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Email Marketing

Episode 166: How To Use Email Marketing In Your Pet Sitting Business

Email marketing is something that a lot of business owners have an adverse reaction to. They think they’re bothering people, no one opens them, and they don’t know what to say. Despite being able to batch them and schedule emails, not many choose this path. But why?

In a world where Rover is killing it in the inbox by sending emails to the people on their list at least once a week, why can’t professional pet sitters who can surely be even more effective, intimate, and relevant do this? Today, I want to break it down to show you how I use email marketing and how you can, too.

Biggest Takeaway You Don’t Want To Miss

Email marketing is a great way to keep your audience up to date with what’s going on in your business and humanize your business. Send weekly updates and use the P.S. section to ask them to respond, opening up the line of communication. Your emails don’t need to be long and drawn out, they should simply add value to your reader’s life. With each email, you’re able to show a bit of your personality, this is what people connect with, so be as personal as you can. Specifically, videos are a great way to show your personality and personalize your emails. And remember, on social media, you don’t own your audience, But with your email list, you do!

If you’re still not sure what to write or really don’t have the time to focus on email marketing, I get it. That is why we provide you with two short and fun emails to send to your clients each month in the Better Marketing with Bella program.

Show Highlights

  • How can you recap your week in an email? [3:20]
  • What should you put in the P.S. section? [4:30]
  • How do you segment your audience for better email marketing? [5:35]
  • How can you add value? [6:30]
  • What can you do to build a bond with your audience? [7:00]
  • What’s one of the best ways to share current sales you have? [7:40]
  • How can you personalize your email marketing with videos? [8:05]
  • What does it mean to “own” your audience? [8:30]

 

Email marketing

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Better Marketing with Bella - Social Media Solution

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Social Media

Episode 164: What To Post On Social Media When You Don’t Know What To Say

People come to me all the time saying that they have no idea what to post on social media. They are staring at the cursor and have no idea what to say. All this pressure is mounting to try and be witty, to be different. If you’ve ever felt this way, don’t worry, you’re not alone. I’m sharing seven things you can do when you’re lost on what to share on your social media.

Biggest Takeaway You Don’t Want To Miss

Be inspiring to your community and think local. Are there events in your community that you can get involved with? Or another local business or person you can shout out on social media? Highlight your community and connections. You are the expert. You have put in all the time and have learned a lot. Share your knowledge you have. Also, tell stories to draw out the emotions of your viewer. People remember how you made them feel, not what you said. If you don’t have the time to prepare your posts or think of ideas, Better Marketing With Bella can help by providing graphics, videos, captions, hashtags, Instagram stories, and more. Everything you need to stay active on social media with your branding to market your business.

Show Highlights

  • How can you inspire others? [1:10]
  • How do you keep track of everything? [3:00]
  • What are some ways to be funny on social media? [4:55]
  • How can you leverage local events in your community? [5:55]
  • What are tips that you can share with your audience? [7:50]
  • Who can you feature or shout out on your social media? [9:40]
  • How can you tell a story on social media? [12:20]
  • What if you don’t have the time to do these things? [13:50]

 

Social Media

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

    1. Click this link – Bella In Your Business
    2. Click on the ‘Subscribe’ button below the artwork
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Better Marketing with Bella - Social Media Solution

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community

Episode 163: How To Get Your Community To Know About Your Pet Sitting Business

Picture this… there’s a huge gala going on in your community. Everyone is dressed to the nines and it’s a very high ticket event. There are local celebrities there and while at dinner they’re talking about their pets, imagine if your company’s name came up.

Here’s another example, you’re in a local Facebook group and someone is about to go on vacation, but they forgot to book a pet sitter until the last minute. They were so focused on creating a great trip and their normal pet sitter isn’t available. They ask the group who they use for pet care, wouldn’t it be amazing if your company came up overwhelmingly in the comments?

What would you do if your entire community knew about your pet sitting or dog walking services? How would that change the face of your business? Today, I want to talk to you all about how to get your community to know about your business.

Biggest Takeaway You Don’t Want To Miss

Getting known has to do with getting clear on what you want to be known for. Often times this isn’t the facts or what you do, but it is how you do it that matters. There is no doubting the fact that our clients are on Facebook. Instagram is close behind. You want to be the thought leader or expert in your community, but if you have no unique presence online it’s going to be hard to accomplish. Each month you should be writing blogs, creating graphics and videos, sending emails, sharing IG stories, and more. That might seem overwhelming, but Better Marketing With Bella can actually provide those things for your business with your branding, ready to post each month.

Show Highlights

  • What is one of the biggest challenges for you and your business? [4:40]
  • What sets you apart from your competitors? [6:15]
  • How can you stand out on social media? [8:30]
  • What should you be posting each month? [11:40]
  • How can you use Better Marketing With Bella to help? [17:20]

 

Community

Links

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    1. Click this link – Bella In Your Business
    2. Click on the ‘Subscribe’ button below the artwork
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Better Marketing With Bella

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marketing - hard work

Episode 162: 3 Problems with Marketing Your Pet Business

I’m coming to you today to talk about how you can solve the three biggest problems you have with marketing your pet business. I’ve found that marketing either comes naturally to you or you despise it. The ones that despise it are left lying awake at night wondering how to bring in more clients that they actually want. We all dream of having our business be the one that comes to mind in our local community when they think of pet care, but it’s really hard to get there.

Biggest Takeaway You Don’t Want To Miss

The most common challenges I see pet businesses face around marketing are not having the time to do it, the money and resources to fund it, or the creative juices to create it. Time is one of our most precious commodities. It almost always gets in the way of business owners working on marketing within their business. The lack of time to plan, resources to create, and creativity to produce something can lead you to share someone else’s content, which is only helping them, not you. Better Marketing With Bella can solve these challenges for your business by creating white-label videos and graphics with your branding, ready to post each month.

Show Highlights

  • What if you don’t have enough time? [4:45]
  • What resources go into marketing? [8:24]
  • How can you be creative when you’re burnt out? [12:10]
  • What if you had someone to help you? [16:00]
  • How can Better Marketing With Bella help you? [18:15]

 

Marketing

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    1. Click this link – Bella In Your Business
    2. Click on the ‘Subscribe’ button below the artwork
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Better Marketing With Bella

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Marketing Problems

3 Problems Everyone Has With Marketing Their Pet Sitting Business

Marketing is something that either comes naturally to you or you despise. Have you ever had that moment where you’re lying awake at night wondering how to bring in more clients that you WANT? Or how to stop getting calls, texts, and emails from the clients that you don’t want?

You just hired a few incredible people and you don’t want them to lose interest (because we all know how hard it is to find great people) but you just don’t have any clients to give them.

Or you’re on the edge of working 100% in your business and want to hire but also doing a balancing act where you don’t give up all of your work. Your bills need to be paid, so you can’t give up your clients to the first person you hire. Things would be easier if you had a steady stream of clients coming in, or your name was everywhere in the community so that you had a bunch of new clients to give to your new hire.

You hope that when the residents in your town think about pet care… they think about your company.

Does any of this sound familiar?

That is the result we all dream of but honestly, it is really hard to get there.

marketing - hard work

The most common challenges I see pet businesses face around marketing are not having the time to do it, the money and resources to fund it, or the creative juices to create it.

Can I get an Amen?!?!

I Don’t Have The Time To Market.

Your to-do list probably has a to-do list. You are running non-stop all day and you might be surviving off fast food, sugar, and caffeine. I see you. Busting your tail trying to hold it all together, wishing for the day when things weren’t so busy. Even when a day comes when you finally have a few hours to work on the business something happens. You have a mental breakdown, you don’t have the energy, or it just isn’t the day.

We all have 24 hours in a day yet there are people who are far more impactful. What do they have that I don’t? How can I make an impact like them? Maybe you’re wondering how these 7-figure companies that I talk about pull it off.

One 7-figure mama who I work with comes to mind. She lives at a dog kennel, runs a large dog walking business, homeschools her two sons, and takes regular vacations. I am in awe of her. The mental power it takes to accomplish all of that is inspiring.

But she doesn’t do it alone, she has teams that support her, the family, and the business. She also has incredible will power and determination to succeed! She could say she doesn’t have time to do everything but she makes the time.

I’m sure you could be checking something off of your to-do list now, but somehow you ended up here. 🙂 Maybe you feel like you haven’t spent all of your time well. You dream of having more time to learn something new, work on the business, or plan dinner.

Time is one of our most precious commodities. It almost always gets in the way of business owners working on marketing within their business.

