fire a pet sitting employee

How Do I Fire A Pet Sitting Employee?

fire a pet sitting employeeThere comes a time in every pet sitting business where an employee or employees is just NOT performing up to standards, even after several warnings. Then you’re faced with a dilemma: Do I fire this person? If you feel like it’s the right thing to do, then YES! I am officially giving you permission. But keep in mind that choosing fire a pet sitting employee is a specific process that you want to follow in order to cover yourself. Brought to you today by HR expert Niki Ramirez, let’s discuss the steps that pet sitting business owners should follow when you fire a pet sitting employee.

How Do I Fire A Pet Sitting Employee?

 

Question:

“I have a pet sitter who said she was available the shifts I needed but has increasingly become less and less available. She is always making excuses why she can’t work, asking for certain clients, and really bad at communication. I know I am a right to work state, but can I just fire her? She isn’t performing what I hired her for and honestly, I don’t want her representing me anymore. I feel like I am trapped. Help!”

Answer by Niki Ramirez, MBA/PHR/SHRM-CP

From time to time we have all had that employee who seems to be more trouble than they are worth, so to speak. Issues can really pile up, and may affect your relationship with your employee. This is pretty common. Before you decide to fire a pet sitting employee, employee relations best-practice is to provide them with verbal and/or written performance feedback so that they have an opportunity to fix the problems. Surprisingly, sometimes employees don’t know that what they are doing is causing a problem.

First of all, it is important to handle each issue one at a time. Also, in order to limit liability to the company, as well as create a culture at your organization where employees trust you to deliver feedback when it matters most, consider laying it all out for your employee before you decide to separate employment (“fire them”).

Be Straightforward About It. 

Pull your employee aside (in a private location where you will not be interrupted) at a time that is convenient for both of you. Now, approach each issue separately.

You can open the conversation like this: “Thanks for taking time to speak with me today. What I need to talk about is very important. I am going to share feedback on your performance in a few key areas including: attendance, client service and communication.”

Attendance…

Whether you employ 1 person or 100 people, you’re going to run into attendance problems at some point. To get results, consider something like this:

“Let’s start out with attendance. I count on you to be on time for every scheduled shift. When you are not available at the times that we have previously agreed upon, we cannot service clients and we let our team members down. Is there something that is preventing you from following through with your schedule that I can help with?”

Wanting to Cherry Pick Clients…

“We are so grateful for all of our clients. I understand that you have your favorite clients. I do too. However, I’m sure that you can understand that for the success of the business, we need to be ready and willing to jump in and service whichever clients need us when they need us. In order for me to keep you on the team, I need to know that you’re willing to work with all of clients that are assigned to you. If there is ever an issue with a client, please let me know. Aside from that, can I count on you to help out any client assigned to you for services?”

Poor Communication…

Addressing poor communication is important to preserve the image of your company. Communication skills include: verbal communication, written communication (email, letters, memos, text messages, etc.) and listening.

Depending on the particular communication issue that you’re having with your employee, you may say something like:

  • “The way that we communicate with our clients can make or break the success of our relationship with them. We want to maintain excellent relationships with all of our clients. In order to ensure great communication with clients, I need you to please: ___________________________. Can you agree to that?”

Close The Meeting With A Strong Message

In order to ensure you and your employee are on the same page, consider closing the conversation like this, “Thank you for taking time to discuss these concerns with me. I know it can be tough to receive constructive feedback, and I’m sure you understand that I’m sharing with you hoping that you understand clearly what your job expectations are. I need you to understand that if I do not see improvement in the areas we discussed, your job is in jeopardy. What can I do to help you be successful?”

Regardless Of The Issue, Always Follow Up In Writing

Your employee discipline program may be loosely organized or might be more regimented.  Either way, follow up in writing – a quick email or typed note to say: “I appreciate your openness during our conversation about your attendance today.  Please let me know if you have any questions about our attendance and punctuality policy; or we can assist you in any way so that you can make it to work on time, every time.”  If you made any verbal agreements, for example, modified an employee’s schedule so that they could come in later or leave earlier on a regular basis, outline that in the written summary of the conversation. Try to end the meeting on a positive note, offering to help them as much as possible.

Follow Through With Progressive Discipline

If the employee understands what is expected of them but continues to fail to meet your expectations, formalize the counseling process with a “written warning” or something of that nature.

Remember to outline what happens next: if they indeed continue with the poor behavior or performance.  Put them on notice when it is their final warning; and only do this when you will absolutely follow through the “next time” – for example: “if you are absent or tardy again in the week, you will be terminated immediately.”  However, only make that statement if you know you have the willpower to follow through.

If They Aren’t A Keeper, Don’t Keep Them

You know when you think and employee is a “good fit”, and if they aren’t working out, you know that too!  Only keep employees who want to be on the team, and who can meet your minimum expectations.  If employees are allowed to continue working but exhibit behavior or performance problems, they can disrupt the good work and commitment of other employees. I know that choosing to fire a pet sitting employee is tough, but be reassured that there is someone even better waiting just around the corner!

Compliance Note

All termination decisions should only be made after carefully considering your employees’ rights under various rules and regulations like anti-discrimination laws, including the American’s With Disabilities Act, which protects employees who have qualifying medical conditions. This is a really important step when choosing to fire a pet sitting employee. If you’re unsure, be sure to contact your HR representative.

What’s Next?

