video gear

Video Gear for Pet Sitters

video gear

Many of you have asked for recommendations on what to use to start shooting your video. Rather than make a purchase and wonder if it is the right one, I thought I would give you the list of products I have bought and use. Enjoy!

Please Note: The links on this page are affiliate links and therefore earn me a commission. Thank you for your support.


video gear

Camera: Canon EOS Rebel T5 DSLR Camera


video gear

Camera Microphone: Nikon Canon DSLR Camera Shotgun Microphone


video gear

Camera Microphone: Rode VideoMic With Fuzzy Windjammer Kit


video gear

Microphone: BOYA BY-WM4 Universal Lavalier Wireless Microphone


video gear

Camera Lighting: Neewer Camera Photo/Video Fluorescent Flash Light



ring light

Phone Lighting: B-Land 5.7″ Ring Light With Tripod Stand


video gear

Phone Lighting: Auxiwa Clip-On Selfie Ring Light




iPhone Mount: DaVoice Cell Phone Tripod Adapter



video gear

Phone Mount: Car Phone Mount – Cell Phone Holder For Car Windshield


video gear

Camera Tripod: AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod


video gear

Phone Tripod: KobraTech Cell Phone Tripod




Battery: iMuto 20000mAh Portable Charger Compact Power Bank External Battery Pack


video gear

Adapter: Lightning Jack Headphone Adapter Charger

jump & scale

Over 6 Hours of Trainings and Recordings For You This Week!

I’m not lying when I say that this has been one of the most exciting weeks here EVER at Jump Consulting. I have so much going on… being created for YOU that I almost feel like how am I ever going to be able to TELL YOU all about it. I am about to do my best below….

Please, tell me what you think about it all. I want to know!


Jump & Scale

Over 90 Jumpers showed up for my FREE 3-Part Jump & Scale webinar where I taught you how to write killer job postings, attract the best candidates, and hire the right people. I can’t express enough how much I loved getting to teach on this topic and (hopefully) inspire you to always keep hiring!
If you missed out, have no fear. The replays of the video will be coming today (yes, today!!) and if you missed out, you can access them right now by signing up at
Now here’s what else is happening this week…


Better Marketing With Bella – 2 Spots Left

I’m so excited to announce that I’ve opened up 2 more spots for the wildly popular Better Marketing With Bella Program. Imagine having your marketing 100% handled for the first half of 2019. Think about all of the OTHER things you could be working on in your business. Every month you will receive videos, outlines, emails, graphics, and so much more delivered to your inbox.

Will this be the year you take back your marketing? Apply Now:


PODCAST: Relationship Marketing & Buyer Personas

This week I had the INCREDIBLE Jessika Phillips on the podcast, and I know your mind is going to be blown when you listen to this episode. We’ve talked about content marketing, social media marketing, inbound marketing and more… but this week the focus is all about relationship marketing. If you feel like you have trouble getting inside the mind of your client and really understanding what they want from YOU, then you have to listen to this episode. Check it out here.


T-Shirt Tuesdays: How To Get Consistency With Employees


This week’s T-Shirt Tuesday is brought to you by Allison Muggli of Pets Domain ATX (thanks girl!!) and we’re talking all about how to get and retain consistency with your employees. Do you feel like your employees get sick a lot, call out, or take a lot of time off? Well, you’ll want to watch this week’s 3 minute video to learn how you can put a stop to that real quick 🙂 Here’s the link:


Bella Was Interviewed On 2 Podcasts

This week I had the pleasure of being interviewed on not one, but TWO different podcasts! I can’t tell you guys enough how fulfilling it is to share my stories with so many different audiences and inspire them.  If you have a few minutes this weekend, check them out and let me know what you think. On the one with Jay, I really get into some motivating stuff…


That’s it for this week! Is there anything I can help you with? Just shoot me an email at

Always Keep Jumping,


october blog or video ideas

4 October Pet Sitting Blog Or Video Ideas


Happy October! It’s finally starting to feel a lot more like Fall. The leaves are changing, the weather is getting colder, and Halloween is coming up. As a business owner, this month is a total gold mine in terms of content creation. I mean, who doesn’t want to look at photos of dogs in costumes?? Let’s a take a look at a number of pet sitting October blog or video ideas that you can use this month…

4 October Pet Sitting Blog Or Video Ideas


1. Holidays – Halloween!

As I mentioned earlier, Halloween is one of the best holidays for marketing your pet business. People absolutely love to see dogs, cats, and other furry critters dressed up in spooky costumes. Alternatively, many people aren’t aware of the dangers that chocolate and candy can pose to our fur-babies, so Halloween can be a great time for teaching. Here are some blog or video ideas around Halloween:

  • Should I Take My Dog Trick Or Treating With Me On Halloween?
  • Top 10 Spookiest Costumes For Your Dog On Halloween
  • What Happens If My Dog Eats Chocolate On Halloween?
  • How To Reduce My Dog’s Doorbell Anxiety On Halloween

The list goes on and on!


2. It’s Starting To Feel A Lot Like Fall

Weather is a great topic to write or talk about, because many pet owners are not too sure how to care for their pets when the weather changes. Since October is typically cold and windy, you can write some blogs  (or make videos) educating your clients on how they can care for their pets during the Autumn Season:

  • What Should I Do About My Dog’s Fall Allergies?
  • Can Pumpkin Be Harmful For My Dog?
  • Is It Safe To Walk My Dog At Night?
  • What Should I Do If My Dog Gets Fleas/Ticks?

These are just a few ideas, but if you think on it a little while I am sure you’ll come up with more interesting questions worth answering! If you have a good question, research it and then blog about it!

october blog or video ideas

3. Fall Games & Activities

If you live somewhere that’s very hot, most of you clients were likely not taking their dog outside much during the Summer. Now that it’s starting to cool off, it’s the perfect time to start getting Fido back into an exercise routine!

Try searching the Internet for games that dogs and their owners can play outside, such as hide-n-go seek with a treat. Compile a list! You can even write or talk about the best hiking trails in your area, outdoor pet-friendly cafe’s, or dog parks. The list is truly endless.

better marketing with bella

4. Don’t Forget About The Pet Educational Themes Of The Month

There are quite a few interesting topics you can talk about for October. Consider exploring one, two, or all of them if you prefer!

  • National Pit Bull Awareness Month: Write a blog or make a video educating about the stereotypes attached to pit bulls.
  • Adopt-A-Dog Month: Discuss the considerations for adopting a new dog or adding a new animal to the home.
  • Adopt-a-Shelter Dog Month: Talk about the benefits of rescuing a shelter dog, or other ways people can help even if they can’t adopt.
  • National Animal Safety and Protection Month: Educate your audience about the different ways they can ensure their pets safety.

I hope these October pet sitting blog or video ideas are helpful to you and are able to give you some inspiration. If you are a pet sitting business that DOESN’T have a blog – it’s never too late to start.

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




hurricane florence pet friendly shelters

List Of Hurricane Florence Pet Friendly Shelters

Hurricane Florence is heading straight for the Carolinas. As you will see from the weather report below, it is a very serious storm and one that isn’t going away for a few days. It is anticipated to stall out on the coast and have effects throughout the weekend. The right side of the hurricane is where you will see the most tornados pop up. Please listen to Meteorologist Jennifer Watson’s advice in the video below.

This post will be updated as we get new information. Please verify all data as information changes by the hour.

Pet-Friendly Shelters for Hurricane Florence

Update: Maryland Opens 2 Pet Friendly Shelters

University of Maryland College Park (Ritchie Coliseum)

7950 Baltimore Avenue

College Park, MD 20740


Chesapeake College

Health Professions and Athletics Center

1000 College Circle

Wye Mills, MD 21679

North Carolina


Brunswick County

West Brunswick High School. 550 Whiteville Rd. Shallotte, NC

Carteret County

No shelters are open in this county due to the mandatory evacuation order. People evacuating from this area are encouraged to seek shelter at Knightdale High School (100 Bryan Chalk Lane, Knightdale, NC). The shelter will open on Sept. 11 at 2 p.m.

Craven County

Ben Quinn Elementary (cats and dogs only, opening Sept. 12 at 2 p.m.). 4275 Martin Luther King Blvd. New Bern, NC

Duplin County

James Kenan High School (opening Sept. 12 at 5 p.m.). 1241 Nc 24 & 50 Hwy. Warsaw, NC

Hyde County

No shelters are open in this county due to the mandatory evacuation order. People evacuating from this area are encouraged to seek shelter at Knightdale High School (100 Bryan Chalk Lane, Knightdale, NC). The shelter will open on Sept. 11 at 2 p.m.

Onslow County

The nearest pet-friendly shelter is located in Jacksonville at Jacksonville Commons Middle School (315 Commons Drive South, Jacksonville, NC). The shelter will open on Sept. 12 at 2 p.m.

Orange County

Smith Middle School. 9201 Seawell School Rd. Chapel Hill, NC

CW Stanford Middle School. 308 Orange High School Rd. Hillsborough, NC

Pamlico County

Pamlico Community College (pets with current proof of rabies vaccinations only, opening Sept. 12 at 5 p.m.). 5049 Nc 306 Hwy. Grantsboro, NC

Pender County

Burgaw Middle School. 500 S. Wright St. Burgaw, NC


South Carolina


Berkeley County

Cane Bay High School. 1624 State Rd. Summerville, SC


Colleton County

DuBose Middle School (opening Sept. 11 at noon). 1005 DuBose School Rd. Summerville, SC


Dorchester County

DuBose Middle School (opening Sept. 11 at noon). 1005 DuBose School Rd. Summerville, SC


Marlboro County

Blenheim Elementary/Middle School (pets will be provided a separate area of the shelter but must be kept in a carrier, opening Sept. 11 at 2 p.m.). 143 Highland St. Blenheim, SC




North Carolina

 FEMA: As of Monday evening, the emergency agency had positioned more than 80,000 liters of water, 402,000 meals, 1,200 cots and 34 generators at Fort Bragg near Fayetteville, North Carolina.


South Carolina

FEMA: Both Fort Bragg and North Field Air Base near Columbia, South Carolina, are serving as “incident support bases” to distribute more supplies, including meals, water, blankets when needed. And FEMA teams have been sent to both states where they will serve as “rapidly deployable assets, with expertise in operations, logistics, planning, and recovery.”


Advice for Pet Lovers from Meteorologist Jennifer Watson:

  • Current radar shows as of Tuesday Sept 11 2019 2pm EST
    hurricane florence pet friendly shelters



Information has been compiled for you by Bella Vasta a pet business consultant. If you are a pet business owner, join her free Facebook group for a community of pet business owners looking to grow their businesses

What Happens In Paradise….. A Recap Of The First Ever Pet Sitter Retreat

This is what happened August 17-19th in Paradise Arizona when 10 pet sitters got together…

We represented:
$5,100,000.00 in revenue.

168 employees.
Almost 20 office managers from the USA and Canada. 


It all started on a challenge.

I was sitting in Chris Ducker’s workshop at Social Media Marketing World and he was talking about how consultants build their business. There was just one element that I was completely missing, and that was a live event.

I immediately was filled with negative thoughts… “no one would come to this” and “I would have to charge a LOT of money if I really wanted this to be a legit and high-class experience… ” so I put my feelers out there.

Wouldn’t you know I got greeted with EXCITEMENT and a “sign me up” before I even had a landing page created?  That checked my thoughts real quick and I set out to make this thought a reality. I even recorded this video to share my excitement…



I was excited to say the least.

So I got to thinking about how I could make this an incredible experience where hearts would change.

Hearts would change. That was important to me as I know that face to face can be magical. I wanted people to come together, not just know, but FEEL that they weren’t alone in this world, and form bonds that would supersede this weekend.

And it happened.

When we left each other this weekend, I was holding back tears each time one of the gal’s Uber would pull up.

And I wasn’t the only one.

Each one who left, it was like a new BFF was leaving me. Nicole, from Miami Pet Concierge, was the “worst.” She gave this heartfelt speech and singled out what she admired about so many fellow roommates that we all teared up.


nicole packin“Jump into Paradise allowed me to spend quality time with like-minded, brilliant, and inspiring business women which is hard to come by. I left this weekend feeling supported, challenged, and most importantly understood. I learned valuable information from our keynote speakers and from our group sessions that I will now incorporate into my own business. From sectioning my service areas into territories, HR tools, and tactics, and simple things about communication amongst my staff; this was a very valuable weekend for me both professionally and personally.”

