Business Coach, Woman, Pet Business, Podcast, Dog Walking, Hiring Staff, recruitment

Episode 210: Use This Dog Walking Recruiter Next Time You Have To Hire

 

Use This Dog Walking Recruiter Next Time You Have To Hire

 

Joe Latona is a motivated and dedicated HR professional, dog walking since 2008, and hiring staff since 2009. He has built award-winning dog walking teams in Chicago and has hired pet care professionals across the United States.

Joe has a deep understanding of the pet care industry. For Joe, the only thing better than walking a dog is improving and growing dog walking teams. His greatest career accomplishment occurred in 2018 when the team he built in Chicago performed over 60,000 individual dog walks.

WalkerScout was inspired by Joe’s time with RPO in the airline industry, as well as his success and passion for working as a hiring manager at Windy City Dog Walkers in Chicago.  Joe saw the opportunity to better serve the pet care industry by creating the first national dog walking RPO. In 2019, Joe began hiring for growing businesses in Illinois, California, Washington, and New York.

 

How To Have Awesome Employees For Your Dog Walking Business

 

Biggest Takeaway You Don’t Want To Miss:

  • Concise, Short, and Positive Multiple Advertisements to identify which one is yielding results and stick to one that works. Referrals from current employees are also a good way to know, assess, and recruit employees.
  • If you want to do your dog walking employee recruitment internally, you need to have a standard application system, do not rely solely on intuition, or you could hire Joe to make your life easier.
  • If your competition in the dog walking business is pushing hard to make their positions appealing to the job seekers, it would be very hard to attract the quality applicants – Joe will tell us what to do in this episode.

 

Show Highlights:

  • Who is Joe Latona, 2.06
  • How can we find more and better candidates, 4.42
  • What makes a company unique and special- 8.49
  • Recruitment tips, 11.10
  • What kind of employees you want to work with, 14.03
  • Things to consider when hiring, 16.38
  • What to do if your competition is pushing hard, 19.15
  • What’s it like to work with WalkerScout, 21.17

 

Links:

www.walkerscout.com

www.petcareteamtraining.com

 

Did you enjoy the show?

We would love it if you subscribed today and left us a 5-star review!

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  • Click on ‘Write a Review’

 

 

Dog walker, pet sitter, blog, business blog, hiring, recruitment, new staff, interviews, business coach

Secret Elements To Having A Kick Ass Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Interview Process

When most people think about marketing, they think about getting new clients. However, 50% of your marketing efforts should also be on getting the right people to work for your company. But finding the right dog walking or pet sitting candidate isn’t just looking for a needle in a haystack. It is the entire pet sitting and dog walking interview process that needs to be shaped to appear attractive to your prospective new employee.

It is all about courting them, attracting them, exciting them, and keeping them engaged.

When you can accomplish this, people will be banging down your door to work for you. They will be excited and eager and your ghosting at face to face interviews will go way down or be eliminated.

We talk a lot about what you should look for in a candidate and in the past we have already walked you through:

 

So that should definitely get you started with the nitty-gritty. But now I actually want to break this down to show you what both sides can experience during the hiring process. It isn’t all about the business and what the business wants. You have to appear “sexy” to the applicant too. You have to make them want the job and the very first impression they have of you is the hiring process.

So let’s make this interesting…

In a volatile job market

it can be difficult and time consuming for businesses to have the perfect hiring process. BUT a standardized hiring system is crucial to fairly screen and interview candidates. Your hiring process says so much about your company before introductions are even thought of.  Applicants are not just applying for your job but many others as well. They are getting responses from different companies and they are all making them feel a certain way.

Stand out in your business! Make them feel connected and excited about their application with you. I am going to break down a few ways you can accomplish this so hopefully, you can take your process from drab to exciting.

FREE TRAINING: Watch what a fast, effective, and impressive hiring process looks likes from beginning to end

? FOR PET BUSINESSES: Ever wonder what it looks like from the employee end of the hiring process? Peek over Bella and Jen's shoulder as they roll play and SHOW YOU the entire hiring process from beginning to end. This is sure to help inspire you in your own process, or… you can copy and paste the entire thing!

Posted by JUMP Consulting – Pet Business Coaching on Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Advertising & Creating Interest In Your Dog Walking Interview Process

Once you create an ad, you have all the ability to play with where it shows up and test the different titles and descriptions. How do you know which ad copy performs best if you don’t test it? How do you know if you post a link on Facebook, send it out in an email, or post it on a job board – which actually performs? With this data you can start honing in on what works and stop wasting your time on what doesn’t work.

I always suggest to play around with the tones of your ad. Create an ad like you are talking to your best friend, create a corporate one, and then create one with the fun pet lingo that you use in your daily adventures with your clients. Which will get the most interest? Which will draw out the best applicants?

 

See how many jobs you have “open” and how they are performing

 

The only way you can tell is if you test all of this and track the conversion rates. JazzHR lets you post as many hiring ads as you want

…and posts them on over 20 job boards

…and then tells you how many eyeballs see it

…and then how many actually apply.

This info alone is so super valuable, if used.

You can also import them easily to your website to see if that has any effect as well. How professional does it look when you have a formal job application on your website? The applicant is coming to your virtual house and knows exactly what kind of company you are.

The dashboard will show you all the important info you need in one place. Know what works to get the right people excited.

 

How Sexy Are Your Basic Information & Screening Questions?

The next most important thing when creating the best dog walking interview process is to not get bogged down with all the “unsexy”  typical questions that everyone asks. Here, you actually have the ability to insert your company culture or witty nature through collecting their basic info and screening questions.

How about asking some exciting WHY questions to your applicant? Things that show that you actually care about their opinions and their desire to apply for the job. Tailoring these questions can attract or detract your applicant to the job so think hard and long about what the right questions can be. Don’t be afraid to make it about them. Like, “Describe your dream job?” or “Describe two things about this job that appeals to you” or “Tell me one thing that could be a downside to this job?”

Seeing how much thought they put into this can really save time in the hiring process to weed out applicants who aren’t meeting the basic job requirements or applying just to apply.

In this stage, you can hear their heart – and hopefully, if you word it properly, they can hear yours too.

 

Stop Looking At The Duds! You Are Wasting Your Time.

I have been in your sneakers… I know what you are looking for when you are setting up your pet sitting and dog walking interview process.

You want:

  • someone in your service area
  • someone available the hours you need
  • someone who is physically able to complete the job
  • someone who has a smartphone
  • insurance
  • and a car.

Am I right? (I got you boo!)

It is exactly why I included those questions and more on the knockout questions that you get, complimentary when you sign up with JazzHr.

But more so, these questions – are so important because why would you want to waste your time with someone who doesn’t even meet your basic criteria?

And one step further, what are your knockout questions saying to your applicant? How about going one step further and slip in something like, Do you mind ending your shift with slobber and dog/cat hair on your clothes? Give them a win when they are filling out this online application. Make them chuckle, smile, or get to know your brand through what you ask them.

They will see that you are looking for the necessities but also have enough of a personality that you just perked their interest to work for you!

Wowzas! Interested?!?!

and the best part?

You get to determine what is an acceptable or unacceptable answer and can set up this process so you don’t even see the unqualified applicants. Imagine that… less toads you have to kiss before you find the proverbial prince charming!

 

via GIPHY

 

Knockout questions help to detect the red flags and absolute no-gos with no extra work! (Check out our previous episodes with Jen for more info on this.) You even get to control if you still want to view the flagged applications, or if you just want to eliminate them right off the bat. This becomes a next level screening process to find those hidden gems in the bunch with minimal work to you.

All this info is stored inside the applicant’s profile too so you don’t have to sift through email threads and try to piece together all the info. It is all in one place for you to reference. Especially when you are exchanging communication with the applicant.

This brings me to my next exciting perk in this journey to finding amazing staff…

Text Your Applicant!

If you are reading this, I am sure you have hired before and I am sure you have a story of one time when you were ghosted. While I can’t guarantee that won’t ever happen again, I can tell you that being able to chat with them real-time – through text messages can really help get that bond established and make them feel like they know you .

Oh, and you can systematize all of that too. Create your standard text messages that you send to people you are really interested in like:

“Hey (name)! I loved reading your application. I am out right now, but I wanted to let you know to watch your inbox because my tail is wagging fast to forward you onto the next phase of our hiring process! Bella, Bella’s House & Pet Sitting. 

or maybe something like this:

Good morning (name)! Just wanted to let you know I am looking forward to finally meeting you face to face today! I feel like I already know you – and can’t wait to chat some more. By the sounds of it, you sound like you are on your way to be a great addition at our company! See you soon! – (Name) 

I guarantee no other suitors (companies) are getting that excited or personal with applicants. You need to drop some bread crumbs to get them excited about this process. Remember, it isn’t just about you.

texting applicant

It can even be used to send updates during the interview process or a thank you text…. instead of an email.

But why not just do it from your company phone?  That was my first thought. 

With this method, the texts stay in the candidate’s profile, and anyone who is accessing your account can keep up with the convo! You can’t do that if you are doing it all on a physical phone. Not to mention you can systematize the heck out of it! #winning

Acknowledge Your Applicant Goes A Long Way In All Phases

One of the toughest things when applying for a job is wondering if they got your application, when (or if) they will reply, or going back and forth with scheduling. Not only is it nerve-wracking for all involved, but it typically produces a lot of untrusting emotions and stress.

dog walking interview process

Make the dog walking interview process nurturing. Let them know through auto-responses that you got their application and they can expect a reply in X hours/days. This is important because looking for a job is depressing and daunting. The applicant is not feeling the greatest, so it really doesn’t take much to stand out from everyone else and be human.

When you are trying to arrange a time to meet virtually or in person or on the phone, how about setting up a calendar where they can select a time that works for you? This will speed up the process, eliminating the back and forth, and leave your applicant feeling impressed that you have thought ahead and smoothed out the process.

calendly email

 

How Do You Think That Makes Them Feel?

Imagine how they are now thinking it would be to train with you or learn their new job from you? You are building their confidence in your company making them want the job even more.

It is an opportunity to take these small nuances that often become a put off to applicants and it is where YOU can shine and excite the applicant.

via GIPHY

 

Are You Breaking The Law With Resume Collection?

The last thing we need is another thing to keep track of during the dog walking interview process!

Did you know that the law requires you to keep all of the resumes you have received for 2 YEARS?

That’s a lot of responsibility for anyone to have, but even more so if the hiring process isn’t organized or even located in the same place. Again, this process allows you to electronically store all of this information, and to compound this feature, it will tell you if someone has applied to your job opening in the past and why you rejected them!

jazzhr

Customize your own workflow process in the dog walking interview process.

I know that your secret sauce isn’t the same as your competitor or even someone in another state. That is why I give you the suggested hiring and interview phases but I know that not everyone will be the same. Being able to create your own phases of the interview process, that you feel comfortable with is paramount.

What is even more important is being able to replicate it all with the click of a button. What kind of experience would that potential employee get if every single time you were having to think about it and recreate that moment? That email exchange, that request for a video, that response to the video, that request for an interview or zoom meeting? Not only will your delivery not be consistent, which could affect the love affair you are starting with a potential hire, but it is also emotionally draining.

Because I know you get your hopes up when you see a candidate that you like…

So let’s front load this sucker! Let’s take a moment to create some phrases that are comfortable for YOU and then make it all work with the click of a button.

Sound easy? It really is… so many in the Mastermind are crushing it with this method and able to hire on-demand because of it (If I sound like a proud Mama Bear.. it is because I am!) 

And bonus thought – having this automated allows you to tweak the entire process if you see that people tend to drop out at one point or another.

Share Information With New Hires In The Same Place.

No one gets excited about getting a packet in their email that they need to print, fill out, and hand in. (Heck, even my printer is busted at the time I am writing this!) Let alone getting something in the old fashioned MAIL. The time is here – electronic is the way to go and what better experience for this person you are courting to hire onto your team than an easy onboarding process where they can do it all online and easily?

Not only that – but now you have it all in one place so no more file cabinets of folders stacked around your home office!

Think about how it feels from the applicants stand point.
Think about all the time you can save in your own business. If not your own time – the time you are paying others to do this all.

Want To Go All In With Me?

For over 2 years hundreds of businesses in the pet sitting and dog walking industry have partnered with JazzHR to help them do all this and more with their hiring process. The power of this software has helped them to attract the right applicant, hire confidently, and know that they don’t have to be a hostage in their business because their system to find people to hire – works! (and lets face it, they now have a pool to pick from)

I believe in this company and used them in my business and personal hires. When you sign up through me, you actually get 50% off the middle plan AND a job ad AND knockout questions.

It is time to flip the tables and instead of feeling like you need to convince people to work for you – have them begging to work for you!

business woman, podcast, business coach, video, staff training, video training

Episode 209: Why You Need Video Training for Your Pet Care Staff in 2020

Why You Need Video Training for Your Pet Care Staff in 2020

Liz Illg is a Business, Content, and Systems Consultant. Liz and her team take an all-inclusive approach to finally bring your vision to life.

They specialize in building the systems and operating foundation that will help you truly take off and scale your business, or writing the one-of-a-kind marketing materials that will get you NOTICED. All you have to do is tell her the idea, approve the final product, and put it to work for you!

Since 2013, Liz has…

  • Opened five brick-and-mortar grooming shops.
  • Launched her dream business, Liz Illg Consulting.
  • Developed organic business relationships across countries and industries.

Is VIDEO the way of the present and the future?

Biggest Takeaway You Don’t Want To Miss:

  • Videos keep the viewers engaged and excited by throwing the right graphics and instructions during the training to keep you and your employees entertained while learning.
  • Customize your training through our paw print to keep your “Secret Sauce” and have a way to show to your people this is how you do it. It’s specific, streamlined, and simple.
  • Build the foundation of your training from the video aspect and documentation, and YOU as the business owner get to decide the added things that you want to incorporate in your business.

Bonuses if you purchase during the launch period:

  1. Support inspired email templates that you can send to your employees every month.
  2. Branded Graphics
  3. Blueprint of the exact outline for you to use during face to face or video meetings with your staff.
  4. Two Certifications

Show Highlights:

  • How Pet Care Training was born 1.03
  • What should I do in employee training and what should I talk about? 9:41
  • Why video training enhance messaging and support, and what kind of effects does it have on their staff? 14.25
  • How should I onboard my new staff? 19.52
  • Professional Pet Care Team Training Portal 22.25

Links:

www.petcareteamtraining.com

Did you enjoy the show? We would love it if you subscribed today and left us a 5-star review!

  • Click this link –Bella In Your Business
  • Click on the ‘Subscribe’ button below the artwork
  • Go to the ‘Ratings and Reviews’ section
  • Click on ‘Write a Review’
podcast, dog walking, pet industry, business woman, entrepreneur

Episode 206: The Step By Step Process For Creating Promotional Dog Walking Videos

Show Highlights

  • Popular misconceptions about video
  • What is the ideal length, aspect ratio, basics
  • The Four Pillars that make a promo great
  • How to alleviate the biggest bottleneck in creating videos. 
  • Structure for thinking of visuals:
  • More important than editing is the design and how the frame looks like
  • Music- select one that amplifies the overall mood of your video

     

Links

  • Learn More About InVideo.
  • Get 50% off by using my code BELLA50
  • Don’t forget to check out Bella’s templates you can steal now!

Let’s Connect!

Did you enjoy the show? We would love it if you subscribed today and left us a 5-star review!

  1. Click this link – Bella In Your Business
  2. Click on the ‘Subscribe’ button below the artwork
  3. Go to the ‘Ratings and Reviews’ section
  4. Click on ‘Write a Review’’
hiring ads

How to Know if Your Hiring Ads Are Actually Working

When we put a hiring ad out there, it doesn’t matter if you get 100-200 applications, if only 1-2 are actually qualified. At the end of the day, that’s just a waste of your time. It’s equally as bad if you publish a hiring ad, and nobody responds. Not one person – yikes!

Let’s solve both of those problems together, today.

 

 

How can we make our hiring ads stand out?

When you post a hiring ad, you’re in competition with every other company out there that’s hiring.

That’s why it’s really important to make ourselves stand out among the crowd.

  • Target personalities. By this I mean, speak the language of the type of person you’re trying to hire! If you have a fun, upbeat company, make your hiring ad fun & upbeat! We want to be mindful of how we can connect with our candidates. The best way to do that is to simply make your job sound FUN! As we get to work with pets, this should be pretty easy 🙂

Make your company culture shine through in your hiring ad!

  • Readability. At the end of the day, we’re looking to capture people that love animals, are reliable, and can care for our clients. Stay away from making your hiring ad difficult to read or making it too technical/rigid. There’s A LOT of job posts out there that are like that – so this is the perfect way to make yours shine through! Stay away from long paragraphs, and gravitate more towards bullet points

Our natural inclination is to skim things, so you want to make your ad:

  • Quick & easy to read
  • Show quick bursts of relevant information
  • Easily highlight the perks of working for you
  • Have your personality shine through

See what I did there? 🙂

 

 

Staying Competitive in the Hiring Process?

Think about this for a moment.

You are posting jobs, but guess what?

So is everybody else.

The reality is, there’s only a finite number of quality people. So we want to make sure that they want to choose YOU over the competition 🙂

We can do this by emphasizing the perks of being a pet sitter or dog walkers such as the freedom, flexibility, and lifestyle.

And, hello?!?!  Getting to spend time with adorable animals each day!?

Another “hiring hack” to consider implementing is a referral system. What’s better than letting people you trust recruit FOR you? You can provide meaningful incentives to always have that process running in the background for you.

Even just one employee can generate a substantial amount of revenue for your company. Have you ever stopped to think just how much revenue one employee can help you generate?

You also want to pay close attention to your analytics. With streamlined hiring software like JazzHR, you can actually see how many people are seeing/viewing your ads but not applying.

Hint, hint – that means it’s time to take a closer look at your job description and pinpoint why people aren’t applying.

The bottom line? Use the data to your advantage to see where your audience is finding you. You don’t have to go at this alone. I always say that the two problems a pet business owner has is 1) getting clients and 2) getting staff. By implementing helpful tools, systems, and processes, we can get you one step closer to solving those problems for good.

Click here to receive 50% off ($100 savings!) JazzHR’s Pro Plan

jazzhr

social media strategy

How to Level Up Your Social Media Strategy in 2020

I want you to reframe your mindset around social media.

What if, social media was not just another task on a to-do list, but actually a tool to be cherished? A way for you to engage and be involved in a number of different communities. Once we can view it through this lens, we can then begin to see exactly why we’re using social media and all the benefits it brings us.

Even still, you cannot possibly be active on every social network, every day. It’s just too much, even for the best of us.

Today, I want you to level up. We’re going to talk about each of the major social media platforms, how to prioritize which one(s) you’re going to focus on, and what your strategy will be on those platforms.

Still with me? Let’s JUMP in!

 

Separate personal from business

No matter which social media platforms you’re currently using, your first order of business is to separate your business profiles from your personal profiles. It’s important to have this boundary drawn to ensure you’re posting appropriate content to the appropriate major social networks.

That being said, what ARE the major social networks? We know there’s a lot of social media platforms outthere, but there’s really only six major ones:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest

They each have their own pros and cons. Using a particular network is an investment of your time. The more time you invest, the more success you will see come out of it. You’ll not only get better, but you’ll become more skilled at the nuances of the network, establish relationships with other users, and develop a richer history of activity.

By spending just 20 minutes a day (yup, that’s really all you need!), you’ll develop a foundation of success that you can build off of.

Before we determine which network we want to focus on, let’s consider them all.

The six major social media platforms

Facebook

Facebook is the most popular and populous of the social networks. It’s also the most robust. You can create a business page, broadcast live video, create events, manage groups, run ads, and review analytics.

Any business can use Facebook to reach any audience. 