Marketing time and money

Marketing Uses Resources And Money.

In addition to taking a lot of time – marketing also isn’t cheap. When you think about how much an hour of your time is worth ($50? $100?) and how many hours you can put towards marketing, it is costing you a lot. Not only in time (for things like finding a designer and a scheduling software to help…) but also to fund the designer and the software to help streamline your efforts.

If you are like me when I used to have my pet sitting company of 14 years, you would binge on creating marketing materials and then go stale for a long time. It was only when you were feeling creative or found a designer that new materials were created. Then you might regret hiring the designer because there goes lots of money out the window. $500.00+ each time it seems.

Sometimes we are fortunate enough to have someone to help us schedule the marketing – but then that is all that they can do. They can’t create the campaigns and they don’t know how to do hashtag research. They take 3 times as long to do something that it would take you. It costs a lot of money to produce all the marketing efforts.

It Is Challenging To Be Creative When You Have No Brainpower.

You know exactly what I mean…. I hear it all the time “I am so burnt out” and you know what happens then? Good-bye all the cute marketing ideas you might have had to create a new program, event, design, etc.

When your brain isn’t functioning or you’re permanently running on cortisol and stress, there is nothing left to get creative and be inspired. Have you ever logged onto Facebook to see that it was “international dog day” and everyone is sharing pictures? Now you just feel down and out because you think “why didn’t I know it was national dog day?”

All these special days are starting to get out of control, don’t you think? BUT — it is a great talking point, and you are in the pet industry, so it does make sense for you to jump on the bandwagon.

Feeling the pressure to post something, and not having the time or software to create anything, you just end up sharing someone else’s “international dog day” content.

There. It’s done.

But is it really? The lack of time to plan, resources to create, and creativity to produce something have lead you to make the worst decision. Which is sharing someone else’s content, because it’s only helping them, not you.

Golf Clap. Bravo.

Gosh, This Is All Tough, Right?

Who the heck is looking out for you? Who is there to be creative for you? Know exactly what works in your dog walking or pet sitting business? Something where you don’t have to constantly be finding vendors, spending time mapping it all out and deciding when to post the content, or trying to figure out the best software to make things?

Oh, and then goes what? Instagram and Facebook changed their algorithm….. again!

I got news for you – it happens multiple times a year and just when you think you have “beat” the system, it changes. And now we are all back to square one.

But what if you had someone in your back pocket? Someone with their ear to the ground… breaking down every conference and announcement that Facebook and Instagram makes? Knowing some of the top marketers in the social media space? What if you knew someone who had a proven track record in generating hundreds of thousands of dollars from social media? What if I took all the guess work out for you – gave you videos, graphics, outlines, content calendars, coaching sessions, IG and FB stories, captions, cover videos, and so much more?

I’ve Got Your Back.

Did you know that I have a program called Better Marketing with Bella? Did you know that every. single. semester. the program changes because social media is always changing?

What worked on social media in January 2017 isn’t what is working right now.

Did you know that if you type “comment, share, or like” in your description, you will not be shown in the newsfeed? Do you know that in 2017 you could post a description and still be seen in the feed and now your best chance of being seen is video?

Do you know there is no one else in the industry creating white-label videos for people like you – who have pet sitting and dog walking businesses to use on their platforms? Videos that are interesting, don’t all look the same, and that have your colors, logo, and font on them? Yeah. It is huge!

Listen, for the lowest price EVER – we are opening the doors soon for Better Marketing with Bella. You can get one of the limited seats, but the doors will close soon and it won’t be an option until 2020 to join for the second half of the year.

Even if you are the tiniest bit interested, you should fill out the short application – this will be time well spent, with money that won’t break the bank, and creatives from professional designers that would cost you thousands of dollars a month if you wanted to hire them privately to just do your brand.

Better Marketing With Bella

Facebook Groups

Episode 160: How To Use Facebook Groups In Your Pet Sitting Business

What would you say if I told you I had a way for you to get in front of a lot of local clients? And that you could have a way to position yourself as an expert in your community? Well today I’m really excited to talk to you all about Facebook Groups!

We’ve talked about Facebook Groups two other times on Bella in Your Business. The first time was way back on Episode 42 with Maureen McCarthy and then again on Episode 110 with Erika Godwin, but today I’m actually going to take it to a higher level. Over the past year I have been flying around the country, and soon the UK, to speak on this very topic. I have been able to grace some pretty big stages and been called an expert on Facebook Groups so I thought that it was only fair to bring it to my audience.

Biggest Takeaway You Don’t Want To Miss

Your Facebook page is like your front yard, while your Facebook Group is your back yard. There’s a gate to get into your back yard, so it’s more private and it’s where you host a party, entertain your guests, and invite them to mingle. You want your group to Be The Destination by becoming an expert in your local community and connecting with other businesses in your community.

Show Highlights

  • What has Facebook said about Facebook Groups? [2:30]
  • What is the front yard and back yard analogy? [5:20]
  • How can your group Be The Destination? [9:15]
  • How do you create content for your Facebook Group? [13:05]
  • What questions should you ask people joining your group? [15:00]

Facebook Groups

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    1. Click this link – Bella In Your Business
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Facebook Group - Mastermind

 

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Charge - pay online

7 Considerations When Deciding What To Charge Your Clients

Knowing what to charge our clients is always a hot topic. It is hard to figure out if we should base it off of what others are charging, the averages, stay competitive, or something else. There is a fear that if we charge too much, we won’t have any work or a bunch will leave. So whether you are just starting out or have been in business for a long time, the following will be a timeless message.

Charge - pay online

What Are You Charging For?

Duh Bella… pet sitting and dog walking you might be saying. But what if I told you that is what everyone else is doing and you should be different!

How?

Easy. Are you charging for a service that takes someone’s problem away and gives them a certain positive feeling or are you taking their money and giving them X amount of your time?

It is really as simple as that and it is something that many don’t think about. Most pet sitting websites look like this:

15 minutes = $18
30 minutes = $22
45 minutes = $25

We walk, feed, play, and love on your pets just like they are our own.

Blah… blah… blah…

Now if you are feeling a little irked at me for saying that, I beg you to stay with me and hear me out. What I just showed you above is what the majority of business owners present. How about presenting a problem that you take away and then give them a positive feeling?

Like this:

Lunch Time Let Out: Never worry about racing home in the middle of the day from work to give your dog relief. Take back your lunch break and relax while we let the dog out. TLC, Water, and love always included.

Puppy Visit: Congratulations on your new addition! Just like babies, puppies are a lot of work and we are here to help save your carpet and furniture by keeping your same training schedule so your carpets don’t get soiled and your furniture gets chewed. With our help, your puppy can learn the rules of your house at an early age with the consistency we provide. We reinforce the words you are using and get all their puppy energy out.

Do you see how one is like a menu and the other is more emotional? Take some time to think about what you are selling and how you are selling. This basically comes down to quantity vs quality. 

charge - sign up online

How Is Your Sign Up Process Presented?

We did an interesting experiment in the Mastermind. We pretended we were a new client for 9 of the members and timed how long it took for us to be able to check Pet Sitter/Dog walker off of our to-do list. The average sign up took about 8-10 minutes. Some we couldn’t even sign up.

Side note: If you are in the Mastermind and didn’t watch yet, it is in the Processes Unit 🙂 

Did you know that 60% of the sale is over by the time you even hear from the client? 60%! Imagine how many people are actually going to your website but not converting. Do you know why? It just might be because of the user experience on your website. How easily can they get what they need or sign up? Most of the time if people have questions, they will NOT ask you.

I feel like many business owners are quick to blame it on the price. The price is too high… I can’t charge that much, which might be true, but it is neglecting to look at the full picture and this part of the picture is called User Experience.

What Do You Upcharge For?

Upcharges are those additional fees for extra pets, time or tasks. Consider a few things here:

  • How does it make your client feel when they have a base charge but then all these add ons? Does it focus them on the price?
  • If you charge by time (ie. 15 min and 30 min…) then are you always leaving a bill if you or your staff is there for extra time? Like 20min or 25min? or are you just leaving money on the table? Who decides how long the job should take?

In other words, will your charges be all-inclusive or al la carte?

Will You Put Your Prices On Your Website?

This is a tricky one that really depends on a number of factors. I will do my best to break it down:

Put them on your site if:

  • You have a cheap price.
  • Your ideal client is a price shopper.
  • Your website is not professionally created.
  • You do not have a software where the client can automatically sign up without speaking/emailing you.
  • It is a very simple fee structure.