Nicole Brown Packin, CEO of Miami Pet Concierge


The Speakers:

I arranged for some pretty powerful women to come into the house and chat with us. First, we started with getting our vision aligned and understanding if we were operating from the zone of genius or excellence.

Carey Conley put us through an exercise that had a few of us emotional and really thinking of what we learned throughout the rest of the weekend.

It really helped bring some serious perspective to why we are doing what we wanted from our life and business. Who doesn’t need a little reminder every now and again?

carey conley






pet sitter retreat

We also had Brandy Lawson come in and talk to us all about how to use messaging to solve the biggest problems in our business. Guess what they came down to? Getting more clients and getting more staff.

It was unique the way she was able to break it down for us in such a way that showed us all how we can easily solve them everywhere we are online.

She even took the time to go through every single person’s front page of the website and give actionable pointers of how to make it better going forward.

Brandy was a wealth of knowledge so much that one of our members requested a 1:1 meeting with her before they left on their plane ride home.

Brandy Lawson


We also invited Niki Ramirez to the Retreat and she spent four hours going over coaching, termination, and role-playing scenarios with us. She was so gracious with her time spending longer than originally planned and no question unanswered.

The most powerful part of this session was when I could see light bulbs going off over their heads. Niki actually brought 7 case studies of actual pet sitters scenarios she has helped with that we worked through. We were collectively problem-solving situations that would normally be emotional and overwhelming and creating plans of execution for when it happens.

Termination is inevitable if you don’t want to be “a slave to your business” as Niki says.

Our speakers were just incredible!

Erin Lord


“It was an incredible experience to learn more to help the business I work for to Excell and get to meet other powerful and just as incredible ladies as well. To hear their stories and ideas. An opportunity of a life that I’m glad I didn’t miss.”

Erin Lord, Sitter for your Critter



The Mastermind Sessions

One of the best assets in the house we were in was this really long table. We could fit all of us around it and had the best discussions. We went around and shared a bunch of objections and learned how everyone handled the rebuttals.

We talked about the different ways people were running their local community Facebook groups. We talked about the different internal structures of management and it was so exciting to see all of the contrasts.

round table


Sure, it is something we occasionally talk about in the Mastermind but to have everyone face to face learning and interacting was powerful! It was casual and not stuffy or highly structured that if someone needed to be on the phone, or go to the bathroom, or grab more food or drink, we could get up and go. It was so much nicer than being trapped in a conference room!


Laura Wright

 I have never learned so much in one weekend and stayed in my PJs. So many amazing women, and so many surprises. People are not always what you think. Again learned again you cannot always judge a book by its cover. If you have 0 or a 100 employees or did not matter. So much love and support.

Laura Wright, PawWright Pet Services


Rest assured these sessions didn’t only happen during the day inside the house. The beautiful negative edge pool also lent a great atmosphere for us to circle up. We talked about everything and were so passionate, we even passed around the blow-up cactus as our “talking stick”  *smile*


The Experience of Jump Into Paradise

There is a lot of magic that gets to happen when you are all together in a house. First, the talented Katie Westerfield etched us all these INCREDIBLE glasses that had our name and the Paradise logo on them. Everyone was shocked, and can I say – no one lost their cup 🙂 As Betheny Green said, “we all have our adult sippy cups!”

sippy cup


Everyone had their own surprise on their bed with tripods, battery chargers commemorative Tshirts and more…


We had our own private chef come on Saturday and Sunday morning who made us all our own omelets and some of the best potatoes and bacon we all ever ate. She also brought us fruit and pastries and it was just… yummy!


Chef Darlene

Chef Darlene has cooked for Oprah!


We also had Jenny Rojas come and we did Yoga on Saturday morning… in the Master bedroom because all 12 of us and our yoga mats could fit in there. It was incredible! It was a neat experience as we had some yoga professionals and novices in the room but she seemed to appeal to all of us. A great feat for sure!



The master bedroom was so big that all 12 of us fit in there!


At night time, our “driver” my incredible husband who played along drove the van we rented so we could all enjoy the ride together to and from some great places in Scottsdale. We enjoyed great meals…. and probably had so much food from the catered lunches left over in the house that we didn’t really need to actually GO out to eat – but it was all about the experience. 🙂



The Connections Were Made…and Will Happen Again:

The entire experience was something that none of us will ever forget. I think Maureen Dunn McCarthy from Love and Kisses Pet Sitting said it best:

Maureen Dunn McCarthy” I enjoyed my weekend with other likeminded pet business owners. We shared in larger groups together and also grouped into smaller intimate groups to share our business structures and ideas. It was such a great feeling to know that you are not in this business alone. I went to this event to get a better connection with these ladies that I now call my friends and I left with more than a business connection I left with my heart full of love knowing that we are all in this together and can reach out to one another whenever needed.”



Before it even started members were asking to do it again and as we all said a teary eyed goodbye, we vowed to do it again. So… July 26th to 28th 2019 we WILL be doing it again. It will be in an Estate or Mansion again (no hotel) and there will be limited beds.

jump into paradise fulll


4th Quarter Marketing Workshop in Philadelphia!

Jump Into The Howlidays Workshop

Pet Business 4th Quarter Marketing Workshop
LIVE, in person, Philadelphia, PA
Friday September 28, 2018
1-4 pm William Way LGBT Community Center
1315 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Do you always feel overwhelmed when the holidays come because your Marketing is….ummm, lacking?


(READ: Non-existent)

christmas dog marketing

Have You Ever Felt This Way Around The Holidays?

1. Realized the week of Christmas: Shoot! I should throw up an image of a pet at Christmas. Make it look like I got my act together! Or maybe you thought I should have had my act together and sent out an email reminding people to book for the holidays….  

2. Maybe you have seen another business rocking the holiday messaging and shared their image to try to piggy back on their marketing?

…….Or be honest! You have been a little jealous because you wish YOU thought of that idea so you take a screenshot and vowed that NEXT YEAR – I WILL GET THIS RIGHT! (but you really don’t)

3. Maybe you are just tired? It is cold and grey outside! You are so sick of schlepping in and out of your house peeling all your layers on and off and the last thing you want to do AFTER you warm up from this frigid New England weather is to actually try to be creative and plan ahead for this holiday marketing….

Not to mention there are enough other people pulling at you like your family and DANG this weather is COLD.

……..(insert the ‘I’m too busy’ and the ‘I’m not good enough’ self-tapes here)


But Do You Know…

Pet business marketing


Holiday marketing is one of the BEST opportunities you have to invest in your business.


1. Every 12 months the holiday season comes! (So you can use it again and again)

2. People are feeling happy, cheery, and will always love pets. Just think…… YOUR marketing could be something that a cold, exhausted, and depressed business owner shares on social media! (which used to be you…see above *wink*)

3. Producing holiday-themed marketing shows your business is fresh, plans ahead, and on top of things! This makes people LIKE you and want to TRUST you because you appear to have it all together.

Pet business holiday marketing

The Holiday Season Creates A Unique Opportunity Unlike Any Other Time Of The Year! 

  • You can connect and/or create relationships with other businesses in your community.
  • Offers you a unique message that typically is newsworthy.
  • Gives you an excuse to expose your brand through thoughtful and helpful messages

The 4th Quarter Holidays Are Bountiful And Include:

Veteran’s Day 
New Years 


Bella is Coming to Philadelphia…



Pet business marketing


She wants to give you a one on one, face to face dose of holiday cheer and get your entire fourth quarter marketing in gear… IN SEPTEMBER!

This will give you plenty of time to take what you learn (and create!) from the workshop and execute when you arrive home because you will be three months ahead of schedule.

Imagine how that would FEEL? 🙂

You could get busy cooking with the kiddos in the kitchen for the holiday season rather than being chained to your digital device!


dog walker marketing


Let this year be the year that you can rock your marketing all the way around the Christmas Tree in 2018…. And 2019, and 2020, and, well, you get it…

Join Bella In Philadelphia:

William Way Community Center
1315 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Friday September 28, 2018
1-4 pm William Way LGBT Community Center
1315 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19107


jump into the howlidays

The Setting & Experience:

A private community room is awaiting you. This will be an intimate small group of pet business owners (less than 30) from all over the east coast for a three-hour workshop.


It isn’t a lecture.

It isn’t a class.


It is an environment where you will want to bring your laptop or tablet and we will have brainstorms, tactical, and creating materials as Bella go around and helps you one on one.

You will receive a packet both printed out and in digital form so you can follow along and have all the resources at your fingertips. You will leave with concrete, actionable items that you can use immediately.


Feel The Energy!
You will feel the energy as you feed off each other talking about the exact market that you all have experience with……


The entire group will have a lot in common and really become a think tank for each other. Everyone is in the same climate, located in the “wicked” awesome east coast, you have experienced ice skating on lakes, skiing up in New Hampshire,  and all the snow, ice, festivities, and cold climate content you can handle!

Who knows? You might even make a new friend! 🙂 Hear what Lynn had to say after just one hour with Bella in a workshop…


You Will Leave This Workshop With:

1. CONTENT: Your online content planned for Oct, Nov, and Dec. Honestly, when have you EVER sat down and created a full-blown plan for this?

2. NETWORK: Know exactly how to network with businesses in your area so you can leverage relationships by working together to make a big splash in your community. The Boston workshop created their own Facebook page after the workshop!

3. CAMPAIGN: A 4th quarter marketing campaign to designed to connect your business to your community. (Three Hours with Bella Coaching $825)

4. EVENT: Excitement because you finally understand how to have a successful event where your business is center of attention and gets all the publicity. This same exact knowledge can be applied to endless events beyond just October, November, and December. Bella will teach you all the elements you need to make it a success, even her Amazon shopping lists where it applies.  (Howling Event Class value $69.00)

5. SCHEDULE:  A plan for all your offline marketing BEFORE the busy holiday season and leave with some of it already scheduled. Bella will lay the steps to create a marketing plan out so you can see how easy the process is to do so you can do it all year round.

6. MEDIA PITCH:  Leave with a pitch prepared to send off to local media outlets to get your business featured in the news, the local paper, radio, a local blog, or magazine. Just imagine how much exposure this could bring you. (This is HUGE….. when you get a feature you now have bragging rights for “as seen on ABC, CBS, NBC, or in The Boston Globe….)

None of this will be too technical or rocket science.


Bella Will Be There To…

Teach you, show you, and work ON things with you that day right on your laptop.

You are going to have Bella, an expert pet business and pet business marketeer, looking over your shoulder at your laptop or tablet helping you 1:1 create your Master holiday plan that you can use again and again.

3-hour workshop
Howling Event Class Download
Handouts to follow along

Only $227.00 to secure your seat now. 

Due to the size of the venue,  and Bella’s desire to help each individual, seats are very limited.


Common Questions:

Can I bring my office manager or members of my staff? Yes, although due to limited space, you will have to purchase multiple tickets. Contact Bella for more information:

Can I have my office manager go instead of me? Sure!

Will this be helpful to solopreneurs? Of course! In fact, it will help take the stress, guilt, and creative brainstorming off your mind and enable you to knock out your holiday marketing knowing that you can reuse it again and again.

Will I leave with anything finished? If you listen to what I will be presenting and actually do the WORK in the WORKshop then yes, there is no reason why you can’t leave with some things already ready to go!

Will Bella help me brainstorm what I can do in my local town? 100% yes.

Will there be food served? Food will not be provided.

Do I need to know anything technical for this class to be useful? If you can log into Facebook, you are good to go!

Is this going to be any different than online? One thousand percent YES. Anyone that has seen Bella live has said there is some energy and motivation that they walk away with. There is nothing that can ever be mistaken for when you can actually work one on one with someone.

Bella talks fast… how will I follow along? Bella is going to be providing handouts to follow along with throughout the workshop. Don’t worry, you will be able to keep up and (hopefully) have a three-month content calendar by the time you leave!

Tickets are non-refundable but they are transferable.


3 Reasons Why Dog Walkers Need A Break

What if I told you that you are not a superhero? That you cannot save the world because we all have to save ourselves first?

I know it sounds strange to say. But it’s true! As pet sitters, we are always wanting to serve others from our pets, our clients, and of course, our families. This desire to serve others often leads to us putting ourselves last…

But that lifestyle is only sustainable for so long.