As you navigate the employee coaching, discipline, guidance and termination process, you will develop a style and process that is right for you and your company. We reviewed just a few important considerations when moving toward involuntarily terminating an employee – there is a lot to consider each and every time you decide to fire a pet sitting employee – and how you approach it can either create or limit liability for your company. We hope you contact us if you have additional or specific questions that we can address!

Niki Ramirez Today’s blog is brought to you today by HR expert, Niki Ramirez. She is the Founder and Principal Consultant at HRAnswers.org a firm dedicated to providing impactful yet practical human resources advice and organizational development support to businesses of all sizes. Niki is a dual-certified HR professional with experience spanning over 20 years, including: serving in operational leadership roles, adjunct business faculty member, and as a human resources executive. Niki carries with her a strong desire to educate and empower employees and their leaders to work in partnership to design and implement meaningful human resources programs that drive the success of their organizations.

Be sure to connect with Niki at https://www.facebook.com/hranswers.org/

pet sitting software company comparison

pet sitting business coaches

The Problems With Pet Sitting Business Coaches

Finding a coach that clicks with your personality and your vision for your business can be difficult. As with anything in business, there are tons of problems that can arise when trying to work with pet sitting business coaches. Let’s discuss some of those problems as well as some ways you can address them, to ensure you’re working with the person that’s right for you.

pet sitting business coaches

Knowledge About Types Of Business

First and foremost, ask yourself whether or not the pet sitting business coaches you’re considering has knowledge about the type of business you run. You don’t want to want to hire a dog walking business coach when your business mainly focuses on pet sitting. Or at least you want to know that they understand the different types of operations for both. The same goes for the topic of ICs and Employees. Some specialize in this, some have an area of influence in one over the other. To truly understand this, you have to know exactly what type of business you are building. One size doesn’t fit all here 🙂

Booking Availability

Is the coach you’re considering easy to book with? Do their times available fit your schedule? Can you book them through a software, or do you have to email back and forth with time zones to set something up? Remember – your coach is going to be advising you on how to streamline your business processes. So if their booking system isn’t streamlined, this could speak to the scope of their process and the advice they can provide. You don’t get a second change

Industry Ties

How is the coach you’re considering tied to the industry? Did they once run a pet sitting company of their own? What other prominent figures in the industry do they have relationships with? Most importantly – are they qualified to be giving you advice about the pet sitting industry? Consider the fact that it can be easy for a person to look good on paper (or a computer screen!), but if they haven’t actually DONE the things they’re giving you advice on, it may be difficult for them to teach you how to implement and execute. Don’t be afraid to ask them to prove it to you. They should be happy to!

Proven Track Record

Has the pet sitting business coach worked with other pet business owners? If so, what RESULTS have they had? Look deeply into the reviews and testimonies that coaches have. The reviews that really speak to a coach are ones that talk about results and growth. Not reviews that are simply talking them up but give no explanation why. Just because somebody has all 5 stars reviews doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the best – look deeper into what people say and learn how to read between the lines. Is the success quantifiable? After all, you want a return on your investment, right?

Costs

One of the biggest problems with pet sitting business coaches is cost. Some are cheap, some are in the middle, and some are expensive. But the real problem here is figuring out what cost SAYS about the coach. I talk more on this fact in my blog, “How Much Does A Pet Sitting Business Coach Cost?”

Downloadable Material

You might want to take a look at the amount of downloadable material that a coach offers. What form is it in? E-books, workbooks, audio files, or video files? Which method do you learn best from and can retain the information from? How many downloadable resources does the coach have, and are they continually adding to their library? These are all crucial questions you want to figure out the answers to, before giving your business and livelihood to a coach so you can make sure the format is what will work for you.

Free Material

Most coaches will have free material you can read, hear, or experience before committing to them. You can find this on blogs, podcasts, info-graphics, and 20-30 minute coaching sessions. This can help you get a big feel for the coach to see if your two styles click. Keep in mind that not only is the coach committing to you, you are committing to the coach! You don’t want to make the mistake of putting your business in the hands of someone you don’t mesh with.

Support

While your coach is there to support you, it’s important to be able to reach them in other ways besides your one-on-one sessions. Determine whether or not the coach has Facebook groups, is accessible by email, phone, etc. Facebook groups are especially valuable because you’re not only going to connect with your coach, you’re getting to network with other pet business owners which you can learn and grow from.

How Do They Solve YOUR Problems?

When you do that free coaching session or even first session with your coach, think about how they tried to solve your problems. Are they just listening to your troubles, and acting more as a therapist? Yes-ing you to death? Or are they really coaching you, getting to the root of the problem and giving you sound advice that you can execute? Determining the difference between the two can be hard, but if you walk away from the session still feeling lost, you may need to consider whether or not you’re really benefiting from that coach’s style.

Do They Offer Different, Unique Solutions To Your Problems?

It’s really critical that your coach isn’t just giving you general industry advice. You want them to give you unique solutions to your problems that work for YOU and your business. Think about it – if your coach is giving the same advice to every client, this can really saturate the industry and make it difficult for you to stand out.

The most important problem to figure out when considering pet sitting business coaches, is to figure out what you’re looking for. This is really similar to hiring, in that if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you’ll find out once you hire the WRONG person! If you’re aware of the qualities you want in a coach, you will know once you find that perfect person.

bella in your business

pet sitting business podcasts

10 Pet Sitting Business Podcasts You NEED to Be Listening To

In this day and age, many people have podcasts. Why? Because podcasts are extremely handy for when you’re on the go, but still want to listen and learn. Since there are so many podcasts out there, it can be difficult determining which ones are worth listening to. But did you know there are a number of incredible pet sitting business podcasts that you could be taking advantage of in your business?

