think about outsourcing.

As business owners, it’s easy to get into the mindset that others cannot perform tasks as well as we can. We always want to do everything ourselves to make sure it’s done right! And while creating an employee manual is definitely important for your business, it’s critical to prioritize. You don’t want to stretch yourself too thin. It’s important to not only dedicate the necessary time to your clients and staff, but also to yourself.

Answer this question:

My Time Is Worth $_______ Per Hour.

Money

Creating your own pet sitting employee manual can be expensive. Even if you decide to make your own, it is not a one-man or one-woman show. You’ll need multiple individuals on your team to ensure it is complete with all necessary information and looks professional.  Some examples of people you’ll need to work with are:

  • A lawyer
  • An HR representative
  • A technical editor
  • A typesetter

While these individuals will all be able to provide you with crucial information to create your manual, it comes at a financial cost.  In fact, the lawyer alone would likely be around $500 to review. This team is easily a few thousands of dollars.

Resources

I can tell you first-hand that gathering and securing your resources in place can be difficult. Finding the right people to help work for you is HARD because there are a lot of flakes. Putting together the perfect team to assist you in crafting your employee manual will take a lot of time and effort. While this isn’t necessarily a reason to give up altogether, it is absolutely something you must keep in mind before starting the process.

Also keep in mind that for every moment you spend trying to compile your team, another moment goes by where you do not have an employee manual and are potentially creating bigger problems for yourself.

Overall, adding up all of the time, money, and resources spent easily comes out to a few thousand dollars. It is clear that creating your own pet sitting employee manual is a massive project, but one that can be done given you have the correct mindset and outlook. If you feel that creating your own manual isn’t the right choice for you after considering all of these factors, consider taking a look at outsourcing the task or purchasing a pre-made employee manual. In the long run, it might end up being the better choice for your business.

Pet Sitting Employee Handbook

 

spouse work for your pet sitting company

Should You Let Your Spouse Work For Your Pet Sitting Company?

It’s no secret that hiring for your pet sitting company is tough. But perhaps your newest employee is closer than you think? Would you let your spouse work for your pet sitting company?

What a great idea!

You think.

You and your spouse conquering the pet sitting world together, right? But… it may not be as easy as it seems. In fact, there are many opinions on this in the pet sitting world. Today let’s discuss the things to consider when allowing your spouse to work for your pet sitting company, and if it’s really a good move for the business.

Should You Let Your Spouse Work For Your Pet Sitting Company?

spouse work for your pet sitting company

Communication

Communication is key in any relationship – personal or business. When letting your spouse work for your pet sitting company, it’s super important that you two communicate. Make sure they understand the separation between business and personal. Take a look at what some other pet sitting business owners have to say about communication:

“My wife is a school teacher so during the weekends, summer, and holidays she’s on board with us. Communication is key, but it can be hard at times to direct her like I would anyone else. It was much harder in the beginning but over time it’s been great.” – Chris, Atlantic Pet Sitting

Chris makes a great point here – even though they are your spouse, sometimes you have to treat them like any other staff member to ensure the integrity of the business.

Separating Work Life & Personal Life

This can be one of the toughest parts about having your spouse work for your pet sitting company. It’s easy to slip into a routine where it seems like ALL you two are talking about is the business – not leaving any time for relaxation! Or, it might be the other way around where your spouse is too lax with business procedures and is skipping out on important takes. See what Jenorise has to say about how to succeed in keeping a work-life balance:

“You just have to make sure that he understands when you are boss lady and when you are wife. One can get in the way of the other. Sometimes husbands ignore certain honey-do tasks and they drag on and on without being done. This is absolutely not acceptable. You are NOT his wife for work. You love him, but you will need to find a balance. Its hard to find that balance.” – Jenorise Meija, Winter Park Pet Concierge

Finding that balance between work life and personal life can be a struggle, but with time and communication, it can be done!

What If Working Together Puts A Strain On The Relationship?