3 Reasons Why Pet Sitters Are Not Superheroes


We Have To Take Care Of Ourselves So We Can Take Better Care Of Others:

Take a step back for a second and ask yourself the following questions:

  • On an average day, how many meals are you eating at home?
  • Are you mostly preparing “on-the-go” meals?
  • How many meals are you preparing at home to take with you versus eating out?
  • How many drive-throughs are you going through in a day, week, or month?
  • Are you even eating enough (a.k.a eating BEFORE 5:00 PM!)
  • Do you suffer from having extra weight on your body that you really don’t want to have?

When we look at our lifestyles objectively, our choices will either shorten or elongate our lives. That is why it is SO IMPORTANT to take care of ourselves first.

Plus, in my experience, the food I eat drastically affects my brain function and my ability to interact during the day. It affects how effectively I’m able to interact with myself and the people around me.

The bottom line? Take care of yourself. That is the #1 way we can make sure that we are our best selves for others!


dog walker

We Don’t Always Maintain The Best Relationships With Our Loved Ones:

I want you to ask yourself how many movies, dinners, barbeques, lunches, pedicures, hikes, etc. you’ve missed out on because you’re working? What about birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and the big one – holidays?

Maybe you’ve even gotten to the point where the people in your life are literally conditioned to think that you’re never available, so what’s the point of inviting you?

It’s a downward spiral that is too easy to fall into. We are so focused on growing our businesses, making our clients happy, and reaching that next milestone that we forget about the little (but important) things in life.

I don’t want you to have to live your lives like that, and I can pretty safely say that you probably didn’t start a business to not have a life! In fact, so many people start a business so they CAN have a life. They don’t want the corporate 9:00 – 5:00 lifestyle, but instead, want that time to spend with their husband and kids.

I am officially giving you permission to take your life back. You are allowed to say NO. 

There is a real danger that happens when we don’t eat right, when we don’t take care of our bodies, and when we don’t have relationships that matter in our lives. We get burned out, depressed, and negative. Life starts to feel like a frying pan hit you in the face. You feel tired, and those things you used to enjoy, you just don’t anymore.

I’ve been there. Sometimes I am STILL there. But my job is to give you that inspiration and motivation to realize that you are not a superman or superwoman – until you take care of yourself first! And yes, that means taking care of your relationships first too.

Sometimes We Put Ourselves In Danger

Don’t put yourself in danger anymore. Please.

Don’t take it upon yourself to take on that dog client that’s growling and snapping at you (unless you are a dog behavior expert!). Do not come in and try to save the day. It isn’t worth it. These scenarios are exactly how people get bit or otherwise severely injured.

I have countless stories on my podcast, Bella In Your Business, and my blog about pet sitters being bit in the face or even breaking a limb. You have to protect yourself and your business. I like to say that you have to be an advocate for your business. Why? Because nobody else will!

Know when to say no. Know that we cannot, unfortunately, take on every single client that gives you a call or sends you an email. If you do, accidents WILL happen.

I want to encourage you that even though you are not a superhero, it is okay not to be a superhero! If you are feeling alone in this industry (or even in this world), I want you to reach out to me. Use me as a resource.

I have an amazing Mastermind group with over 60 pet sitters where we talk about how it is okay not to be okay. We talk about how to support each other. Some of us are moving at full speed, while others are in cruise control. It’s great to be growing, but sometimes it’s also great to NOT be growing!

If you feel you are the same place you’ve been for 6 months, 12 months, or even YEARS, something has got to change. I can help you get there.

Let’s give you back that light inside of you, so you can shine it out to your communities.

Jump Consulting Mastermind

office manager pet business

How To Hire A Manager For Your Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Business

As our industry grows, we are no longer in the infancy stage. In 2018 the industry is expected to earn 72 billion dollars with 6 billion being in the pet services sector. Pet sitting companies that were once run my mom and pop now are full-fledged business needing to hire a manager to help run the entire operation.

You are reading this because you too need to hire an office manager for your pet sitting or dog walking business but face the challenge of so many questions. Today, I am going to answer them all in the most comprehensive blog post to get your tail wagging!

office manager pet business


Can I Even Afford To Hire A Manager?

Obviously, I am not sitting next to you right now, looking over your financials so what I will say is this: Can you afford not to? Do you think that your business can keep growing with you doing all the scheduling, bookings, charging, social media, public events, triaging client and staff problems?

Wouldn’t you like to take a nap in the middle of the day? Have regular family dinners at home at a sensible hour? Not feel like you are running ragged all day and night?

The answer to this question is only one that you can answer, but I would venture to say that if you are reading this now, we can find a way. Most pet sitting and dog walking office managers make between $10-$15 an hour.

If you have the Pricing Structure and Strategy Guide, you will understand that this money can come from the 30% that is allocated to the business.

Not Labor.

Part Time:

This is how I encourage lots of my clients to start. I tell them to start handing the business over on Friday through Monday because those are the days where you typically have minimal calls and volume.  It is a great way to start off. This will also help you (and them) gain confidence in the position. Some businesses pay by the hour, while others pay per the day because the volume is so unpredictable.

Full Time:

This would be a full-fledged M-F gig where you pay someone by the hour and let them do it all. It could mean 30 hours a week or more and they would be your right-hand person and the first line of defense. Sort of like a gatekeeper. Some businesses pay a flat salary, while others pay by the hour.


hire a manager

How Do I Train An Office Manager?

When you hire a manager it is going to be a big learning curve for you, the business owner, who does this every day. There is a good amount of prep work that you will have to do and that would include creating an office manager manual where you write down all the systems and procedures that you do in your business.

I have a great system that I have shared on video inside the Jump Mastermind that has delivered great success to many businesses. This can often be the toughest part of the task because we tend to get long-winded and either over or under explain what needs to happen. It is important that you have a system in place to test your instructions.


Jump Consulting Mastermind

How Do I Know If The Office Manager Does A Good Job?

One of the most common mistakes I see people make is being a micromanager. Or, as one of my friends call it a “helicopter CEO”  You don’t ever want to be like this because it will not create a long-lasting relationship with that manager. They will think you don’t trust them and quit.

Rather, consider systems that help promote smooth back end workings. For example, I have a great video inside the Jump Mastermind that shows you a google spreadsheet that tracks all the calls and emails that come in from new clients. From this small sheet that takes 30 seconds to fill out, the office manager and the business owner are able to be on the same page.

No phone calls required. At any moment both the manager and the business owner can see who has called, what the outcome was, and even what the close rate is. After all, you will want the manager you hire to have a BETTER close rate than you already do.


What Do I Do When A Manager Doesn’t Do A Good Job?

Here is a fact:

At some point during the relationship with your manager, something will fail where they, or you, fall short of expectations. It is important to acknowledge that this will happen so you aren’t blindsided when it does.

How you handle it makes all the difference in the world.


hire a manager

First, examine if it is a people or process problem. Was the process there and the person just didn’t follow it? Or was there no process there and they were clueless about how to proceed? Once you can identify this, rectifying it all will be easier to maneuver. There is a big difference between a system and a process so narrow down which it might be and tackle that first.

Your mindset will also help you during these failed attempts, only if you let it. Embrace the messy and look at it as an opportunity to make your business better by learning from what happened. Failures with a good attitude are the indication of a successful CEO 🙂

No one ever said that if you walked through the wrong door that you couldn’t just turn around and walk right back through it! 🙂

Where Do I Find An Office Manager?

I wish I could tell you that there is a spot where all the qualified applicants hang out, but I can’t. I can say I have had clients with great luck on Indeed, Craigslist, and through my partner, JazzHr which basically posts on 15 job boards for you and helps weed the applicants out so you are only left with the creme de la creme!

I would also consider hiring from within because they already know your business.

Whoever you decide to hire, they need to have strong communication and organizational skills. I would consider putting them through the Orion test and a background check and making sure that all your processes were running smoothly before bringing anyone else on board.


Hiring An Office Manager Was The Worst Thing I Ever Did

Said no one ever.

You might not knock it out of the park the first time, but you will eventually. Who knows? Maybe it will be love at first sights and it just works? Like any relationship, this one takes time. It takes a lot of understanding about how to delegate, give instructions, and then fall on your own sword when maybe you didn’t give great enough instructions. Being a boss is tough. It isn’t all glamorous but having an office manager is the one thing that will really help take your business to the next level. It will take things off your desk and give you room to breathe (first), and then work on growing your business.

If you need a group of people around you to support this endeavor consider joining the Mastermind. To date, I believe there have been at least 12 office managers hired… so far. So you would be in great company!

Pet sitting podcast

Jump Mastermind

The Journey Of Discovering The Right Person For The Jump Mastermind Group

Being around a bunch of people where you can share your ideas, learn, and really bond can prove to be incredibly life changing for any pet business.

I saw a need for the free pet sitting facebook groups I run.

People wanted to feel closer to one another where they could bond and really know exactly who was in the group.

This sort of closeness transforms businesses because when people can feel free to share openly and honestly without fear, true business and personal growth happen.

I see it all the time.

Jump Mastermind

The Problem I Needed To Solve For Pet Sitters:

People would direct messaging me explaining that they wish they could share in the free group but they didn’t feel comfortable because:
…they didn’t know who was reading.
…they didn’t know if it was going to be screenshot and publicized.
…they didn’t want to be judged.
….they were afraid what others would think.

Plus they really wanted to build their business and wanted to know how and not just in one post. They needed someone to help hold them accountable. They were hungry and ready to work.

They were also ready to invest in their own success.

They knew that the free groups, while sometimes good, only gets you so far. They knew that in order to be in an elite community where people are showing up and are caring about one another’s success, pushing together, that they would have to invest their time and money.

When this investment happens a lot of the bickering, drama, and failure to follow through on tasks or goals goes away.


When I decided to launch the Jump Mastermind group, I knew I needed to take my own advice and:

Defining My Audience Was A Must.

I also realized that people joining would want to know that “hey these are my people!” I know they would want to feel comfortable sharing, know that others had the same type of business and it would feel so comfortable

…almost like a family.

I didn’t want it to be a free for all where just anyone with a bank account could join.

There had to be a bit of exclusivity.

The most obvious qualification stated at the top of the Jump Mastermind landing page says that business needs to be making at least $50K a year.

I settled on $50K thinking that by this time, one would already have a website, clients, and are up and running. They also might be on the verge of having staff and just need that support.

Or they might already have staff?

I needed to set the bar at a qualification where we didn’t just get watered down with a bunch of Wag and Rover sitters. I also didn’t want a bunch of people who were constantly spinning their wheels “too busy” to make any progress.

But I have to be honest with you.

I actually had some really incredible people who are making things happen in their own business who haven’t yet reached this $50K threshold.

Their value wasn’t defined by their revenue.

It was actually defined by their mindset.

I have come to realize that mindset and participation is actually more important and any dollar number.


But Bella Doesn’t Care About Small Business…

It has been tough taking this type of stance with the Jump Mastermind. I have been told, “Bella doesn’t care about small businesses” which really couldn’t be further from the truth. If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t have 350 blogs and 200 videos free to the world!

I have also been bad-mouthed inside some ‘not so secret’ Facebook groups. For posting videos and blogs on my own Jump Consulting facebook page and saying things like “If you aren’t growing, then your dying!”



It hurts to read these things, but then I remember these aren’t my people. They aren’t the type of people who have been flooding the Jump Mastermind.

I learned a lesson.

The very reason I set out to define who is right for this Mastermind was glaring back at me as my loyal friends sent me screenshot after screenshot of the Bella Bashing that was taking place.

The lesson was mindset.

Mindset is the most important thing to ALL business success so it should be a cornerstone of the Jump Mastermind.

Additionally, I realized that I have an enormous responsibility to the group, or the “Jumpers” as some of them lovingly call each other, to make sure that the quality of people in this group stays at the cream of the crop!

To make sure that people who would write things like the above never end up in the group.

Side note: To the point of the screenshot above…I would never, ever, try to convince anyone to become a member. The group isn’t about that. It is like working out. I can’t make you work out. You have to WANT to do it! 😉

I Learned, Not Everyone Is The Right Fit And $50K Isn’t The Barrier:

It is the right mindset. Mindset is everything.

One of my favorite mentors says to write and talk about who is NOT a good fit for what you’re doing, and thanks to this interaction I have 3 ways detailed below.