Today, I bring you my personal top 10 favorite pet sitting business podcasts (in no particular order).  Note that not all of these pet sitting business podcasts have to do with the industry of pet sitting, but I believe they all share important lessons that can help pet sitting businesses.

pet sitting business podcasts

1. Build Your Tribe – Chalene Johnson

If you don’t know Chalene Johnson, you need to! SShe is an expert in both fitness AND business – a double threat. Her podcast, Build Your Tribe addresses important business topics such as:

  • How to influence people and be an influencer yourself
  • How to create a healthy work-life balance
  • How to connect with your community and solidify your brand.

2. Glambition Radio – Ali Brown

glambition radio

Ali Brown is seriously KILLING it as a woman entrepreneur with her 250,000+ followers! In fact, she was named the “Entrepreneurial Guru for Women” by Business News Daily

Glambition Radio is one of the top podcasts for women entrepreneurs. Every two weeks, Ali Brown holds powerful interviews with today’s top entrepreneurs and passionate business builders. She currently has over 100 episodes.

3. The Solopreneur Hour Podcast – Michael O’Neal

solopreneur hour

Michael O’Neal is totally unique, and here’s why: As a former web designer, he realized about 10 years ago that he is unemployable. He didn’t want to be in the rat race anymore. That’s when network marketing and internet marketing found him.

Now he runs his podcast, The Solopreneur Hour – Job Security for the Unemployable. Its aim is to show the other unemployable people of the world how to find business success in a way that works for them. With currently over 550+ episodes, Michael has had the chance to interview a plethora of incredible guests. Definitely worth the listen!

4. The Social Media Marketing Podcast – Michael Stelzner

social media marketing podcast

Michael Stelzner is one of the leading pioneer of the social media marketing world, and pesonally one of my favorites!  He is the founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner. He’s also the brains behind Social Media Marketing World that I attended earlier this year. Not to mention, he hosts the Social Media Marketing Podcast – an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing.

If you want to learn how market on social media, you absolutely need to start listening to Michael Stelzner.

5. The Pawsome Podcast: Marketing Tips To Grow Your Pet Business – Kate McQuillan

pawsome marketing podcast

Hopefully, you all know my friend, the marketing expert, and insanely successful pet sitting business owner,  Kate McQuillan. Not only does she continue to run her thriving pet sitting business, she runs her own social media company, Pawsome Media.

The Pawsome Podcast is yet another way Kate connects with her audience. She discusses topics such as how to grow successful email lists and run an engaging Facebook page. She’s not only brilliant in the marketing world, but the fact that she understands our industry makes her an even more valuable resource. Plus, she has a really great accent to listen to! 😉

6. Online Marketing Made Easy – Amy Porterfield

online marketing made easy

Amy Porterfield is a picture perfect example of a girl who was tired of corporate work life and decided to make it on her own as an entrepreneur. Now she runs a 7-figure a year online business without working 40-80 hour work week. She is a story of success, which is one reason why her podcast, Online Marketing Made Easy, is so motivational. When I was in isolation with Olivia after coming home from the hospital, I used to walk my neighborhood with Amy in my ears. 

With over 150 episodes, Online Marketing Made Easy brings listeners expert interviews and mini execution plans. Her mission is to make everything you listen to as actionable and profitable as possible.

7. The #AskGaryVee Show – Gary Vaynerchuk

#askgaryvee

Directly out of college, Gary grew his parent’s wine business from a $4 million business to a $45 million business in just five years. Yeah. Wow. Now he’s a venture capitalist, angel investor, and the brains behind VaynerMedia.

He also is the host behind the #AskGaryVee Show where his audience asks questions and he answers them in form of a podcast. It’s an extremely unique approach and one that’s worked well for him. It’s allowed him to share his knowledge of how to build a successful business while connecting with his audience.

8. Mad Marketing – Marcus Sheridan of The Sales Lion

mad marketing

Marcus Sheridan is one of my mentors, and a truly inspirational marketing expert. He is a former pool guy turned sales and marketing expert, as well as founder of The Sales Lion. Marcus is the go-to guy for content marketing.

His podcast, Mad Marketing, is really unique in that he rarely, if ever, interviews other people. He takes his audience’s questions and answers them, in an honest and transparent way. That’s why Marcus is great – he’s not going to sugar-coat anything. He tells you exactly like it is.

9. Entrepreneur On Fire (EOFire) – John Lee Dumas

eofire

John Lee Dumas is an example of a guy who was SICK of the corporate life and knew there was something better out there. That’s when he decided to start EOFire, a now award-winning podcast with over 1600+ episodes. He’s interviewed some of the best-of-the-best including Gary Vaynerchuk (see above!) and Barbara Corcoran from Shark Tank. He now inspires millions with his story and his expert advice.

10. VLog Boss Radio – Amy Schmittauer

vlogboss

Amy Schmittauer is another one of my inspirations, because she’s absolutely dominating YouTube with her VLogs . That’s why she’s the VLog Boss! Amy believes that if you believe you have a message worth sharing, you should be creating a vlog presence to get it out there.

In her podcast, VLog Boss Radio you can discover the strategies, ideas, stories, techniques and secrets to a killing vlogging platform. Amy also shares her experience both as a growing personal brand and as a video marketing consultant.