YouTube

Did you know YouTube has the second largest search engine, just behind Google? One thing to keep in mind is that it’s only video-driven content. To be on this platform, you’ll want to have consistent branding and post videos regularly. A cool feature is that you can even broadcast live video!

Instagram

Everybody loves Instagram! You can share images, videos, broadcast live video through IGTV, and even post storytime content. Be sure to convert your Instagram profile to a business profile, if you have not done so already. That will help unlock so many more useful features, like analytics, that will help you grow your following.

Twitter

Twitter is known as a highly conversational platform where most communication is through text, images, or videos. It’s uniquely suited towards resharing and replying to other user’s content. It’s also the most open and accessible social network. You can take advantage of highly complex searches, filters, save searches, and more.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is not what it used to be. Many people still of LinkedIn as a job-seeking platform, mostly for business professionals. But it’s really changed a lot over the years. I will say that this is the one platform where you will want to use your personal profile for professional use. This is because business profiles do not do as well on LinkedIn as individual profiles.

Pinterest

Lastly, we have Pinterest. Pinterest is thought of as the artsy, dreamy platform. It’s where people go to shape and craft their dreams, whether it’s creating a wardrobe, decorating a new space, or planning out the road trip of their dreams. Why not use it to help craft an experience with your business and brand as well?

 


Who doesn’t love free stuff? Click this link and type social media in the comments to receive Mike’s social media planner!

Create a profile on every social network

YUP – all of them.

Even if you’re not going to use it or rarely post.

Why?

It’s important to claim your business name so you have it in case you ever change your mind.

Then, the next step is to decide which of these networks are you going to prioritize. let’s consider the following questions:

  • Where do you have an existing channel or following?
    • If you have large following on Facebook or Instagram, this is a huge accomplishment! This tells you a great deal of where your audience is engaging with you. If it works, keep on doing it!
  • Who is your target audience?
    • Different social media platforms are going to have a different audience. For example, Instagram and Twitter typically have a younger following whereas Facebook & LinkedIn are often associated with an older generation. Who is your customer and where are they spending time on?
  • Which platforms do you love and which do you hate?
    • If you don’t like a certain platform, it’s going to be hard to convince yourself to use it, plain and simple. Maybe you hire a virtual assistant to manage it for you. But at the end of the day, it’s important that you LIKE the social media platform you plan on putting your effort into – you’ll be spending a great deal of time here!
  • What type of content do you prefer?
    • If you’re not super into taking photographs, maybe Instagram isn’t the best choice for your main platform. The idea is to pick a platform where you can post the type of content you prefer and that it feels enjoyable to you.

 

The bottom line: Your #1 social network is the one that you should spend the most time on. It’s the one you will create content specifically for. You can of course repurposed this content for other platforms, as needed. This platform is the one you’ll check at the beginning of the day, then at the end of the day, and probably a few times in between.

 

So, you’ve chosen your #1 platform – now what?

Time to talk strategy!

We looked at the different platforms, discussed the questions you need to consider to choose your number one platform, and now you’ve got it!

All you’re going to do is follow these three simple steps:

  1. Discuss: First, you’ll want to form meaningful discussions with your audience. It’s important not to just talk AT them. Pose questions that will drive engagement, and make your page a fun place to hang out!
  2. Inspire: As you start to gain some authority and credibility, its time to inspire your audience. Be a thought leader in your community, and a constant that people will look up to.
  3. Act: Now it’s time to make the sale! Very important you don’t just jump to this step, or your audience will tune you out. Here is where you can show your value, talk about what you do, and how you can be of benefit to your audience.

Another important note: video is the best performing content on all of the social networks, especially live video. Why? It’s a place where you can demonstrate authority, talk about your products, and offer an unparalleled opportunity to engage with your audience.

VIDEO IS THE BEST PERFORMING CONTENT ON ALL NETWORKS, ESPECIALLY LIVE VIDEO. DEMONSTRATE AUTHORITY
TALK ABOUT PRODUCTS
OFFER UNPARALLELED OPPORTUNITY TO ENGAGE W/ AUDIENCE.

 

agorapulse

Final thoughts

Along with everything we talked about above, not only is it important to engage on social media, but it’s equally important to listen.

What do I mean by that? You can do this in two ways:

Social Monitoring is commenting on posts or replying to direct messages to people that are directly talking to you or your brand.

Social Listening is when you’re paying attention to posts where people on social may be talking about you, or your brand, in an indirect way. Maybe they’re even complaining about their experience? I hope not, but now that you’re clued in, you can certainly address it.

There’s no secret or hack to succeeding on social media. It really boils down to strategy, consistency, and time. Tools like AgoraPulse can help you get there.

What has been your biggest takeaway from the time you’ve spent on social media? I’d love to know. Let me know in the comments below!

knockout questions

How to Perfect Your Hiring Knockout Questions

How many of you have been inundated with applications to your hiring ad?

With the unemployment rate at 13% in June 2020, many business owners are having this problem (although, it’s a good problem to have!). Even still, it can get seriously depressing sifting through application after application of candidates. Most of them didn’t even follow the instructions and some may not even live in your area, am I right?

I’ve even heard of some pet sitting companies getting over 100+ applications on a single hiring ad. That’s a lot of responses to go through!! And out of those 100, usually, they will only hire 1-2 people.

Look, you’re a busy business owner and every minute is precious. So today, I’m going to give you some tools that you can use RIGHT NOW to smooth out your hiring process and free up your time by crafting the perfect knockout questions.

 

What are not knockout questions?

Knockout questions are meant to be qualifiers – not a substitute for your interviewing questions. They are an important first step, but they should not replace your phone interview, video conference, or in-person interview.

The goal is to determine if the candidate is even worth moving to the next step. You’re trying to identify if the candidate even has the potential to be a good fit, which requires them to meet your non-negotiables. As funny as it sounds, it’s a lot like dating!

Let’s go through an example.

Say I’m hiring for my pet sitting company that’s based in Phoenix. One of my knockout questions is “What city do you live in?” Now, a candidate has applied for the position and is based in Chandler (a neighboring city). Since the candidate does not meet the basic criteria for the position (i.e. being based in Phoenix), I won’t even see their response. Pretty neat, huh?

But how do you even go about setting something like this up? It sounds pretty technical, right? Well, that’s where JazzHR comes in. They are my recommended software for streamlining your hiring process, and setting up knockout questions couldn’t be easier.

 

What are some examples of good knockout questions?

Your knockout questions are your non-negotiables. They ensure that every candidate you look at has already jumped through those hoops, saving you from a negative emotional experience of weeding them out.

Let’s dive into some great examples that you can use right now in your business:

  • Are you willing to care for both big and small dogs?
  • Are you comfortable with both dogs and cats?
  • Are you able to lift up to 50 pounds?
  • What city or zip code do you live in?

…and more! Guess what – I’m about to simplify this for you even more. Did you know that JazzHR actually gives you a list of FREE knockout questions for pet sitters & dog walkers when you sign up? I told you they’re amazing.

Now, say you repost your hiring ad a few months ago now, and a candidate that has already been automatically rejected through your knockout questions applies again. JazzHR will catch that just by their phone number or email, so you don’t have to waste any precious time reviewing duplicate candidates.

 

jazzhr

So, how do I set up my knockout questions?

I don’t know about you, but I am a VISUAL learner. So instead of telling you how to set these up in Jazz, check out this video below, specifically at the 8:02 mark.

Jen, Customer Success Manager at JazzHR, will walk you through exactly how to:

  • Set up your knockout questions
  • Save your knockout questions
  • Show you how to create different knockout questions for different job postings

 

 

Let’s talk about rejection

Nobody likes rejection – but it’s a necessary evil in the world of hiring. Our resident HR expert, Niki Ramirez, encourages pet business owners to adopt a policy either to send rejection letters to disqualified candidates or not.

What you don’t want is the same candidates applying to your job over and over again because they think you just haven’t looked at their application. You guessed it – we have a solution for that, too!

JazzHR allows you to save customized email templates, so you can save preloaded rejection letters and all you do is have to hit “send.” Feel free to save different rejection letters for different reasons, if you’d like.

You might be thinking, “Yikes, it might not look so good if a candidate applies and immediately get a rejection letter afterward.” With the customized email templates, you can actually choose when you want the letter to be sent out to the candidate. So you never have to worry about the candidate learning they were instantly rejected!

 

The bottom line

One of the things in this world that we can never get back is time. It’s one of our most precious resources. I’m on a mission to get you more of it, and I guarantee you that using JazzHR is one of those ways to get you there.

So what are you waiting for?

Click here to learn more and receive 50% off ($100 savings!) off of JazzHR’s Plus Plan.

Business Women talking about staff employment

What Are My Options If My Staff Want To Stay On Unemployment And Not Come Back To Work?

In all my Facebook groups, the same question has been popping up. It goes like this, “I am thinking of re-opening and my staff doesn’t want to come back because they are making more on unemployment than if they were working for me?”

When the CARES Act passed, part of it includes a $600-a-week bonus from the Federal government until July 31 for those registered as unemployed. This is on top of what the state was paying for unemployment. For many, that means they are making a minimum of $2400 a month from the Federal government plus whatever their state is giving them.

This is a tough subject that is leaving a lot of business owners feeling like they are held hostage in their own business while hemorrhaging money each day, week, and month. They want to get their businesses back open but are slowing realizing that it isn’t going to just all POOF be back to normal overnight.

Business Owners Are Fearful

Business owners in my groups are fearful. The are scared to ask their workers back, they are scared of what they will say when they are asked back, and they are scared to try to hire all new staff during this turbulent time.

Business owners are being put in tough positions they never thought they would be in and honestly there is no right or wrong answers.

Use My Relationships

Relationships with CPAs, Human Resources, and Labor Attornies have never been so important than ever before and they all have different points of views on what you should do.

Many of my clients, (Jumpers) are asking the advice of all three experts and then using their thoughts to make their best educated decision. As you will read from Marilyn, we are playing a game where at the time of publication, we still don’t have all the rules of the game.

It is tough.

So I have gathered the experts that I know, like, and trust and asked them all the same question:

My business has received the Payment Protection Program (PPP). My staff says ‘no’ to coming back becasue they are making more on unemployment… Now what?

 

Before reading on please note that my guest contributors or I are not giving you any legal or financial advice and you need to consult with your team, in your state, about your situation. 

The CPA Answer:

bella in your business

 

Marilyn is a CPA and a Certified Profit First Professional and the co-Founder of ProfitHERO™, the #1 online financial community that puts you in the know about what you don’t know and on a success path to profit so you can go from startup to scale-ready without delaying pay, play, or profit. You might have remembered them from our two hour Facebook Live going through the CARES Acts and PPP. Here is what she had to say about this situation:

The Paycheck Protection Program was intended to essentially protect the paychecks for those employees who were at risk of losing their ability to earn. Employers raced to file for this program with the goal of getting funded first and sort the plan out second. There was really no time to think, only do when the legislation was enacted on March 27th. However, no one anticipated how the proverbial “stack” of small business aid would actually end up competing with an invisible employer named Pandemic Unemployment that would silently end up positioning those who were hired with the prospect of 16 weeks PTO and a substantial raise.

How Do We Do Business In An Alternative Universe?

This new COVID reality has literally created an alternate universe overnight for small businesses who are now desperate to hire back their team members so that life beyond COVID can happen. The greatest challenge has been managing the emotions of owners who feel a sense of betrayal when they learn their staff would rather risk their future for short-term unemployment along with the guilt that somehow their wanting to resume business is keeping the teams they love from an opportunity. So what do we do and where do we go from here?

BMWB

The short answer that confronts the brutal facts is that life and business must go on. It’s the whole — “it’s gonna be different, but it’s gonna be ok.” You may want to tell your team member to “take their time” and come back when the pandemic unemployment ends but we just can’t accept that this was the spirit of the economic aid when it was drafted. The whole point was to keep everyone as whole as humanly possible so that we had something to return to and build once the initial onset of this crisis was over. As hard as it may be, the reality is you call the team members you truly want back and then the next decision is theirs. As a small business owner, this is your responsibility to do your part and operate accordingly, no matter how hard or difficult it may be. We can each only control what we each individually do. Now is the time to let the law guide you on how to walk this transition back into normal out while being as compassionate as you can within those boundaries.

Practically speaking there are some ways you can essentially “compete” with unemployment. Your willingness to innovate to create a win-win will be key into making all the pieces of this puzzle fit. For example…..

 

  1.  You could honor your employees with a temporary pay increase for the eight-week period. Documentation and equal treatment across the board will be key here. The SBA cites a max payout of $15,384 for the 8-week period to anyone person given the $100k salary cap.
  2.  You could consider a one-time return to work bonus or offer a commitment incentive to be paid out at the end of the eight weeks. Again, max payouts, no discrimination, and confirm with your lender that these types of adjustments would be part of your due diligence.
  3. You must meet the 75% payroll allocation in order to take advantage of the 25% rent, utilities, and mortgage interest payments but learning, if these expenses could be pre-paid, could be part of your PPP spend down strategy.
  4. You could transition your monthly, bi-weekly, or bi-monthly pay cycles to weekly so that the full eight weeks are certain to be within the timeline. Unemployment pays weekly and so can you. Again, just an idea to consider with your lender. There’s certainly nothing within the rulings that we’ve seen to counter this as a way to maximize the use of your PPP funding.

UPDATE: File ruling on PPP was just announced here

These Are Only Strategies

Marily stresses to me though that:  Again, Bella — these are strategies or ideas but people need to execute on them with their eyes WIDE OPEN. This very important and no one should be trying to navigate a strategy on their own. Collaboration is a small business owner’s best friend right now — which is exactly what you do inside your program and we do inside ours!

Gosh, I just love how knowledgable and candid this team always is with me and my community. I really do hope that you take advantage of at least one of their offers:

1. Access to a $197.00 Masterclass for FREE
2.  71% off the Profit Hero’s community just because you are in my crew. Use promo code bella350

 

Then We Asked A Lawyer…

Okay next up, we had to ask Bernard Nomberg. He is an attorney in Alabama, super knowledgable, presented in the COVID support group at the end of March, …and he has a pretty solid Tik Tok game with his daughters! 🙂 Here is his reflections on this situation:

As businesses contemplate reopening their doors, there is the potential that employees will be unwilling to return to the jobs they held prior to stay at home orders. Whether furloughed or terminated from employment, over 26 million Americans have filed for unemployment during COVID-19. 

As new ordinances are announced and individual states choose to phase their population back into some semblance of an open public, some employees will be unwilling to pick back up their jobs and continue with business as usual.

Even if an employee’s reasoning is grounded in a true hesitation of being exposed to pathogens, it cannot be denied that some of those 26 million Americans drawing unemployment benefits are receiving pay that is greater than the compensation received while employed.

Unemployment Has An Expiration Date:

However, it is imperative that these employees remember that unemployment benefits have an expiration date. 

“For example, states such as New York, California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Ohio each offer 26 weeks of unemployment benefits through the traditional state-funded unemployment insurance system. Seven states provide less than 26 weeks of unemployment compensation. For example, Florida and North Carolina each offer 12 weeks, while Missouri provides 13 weeks of unemployment benefits.” Even unemployment during COVID-19 doesn’t last forever, as the benefits have only been extended an additional 13 weeks. With these expiration dates in mind, employees should heed the fact that these benefits will terminate if they are offered their job back, and that job is refused. Several states including Iowa have issued statements that center on a similar notion: “If you’re an employer and you offer to bring your employee back to work and they decide not to, that’s a voluntary quit, [t]herefore, they would not be eligible for the unemployment money.” While an employer may be hesitant to use this information as a tactic to incentivize workers to return to employment, it is a fact that cannot be denied.


Source: https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/495050-states-telling-workers-theyll-lose-unemployment-benefits-if-they-refuse.
Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/zackfriedman/2020/04/29/unemployment-benefits-extended/#5ba90f792a51.

Bernard continues to say, “If you are hurt on the job due to unsafe working conditions, seek legal counsel, as you may be entitled to workers’ compensation or other benefits. As we have since 1967, we will continue to protect the legal rights of our clients – those who are hurt on the job while working for Alabama employers. If you have been injured on the job and want to learn your rights, please consider contacting the Nomberg Law Firm. Our website is Nomberglaw.com. We are based in Birmingham, AL. Our office number is 205-930-6900.”

coach

We Also Asked a Human Resources Expert

Niki Ramirez is an amazing friend of the Jump Consulting community. She has shown up for our Mastermind members every month joined us in the COVID support group and helped dozens of my clients. Her knowledge is invaluable and I’m so thankful for her advice whenever we call on her. Here are her thoughts:

This is an all-too-common question right now. It is wonderful to have received this hard-to-come-by loan, but we are finding that employees may not be ready to return to work. As a leader in your business, and in your community, I simply want to remind you that operating from a place of respect and compassion will always take you farther than operating and making decisions based on fear. Do not fear that employees who do not wish to return to work will have a negative impact on your organization!

Consider The Position The Employee Might Be In

Based on each employee’s family needs and personal beliefs, employees may not be ready to return to work. Some employees will be dealing with childcare issues, some employees will simply not feel safe returning to work yet. Some employees may feel that they can receive higher weekly pay by remaining on unemployment (if they are currently receiving unemployment benefits). Just this week, in Arizona, Governor Doug Ducey published a statement that he is instructing state agencies to be “flexible” in granting continued unemployment benefits to individuals who fear for their health and safety in returning to work. This means that even if you call employees back to work, they may be able to decline and continue to receive unemployment benefits; which would normally disqualify them. Time can only tell how this will all play out in Arizona and in other states.

BMWB

Key Considerations:

Moving on, let’s review some of the key considerations when you approach rehiring employees, or reopening for business. Do keep in mind that there are various ways that you can approach using your PPP funds in a way that will still be forgivable; your CPA or trusted financial advisor is best suited to break down the loan terms with you. Below are my keys for planning for success using your PPP loan funds, even when your employees do not wish to return to work:

  1. When analyzing what portion of your PPP loan will be forgivable, you will be measuring the number of full time employees (FTE’s) in your company, as well as the amounts paid in payroll during your selected measurement period. You do not have to employ the same people; you can hire new employees if need to maintain your FTE.
  2. Payroll can be spent on training and retraining employees if you do not yet have enough work to send them into the field with clients yet.
  3. You can pay employees their “regular salary” even if they are not yet physically working during your 8-week period.

When you’re ready to communicate with employees about returning to work:

  • Craft a standard re-employment process and follow it consistently
  • Provide those that you wish to invite to return with a carefully-crafted written offer that includes:
    • Date of reinstatement or return to full-time status/pay
    • Job title
    • Rate of pay or weekly salary
    • Location of work
    • Main job duties
    • Supervisor
    • Deadline to respond in writing
    • Instructions to respond in writing (return the letter with Yes/No designation, text or email a response)
  • Engage in phone or video conversations with employees to determine their level of interest and comfort returning to work. If they tell you that they are concerned about safety, you can review with them the safety protocols that you’re implementing to keep employees, clients and the community safe.
  • Keep documentation of your employees’ responses to your offer. Plan to use this information if you need to reply to requests from your local unemployment office in determining your employees’ future eligibility for unemployment benefits.
  • It is ok to respectfully remind employees to consider that unemployment benefits are not guaranteed long term, and that the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (the extra $600 weekly payment) is scheduled to expire on July 31, 2020.
  • Once you know which of your employees are ready to return to work, you can decide whether or not you need to advertise and recruit for new employees.
  • If you need to recruit and hire new employees in order to ensure you meet PPP loan forgiveness requirements, ensure that you craft a compelling job posting that ensures that candidates are attracted to your company based on the value you place on safety and health; as well as your care and concern for employees.
  • Recruiting, hiring and training may look different in the future based on social distancing guidelines. Please consider reviewing your safety and health protocols so that when you meet with candidates you limit the risk of exposure.
    • Some ideas for doing this: conduct video-based interviews rather than in-person interview; only meet top candidates in open, well-ventilated spaces; wear masks to curb the spread of illness when meeting with job candidates and new employees; use electronic recruiting and onboarding systems (like JazzHR), and online payroll systems (like Gusto payroll) to streamline your hiring process and decrease the need to share physical paperwork.