3 Ways To Know Who Is Not Right For The Jump Mastermind


1. Those That Don’t Want to Grow:

If you aren’t growing, you are dying.

It is literally a science.

You can’t change that.

Also, you really become the people you hang around. Have you ever asked yourself and took inventory of who are you spending your time with?

As pet sitters and dog walkers, it is TOUGH. We are either around pets all day or alone!

Have you thought about how intentional or unintentional you are about who you surround yourself with? Are they pouring into you or sucking you dry?

Any successful person I know has always been surrounded by people of the same mindset pushing them to be better.

And the clincher?

They typically meet with them on a regular basis.

2. Those That Don’t Want to be Challenged:

This is a really tough one.

As business owners, we spend a lot of our days pouring our heart and soul into our businesses. When someone challenges they way we do things or encourages us to change our methods to go out of our comfort zone, it’s tough to receive!

It is even tough for me.

I just put my website out into the Jump Mastermind a few weeks ago and told them to rip it apart! Afterall, they are my target audience. Naturally, the struggle is real to not react and be defensive when we hear something we don’t like. It is a real human reaction many of us have when we are told to change.

They are why I have made recent changes to my own website and for that I am grateful.

A Mastermind conditions you to take it easy. Consider others ideas and think about solutions that you might not have thought about the first time around. It is literally the ‘group think’ and it helps members become better and better each month.

3. Those Who Are “Too Busy”

I tell my coaching clients to replace the words, “I’m too busy” with “It isn’t a priority” because that is really what it means.

We make time in our life for things that are a priority.

If someone isn’t willing to make the time in their life to participate in the group then they won’t be a good fit. They won’t get anything from the group and they probably won’t give anything to the group.

Granted we all have seasons in life. Sometimes we are in growth mode, sometimes we are in maintaining mode. To know which you are in is powerful.

Remember that bonding I told you about? Two local meet ups have already happened in the three months that the Jump Mastermind has been happening. People are connecting so much online that they are meeting up IRL (In Real Life) and learning to care and share on such a deeper level.

Want to know the clincher? These people were IN the free facebook groups, and never got together until the bond they formed in the Mastermind inspired them to.

Pretty powerful, huh?

So Where Does That Leave Us?

Well if you have read this entire thing you are either in one of two camps.

Camp #1: You disagree with this entire article. It might have even upset you. In that case, that’s okay. You have every right to feel the way you do. Let’s just be happy that I have taken the time to spell it out and you know for certain this Jump Mastermind isn’t right for you.

Honestly, it’s no problem for me, as I hope it isn’t for you!

Life is too short.

Camp #2: You are already scanning the page for “where can I sign up?” Thinking YES I need a group of people who GET me, who are DOERS and not complainers, and who will SHOW UP for me. If that is you, you need to go here and sign up.


It is tough for me to express in words how much of an imapct this Jump Mastermind has had on so many businesses and personal lives. The privledge of being able to lead this, to spend my time pouring into many people and have them supporting my goal of influencing lives and busineses has been nothing short of overwhelming. So I am just going to let them do the talking for me. Don’t take my word for it. Hear what they have to say below.


Facebook mastermind

Facebook Groups vs Mastermind Groups for Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers


One of the most popular questions I have gotten since launching the Jump Mastermind group is what is the difference between the Mastermind and a Facebook group? It is a valid question that requires a lot of explanation because the difference is vast.

One can almost compare it to a cross-country trip from California to Boston. The Facebook group is hitchhiking across the country with no money to reach Boston. With the Mastermind people are flying in a comfy private jet, saving time, comfortable, safe, and well fed.


facebook mastermind


Here is what I mean:

The Problems With Facebook Groups To Grow Your Business


1. Format:

Depending on what Facebook group you find yourself in, you will experience different atmospheres. We did a great blog on all the different types of pet sitting facebook groups and compiled a list of the ones that were available.

Fact is, they all have unique formats. When joining a group I suggest you pay attention to:

  • the screening process
  • the numbers of moderators
  • who it is led by
  • if there are free resources
  • the focus or subject matter
  • the number of people admitted and their involvement
  • the overall tone of the group.

All of these factors greatly influence the success of a Facebook group.

When a Facebook group has no format and people just post about whatever they feel at the time it can get quite messy. One day you are talking about starting a business and the next day you are talking about expanding from 25 to 30 employees.

Some formats I have seen:

  • Centered around a products or service
  • Messages of the day like “welcome new members” or “post your url and business below” or “Tech Tuesday” posts… those get stale after a few weeks. This format tends to become robotic and dry.
  • Theme related where they are laser-focused only on one thing.
  • A curator of other people’s content.


2. Facebook Groups Can Give Bad Advice

The larger a group becomes, the tougher they are to manage and members could run the risk of getting bad advice simply because there are too many posts and comments for the moderator to sift through.

This could be so detrimental to the member’s business.

I have actually witnessed someone who has been failing miserable trying to get their pet sitting company off the ground for 18 months, generating only $1500 a month…. actually giving advice to a $100K + company on how to hire more staff.

Jaw dropping part? They were talking their advice!

The advice or guidance in a Facebook group isn’t always vetted and bad information or advice or ideas could be perpetuated. You have to be certain who the person is that you are taking advice from.

I feel this can bring the entire industry to its knees and I see it happen more and more frequently.

It is important to know who you are allowing in your mind and business.


“Before you join a Mastermind Group be prepared to commit and be transparent. This means committing to work on your goals and being transparent about where you are currently and where you want to be.” –Katie Casell 


3. Facebook Groups Hardly Have Any Follow-Up With Its Members

When someone gives advice, there must be some sort of follow up or accountability that the advice worked or didn’t work.

Was it good advice?

Bad advice?

Alternatively, the person who is receiving the advice, did they follow through? If they didn’t, did the person who just spent all the time giving their time and energy to helping this person essentially “waste” that time?

These days, we waste so much time doing things that don’t move our business forward. One really needs to consider if pouring into someone else’s problem online in a Facebook group is really worth their time? Are they just wasting their time giving their endless opinions?

I know some are.

Worse off, some facebook groups allow people to delete their comments or threads. Not only does that hurt the integrity of the group but it also negates all the time the posters took to reply. If there is no follow up, this can really hurt the core of the group.

Facebook mastermind

4. Who Is Hiding In The Shadows?

Sometimes these Facebook groups are so big that you don’t know who is a member.

You don’t know if there is your competition stealing secrets. Everyone has this false sense of security that it is private, and it is actually laughable!

Do you know that right now… I have a fake profile that is in almost every single pet business Facebook group? It would be like finding a needle in a haystack to find this profile and anyone can do it. Who is lurking in your facebook group right now?

Stealing your secret’s, screenshotting your vulnerable moments or ranting moments when you are complaining about an employee or client?

True Story Of A Pet Sitter Lurking In Shaddows To Hurt Another:

I once heard of a person complaining about an employee and another pet sitter in the group who knew this employee took a screenshot and sent it to the employee. Let’s just say it was a big mess. There is such a false sense of security in these Facebook groups and no one could possibly have the control or intimacy when you get into hundreds of people or even thousands.

Scary, huh?


The Positives to Facebook Groups:

It is only right to mention the many great things that Facebook groups have done. Lots of long-lasting relationships have been formed. Heck, it is how I have met many of you through my own free groups:

I Own A Pet Sitting Company With Staff
Jump Start Your Pet Business

Sometimes people have even met up offline at individual meetings, networking groups, or conferences. Lots of resources have been shared to help with things like payroll, credit cards, software systems, and more. Facebook groups can be a real asset but it takes a lot of work, sifting through all the content, opinions of everyone, and time spent scrolling and replying. But this does take a lot of time for these bonds and trust to form.


Here is How Masterminds Are Different Than Facebook Groups

Even though some Masterminds are on Facebook, the format in which they are run, the selection process of members, the topics, and the leadership will drastically change the effect they have on your business. I already discussed in great depth why you should join a mastermind and all the benefits you will bring to a business but it is also important not to think they could just be “another facebook group” and here is why:


Mastermind Groups Have Accountability:

Unlike the traditional facebook group, members and leadership will follow up with you.

Hey, how did that problem you were trying to solve pan out? Did you follow through with your action plan?

Asking about how did that problem you were trying to solve pan out and following up with the person why gave you the advice is very common. This adds an element of accountability that needs to exist to maintain the integrity of the group.


Ways Groups Can Hold You Accountable:

  • Have your own file with goals that the members and leaders will check in on you.
  • Spreadsheet of goal tracking.
  • Group meetings you will be asked specifically, how you are doing with your goals or “did you accomplish that one thing.”

Follow up on conversations and close the loop that was left open

You can no longer say you are going to do things – you have an entire Tribe of people holding you accountable and not letting you forget.

Mastermind groups

Squirrel Moments Are Eliminated

One of the toughest thing as an entrepreneur is keeping those “squirrel” moments down to a minimum. A mastermind helps give you that focus. In a typical Facebook group no one is asking you “How are you spending your time?”

In Facebook Mastermind Groups you could actually post a video or picture showing that you are getting your goals completed. There is the ability to get real personal about what you are doing, how you are doing it, and when you are doing it. This only helps the group bond.

Here is an example of how a Facebook Mastermind Group helps keep members on task:

You know that day where you have two hours alone at the coffee shop? Typically you could blow those two hours and have no idea what you did. You were on Facebook about 6 times reading, responding, and sharing with your friends and groups that don’t really matter or pour into you. Then you were on email about 8 times because you kept getting distracted. Then you also were working on a blog article in another tab…. catch my drift?

If you had a Facebook Group Mastermind backing you up, you would have “homework” to do. You want to come to your next meeting or post in the group saying that you accomplished what you said you would.

Maybe even share a picture or video which helps others get to know you and bond more!

All of a sudden busy work on Facebook becomes less important, those emails get checked once instead of 8 times. You crank through that blog and get focused because you don’t want to let the group (and yourself) down.

In the pet sitter Mastermind group we have going, we actually paired up with accountability partners and nightly they were checking in on each other. The relationships formed and the energy everyone found their business was magical.



Mastermind Groups Have Valuable Topics:

When Mastermind groups get together there is an agenda with a strict timeline for each activity. There is sometimes a topic that everyone weighs in on or a member that they circle around to help focus on something in their business. The group stays on topic with the leadership’s guidance and that allows the group to be incredibly productive.

This doesn’t happen in a typical facebook group. It is a free for all with no rhythm to posts being published or guidance.

In a Mastermind facebook group, Monday through Friday you are getting daily inspiration, teachings, and motivation.

Topics are great to help hold a timeline too. In the Jump Mastermind group we have a new topic each month. In January, it was goals. I know it doesn’t sound sexy, …. but it was thrilling for so many members! We had experts on vision come in, we did exercises together, we learned the difference between to-do lists and goals and we practiced self-discipline and focus. The results were incredible (just watch Sarah’s video above!) . People were learning from one another. They felt comfortable in knowing they weren’t the only one who struggled with the same types of things. The results were eye-opening. I have an entire list of 35+ things that were done in a week and here are just the first ten:

Set up Calendly and invited candidates to interviews
Finished quiz for manuals and downloaded dog behavior manual for printing
Completed a module for a certification
Set up year-end review with an accountant
Rewrote 3 policies in the employee manual, counseled an employee on tardiness, reconciled check payments, posted hiring ad, and now onto reviewing and sending out invoices
Set up & scheduled blogs & social media posts for 2 months out!
Put out help wanted ad
Met with a new vet office in town
Wrote and printed interview questions


The group got focused and stayed on target and it was so beautiful to watch.

In a general Facebook group, no one cares if you get things done or not. There is no one there to hold you accountable, check in with you, and more.

In February we dove deep into everything numbers. From finding out exactly how much our business would be worth if we sold it today, how our trends can dictate our marketing, how much an average dog walk or pet sit costs our company to how to manipulate marketing and sales to achieve our fiscal goals, to understanding google analytics and so much more.


Mastermind Groups Have a Certain Size:

Size matters. *wink*

Really, how can you have an intimate feeling when you have 1000+ people in a group?

You can’t.

I would even argue that the larger it becomes, the more one can become lost in a sea of people like I talked about earlier.

In a small facebook mastermind group, everyone knows one another. New people are introduced to the group. Relationships form and you don’t get lost with who said what?