So there you have it – my top 10 pet sitting business podcasts that not only inspire me to be a bigger and better entrepreneur, but most importantly, a better coach. All of these pet sitting business podcasts share a unique perspective on business. So listen to them, absorb them, and learn from them! I guarantee you’ll be left with some incredible business advice, as well that extra motivation you need to follow through.

To listen to any of these podcasts, be sure to go to iTunes or Stitcher and type in the name of the show. Don’t forget to subscribe to always get the latest shows!

bella in your business

pet sitting business coach cost

How Much Does A Pet Sitting Business Coach Cost?

One of the biggest deciding factors when choosing a pet sitting business coach to work with is cost. Good advice can be valuable, but what it really comes down to is how much you’re willing to spend on it, and if you will get a return on your investment. The cost of a coach can range depending on what you’re looking for – so, today we’re going to break down the exactly what you should be thinking about in terms of cost when choosing a coach to work with.

How Much Does A Pet Sitting Business Coach Cost?

pet sitting business coach cost

Free

Yes, I am totally serious when I say that you could be getting advice for your business for free. Many coaches will offer free content to help you familiarize yourself with their style before committing to them. This is important because when you choose a coach, you are handing over your business and livelihood to them. A piece of bad advice or lack of advice could send you down paths you don’t want to be on.

This free content could include blogs, podcasts, Facebook groups, and free 20-30 minute coaching sessions. All of these resources are great ways to help yourself get a sense of what the coach believes in, and if their beliefs & personality, fit in with the vision you have for your business.

Low Cost

When a pet sitting business coach is offering their services for a low price, you want to ask yourself, “Is this person in it to make a living?” If your answer to this question is NO, you might want to do a little more thinking about this person. If they are doing it just to make a little side money, it might not be the mentality that you are looking for. Maybe it is? Having a coach that is coaching to make a living is beneficial for your business because they will really care about your success. They will have more vested in it because their success depends on your success.

If they’re offering their services for a low cost, this can really speak to the quality of the content and how much they believe in it. Think of the old saying “you get what you pay for.”

Also consider whether or not this content or advice is really valuable and unique? Or is it just restating much of what someone else has already said? How much knowledge is this person backing their products up with? Is it put together professionally? These are all valuable thoughts to consider when choosing a business coach.

That being said, being low cost doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad! It could be that the coach is providing these resources to you from their heart. Or, that they are up and coming and just starting out! Again, the best way to determine this is to get a feel for the coach through their free content.

High Cost

When considering working with a high-cost pet sitting business coach, there are also a series of questions you want to think about before working with them. First and foremost: Is the content really more value? Higher price does NOT necessarily equate to higher value, even though it’s easy as a consumer to think so. How do you get around this? Make the coach show you the value. Do they have social proof such as testimonials? Reviews? A large following that are singing their praises? These are all great ways to determine whether or not a coach’s value justifies their high cost.

It’s also important to note that a high-cost coach is probably more serious about your results. Why? A high-cost coach is probably doing this full time. Higher costs = having to work harder to generate revenue. Plus, a high-cost coach is most likely going to have a wider range of solutions to their client’s problems which also justifies what they’re charging. Typically they can work with a wide variety of businesses and you are paying for their global skills and knowledge.

Different Ways To Spend

Pet sitting business coaches are adapting to the variety of innovation going on in our industry today. Coaches offer tons of different products and methods for you to receive advice tailored to your business, in the format that’s most comfortable for you. Coaches may offer services such as private online groups, one-on- one coaching, downloadable products, long term coaching packages, and virtual classes. Each of these have their benefits and disadvantages. It’s really up to you to find which method your most attracted to in order to help your business soar!

Deciding which pet sitting business coach to work with can be a process. It’s important to ask yourself the tough questions to determine whether or not you’re making the right decision for you and your business. While there are many factors that are important to consider, cost is one of the major ones you should definitely think about when deciding on a pet sitting business coach.

No matter which pet sitting business coach you choose, you will always want to make sure that you can get a return on your investment,

free coaching session

pet sitting videos

A Quick Guide On EXPLODING Your Business With Pet Sitting Videos

Video is TOTALLY exploding right now. Seriously. If you’re not taking advantage of using pet sitting videos in your business, it’s never too late to start. You’ve heard me time and time again talk for days about how important video is for your business and how it can help explode your social media following. However, I understand that it can be difficult figuring out where to start. So today, let me break it down for you with all your options.

But first… mark my words, you will be left in the dust if you don’t start producing video in your pet business. Just ask Maureen McCarthy of Love & Kisses Pet Sitting how she has been able to generate an EXTRA $5,000 a MONTH using FB LIVE!

A Quick Guide On EXPLODING Your Business With Pet Sitting Videos

pet sitting videos

Okay so here is the breakdown:

Facebook Live

Facebook live is new, exciting, and more popular than ever. Do you guys ever feel like you see me ALL THE TIME? I hope you do! It’s because I’m on live video with you all almost every day. You can do this with your business too! Viewers will feel like they’re connected with your business and will love seeing insight on to what pet sitting is really like.

Plus, while you’re going live you can respond to questions and see what others are commenting to make the experience even more interactive.

Find out more here.

Check out Catherine from David’s Pet Services knocking it out of the park with live video:

How about Lia from Petey’s Playhouse Pet Services? Amazing!

 

Facebook Dual Screen

This is exactly what it sounds like – a Facebook Live Video of you + another person side by side chatting it up with your viewers! You could do a dual screen video with you and one of your employees, a vet that’s endorsed you, another business owner in the area etc. Find people to talk to that have relevant content to share with your audience. It’s a quick and easy way to help grow your Facebook following as well as forming relationships with whoever you go live with.