Do not put them on your site if:

  • Your price is average or high.
  • Your ideal client thinks of their pet as their baby or this service as a luxury.
  • You have software that is simple and easy to sign up.
  • Your website is professionally created with a user experience (UE) that really is impressive.
  • You have problems that you solve on your site, not exchange for time and money.

I am sure there are even more factors, but basically, you don’t want the price to be the determining factor. No one is going to buy from you because you have a pretty website. Price is a factor but when it is introduced into the conversation is important. That being said, if you choose not to have your prices on your website, your call to actions need to be on point (and easy). You also need to address it somehow like, “Prices starting at X.” or “Email/call to find out about our current monthly special” 

So when you are trying to decide what to charge consider if it is important to you (or not) to have your prices on your website. That will play a factor when determining what to charge.

charge for dog walking

Will You Always Be Solo Or Will You Have Staff?

This is a tough one and where business planning comes into play. Obviously, you have a lot larger piece of the pie if you are just solo. However, if you ever want to bring on staff, you must start early in understanding the numbers and what it will take to run a healthy operation. The pricing structure and strategy guide is great for this. This will be a factor in deciding what you should charge.

How Much Does A Visit Cost You?

Have you ever done a cost analysis of how much a visit costs? How much it takes to acquire the clients, wear and tear on your car, gas, your time, supplies, admin work for the actual booking, etc? There are a lot of hidden costs that I don’t think many take into account. This is going to be your expenses. They must be covered and then some. Especially if you have or will have workers in the future.

Will You Be Giving Raises? and When?

Something else to think about when deciding how much to charge is that wiggle room. You want to be able to leave some room for raises. Think about how much you will want to give and how frequently.

it is math

Math not Emotions

At the end of the day, you have to remember that deciding what to charge is a mathematical equation and it is not a popularity contest. If you have a keen understanding of all the things that will go into creating your price, you will have a much easier time at the actual marketing of your services. Even though XYZ Pet Sitting company does the same thing as you – the experience and quality are very different. Am I right?

It is exactly why a Ford Fiesta costs $13,000 and a Tesla Model X costs $80,000. Ultimately, both vehicles get you from Point A to Point B bu the experience in which they accomplish the transport is completely different.

How do you think of your business? There is no right or wrong answer. It just all needs to tie into your end goals for what you want from your business.

Most people I talk with want to do less work for more money, be disruptive in their market, have a steady flow of clients, and happy employees who love their pay.

How about you? Tell me below. I want to know!

Jump Start Your Pet Business - What should you charge

instagram secrets

Episode 158: BEST OF BELLA: Instagram Secrets For Your Pet Business With Jenn Herman

Today we are replaying Episode 116 with Jenn Herman as part of the Best of Bella series. Jenn literally wrote the book “Instagram For Business for Dummies” and she is a wealth of knowledge. She is incredibly insightful, she talks fast, drops lots of value bombs, and you are sure to learn stuff from her.

instagram secrets

Show Highlights

  • Who Is Jenn Herman? [2:25]
  • Why Do I Need Instagram In MY Business? [4:30]
  • What Are The Different Ways Consumers Can Use Instagram? [6:55]
  • How Do We Figure Out HOW Our Audience Consumes Instagram? [10:25]
  • What Tactics On Instagram Can We Use To Build Our Local Following? [13:10]
  • Should You Always Use A Location Tag? [17:25]
  • What Kind Of Strategies Can I Use For Hashtags? [18:25]
  • How Often Should You Post On Instagram? [26:20]
  • Why Should I Have A Kick-Butt Instagram Page? [29:20]

 

Original Show Notes

It’s no secret that Instagram can be a powerhouse social media platform for your business – but I see so many business owners that are just NOT using it to its fullest potential. If you’ve been wanting to dive deep into the inner working of Instagram and learn useful Instagram secrets, then today is your day!

Jenn Herman is a social media consultant, speaker, and globally recognized Instagram expert. She is the forefront blogger on Instagram marketing and her blog, Jenn’s Trends, has won the title of a Top 10 Social Media Blog in 2014, 2015, and 2016. Through her blog, consulting, and speaking Jenn provides tips, resources, and training for small to medium-sized businesses that need to structure their social media strategies. Her business background includes Administration, Sales, Human Resources, and Marketing and she enjoys bringing all these skills together to help you grow your business. Jenn has been featured in Inc., Fox News, Yahoo Finance, HuffPost, The Verge, CBS Radio LA, and numerous other podcasts and publications. She is the author of “Instagram for Business for Dummies”, “The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Instagram” and “Stop Guessing: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Social Media Strategy”. Learn more about Jenn on her website http://jennstrends.com.

Biggest Takeaway You Don’t Want To Miss

  • Above all, you have to have a consistent strategy. Being active and taking the time to implement the strategy you develop is key.  Your processes will drive the results that get you clients, regardless if you have 50 followers or 50,000 followers. What matters is who’s going to find you and bring you business. Build an amazing community of the followers you have and use strategic efforts (i.e. hashtags, stories, following events) to turn that into business.

 

instagram secrets

 

Special Offer

  • Pick up a copy of Jenn’s book, Instagram For Business For Dummies, on Amazon here: http://bit.ly/IGBizDummies

 

instagram secrets

 

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

  1. Click this link – Bella In Your Business
  2. Click on the ‘Subscribe’ button below the artwork
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pet sitting employees

Episode 157: BEST OF BELLA: Coaching Your Pet Sitting Employees To Success With Niki Ramirez

This week for the Best of Bella series we are replaying episode 95 with Niki Ramirez. Niki is a wealth of information for everything human resources related, she is also a monthly guest in the Jump Consulting Mastermind. A lot of pet sitters and dog walkers may think that they’re too small to afford an HR specialist like Niki, but in actuality, it’s one of the biggest things you can have on your team. Listen intently to see how she helps pet sitters and dog walkers and everything you can learn.


pet sitting employees
Show Highlights:

  • What is coaching and why should we coach? [6:20]
  • What do great coaches do to unlock the best potential of their employees? [10:50]
  • Are there different types of coaching? And when should we implement these techniques and why? [14:50]
  • Is there any easy way to say “I’m going to be coaching you?” [16:30]
  • How can you coach stubborn pet sitting employees? [20:20]
  • How can you find Niki and tap into her resources? [25:20]

Original Show Notes

Today we welcome our friend, Niki Ramirez! She is a Human Resource specialist at HRAnswers.org, who provides full-service HR consultation, compliance support and employee training for small businesses. Their mission is to take care of “HR” so that their clients can focus on their business. Today we’re talking about how to be a coach to your pet sitting employees and why it is so important.

 

Biggest Takeaways You Don’t Want To Miss:

  • We are all natural coaches. But the way that we interact and socialize makes it difficult. Be mindful and focused to practice the skills that are already within us.
  • Coaching is an opportunity to point out what you do well and also offer immediate ways to adjust. It is also a top opportunity to build relationships and report with our pet sitting employees
  • How often should we be coaching people? We don’t want to be a “mother hen” and we don’t want to go overboard. It is more important to go hard during the introduction time period. When an employee is new you want to coach them more.
  • Counseling vs coaching where do you draw the line? As a leader, you have to send questions ahead of time that guides your thinking. You have to identify that they are going through something but work through it quickly. Let them know you value them and you have a support base for them if needed. But you can’t “counsel” them.
  • Where do you draw the line of counseling or coaching and those personal boundaries? You can’t always get too personal, even though you may want to. You have to have a distinct boundary line
  • Can staff members coach each other? Definitely! In fact, they are a great resource for team building. Find who is doing a wonderful job that will help you grow. Tap into that and help them grow naturally within your company.

Links

Find and contact Niki for a quick and easy consultation at HRAnswers.org

coach

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  1. Click this link – Bella In Your Business
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coach

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Lain Ehmann

Episode 156: BEST OF BELLA: Defining Your Brand With Lain Ehmann

Bella chose episode 56 with Lain Ehmann to be part of the Best of Bella series because it was one of the most downloaded episodes of Bella in Your Business. Bella and Lain dive in deep on branding and how to make your website stand out. They talk about figuring out who you are as a brand and a business, Lain even offers a free download to help you!

brand

Show Highlights

  • Who is Lain? [3:25]
  • What mistakes do small businesses make on their website? [4:30]
  • How can you correct the issues? [7:00]
  • What is messaging? [9:50]
  • Should all businesses be concerned about branding? [18:00]
  • How do you share your marketing across different platforms? [20:40]
  • What is something businesses shouldn’t do in messaging? [23:50]
  • Where can you find out more about Lain? [27:20]

Original Show Notes

On this episode, Bella spends time with Lain Ehmann, Marketing Strategist at #FastLain.