You are able to go deep with people and the time between interactions with one another is short. In a large group, this can’t happen.

Part of being in a mastermind is allowing yourself to be vulnerable. Small groups allow this to happen when you know who is watching.

Join Jump Masterind

Mastermind Groups Have A Screening Process:

Not just anyone can join a mastermind group. Some Facebook groups only require you to say you have a business, or an email, be of a certain gender, or subscribe to a certain pastime and BOOM! You are a member.

A Facebook Mastermind Group is different. The members are often screened in such a way that they have to meet the requirements and there might even be a cost associated. In the pet sitter mastermind I run, members must be making at least $50K a year and be willing to show up and work on their business. Participation is mandatory.


The Real Difference Between Facebook Groups and Mastermind Groups For Pet Sitters:

It all comes down to what are you looking for? Are you looking for a chance where you can bond with a group of your peers, running the same type of business you are or are you okay with being a wallflower in a larger group where you can just be a fly on the wall?

Neither is the right or wrong answer.

Those who really want to make incredible strides in their business running with a Tribe of people who know you intimately and got your back is where the magic happens.

You are the sum of the 5 people you hang around the most with.

Who are your 5 people?





Did you really like this article? If you want to know more about the Jump Consulting Mastermind for pet sitters and dog walkers that have a business doing over $50K + in revenue a year than comment below or ask in one of my Facebook groups. 


Join Jump Masterind

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What You Need To Know Before You Join A Mastermind for Your Pet Business

Have you ever wondered if you should join a mastermind? It’s a good question for many business owners who are ready to take it to the next level and who want the extra support and guidance from people they really respect. Today, I want to dive deep taking a look at what Masterminds are, what they are not, and what you should consider before you join a mastermind. Are they all created equal? What makes some have a greater impact than others?

pet sitter join a mastermind

 What is a Mastermind?

A Mastermind is a group of people that come together to help one another.  Typically they have a difference of opinions, resources, and experiences which makes the group even more powerful.

It is a place where members can work through ideas, make plans, and overcome challenges with many minds at once.  It is a place they can feel safe and say things they normally wouldn’t publically and in an environment where members can be challenged and vulnerable all at the same time.

If you join a mastermind you can expect to have structured meetings, strong attendance, and expectations placed on all members as a cornerstone to maintaining membership. Some masterminds meet in person weekly, others meet virtually, some meet once a quarter at different locations around the country.

A way to illustrate the mentality of a Mastermind is a gang. I know that might sound a bit harsh but think about it:  They all hang together, they act as one unit, and they all influence each other’s decisions.

They also hold each other accountable.

join a mastermind pet sitter

 Why Would Someone Want To Join a Mastermind?

There are endless obvious and not so obvious reasons why someone would want to join a mastermind. Sometimes it is for selfish reasons; they want to get as much from the group as possible. Sometimes it is for selfless reasons; sometimes they want to give back. Some because they just want to be apart of a bigger body that is moving.

Feel Alone in Business

Many business owners simply feel all alone. Their friends and family just don’t understand their business. They don’t have many friends on or offline that understand what they do or have the same attitude towards growth that they do.

Sometimes it just feels like we are trying to convince people that we even have a business and no one really believes us. Oh my daughter walks dogs” is typically the way someone shows they “understand” what we do. When you join a mastermind everyone intimately understands exactly what you do.


join mastermind

They Have No Support

When things go good, there is rarely anyone that understands the depth of the strength it took to reach that achievement. When things are bad, it always feels like no one understands. Maybe some might pretend to understand, but in the end, all they are looking to do is tell you what they think you should have done and how wrong you really are (according to them). The people who join a mastermind tend to invite the support into their lives both good and constructive.

Again, the group think offers many opinions, resources, and advice.

Big Fish in a Small Pond

I know many business owners who are on the top of their game. They have a fresh outlook on their business, a positive mindset, and embrace failures as ways to learn. Unfortunately, not everyone is like that and sometime you will feel like you are surrounded by a bunch of people who are small fish with simple minds.

A business owner must be careful of where he or she spends their time because hanging out this crowd too long can severely hurt your business. If you join a mastermind you can be prepared to feel like a small fish in a big pond. It will offer you a chance to learn, grow, and explore the possibilities.


join a mastermind dog walker

 What Masterminds Are Not:

If you want to join a mastermind, it is important to understand what they are not. Sometimes people get masterminds confused with something else and it is important to be clear what they are not so you aren’t surprised.

They Are Not Coaching Groups

If you are expecting to get one on one coaching from the Mastermind leader, then joining a mastermind might not be right for you. It gets a little tricky here as some had a hard time finding the distinction between this group think and coaching. While you might feel like there is a little overlap, a Mastermind isn’t coaching.

When you hire a business coach you are getting to work one on one through challenges and there is often direct teachings specifically for you. The beauty of a Mastermind is learning not only when the spotlight is on you, but also when it is on others and they are learning lessons that you can directly apply to your business.

In fact, most of the learning happens when you witness others journies throughout it!

It is Not a Place To Vent

Masterminds are focused on solutions. They solve problems, together as a group. They have a positive, can do, we-believe-in-you attitude and a lot of encouragement sprinkled into everything. It is not a place to come and complain without looking for a solution. It is not a place to vent or moan and groan. When you join a Mastermind it is about overcoming your challenges and by the end, you should feel confident knowing exactly how you can move forward in conquering your obstacles.

You Can’t Be a Wallflower if You Join a Mastermind

The Mastermind will not be successful without everyone participating, and that means you! If you were at a business networking meeting, you might be able to get away with sitting at the bar and letting the room work you… but not in a Mastermind. You need to support your fellow members. You need to offer advice and encouragement and you need to show up and be on time. Afterall, that is what you want them to do for you, right?

“Be prepared to work and you will reap the benefits. What you put in is what you will get out of it.”
Alix DiLorenzo Homeward Bound
Jump Mastermind founding member



join a mastermind pet business

What To Expect if You Join A Mastermind

Admittedly, this concept is pretty new to the pet industry…no one is really doing any of these so I want to break it down to show you exactly what Masterminds are all about.

They are laser focused:

This means that the participants are directly out to do a certain goal or task. Each group might achieve this differently.

I am in a Mastermind with under five people. This masterminds task is to put one person in the hot seat at our weekly meeting and we all help that one person figure out a challenge, create a roadmap, and the person usually commits to achieving that duty by the next meeting.

In other masterminds when you have larger groups, sometimes there are monthly themes. Where everything you talk about that month has to do with the theme.

“When considering a mastermind, be ready to do the work. Be ready to be laser focused and use valuable advice that is not available anywhere else.” 
Kelly Harrell Tails Around Town
Jump Mastermind Founding Member.


They Are Member Driven:

Just like you can’t be absent and it isn’t a coaching session, the true “mastermind” happens when all the group members put their heads together for the common good of the group. The group is driven by the memberships ability to support one another.

 “Being in a Mastermind Group helps you to break through your fear and make some powerful choices that you would not otherwise have done. It helps you to GET REAL with yourself and your business. Everyone in the group has something to bring to the table. If you have a challenge, you can get some answers from someone in the group that has probably gone through it before and can help you. It is all about sharing because the members of a mastermind group tend to be so open about their past mistakes and so open to helping.” 
Maureen Dunn Mccarthy   Love and Kisses Pet Sitting
Jump Consulting Founding Member


The Leadership of The Group Matters:

Although it isn’t a coaching group, the leader of the group should have some clout with the members. They are the captain of the ship leading and guiding the group down the road. Leadership will help create topics, have experts come in, keep the tone of the group, enforce the rules, keep the meetings on target. They will also hand select or approve the group members entering the group so you can be assured that there has been some vetting done.

Alternatively, if there is a leader who doesn’t have resources, knowledge, or authority over leading a group of people, it might end up being a bit chaotic. I’d ask yourself, how much do you believe in the leader?

“The most important thing for any business owner deciding what mastermind to join is who the founder is. Are they the rare individual who has the charisma, eloquence, grit, heroism and, above all, love to believe in you when you’re battle-scarred and you don’t even believe in yourself? Do they have a plan and vision for the people they bring together? Do they understand what it takes to succeed from deep inside? Do they challenge and drive you to walk up the mountain to see the planets align for the first time in all your years of business and life?”
Asha Olivia  Hoby Dogy
Jump Consulting Mastermind Member

There is Usually an Investment:

What separates one group from another? Cost.

You will automatically value something if you have to invest your hard-earned money. If you didn’t invest, you have nothing to lose and often the way to treat “it” will change. Just think the last time you were given something for free vs something you had to save up and buy? You valued the one that took a lot of work to acquire!

Masterminds have a wide range of costs. I have heard of some as much as $60,000 a YEAR and I have heard of some at $19 a month. The cost also creates exclusivity. Not everyone can just join. There is an investment to have your seat, to have the privilege, of being around a group of like-minded individuals. Cost should be a factor that you should consider as a tool that ensures that you are surrounded by serious people.

You Need To Show Up Consistently!

Masterminds rely heavily on the group all being present. Regular meetings require that you get to know one another so attendance is a must! Even if the group doesn’t have you in the hot seat that day, there is still a lot you can learn from others going through challenges in their business and you might have the key piece of advice that help that business owner.

The group is only as good as the members that show up! If no one showed up, there would be no group. It also helps hold members accountable.

You have to understand the group takes time to participate and that you have to be prepared to: -take time to invest in yourself by achieving your goals which may mean you work more at first to reap the benefit of letting go. -be pushed by your peers -get exceptional advice from other bus owners like you from their own trial and errors. “
Katie Westerfield Homeward Bound Pet Care
Jump Mastermind Founding Member

Is a Mastermind Right For You?

It is always tough to tell if the Mastermind would be right for you. At the very least, I think you should contact the organizer of the group you are looking to join because they will be able to tell you.

Now, if you are like me, you are probably saying, “yeah right Bella! They just want to “sell” me to join the group” But here is the thing – it actually hurts them if you aren’t the right fit and join. One bad apple could through the entire group mojo off and the group leader

If you are at the point in your business you want to be held accountable, feel like you want to take your business to the next level but need a bit of group think to expand your horizons and cheer you on… a Mastermind could be for you. It is just as much about giving as receiving and the networking that naturally happens in these groups tends to create forever friendships!

jump consulting mastermind

december pet sitting ideas

4 December Pet Sitting Blog Or Video Ideas

December is here! That means snow, cold weather, the holidays, and time with the family. As a pet sitting business owner, it also means that you’re gearing up for the busiest month of the year. Many clients will be taking trips out of town for Christmas and New Years, which means that you will have a full plate with pet sits and dog walks. It’s important to make sure that your website is up to date and ranking on Google during the holiday season since many pet owners will be scouring the Internet trying to find the perfect pet care solution! Without further ado, here are some December pet sitting blog or video ideas:

4 December Pet Sitting Blog Or Video Ideas

december pet sitting blog ideas

1. Holidays – Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, New Years, & More!

It’s very common that a great portion of your clients will go out of town for Christmas & for New Years. After all, it’s one of the busiest times of the year for the airports. There will be tons of people in your area googling flights, hotels, and pet care – there’s where you come in! To make sure they can find you, here’s some examples of holiday-themed blogs you can write:


  • What Should I Get My Dog/Cat For Christmas?
  • Should I Include My Dog/Cat On My Holiday Card?
  • 10 Easy Dog-Friendly Christmas Treats
  • New Years Resolution From The Dog/Cat, To You

The list goes on and on!


2. Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

Weather is a great topic to write or talk about, because many pet owners are not too sure how to care for their pets in extreme weather. Since December is very cold and snowy, write some blogs  (or make videos) educating your clients on how they can care for their pets during the Winter season:

  • 5 Ways To Exercise With My Dog When It’s Too Cold Outside
  • 4 Games To Play With My Dog In The Snow
  • Can My Dog Get Sick From Being Outside In The Cold?
  • Is It Possible For My Dog To Get Frostbite?

These are just a few ideas, but if you think on it a little while I am sure you’ll come up with more interesting questions worth answering! If you have a good question, research it and then blog about it!


3. Winter Games & Activities

Admittedly, there’s not a whole lot of games that dogs can play outside in freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall (at least not ones that are very long!). But don’t let this stop you from writing or talking about other activities pet owners can do with their animals indoors while they’re waiting for the weather to warm up!