So What Will You Do With This Information?

I know this article has given you a lot to think about and often we get different things to ponder from different experts. I hope this article and Marilyn, Bernard, and Niki’s contributions have shown you just how important it is for you to have your own group of advisors strategizing inside your own business.

If you are in the Mastermind, you gain get access to Niki every single month as a perk of your membership. We actually have a whole spreadsheet of all the questions she has answered for our group. Curious what they are? Here is a snipit:

  • What about pregnant ladies and scooping litter? What accommodations can you make?
  • Are we required to be keeping notes on what was the reason we decided not to hire someone after we’ve engaged in the first step? (i.e. not just rejecting an application but interview or whatever our first step of reaching out is)
  • How does drug testing work for people who have valid prescriptions for controlled substances (i.e., stimulants for ADHD, benzos for anxiety, opiates for pain, etc– I’m going to break marijuana off into its own bullet)? my understanding is that the results are unreportable in these cases due to HIPPA?
  • What to say to an employee who says she is uncomfortable doing consultations when there is only a man in the house.
  • Is there a certain amount of hours we have to schedule someone? I have 2 people who will not turn in their availability so I have not scheduled either one. How long until they are not considered an employee?
  • What are the legalities on requiring someone to work a holiday?
  • If I conduct an interview at a dog park and something happens to the candidate am I liable?
  • How much can you have someone interview or job shadow before you start paying them?
  • How do I handle compensation for employees for handling communication outside of hours?
  • Can an employee have two positions with two different pay rates? For instance, a pet sitter and an office employee role. And can you have different pay rates for overnights and visit/walking rates?

These are all actual questions that have been asked and answered and in a spreadsheet with a link to the time-stamped answer from Niki. This is only about 10% of the questions we have in there. We also have LIz Illg, the systems a communications expert who does a training every month, monthly themes, accountability partners, World class speakers, and so much more. Check out the Mastermind if you have goals that you want to hit out of the park!

Join Jump Mastermind

Face Mask Bella

20% Off Non-Medical Face Masks For Dog Walkers

When you re-open fully, how will you keep your staff safe?

Have you thought about where or how you are going to get masks to provide them?

If you go on Amazon or into the stores it is highly unlikely you will find anything. ?

That’s where we come in!

We have secured a vendor for you to order up on the masks if you find yourself needing them in two weeks or more. It is important to think ahead. Remember, when people start returning back to work throughout May and June these will be in even higher demand. Here is what you need to know before you continue reading:

 

  • Sold in quantities of 120.
  • $3.60 each. Jumpers get them for $3.00 each (20% savings!)
  • Total investment $432 regularly. $360.00 with your discount.
  • Price includes shipping to the USA (outside USA is extra)
  • You can expect them in roughly 14 days (right now).

 

Here is what they look like laying flat on my desk.

Dog walker face mask

 

The Pro’s

  • Each box comes with 120 masks. If you wear one mask a day and have a staff of 4, that will last you one month. Score! 
  • They are black, so they won’t show any dirt 🙂
  • They are one layer. It is literally a “Bella” (not me) brand TShirt. You can see through it if you hold it up to the light. That means they are very breathable. The CDC recommends that you are able to breathe through it.
  • They have two holes where the ears are. So they fit large and small faces.
  • The material is a little stretchy. Cotton and Polyester blend.
  • You can hand wash them.
  • They cover your nose and mouth

 

The Con’s

  • They are not medical grade.
  • They are meant to be disposable.
  • There is only one layer.
  • They are close to your face.

Face Mask

Here Are The Specifics According To The Manufacturer:

CDC Recommends Face Coverings:

face-covering-checklist

 

Their website says, “In light of new data about how COVID-19 spreads, along with evidence of widespread COVID-19 illness in communities across the country, CDC recommends that people wear a cloth face covering to cover their nose and mouth in the community setting. This is to protect people around you if you are infected but do not have symptoms.”

They also say that you need to wear the coverings, “A cloth face covering should be worn whenever people are in a community setting, especially in situations where you may be near people. These settings include grocery stores and pharmacies. These face coverings are not a substitute for social distancing. Cloth face coverings are especially important to wear in public in areas of widespread COVID-19 illness.”

Source: CDC Website

Dog walker face mask

Breathable Is Key For Dog Walkers

The CDC says that, “surgical masks and N95 respirators are in short supply and should be reserved for healthcare workers or other medical first responders, as recommended by CDC guidelines.”

I have been wondering how dog walkers were going to be walking with masks with the summer coming up. As I was walking around Costco in my mask made by someone local, I was getting hot because it was heavy and not that breathable. These, you can breathe through. I feel like they would be much more enjoyable to walk with on.

Who Else Can You Help?

Think about being the “hero” in your community. Is there a vet office, rescue, or other organization that you know could benefit from this? Could you not only supply your staff but maybe also leave one or two for your clients as a thoughtful gift?

  • Clients
  • Friends
  • Family
  • Rescues
  • Veterinarians
  • Pet Stores
  • Groomers
  • Day Cares

Imagine walking in with these to give them as a gift. That is going to go a lot longer than cookies or candy that pet sitters and dog walkers are typically bringing into these places.

 

 

Want Higher Quality or Your Logo On Them?

Personally, I don’t believe in putting your logo on something like this, but that is an option. There are also options for masks that are a little more sturdy, not AS disposable, and a little more heavy duty. They are considerably more expensive though and start at about $500 an order. You get fewer masks of course. Feel free to email me if you want to see the other options.

Although, if I were still running my company, I would use these TShirt ones in a heartbeat! They are comfortable, stretchy, breathable, and easy to use. 🙂

If you want to grab a box of 120 for yourself today, you can here. 
If you want to know what the more expensive options are, shoot me an email: bella@jumpconsulting.net

Dog walker face mask

Disclaimer: This is not intended for medical use. This is not medical advice. 

 

Business woman recording video on mobile phone

Ultimate Apps and Ways to Use Video in Your Dog Walking Business

When my clients think about going in front of the video camera, it typically scares the heck out of them. I have been squawking about the use of video for years and all the predictions have only proven to be true.

Video is The Present.

The social media feeds have exploded with ways to show a video like Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories, Instagram TV, and a myriad of apps now available to help you edit together video clips you might have taken and look like a pro!

Today, I really want to blow the lid off any fear of using video in hopes that I can show you there are many different methods you can apply to reap the incredible benefits.

Video use on Social

All the apps

  • Wave.video – this is on desktop and one of my favs. They have a library, they will adapt the video to the size of the platform you want to post on, and they are very affordable. I also know the CMO and he is a really nice guy :). Check them out here.
  • Canva for gifs – I have been using the software for a long time and only recently started using the gif feature. It is really neat to be able to design a graphic and then have it fly in from the sides as you save it as a Giphy. I especially like this for IG and FB stories
  • Giphy to make GIFs – Do you know how you can comment with a gif on Facebook? What if I told you there was a way that you could type in your name or business name into the comments and a video you created from your business comes up? Want to see what I mean? Go type in Bella Vasta in the search bar of the Giphy and you will see a few that my friends did of me.
  • Quic – this is a great app if you have a few videos that you need to splice together and want a one-touch filter on them that make you look like Steven Spielberg.

 

Better Marketing with Bella

 

  • Filmora-this is an app on your phone and desktop that requires a little more work than something like Quic but also has hundreds of downloadable special effects packages that you can purchase. If you want something retro, bachelorette party, Hawaii themed… this is the app to use. It can really change up the feel for what you want to do.
  • iMovie – if you are an Apple user, iMovie is on your phone and desktop. The phone version is a “lite” version and you can’t do as much Jason desktop but honestly, it is what has used for most of all the videos you see on my Youtube channel.
  • Animoto – This is an old but goodie. Personally, I haven’t used them forever – just not my style, but they are still popular which does say a lot about them. It is nice to see software still relevant 5 or 6 years later.
  • Final Cut Pro – This is a step up from iMovie with a little more bells and whistles. Honestly, I purchased it (expensive) and admittedly still stick to iMovie. Many of you might think I am saved when it comes to this stuff but mostly I like to stick with what I know and the path of least resistance.

 

The Importance of Going Live

Going live doesn’t always have to be your face. Sue, in the Mastermind, said her reason for not going live is because she doesn’t like the sound of her voice. Well, she and I both! But I want you to imagine if you never saw me online? If I never did any videos? Would you feel as close to me as you do today?

Probably not.

Video connects you to your audience. You don’t have to do it every day, and you don’t have to do it for hours, but I would challenge you to try to do it at least once a week for one or two weeks. It will make a world of a difference.

 

Introduce Yourself

 

Another important thought I need you to consider is that social media is a SECOND thought. Hardly anyone will see you on social media and think, “Gee, I am glad they popped up on my feed I want to hire them“.

It just doesn’t work that way.

The way it DOES work is that they find your website… typically through google…and then they click on your social media icons to “see” more of you. If they are browsing and see your videos, chances are they will feel a deeper connection with you. Not because you are perfect on camera, but because you are showing vulnerability by BEING on camera. It shows that you are human. That ALONE goes a long way – especially when the people who are searching on your social are trying to decide if they can trust you.

 

Video During COVID-19 Has Been So Important

Especially while we are all isolated in our homes everyone from a five-year-old to the 90-year-old great grand parents have developed video skills. The time is now. So many of our Better Marketing with Bella clients have taken it by storm.

Let me show you Poop’d Out going live with tips and tricks:

 

And then there is another Better Marketing with Bella client, Woofin’ It who has gone live just to reach out to her clients and followers:

 

 

And yet again, another Better Marketing with Bella client, using his stand up skills to use to his community:

 

 

Then there is Rockey’s Retreat where she actually did a scavenger hunt in her community! Ahhh all of these marketeers make me so happy… and this is just the tip of the ice burg!

 

 

Ways to Go Live

FB share your screen

Facebook recently came out with a feature allowing you to share your screen while on live. It could be neat to do videos to show how to sign up with your company using this new feature. No one else is doing it and you would stand out.  The only downside is that once you go live showing your screen, that is all there is. You can’t flip back to your face.

FB live on location with pets

This one is the obvious one. But how about making it fun?

How long until Fido finds the perfect place to potty?

How long until Fido goes potty?

How many throws until Fido is tried?

How many bites will it take him to eat his food?

How fast will he eat his food?

IGTV

The best part of this is that you can reuse the content. So if you have a video that you have already created and you want to upload to IGTV, go for it! You also have the option for it to show up in your IG feed, it will play the first minute and invite people to go watch the full thing. Keeping this in mind, make the first one minute as engaging as possible.

Snapchat glasses

Honestly, I think this is one of the BEST video features for pet sitters and dog walkers. But first, let me ease your worries, you do not have to be posting onto Snapchat for this to happen. These are actual sunglasses that you wear on your head and press a button to take a picture or hold it down to take a 10-15 second video. Once back at home, you can upload them to your social media or device and edit the clips together (if you want).

The point of view from these glasses is like watching from someone’s eyes. Take a look here as I show you in the pool with my daughter:

Are you Convinced Yet?

Showing up on social media through videos is huge. These videos give potential clients the opportunity to see who you really are and what your business represents. Do you do video on the regular? Why or why not? How can I partner with you to help you?

Did you know that the Better Marketing with Bella program helps coach you through all of this? Yup! Just like you saw above – a lot of our members gain the confidence, know how, and content to go live through our program. The doors are closing the beginning of May 2020 . If this interests you – join us. Don’t be left behind. I would love to help you!

BMWB

Does all this social media management seem like a lot? You can actually get all the social media content with Better Marketing with Bella

Join us for a six-month contract to get all the graphics, captions, square videos, cover videos, vertical videos, blog/video outlines, emails, individual and group coaching calls, and more.

The Cares Act

Using The CARES Act Strategically in Your Small Business

The following is a breakdown or rough transcript of our two-hour interview with the Profit Hero ladies, Marilyn Parham and Jessica Mae Stafford.

If you go to the original interview and type “congress” into the comments, JumpyBot will pop up and 1. Give you a PDF of all the CARES Acts so you can have them in one place
2. Access to a $197.00 Masterclass for FREE
3. You will get an offer at a 71% offer if you want to go alongside these ladies inside their community. Promo code bella350

You can watch the video here or start scanning below.

Let’s Get Started:

We have three things that we need to understand about securing our financial foundation to know what opportunities are available to us. We have to:

    1. Secure our financial foundation
    2. Know financial facts
    3. Understand financial funding.

Secure Our Financial Foundation

Strong relationships are everything!

What are your relationships looking like for your business?

In particular, what do your accounting and finance business relationships look like? Who are they? If you don’t have a banking relationship, get one! Securing your financial freedom comes from these strong relationships.

Right now, we are either so grateful that we have these relationships already in place or we’re kicking ourselves for not having them during this crisis. Our bankers will be able to help us through this mess.

We have to have scalable systems. Things that don’t break when you scale them!

 

2. Knowing the financial facts.

This seems like a no brainer right?! But when we’re busy trying to grow a business, and things like COVID and other disruptions come into play it can be challenging.

Having financial facts is key to that process.

It’s hard to produce the facts if you don’t have the systems, relationships or compliance checks to take care of that stuff.  This is about your money.

We all different reasons we started our business, so understanding your personal needs, upgrades, and dreams is so important.

Profit Planning

Profit planning is how can we create the business to produce the fruit of what I want personally? How can we achieve our goals?

Cash management. 

Here’s an easy formula for you: Sale- Profit = Expenses. It’s the only way you should be doing business. You should be paying yourself and playing! Make sure you have your taxes paid and you know your operating budget.

3. Understanding financial funding

  1. What are my assets?
  2. What are my cash assets to run my business?
  3. Will I be able to take care of my family?
  4. Will I be able to take of myself? You can’t drop your self-care. You have to be 100% right now. This is an unprecedented time in our lives and we have to be on top of our game.
  5. What is my debt service?
  6. How will I pay my mortgage and bills?
  7. How am I  not ending up broke and homeless?  You have to know your options.

We are all in the same boat. If there was ever a time to get whatever help you needed, now is the time thanks to COVID.

Economic aid.

What are the options and opportunities do I have?

Bankers are going to be asking you questions that you’re not used to being asked or thinking about until tax time. We need to be thinking of this now!

SBA EIDL

SBA Economic Injury Disaster ADVANCE Loan.

  • This is something you work directly with the SBA, not your bankers.
  • It’s an easy application to fill out but we’re unsure of when we’ll be receiving funds, we’re thinking 4 weeks.
  • It’s a 30-year loan with an interest rate of 3.75%.
  • You also have the option of accepting a $10,000 advance when applying for the loan. This advance is not something you have to pay back. It’s supposed to be considered an emergency grant. You have to apply for it to be forgiven.
  • Even if you don’t think you need the loan right now, you don’t know what your business will look like 60 days or even 6 months from now.
  • Be strategic about opportunities given to you, even if you don’t need the grant stock it away … just like all that toilet paper, we stocked up on! Remember, you can do both this loan and the payroll protection loan.

EIDL

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan

  • This is a 30 year 3.75% interest rate or 2.75% for a non-profit which is approved based on your credit.
  • There is no fee for applying for the loan, so even if you don’t think you’ll qualify there’s no harm in trying.
  • If you have under 500 employees you qualify, no matter if you’re a sole proprietor, LLC., etc.!
  • The loans up to $200,000 are not going to require collateral or personal guarantee.

There are two camps right now. One camp is, I don’t trust this. I get it, I was originally in that camp. So what could possibly go wrong? Nothing really, just pulling your credit.

So as long as your under those six credit inquiries a year, you should be fine.

If you’re worried, write to the credit company and ask that they remove it.

Remember, you’re just applying doesn’t mean you’re going to get it or you have to accept it.

You have to be fighting against that stigma of debt right now, these are very unique times.

The other camp is those who are just paralyzed in fear, don’t go forward alone. Talk to someone who’s knowledgeable and can truly help you through this!

PPP

SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

  • This loan gives employers a direct incentive to keep employees (including you) on the payroll.
  • This loan will be forgiven if employees are kept on the payroll for 8 weeks.
  • 75% of the funds must be used for payroll, the other 25% can be used for rent, mortgage interest, or utilities for the business.
  • Small businesses with less than 500 employees can apply for this loan.
  • Loan forgiveness MUST be requested once all qualifying payments have been made.
  • There are no credit checks or personal guarantee is required.
  • It’s a 2-year term loan with at 1% interest, with payments deferred for the first 6 months.This is where securing your financial systems comes into play!

You should be tracking everything regarding the impact of COVID for your business. Keep a list of every cancel request you’ve received.

If you’ve been waiting to get a business checking account … do it now!

The Cares Act

Some Q&A:

Q: I have a Profit 1st Accountant, and I was doing OK until all this, now my only distribution is to my HST (Canada) account. I actually had to borrow money from my profit account to make payroll. Once I get the government help in a few weeks should I put money back into my Profit account from it?

A: First off, CASH IS KING! When you get the money from the government help, I would say yes, put that money back into your Profit account. That’s your safety net. Remember, the paycheck protection loan you have to spend it for payroll. So when that comes in just replace the money in your profit account and move forward from there. The profit account is power. It’s the whole reason you got into this business.

 

Q: Can our accountants talk to our bankers?

A: Yes of course! Now the bankers will probably want your permission, and that can be either via a conference call or it may require a Power of Attorney. Remember, our bankers are incredibly inundated. Ask them first if this is a service provided? Does this cost me anything? How can you help me?  The last thing we want is a bill shock. You can also call your banker first and get a list of what they need and then maybe make a list to send to your accountant to make this process a bit easier.

 

Q: What’s the difference between a grant and loan?

A: A grant you don’t have to pay back, a loan you do.

 

Q: Can you apply for both the SBA & the PPP?

A: Yes!

 

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Q: What are the downsides for applying for the grant & loan combo?

A: The credit report check, if you’re against this.

 

Q: We have to use 75% of loan for payroll. Can I give myself a raise to help meet the goal?

A: The head count is part of the process. You should be hiring people back.  Use this time to build your team and develop those marketing ideas.

 

Q: You mentioned you can pay yourself if you are on the payroll with the PPP. So that would be for only the S & C Corp right? I’m an LLC and take a draw? Also, does the PPP loan really apply to a sole proprietor with IC (Independent Contractor) or only if using employees?

A: The loan application hasn’t been geared towards those sole proprietors even if it doesn’t feel like it! Be prepared to provide financial information no matter the type of business you have.

 

Q: I just started my sole proprietor business when all this started, so my income is basically zero. Is any of this based on current income?

A: If you have no income, there’s probably no documentation to submit, so this will probably disqualify you.

 

Q: It seems unrealistic to be back to full employment in 8 weeks, so my fear is that it will be a loan not a grant, and 2 years is a short time to pay back $85k.

A: Put some strategies in place. You have an 8 week period in time to cover these employees. You can always get the money and put it aside. Remember, if you laid people off, you don’t have to hire that exact employee or position back.

 

Q: Does interest accrue during the 6 month period?

A: We’re unsure, but we’ll find out!

 

Q: What kind of proof do you need to apply for the forgiveness of the PPP loan?

A: The same information needed to apply for the loan, but also may need to send proof of canceled checks. Here’s a little reminder to have get a business checking account and get that banking relationship to secure your financial relationship.

 

Q: Don’t employees make more collecting unemployment and &600/weekly than if I pay them their regularly hourly?

A: Remember this is based on the state’s ability to pay, which means it will probably be delayed. But depending on how much you pay them it could make them whole. Remember it’s also UP TO $600 and we haven’t even seen that money yet … this could be us living on a prayer! Use this opportunity to convince and excite your employees to stay!