You will learn how to make that message different between the mediums. In particular, be conscious of the frame of mind people are in when they are reaching out to you vs. when you are reaching out to them. Give them something they wouldn’t expect. Don’t sell them. Listen in as they talk about the mistakes small businesses make on their websites, including telling a story that your audience wants to hear vs. telling the story you want the audience to hear. Be mindful of your audience.

Messaging, which is “communications branding”, is critical to success. It is the message you are going to consistently send out to your audience that also helps you distinguish yourself from others in your niche. As a bonus, doing so may even allow you to charge more.

“Messaging is a tool to do that by defining who you are, what the value is that you provide, and the audience you provide that to.” – Lain Ehmann

The next logical step in the process is helping customers see that you can solve the problems they have.  You can drive customer motivation by tapping into their “pain points”. Bella recommends that you include the benefits of your online scheduling as part of your messaging.  Lain says that playing up your “secret sauce”, that unique niche that you have identified, will help you reach those who need that service and even build your standing among those who don’t because they see how much you care.

They also recommend doubling up on your marketing. For instance, doing a Facebook live with tips about dog walking and then putting a link to that under your services page.

Another common mistake Lain points out is that often business owners speak from their point of view and assume that the audience knows everything that they know. In fact, educating the audience should be an important part of your efforts. Make sure they understand the terminology and services you are offering. Lead them through your site to the call to action.

About Lain

Lain is a bestselling author and communications strategist, who specializes in helping six- and seven-figure entrepreneurs uncover hidden profits and potential – FAST.  Her superpower is saying what your customers and clients really need to hear, to get the results you want as quickly as possible.

Links Mentioned In This Episode

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Navigating Social Media

Episode 155: BEST OF BELLA: Navigating Social Media with Mari Smith

We’re taking it back to episode 93 on this edition of the Best of Bella series, when Bella had the sincere pleasure of interviewing Mari Smith. She knows everything that is going on and she is the nicest, most approachable woman Bella has met in the social media space. They had fun talking about the ins and outs of social media and Bella wanted to bring her to you all again.

Original Show Notes:

Navigating social media can be pretty difficult, especially when it comes to your online business. Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is hailed as the premier Facebook marketing expert and one of the most influential and knowledgeable new media thought leaders in the world. In fact, Facebook headhunted and hired Mari to go on tour with the company to teach business owners across the United States how to grow their businesses using Facebook!  Forbes recently described Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.”

social media

 

Mari is an in-demand speaker and travels the world to keynote and train at major events. She also serves as Brand Ambassador for many leading companies.  She has over 1.7 million followers on her various social channels and is the author of The New Relationship Marketing and coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day.

 

 

Biggest Takeaways You Don’t Want To Miss:

  • How did you become such an expert on Facebook? In order to become an expert, you have to put in 10,000 hours into your skill. Be unwavering in your focus. FOCUS= Follow One Course Until Successful. It helps you keep on track.
  • Overall it is a universal mindset with fear-mongering. You can get really upset or you can be a calming voice of how to overcome or make a change regarding a problem you see, like pet food recalls or puppy mills. Mari encourages us to be the calming voice.
  • You have to be mindful of what you post for relationship marketing. Treat people with respect and use proper social etiquette even online. Ask yourself “would I be comfortable with this…appearing on the front page or on a google search. Even more, would you be okay with your Mom seeing it? Quiet your ego and try to diffuse tangents. Don’t be drawn into petty conversations. There are always screenshots that will be your digital ink.
  • How can you add value to your business with Facebook? You become a leader in social media by using groups and stories. Have a good strategy for your stories and you easily convert your personal Instagram to a business Instagram and have those post directly to your Facebook, which drives traffic to your website.

 

Navigating social media Mari Smith

Show Highlights:

  • Mari’s expertise in Facebook and how she got started on her path to becoming the “Queen of Facebook.” [3:30]
  • How to FOCUS for success [7:45]
  • Creating meaningful relationships on Facebook [10:50]
  • New business skills that everyone needs [14:10]
  • Benefits of setting up Facebook Groups [16:30]
  • Advice on how to build your online community [24:00]

Links:

Find more about Mari Smith and her new book at www.marismith.com

Check out The 12 Biggest Social Media Marketing Mistakes Businesses Make at http://www.marismith.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/12_Social_Media_Mistakes-MariSmith.pdf

Downloadable Offer:

Free PDF download. Mari Smith’s recommended Video Gear List for Facebook Live broadcasts:www.marismith.com/fblive

Share The Show:

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

  1. Click this link – Bella In Your Business
  2. Click on the ‘Subscribe’ button below the artwork
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Joey Coleman

Episode 154: BEST OF BELLA: Customer Experience With Joey Coleman

Bella chose this episode to be part of the Best Of Bella series because it is with Joey Coleman. She first saw him live at Social Media Marketing World 2017 and his presentation skills blew her out of the water. Without further ado, she wants all of you to experience Joey and his First 100 Days methodology.

Pet Sitting Customer Experience

Show Highlights

  • How has Joey done and accomplished the things in his life? [4:40]
  • What is the First 100 Days methodology? [8:10]
  • Is there a direct correlation between telling stories and solving problems and value? [12:50]
  • How can business owners create a meaningful customer experience? [15:00]
  • How can employees get involved? [28:45]
  • Where can everyone find and connect with Joey? [30:50]

Links

customer experience

Original Show Notes

On this episode, Bella catches up with Joey Coleman, Chief Experience Composer of Design Symphony. They talk about things you can do as a business owner to create a meaningful customer experience like:

  • Sending personalized gifts to your customers seemingly at random.
  • Sending handwritten notes thanking them for trusting you with their fur baby.
  • Keeping track of simple things like the pet’s birthday and sending acknowledgments.
  • Doing a monthly quick check of the pet (for any issues).
  • Giving the pet a bath unexpectedly.
  • Sending quick personalized videos of you and the pet to the client.

For over a decade, Joey has helped organizations retain their best customers and turn them into raving fans via his entertaining and actionable keynotes, workshops, and consulting projects.

His First 100 Days methodology helps fuel successful customer experience endeavors at companies and organizations around the world.

As a recognized expert in customer experience design and an award-winning speaker at national and international conferences, Joey specializes in creating unique, attention-grabbing customer experiences.

He works with companies ranging from small VC-funded start-ups to large Fortune 500s, with hundreds of mid-size businesses in-between.

Joey developed his narrative skills as a criminal defense trial attorney, advised and counseled Fortune 500 companies as a business consultant, honed his communications and messaging skills at the White House, and did things for the U.S. Secret Service and the CIA that he can’t talk about publicly.

His design and artwork has been displayed in museums, featured in juried shows, and graced publications in the U.S. and abroad. When not traveling the world (48 countries and counting) for keynote presentations, client workshops, and quality beach time, Joey enjoys watching magnificent sunsets from his mountain-top home in Colorado with his wife and two young sons.

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hiring

How To Stop Asking The Wrong Interview Questions At A Dog Walking Interview

Picture this…. You are all excited about this new hire you just brought onto your team. They have worked at a dog rescue as a volunteer for over five years. They have three dogs of their own. Their husband makes all the money and has the health insurance and their kids have almost graduated high school, with one in college. This new hire seems like a dream come true.

And then, she becomes demanding her second week on the job. She only wants certain clients and only want to work certain hours. She doesn’t like cats, only dogs, and she always has an opinion on the way you do things.

This new hire, that you were so happy about, is now a thorn in your side. You have no idea how to actually pull out this thorn and you have to constantly watch out that it doesn’t prick you deeper. In reality, you just wish she would quit. Eventually, the resentment grows and you feel like a hostage in your own business. Does this sound familiar?

Ever wonder what actually happened? How did she go from the perfect during the interview to a witch in just 14 days?

I see this all the time. Even I have been guilty of allowing it to happen on my own team. I can’t stress how important it is to streamline the hiring process in a way that is always being perfected. To create an image in your mind, let’s call it the gauntlet…

Interview

The Hiring Gauntlet

I think it is important to keep in mind that when you start the hiring process it isn’t about you being on your high horse and having people beg to work for you. Just as it doesn’t work that way on a first date, it certainly isn’t that way during an interview. The interest has to be mutual.