Check out this Facebook Dual Screen video I did with Leslie Samuel a couple weeks ago. I come on at the 13 minute mark:

 

Facebook Messenger Day & Facebook Stories

With Facebook Messenger Day & Facebook Stories, you’re encouraged to upload some selfies or quick pet sitting videos throughout the day so your followers can see what you’re up to. So what’s the difference between this and Facebook Live video? Everything on Facebook Messenger Day & Facebook Stories disappears after 24 hours! So you don’t want to put anything on here you want to keep for later. It’s yet another way to keep your followers engaged and connected in what you’re doing.

You can also add fun filters, color, and text if you want to get a little goofy. Plus you can also see who watches your stories!

After these four features, umm, are you convinced that Facebook wants you ON camera?

Fun Fact: Did you know we will be consuming 80% of our content via VIDEO by 20/20?

Here’s Haleigh from Presidential Pet Care checking in and connecting with her base:

Look at Maureen of Love & Kisses Pet Sitting reach out to her base and explain WHY they need a professional pet sitter. Spot On!

Okay, moving on … there are also these programs to help you produce video.

Video Production Software

OBM – It’s a free software for both PC & Mac. Ability to add transitions, filters, etc. to create professional looking pet sitting videos.

Ecamm LiveThis software is geared towards creating professional looking Facebook Live videos. It streams in HD and has the ability to add overlays, text, and animations. You can also broadcast pre-recorded if you wish as well as picture-in-picture. It only costs $29.95 and is a STEAL!!! Think about all the “this is how you sign up” and “this is how you update your pet’s infomation” videos you can do!

YouTube – well duh! I don’t think I need to explain what YouTube is, but in case you don’t know, it is the largest video production platform on the Internet. You set up your own “channel” where you can produce pet sitting videos and your followers can like, subscribe, and comment on videos to keep engaged.

iMovie – This one is only for Macs. It’s a great, simple editing software that’s perfect for beginners. Very easy to learn and you can create pet sitting videos that look professional.

Looking For Someone To Follow Who Is Always On The Cutting Edge?

George B Thomas! Friend him. Follow him. He is a totally cool guy. And if you want to hear more from him check out this video he and I did together:

pet sitter networking

4 May Pet Sitting Blog Ideas

With Summer quickly approaching, many people are going to start going on vacation and taking trips. That means they will need a wonderful professional pet sitting company to come take care of their pets! But how can you make sure they choose you instead of another competitor? Blogging is one of the best ways to get your name and your brand out there. But sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start. So today, I bring you 4 May pet sitting blog ideas that you can draw inspiration from to get those wheels turning in your head.

4 May Pet Sitting Blog Ideas

1. Cash In On the Holidays – Mother’s Day & Memorial Day

Mother’s Day can be a great holiday to write about, because it’s a day female pet owners can think about how much they love being a mom to their fur kid. You could talk about gifts for the dog/cat to give mom on Mother’s Day or even just simply talk about ways to celebrate the occasion. I would also take the opportunity to post some cute graphics of moms and their pets.

Memorial Day weekend can be one of the busiest weekends of the year for our industry. It’s the premiere time for people to hit the beach and kick off the start of Summer. There’s a bunch of different directions you can go with here but some ideas are ways to celebrate Memorial Day, traveling tips, discussing all of the pet care options available in your city, etc. Again – also take advantage of the holiday by hyping it up with your marketing! Encourage people to start thinking about pet care now while they’re finalizing their travel plans. Some simple graphics and “reminders” can go a long away to your Facebook following.

2. Goodbye Spring, Hello Summer!

Like I said above, Spring is quickly coming to end and Summer is ready to dig its heels in for the next few months. Blog about it! You can discuss whether or not it’s possible for a dog to get sunburned or have heatstroke (as well as how to prevent it!), when it’s TOO hot to walk your dog & how to protect their paws from the pavement, and how often it’s okay for a dog to go swimming. Seriously, there are tons of topics here – way too many to list. The next time you’re out pet sitting or walking a dog, make note of any challenges you have involving the weather and then blog about it! I’ve found that the best blogs come from personal experiences.

3. Talk About Summer Activities

Of course, the biggest outdoor activity in the Summer time is swimming. There’s lots of directions you can go with that topic like fun games to play in the pool with your dog, or you can branch out to games to play on the beach and games to play in the park. You could write about 5-10 Summer pet-friendly hotspots in your town where pet owners can relax with their furry friend. Still on the Summer theme, you can write about games to play when it’s too HOT to go outside as well as games to play with your dog when the weather is perfect outside.

4. Check Out The Educational Topics Of The Month

May is Pet Cancer Awareness Month as well as Chip Your Pet Month. So let’s get educational here. You could do a bit of research and write about warning signs that your dog or cat has cancer, best practices to prevent cancer, what to do if your pet has cancer etc. Then with micro-chipping, you can talk about why it’s so important for your pet to get micro-chipped, what exactly micro-chipping is, where to take a lost dog to check if he’s micro-chipped, etc. Don’t be afraid to tie that topic into Memorial Day, since pets get frequently lost on holidays because of all the activity going on.

Feeling Overwhelmed?