 

Q: Should I be putting the pay of the independent contractor’s on the PPP loan app?

A: You should NOT be putting the pay of IC, this is per the IRS as of 4/7/20. IC’s can be applying for their own assistance, since they are their own business!

 

Q: Can you use the PPP to pay employees who are not actually working?

A: Yes you can! Also try to find things for employees to do! But yes you can pay them even if they’re not necessarily working. Pay them for personal growth or self development …. GET CREATIVE!

 

mastermind pet sitting

 

Q: I was in the process of hiring 3 people when this hit? Can I use the PPP to pay them?

A: You can, if you had to have payroll prior to COVID.

 

Q: Regarding submitting proof. What if I use direct deposit compared to checks?

A: As long as you can document it. Bank statements are helpful for direct deposits.

 

Q:Do they know yet if they will be forgiving a percentage based on how much we miss the 75% payroll , or do they just completely throw out the forgiveness part if you miss the 75%?

A: It’s our understanding that they will forgive based on percentage, but we haven’t’ seen data on this yes.

 

Q: What if I’m willing to keep the staff but they quit within the two months?

A: Then hire more people!

 

Q: My new two employees are currently furloughed and collecting unemployment, which I understand they can still work small hours. If I did the PPP and paid them would that affect their unemployment? They’re getting more from unemployment than from me since they do not have an income history with me yet.

A: Each state is different.

 

Q: Is the head count for full time employment?

A: FTE = Full time equivalent.

 

Q. With PPP can you accept it around June 1 and use it for payroll then?

A: This isn’t a bottomless bucket, there’s only so many funds available. That’s a great question for your banker.

 

Q: I’m not on my payroll for my company. I just go off the net income of my monthly numbers and consider that my “pay”. Would you recommend that to keep things clean and moving forward, should I be paid through payroll like my employees are? 

A: If you’re an S Corp, you are required to be paid. To answer your question is yes, you should be paid like your employees. If you got this payroll protection loan, you can include yourself in that  but you have to look at the whole picture.

 

Q: How late can we fund our PPP?

A: The PPP application process is open until June 30th. Talk to your banker about when you can distribute. I suggest not to delay applying and have my application filled out. 

 

Q: Does PPP cover sick leave pay? Do the workers have to be full-time? 

A: Payroll considers PTO and sick leave if your team has benefits. Also, if you have the Families First Coronavirus Act there are things in addition to emergency sick leaves and all that kind of stuff. Make sure to clarify this to your banker. 

Jump Mastermind

 

Q: Does PPP  cover paying for contractors? 

A: If you have independent contractors you need to give them this information, talk to them and tell them to get in the loop and make an application themselves.

 

Q: Can we do maintenance etc in a stay at home order? 

A: As long as you’re being safe and not contributing to the problem I don’t see why not?

 

Q: I have heard that payroll expenses, like federal taxes and maybe the cost of doing payroll like bookkeeper or software for payroll can not be included in the 75%

A: The payroll taxes are part of payroll. I think it is included in the 75%. But the bookkeeper and the software for the payroll, I really don’t know, I would say no and would go back to the documentation. 

 

Q: But my sitters are now getting Unemployment plus they will be getting the extra $600 why would they want to come back to get their pay?

A: You’re gonna find out who are the good workers and the lazy workers. As a business owner, you extend the offer and they have the option to say yes or no. 

 

Q: I was told in California, they will get the full $600. Illinois has said don’t even apply yet for unemployment if IC etc?

A: Our employees said they’re gonna get the $600 but it’s not even in the bank yet. Not unless the money is there, then it’s real. 

 

Q: If we offer them their job back, don’t they have to accept it or unemployment will stop?

A: It’s state by state. Not necessarily. 

 

Q: If we are offered a PPP, can we put off starting the 8 week period? Like starting the 8 week period June 1?

A: Ask your banker before you accept the loan. 

 

Q: I’m a painting contractor for a small corporation. For now I don’t have payroll nor employees. I believe there’s no reason for me to apply for this loan right? 

A: You should apply for that and see what’s available. You can weigh that out once you go to the application process. There’s no fee to apply. You might want to file for a PPP to take care of yourself. 

 

Q: I’m a Sole Prop. If I file for unemployment, then later apply for a PPP, will filing for unemployment have a negative impact on my loan application? 

A: It’s the other way around. Your acceptance of PPP will have an impact on your employment. Be very upfront with your banker like what’s happened, what you did and what you’re trying to do. 

 

Q: So, if you bring them back for the PPP funds, and don’t get enough work, do you lay them back off?

A: Define your work. Are we just gonna pay our people and take care of them? Since we’re still on containment, the business can’t return so you lay them off basically. 

 

Q: How can I prove what I pay myself as a sole proprietor if I don’t do a formal paycheck, but just periodically transfer money to my personal account from my business account? 

A: It’s about the net income of your business. It doesn’t matter if you transfer back and forth with your business and you. 

 

Q: Is it true that we can’t use the money to pay the payroll taxes on the PPP funds we pay out?

A: Payroll taxes are part of payroll. If you want to make sure on how it’s going to walk and talk, the best thing to do is ask your banker. 

 

Q: Can you create a new position, something you’ve never had before. 

A: The answer is yes as long as you use that 75% of that money to make payroll. As long as you use it and maintain the FTE at a minimum. 

 

Q: About the $600 fed unemployment, it’s my understanding that this will be “up to” $600; it’s not a flat payment of $600. Is that accurate?

A: We dont believe it’s going to be a flat $600. The whole point is to make people whole as possible. We don’t know until it happens. 

 

The previous is a breakdown or rough transcript of our two-hour interview with the Profit Hero ladies, Marilyn Parham and Jessica Mae Stafford.

If you go to the original interview and type “congress” into the comments, JumpyBot will pop up and 1. Give you a PDF of all the CARES Acts so you can have them in one place
2. Access to a $197.00 Masterclass for FREE
3. You will get an offer at a 71% offer if you want to go alongside these ladies inside their community. Promo code bella350

 

flatten the curve

How Do I Know If I Am An Essential Business?

Facebook groups have been filled with questions of “is my business an essential business?”  There is much debate, rightfully so because it isn’t always cut and dry. With the Feds basically saying that we all need to shut down until April 30th on top of the CARE Act going into effect on April 1st, there is a lot of changes happening to the landscape right now.

flatten the curve
The Ethical Dillema

In order for us to pass this crisis and slow the curve, it is important that people stay home and away from one another. Yet, some business owners can’t afford to shut down and are looking at every possible angle to try to stay open. It is understandable because it is the business that they have built up that is all of their livelihood. People have begun to look for other ways that they can generate revenue if they have to close and overall panic has really set in.

 

motivational

We Are All Grieving Right Now.

It is true that we are experiencing all the grieving stages at once right now. Many are in denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and some have moved to acceptance. No matter where you are in the stages, or all at once, know that you are not alone and you are entitled to feel this way.

The Steps You Need To Make To Find Out If You Are Essential:

  1. Governors website
  2. Call city hall
  3. Contact the Chamber of Commerce
  4. Listen to your team

The first place I would go is to google and type in “your state” and “nonessential workers”  Chances are your local news station will have already published a list, that typically comes from your governor’s website.

I encourage you to go straight to that source.

Read it all.

If you are still unclear, go ahead and call, or better yet, email city hall. Email the governor’s office or ask you can speak to so you can get clarity.

Another avenue I have had some clients be successful is calling up the Chamber of Commerce. They often have a direct line to the governor and can sometimes get you an answer.

Last, I would ask your team of advisors. This would be your Human Resources advisor, your CPA, and your Lawyer.

Gathering info from all these areas can really help you determine how to interpret the orders in place.

Pet industry crisis

What I Have Seen In Various States:

It is interesting in the pet industry because businesses like boarding have typically been essential to help those first responders or people out of the country. They say it is the welfare of the pet. I have also seen some pet sitters on that list but it does vary from state to state.

Although what I haven’t seen is daycare, dog walkers, and dog trainers.

I have seen a lot of businesses try to “yeah but…” the scenario but I really encourage you to consider these things:

  1. Will you really have enough volume of a business to make a profit that is going to help you?
  2. Will staying open be something that you can make sure you will not infect anyone or contract any infections?
  3. Are you doing this out of ego, denial, or anger?

This is a Tough Situation

I get it. I will be the first person in line to tell you to fight for your business but sometimes you just need to realize that there isn’t anything you can do about keeping the proverbial doors open. I don’t envy any of you but I can tell you that the businesses that have admitted that this is bigger than their “fight” have moved to the acceptance stage and are already taking the time to care for themselves, heal, and plan their world domination for the comeback.

The Come Back Is Better than the Set Back

My boy Mike on Jersey shore said it best, “Make the comeback better than the set back!” He probably wasn’t the first to say this – but it is the most recent reference that comes to my mind.

And yes, I just quoted Jersey Shore. *wink*

Honestly Jumpers, as we move towards the acceptance stage where we just focus what we can actually control there will be an enormous amount of peace that comes from that. If you do have to shut down, take a few days and then get up and get to work with me. I am here… lighting it up on fire. I am not waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel. I am making it right now, right here, with you. You know how I am doing that? By telling you exactly what you need to be saying and doing with your community NOW and helping you plan your come back.

jump mastermind

Oh, I have big plans for you and I am not going to let you take this sitting down.

That’s not who I am and that is not who you are.

Join me?

We have a challenge starting in the Mastermind or 14 days. Awesome things to focus on. In addition to that, we also have 15 actual marketing efforts that you can be doing that don’t cost you anything.

This is not the end. This isn’t over. There is so much that is still needed from you to your business even if you have to close those doors.

How To Make COVID-19 Stop Messing With Your Head

How are you really doing right now?

I mean really?

I can’t imagine you are having the best time of your life right now, or are you?  See, I have been talking to countless business owners around the world the past three weeks and I’ve realized a few things. A few things that if you allow me a few minutes of your time, I will go into great detail telling you about it.

I also want to be clear.

I don’t care if Google doesn’t understand the keywords in this post. This is just from me to you and I am not trying to rank for anything, including your praise.

I am here talking to YOU, yes you with no holds barred.

So back to you…

How Are You, Really?

Are you fighting sobriety? Depression? Loneliness? Anger? Worry? The fear of passing a child back and forth in this climate? This pandemic is going to get all emotions heightened and stress at an all time high. It is easy to become swallowed up by it and just let it knock you down and leave you there.

I mean, why not? Everyone else is taking a time out, right?

Tomorrow, you will do it. Right?

Wrong.

I can’t stress how important it is, right now, for you to be more on your A-game than ever before. This is an opportunity and only the strong will get to take advantage and be the ones surviving long term.

In order to rev up for this type of fight there are many things that we need to get control over first. These “things” add up and are some of what I consider to be the deciding factors in so many successful entrepreneurs.

 

Get a Routine

I won’t tell you what routine, what time, or how long, but you need a routine.

Your body needs to find a rhythm.

It will help your body clock know when it is time to sleep, work, eat, play, etc.

A routine will give you purpose and direction. You are doing things with the intention of not just being reactive to the day or even life.

Start small with a routine and work your way up and adding on. When we are going through such a change in our regular business life, it is important to find a routine. Something that you can rely on each day even when it seems like everything is going to the wayside. A routine can even be built off one you might have already had and you can keep it after we get through all of this. It also might change frequently until you get it right.

 

Start To Clean and Organize

Technically, it is still March and I am sure there is some spring cleaning to be had! Doing this will make you feel lighter and less cluttered. You also will feel like you accomplished something. Here are some ideas:

  • Take a look at your clothes. Anything you haven’t worn in the past 12 months, donate!
  • Kids toys just seem to build up or have broken parts laying around. Go through all their toy boxes separating all the things they have too many of or just don’t play with. I am sure there is a non profit that would love these used toys.
  • How does your basement, garage, and/or attic look? These are super areas to just put on some music, or your fav podcast and just go to town. Get all messy and sweaty going through it all and organizing and tossing what you don’t need. Heck, the way the world is currently going, you might even take out your Christmas lights and put them up too?
  • What does your pantry look like? How much stuff has been sitting there and expired? Or maybe you bought too much of something or didn’t like it? Consider tossing or donating and thinning through your cabinets. No need to keep that huge bowl if you haven’t actually used it for three years. Am I right?
  • How about scanning in docs that you might still have in file cabinets or even old pictures? Hold onto the originals, but ever think about creating digital copies of all the old family pictures? You can even share them with other family members!
  • Although, of course, you just also can say “Bless This Mess” and leave it too….

 

Get Wicked Smart!

As my Bostonian roots would say. 🙂 Do you realize that many of us have loads of apps, software, and gadgets, but we don’t really know how to use them to their full potential? What if you could learn one of them inside and out?

Well, now is your chance!

Have at it!

I just did that with Streamyard. The software I was using I wasn’t too happy with and now when I go live on the Jump Consulting Facebook page I am going to be using Streamyard! I watched a bunch of Youtube videos to familiarize myself with it and boom – that is my new go to!

What have you been wanting to learn? We have a resource list that lists out places that are giving away free classes. 

Give Yourself Permission

There are so many things that I know your guilt from the endless to-do list has prevented you from doing. Well, guess what? That to-do list is on hold right now! Seriously. Here are some ideas:

  • Go on a walk with your OWN dog and listen to your fav podcast, music, book on audio, or maybe just the birds!
  • Netflix and chill… guilt free.
  • Mess up a recipe. I say mess up because it is ok if you don’t have all the ingredients or it isn’t exactly like what the picture looks like 🙂
  • Journal with an actual pen and paper. There is something that happens in our brain when we do pen to paper and are not typing. There are no rules just pretend we are in Ms. Manoogian’s 5th-grade class together. Write for 10 minutes straight. Anything that comes to mind. Even if it is “I don’t know what to write.” Once your brain realizes it is allowed to be free, you might be surprised with what comes out!

There are so many things we can do if we just take the constraints of time off our life and just be.

I have decided to use this time to make time for me. Sometimes the world works in strange ways. This time I feel it is telling us to SLOOOOW down. Spend more time with your families, read a book, take a walk, call and catch up with the friends and family you have not spoke with. Life is short and we all need to remember to keep our loved ones close as we will never get this time back
– Maureen Dunn McCarthy, Love and Kisses Pet Sitting

Maureen, I couldn’t have said it better myself! Some of you might be at this stage already, and some might still be hustling. Wherever you are in your journey right now, it is okay. I feel like Maureen has accepted what it is in her area and is making the conscious choice to control what she can.

I applaud that.

Ask For What You Need

This is also a time where somewhere we can start asking for what we need. We can take this time to be still and think about what is missing from our business or life and take advantage. This time can be looked as an opportunity. An opportunity to humble ourselves and ask for help, join a Mom’s group, work on our nutrition, join a business group, start working out. What is it that you need. Feel free to ask me and I will try to connect you in the right direction.

For some this might be an opportunity to take time off. For others, it might be an opportunity to get ahead or finally accomplish some goals that you have been working hard to achieve. The Mastermind is super for this as we are soon to start a 14 Day Challenge where there is something new (and little) to focus on each day.

 

People are Watching You

What are you going to do in this time? In this unprecedented time that we will never get back? Jessika Phillips of NOW Marketing Group says there are going to be takers, fakers, and makers. There are going to be people who just try to take advantage of situations in a ruthless way, there will be people standing up as “experts” with no track record or history of results, and then there will be the makers taking this crappy situation and making rainbows out of it. They will help make something in their community, the hearts and minds of those around them.

You have an option right now. You don’t have to pick one. You can be all of them if you want. But be conscious of it Jumpers… don’t let this time pass you by and allow things like Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, and all the other hyped-up news media kill your soul.

Take an active part in this time that you will never get back. Decide how you want to be as a leader, because guess what? We are all leaders. Over ourselves, our relationships, our business, and our community. How we want to lead is all up to us.

things to consider before temporarily closing your business

Things To Consider Before Temporarily Closing Your Business

Things to Consider before Temporarily Closing Your Business 

As the outbreak of COVID-19 spreads worldwide, business owners are forced to make tough decisions. Considerations must be made not only for yourself but for your colleagues, employees, family, friends, and – of course – your pets. I understand that many of you reading this may be considering closing your business temporarily – perhaps some of you already have.

This is a NO JUDGEMENT zone. I’m here for you either way. We must do what we have to to survive in this current climate. 

Before you make any decisions though, I urge you to consider your resources and take your time to consider fact and fate – not fear! 

I’m not encouraging you to close your business. I understand that every area is different and you may even decide to keep your doors open despite everything. Again, NO judgment. 

Let’s jump right in and talk about what’s important right now:

 

Where You Live

Life in the middle of Manhattan is much different than life in rural Nebraska right now. While some states are mandating that people stay in their homes and all nonessential businesses must close, other less-populated areas may not have the same restrictions as of yet. 

Listen to your local government and consider what is best for you, your business, and your employees. If there IS a shelter order and you’re still sending pet sitters and dog walkers out for business, you need to understand the consequences and potential liabilities you may face. 

 

 

Your Staff

When considering whether or not to close your business temporarily, it can feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. Not only do you have to think about you and your own family, but you must do the same for your staff. Here are three main options you have right now:

  • Offer a furlough – A furlough, or leave of absence, can be a great option for employees during this time. It allows them to stay on your books so they’re still eligible for PTO… however, they’re not actually fired and you’ll still have to pay for their benefits as well. They may be able to claim unemployment as long as they have had zero earnings in the prior week and were not offered any hours.

  • Consider layoffs– While no business owner wants to layoff their employees, these are extremely difficult times. The silver lining with layoffs is that your employees will be eligible for unemployment. Of course, be mindful of your staff if you decide to go down this path. Consider yourself a resource for employees if they still need anything; don’t leave anyone in the dust.

  • Do nothing – By this, I mean that some companies are still very cash positive. In this case, you may want to consider giving your employees loans – and being very clear about that – or advances for salaries. 

 

COVID Pet Industry

 

Your Messaging

Whether your business remains open or closed, it’s crucial to continue engaging with your clients, colleagues, etc. The public wants to know what’s going on with you and the business. How are you handling everything amidst COVID-19?  

Stand up and keep talking to both your internal and external communities. Be honest with everyone about the situation; if you don’t know the answer to something, admit it! 

One of the BIGGEST THINGS I will tell you is this: If you do decide to close your business temporarily, then say so. Do not just say you’re “closing the business.” Tell your staff and clients that you are going to reevaluate the situation at a later date and get back to them. Be in constant contact and keep lines of communication open. 

Engage, engage, engage during this time!! Your clients not only want to keep seeing those cute pups and kittens, but they want to know what’s going on behind the scenes too. 

There is nothing to be ashamed of if you decide to close temporarily. NO JUDGEMENT HERE! Everyone’s situation is different but we’re all in this together.

Send updates via email and across all social media platforms. Remember, this WILL PASS and people are going to need your services again. That’s why it’s so important to support each other right now. 

 

Next Steps…

I know that your business is your lifeblood. It’s your blood, sweat, tears. Trust me, I get it. And my heart goes out to all of you struggling with the hard decisions right now. 

If you need to, use this time to press the reset button. Start working on your business SOPs and processes for your employees so that when the tide begins to turn for the better, you’ll be right on track to start hiring again.

Take this time to sharpen the proverbial sword; listen to experts, go out for a walk and listen to an audiobook, create great habits for yourself and get into a routine that drives you each and every day. Keep creating goals to work towards – this is NOT the end!

I’ll also be hosting a two-week pop-up group called Pet Industry COVID-19 Survival Group which will run from Monday, March 23rd to April 6th in an effort to help educate you on the most pressing topics of the current climate. 

Join in and have NINE experts at your fingertips to help you make the BEST decisions in your business during this crisis. We’ll talk about finances, loans, unemployment, marketing, social, and more. By joining my pop-up group, you can:

  • Talk to lawyers and attorneys on the latest legislation in Congress.
  • Consult industry-leading from HR experts on sick time policy and paid leave.
  • Learn from social media and website marketers who are at the top of their game and ready to help YOU get to the top of yours.

