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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

So let’s make this interesting…

In a volatile job market

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

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

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

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

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

Advertising & Creating Interest In Your Dog Walking Interview Process

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

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

 

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

 

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

…and posts them on over 20 job boards

…and then tells you how many eyeballs see it

…and then how many actually apply.

This info alone is so super valuable, if used.

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

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

 

How Sexy Are Your Basic Information & Screening Questions?

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

You want:

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

Am I right? (I got you boo!)

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

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

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

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

Wowzas! Interested?!?!

and the best part?

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

 

via GIPHY

 

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

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

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

Text Your Applicant!

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

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

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

or maybe something like this:

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

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

texting applicant

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

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

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

Acknowledge Your Applicant Goes A Long Way In All Phases

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

dog walking interview process

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

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

calendly email

 

How Do You Think That Makes Them Feel?

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

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

via GIPHY

 

Are You Breaking The Law With Resume Collection?

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

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

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

jazzhr

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Share Information With New Hires In The Same Place.

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

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

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

Want To Go All In With Me?

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

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

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

Business woman recording video on mobile phone

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

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

Video is The Present.

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

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

Video use on Social

All the apps

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

 

Better Marketing with Bella

 

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

 

The Importance of Going Live

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

Probably not.

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

 

Introduce Yourself

 

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

It just doesn’t work that way.

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

 

Video During COVID-19 Has Been So Important

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

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

Ways to Go Live

FB share your screen

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

FB live on location with pets

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

How long until Fido finds the perfect place to potty?

How long until Fido goes potty?

How many throws until Fido is tried?

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

How fast will he eat his food?

IGTV

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

Snapchat glasses

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

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

Are you Convinced Yet?

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

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

BMWB

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

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

Episode 189: How To Make COVID-19 Stop Messing With Your Head

Episode 189: How To Make COVID-19 Stop Messing With Your Head

How are you doing? Like really doing?

Lately, I’ve been having A LOT of conversations with pet business owners about how to stay strong during the COVID-19 pandemic. I can not imagine the amount of stress that so many of you are having to deal with and I know that it is not easy.

But I want you to know that in this unique time, it is more important now than EVER to be on your A-Game. What you choose to do with the majority of your days NOW is going to set the stage for what Summer, Fall, and beyond will look like. Listen in as I discuss a variety of ways that you can stop COVID-19 from messing with your head.

Show Highlights

  • [3:00] – Why are routines so important, especially during COVID-19?
  • [5:00] – How cleaning can help you feel a sense of accomplishment and even help others in need.
  • [7:00] – Why the strong are getting smart – and how you can too!
  • [10:00] – Consider joining the Pet Industry COVID-19 Survival Group
  • [13:00] – How you can ask for help & start giving yourself what you need.
  • [15:00] – How do I know if I’m an essential business?

 

COVID Pet Industry

Links

Episode 184: Quality Over Quantity Of Your Social Media Content

Quality Over Quantity Of Your Social Media Content

It’s no shock that being on Social Media is a must for Pet Sitting and Dog Walking businesses. But, what platforms are best for us? How should we be using them? And what kind of content should we be creating?

To share his 15 years plus years of digital marketing experience, I’ve brought on Dan Willis.

Social Media

Dan Willis brings insights into the power of relationship marketing, video content and the emerging millennial/gen. Z marketplace leading your brand to learn how to not only succeed today but how to build success for the future. 

Biggest Take Away You Don’t Want To Miss

Don’t spread yourself thin trying to be active on all social media platforms when the biggest platforms for dog walkers and pet sitters are Facebook and Instagram. Create content that best expresses your brand, use video, and don’t get discouraged if you don’t get a bunch of interaction on any given post. As Dan said, if you can create content that inspires one person to appreciate what you’re doing, that content was of value. 

Don’t just produce a large quantity of content but make sure you’re placing quality over quantity for your social media content.

Show Highlights

  • What networks are the most beneficial for dog walkers and pet sitters? [3:01]
  • The importance of video content [5:28]
  • Social media listening [10:38]
  • Creating quality content [19:16]

Links

Let’s Connect!

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

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

 

Episode 183: Video Training In Your Pet Sitting Company

Why You Should Do Video Training In Your Pet Sitting Company

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

Video training

Biggest Takeaway You Don’t Want To Miss

Video training in your pet sitting company offers a level of versatility that is not offered through any other form of training. Whether that be reading pages and pages of your systems and processes or hands-on learning, if your employee is not alert, they will not learn. Thus, video training offers the ability for your employees to train when they feel alert and able to fully comprehend the content.