Okay, phew! I know this is a lot. So if you’re sitting here thinking to yourself, “There is no way in heck I will ever have time to write about any of these topics!” don’t worry because I have a solution for you. From now until May 15th I am accepting applications for my second semester Better Marketing With Bella Program! For those of you who are new to Jump Consulting or just don’t remember what this program entails, I’ll give you a brief overview. You will get unique blogs every month along with emails, Facebook status updates, graphics, an event blueprint, and a free half-hour coaching session. Plus, if you want to make it even easier on yourself, I’ll even schedule and post all of this content for you for a small extra free. To learn more and apply now, check out this page here.

Better Marketing With Bella

partnership agreements

Partnership Agreements: The $40K Pet Sitting Business Lesson Learned

When you start a pet sitting business, you never think about the end, right? You start your business, all excited, with all these hopes and dreams of changing the world and having all this freedom and flexibility to do what you want.

Right? 

Or maybe you already have this wonderful business going part time or full blast and you meet that (what you think is) love of your life. You get married, no prenup, because let’s face it, neither one of you is made of money… and you live happily ever after.

Or do you? 

Or let’s even say that you and your friend or co-worker decide, “heck! we can do this together!” and you start a business together, skipping down the yellow brick road singing along together. You think this is great! I get to be with someone I trust and make money doing what I love.

But is that true?

partnership agreements

When Beth Green came to Arizona to do a little R&R and business boot camp, we felt strongly that we needed to share her story. We needed to warn the pet sitting industry about what could happen to your business. As we both point out in this video, it is almost irresponsible not to plan for a business dissolution. We plan for marketing, finances, customers, employees, but not an exit plan? It is easily forgotten in the mix, which is why Beth & I really wanted to bring home this very important message.

Why Do So Many People Forget About Partnership Agreements?

A partnership agreement is a document that you sign when you first start a business or a legal relationship (like a marriage) explaining what each other’s roles are in the business *and* what course of action you have agreed to take when one partner wants out of the business relationship. Without these partnership agreements – your business is left exposed and all your hard work could go down the drain.

 

How Easy Is It To Get A Partnership Agreement?

It is as easy as typing it into your friend, GOOGLE, and then editing it to your satisfaction. Have a lawyer give it a look over, and sign it in front of a notary.

If you are starting a business together, the obvious time to do it is at the beginning when you start. For marriage, it would be a prenup. If you are already married, it would be a post nuptial or a partnership agreement.

What Happens if You Don’t Get Partnership Agreements?

Sit down because you might not like this answer. The options are basically this:
1. You have to remain business partners until one of you caves in.
2. One of you will have to buy the other out and argue over what the business is worth.
3. One abandons it and creates a lot of problems.

I am not a lawyer and there might be more scenarios but this is what I have seen as a business coach.

If Your Business Partner Dies, Their Beneficiary Could Also Come After You:

After I posted this article, I got lots of examples flooding in of other people who have dealt with the fall outs of not having a partnership agreement. Take a look at the lesson Lauren’s family learned:

pet sitting partnership agreements

How Important Is This Really Bella?

Honestly – if you are married right now, you need to have this document. As they say, the only thing that is definite in life is death and taxes. I have had about 3 calls in the past 1.5 years about people freaking out because they are getting a divorce and they are scared that they significant other is going to take away the business. They are terrified because it is their livelihood. Their job. Part of what defines them as a person!

It is VERY real.

 

Another True Story That You Have To Read:

Soon after this post went live, I had another pet sitting business owner come forward and tell me her story. She agreed to go on record and have me share it here with you to show you all that this stuff really does happen….

Jessica Greenfield writes:

Hi Bella!
So my story is very long…. Lol. But I’m going to sum it up and give you the parts that are relevant to the topic at hand. Because I could seriously write a book about my experience with being married, starting a business, drug addiction (my ex, not me!), business failure and divorce…
But what really resonated with me about your video with Beth was when Beth said everyone thinks that nothing will ever happen to their relationship because you are in love and everything is great. Or something to that effect… That’s exactly what I thought too.
While my ex husband and I were engaged, he was laid off from his job. The factory he was working at went out of business and we found ourselves wondering what we were going to do. He made 3x as much as I did at my job so it was a hard hit. After a while of not being able to find another job, my ex wanted to start his own business. He had bad credit so of course, I told him to put everything in my name. He started an online business while I worked full time at my job and helped out here and there. I was able to quit my job after a few months and things were going great (or so I thought). We got married and moved out of our house and converted it to a store. Unfortunately, after just a short time, I realized that things weren’t quite right… money missing, I was being lied to about things, and he wouldn’t let me do or look at any of the financials. I found out my husband was on drugs and driving our business and our entire lives into the ground.
Long story short, we went out of business and got divorced. But everything was in my name. My ex moved out of state and avoided getting the divorce papers for almost a year. I needed to file bankruptcy asap so I could start repairing my life and move on but I couldn’t do this until the divorce was settled. So, after much drama and BS, I decided to suck it up and we each took all the debt that was in our own names. I walked away with $400,000 in debt and he got a $1,500 light bill….
So, my story is a little different than Beth’s. Beth had a successful business that her husband was not a part of and then a divorce while I had a husband with a failing business that I was not a part of (I was merely an employee – not part of the business part of things) and a divorce. But I think the moral of the story is the same. You need to protect yourself and make sure you are prepared for any situation. You may think you know your partner, but things change. Business puts so much stress on your relationship. You change, your partner changes, and you are so busy that you may not even notice until it’s too late. Too late to fix things, too late to remain civil and act like grown-ups… Then what?
Believe me, it’s not a good place to find yourself in.

 

If you have a story and you want to share with the world to help inspire others, just post in the comments below or reach out to me and I would be happy to add it here. I want to help as many people realize how uber important it is to have a partnership agreement in their company!