I’m celebrating with you. I’m crying with you. I’m doing everything I know how to provide you with the most up-to-date information. If you need me, I’m here. Thanks so much for sticking with me!

celebrate your wins

The Ultimate Resource Guide for Pet Business Owners During COVID-19

Running a pet business – or any business for that matter – can be a scary venture at the best of times… but in the face of a global pandemic, everything is much more overwhelming. Studies have shown that 96% of small businesses in the United States have been impacted by COVID-19, and 67% of small business owners are struggling with knowing how to apply for emergency funding.

I get it. 

With so many unknown variables, maintaining your drive and focus may be more difficult.

But now is NOT the time to give up! 

You are not alone in this and, together, we WILL get through this tough time. 

In fact, there are plenty of government resources and incredible offers available for small business owners – and I’ve saved you the trouble of searching the internet so you can JUMP right in! 

I want you to succeed. YOU are going to make it through this. Your BUSINESS is going to make it through this. 

I am sharing the below resources with you to INSPIRE action. So, let’s jump right to it:

Financial Resources for those in the United States…

While many states are requiring nonessential workers to stay home, animal-care providers are typically considered essential businesses. Animals can’t care for themselves and it’s SO important that we have the resources we need to do what we do best – love and care for our furry friends! 

Small business owners are currently eligible to apply for a low-interest loan due to Coronavirus (COVID-19). These loans are meant to cover accounts payable, debts, payroll and other bills COVID-19 has affected your ability to pay.

The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses in the following states with working capital loans of up to $2 million:  Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia. Click here to apply.

The SBA also offers a variety of grants for research, nonprofits, educational institutions, and more as well as other types of resources specifically for COVID-19.

Additionally, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has its own COVID-19 resource guide that is worth taking a look at. Also take a look at the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s COVID-19 Resource Guide.

Grants are excellent during this time because they don’t need to be repaid, and they won’t hurt your business credit score! Other places to search for grants include:

Another great opportunity is Fundera’s Annual Entrepreneurial Grant, The Zach Grant, which helps budding entrepreneurs grow their businesses. Simply record a 3-minute video explaining the reason you started your own business. Have fun with it and earn up to $2500!

Additionally, Business For All in partnership with Hello Alice & Verizon is offering grants up to $50,000 including a $10,000 COVID-19 Emergency Grant.

 

Join Jump Mastermind

You can check out more small business grant offerings here, including those specifically for women-owned operations.

Did you know…? The federal tax return filing deadline has been pushed from April 15 to July 15, 2020. You can check your local state tax agency for any other updates right here.

Remember, every state has its own unique programs and funding. From the Chicago Small Business Resiliency Fund to the Denver Small Business Emergency Relief, you can find more information on your state governor’s website.

For more on state disability, paid family leave and unemployment, click here.

If you’re local to AZ, The Arizona Commerce Authority is a great resource for small business owners. Check back throughout the year for new competitions and grant options! 

The Department of Labor has also expanded unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 outbreak. If your employer has reduced your hours or shut down operations due to coronavirus, you can file for unemployment insurance. Search for specific filing requirements within your state at careeronestop.org.

Banks and credit card companies are also offering relief for their customers during this time. Be sure to check-in to see if there is anything your bank can do to offset financial burdens during this time.

The Jewish Free Loan Association is offering interest-free and fee-free loans that can be turned around in a matter of days to those impacted by COVID-19. You do not need to be Jewish to apply.

For those businesses with fewer than 50 employees or less than $7 million in annual revenue, Amazon is offering a Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund

Facebook’s Small Business Grant Program is also offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries. 

Verizon and LISC Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Fund is offering grants up to $10,000 with a focus on entrepreneurs of color, women-owned businesses, and other businesses operating in under-served communities.

GoFundMe, Yelp, & Quickbooks’ Small Business Relief Initiative  is a program offering up to $1.5 million in donation matching to help provide small business owners with funding, grants, and resources.

Are you a kennel owner, vet practice, shelter, or pet supply store? If you have a brick-and-mortar business that will remain open during this time, be sure to check out OSHA’s Guidance for Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19

mastermind pet sitting

Employment Resources for those in the United States…

If someone you know has recently been laid off or has recently become unemployed, big companies like Amazon, CVS, and Walmart are hiring

The following companies are hiring right now: 

  • Amazon – Hiring 100,000
  • Kroger
  • Safeway – Hiring 2,000
  • Meijer
  • HEB
  • EQRx (Boston)
  • Sodexo
  • Philips
  • Stop and Shop
  • Papa Johns
  • Qualcomm
  • Polk Mechanical
  • Amentum
  • Honeybaked Ham
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific
  • Blizzard Entertainment
  • M&T Bank
  • CVS
  • Kerry
  • Sodexo
  • Brookdale Senior Living
  • Dexcom
  • Naviga Recruiting
  • Stryker
  • Upfield
  • Domino’s – Hiring 10,000 workers
  • Salesforce
  • Lowe’s
  • Crowdstrike
  • Vonage (San Francisco, CA, Atlanta GA, Holmdel, NJ, London UK, Wroclaw Poland, Barcelona, and Tel Aviv)
  • Fannie Mae
  • Dollar Tree & Family Dollar – Hiring 25,000
  • Walmart – Hiring 150,000 employees
  • Peloton

Career changes and job searching aren’t easy, especially in the midst of a global crisis. Luckily, these companies are opening their doors to new faces and a lot of them!

Other Helpful Continued Learning Resources…

If you’re like many others around the world today, you may be stuck inside to practice social distancing. Yes, it’s hard to disrupt our normal routines – but there ARE silver linings! 

In fact, now is an excellent time to continue learning, growing, and reach out to others (virtually, of course!), so we can jump back into our businesses with even more knowledge than before!

In fact, I’ll be hosting a two-week pop-up group called Pet Industry COVID-19 Survival Group which will run from Monday, March 23rd to April 6th in an effort to help educate you on the most pressing topics of the current climate. 

Join in and have NINE experts at your fingertips to help you make the BEST decisions in your business during this crisis. We’ll talk about finances, loans, unemployment, marketing, social, and more. By joining my pop-up group, you can:

  • Talk to lawyers and attorneys on the latest legislation in Congress.
  • Consult industry-leading from HR experts on sick time policy and paid leave.
  • Learn from social media and website marketers who are at the top of their game and ready to help YOU get to the top of yours.

Additionally, there are TONS of free learning resources to take advantage of – encourage your employees, colleagues, friends, and family to do the same. We’re all in this together. 

From Harvard to Princeton, here are 450 Ivy League courses you can take for FREE! 

Class Central offers more than 2700 unique business courses for free as well. Coursera has also created a centralized resource with free courses, discussions, and expert interviews.

EdX is another great spot for free online learning – check out this free course on The Science of Happiness. After all, we could use a little cheer during this time!

DigitalMarketer is offering its Lab Membership for FREE for all businesses and marketers impacted by COVID-19.

And now that we’re all spending more time online, it may be useful to work on your graphic design skills to continue catching the attention of your customers! Check out Graphic Design Essentials by HubSpot Academy and Adobe Illustrator for Absolute Beginners by EduOnix. 

A few more helpful learning programs/resources to check out are as follows:

Microsoft is offering Microsoft Teams Freemium so you and your team can stay connected through unlimited chat, private/group video calls, up to 10 GB of file storage, and real-time collaboration with Microsoft Office programs.

Zoom has altered their (free) basic plan so that you can host up to 100 participants in one meeting as well as hold unlimited 1-on-1 meetings.

Kabbage recently launched an online hub to assist U.S. small businesses boost sales as well as a system where businesses can sell gift cards to clients to use at a later date.e

Business Warrior, a software platform that delivers priorities & recommendations to business owners to overcome roadblocks, is offering a free one-year subscriptions.

It’s also important to stay active, both physically and mentally during this difficult times. Here are a few resources that can help:

Headspacea guided meditation app, has released a variety of guided meditations and exercises for free to all business and their employees.

ClassPass is offering free access to 2,000 on-demand workouts as well as giving the option to their studio partners to offer live-streamed classes on the platform.

Need something else that isn’t apart of this list? Check out findhelp.org.

Of course, this is in no way an exhaustive list. There are SO many resources for you out there and I hope you’ll take this time to jump in and expand your knowledge base.

Pet Business Owners, Remember This…

As we move forward in this “new normal”, remember this: do NOT press pause on your business goals!

Now is NOT the time to halt the business efforts that are actually making you money.

The future is coming at us fast, and these current times will end.

The most important thing is to be responsive instead of reactive

Continue to make GREAT decisions that will GROW your pet business and set you up for success. And remember to think of your colleagues, employees, and clients – reach out to them, share these resources, and stick together. 

You’ve Got This and I’m Right Here With You.

This is a uniquely challenging time and there is a lot changing minute by minute it seems. While it’s important to stay vigilant, don’t give in to the panic of the coronapocalypse. Stay engaged, be in touch with your business partners, employees, clients, friends, family, and, of course, your pets!

And, of course, this is a great opportunity for you to become a thought leader in your community. We want to provide useful, factual information to demonstrate to our clients that we’re prepared and have a plan for our business during this difficult time. 

We want to ensure that we stay calm, know our policies/procedures, and demonstrate leadership to help guide our clients and employees.

Small Business Survival During A Crisis

We are in a crisis.

Now more than ever you need to have a strong mind, arm yourself with knowledge and not go down without a fight.

People are depending on you. Your family. Your staff. Your community.

Whether you want to realize it or not YOU, the business owner, ARE a leader. People are watching you. They are waiting to see what you are going to do. Whatever you do, this is a no judgment zone and we all realize that everyone is in a different situation with different levels of loss they are experiencing.

We Are Marketing At A Funeral

I did an emergency session with one of my mentors Mark Schaefer this week. He said, Bella, we aren’t relevant anymore. Businesses in general aren’t relevant anymore and it is like we are marketing at a funeral. We must realize that we can’t just sell the way we used to. Our messaging needs to change. We need to find our new relevance.

He couldn’t be more right.

I Cried Six Times Yesterday…

I started my day getting ready and putting on my make up

With my ear buds in talking to a business owner (and Better Marketing with Bella and Mastermind member) in Ohio. In the middle of the night. He messaged me that he just wanted me to know that he would most likely be closing his business and filing for bankruptcy.

I was shocked and immediately called him.

 

 

I told him I was going to sound like that nagging girlfriend or wife but that I WASNT LETTING HIM GO DOWN WITHOUT A FIGHT. I gave him some resources to look into, I told him to do a few things, and we got off the phone both of us scared and exhausted.

Then, I shuffled into the kitchen

Where I made my breakfast and called another Better Marketing with Bella and Mastermind member in Florida. Her and I had been messaging the day before and she was down to one client and had an hour drive to her facility every day.

She was scared because business came to a hault, she wasn’t going to make payroll and her business had a very personal back story of why she started it and it broke both of our hearts that she was thinking she might lose it.

I told her the same thing, DONT YOU DARE GO DOWN WITHOUT A FIGHT.

I made a plan with her on the phone.

Challenged her to do a few things.

I told her to send me some verbiage and made her three extra graphics on the spot because her business (being pretty unique) needed to change their narrative (Thanks Mark Schaefer) and we needed to start marketing that angle.

As I moved to eating my breakfast

I called a few other clients telling them mostly the same thing but they were in different situations and also had some different outlooks on what they needed and wanted but the message stayed the same DO NOT GO DOWN WITHOUT A FIGHT.

Each time I got off the phone with these business owners I cried.

It is so hard for me, as a coach, who really does care about the livelihood of my clients to see them in despair. All I can really relate it to is a parent-child. I care so much for my Olivia and would do anything for her… but sometimes all I can do is instruct her and love her through it all. I just want to make it all better and make sure that she never hurts.

I really do feel that way about my clients.

Fight Fear with Fact

The Pet Industry COVID-19 Survival Group

I spent the rest of the day working hard at getting on the radar of some pretty heavy hitters in the financial industry. Using all my contracts sending messages out like:

I have a line up of stellar people. It is so heavy in the financial aspect to help small business owners understand the differences between furlough and layoff and what temporary closing and permanent closing and what government programs are out there or what legislation is coming or has been approved.

Join here

There is SO much happening and at warp speed right now.

So many people are scared, myself included – and I believe in fighting fear with FACT. So that is what we are going to do.

I have created a two week pop up group to educate and inform the pet industry from March 23rd to April 6th. It is called Pet Industry COVID-19 Survival Group.

We have over 10 confirmed speakers in two weeks there to support my community in all types of areas like

  • Unemployment Law
  • Human Resources
  • Small Business Finances
  • Social Media
  • Marketing
  • Contingency plans if you get sick
  • A place for kids being at home and how to run your business
  • Nutrition
  • Positivity
  • Latest News Affecting Businesses

REGISTER Pet Industry Survival

 

Please consider joining us.

This is where everything will be in ONE place. All the experts, resources, and no more sifting through random news articles being posted in other groups.

This is YOUR hub.

YOUR place to be supported and educated about YOUR business.

 

Let’s Address the Cost of This Group:

I struggled hard with this. I even polled my paid and free audiences and overwhelmingly you were in support of this. I hope you understand it has taken me about 30 hours to get this all organized for you. I hope you realize it will be incredibly valuable to you and your business. But moreso, it will not be for EVERYONE.

This is for those who have:

1. Temporarily closed their business
2. Want to FIGHT
3. Want to learn
4. Want to cut the clutter and have ONE place to go for support.

This is where I am going to show up guns blazing fighting for you. My lowest costing product out on the market is $79.00 THIS is only $29.00 for two weeks.

I hope you consider joining me because I am going to give you over $29 worth of value and just might help save your business.

Which leads me to the rest of the story…

I cried 2 more times yesterday.

It was when I got these messages:

 

These were messages from the two clients I told you about above within 2.5 hours of each other. They went beyond their comfort zone and did what they needed.

And guess what else?

Money is still rolling in. I am so proud of them I called them both immediately crying tears of happiness and relief.

Honestly… there are so many lessons to be learned here. I will let you reflect on those yourself. 🙂

I was so fired up with this that I stopped making dinner and went live on the Jump Consulting facebook page:

 

After this Facebook Live I got even more messages. People were inspired to action (which by the way is what every business coach prays for…. ACTION!) and sent out emails.

Asking for what they needed.

  • For their clients to keep allowing them to do walks.
  • For them to purchase gift certificates.

To help the small businesses get through these times. What happened was nothing short of miraculous. What I am about to share are actual messages that I have been given permission to share. This is another Better Marketing with Bella and Mastermind member 🙂

 

You Got This and I am Right Here With You.

I am sharing this to inspire YOU to action. Do not give up without a fight.

We can do this together. But it needs to be together.

Together we are stronger. Together it is harder to get down and stay down. We must be socially distant but social MEDIA TIGHT. I plea with everyone reading this to please join the group. Join me. Be educated. Let’s educate the industry. Let’s stop the fake news, the miss information from spreading, get knowledgeable about our actual options throughout this and know that we are currently going THROUGH it.

Something that the Grassroots gals Maggie and Kristen said this morning that I loved was that more people die from SHOCK than the actual accident. Don’t be one of those to just roll over and die because you don’t know your options or you haven’t gone down trying.

YOU CAN DO THIS. 
I BELIEVE IN YOU.

 

Business Women on phone

Why My Pet Sitting Business Needs SOP’s

Would you agree to board an airplane knowing that the pilot was simply ‘told’ what to do? Probably not! It’s not enough to TELL our employees what to do- it’s critical that we have clear guidelines and instructions in place to ensure our operations run smoothly and efficiently.

However, not all businesses are the same and not all standard operating procedures (SOPs) are made equal. It’s essential to have an SOP in place that is specific to YOUR business.

Business Women on phone

While you can model your SOP after other businesses, you’ll have to tweak it quite a bit for the pet care industry. If you simply try to copy and paste everything from an unrelated SOP…well, it’s a bit like wearing someone else’s underwear; it’s way better to have a fresh, clean SOP that’s tailored to your unique business!

As the owner of a pet sitting business, I quickly realized that simply telling my employees what to do was not nearly as effective as having a set of written instructions that they could follow step-by-step. Explaining how routine operations should be performed is crucial for any business, no matter the industry.

 

Wait, what exactly IS an SOP?

Standard Operating Procedures are crystal clear instructions created by a business to help employees carry out routine operations. SOPs aim to keep your business organized, increase the quality output, and create uniformity of performance. Remember, anyone in your organization should be able to understand each individual SOP.

Keep the language simple and take the time to explain key terms. SOPs help to significantly reduce miscommunication and boost overall employee confidence.

 

An SOP typically fails for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Lack of clarity
  • Lack of details
  • The SOP isn’t easy to access

 

So, where do I begin?

An SOP can be anything from creating a new blog post to invoicing a new customer to drawing up a sales report and more! No matter what industry you’re in, SOPs can be extremely helpful to keep your team on track.

Think about EVERYTHING you do for your pet sitting business – from hiring and training to onboarding and offboarding clients, there are so many systems that happen each and every day. The key is to document each of these in your SOPs.

For my pet sitting business, my SOPs are alive…okay, they don’t bark or meow at me! But I treat them as living documents that I can make changes to as needed.

As your business grows, you may want to change how you jump into things and that’s great!

 

SOP

 

Whether your business is brand new or one that is quickly growing, be sure to keep all SOPs up-to-date and easily accessible. From printed documents to online sites, let it be known where all of these procedures live.

Asana or Trello are great project management tools, and also great places to store a checklist with your Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). Here, your office staff (or you) can do a brain dump and organize the cards into categories that make sense to you. You can add people to the boards and you can share your thoughts and plans in an easy way.

 

Remember, if your SOP is out of sight, it’s out of mind for your employees

You want to create a space where these procedures live that’s easy to jump to at a moment’s notice.

Once you have clear and accessible Standard Operating Procedures in place, you can let them do the work for you – this ultimately allows you to work on the bigger picture ideas that actually enhance and grow your business!

As a business owner, if you’re looking to scale your business, add employees, and move forward, you’ll want to put together SOPs sooner rather than later. Don’t let everything live in your head – it can get way too chaotic!

Put everything down on paper – real or virtual! Whatever works best for you. Jump into creating SOPs and your future self will thank you– I promise!

 

Join Jump Mastermind

 

About The Author:

Liz Illg Headshot

Liz Illg is the Owner of Puff & Fluff Grooming and Pet Sitting with five locations in the Phoenix area. Not only has Liz turned her passion for animals into a thriving business, but she is also an expert when it comes to creating an environment of growth for your business as well. In fact, as an Operational Strategist, Liz specializes in working with small business owners and entrepreneurs. She can assist with everything from streamlining systems to creating manageable training and operational manuals. Liz received her Bachelor’s in Business from Arizona State University and her Master’s in Education from Northern Arizona University.

How To Know If You Should Promote From Within Or Hire From The Outside

How To Know If You Should Promote From Within Or Hire From The Outside

You have grown your staff of pet sitters and dog walkers, but now you need internal back-office support. Now what? You’re probably debating on how to hire and thinking that you’ll just pull one of your pet sitters/dog walkers out of the field, that’s already working for you, and promote from within as an administrative assistant.

But is that really the best way to hire? Today we’re going to compare and contrast the benefits and drawbacks of promoting from within versus hiring from the outside.

A really good book on this topic that I highly recommend is Powerful: Building A Culture of Freedom & Responsibility. Check it out! 🙂

 

Defining The Job Duties

Before we can start thinking about hiring an office assistant, we first need to pinpoint exactly what duties this person would be taking over from you. From there, we can then consider who would be right for the job.