Try searching the Internet for games that dogs and their owners can play in the snow, such as hide-n-go seek with a treat. Compile a list! Or, write/talk about some indoor activities pet owners can engage in with their dogs and cats such as snuggling, watching movies, playing with indoor toys, taking naps, and more.

Are there restaurants in your area that are pet-friendly? Make a list, describe each one, and use it as a blog! You can also do this for hiking/walking trails and stores (preferably ones with holiday bargains!)


4. Don’t Forget About The Pet Educational Themes Of The Month

There are only a couple of themes for December but they are still worth considering writing or talking about:

  • National Cat Lover’s Month – Write a blog or make a video on why cats are so loved!
  • National Mutt Day (December 2nd) – Write a blog or make a video on why mutts are so loved!


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

Also, if you’re tired of doing your own marketing, why not let me do it for you? Check out my Better Marketing With Bella Program.

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

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

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

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

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

better marketing with bella

november pet sitting blog ideas

4 November Pet Sitting Blog Or Video Ideas

The Fall season is coming to an end, and Winter is quickly approaching as we enter into November. So what does this mean for you as a business owner? Well, it means Thanksgiving and Black Friday are coming up, the weather is starting to change, and people will be taking a number of holiday trips! The opportunities to market and gain new clients are endless. But how will these potential clients find you? Through your blog of course! Read on for a November pet sitting blog ideas I have compiled in order to drive traffic to your blog and appeal to a new base.

4 November Pet Sitting Blog Or Video Ideas

november pet sitting blog ideas

1. Holidays – Thanksgiving/Black Friday!

Many people go out of town for Thanksgiving weekend, since it’s a four day weekend for most. This means that there are a pool of potential clients in your area that will be looking for a solution to watch their pets when they’re away. That’s where you come in! You can write or talk about a number of Thanksgiving topics including:

  • Thanksgiving foods you can/can not feed your pets
  • Why your cat/dog is thankful for you/your pet sitter
  • Why pet owners are thankful for their pets
  • Hot Black Friday deals for pet toys/products

The list goes on and on!


2. Say Goodbye To Autumn, & Hello To Winter!

Weather is a great topic to write or talk about, since many pet owners are unsure on how to handle their pets in certain climates. A lot of questions arise when dealing with snowfall and below zero temperatures. Consider writing or talking about ideas such as:

  • What temperature is the ‘cut-off’ for walking my dog?
  • Should dogs wear snow booties while walking?
  • Does salt hurt my dog’s paws?
  • What happens if my dog eats snow?

These are just a few ideas, but brainstorm a little and you’ll be sure to come up with a lot of compelling questions worth answering!


3. Winter Games & Activities

Admittedly, there’s not a whole lot of games that dogs can play outside in freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall (at least not ones that are very long!). But don’t let this stop you from writing or talking about other activities pet owners can do with their animals indoors while they’re waiting for the weather to warm up!

Try searching the Internet for games that dogs and their owners can play in the snow, such as hide-n-go seek with a treat. Compile a list! Or, write or talk about some indoor activities pet owners can engage in with their dogs and cats such as snuggling, watching movies, playing with indoor toys, taking naps, and more.

Are there restaurants in your area that pet-friendlyndly? Make a list, describe each one, and use it as a blog! You can also do this for hiking/walking trails and stores (preferably ones with Black Friday deals!).


4. Consider The Pet Education Themes Of The Month is a great resource for learning all about monthly themes. To save you some time, here are the themes that you can write or talk about for November:

  • Adopt A Senior Pet Month (ASPCA). Write a blog or make a video about why adopting senior pets is worth it!
  • Pet Cancer Awareness Month. Make a blog or video about early cancer warning signs/symptoms, treatment methods, prevention tools, and more.
  • Pet Diabetes Month. Write a blog or make a video about early diabetes warning signs/symptoms, treatment methods, prevention tools, and more.
  • National Dog Show (American Kennel Club). Broadcast yearly on Thanksgiving! Be sure to tell your clients where/when/how they can watch!
  • National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week (The US Humane Society) – November 5th – 11th. You can talk about the benefits that shelters provide to homeless animals, and why it’s always better to adopt and not shop!
  • National Take A Hike Day (November 17th). Encourage your clients to take some time to take their dog on a hike! Be sure to give them a choice of some stellar local hiking trails.

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

Also, if you’re tired of doing your own marketing, why not let me do it for you? Check out my Better Marketing With Bella Program.

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

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

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

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

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

better marketing with bella

credit card rates

How Are Credit Card Rates Calculated For My Pet Sitting Company?

Since my last post on credit card processing and pet sitting software companies, I have gotten lots of questions about how credit card rates are determined. I know it is a taboo topic we don’t often talk about. The purpose of writing this is to be able to use it as a resource again and again.

I take personal responsibility for everything I publish, and genuinely want to help every business become educated on a messy and confusing topic.

That’s why I haven’t written this alone.

I am not the authority on merchant services, also known as “credit cards” in our Facebook forums, so I decided to go straight to the experts I know, like, and trust.


credit card rates


Tiered Pricing vs Interchange Plus Pricing?


Since the post of my recent blog where I shed some light on what was happening with credit cards and one pet sitting software, I was asked a few questions. The most popular was, “Do the people I work with offered a tiered pricing program or do they use the Interchange Plus Pricing model?”  This pet sitter was hearing that the Tiered Pricing Model wasn’t the best choice.

I thought it was a great question so I reached out to my contacts and spent 20 minutes on the phone learning about what determines credit card rates and taking notes for this article.

I am going to tell you what I discovered, but first, I am going to explain the two. If you are like me, I didn’t know and I really didn’t care as long as I was in love with my rate (which I am, of course!)

Tiered Pricing
This is when a company creates buckets and all cards fall into one of the buckets. Each bucket has its own percentage and that is what the card will be charged. Some buckets make the credit card company more money and some buckets make the company less money. The customer who is charging the cards will only see as many rates on their bill as how many buckets their cards fell into.


Interchange Plus Pricing
This is a system where it acknowledges that there are thousands of cards out there. On your statement, you will see a different fee for all cards including the upcharge that the company decided to add onto it. This statement might be a little harder and confusing to look at as the customer but allows cards not to be grouped together.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both models.

To answer the question I received: The company I work with uses both. 

It is why looking at people’s statements is so important to see what cards they are already currently charging and then find the plan that best fits them. They gave me an example that a donut shop might have different types of transactions than a hotel and that made perfect sense. Different volumes, amounts, and probably types of cards.

You actually might remember that person who I just helped save $8700!  She would have saved some by taking the flat 2.9% offer but ended up double because she had the negotiating power with many companies and chose against the software that would lock her into a higher rate of 2.9% causing her thousands of dollars.

More About How Credit Card Rates Are Determined From The Experts:

I recorded this interview about how to determine credit card rates back in April 2015. The man you see in the video is the same person who took the time to help explain everything I just wrote about the two models above. If you check out when I did this interview, it was 3 years ago!

Accountability, relationships, and honesty….they all matter to me.


You Could End Up Paying a Lot More In Your Credit Card Rates Than What They Courted You For:

What a certain software system is trying to claim “you could end up paying a lot more than what they courted you for” is actually true! Many merchant services operate like this. They bait you with a great rate and then switch or raise you as time goes on. In fact, the one you are with right now, might actually have raised your rates already and you have been too busy to even notice. After all, your payments are probably on auto-deduct, right?

What this software company says is true….. if you don’t know where to go.


credit card rates

How Do You Know Which Is Best For You?

Different businesses will have different trends like the hotel and donut shop I mentioned earlier.

It all depends and this is why it is SO important to have someone that you can know, like, and trust walking side by side with you. They should be able to explain credit card rates and fees and even re-evaluate things with you as your business grows. I can easily see how a dog walking company would vary differently than a pet sitting company simply because of the spending habits of their different clients.

What’s My Motive?

It is to help you. I have spent ten years in this industry looking through your profit and loss statements, looking where you could increase profits and cut costs. We have agonized on how to pick the best rate to charge so you can achieve your personal financial dreams. We have celebrated and cried together. A business coach with no successful clients isn’t a good business coach at all. So what I am trying to do here is make you successful. Make you keep some of your hard-earned money. I am trying to encourage you to not procrastinate a horribly stressful and confusing task that every business owner needs to pay attention to at least once a year and let you know that there is help.

I am begging you to not just say OK when someone gives you a flat rate without fully understanding the implications of what that really means. It might be good. It might be bad. My motive is to arm you with an education so you can make the best choice for you and that you can literally take to the bank.

pet sitting package deal

pet sitting software credit cards

The Truth About Credit Card Processing And Pet Sitting Software Companies

I couldn’t understand when a handful of clients came to me and said they couldn’t use more than one credit card processor in their pet sitting software system. (They all had the same one.)

It bugged me, as their coach, looking out for their bottom line…. so I reached out to their software company.

The pet sitting software company is very popular, newer, and always improving. Admittedly, they even have a lot of great bells and whistles including a feature that only one other company has.

They are cutting edge.
Always making improvements.
Quick to send and reply to emails.

Overall, they appear to be pretty darn awesome!

So I asked them, “Why can’t my clients use another processor other than the one you are encouraging?” and their reply was basically that they had problems when they had multiple credit card processing companies and they had to only choose one to support.

They said that many were using one processor in particular, so it is the one they decided to “support” on their app.

It didn’t really make sense to me, as they are so cutting edge… but I accepted their response.

Credit Card Processing

Wait….This Pet Sitting Software Company Does Offer Multiple Processors to Accept Credit Cards?!?


A few days later, I had a conversation with another client of mine. She was using this same pet sitting software company AND using a credit card processor who was different than what they said they could support. So I went back to this company and they said some people were “grandfathered” in.

So now, I was really confused. Can you not support it or do you choose NOT to support it, and why?


Something Didn’t Add Up.


What DID add up was the dollars it was going to cost my client in credit card fees and the pet sitting software services. The pet sitting software company she wanted to switch to was double as expensive as what she was currently using.   By switching software companies, she would have to switch credit card processors and it would be a fixed rate for processing.

That sounds stress free, right?

Maybe even a good thing?

In a world where there are thousands of credit card rates… knowing that you can count on being charged one percentage and one fee per transaction is pretty darn awesome…..right?


Or at least not all the time.

So I encouraged her to do the math.

Here is an example for those of you reading this:

This breakdown is Credit Card Fee/Total Revenue per Year/Cost of Credit Cards
2% of $500,000 is $10,000
3% of $500,000 is $15,000
4% of $500,000 is $20,000

Or, another example:

2% of $200,000 is $4,000
3% of $200,000 is $6,000
4% of $200,000 is $8,000


This Pet Sitter Did The Math.

She realized that switching pet sitting software companies would double her cost in software  (from around $200 a month to $400). Although, this new software company COULD save her some money in her credit card fees… so it sounded enticing.

And that is where many pet sitting companies stop their research and education.

But this pet sitter didn’t.

She asked another credit card company what her fees would be and because of her yearly volume, they could give her an even BETTER deal.

When all was said and done, if this pet sitter didn’t switch software companies and lowered her rate to the competitive company, she could save a lot of money in a year. In fact,


Switching Her Pet Sitting Software Company Would Cost An Extra $8,700.00 A Year!

Over $8,000 difference!

You could buy a small car for that price!

Or 4 MacBook Pro’s!

Or even 4 brand new websites!

That is a ton of money, and for this pet sitter, it was too much money.

She decided to stay with her current software company and switch credit card processing companies to save those thousands of dollars. 

Learning About Kick Backs

Kickbacks are something that when a person recommends a product or service, they get something in return. Sometimes they are called referrals. This day in age the big buzzword is affiliate marketing. I earn kickbacks for some things I recommend… but not all. For example, when someone signs up for credit card processing through my contact, I get a referral fee.

So this idea really got me thinking.

How can a company that advertises that they are always making improvements not make THIS improvement and how can their software be so robust that it GPS’s walkers, but they can’t take more than one payment processor?

Yet, I know they can because I have clients doing it?

pet sitter credit cards

So… I Called Up WePay.


WePay is much like Stripe, Square, etc. They are an interface that allows businesses to accept credit cards for a low cost without using a gateway. The way the credit card industry works is with lots and lots of numbers and rates. It is a volume based business because the more processing that happens, typically, the better rate businesses can be offered.