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marketing tips for pet sitters

The Do’s & Don’ts of Pet Sitting Business Marketing

Are you stuck trying to decide the best ways to implement effective pet sitting business marketing? Don’t worry – we’ve all been there at some point or another. I completely get it.

I know that there are so many different tools and techniques that you as a business owner can use when trying to market your business. So many, in fact, that it would be impossible to invest in all of them. So today, let’s talk about the most effective (and ineffective!) ways that I’ve found to have effective marketing your pet sitting business.

The Do’s & Don’ts of Pet Sitting Business Marketing

pet sitting business marketing

Do: Community Newsletter Marketing

When I still had my business, one of my most successful forms of pet sitting business marketing was running my ad in a community newsletter. In fact, it worked so well that at one point I had a client on every single street in the community I advertised in. I know this strategy can work for you, too!

The community newsletter that I’m talking about here is a newsletter or magazine that goes out to a certain neighborhood or homes. These typically show owners the values of their homes along with homes for sale, events going on in the community etc.

Keep in mind that this is NOT a newspaper!

To market yourself in the best light possible, come up with an innovative, creative idea for your ad. I know this is easier said than done. But I promise you if you put your brain to work and come up with something stellar, the payoff is huge! Try to thing of something catchy to say that draws your eye and outshines the other ads in the newsletter.

Another important factor to consider is your ad placement. Think about this. When you’re reading a book or a magazine, the most natural place for your eyes to fall is the top right-hand corner. They don’t go towards the middle or to the bottom left-hand corner, right?

This is why placement is so important. You want your ad to be seen, and the best place to do this is the top right-hand corner. If you can’t get that spot, then I would say that the middle on the right-hand page is the next ideal.

I touch more on this topic and others in my video below: How To Know If My Marketing is Working?

Don’t: Mailer Marketing

You may be saying to yourself, “Wait a minute Bella, you just told me I should advertise in community newsletters. How is this different than a mailer?

The thing is really breaks down to is use. In community newsletters, people have somewhat of a use for them. They either are interested in the value or their home, or want to see what events are going on in the community. They’re more likely to keep this newsletter around on their kitchen counter or coffee table. And by keeping the newsletter around – they’re keeping your ad around!

Mailers do not do these things. Think of when you get junk mail. You sift through it for a couple seconds and then boom – trashcan. If you send mailers, this is exactly what’s going to happen to you. Plus, sending things in the mail is expensive. You’re not only paying to make your ad look nice and pretty, but then you’re paying to ship it.

This is a lot of time, money, and effort for very little to no payoff. If you’re going to invest in mailed marketing, community newsletters is definitely the way to go. Why? You will be paying to have your ad run, but then you’re done. You don’t have to worry about shipping it and getting it in the hands of people. It’s a much more cost-effective form of pet sitting business marketing – and has a greater use.

Do: Community Booth Events

Community booth events are the second best form of pet sitting business marketing, directly under the community newsletters. Many of you have probably heard me talk about this topic over and over again – but for good reason! It is because they are so effective that I write so much on them.

While community booth events can be incredibly successful, they can absolutely make or break your business. This is not to sound harsh or mean, but to encourage you to make your booth the absolute best it can be. Community events are a fantastic way to get yourself and your name out there while meeting tons of potential new clients.

They are a chance for people in the community to get to know you and your business. There are going to be a bunch of other businesses there as well (maybe even other pet sitting companies), so you want to make your booth two things: interactive and memorable.

Your goal is to both to connect with people but also to capture their information in a non-obvious way. By this I mean doing something cliche like a raffle that you have to enter with your name and email or simply just having a clipboard where people write down their information (yes I have ACTUALLY seen this here!) is not going to work.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – consumers are way too smart for these gimmicks! So you have to get creative and crafty.

To learn more about the specifics about having a rock-star pet sitting booth, check out my other articles here:

9 Must Have Elements To Have a Howling Pet Event In Your Community

What You Need To Have A Successful Pet Sitting Booth At An Event

How To Have The Worst Pet Sitting Booth At A Local Event

Don’t: Newspaper Marketing

At first glance, newspapers may seem great because they have the potential to reach a lot of people. For instance, my local newspaper is the Arizona Republic, which is state-wide. You might think I’m crazy for not advertising here, but hear me out!

First of all, you’re not going to want to put your ad into a newspaper that covers the whole state or even multiple cities. Why? Because you don’t want to be spending the time, money, and effort to send your ad to areas of your state that you don’t service.

Next, even if you are thinking about putting your ad into a smaller newspaper that is for your town only, it’s probably still not a good idea. Aside from the fact that the number of people that actually read newspapers anymore is declining, newspapers are huge and daunting. They are filled cover to cover with tiny print and tons and tons of ads. So your ad is likely to get lost and not seen by many.

Plus – newspaper ads are expensive! I recommend steering clear of them as far as pet sitting business marketing goes and just sticking to the community newsletters.

Whatever You Choose, Implement and Track!

Regardless of what type of marketing you do, you MUST do these two things: implement and track. It’s not enough to just try a new marketing technique and leave it at that. If you’re not tracking your marketing, you will never know whether or not it’s bringing you desired results.

So, whenever you get a new call or email ask the question,”How did you hear about us?” Compile a list of responses, and the you will really be able to tell where your most effective marketing techniques lie.

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pet sitter facebook groups

What Makes Up Good Pet Sitter Facebook Groups?