One of the best ways to do this is to create a perfect “avatar” in your head, which essentially outlines exactly the type of person that you want to hire. Think about these details when creating your avatar:

  • Who are they?
  • Where are they in life?
  • What are their skillsets?
  • How many hours are they looking for?
  • How much work are they looking for?
  • Do they work in the office? Or remote?

Once we have our avatar clearly defined, the next step is to create a job description based on our avatar and the job duties that we identified. Don’t just make one description – we will want to make a few different job descriptions to test what actually is working and what isn’t.

Also, it’s important to keep in mind that this isn’t going to be a one-time thing. You will have to hire for this position again and again and again. Maybe you’ll get lucky and find the perfect person that works for you for a year, but the key is to think about making this an easily replicated process so we don’t have to continually invest our own time and energy.

 

Hire for Attitude

Are You Actually Ready To Hire?

Before you start hiring, it is absolutely critical that you have workflows and SOP’s (that’s standard operating procedures) created so that your new hire has guidelines and processes to follow. It needs to be all written out because employees can’t read our minds (as much as we would like them too!). The key is to transfer all of the valuable knowledge in your head to paper so that anybody can read it and follow the procedures step-by-step.

For help with this, consider reaching out to Liz Illg, a good friend of mine and a master at creating workflows/SOP’s.

 

bella vasta liz illg

Consider & Evaluate Backgrounds of People On The Team

Now don’t get me wrong, if you want to promote from within, I am totally on-board with that. The point I’m trying to make is that we need to carefully consider why you are choosing to promote from within versus hiring from the outside. What might be the easier choice, may not always be the best choice for your business.

Do you have a person on your team that just recently graduated from school and is very eager to get started in the workforce? Or maybe the employee you have in mind is someone that has been bouncing from job-to-job, is unfocused, and all over the place.

The truth is that most of the time, dog walkers & pet sitters are not a good fit for administrative assistants. They do a super job in the field, but that doesn’t always translate to the office.

 

 

JazzHr for pet sitters

 

We also have to carefully consider if we want to take them away from the excellent job they are doing as a pet sitter/dog walker. Or, maybe they are doing such a great job in the field, and the office is a better work environment for them.

The only way to really know is to create a series of assessments, also known as a “hiring gauntlet,” to see what their real skills are. Maybe they have a background in administrative work? Or maybe they just really understand what it takes to stay organized?

Also think about if this person is strictly going to follow directions, or if they can take initiative. Are they going to be able to pick up whatever you throw at them and run with it, or do you have to hold their hand? Are they a forward thinker and a go-getter?

I know it’s a lot, but all of these things are so important to consider 🙂

As business owners, it’s easy to get into the mindset that we want to promote from within because we love our staff! However, we also have to have careful consideration when it comes to evaluating skill sets and how the transition would affect the business by shifting the employee’s duties from one “department” to another. The key is to make this determination from a scientific mindset, not an emotional one.

the secret to knowing what to post on social media

The Secret To Knowing What To Post On Social Media

The Secret To Knowing What To Post On Social Media

When it comes to knowing what to post on social media, you’re probably in one of these camps:

  • You repost everyone else’s content
  • You don’t post and feel guilty about it.
  • You post way too much and get no traction or engagement.
  • You always post last-minute or spur-of-the-moment.
  • You post whenever you feel like it. The posts have limited insight into your business and don’t tell a cohesive story about who you are or what you do.

The key to knowing what to post is to create 5 buckets to save your presence.

 

the secret to knowing what to post on social media

5 Buckets To Save Your Presence

What I want you to do first is come up with 5 buckets, or categories, that your social media posts will fall into. Here are a few ideas:

  • Cats
  • Food (Pets)
  • Local Hot Spots
  • Staff Highlights
  • Pet/Life Hacks
  • Dogs
  • Food (Humans)
  • Local Dog Spots
  • Walks
  • Overnights
  • Exotics
  • Community Business
  • Hikes
  • Training
  • Clients Problems That You Solve

 

Once you pick your 5 major buckets (and you don’t have to do the ones I listed above – those are just ideas), you will now have some direction on what type of content to populate. Your posts will fall into one of your 5 categories, or it won’t.

That way when something comes across your desk, or you see a post online, you’re not necessarily going to always share it just because you like it. Try to use the buckets as a litmus test to see if it matches up. This will help you really narrow down what to post on social media.

 

Other Benefits To Using The Bucket Strategy

Now that you know you have your buckets/topics, you’ll know better where to “look” for content.

For example, maybe you want a dog walking bucket. That means you can direct your dog walkers to start sharing stories, tips, tricks, what happens on walks, etc. Extract tidbits from them that you can turn into relevant content.

Having buckets is also going to make it 100 times easier to delegate out your social media, once you’re ready.

When it’s time to hand over this position to a pet sitter or dog walker on your staff or even an office assistant, you just have to let them know about your 5 posting areas.

The bucket strategy is also going to help you be more mindful when you’re in the world traveling and out-and-about. You’ll be able to identify important and relevant content more easily.

Plus, you’ll find yourself being more present and less passive about knowing what to post social media.

 

plan not to fail

 

Better Marketing With Bella

Despite everything I just said, you still have to be creative when creating social media content. For example, maybe you find or think of a relevant piece of content, but you still have to write about it to be interesting and informative.

As business owners, we get bogged-down, overworked, stressed, tired, and anxious. We feel like our brains are going in 100 different directions, and the last thing we have time to do is to be creative about posts that are going to get people’s attention and stop the scroll.

That’s where we come in. In Better Marketing With Bella, we figure out the creative side. We create the concepts for you, so you don’t have to.

Maybe your strong suit isn’t making graphics? Some people are not the best at making graphics, and we certainly don’t want your brand’s reputation to suffer because of it. We hire professional graphic designers that can really take your brand’s image to the next level.

Plus, we give you five videos every single month. Are you going to sit down and create videos to figure out:

  • Where should the pop-up’s be?
  • How many transitions should I have?
  • How fast should the video be?
  • What kind of music should I use?
  • Where should the video pan-in/zoom-in/zoom-out?

 

Pet Social

Cheap monthly DIY Graphics for pet businesses

 

It’s a lot.

Then you have to figure out what you’re going to write in your email newsletters. Are you going to sit down and figure out what’s interesting? How will you know what’s too much, and what’s not enough?

We also make your Facebook and Instagram stories prettier. Are you going to create them in Canva/Easil and then upload them to your social platforms?

Overall, the secret to knowing what to post on social media is that there really is no secret. You literally need to plan. Maybe your plan is to let us help you through Better Marketing With Bella. Everything I listed above are actionable steps that every business owner should be doing.

You should never just be posting a Facebook status – every status needs a picture. And you should never just be posting a video – every video needs a caption!

Plan to be timely, new, relevant, and bold with your branding/logo. All of this stuff can take a long time. Start with creating your 5 buckets, but at the end of the day, you still have to create all of the content, which can be exhausting.

 

Better Marketing with Bella

pet business goals

Here’s Why Your 2020 Pet Business Goals Are Probably Dead By Now

Here’s Why Your 2020 Pet Business Goals Are Probably Dead By Now

 

Did you know that studies show approximately 80% of New Years Resolutions fail by the second week of February? If you’re reading this right now, chances are that you are not keeping up with your pet business goals each and every day – am I right?

Don’t worry, because I am here to get you back on track 🙂

Maybe you aren’t sure why your resolutions died a quick death. Here’s a few things to consider:

  • Did you plan not to fail?
  • Did you set your goals?
  • How are you doing with your goals?

Today we’ll discuss a few of my surefire strategies for goal planning to keep the momentum up and the creative juices flowing.

 

pet business goals

SMART Goals

Before you can properly execute goals, it’s important to understand what goals are. So what are goals? The pet business goals we like to talk about in the Mastermind are SMART Goals.

S – Specific: It’s important to be specific about the goal that you want to accomplish. Think about this step as a sort of “mission statement” for your goal and should include the 5 W’s – who, what, when, where, and why?

M – Measurable: Next, think about what metrics you are going to use to determine whether or not you’re on track for your goal. This makes your goal tangible since you’ll have a way to properly measure your progress.

A – Attainable: Now, think about how important your goal is to you and what you need in order to make it achievable. Perhaps you need a specific tool or skill – how are you going to obtain that to achieve your goal?

R – Relevant: Life moves fast as a business owner, so we want to make sure that we are setting goals that are in alignment with your broad business goals. In short, don’t waste your time on something that is not going to help you get where you want to go.

T – Timely: This is perhaps one of the most important steps. Anybody can set a goal, but a goal without realistic timing is nothing more than a wish. Set reasonable, specific deadlines and hold yourself to them!

 

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Term Length

When setting your pet business goals, what is the timeframe you set for yourself for achieving them? Are they 1-year, 5-year, or 10-year goals?

Now think about this – what were your goals last year? Do you remember specifically? Did you achieve them? Did you think about them every day? Did you write them down?

The timeframe that I really like to help people focus on is 90-day goals. In fact, research shows that our brains just simply cannot absorb long-term, multi-year goals. They are too complex, overwhelming, and lack instant gratification.

90-day goals allow us to achieve a sense of instant gratification and allow us to celebrate small wins. It’s a short enough amount of time to comprehend your goals, and you can even break them down further into 30-day and 60-day goals. These timeframes are more achievable and lead to greater success.

Plus, don’t forget to celebrate your wins! Celebrating is immensely important but is often forgotten.

 

celebrate your wins

 

Why Did You Fail?

No accountability. If your goals are a secret, it’s tough to hold yourself accountable. People need to know about your pet business goals (i.e. friends, family, etc.) so they can help support and encourage you.

Not clearly defined. A goal like ” I want more balance in my life” or “I want to be healthier” is too broad. What do those things mean? You want to break your goal down to an attainable, step-by-step plan. It’s really hard to achieve a goal if not properly defined.

Too Tired/Stressed/Not Enough Time. Most of us are overworked, anxiety-ridden, and maybe even depressed due to having no direction in life. Maybe you have trouble even falling asleep. Is that why you failed? Because you were tired or stressed? Stress and anxiety come from not being decisive.

Uncommitted. Writing a goal down or having a visual cue is an important and necessary first step. But it’s just that – a first step. Maybe you had your goal written down on the door or mirror, but you weren’t committed every day. Maybe you walked by your goal each day and thought, “Someday I’ll do that.” Remember this: someday will never come!

 

falling apart

 

Be A Winner

  • Post Your Goal. You need to be able to see your goal every day. This can be done through a vision board, sign, sticky note, etc. Post it somewhere visible like your closet or bathroom.
  • Tell Somebody. Goals shouldn’t be secrets! You need to tell the important people in your life such as your friends and family about your goals so they can hold you accountable. Maybe you will post your goal on Facebook so it can remind you in a year? Or maybe you have an accountability partner or best friend to help keep you on track?
  • Be Intentional. How are you making decisions with your goals in mind? When you squeeze out an extra 30 minutes in your day, are you falling back on your goals? Are your goals the backbone of your day?

 

Jessica joined the Jump Mastermind after being on the fence about trying to get her pet sitting business off the ground and working a part-time job. She joined the Mastermind and made the jump. Cut her part-time job down to about 5-10 hours a week.

She made her 90-day goals and all of a sudden we just kept seeing DONE, DONE, DONE, DONE written on there. She now has a complete client retention plan, key performance indicator sheets…. and wait, let me just show you. Her current goals include:

Current Goals:
Focus Words for 2020 = Growth, Consistency, Control
Super Big Goals for 2020:
1. $150,000 in revenue with a 35% profit with me being in field less than 5% of the time (~27 visits a month). I will do this to match my previous, full time Chemistry income.

–> This will be done by focusing on getting 3-4 regular dog walking or puppy program (5X a week clients) in each of our servicing towns. Pet sitting and irregulars can supplement this goal as dailies sometimes take breaks for holidays, life changes, etc.

2. Be confident and proud of our employee and customer experience programs measured by employee retention of at least 1 year (unsure how to measure customer experience program success – Bella help?)

3. Ability to work on the weekends at my leisure by hiring a weekend manager. I will do this so I can spend more time with my family, friends and significant other without worrying or feeling guilty. I will also have the option TO work if I’d like to.
There are more, but I am going to stop there.
This girl is on FIRE!
I see this all of the time. I can peg with a 99% accuracy who will do well in the Mastermind and take off flying. All we need is a little community, encouragement, and accountability.
So listen to me… please.

If you want to get crystal clear. If you want to take your business where YOU want it to go. If you want to have time and monetary freedom in life… and you aren’t getting it right now, it might be a good time to stop doing what you are currently doing and try something new.

I would love to help you.

How Do You Know If Your Staff Is Retaining The Info In Your Training?

How Do You Know If Your Staff Is Retaining The Info In Your Training?

How Do You Know If Your Staff Is Retaining The Info In Your Training?

 

How Do You Know If Your Staff Is Retaining The Info In Your Training?

 

As business owners, we spend countless hours per day dealing with all things staff. This could range from hiring and training to just answer staff questions through phone calls or text. Managing your staff is a never-ending routine, and I see it leading to burnout all too often. Maybe you’ve even had one of these thoughts cross your mind recently?

 

“Why don’t my staff just know how to do their job?”

“I cannot believe my staff didn’t know how to do XYZ”

“Are they really calling me about such a stupid question?”

“Why don’t my staff have any common sense?”

 

There are a few potential reasons why you and your staff are having this disconnect. First, your staff may not know how to find the information. Or, perhaps maybe they lack the confidence to do what they think is the right course of action. Perhaps they know the answer, but they’re so afraid of upsetting you that they just aren’t 100% sure.

Today we’re going to explore a few proven methods for how you can ensure that your staff is retaining your training materials, which will ultimately build their confidence within their role while freeing up time for you! 🙂

 

Testing & Training

What type of tests do you have for your staff? There are many kinds of tests, but some of the most popular are in-person, written, and on-the-go.

A popular method that I’ve always recommended (and used in my own business!) is to give newly hired pet sitters a written test during their orientation. My pet sitting employee handbook and training manual used to be 60+ pages long, so it really wouldn’t be fair or reasonable to expect them to remember every piece of information on every page. That’s where my 10-question written test came in – to help hone in on those key areas I really wanted my staff to remember.

 

Employee Handbook and Training Manual

 

Another type of test, the in-person test, is perfect to use during training and ride-along. Having a newly-hired pet sitter aimlessly shadowing can be overwhelming without a clear sense of direction. It’s important to be realistic and understand that the human brain is really good at retaining a few pieces of key information, but isn’t always so good at remembering all of the tiny, minute details.

One way to really drive home those important hitters is to come up with a “10 Point Visit Checklist” or something similar that you can demonstrate and walkthrough during your training visits.

Last but not least – testing is not only reserved for new hires! A great method to use for seasoned employees is testing-on-the-go. When you’re asked questions, try to refrain from just feeding them the answer.

I know that can sound a little strange, but always answering every single question point-blank can hurt your staff more than it’s helping them. You want to encourage them to think critically and teach them how to find the answer themselves, instead of reinforcing the idea that you’ll serve as an open-book of information.

 

Check out this example:

Pet Sitter: I need some help – I’m currently at a client’s home and I don’t see one of their cats. What should I do?

You: That’s a great question. What do you think you should do?

Pet Sitter: Well, first I think I should fully search the house, including all potential hiding spaces. Maybe then I can bring out some treats to try and entice the kitty to come out.

You: Perfect – give that a try first and let’s see how it goes 🙂 

 

See how much more fruitful that is for your staff? You allowed the employee to think through the problem and come up with the solution themselves, instead of you telling them outright.

 

Onboarding

Here comes the big question – how often within 3 months are you reusing your training materials? That’s right – I’m looking at all of the people who whip out their employee handbook/training manual for orientation, only for it never to be looked at again by your staff.

I get it – being a business owner is busy.

However, it’s really important to get away from the mindset that training is “one-and-done.” Training is an ongoing, never-ending learning process, so we want to make sure you are consistently reintegrating your training materials into your staff’s routine.

Let’s take a step back and do some thinking.

How many staff meetings do you have per month, quarter, or year? Of these meetings, how big/small are they? Are they mandatory, expected, or optional? What kind of meetings are they? Are they meetings over a meal, or a group Zoom call? How do you communicate with your staff? Do you use email, texting, or Slack?

Take some time to really think about these questions and determine what you’ve found to work and what you’ve found not to work.

To help with this, Liz Illg, pet business powerhouse, and myself are coming out soon with a brand-new series of 12 professionally-shot videos that you can reuse again and again for staff meetings. Stay tuned for more information on this project 🙂

 

Ways To Learn Your Training Info

It’s also important to recognize that people learn in all different kinds of ways. A one-size-fits-all approach is just simply not effective for ensuring your staff retaining your training information. In fact, research shows that there are 7 different learning styles:

  • Visual/Spatial: Using images or visual cues to process information.
    • Examples: Pictures, videos, and demonstrations.
  • Auditory/Musical: Responding primarily to sound
    • Examples: Audio recordings or audiobooks
  • Verbal/Linguistic: Learns under both verbal instruction and through writing.
    • Examples: Handbooks, training manuals, and tests.
  • Physical/Kinesthetic: Going through the motions of what is being learned.
    • Examples: Hands-on training, ridealongs
  • Logical/Mathematical: Learns through understanding the reasoning behind content and skills.
    • Examples: Dog/Cat behavior guides
  • Social/Interpersonal: Natual group workers that are engaged with others and love working within teams.
    • Examples: Group training sessions and activities.
  • Solitary/Intrapersonal: Individuals who prefer to learn on their own and keep to themselves.
    • Examples: Employee Handbook/Training Manual self-study

It’s important to understand and keep these different learning styles in mind so that you have training content that can meet the needs of any type of learner. A great start is to implement video training within your pet sitting business.  and to develop an employee handbook/training manual.

 

Ask Clients

Another way that we can make sure your staff is retaining information is to simply ask your clients! Here are a few questions that can help:

  • How clean was your house when you returned?
  • Would you recommend us to your neighbors?
  • Was your dog visibly tired after his/her walk?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how safe do you feel with us coming and going from your home?

On one hand, it makes clients feel good that their opinion matters and on the other hand, you are obtaining valuable feedback. Don’t feel pushy asking for feedback! If you do it on a regular basis, it will come to be expected and your clients won’t mind at all 🙂

Overall, pouring into your staff and a fun and resourceful way, not in a dominating way, can go a long way towards training retention. It’s important to recognize that training is not just a 2-hour orientation, but an ongoing process that’s implemented into your long term plan with employees.

Join Jump Mastermind

dog walking job

How Do I Know If The Candidate Is Right For The Pet Sitting or Dog Walking Job?

Finding the right employees is critical for your business. Not only do you need to hire people to get the job done, but these folks should also uphold your mission and company values. If you’ve just finished an interview for a pet sitting or dog walking job but you’re still feeling unsure whether or not this person is your ideal pet sitter/dog walker, you’re not alone! It can be tough to discern one candidate from another– especially if you’re having great conversations. 

Just because you get along well with a candidate doesn’t mean they’d be an ideal employee. Don’t jump right in and hire the wrong person! There are three major points you should note when deciding on a new hire. 

 

Three Steps To Knowing If The Candidate Is Right For the Pet Sitting or Dog Walking Job:

  1. Start Prepping for the Dog Walking Job Early.

  2. Pay Attention to the Speed.

  3. Have Proper Evaluations

sign up for jazzhr

 

Start Prepping For The Dog Walking Job Early


How do you know if you’ve found the right candidate for the dog walking job? Ideally, you should already know before his or her resume even lands on your desk. Think about people you’d like to hire down the road – what type of person are you looking for? 

 

  • What type of gauntlet are you going to create? 
  • What are you testing candidates for? 
  • What kind of phases or hoops are you going to have folks jump through? 

Remember, hiring starts a long time before it actually starts. The earlier you prep, the easier it’ll be to recognize an excellent candidate from a poor one when they apply. 

