It’s no secret that the pet business industry, in a word, is competitive. There are all different sorts of businesses in the pet sitting network from pet sitters to dog walkers to dog groomers etc. I could go on and on.
But what if I told you that you could use your competition to your advantage? Like, the next time someone goes to get their dog groomed and asks the groomer for a pet sitting recommendation, they recommend YOUR company. That would be pretty awesome, right?
Today we are going to discuss how to successfully build and maintain a pet sitting network so that companies refer YOU over your competitor.
How To Build Your Pet Sitting Network In Your Local Area
Step One: Decide Which Companies You Want To Go After
The important thing to remember here is quality, not quantity. Let’s think about a couple of scenarios for a moment.
- A successful pet sitting business owner (that’s you!) reaches out to 10 different companies in their area and they form relationships. Awesome, right? Seems like it. Except, you find out that these companies don’t have that big of a following, and suddenly you find yourself doing more work for them then they are for you. Not. Good.
- The same successful pet sitting business owner reaches out to 3 different companies in your area and you form relationships. Each of these companies have a strong following and are on the same “level,” so to speak, as you are! This connection is mutually beneficial to both companies and everyone is putting in the same amount of effort as the other. JACKPOT!
Do you see where I’m going with this? The moral of the story is not to build your pet sitting network with every business in your area.
@bellas_pets says, “Be selective (kind of like hiring) in who you choose to work with.” #networking #petsitter #hiring . You want to find people that already have a strong following, so you don’t end up working more for them than they are for you. The best way to do this is to hit Google and do a little market research on what pet related businesses in your area are killing it on social media, blogs, and in the community. Find a few successful companies that look like people you would want to work with in your pet sitting network, and then reach out to them. Easy peasy.
Step Two: Become Friends
A great way to start a successful business relationship is to start with a friendship as the foundation. After you reach out to the businesses you’ve chosen, invite them to a cup of coffee so you two can get to know each other better. A business date, if you will =)
Take this opportunity to ask meaningful questions such as:
- What are their challenges?
- Where do they advertise?
- What are they looking for in your business relationship?
- What’s their community following like?
- What kind of marketing do they do?
You Want to Get A Good Sense Who They Are
These types of questions should give you a good sense of who you’re about to expand your pet sitting network with and can help you decide whether or not they are a person you want to invest your time in. Go with your gut – if it doesn’t seem like something that will benefit you, they leave it be. You can afford to be selective.
As a business owner, I know your time is precious. I don’t want to see you wasting your time doing ANYTHING that’s not going to help you or your business at the end of the day.
Step Three: Be An Awesome Business Partner!
I already know you’re an awesome business owner, but are you an awesome business partner? I hope so! When forming business relationships with other companies, they are a give-and-take.
Just like you don’t want to be doing all the work for another company, they don’t want to be doing all the work for you either! It’s important to find a healthy balance that is mutually beneficial for everybody. If you find yourself overwhelmed, don’t panic. Keep those lines of communication open with your partner, and be vocal about the challenges you’re facing.
You are not alone in this. The great thing about having a pet sitting network is that you not only have new friendships, but they can offer you great advice from a local pet business owner’s perspective.
Do What’s In The Best Interest Of You:
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – you have to do what’s best for you and your company. So if a business relationship isn’t working out, or you just simply don’t have the time or effort to put anything into it, don’t be afraid to break it off or distance yourself.
I want you to be empowered, and not feel like you’re trapped into something that you don’t want to be.
As pet business owners, it’s so easy to overwhelm yourself and bite off more than you can chew, so to speak. In business, and in life in general, the only person who is going to look out for you is yourself.
You have to put yourself first – so don’t be afraid to do so!