This works many ways.

I talked to WePay and you know what they told me? If I was a software company, I could offer 2.9% plus 30 cents per transaction to my customers who were using my software.

Once my clients reached a total of $250,000.00 in charges a month, then I could start making money on the back end. I could negotiate with WePay for a larger personal cut. I was told that the more money my clients charge each month, the more “wiggle” room I could have. So it would go something like this:

2.9% charged to my software users (they are all business owners)
I negotiate 2.5% behind the scenes with WePay and they still charge my customers 2.9%
That extra .4% will go directly to me on the back end as a profit share.

Let me use actual numbers:
$500,000 in revenue a month.
multiplied by .4%
=$2,000 a month

Another example:
If you are a software company and have at LEAST 100 clients charging at least $10,000 a month…. that is $1,000,000 in revenue a month. That could be $4,000 a month they are making off credit card processing if they were only earning .4%

There are so many variations, and it is hard to estimate anything, but it is safe to say that a software company could make a LOT of money off the charges that my customers make.

While discussing the possibilities with WePay, and telling them I was in the pet industry, they actually named the software company that does this exact type of deal with them and how great it works out.


And Now It All Makes Sense


Listen, I want to be super clear – this is the way that credit card processing works and I am not against it. I am not even against this software company having another revenue stream.

What I am against is the feeling of YUCKY that sits with my clients and I when we asked this software company a direct question and got (what we feel) smoke and mirrors.

Essentially they have the most expensive software (all the power to them!) and they seem to hide the fact that they make money off of that too. I just don’t like that it appears like they are not telling the whole truth or being upfront. Not to mention they are leading their clients to think that they are getting a great deal.

In a world where transparency and authenticity is golden online, I would really encourage them (because I know they will eventually read this) to come clean. So many people would have so much more respect for them.

We aren’t against them making money. We all have choices and business decisions to make. It is more about their refusal to disclose it.

I find it challenging to encourage my clients, whose best interest I serve, to tell them to use a software that is the most expensive, and then they have no negotiating power with their credit card fees on. For that reason, I can never recommend this software.

pet sitting software

Know Your Rights With Credit Card Processing:

These are all according to me and what I have learned. Nothing legal about what I am about to share *wink*

  1. Shop rates like you would your home mortgage.
  2. Ask your current company to reduce your rate. If they can’t, see #1.
  3. Go with the company with the best customer service and rates.
  4. Know that you have the right to have your own personal contact at the credit card company. You should be able to call or email them and they know about you and your business.
  5. Understand that rates change based off what is going on in the world, your volume, and a bunch of other reasons that make my head spin.
  6. Get someone on your business team (a rep) that you can know and trust!
  7. If you get an 800 number and are just a fish in the sea, run!
  8. Online reviews will ALWAYS be bad. They are full of people upset, especially when it comes to credit card processing. It shouldn’t hold much weight.


My Final Advice:

  1. You have to be an advocate for your business. You need to know your numbers on a global scale. You need to know projections, if you are up or down, the average price of a visit/walk, how much it costs you, how much you’re spending in labor, how much you want to make, and HOW MUCH you are spending! If you have no clue, my Pricing Structure & Strategy Guide can set you straight.
  2. You can’t stick your head in the sand. It is one of the most important responsibilities as a business owner. Know your numbers or at least know how to recall them in reports that are up to date and at your fingertips.
  3. When choosing a pet sitting software company decide on the features that are most important to you and see what company can serve you the best. My top three would be customer service, ability to negotiate credit cards rates, and how they will help improve my processes. My top three, might not be your top three.



credit card rates


dog walking clients

The Problems With Getting More Dog Walking Clients

It can be a scary moment in any dog walking business when you start to notice a decline in new clients. While dog walking clients are usually consistent in their bookings, there’s no telling when a loyal client may choose to stop service. This is why it’s SO important to consistently have new clients coming down the pipeline. Easier said then done right? Let’s discuss some of the challenges that dog walking business owners encounter when trying to gain more dog walking clients, and how you can overcome them.

The Problems With Getting More Dog Walking Clients

dog walking clients


One of the reasons many dog walking business owners aren’t gaining new clients is because they don’t ASK! I’m officially giving you permission to overcome that barrier – don’t be afraid to ask for new clients through your marketing! Plus, you want to make sure you’re promoting your business on every platform you have an account for. This can be Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other social media marketing. Note that this doesn’t have to necessarily be advertising – you could simply be solving people’s problems via Facebook and then boosting that post for $5 or so. Or, maybe you are sending out email newsletters or writing blogs. Don’t forget to keep track of how much interaction and engagement each platform has, so that you can determine for yourself what the best social media marketing channels are.

Keep in mind that with any marketing cycle, you may not see results right away. That’s why I say consistency is key. The more you market and the more you brand, the more your business becomes a household name. Growth takes time, so be sure to stick with one marketing effort for a few months. Track your results, and if you notice that you’re not getting much feedback, change it up! Just allow adequate time for your marketing to run its course, which will help you really determine if your marketing is working.


Maybe you’re consistent in your marketing, but are you doing enough (and spending enough)? Marketing is definitely an investment, so you have to be smart about how to get the most bang for your buck. Also be sure you’re investing in marketing both online AND offline. As the saying goes, you have to spend money to make money. Spending your money on marketing is really the best way to grow and scale your business – given that you’re working smarter NOT harder. To help you with this process, be sure to check out my one year pet sitting business marketing plan I designed for you.


Even more so than money, time can be a commodity you have very little of as as dog walking business owner. I see a lot of business owners that are just so busy in the day-to-day aspects of their business, that they literally have no time to spend on marketing. Don’t let this be you! Design systems and processes to prevent this from happening. When you are being buried by your business, you absolutely NEED to make sure you have clients in the pipeline to stay afloat.

Remember those Facebook posts, email newsletters, and blogs I mentioned above? I recommend writing a batch at once and then scheduling them! Almost all content platforms have a scheduling feature now – so take advantage of it! But if blog writing, email writing, and Facebook status creation isn’t your forte, let me do it for you here through my Better Marketing With Bella Program.

Okay – so I think we’ve established that gaining new dog walking clients is definitely no easy task. There’s a lot of problems dog walking business owners run into for sure. But I think we’ve also determined that there are a number of ways we can overcome those problems. If you still feel lost, let’s work on it together – I am here to help!

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september pet sitting blog ideas

4 September Pet Sitting Blog Or Video Ideas

Summer is coming to an end and we are quickly approaching the Fall season. But what does this mean for you as a business owner? Well, it means the kids are going back to school, Labor Day is coming up, and there are numerous opportunities for you get new clients. However, they will never know you exist unless you BLOG or VIDEO – it is a necessity! I know that coming up with blog/video topics is difficult, so I’ve compiled a list of intriguing September pet sitting blog ideas that will help your website shine on Google!

4 September Pet Sitting Blog Or Video Ideas

september pet sitting blog ideas

1. Holidays – Labor Day!

Labor Day can mean two good things for you as a business owner.

  • The kids are going back to school.
  • People will be taking trips

Many people in your area might be trying to figure out what they are going to do with their dogs now that their kids will be gone all day. Why not answer their question by writing a blog or making a video? Discuss different pet care options where you live and make your business shine by showing (not telling) why your service is #1.

Also, consider writing about Labor Day. Write a blog or make a video about different events going on around town or ways people can celebrate with their families. It may get your clients’ thinking about taking a trip if they weren’t already, and sure enough, they’ll need you to watch the dog – score!


2. Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall!

The weather is a great topic to blog or video about because it’s very broad and there are so many different directions you can go.

September can be pretty rainy, so why not blog or video about it? Ask and answer questions such as:

  • Is it safe to walk a dog in the rain?
  • Should dogs wear raincoats or rain boots when walking in the rain?
  • Can dogs get sick walking in the rain?

The questions are endless and will engage your audience to click and find out the answer.


3. Autumn Activities

Changing of the seasons allows pet owners and their pets alike to engage in activities they might not have been able to do the season before.

For instance, make a list of the top hiking trails in your area with the most scenic view? Summer is too hot for hiking, plus the changing of the leaves makes great scenery. Write about it and get your audience thinking!

Or maybe blog/video about some of the best games to play with your dog outside during Autumn. Other topics could include a list of the top dog parks in the area, dog-friendly restaurants, or other pet-friendly events that may be going on around you.


4. Educational Pet Themes Of The Month

Did you know that every month has a specially designated theme that has to do with pets and animals? September is:

  • Happy Healthy Cat Month
  • National Disaster Preparedness Month

Take these topics and run with them. Write about helpful tips cat owners can use to ensure their cat is both happy and healthy. Or take the second topic and describe how dog owners and their dogs can be prepared in case of an emergency.

Additionally, there are certain pet oriented days in September that you can write time-sensitive blogs/videos about such as:

  • National Hug Your Hound Day (2nd Sunday In September)
  • Responsible Dog Ownership Day (September 19th)
  • National Dog Week (Last full week in September)


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

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

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

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

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

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

better marketing with bella

Ten Things You Need To Know About Being A Pet Sitting Employees VS. IC

Good help is hard to find, as any business owner knows. With the variety of web-based services which offer Independent Contractor (IC) opportunities for aspiring pet sitters and dog walkers, why would a pet lover choose to work for a traditional business as a pet sitting employee rather than working independently and possibly bringing home more cash?  

Becoming an employee of an established company offers lots benefits for folks who are interested in caring for pets. When considering how to proceed, it’s important that an individual consider several things. Below are the top 10 differences in working for an employer versus working for one’s self.

Ten Things You Need to Know About Being A Pet Sitting Employee VS. IC

pet sitting employee

1. Instant income

Possibly the most obvious benefit of working for someone else is the instant stream of work! Rather than posting a profile all over the internet, handing out business cards and hoping to meet people at the dog park, an established company already has visits lined up and ready to go for employees. There’s no need to hustle.

2. Overhead

All of the marketing and client retention is completed by the company, which takes time (and money!). If a client is unhappy, employees are still paid. If tools or supplies are needed, it’s covered. An IC is financially responsible for all things related to the care they provide during visits they are contracted to complete.

3. Insurance

Beyond covering overhead costs, a professional business will be insured and bonded by a reliable insurance company. Although some of the web-based services offer insurance, there have been several questionable situations where insurance refused to pay out – it can leave an IC open to liability.

4. Personal liability

When working under the umbrella of insurance and bonding provided by a corporation, employees are generally insulated from lawsuits claiming negligence or other civil suits; this is not the case when working as an IC.

5. Workers comp

Did you know many health insurance policies will not cover workplace injuries? Most professional pet care companies carry workers compensation insurance; this means, if an employee is injured while caring for a pet, there isn’t a reliance on private health insurance — or the employee’s personal bank account! Self-insurance for workers comp as an IC is available, but it can be very, very pricey.

6. Safety

With a professional company, clients are screened ahead of time for pet temperament, neighborhood safety and accuracy of information provided in advance of the first visit. Employees won’t go into a job blindly and just hope for the best.

7. Taxes

An employer covers roughly half of taxes owed by an individual, plus they file the employee’s portion automatically each quarter. An IC must pay the full amount of taxes on all monies earned at the end of the year – and that bill can be unexpectedly large.

8. Protocols

Most established companies have specific rules for how to handle uncomfortable and emergency situations. No need to make up a solution on the fly!

9. Education

Beyond having established protocols, many companies teach technical skills on how to best care for pets including body language, avoiding bites, etc.

10. There’s Always A Back-Up

Feeling sick? Have an emergency? By being employed by a company, there will be someone who can pick up the slack when you’re unable to perform your visits.  As an IC, you and your clients may be out of luck.


Ultimately, both approaches have their perks. It comes down to what’s most important to an individual when deciding how they would like to pursue a career with pets! By properly presenting the information above, an IC for an internet company may be persuaded to instead join a professional team.

pet sitting

Robin Brown is the owner and founder of Manhattan Mutt Company, LLC in Manhattan, Kansas. She is a Yankee-born, Southern-bred, Midwestern transplant. Her life revolves around her husband’s Army career, a sassy toddler and the dogs who inspired her to launch MMCo.


pet sitting beginners guide

pet sitting independent contractors

The Problems With Pet Sitting Independent Contractors

I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of hiring pet sitting independent contractors for your business. Personally, I think investing in employees is a much better decision.  If you have IC’s or are thinking about hiring IC’s, we’re going to draw some attention to some of the challenges there are with hiring pet sitting independent contractors.