If you wait to think about the characteristics of the person you need at the point in time when you really need them, you’ll be overwhelmed. It might even pressure you to quickly hire someone unfit for the job. 

I have four phases I utilize within Jazz HR to keep track of candidate progress. Sometimes that involves having a candidate get on camera for a video chat. Sure, it can be awkward – but how far are you willing to go for the job? That is what this Phase really shows the interviewer.

It’s not about having great lighting or even how good of a speaker the candidate is. It’s about getting outside of your comfort zone– it also tests how well this person interacts with different software platforms. If you can’t send one min video, how computer literate are you? 

Questions aren’t just being thrown against the wall to see what sticks. You need to have distinct correct and incorrect answers for every question you ask. 

Still feeling unsure about knowing if someone is right for the dog walking or pet sitting job? Join the free 3-hour Jump and Scale avatar training class. You’ll learn how to prep for hiring and how to ultimately hire the right person.

 

jump & scale

 

 

Pay Attention to the Speed in Which You Offer the Pet Sitting or Dog Walking Job.

Think about dating – if you went on a date and you didn’t hear back from the person for two weeks, you’d lose interest! The same goes for hiring a new employee. You have to be intentional about speed. 

 

You should be interacting with potential hires at least once a day. There should never be a point where days and days go by. Remember, these people are looking for jobs. The candidates you’re meeting with are probably interviewing with many other companies. If you really want someone, you need to act fast. 

On the flip side, you’ll know a person isn’t right for the job if they don’t respond to you just as quickly. However, if you haven’t heard back, consider these points:

  • Did you give them a date to respond to? 
  • Were there clear expectations? (ex. please respond within 24 hours to still be considered)

With our unemployment rate so low (3.7%), it’s critical now more than ever that companies be attractive to candidates. How long or short is your hiring process? Is it something you can move through very quickly, or does it take weeks and weeks of your time? How long is your probationary period? 

These are all questions you need to think about. When I hire someone, I give them a 30-day probationary period. By then, you’ll find out if what they said during the interview is truth or fiction. It will also give you time to complete any outstanding background checks. 

Plus, you get to create key testable moments. See what their attitude is after they’ve been walking dogs all day or have had to walk in the rain.

 

dog walking job

 

Always Evaluate the Person You Are Interviewing For The Dog Walking Job

 

No matter how much you enjoyed your time with a candidate on a personal level, you need to evaluate how he or she would be as an employee. Consider the following questions:

  • Is this person able to be a self-starter?
  • Are they going to be able to take initiative?
  • Are they going to know all the tools they need are in the toolshed? 

If you hire someone who is constantly poking his or her head in the house to ask where to go/what to do/etc., then this person is not going to be the best hire. 

Consider how you’re going to evaluate each person as well. 

  • Is it a mathematical process? 
  • Will you use a 1-10 score? 

The process will become less emotional and more analytical this way.

 

You need to know exactly what number means what. If they get a 6, they’re disqualified; it doesn’t matter how much you like them.  

Remember – a visionary should not be involved in the nitpicking and sifting through applications and going through first and second interviews. 

The key to knowing if a candidate is right for a pet sitting job is to create a system so you’re not wasting time/money/effort on things that don’t matter. When you put in the forethought and make hiring a  measurable process, you can quantify your gamble with the odds in your favor. 

 

How Can You Tell If The Candidate is Right For The Pet Sitting or Dog Walking Job?

Consider what you want or can manifest what you want beforehand…many people jump right in before they even know what they want in a new hire! If you can prep, be quick, and have a process for evaluation, you’ll be golden. Do you have any secrets to your process? I would love to know. Feel free to share below! 

 

jazzhr

Click to only see qualified applicants for your pet sitting company!

Fonts

Are You Using The Wrong Font In Your Pet Business Graphics?

font

 

When I created my first flier back in 2003 for my former company “Bella’s House & Pet Sitting” it was a wreck. I think I used clip art for Microsoft word. I used ariel font and I hadn’t a clue what font my logo was at the time.

Everything I created looked so homemade, and although we didn’t have all the amazing image creating programs we have these days, like Easil, I still had no excuse.

But they don’t tell you to “know your fonts” or have a brand guide when you start out. Heck, you are lucky if you have a logo that isn’t created from clip art!

It wasn’t until I was ten years in business that I even knew what a brand guide was and that is why I am typing this to you today.

What Does A Font Say?

Take a look at the above fonts. What do they feel to you? Each one is very different, right? Imagine your brand sporting each one of those fonts. Let me note that each of those fonts are all in the same exact font size so you can see how some are larger and smaller than others.

Here are my thoughts:

  • Are – Pretty run of the mill. Standard. Believable. Professional even.
  • You – Same as above, although it is a little larger.
  • Using – Hard to read. Maybe even midevil? It makes me have to think about what it is saying.
  • The – Looks like a magic marker? Little more authentic. Like someone wrote it. Personable?
  • Wrong – That is pretty in your face. Sorta playful.
  • Font – Little kid handwriting. Not professional. Almost childish and not instilling a lot of trust.
  • In – Too scrolly. Also pretty large
  • Your – I think it is fun and playful. I dig it. Although it is a bit small.
  • Business – Juvenile. Like I would see it at a preschool or something like that? Also very large… perhaps hard from a design perspective?

There are thousands of fonts out there! It sure can get overwhelming to decide what you want for your brand. But a decision must be made.

Think for a minute.

Can you picture the font for Disney?

Now imagine that font on McDonald’s. Whaaaaat? That wouldn’t look right!?!

You would see the McDonald’s sign and see the font and immediately THINK of Disney… even though that isn’t what it is representing.

Pet Social

Cheap monthly DIY Graphics for pet businesses

Your Font Can Evoke Emotion or Non Emotion

This is where using two fonts in your branding can be beneficial. The main font can be bold, attention-grabbing, emotional, while the second font should be more run of the mill. Or at least that is what I believe!

Your main font should be something that reflects your brand. Are you professional? Serious? Playful? Loving? Don’t be afraid to use two fonts.

How Are You Using Your Fonts?

Your fonts are things you should know the name of. You should own a license to it, if it is not free already. You should have it on your website, logo, all marketing materials, brochures, apparel, everything! It is what helps you be noticed for “Oh that is so and so company.” The problem is I don’t see many pet companies following through with this.

It is a factor that we have always tried to acknowledge with our Better Marketing with Bella program. It is where we provide emails, graphics, videos, captions, gifs, and more to our members every single month. Not only is their logo and colors used, but also their fonts. We believe that it is important to keep the cohesiveness of your brand. You can get on the waitlist for this program if you are interested!

BMWB

Sick of doing your own graphics? Want us to do them for you? Space is limited.

How A Font Can Help You In A Rebrand.

If you want to give your company a facelift, sometimes all it takes is a font change. Take for example when I did this to Jump Consulting. I felt like it was too corporate and I went on a mission to change it. It was a slight change but I feel made a big difference.

We went from this Times New Roman type font:
jump consulting old logo

to the logo you see at the top of this page. The Font is less structured and a little more playful to me. So two years ago I changed it. I also changed from red and white to blue and white but that is an entirely different blog *wink*

What Does Your Font Say About Your Company?

So how did you pick your font? Did you pick your font? Did a designer do it? Did you pick it based off a bunch shown to you. WHY did you pick that font? What do you think your font(s) say about your company? Tell me below in the comments. I want to know!

video training

Here’s Why You Should Do Video Training In Your Pet Sitting Company

Whether you have new hires or you want to give current staff a refresher on your business, planning a training session can be time-consuming and overwhelming! You want your employees to be able to jump right into things, but what’s the best way to support staff learning within your pet sitting business? Video training is the answer.

Research has shown that video improves learning results. In a digital world where people’s attention spans are becoming shorter and shorter, the video provides a snappy solution for training staff members.

Forrester Research estimates “one minute of online video equates to approximately 1.8 million written words.” Isn’t that crazy!?

Additionally, “90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual– and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text!”

video training

 

If you want your staff to retain as much information as possible about your business then setting up video training should be your next step. Here are some helpful tips to get you started:

  1. Keep it short and sweet.
    If you’re going to do video trainings, don’t create super long content. If you have several topics you want to discuss, break them up into smaller videos.
  2. Break up videos with images.
    While talking heads are great to drive points home, nobody is going to want to stare at one person talking to a camera for 3 minutes. Jazz up training videos with fun images, infographics, and other visuals to keep your staff members engaged.
  3. Make your videos interactive.
    Once you’ve got your staff’s attention with videos, keep them engaged with tests, polls, and other interactive features. You can include buttons within videos that say, “click here to learn more!” and other call to action phrases.

Video Training Online When They Are Alert.

This is also great for staff members because they can complete these trainings from anywhere! You can designate time at work for them to do the trainings, or allow people to complete them at home. It’s also a huge benefit if the videos are both mobile- and web-friendly.

Video Training Is More Likley To Be Consumed

Again, according to Forrester Research, “employees are 75 percent more likely to watch a video than to read documents, emails or web articles.” Another great thing about video training is that your staff members can always refer back to them.

video training

 

It can be difficult and time-consuming to sort and sift through physical documents to try and find a resource or bit of information needed for work. With video, staff members can jump in and go to the exact point in the video with the information they were looking for.

Gartner Research also recommends video as a support tool, especially for training purposes One report notes, “There are cost and time savings to be made in reusing content, compared to running the same live conferencing session multiple times.”

Join Jump Mastermind

Video Training Doesn’t Have To Be Boring.

Video is an excellent tool because it can take so many different forms. It can be animated, it can be you and your team members talking, or a mix and match! You don’t have to follow some corporate structure when creating your videos – keep the content true to your business and your brand!

Training videos can be exciting, humorous, informative, and engaging all at once. Of course, your tone may vary on the topic being discussed but definitely get creative with your content. If you’re feeling overwhelmed with staff trainings, video can help take much of that pressure off so that you can spend more time jumping into other projects!

Incorporating Video Training Into Your Pet Business Onboarding Program:

Videos can also be incorporated at any point in staff training. Once you hire a new pet sitter or dog walker, you can send them an intro training video to get them started. You can provide new videos each quarter or annually to staff members as well.

Video also provides a great way for employees to understand everyone’s role within your organization. It’s easy for people to get caught up in their own day-to-day jobs, but video training can really bring everyone together to ensure your team is on the same page.

Beware! Video Training Is Only One Component

Of course, you shouldn’t replace all pieces of training with video. Be sure to make yourself available if members of your staff have questions following a training video. Plus, while many people are visual learners, make note that not everyone will be. There may still be a need to have physical documents for training as well as in-person sessions, depending on a person’s role within your company.

Have fun with these staff training videos and know that they’ll ultimately serve to help everyone to learn in a way that will save both time and money.

Better Marketing with Bella

 

How to Make Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Applicants Fall in Love With Your Business

One of the most challenging aspects of running any pet sitting business is the hiring process. Not only are you looking for those who align with your values and mission, you are trying to convince people why they should want to work for you! Many business owners forget that hiring is a two-way street. In fact, it’s much like dating: hiring is about people loving you as much as you love them! 

Below are five tips that all employers need to understand.

  1. Update job description wording
  2. Start asking different questions
  3. Create a shorter timeline
  4. Add extra touches
  5. Give visuals

Remember, the hiring process should be exciting for both hirers and applicants. Many hiring managers and employers complain that applicants don’t get back to them– chances are you just need a little help in the application department.

Pet Sitting Applicants

Update Your Dog Walking and Pet Sitting Job Description Wording

When you’re looking to fill a pet sitting position – and any position for that matter! – wording within your job description is crucial.

Remember, looking for a job can be really tedious and depressing for people. It can be exhausting sifting through help wanted ads, especially when so many ads simply list what people should be doing or what they need to have.

Try and make your job titles and descriptions more fun and off the beaten path.

Don’t be afraid to use a more conversational tone, like, ‘hey girl, imagine this!…’. 

Descriptive words paint a visual picture, making prospective hires much more interested in you than the sea of more robotic job descriptions. Looking for pet sitters?

Let them know, ‘this is a job you’ll never want to let go of because you’ll be out in the sunshine with dogs!’

Let the personality of both you and your business really shine through. Don’t know where to start? My advice is to record yourself talking about who you’re looking for and what you want out of a new hire. Then you can write down the words you actually want to convey!

Start Asking Different Questions

During the hiring process, there are tons of questions – from the job application itself to the actual interview.

Of course, you’ll have to address the more standard (boring) questions like, ‘Do you have a car?’, ‘Do you have insurance?’, etc.

But, again, don’t be afraid to have fun with your questions!

Ask applicants why they think your job would be the best job ever, or why they stopped scrolling and made the decision to apply. For a pet sitting gig, you may even ask a fun questions like, ‘What’s your favorite dog breed?’ 

Also, don’t be afraid to break up the interview process into phases.

By the time you get someone in front of you, you should already know a lot about them. But that’s only possible if you ask the right questions beforehand. Of course, you don’t want your job description and application to have five pages of questions– break it up into five interview phases instead!

Create a hierarchy of needs for your business; is it really important that someone is a caretaker? Then ask about responsibility and showing up on time. By now you’re in the third or fourth phase of the interview process and can really dive into the nitty gritty!

Applicants

Create A Shorter Timeline For Applicants

The hiring process can be quite lengthy if you don’t have all your ducks – err, dogs – in a row!

You want to make sure the time it takes you to get applicants through the process is short but along. What I mean by that is you’ll want to have a workflow set-up into phases. But make it simple for someone to move through them – for example, a person can move from phase one to two with just the click of a mouse depending on their responses.

You don’t want to waste time with applicants who aren’t the right fit, so be sure to get them through these phases first. Really think about them ahead of time; it’ll be time consuming but, in the words of author Steve Kamb, “we all start at suck.”

When you meet someone face-to-face, you should be armed with as much knowledge about them as they have about your business– but don’t drag this process out. If it’s more than a week, it’s too long. People are not going to wait around for you and will simply find another pet sitting job.

Join Jump Mastermind

Add Extra Touches – Little Things Matter!

If you want to stand out from other employers, you’ll want to make applicants feel special throughout the hiring process.

Whether it’s buying a cup of coffee if you’re meeting face-to-face or using a feature where you send a follow-up text after they’ve submitted an application, there are so many small things that can make a huge difference!

Remember, people are applying to a lot of jobs and you want to think of little things to help applicants along the way to show that you’re an employer who really cares. If you’re meeting via Zoom, something as simple as sending instructions via email beforehand to make sure the applicant is all set can be a game changer. Even the most qualified applicants can get nervous before interviews, so this is a neat way to ease a bit of stress.

Dog Walking Applicant

Give Visuals

Applying for jobs is a bit like blind dating – even with the job description and interviews, you may still be unsure what you’re getting yourself into.

When you think about hiring someone, consider showing them what a pet sit looks like. Instagram stories can be great for this. Create highlight reels for pet sitting, dog walking, cat sitting, etc. and send applicants links to short videos. This will give them much more insight as to what they can expect when working for you. Consider having a staff member speak on camera about why he/she loves working for you. 

You Be You, Boo!

There are so many ways you can make pet sitting and dog walking applicants fall in love with your business.

Remember, there is no exact formula you need to follow – stay true to your business and your brand when writing job descriptions.

Keep your tone more conversational and be quick to respond to any prospective hire’s questions, comments, or concerns. If they know you truly care, they’ll be that much more eager to accept a position at your company!

 

mastermind pet sitting

Dog gif from Easil

6 Ways To Plan and Create Your Graphics For The Next 3 Months

Feeling overwhelmed with content creation? Spend more time with clients and their beloved four-legged friends by planning and creating your graphics ahead of time! While jumping in and creating three months’ worth of content may sound harrowing, it’ll save you plenty of time in the end– trust me! 

 

This practice is becoming increasingly more common in marketing and is known as “batching.” Batching is essentially taking time – with little to no distractions – to concentrate on completing “batches” of work in one sitting.

Of course, you can take breaks, but the key here is to complete a bunch of work ahead of time so you don’t have to constantly worry about it. You’ll be able to focus more of your attention on bigger ideas! 

planning graphics

 

When it comes to planning and creating graphics for your pet business, a big problem for many is that it becomes a daily bug. To keep your business relevant, you want to be present across various social platforms.

However, if you save this work until the last minute, it becomes easy to simply re-share other people’s content. While that’s not a bad thing, you don’t want to become so stressed that you copy work from others. 

 

For fresh and original content, take time to plan ahead. Below are six tips for you to jump in!

 

1. Look at Your Calendar


When preparing graphics for the next three months, take time to look at all upcoming dates on the calendar. Make note of common holidays and lesser-known ‘fun holidays.’ From National Walk Your Dog Month (January) to Pet Obesity Day (Oct. 10), there are plenty of days to create content around! Any holidays or an upcoming event that has to do with dog walking or pet sitting should be recognized. Consider when people may be traveling a lot and will be looking for your services in greater demand.

graphic pet business

2. Make Note of Your Launches or Promotions

Take a look at your upcoming launches and marketing promotions for the year. Consider creating special content around different points in the year. Perhaps it’s back to school time – people will be looking for dog walkers and pet sitters while their children are at school. Maybe it’s summer and you know dog walking might drop, but pet sitting will spike. Create graphics that highlight these points to grab people’s attention. By planning graphics ahead of time, you’ll always be a step ahead of the game!

 

3. Decide On The Platform


The market is saturated with various marketing design tools and websites. It’s easy to get swept up, designing random graphics on different platforms. One of my favorite tools is also one of my partners, Easil. It’s an easy-to-use platform that allows content creates to make all sorts of fun marketing materials! Plus, you can easily store your brand’s fonts, colors, and more to make designing a breeze. If you enjoy making videos, I’d recommend using wave.video as well!

There is even a service that is lead by a major graphic designer and software Founder that provides pet businesses with new graphics each month. Technically, you could go in there every three months and download 40 graphics for your business. Not just download, but also add your logo, change the color to your colors AND then fonts. Pretty nifty, huh? Check out Pet Social. I am hooking you up with $30 off a month if you use code BV30

4. Create a Brand Guide

Having a brand guide – or brand bible – is essential for any business! This guide should include:

  • The lingo your brand uses
  • Your brand colors
  • Your brand fonts
  • Templates
  • Emojis
  • and more

Brand guides ensure that anyone who works with your company can have a great understanding of how your brand should look and sound. They should be able to look at this guide and understand what kind of graphics and copy is expected of your brand.

Having cohesive messaging and style is key when marketing your unique services. It is the difference between you knowing that it is Apple, or Mercedes, or Disney, and not knowing what the brand is because the design isn’t consistent.

5. Types of Graphics


When planning ahead, you’ll want to consider the type of graphics you’re going to create. Different things you could consider:

  • Are you going to keep the graphics clean, crisp, and simplistic?
  • Is your messaging going to be funny?
  • Will it be educational?
  • Do you want your graphics to convey unique tips for clients and/or users?
  • Will you use GIFs/videos/etc.?

There is so much to consider, especially with the plethora of tools available today! Do yourself a huge favor by figuring out the type of graphics and how many you’ll create of each type in advance. Take a look at this. It is a gif that was made in Easil for our Better Marketing with Bella program. 

via GIPHY
 

6. Schedule it


Now that you’ve created all of this content ahead of time, you’ll want to be sure to use a scheduling tool to get it out there! The last thing you want is to create graphics only to forget or become too busy to actually post them! I recommend using a tool like Agorapulse (get two free months with this link) which allows users to schedule the date and time for each post on whichever platform you choose (Facebook, Instagram, etc.).  When you take time to schedule everything in advance, all you’ll have to do is engage with people once something’s posted.

You can also use a ContentCal to collect articles and graphics you like and schedule them to post. Check them out here and use JUMPCONSULTING for $30 off.

*I am an affiliate for both of these companies.

Only Plan and Create Your Graphics Every 3 Months!

These 6 points are all the things you need to consider when creating graphics for your pet business ahead of time. If you can sit down and answer these questions, you’ll only have to do ‘batching’ once every three months!