Looking for people to work for you is very similar to looking for clients. You have to appear attractive and appeal to your avatar. You have to understand why they are looking for a job, what value you offer, and why they should pick you over, let’s say, Rover, Wag, or any other company.

Is it possible that your own bias got in the way because your interview process is failing you? Are you blaming it on the job market or your area? I got news for you… unemployment is at an all-time low right now – so you can blame it on whatever you want but the truth of the matter is that excuses aside you must figure out how to systematically overcome this hurdle.

The process of interviewing should not be off-putting. The initial communication shouldn’t be an application or a long list of questions. If you do this, you will decrease your chances of getting people interested in the job and therefore your conversion of the people who look at your application to those who actually apply would be under 10%.  You should always be aware of your conversion rate – it will directly tell you how attractive your hiring ad and process really are. You will learn to tweak it this way.

Interview

If You Want To Be Attractive Here Is What I Suggest You Do:

1. Have a hiring ad that talks directly to your avatar in real human language. If you are lost on what I mean by this, I have a free 3-hour training you can watch here.

2. Have under five initial knock-out questions. For example, you can qualify the area they live in, ask them how much they are looking to make or find out their availability. The hundred other questions that I know you want to ask really don’t matter at this stage in the game. How many people do you meet these days who do NOT have a smartphone? This isn’t 2005. 🙂

Once you have qualified the right type of people to be in your hiring gauntlet now the hard work begins. However, if you have software to help you with this, you won’t ever have to think of what to say again and again because it is as easy as pressing a button to move them from Phase 1 to Phase 2.

This stage could be three open-ended questions. Where they have to describe what they would do. Or, you can have it as a multiple choice. But the toughest part for you is to create these questions. Here is what I mean.

Value-based vs Skill-based Questions.

Would you agree that if you don’t like dogs, you wouldn’t be applying for this position? Would you also agree that we can basically teach people how to walk a dog, scoop cat litter, and feed the pets? If we can agree on that, then we really need to focus more on the VALUE-based questions.

Let me give you an example:

Let’s say that you value treating others how you would want to be treated. How can we test for this? One way might be an open-ended question like:

You are walking home from going out to dinner. There was too much food so you are carrying a to-go box with you to save for lunch the next day. You stop at a corner and a homeless woman engages with you and asks you if you can spare any change so she can buy something to eat. What do you do?

1. Pretend you don’t hear her and keep walking. There are homeless people everywhere.
2. Tell her you don’t have any cash on you.
3. Give her money from your wallet.
4. Give her your leftovers. If they were good enough to take home, they are certainly good enough for her.

You would have to decide ahead of time which is the right answer for you and which is the TOTALLY wrong answer for you based on your values. Now, of course, one question can’t give you everything you need to know about a person so certainly you will have to ask more questions. Perhaps even testing the same thing, but knowing the RIGHT questions to ask is huge.

How do they take feedback? Are they adaptable?

I want you to watch this short clip of Trivinia Barber of Priority VA. She was our guest expert for the training we had in June about delegation. Listen to what she says about asking questions, role-playing, and feedback. Can you incorporate this into your business?

 

This is a great example, showing how the ability to adapt to situations could help give you insight into your applicant’s ability.

Stop Asking The Wrong Questions:

Ever since pet sitters started interviewing I’ve seen the same questions come up again and again.

“If you walked into a home and there was poop everywhere, what would you do?”
“If you walked into a home and the dog looked like he was in distress, what would you do?”

All these questions are something you would train the employee for. You would tell them your protocol. Typically the first step is “call the office.”

If you can ask the right questions before you hire people… how much better hires will you make? Would you have to let people go after two weeks? There is always room for improvement and this task is never 100% perfected. Maybe what I said here helps ignite something in your system that you can test. Perhaps you want to know more of what Trivinia said or wish you had software to help you with all of this?

Well in true Bella fashion I will never give you more problems to solve, so you can:
1. Join the Mastermind to watch the entire 1 hour training with Trivinia and 15 other high-level experts we have had over the past year.
2. Grab your trial of JazzHr, 50% off, my hiring ads, and knockout questions here.

Just ask yourself… Am I asking the right questions to understand this person’s values? You need to hire for attitude and train for skill.

Jump Mastermind - Interview

Episode 151: BEST OF BELLA: Interview with a Small Business State Auditor

This episode is part of the “Best of Bella” series. Bella chose this episode with a former state auditor as one of the best, because she loves being able to bring unique experts to you. If you missed this episode the first time around you’ll be pretty surprised by what you hear.

Interview with a state auditor

Show Highlights

  • Who is Katrina Kadyszewski? [4:10]
  • How does interpretation come into play with auditors? [6:20]
  • Which documents should you have when being audited? [10:55]
  • What is the goal of an auditor? [15:20]
  • Should you get your lawyer or CPA involved when being audited? [17:15]
  • How are businesses chosen for audits? [22:40]
  • How far back should you be keeping records? [24:45]
  • What is the VCSP (Voluntary Classification Settlement Program)? [26:00]

Interview with auditor Best of Bella

Original Show Notes

In this episode of “Bella In Your Business”, Bella talks with Katrina Kadyszewski, a former state auditor with the State of Connecticut.

Katrina has over 16 years of experience working in a variety of financial positions. She started in the brokerage industry with a Series 7, 63 and 65 and life and health license, and then transitioned to audit work for the CT Department of Revenue Services. She then left to support small businesses in their efforts to get organized for expansion.

Katrina spent 3 of her almost 8 years with the CT Dept. of Revenue Services in the Business and Employment Tax Audit Unit, focused primarily on payroll tax issues. The last 5 years she has worked as a Corporation Tax auditor, traveling across the US auditing largely Fortune 500 companies.

Main Topics

Bella and Katrina first discuss a big controversy in the pet sitting industry, which is misclassification of employees as either independent contractors or employees. Katrina outlines some key indicators that auditors look for in making that determination:

  • Is there an actual contract between you and the contractor?
  • Are your payments to them regular in nature?
  • How much control do you have over them with regards to work hours, uniform, training, etc.?
  • Do they offer the same services to other companies through their own business?
  • Are you providing them all the tools, training, and supplies they need?
  • Basically, consider how loose is the relationship?

They also discuss why they think business owners are so apprehensive about audits, what documents a business owner should have at their disposal if they are being audited, and whether business owners should take their lawyer and accountant to the audit. Katrina also gives some insight into what triggers an audit.

Resources

There are resources out there to help small business owners. Katrina and Bella suggest a few, like the IRS’s  20-factor test to help you determine employee or independent contractor status and amnesty programs that exist to help encourage business owners to make the right switch.

Have you ever been audited? Want to hear about pet sitters who have been audited? I have interviewed a handful and reported about it all here.

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State of the pet sitting and dog walking industry

State of the Pet Sitting & Dog Walking Industry 2019

State of the pet sitting and dog walking industry

 

Whether you are just entering into the pet sitting and dog walking industry or been here a long time like me (17 years!) I bet you wonder about the state of the industry and where we are headed.

You might wonder if all businesses are like yourself?

What the effect of Rover and Wag will have on the industry as a whole?

I bet you wonder if you are making enough?

Charging enough?

What the “industry standard” is and how you measure up?

Whatever the case might be, I see a major shift happening that no one is really talking about…

 

major shift pet sitting industry

 

I also want to know what you think as you read what I am about to write so please, comment below or on the original post and let’s have a conversation about where YOU think the industry is going and how we can help shape it.

But first… I must put out there that like attracts like.

With everything I will say, my findings MIGHT be skewed only because the type of sitters I have been lucky enough to attract are real go-getters. They are business builders, get knocked down 7 times and get up 8 types of people.

They fail and learn from it.

They aren’t paralyzed in fear and they tend to have a great group of support around them. They are about efficiency, processes, and systems.

So here I tell you – my thoughts and insights are shaped by these incredible business owners and what I have personally witnessed as possible.

They are my inspiration and hope for the pet sitting and dog walking industry’s future.

 

 The Consumers Are Changing From Baby Boomers To Millennials

 

pet sitting software

Tailchasers Inc killing it on their website. (Actual screenshot)

According to Mintel, pet owners are spending 86 BILLION dollars on their pets. When I first started in the industry the surge was from the Baby Boomer segment, now it is transitioning to Millennials. This is a very important change that is necessary for any pet business owner to acknowledge. The buyer habits and behaviors have shifted with technology and the independent pet sitter and dog walker need to take notice.