The Problems With Hiring Pet Sitting Independent Contractorspet sitting independent contractors

Lack Of Control

To be quite honest, I have yet to meet a business owner who is not a control freak (myself included!). This is easily one of the biggest downfalls of hiring IC’s because you really can’t control what they do.

Seems weird right?

But it’s true.

With IC’s, training is only allowed by the client themselves, not by you or a manager. Yes you can offer suggestions, but you can’t train them on the important aspects of HOW to do pet sits. This could be detrimental in developing your company’s brand, because 10 different IC’s may do pet sits 10 different ways and they should! They are all representing their own business.

Check out this quote from the IRS website that gives a great summation as to what limits IC’s have:

“The general rule is that an individual is an independent contractor if the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done and how it will be done.” –

Strict Rules & Regulations

Many times I’ve seen businesses go through more headache and hassle with different government agencies by having IC’s! This goes hand in hand with my previous point that you as the business owner cannot control or manage what the IC does. This makes it very easy for you to inadvertently overstep your bounds, creating a potential problem. I have heard of a lot of business owners emailing instructions to their IC in writing, which is a big no-no!

I’ve found that business owners that have IC’s are frequently “on the defense” so to speak. They’re having to constantly look over their shoulder and avoid putting any communication with the IC in writing to cover themselves. I’ve actually spoken to business owners that have gotten a knock on their door for something they’ve done a year ago.

To me, no matter what benefits IC’s bring, it’s not worth the fear of getting in trouble. None of us, myself included, are legal experts or auditors, making it very easy for us to slip up and get ourselves in trouble or audited.

Insurance Complications

When you have employees, they are covered under your pet sitting insurance policy – plain and simple. This is not the case with IC’s. Sure, an insurance agency will allow them to be covered under your master policy, but then who is absorbing the cost? You are. Therefore, they would be classified as employees!

There is insurance for liability, if you are negligent on the job… but there is also workman’s compensation for if a worker is hurt on a job. Independent Contractors, by definition should have these insurance policies. Most do not.

In your client’s eyes, your IC’s represent your company. It’s really not a good look when a representative of your company is suing your client for an injury. Plus, there is the possibility they could go after you as well. Overall, it’s just a giant headache, and one that can be totally avoided by hiring employees rather than IC’s

While there are still pet sitting business owners that use IC’s, it’s not something I would recommend in today’s business world. If you’re looking to make “the switch,” from ICs to employees be sure to follow these crucial 6 steps and check out my Employee Quickstart Program.

Episode 59: How To Connect With Your Pet Sitting Audience Through Storytelling With Dr. Adrian McIntyre

When entrepreneurs, experts, and small business owners want to get their story straight, they call Dr. Adrian McIntyre. He’s a cultural anthropologist and storytelling consultant who’s worked in over 30 countries. Adrian has been telling stories on stages and in the media since he was 5 years old, and he’s advised and trained hundreds of clients on high-performance communication, business storytelling, personal branding, publicity, and media skills.

Dr. Adrian McIntyre

However, It is tough for pet sitters and dog walkers to know which story to tell and when in their businesses.

But mastering this skill could help you market your business and increase your bottom line.

Listen in on this Bella In Your Business podcast episode to learn more. Plus, hear a 30 second commercial for a networking meeting and the breakdown of what makes a good story.

Adrian & Bella also chat about:

  • Why storytelling is so important
  • Whether a business owner should tell stories about their GOOD experiences or their BAD ones.
  • What to do if storytelling isn’t your strong suit (yet!)
  • They keys to successful storytelling

Blog mentioned of a pet sitter losing a dog

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What To Say To The Applicants That Weren't Select For An Interview

Ways To Overcome Problems With Pet Sitting Employees

Many people think that when you have employees, you will always have probelms.

But that isn’t always the case.

There are just a few things you have to accept and understand in order for pet sitting employees to be the best decision of your life.

Ways To Overcome Problems With Pet Sitting Employees
problems with pet sitting employees


One of the biggest challenges I see with business owners is being able to trust their employees. There really is such a fine line between being an involved business owner and micromanaging. It’s up to you to find your balance and stick with it. So how can you overcome these trust issues?

It lies in your training process. You’ll need to train your pet sitting employees extremely well to give both you and them peace of mind. Most employees WANT to do their job well – you just have to provide them with the resources to be successful. This also makes them feel like a part of the company. When you do a good job of training your employees it shows them that you are invested in their success – it makes them feel good!

But don’t get comfy. It’s imperative that you stick to your rules, but you don’t want to come across as a dictator. It’s all about balance.

pet sitting deal


Try to see your employees as an investment rather than an expense. If you have the proper pricing structure and strategy, your employees will increase your revenue as well as the value of your business. In fact, every employee can bring you $20,000 to $60,000  in revenue! If you invest in people working for your company, your company will grow and so won’t your paycheck. The typical expenses are insurance, background tests, uniforms, training, etc. Arguably while many think that employees cost more than independent contractors (ICs), ICs end up costing more.


The process of hiring, interviewing, and training is one that many business owners find challenging. It’s easily one of the biggest problems with having pet sitting employees. My advice? Wrap your head around the fact that you’re going to be doing this your entire business career.

Become one with it.

Perfect it!

If you’re worried about tackling these processes on your own, consider hiring an HR representative. Having this kind of help can help you overcome the burden of having to figure all of this out on your own.

In the pet sitting businesses, I see so many capable business owners NOT growing their business due to people problems. If you can learn to overcome this, then the sky is the limit! There are so many resources out there for you – you just have to look. 🙂

employee handbook

dog walking business coach

How Much Does A Dog Walking Business Coach Cost?

Running and operating a dog walking business can not only be difficult, but also isolating. Sometimes having somebody in your corner, helping you make tough decisions for your business can be just what you need to get your bounce back. This is where a dog walking business coach comes in. A dog walking business coach is able to help you “get unstuck” so you can continue to grow and thrive your business – for a cost. But how much DOES a dog walking business coach really cost? Today let’s explore this important question, so you’re not blindsided or surprised should you choose to work with one.

How Much Does A Dog Walking Business Coach Cost?

dog walking business coach

High Cost Coaches

Without naming names, there are a number of dog walking business coaches who I would consider “high cost.” Maybe their one-on-one coaching is expensive, or their products carry a high dollar price tag. The number one question you have to ask yourself with these types of coaches is: Is it really more valuable?

Many people believe in the saying “you get what you pay for.” This makes it very easy for business owners to believe that a high cost coach automatically offers a higher quality service – even if this isn’t always the case. Because of this, it’s imperative that you make the coach show you the value. This can be through social proof, testimonials, or reviews.

With that being said, high cost dog walking coaches are probably going to be more serious about your results. They want to work hard to make sure that their high cost backs up your results.

Low Cost Coaches

You also have the option of working with a low cost dog walking coach to gain help with your business. Something very important to consider here is if your coach is in the biz to make a living and that’s why they’re offering low prices.

The bottom line is you don’t want to work with a coach who isn’t doing this to make a living. They might not care much about your success – because your success doesn’t equal their success.

As mentioned above, you get what you pay for and sometimes it could mean less.

With all that being said, a low-cost coach isn’t necessarily bad. It is 100% possible that everything they are doing is from the heart! I offer tons of free content and low-cost content because I do this for YOU!

Free Coaches

Okay – so there probably isn’t a coach out there that works 100% for free, but many coaches offer TONS of free content! This can include things like:

  • Blogs
  • Podcast
  • Facebook Groups
  • Info-Graphics
  • Charts
  • Samples

Why do we do this? It’s so you can get a feel for the coach’s beliefs and philosophies before you start spending your hard-earned cash. Not only do we want you feel to comfortable with us, but we want you to know what to expect before jumping in!

Different Spending Options

If you choose to work with a dog walking business coach, you want to work with someone that is not only in your price range, but offers a variety of ways to learn. This can include:

  • Private Online Groups
  • 1:1 Coaching
  • Downloadable Products (e-books, etc.)
  • Virtual Classes
  • Subscriptions

It’s important that the coach you work with is able to deliver their content to you in a learning style that works for you. Coaches are here to help you grow and thrive your business. Our goal is to see you succeed!

free coaching session

A Review Of The Industry’s Dog Walking Business Coaches

I always say that as business owners, it’s up to us to wear several different “hats” so to speak. Not only are you the boss, but you’re the interviewer, payroll manager, schedule maker, and so much more. You may want to take your business to the next level. Or maybe you’re just not sure where to turn next. If this sounds like you, consider working with one of the industry’s dog walking business coaches. There are a few different coaches out there that are ready to help you grow your business to its full potential!

A Review Of The Industry’s Dog Walking Business Coaches

dog walking business coaches

Kristen Morrison – Six Figure Pet Sitting Academy

Kristin Morrison is no doubt an industry veteran. She started her pet sitting company in 1995 and began pet business coaching in 2000. Then, she sold her pet sitting business in 2013 and is now a full time business coach.

Kristen offers a large selection of resources for all types of business owners – whether you’re just starting or have been in the biz for 20+ years. Some of Kristen’s most popular resources include:

  • One-On-One Coaching
  • SEO Coaching
  • Workshops & Webinars
  • A Myriad of Downloadable Products & E-Books

Colleen Sedgwick – The Pet Nanny Coach

Colleen Sedgwick (a.k.a The Pet Nanny Coach) has over 14 years of experience in the pet sitting and dog walking industry. After starting her business from the ground up, she has now served over a 1,000 clients in the Philadelphia area.

While she describes herself as a pet sitting business coach, she offers a number resources that would be also be helpful for dog walking business owners. Some of Colleen’s most sought after programs are:

  • 7 Top Flight Strategies For Getting All The Pet Sitting Clients You Need
  • The Pet Sitting Firestarter Program
  • The Pet Nanny Success System
  • The Ignite Private Coaching Program

Bella Vasta – Jump Consulting

Hey, that’s me! After starting my pet sitting business while in college, I went full speed ahead after graduating, growing Bella’s House & Pet Sitting to be nationally and locally award winning as well as boasting with employees. One year ago I sold my company for over six-figures, so I can spend my days inspiring and motivating pet sitting business owners, as well as being a wife and mom!

Some of the unique services I offer that my client’s particularly love are:

No matter which of the dog walking business coaches you choose to work with, you want to make sure you consider the problems with coaches as well as the cost of one. Ensuring that a coach “clicks” with your personality is essential to your success. Be sure to check out the free content that coaches offer so you can get a feel for if they’re the right choice for you.

free coaching session

dog walking business

The Problems With Owning A Dog Walking Business

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

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

The Problems With Owning A Dog Walking Businessdog walking business


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

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

Hiring Is Hard

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

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

Losing One Client Can Be Devastating

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

Not All Companies Stand Out

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

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

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

Pet Sitting Business

hiring dog walkers

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

dog walking deal


pay staff more

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

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

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

pet sitters' wages

Calculating What To Pay Your Staff

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

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

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

Charge More, Make More

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

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

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

pet sitting pricing structure

cost of hiring pet sitters

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

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

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

cost of hiring pet sitters

Personality & Background Tests

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

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


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

New Hire Set-Up

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

New Pet Sitter Starter Kit

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

Hiring Advertisements

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

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

pet sitting training manual

pet sitting website

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

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

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

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

Not Mobile-Friendly

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

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

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

Outdated Design

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

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


Frustrating User Experience

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

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

Lack of Unique Images

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

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


Poor Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

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

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

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


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

Create Your Pet Sitting Website In A Few Easy Steps

What Do Colors Mean On Your Pet Sitting Website

Have You Copied A Pet Sitting Website?

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

pet sitting website design


hiring dog walkers

The Problems With Creating Your Own Pet Sitting Employee Manual

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

The Problems With Creating Your Own Pet Sitting Employee Manual

pet sitting employee manual


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

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


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


Constantly Changing

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

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

Legal Jargon

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

pet sitting handbook

Including A Training Manual

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

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

Professional Writing

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

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


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

staff stealing clients

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

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

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

staff stealing clients

Communication Styles

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

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

Hiring The Right Type Of Person

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

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

Keeping Up Morale

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

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

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

dog walking handbook