Umm, amazing, right? Then, you just have to worry about engaging with everyone.

That’s just four times a year versus having to create last-minute daily content.

Have you always wanted to do more with your marketing but don’t know how? Or you just don’t have the time that it takes? I’m here to help! Join me for Better Marketing with Bella! Sign up today to reserve your spot on the waitlist. 

BMWB

2020 predictions

2020 Predictions for Your Pet Business

Each year I set out to write an epic post about what has been changing in the pet industry and how you can take it into consideration when planning the next year coming up.

Last year I wrote about the State of the Pet Industry in 2019 and commented on some major trends I was seeing like:

  • The Consumers Are Changing From Baby Boomers To Millennials
  • There Are A Lot Of Pet Sitting And Dog Walking Businesses For Sale
  • Rover And Wag Have Entered The Room
  • Regulations Are In Full Effect
  • Pet Sitting And Dog Walking Businesses Are Growing At The Fastest Rate Ever!
  • The Use Of Software Is (and Will Continue To Be) at an All-Time High

All of these have proven to be very real and relevant in the way the industry is growing and changing and those who have decided to embrace these trends have been the ones that have grown.

2020 predictions

More Educated Business Investments

I was on the phone last month with a couple who were considering buying a $500K business in a major city and I advised them not to because the workers were all non-compliant. (Also known as…) They were all independent contractors.

After explaining to them the implications that it would mean for their investment, they were in agreement. They didn’t want to gamble their investment on something that could come down the pipeline and hurt them. They didn’t want the high risk associated with independent contractors. Ninety percent of the businesses I get to know with ICs are operating out of compliance.

If you are a business that is growing and scaling – please make sure that you are compliant. A great resource for this is the Pet Industry Coalition. They are a group of tremendous pet business owners encouraging pet sitters to be in compliance with all the major employment laws that are increasingly waving through the country.

 

Using Rover To Your Advantage

Rover isn’t going anywhere. In fact they continue to raise more and more money and they aren’t deflating anytime soon.

It is time to get our heads out of the sand and realize that a real value proposition is important.

via GIPHY

 

Understanding why people pick them is important. We had an astounding discussion about this inside the Mastermind a few months ago with our Hot Seat guest Dan Gingiss, a customer experience guru who really drove home the idea that the reason why Rover is killing it is because of their user experience.

Ask yourself:

1. Does my website click or scroll?
2. Can someone sign up with me and feel like they can check pet care off their to-do list?
3. How emotional is my website?
4. How interactive is my website?
5. Is my website about me or my potential client and their problems?

Re-doing your website is a tough thing. It is hard to get outside your own head and understand what to write for the copy. It is hard to understand what you are selling, what your calls to action should be, what the HERO story is all about. That is why (sometimes) it is important to have someone help you with this. Of course, I have a person for this *wink*

Rover it successful isn’t because their pet sitting and dog walking is so amazing.  It is because their pathway to entry is so easy that a busy mom can do it half asleep in bed at 1am.

However you might agree or disagree with this – the fact remains, this is real life. This is what you are competing against.

Technology.

2020 predictions

Get Smarter Using Technology

I would like to predict that in 2020 business owners will get smarter about the technology they are using in 3 different ways:

1. They will use the technology they have at their fingertips and PAYING for to its fullest advantage. There is nothing more disheartening when a company has technology but only using 20% of its capabilities.
2. Evaluate if the limitations of the technology they are using, and the workarounds they have created are helping or hurting their business and make changes accordingly.
3. Get their entire staff and clientele to adopt the usage of all the technology to help increase their business systems therefor actually reducing some costs.

This really can mean a lot of things. Here are some ideas:

  • Investing in a robust social media scheduler, tracker, inbox, listening, Facebook ad reporting software like Agora Pulse (click the link for two free months)
  • Learning to adjust notifications on your phone. This could be taking all notifications off for every app. Including Facebook and Instagram. It could mean putting it on Do Not Disturb certain times a day. Pausing your email inbox. Creating ring tones for the public vs your contacts or VIPS in your life.
  • Using apps like Itunes to feed your brain while driving or walking. Or apps like Audible or Brain.fm when you want to learn or get in the zone.
  • Charging credit cards only once a week, therefore, cutting down on the time you need to reconcile your books or chase after payments.

2020 predictions agora pulse

The Dark Social

A LOT of selling is going to start happening in what we call dark social. It is all the places where the communication feels private and like the whole world can’t see what you are talking about. This is in the personal DMs, it is Chat Bots, it is Facebook Groups, Stories, and more “private” places on the web. I say that with quotes because simply put, anyone can screenshot anything these days – but this false sense of privacy allows brands to become more personal and approachable.

I have seen this work in the pet industry. I know a lot of sitters who text their clients. It is happening through their pet sitting software, through the phones, What’s App, and sometimes their business pages.

I also see sitters creating Facebook groups for their communities and the ones that are killing it are when it isn’t about their company and about their community. In fact, I fly around the world talking about how to build communities online. Did you know that? Follow me on Bella Vasta to see that stuff in my Instagram stories.

If you want to learn more about it, Jessika Phillips who hosts Social Media Week Lima in Ohio every year is a great person to learn about this topic on Dark Social and what to expect.

 

Mindset Is Going To Sink or Swim Many Businesses In 2020

I feel like my prediction that there would be a lot more buying and selling of businesses this year came true. I know a lot of people who sold this year.  Now that it has started, I feel like others are wondering or starting to think about selling their own but about to get a rude awakening. They are going to realize that their business ISN’T worth as much as they thought and their mindset needs to shift.

That is the hard truth. Love me or hate me for saying it.

 

You see, whether you think you want to sell your business today or in a few years from now – you need to shift that mindset that the business isn’t a part of you. It is a separate entity from YOU and you need to build it that way.

Years ago, the best thing I ever did was to read this book The E-Myth Mastery. After reading it, I started building a business worth buying. I did was successful and then sold my business for top dollar in two weeks. No joke.

We are actually starting a book club: The E-Myth Mastery in January and you’re welcome to join us if you want to understand just why many small businesses don’t work and how to build a business or value that someone would want to buy one day.

Back to mindset…

If you are a business owner, you need to work on your mindset every single day. Being a business owner means that you need to be a visionary. It means that you need to always be looking up… positive, and see what is ahead.

If you feel buried, stressed, overwhelmed, we NEED to get you out of that. It is no way to live or build a business.

If you can’t wrap your head around the fact that you are the visionary you won’t grow. You are the leader. You are the one who has to solve all the problems (and the key is to not be solving the same problem over and over again) and make the decisions, the speed at which business is rising, or will eat you alive.

Allow me to explain.

If you don’t make decisions – that leads to anxiety.

If you don’t feel like you are growing personally or professionally – that typically leads to depression.

If you don’t show your community that you are a leader…

If you don’t show potential hires that you are a leader…

If you don’t show your clients and your staff that you are a leader…

 

They will be distracted by the next shiny object and the loyalty will be out the window.

In 2020 I predict that enough pet business owners are going to say enough is enough and they are going to do what they need to rise above it all.

They will seek out:

  • Accountability
  • Self Development
  • Invest in people and processes to help.
  • They will create a vision and achieve it.

These are the elements that help all business owners. No matter what industry you are in. I get to see this success happen every day in the Mastermind where we provide our members with all of this.

I want you to really think about why you are doing this. This might be tough for someone you to hear but if you are doing it only for the pets … and haven’t gotten anywhere in the past few years – (still have the same problems in your head, challenges in your business) – it just might be time for you to sell to someone who is ready to take it to the next level.

I know you didn’t start this business to be buried or in bondage. Please think about your WHY –

Maybe it might be better to just go work for someone else? That isn’t giving up but giving in to what will bring joy and happiness to your life. It is saying yes to yourself and taking control of your life. I hate to admit it but there are some people I see in the Facebook Groups who really have no business having a business mostly because their mindset has stalled out years ago.

As a coach, I can typically tell who will be successful within the first 15 minutes of talking to them. They have different lingo about them. They talk and think successful. They look towards the future. They see problems as challenges and failures as lessons. They don’t discourage easily and they are always learning and growing. They are the epitome of the person who knows that the windshield is larger than the rear view mirror.

How someone takes on problems, challenges, and how many times they are solving the same problem over and over again will have a direct correlation whether they are successful or not.

 

What Are Your Predictions?

So I want to hear back from you! In the comments below tell me about the trends you have been seeing. Or the struggles you have been reading about. What do you think is going to change in the next year (or even decade?). I would love to know your predictions. These are my best guesses based off what I hear from all of you around the world. But that doesn’t mean it is the gospel. Do you agree? Disagree? Have other ideas? Let me know below, ok?

 

Resources:

How to Build Trust in Your Pet Business on Social Media

Nowadays with all the automation that we can incorporate in business, it’s becoming more and more necessary to prove that we are human. Especially when it comes to the internet and consistent technological advances.

How do we remain human in a fast-paced technological world? 

The answer isn’t as simple as we would think. Remaining human has a lot to do with identifying who we are, what we represent, and what we want our clients to see. Then it’s about transferring that human quality not only in face to face contact but through our social media as well.

Thankfully, Bryan Kramer, the founder of the H2H movement as well as Keynote Speaker, TED Talk Speaker,  Coach, and CEO of H2H Companies, a Business Performance Coaching Company, was able to teach us more about human to human interactions and how you can build trust in your pet business on social media. 

 

Trust on Social Media

 

Your Why and Your Purpose

In order to present yourself as trustworthy on social media, you first need to know yourself.

What is your why?

What is your purpose?

Your purpose is made up of three equal parts.

  1. Inspiration
  2. Vision
  3. Innovation

The key to a sound purpose is the equality of these three parts. Too much of one thing will cause your purpose to be unclear and unattainable.  All three of these are reliant on your ability to balance them and pursue them.

Understanding your why and your purpose will not only give you a foundation for the values of your business but it will also help you to identify how you want your business to be portrayed to the public. When portraying your business it’s important to stay real to who you are. Especially, when it comes to technology.

It is all too easy to lose our human traits when representing ourselves through a screen rather than in person.

So, how do we remain human in a fast-paced technological world?

Identify and live out your why and your purpose. 

How We Share in Person Vs. Social Media

Social media is the face of your business.

What kind of stories are you telling?

What kind of stories are you hiding?

Is your social media consistent with the same emotion or does it vary and expand beyond what others are doing?

Do you want to blend in or stand out?

Trust me when I say, you do not want to blend in.

In order to stand out, you have to come across as human on social media, very similar to how you would portray yourself in person.

In-person we are multi-dimensional. We share all of our different emotions whether that’s happy, sad, angry, anything in between. You’ll be able to read those emotions in our tone of voice, facial expression, body language, and obviously with our words.

On social media, we tend to lean on one emotion and only portray that emotion, all. the. time. The issue with that is that it’s not actually who we are. We aren’t always happy and excitable.

Say, if you’re on social media and all of your posts have dozens of exclamation points because you want to make your viewers excited. That’s great, but if your page is full of excitement, it looks very fake. That is not who you are.

Show your emotions and let your personality shine. 

Divide your social media into thirds. Share one third about you, one third about other people and one third of educational content and news.

 

Jump Mastermind

 

Identifying Your Unique Traits

To marry your passion and your brand, you’ll need to identify what makes you unique.

Everyone shares in their own way and it’s extremely important to identify what category of sharer each person in your company is. By doing so, you’ll ensure that you’re making the ask of the right person.

The six categories of sharers, outlined by Bryan are:

  1. The AltruistAltruists are individuals who are highly recognized for their commitment to helping others. These are people who not only dedicate themselves in terms of actions, but also with regard to being mindful with their personal relationships.
  2. Early Adopter- The early adopter branding refers to a recognized subculture of progressive individuals who embrace individuality above all else. Although the term has existed since the Jazz age, modern early adopters are often associated with being the first to try new things and share them with others.
  3. ConnectorConnectors are people who pride themselves on their ability to bring people together. These are usually the individuals who are well connected and openly use their network to unite. Typically creative, they obtain validation and satisfaction through others.
  4. Careerist- Careerists are people who are have shown a preference for professional advancement above all other personal achievements. More often associated with business-related networks.
  5. Boomerang- The boomerang brand type refers to people whose brand is closely identified with controversy. In many cases, they do not necessarily agree with the content-choosing to pass on the information for the potential of being seen as provocative.
  6. Selective- The selective is a person that shares information with specific people. They usually carefully curate information based on the general needs and interests of the target audience. They value exclusivity and are largely viewed as being informative and resourceful.

Find out what category of sharer you are by clicking on the picture below and taking Bryan’s quick quiz!


Human on Social

Keep in mind, you may change from day to day as the type that you takes into account how you are feeling when you take it.

Once you and your employees take the quiz, compare and see how you all work together!

Body Language and First Impression

First impressions are critical in our business. Doing our first meet and greet with the client is really the only chance we will have to interact with them and show them who we are.

Oftentimes on these first meetings, we are missing intimacy. We are so busy going through the facts of our business and their pets that we miss making a connection with them.

Bryan describes intimacy as into-me-you-see. It’s the passage of looking past the exterior and the facts and learning more about someone. It’s extremely important for us to build that connection with our clients. We are not just providing a job, we are serving their precious pet, their family member.

In order to be more intimate with our clients, we need to make more agreements with them.

To do so, we start by asking questions about their pets and what they’re looking for from us. Get to know the different lives of each animal to be able to better serve them specifically. Not every client and every pet are going to be cookie-cutter and that’s why it’s so important to treat them as unique as they are.

An agreement can be made around anything and will look different for everyone. To get started making an agreement, you simply have to bring something up transparently and ask them to agree. The thing is, the other person doesn’t have to agree to your terms and may come back with a counteroffer.

Over time, agreements make a relationship strong. You’re learning how to communicate with each other and ensure your interactions are a two-way street.

We are human, talking to a human.

Trust and Delegation

It’s not easy being everywhere at once. As the business owner, it’s almost impossible for you to be at every single meet and greet. You need to trust yourself, your staff and your ability to lead them.

You need to delegate.

Bryan recommends practicing making agreements with your staff.

Sit them down for a team meeting and explain to them why making agreements with clients is so important to your business. Give them the opportunity to practice making agreements with another team member and finalize the meeting with a group debrief/discussion.

As a bigger group, discuss what happened, what they got from it, what they discovered and grow from there.

Conclusion

Keeping yourself relevant and building trust in your pet business on social media is as simple as keeping yourself you. Identify what makes you unique, what is your purpose, and your why. Then identify different ways you can use your team in order to reflect you and your business in everything they do.

If you want to learn more about human to human interaction and how to use it to make your business thrive. Join Bryan Kramer on his H2H Marketing & Leadership Hub Facebook group.

Just click the image below!

Build Trust

 

Hiring Tips For Your Pet Business During the Holidays

Its that time of the year again when everything turns into all holidays, all the time. The time when every store is confused about what to celebrate first with multiple isles of Halloween, Thanksgiving and the MASSIVE Christmas section.

I think we can all admit that September through December, Holiday preparation takes over. 

What’s wrong with that, right?

Except if you are hiring. Dealing with the stress of hiring during the holidays is intense.

 

Here are my Tips and Mindset Shifts Needed to Hire During the Holidays

  1. Embrace the process
  2. Streamline
  3. Have a Fast System
  4. Delegate
  5. Go Where Your Avatar Hangs Out
  6. Always be Hiring

 

finding staff during the holidays

Embrace the Process

There’s nothing more important than taking over your mindset and truly embracing the hard stuff. In order to be successful in hiring for your pet business during the holidays, it’s going to be necessary to first ensure your thoughts are where they should be.

Are you thinking about how awful it is?

Or are you thinking about how you’re going to completely rock out hiring and get amazing new staff?

Embrace people looking for seasonal help.

Keep in mind, your business will become very busy during this time of the year. From family vacations to people maybe not wanting to walk their dogs in the snow, holidays can be great for business.

 

Streamline

You’ve heard me talk about the importance of streamlining your social media process and with the same importance, you also need to streamline your hiring process.

Everyone’s busy and no one has time to wait around for a two or three-week hiring process. They want to jump in with a four to five day hiring process. Trust me, it’s true!

Not only is this beneficial to the applicant but it’s faster for you to get through more applicants at a time. At the end of the day, being quick will make you look better to the applicant because it appears that you are engaged and serious about hiring.

The easiest way to do this is by using hiring software, like JazzHR, that will allow you to automate and add in hiring phases. Recently, one of the Mastermind group members tested out the new JazzHR text option, where you can text applicants from the software.

Here’s what she had to say:

 

Hiring

 

Fast System

A fast system doesn’t just mean creating a quick work flow through applicants, it also means setting up your system in a way where you’re able to quickly find each applicant, where they are at in the hiring phases, and how they responded to each phase.  I like having about three to five different phases for the applicant.

In the first phase, I will ask them questions to get to know their character. For each question, I score them from one to five.

In the end, I’ll add up their total points and if they meet the score I decided ahead of time that they needed to meet, then I will move them on to the next phase.

I’ll always recommend that at least one of these preliminary phases either be through knock out questions or a video recorded by the applicant.

This gives you the opportunity to weed out people further based on an actual interaction or, for video, their comfort level in getting out there and doing something out of the ordinary.

 

Delegate

Delegation is one of the most underrated methods of self-care. The simple act of allowing others to do the work that you don’t need to do yourself takes some stress off your plate and frees up your schedule to focus on more important things.

If you have phases with scoring involved, delegating the task of hiring can be super easy. All you need to do is ensure that the person in charge of hiring knows what you’re looking for and what your ideal applicant looks like. Make it a mathematical equasion.

Before the final meeting phase, you can review the applicants and schedule them for an in-person interview with yourself. That way, you saved a bunch of time not reviewing all of their answers and you’re ultimately still the person in charge of if they work at your business or not.

 

Go Where Your Avatar Hangs Out

In order to properly set up your hiring process, you need to know who your ideal applicant is. For the holidays, it can be anyone from a snowbird traveling south for the winter or a college student home for the holidays that are looking to pick up some extra cash. I actually did a free 3 hour clas on this that you can take called Jump and Scale.

If you’re open to the idea of temporary workers, make sure that’s known in your hiring posting and advertise directly to that audience.

Imagine this: “Are you home for the holidays and looking to earn some extra Christmas money while loving on pets? This job may be the perfect one for you!”

I actually liked temporary applicants when I had my business becasue they were typically avaialble during the times when my pet sitting company had in influx of clients like the holidays, school vacations, and the summer.

Once you identify your ideal applicant, figure out where they would spend their time. Are they people who would hang out in your local coffee shop in the middle of the day? Maybe people attending pet holiday parties?

Figure out where they are and attract them.

Always Be Hiring

Do you hire for the Holidays or hire for long term employment?

The answer is simple.

Do both.

Don’t limit yourself by looking for employees that are only going to be long term if you’re able to staff for your Holiday rush.

Always be hiring. It’s the best opportunity for your company to ensure there are always going to be enough staff. I like to say to have more staff than what you need. I know the next thing you are thinking is “But what if I don’t have work for them?” and I would say that isn’t your problem. Be honest with them about where you are at, why you are attracted to them, and opportunities for them to help you market for new clients while we wait for their route to build up.

Hiring Doesn’t Have To Be Stressful

Hiring doesn’t have to be a stressful event where you burn yourself out keeping track of every applicant at different stages in the hiring process.   You do not have to waste your time searching through resume after resume and doing endless amounts of interviews that just don’t match up with your company culture.

Embrace the idea of hiring for your pet business during the holidays, streamline your hiring process, make the system fast and apply phases, delegate the task of sorting through applicants, go where your avatar hangs out and always be hiring.

Interested in learning more about JazzHR?
Check out my post Secrets to Success on JazzHR vs. Indeed for Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers. 

You can also get started with JazzHR here.