Did you know that 3/4’s of 30 something-year-olds have pets? While American’s might be holding off longer to have children, as many pet professionals know, pets are often the “first child” before settling down and having two-legged children. The consequence of this is a huge market share that doesn’t like to talk on the phone, wait for responses back, and loves to do everything on the phone. Passive websites are a thing of the past and the buyer journey has to include the buyer as an active participant.

This is a huge point that we need to understand. There is a major shift in the way people research and purchase goods and services and it is something every pet business owner should reflect on how they are shifting to this change.

 

Want to learn more about this change? 

How to Hire Millennials (podcast)
5 Things To Consider When Choosing Software For Your Pet Business (blog)
Cutting Expenses By Getting Pet Sitting Software (blog)

There Are A Lot Of Pet Sitting And Dog Walking Businesses For Sale

 

One quick search on bizbuysell.com and you will see that there are many pet sitting and dog walking businesses all over the country up for grabs. I feel like I have a front-row seat because many investors call me and ask to help them evaluate the business they are interested in purchasing.

I see this trend happening a lot now for (what I believe) to be many reasons: 

1. With Rover and Wag making a splash… I see some companies that are just rolling over and giving up on the business. Believing that it is too hard and that they can’t compete.

(Which couldn’t be further from the truth BTW)

2. Our industry is growing up. No longer are we in the infancy stage like when I started my own company back in 2002. We are all grown up. Some business owners that started 10, 15, 20 years ago are ready to get out and as a result, they are selling.

3. The pet industry is booming and year after year becoming larger and larger. Investors see this and are willing to take $100K or $200K out of their retirement to purchase a business that they know they will make their money back in about 1.5 yrs.

4. Pet sitting and dog walking business owners are looking to scale fast and one of the best ways I see them doing this is acquiring other businesses. It is how Chunsoon Li, Randa Clark, Crystal Hammond, and Mark Shaver are doing it.

 

Want to Learn More About Buying and Selling Your Business?

How To Sell Your Business (podcast)
How To Find The Market Value of Your Pet Business (blog)
Everything You Need To Know About Buying and Selling Your Business (product)

Rover And Wag Have Entered The Room

 

This is one that excites me and here is why.

I know that as a pet sitting and dog walking business owner, you dislike all the irresponsible Rover and Wag pet sitters. It is undeniable the number of accidents and pet deaths they are bringing along in addition to undercutting some pet sitting businesses prices.

Although it is important to remember that not all of them are bad and there are some responsible sitters on those apps. In fact, if I were to start my business today… and not really known where to turn, I just might have listed my services on there too.

But here is why their splash is exciting to me and something for you to think about: 

1. They have raised $310.9M in ten rounds of fundraising. That is insane! What they can do with that money shows in their national print, TV, and social media campaigns. What they have essentially done is educate the entire USA about our profession and that we exist. I feel this is a major reason why our industry has spiked in the past two years. Like it or not, they have educated the market on what a pet sitter does.

2. Rover is a technology company. They have encouraged many professional pet sitters to get software of their own and whether anyone believes it or not, I really think they have helped raise the bar when it comes to the user experience and being able to “go digital” and sign up online.

Study after study shows that the user wants to be involved more and more in the process and Rover is giving that to them every time. Professional pet sitters are increasing this trend by allowing their prospects to sign up with them online and get a leg up on their social media by using video and all the incredible tools we have access to. I see a lot more professional pet sitters and dog walkers really caring about their social media presence and website now and really stepping it up notches!

Gone is the time of a basic Wix website that you create yourself for a top rated and performing digital storefront.

3.  Consumer behavior has developed into asking Google everything. Did you know one of the most popular questions  Google is asked is  “should I text him back?”

From “How much does a pet sitter cost in CITY” to “Pet Sitter reviews in CITY” I believe that Rover and Wag have gotten the public to think about this with their top rankings in most cities. They got the public to wonder about this and then they start researching online. Where I see some professional pet sitting and dog walking companies fall short is by not answering the Big 5 on their website.

Marcus Sheridan explained in great depth on my podcast, Bella In Your Business what the Big 5 are. One of my clients was able to take her brand new website from Barketing Blog and get to to the #1 spot of one of the most competitive markets in just a month because of this strategy I told her to use.

4. More people than ever are starting pet sitting and dog walking businesses.   Initial thoughts by the defensive business could be “Great! This means more competition, Bella.” Although if you realize that 6 out of 10 households have pets… there really is more than enough to go around and it fills the gap of those who need cheap pet care.

In the words of Michelle Obama… “When they go low, you go high.”

Ok, so that might not have been what she meant, but many startups do start very low and don’t have the impeccable customer experience that I know your business already brings. So in essence… this gives you a reason to have the top-notch prices in your area.

You also should keep in mind that only 50% of new businesses last more than 5 years according to the Small Business Administration, which helps add businesses to the selling market and goes to show that you shouldn’t be comparing your well-established business to that of a startup who probably isn’t even charging enough to stay in business in five years.

Everything is relative.

Want To Learn More About This Topic?

What Type of Pet Sitter is Best For Rover Websites? (blog)
What’s The Difference Between Rover Sitters and Professional Pet Sitters? (blog)
What Type of Insurance Does A Rover Sitter Need? (blog)

 

Regulations Are In Full Effect

 

A necessary evil that happens when something gains popularity, like the pet sitting and dog walking industry, is that it draws attention. Regulations are popping up all over the country making it harder and harder to just do whatever you want when it comes to your business.

  1. Minimum wage is going up in many states, therefore, affecting many overnight services.
  2. Accumulated sick day pay is happening in many states causing business owners to factor in this extra pay.
  3. Many cities are putting limits to how many pets can be under one roof.
  4. Some states are being required to pay for cell phone usage like California and Illinois.
  5. A massive tidal wave is happening where business owners are reclassifying their sitters from ICs to Employees. They are realizing that the safest way to grow is with employees, and the only attractive way to sell one day is with employees.

It is because of this interesting shift that we are working hard behind the scenes on a major project for all of you looking to switch from ICs to Employees in 2019.

Sign up to be the first to get the step by step instructions on exactly how to do this:

Get Notified When My IC to Employee Program Launches

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

 

Pet Business Sales

Want To Learn More About This? 

Is Dog Boarding In My Home Legal? (blog)
Should I Switch From Ics to Employees? (blog)
Which Costs More? ICs or Employees?  (blog)
6 Steps To Switch from ICs to Employees (Freebie)

 

Pet Sitting And Dog Walking Businesses Are Growing At The Fastest Rate Ever!

 

I have never seen pet sitting and dog walking businesses scale so fast in the 11 years I have been consulting. It is incredible how many people are acquiring smaller companies or lateral companies to grow their empire. They are accomplishing this a bunch of ways:

  • It is equally exciting to see people hiring multiple people at a time instead of just hiring one person at a time reacting to an open position they have in their company.
  • Another change I see is that when people move out of their territory, they are keeping their old territory and running it remotely while opening up a new one. Or, they don’t relocate but just open up a new territory to expand their kingdom.
  • Some members in the Jump Mastermind have hit their last year revenue by mid-2018 while others have figured out membership modules that are just increasing their profits.

It is really so exciting to see all the ways businesses are flourishing, despite what some naysayers might say about the tech companies.

 

The Use Of Software Is (and Will Continue To Be) at an All-Time High

 

Pet care companies that use software have the benefit of increased productivity, with their time being spent on the money-making aspects of the business instead of performing tedious and repetitive tasks. For larger companies, this can lead to the need for fewer office employees, while for smaller companies you may have more free time. Allowing clients to add their own information and schedule not only saves you time, but it also lowers the frequency of errors as the client immediately sees the same thing that the company sees.

Adam Smith, Co-Creator/Developer, Precise Petcare

 

To be taken seriously online in this industry you really need two things: A great website and that website to be connected to the software.

As millennials come into the largest buying power, they want to do things online. They want to have an experience online that solves their problems and doesn’t take forever.

I am happy to say that I am starting to see pet sitters finally invite the viewer into the process on their site. They aren’t just talking at them or creating an online brochure, but really speaking to their avatars, solving the unique problems, and inviting the viewer to take action that will make them feel like they are able to check “pet sitter” or “dog walker” off their never-ending to-do list.

Some are even starting to show-and-tell. They are finally starting to show the consumer the experience they will have on their cell phone when service is being provided. Whether this is IG stories, FB Stories, showing what the updates look like, sending a GPS map of the walk, only using GPS tracked collars… pet sitters are keeping pace ever-changing technology and it is becoming a real disruptor in their local markets.