Facebook groups are quickly becoming a premiere way to make meaningful connections and expand your network. There is seriously a Facebook group for EVERYTHING. As pet sitting business owners, many of you may be a part of (or are interested in joining) a pet sitter Facebook group. So, today we’re going to talk about what exactly makes pet sitter Facebook groups worth joining.

What Makes Up Good Pet Sitter Facebook Groups?

pet sitter facebook groups

Screening Process

When joining a Facebook group, it’s definitely important to determine whether or not the group “screens” the incoming members. Generally, it is better that the group HAS a screening process than not. This ensures that the right types of people fit the group.

In pet sitter Facebook groups, you’ll see a lot of non-pet sitters try to join them. This is because some people will join groups in mass to promote their own product/service. So, once there’s too many of these kinds of people, the integrity of the group is lost. It’s now just become a self-promotion page.

For example, in the “I Own A Pet Sitting Company W/Staff” Facebook group (sponsored by yours truly), we message every single person who wants to join the group. Why? Because we want to cultivate a certain type of community. And because we feel that quality is much more important than quantity.

Free Resources For Pet Sitter Facebook Groups

Many pet sitter Facebook groups actually offer group members free resources. You’ll typically see this in groups sponsored by pet business coaches or pet businesses themselves. Some of the free resources we offer in our pet sitter Facebook groups include a pet sitter networking guide, a 20 minute coaching session, and a pet sitting software comparison chart, just to name a few.

Number Of Moderators

Pet sitter Facebook groups usually either have one moderator or a number of them. Typically the moderator is either a pet industry veteran or a pet business coach.

It’s usually better to have a group of moderators in order to ensure the group runs smoothly. Multiple moderators screening incoming members, reading and answering posts, and posting content can all be beneficial to the group.

With a large group, it can be difficult for one moderator to keep up on all of the posts. Multiple moderators help manage what type of content is allowed. This can in turn benefit the overall quality of the group.

The True Benefit Of Pet Sitter Facebook Groups

The ultimate resource of being in these pet sitter Facebook groups is that you can network. Pet business owners can connect with other pet business owners around the country. These groups provide a platform where you can get valuable insider advice and answers to your burning questions. It’s a great way to not feel ALONE in your business – which is really important.

Pet Sitter Facebook Groups

pet sitting facebook group

april pet sitting blog ideas

4 April Pet Sitting Blog Ideas

It’s that time of the month again – no, not THAT time. It’s the end of the month where I give you, my hard working pet business owners, some blog topics and inspiration to help you pump out those blogs for your website! Hopefully these April pet sitting blog ideas will get the gears turning in your creative minds. Don’t forget, blogging is VERY important for your pet sitting business to help it rank on Google. So with that, let’s get started 🙂

4 April Pet Sitting Blog Ideas

april pet sitting blog ideas

1. Take Advantage Of The Holidays – Easter!

Holidays are the bread and butter of pet sitting businesses. People go out of town, make plans with family, etc. which requires them to find a pet sitter for their pets. So, why not blog about it? It not only gives your clients some fun reading material, but also reminds them that you are there for them. Talk about fun outings they can go on to celebrate Easter. Or you can talk about putting on pet-friendly Easter Egg hunts, fun dog-friendly Easter foods, etc. There are lots of options with this one!

2. Talk About The Changing Of Seasons

Ever hear the phrase, “April showers bring May flowers?” April is the perfect month to talk about Spring time and about rain. You can discuss walking dogs in the rain, fun activities to with your dog on a rainy day, how to get rid of the “wet dog” smell etc. You can also talk about grooming tips, allergies, shedding, and other Springtime changes in relation to dogs.

In the Spring time, people’s gardens are coming back as well. And I bet you know more than a few dogs that would just love to get in those gardens and cause trouble. Write about it, and how to prevent it! You can also talk about how to keep a “dog-friendly” garden with safe plants as well.

3. It’s Nice Outside – Discuss Outdoor Activities!

Tons of options here for April pet sitting blog ideas as well. In the Spring, your town is getting in gear with outdoor activities and festivities. This is a great time to talk about community events and things that are going on around town. You can also list what are some great parks to take your dog as well as hiking trails or lakes. Discuss outdoor games to play with your dog like fetch or tag. If you live somewhere with lots of water and swimming, you can write about water games to play with a dog too.

4. Don’t Forget About The Topics Of The Month

April is “National Heartworm Awareness Month”as well as “National Pet First Aid Awareness Month.” These are two fantastic educational topics that you can really speak about. If you have any connections with a veterinarian, ask to quote them. This will give you more credibility as well as help build your relationship with that vet. If you want to look ahead and see what the other topics of the month are, be sure to check out this website.

I hope these April pet sitting blog ideas are helpful to you and are able to give you some inspiration. If you are a pet sitting business that DOESN’T have a blog – it’s never too late to start. If you’re still not convinced, check out these blogs I wrote on Why Should I Blog For My Pet Sitting Business and Why You Should Care About Your Holiday Cover Profiles And Blogging.

Lastly, if you choose to write about any of these topics – be sure to post a link to your blog in the comments section so I can read it. I want to see where your creative minds take these ideas! 🙂

For more content on blogging, be sure to take a look at:

Learn How Two Coaching Sessions Tripled This Pet Business’s Leads By Blogging!

Episode 2: Blogging To 1700 Hits In One Day And Delegating Your Business 

Here Are 5 Important Things To Do After You Publish A Blog Plus 3 Bonuses

Blogging With Bella

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