It’s possible that once you and spouse start working together, that it might not work out. The most important thing that you do here is recognize that fact and adjust accordingly. Let’s take a look at this pet business owner’s tip for keeping the peace:

My piece of advise is to remember that your marriage is more important then your business, (at least it is in my opinion) and if working together starts to tear your marriage down, than stop working together as quickly as possible. My husband wasn’t a great pet sitter. He tried but he made mistakes and it cost us clients. We figured out which jobs were good for him and which ones I shouldn’t send him on. Ultimately, it was best for him not to do it unless we really needed him. He is a great guy and so smart, but this type of job wasn’t what he excelled at. It was challenging in the moment of it all for me not to transfer my disappointment in his work to our marriage but I think I did an okay job at it and he still felt respected as my hubby. I think if a couple can work together it can strengthen their marriage but it can be risky especially if they do not put their marriage first.” – Anonymous

My Thoughts

Even if have your spouse work for your pet sitting company doesn’t work out, it still can serve as a great learning experience. Not only will you gain insight as to what working together with your spouse is like, but you will see what each of your strengths and weaknesses are.

As for me, while deciding to let your spouse work for your pet sitting company is a personal decision, it is one that I would not make. But whatever you choose to do, just be sure that you have a partnership agreement set up beforehand.

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Is A Pet Sitting Business Coach The Right Solution For Me?

Operating a pet sitting business is no easy task, especially alone. You’ll need a strong team behind you in order to help you build a successful, thriving business. One member that you might be considering adding to your team is a pet sitting business coach. But before you do so, you have to determine whether or a not a coach is the right solution for you. Today let’s talk about a few considerations to think about before seeking coaching for your business.

Is A Pet Sitting Business Coach The Right Solution For Me?

Timing Is Everything

When deciding to work with a pet sitting business coach, you have to be in a certain mindset. Keep in mind that while a coach is somebody that will motivate you to build your business, you two may not always agree on the best strategy. A good coach is going to challenge your thinking, and is going to make you uncomfortable at times. You have to anticipate and be ready for this challenge, and know that it isn’t personal. A pet sitting business coach wants to see you succeed, and will ensure this by consistently broadening your horizons and helping you get out of your own way.

A pet sitting business coach is definitely going to add a lot more WORK to your plate to help you accomplish your goals. You have to be willing to budget time to complete your homework and ensure that you make all your sessions in order to see the best results. If you don’t, this greatly increases your chance for failure and just wastes everybody’s time.

I understand that setting aside this time can be difficult, because us business owners always have tons of projects on your plate. If you feel like this is you, then consider finishing a few of those projects up before seeking coaching. A clear plate and a clear mind will allow you to make the most of your sessions and have better results.

Coaching Is An Investment

It’s no secret that a pet sitting business coach is an investment. It can be costly, but if you go in with the correct mindset, you WILL see a return on your investment. That being said, cost is definitely a factor to consider. When you decide to work with a pet sitting business coach, it’s important that you are not only ready to make the investment, but that you’re willing and able to complete the necessary steps in order to get your return.

How Do You Learn?

A pet sitting business coach may be the right solution for you, depending on your learning style.  Coaches may offer a variety of learning resources including:

  • Phone classes
  • Webinars
  • Workbooks
  • Group Coaching
  • One-On-One Coaching

You’ll want to do a bit a research to make sure that the coach you’re considering offers learning resources that coincide with your learning style.

NOTE: Make sure to find out if there is an expiration date to access the information. You don’t want to end up purchasing something thinking you have lifetime access but actually don’t!

While you will learn a lot that you didn’t know before, from a pet sitting business coach, you have to be open to being wrong. More specifically, you have to be open to someone telling you what works, and you should be open to receiving the new information. Sometimes this can be difficult, but keep in mind that both you and your pet sitting business coach are aiming towards a common goal – help your business soar!

Keep in mind that while pet sitting business coaches can be invaluable to your business, there are also a number of problems to consider before working with one, which you can read about in my post here.

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