 

pet sitting and dog walking industry

My Predictions for 2019:

  1. Companies are going to get even larger and things like benefits will become more and more talked about.
  2. The middle sized businesses will shrink slightly because they will get burnt out, stall out, sell, or on the opposite side… grow bigger.
  3. Companies will start to develop their own software apps specialized to their own companies and going outside the mainstream industry choices.
  4. More regulations coming down the pipeline for the proper classification of workers will be coming as our political climate continues to heat up, causing more companies to switch from ICs to employees.
  5. Online user experience is going to become one of the most popular selling features and is what will really start to set companies apart online. In the past it was a blog, software, or video… but this is all the “norm” so it will be important to have all that AND a great online user experience.

 

 

Pet Industry Dreams

How Can You Achieve All Your Dreams With No Sunlight?

 

We have all seen the experiment online where one plant was ignored and told negative things and another plant was given attention and spoken positive messages too… right? In this experiment, the negative comments plant wilted and the positive comments plant flourished.

Your brain and your business is the same exact way.

In order to achieve what you want for your business… you need to surround yourself with those positive comments. Surrounded yourself with people checking in with you daily and giving you encouragement and there to guide you. The pet sitting and dog walking industry isn’t going to get easier as it grows. It will become more cutting-edge, more innovative and larger. Where many used to strive for a six-figure company… more will be striving for a seven-figure business.

I am already seeing it happen and I am excited to be cheering you on.

Let’s do this together.

 

 

What Do You Think?

Comment below, I would love to hear what you think. Tell me what I might have missed, what your predictions are, or if you think I am off my rocker!  *haha* What has been your experience and where do YOU want to be in 2019 with your business? How do you plan to achieve it all and what changes have you seen in the industry?

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

Nutrition

Episode 84: How Self-Care Can Help Your Business THRIVE With Bonnie Roill

Bonnie Roill is a “Lifestyle Architect.” Her boutique private practice, B3 Nutrition,  specializes in helping women develop their customized blueprint for eating, moving, and daily habits that create a “livable and health-generating lifestyle.” Bonnie’s background includes a practicing Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for over 35 years along with accreditation as a Hormone Support Coach, a certified Health & Wellness Coach and Personal Trainer.  Her mission is to teach women how they can impact their health destiny through their food, focus, and feet.  Her vision is a world where women have the resources to control their health destiny no matter their age or where they live on the planet.

 

Nutrition

Biggest Takeaways You Don’t Want To Miss:

  • The number one thing people don’t understand is how to fuel their body properly. You have to fuel your body to have energy. If you don’t, you will have an insulin rollercoaster which gives you a drop and results in cravings. People need to eat in the morning to start the engine then properly fuel throughout the day.
  • The lunchtime let down will definitely affect how you feel later in the day. Your bio-individuality (your unique situation and genetics) does play a factor, so sometimes you may still feel sluggish no matter how healthy you eat. However, you shouldn’t feel like you need a nap every afternoon. Your circadian clock can work against you. Natural sunlight helps serotonin which is a natural pick-me-up.

  • What should you eat and drink? The best food is fiber containing carbs such as root vegetables like carrots and beets. Fiber slows down digestion which helps regulate your blood sugar. And don’t forget your protein for energy and a small amount healthy fat (ex: avocado). We also need water, lots of water! Often hunger is mistaken as thirst. A cold glass of water can energize you and also increase your metabolism.
  • Does dog walking count as exercising? One problem is that you don’t get your heart rate up to the level you need, but the fact that you’re getting out and about is very helpful. You can easily be meeting the minimal requirement for exercise. But if you are trying to lose weight you will probably need an extra boost of exercise to go along with the walking. Resistance training is a great way to amp up exercise for weight loss.
  • Women often don’t realize their obstacles that are often anchored in our habits. Medical history, eating habits, medications and thought processes are all the root of figuring out what is stopping you from feeling your best and bringing your best to your business.


Show Highlights:

  • How hormones and age can affect women’s daily performance and business [2:30]
  • The importance of and how to alter your circadian rhythm [6:45]
  • How much water you need and the benefits you get from it [10:30]
  • The benefits and drawbacks of claiming dog walking as exercise [16:00]
  • Exactly what is B3 Nutrition? [19:40]
  • How self-care makes you strong for your business as well as the people in your life [22:00]

Tweetables:

Links:

Find out more about Bonnie Roill and the B3 Nutrition by visiting:

https://www.B3Nutrition.com

Downloadable Offer:

Sign up for the session at www.B3Nutrition.com under the header Free Consultation. It takes about 30 minutes. Share my free breakthrough session “Eat Clean(er)*Feel Great* Look Awesome, including my Hormone Profile Self-Assessment checklist.

Also, sign up for FREE 5 Strategies for Success Slimming.

Join me for my Free 7 Day Healthy Habits for Happy Hormones challenge at  www.B3Nutrition.com and select the header “Healthy Habits Challenge.”

 

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small business coaching success

Episode 82: Scaling Your Business Into A Well-Oiled Machine With Randa Clark

Today’s Podcast features the inspiring Mompreneur, Randa Clark, from Tailchasers Pet Heroes Inc. Randa started Tail Chasers Pet Heroes Inc. in 2004 with the mission to help people discover, develop, and nurture the human and animal bond with their pets. She offers dog walking, pet sitting, dog training, and pet first aid classes to pets and their families in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Tailchasers Pet Heroes Inc. received the Super Service Award from Angie’s List in 2016 as well as the People Love Us On Yelp Award.

In this episode, Randa and Bella discussed some of the strategies that Randa used to turn her pet sitting company into a pet business empire. Do you struggle with multitasking, being a control freak, or successfully balancing the business between you or your spouse? Then this episode is for you! 

Success

Biggest Takeaways You Don’t Want To Miss:

Instead of devoting your entire life to the business, make your business fit into YOUR life. Scheduling business operations around your day-to-day tasks like picking up the kids from school or spending time with family will help you find that work-life balance that all business owners so desperately need. Also, be sure to give yourself some time each day to work on advancing the business to the next level. It’s easy to get caught up in all of the pet sits and dog walks, but ensuring you’re taking strides in your business instead of running in place is crucial to success.

An office manager is NOT going to be exactly like you – and that’s okay! An office manager is a person that is going to allow you to really grow and scale your business so much more than you’re able to if you continue to do day-to-day operations yourself. At the end of the day, there are qualified people out there that can answer the phone and answer emails just as good as you do – you just have to find them (and give them the tools to succeed!). Empowering and valuing your office managers to make them feel needed is what will allow them to be successful in their role.

A fact-based mindset is a key tool that will help you deal with crises and emergencies that inevitably arise in any pet sitting company. Taking the emotions out of your response and deciding what you can do to mitigate the situation factually will allow you to make the best decisions for your client. In other words, you can’t change the past, but you CAN change your response to it!

The more time you can spend out of the field, the more time you can spend advancing your business. Randa’s advice? Build up a route of clients, and then hand it off to an employee! The more you do this, the more income you’ll have on hand, and the less time you’ll have to spend in the field. The goal is to have the client’s alliance with the COMPANY and not to the DOG WALKER.

Show Highlights

  • How Randa learned to multitask to get work done quickly [2:30]
  • Evolving your business and focus; Pet Sitting Vs. Dog Walking only [3:15]
  • Decision making for a better business [7:00]
  • The Good and the Bad of Hiring an Office Manager [10:45]
  • How to let go of control [15:00]
  • Managing a business with your spouse [16:15]
  • Separating yourself from the field for success [19:00]

Tweetables

Share The Show

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

  1. Click this link – Bella In Your Business
  2. Click on the ‘Subscribe’ button below the artwork
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  4. Click on ‘Write a Review’
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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.

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

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

Consistency

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.

Money

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.

Time

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!

free coaching session

Episode 62: The Do’s & Don’ts Of Hiring Pet Sitting Employees

One of the most challenging hurdles pet sitting business owners encounter is hiring. Many reach a point where they absolutely cannot take on anymore clients, unless they bring on some extra hands. What some business owners don’t consider is how much truly goes into making sure you’re hiring a HERO rather than a ZERO. So what better way to get your feet wet in the world of pet sitting employees than hearing the stories of other business owners who’ve been through the process many times before?

On this episode, Bella is joined by three successful pet sitting business owners that have been through it ALL when hiring pet sitting employees. In three 10 minute segments, Bella asks each one of these industry veterans three crucial questions:

  • What is the best way to find pet sitting employees?
  • What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made when hiring pet sitting employees?
  • What’s your best secret that you would tell your old self about hiring pet sitting employees?

Listen now to find out the answers to Bella’s burning questions while gaining invaluable knowledge about the hiring process in the pet sitting world.

pet sitters

Maureen McCarthy

Maureen McCarthy has worked with dogs and cats either grooming or pet sitting since 1980.  When she moved to North Carolina in 2006, she started Love and Kisses Pet Sitting  which she continues to successfully operate today. Love and Kisses Pet Sitting is now an award winning company (4 years and counting!), honored as the recipient of the Best Pet Sitting Business In Union County. Additionally, Maureen’s business has attained the 2015 and 2016 Angie’s List Super Service Award. Maureen now has 21 pet sitting employees working for her, all of which she requires to continually undergo continuing education to ensure they provide the best service possible.

pet sitting business

David Steinberg

David Steinberg founded David’s Pet Sitting while studying in graduate school to become a therapist at the UConn School of Social Work. Luckily, the program was located in his hometown (West Hartford). His friends then demanded he watched their pets when they went away. David happily obliged and before he knew it, David’s Pet Services was a thing.  David now has a number of employee’s working under him, and is continuing to hire more and more while honing the process.

In 2003 Cara Armour co-founded Active Paws Inc., in the Boston, MA area. In 2009, Cara won Pet Sitter of the Year. She is decorated in many accolades and even expanded to opening a grooming and holistic pet supply store.

small business

Cara Armour

Since 2003, Cara has been trained by the American Red Cross as well as several veterinarians in Pet First Aid and CPR. In 2011 she completed an instructor training course and became a certified Pet First Aid and CPR instructor. In 2015 she co-founded an online Pet First Aid academy and now works as a product and marketing manager for ProPetHero, the Pet First Aid and CPR division of ProTrainings. 

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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

Episode 56: Defining Your Brand With Lain Ehmann

Description

On this episode Bella spends time with Lain Ehmann, Marketing Strategist at #FastLain.

communication business

Lain Ehmann

Listen in as they talk about the mistakes small businesses make on their websites, including telling a story that your audience wants to hear vs. telling the story you want the audience to hear. Be mindful of your audience.

You will also learn how to make that message different between the mediums. In particular, be conscious of the frame of mind people are in when they are reaching out to you vs. when you are reaching out to them. Give them something they wouldn’t expect. Don’t sell them.

Messaging, which is “communications branding”, is critical to success. It is the message you are going to consistently send out to your audience that also helps you distinguish yourself from others in your niche. As a bonus, doing so may even allow you to charge more.

“Messaging is a tool to do that by defining who you are, what the value is that you provide, and the audience you provide that to.” – Lain Ehmann

The next logical step in the process is helping customers see that you can solve the problems they have.  You can drive customer motivation by tapping into their “pain points”. Bella recommends that you include the benefits of your online scheduling as part of your messaging.  Lain says that playing up your “secret sauce”, that unique niche that  you have identified, will help you reach those who need that service and even build your standing among those who don’t because they see how much you care.

They  also recommend doubling up on your marketing. For instance, doing a Facebook live with tips about dog walking and then putting a link to that under your services page.

Another common mistake Lain points out is that often business owners speak from their point of view and assume that the audience knows everything that they know. In fact, educating the audience should be an important part of your efforts. Make sure they understand the terminology and services you are offering. Lead them through your site to the call to action.

About Lain

Lain is a bestselling author and communications strategist, who specializes in helping six- and seven- figure entrepreneurs uncover hidden profits and potential – FAST.  Her superpower is saying what your customers and clients really need to hear, to get the results you want as quickly as possible.

Links mentioned in this episode

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Episode 47: Customer Experience With Joey Coleman

On this episode Bella catches up with Joey Coleman, Chief Experience Composer, Design Symphony.  They talk about things you can do as a business owner to create a meaningful customer experience. Ideas include:

  • Sending personalized gifts to your customers seemingly at random
  • Sending handwritten notes thanking them for trusting you with their fur baby
  • Keeping track of simple things like the pet’s birthday and sending acknowledgements
  • Doing a monthly quick check of the pet (for any issues)

    Pet Sitting Customer Experience

    Joey Coleman

  • Giving the pet a bath unexpectedly
  • Sending quick personalized videos of the you and the pet to the client.

For over a decade, Joey has helped organizations retain their best customers and turn them into raving fans via his entertaining and actionable keynotes, workshops, and consulting projects.

His First 100 Days methodology helps fuel successful customer experience endeavors at companies and organizations around the world.

As a recognized expert in customer experience design and an award-winning speaker at national and international conferences, Joey specializes in creating unique, attention- grabbing customer experiences.

He works with companies ranging from small VC-funded start-ups, to large Fortune 500s, with hundreds of mid-size businesses in between.

Joey developed his narrative skills as a criminal defense trial attorney, advised and counseled Fortune 500 companies as a business consultant, honed his communications and messaging skills at the White House, and did things for the U.S. Secret Service and the CIA that he can’t talk about publicly.

His design and artwork has been displayed in museums, featured in juried shows, and graced publications in the U.S. and abroad. When not traveling the world (48 countries and counting) for keynote presentations, client workshops, and quality beach time, Joey enjoys watching magnificent sunsets from his mountain-top home in Colorado with his wife and two young sons.

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Episode 42: How To Use Facebook Groups and Video In Your Pet Sitting Business

On this episode Bella speaks with Maureen McCarthy, owner of Love and Kisses Pet Sitting. Bella has found Maureen’s use of Facebook groups, social media, and video to be an awesome example of how to market.  Bella gets the scoop from Maureen, about how Facebook groups can be a great way to connect and expand your reach as a business. Maureen started a group for her own community called What’s Up Indiana Trail and it has grown like wild fire. Through it, she has been able to get more people engaged on her own facebook page and grown her business.

They also discuss Facebook Live videos – which if you’ve been listening to me for awhile, you know that I consider video as a MUST HAVE in your business. Maureen discusses with Bella how exactly she started doing Facebook Live videos with both her and her staff and the direct effect they’ve had on her business revenue.

She talks with Maureen about:

Facebook Groups In Your Pet Sitting Business

Maureen McCarthy

  • The Facebook group she started.
  • Why she started the group
  • How much work is involved
  • How successful it has been
  • How she got into doing videos

Her facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/IndianTrailPetSitter/

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Episode 34: “Click Here To Agree” Contracts, Sharing Client Photos, And Privacy Policies On Your Website.

On this episode Bella speaks with Sara F. Hawkins, an attorney who specializes in working with startups, entrepreneurs, marketing and advertising agencies, as well as major corporations where she regularly counsels clients on all aspects of federal and state marketing, advertising, sweepstakes and contests; international promotions; social media and internet law; copyright, trademark, and digital rights; as well as general business matters.

small business social media

Sara F. Hawkins

With a background in consumer product marketing compliance, Sara has worked with clients to create policies and procedures for engagement with agencies, celebrities, and influencers. Sara frequently speaks on legal topics related to influencer marketing; sweepstakes and contest promotions; as well as a host of digital, native, and mobile advertising and marketing topics. Since 1998, Sara has maintained her own firm in Phoenix, Arizona.

Bella and Sara discuss:

  • Where business owners can get photos from
  • Photo licenses and what they are
  • Who regulates photos and copyrights
  • How business owners can get clients to agree to share photos
  • Privacy policies
  • “Click to agree” agreements.

Here is the resource for my Deposit Photo deal 🙂
Sara can be reached at her website or Facebook

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Episode 29: What Type of Pet Sitter is Best for Rover Type Websites?

In this Episode Bella talks with Walt Galvin, an independent contractor working for Rover.  They discuss how sites like Rover can be a viable option for some pet sitters and walkers who are just starting out or want to keep it simple.

Walt Gavin, independent contractor with Rover.

Walt Galvin, independent contractor with Rover.

Some of the advantages include:

  • Not having to handle payments from clients
  • Saving  time and money but not having to handle marketing
  • Not having to deal with all kinds of administrative headaches and paperwork.
  • Ability to set your own work schedule

For Walt it has turned into a substantial retirement income and he points out that it is also a good option for those who don’t have the desire to hire other sitters and walkers as staff.  Walt also recommends that you pay close attention to the service agreements, particularly in regards to what insurance covers and you may need to purchase additional insurance to cover yourself.

Many of these online websites do not provide adequate coverage for the pet sitters. Only the clients.

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