Show Highlights

  • Video improves learning results [3:32]
  • The importance of having a staff training foundation [4:45]
  • Video training tips [6:18]
  • Online training when your employees alert [7:24]
  • Video training is more likely to be consumed [8:58]
  • It doesn’t have to be boring! [10:26]
  • Incorporating video into your onboarding process [11:10]

Links

Let’s Connect!

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

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

 

Episode 182: Using Video To Increase Sales In Your Pet Business

Using Video To Increase Sales In Your Pet Business

The use of video is becoming exceedingly necessary in order to get your pet business known. To teach how to use video to increase sales in your pet business, I brought on my good friend Daniel Glickman.

Video

Daniel Glickman is an internationally recognized marketing leader, speaker, and author. As chief marketing officer of Wave.video, an innovative video solution for creators and small businesses, he leads and manages digital marketing, advertising, and PR activities. His blog, newsletter, and international Meetups—all under the title CMOConfessions—offer a frank, creative, and humorous take on the underbelly and undercurrents of today’s most pressing, exciting, and confounding marketing issues.

Biggest Take Away You Don’t Want To Miss

Making videos doesn’t have to be scary.

There are three different types of videos you can utilize to increase sales in your pet business. You can do a right here, right now video. These videos require the least amount of production and are perfect for showing your followers what you’re doing at that moment. The second video, promotional videos, will be more produced than the first and have content that it is on brand and message. Finally, there’s the most produced video in which you produce a series of shows that repeat weekly and stay on a topic each week.

In order to excel, pick the type of video you’re best at and start filming!

 

Show Highlights

  • Why are small businesses using video? [3:27]
  • Resizing video, the importance and what it means [4:46]
  • Why video seems scary [7:51]
  • When do people stop watching a video? [12:03]
  • As a dog walker/ pet sitter, what could be an interesting video? [13:26]
  • How do we know when it gets boring? [15:13]
  • Viral videos [18:52]
  • Wave.Video community [22:47]

Links

Let’s Connect!

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

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

 

Episode 181: Remote Managing Your Pet Business

Remote Managing Your Pet Business

 

I know there’s plenty of you wanting to have the luxury of traveling or maybe even relocating away from your pet business but you’re afraid of trying to manage your pet business remotely.

That’s why I brought on one of my personal friends and client, Tiffany Lewis, who manages her business remotely from across the country.

Remote Manage

Tiffany Lewis founded Pet and Home Care in Potomac, Maryland in 1999 as a one-person pet sitting business. She has since expanded PHC to offer a full team of dog walkers, pet sitters, pet care experts, and home care service employees.

Biggest Take Away You Don’t Want To Miss

The biggest factor in remote managing your pet business is having a support team that you can trust and wrapping your mindset to support your goals. From there, the rest is in the technology, systems and processes and your ability to stay engaged with your business. With the right set of tools, you’ll be able to remotely manage your pet business in no time!

Show Highlights

  • When did you start remote managing? [3:14]
  • How did you make the transition? [5:00]
  • What was it about changing technology that helped you? [7:05]
  • How do you handle hiring and firing? [8:47]
  • How do you stay active in the community? [12:22]
  • Do you spend more or less time in your business? [15:56]

Links

Let’s Connect!

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

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

 

Episode 180: How The 90/10 Rule Can Get Your Dog Walking Business Back On Track

How the 90/10 Rule Can Get Your Dog Walking Business Back On Track

Do you feel like content marketing is taking over your business? Like you have to consistently be posting on every social media platform possible and creating all the content you can in order to properly market and grow your business?

Don’t stress!

Today, I brought on Andrew and Pete to tell you how the 90/10 rule can get your dog walking business back on track!

Dog Walking Business

Andrew and Pete, international keynote speakers, authors and YouTubers, are the multi award winning fun business duo who help small business owners scale their business so they can stop swapping time for money.

Biggest Take Away You Don’t Want To Miss

If you try to post on all aspects of content marketing then you are doing none of them remarkably well. Instead, pick one aspect of marketing and do that one thing remarkably well. In doing so, you will be known for that aspect and will no longer be wasting your time on the other platforms that aren’t performing well for you. Follow your data, find out what works best for you and your business and spend 90% of your time there and 10% experimenting elsewhere.

In following the 90/10 rule, you are guaranteed to get your dog walking business back on track.

Show Highlights

  • About Atomic [4:23]
  • What is the 90/10 rule? [7:20]
  • How do you figure out the one thing for you business? [10:40]
  • Conclusion [18:22]

Links

Let’s Connect!

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

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

 

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

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

Below are five tips that all employers need to understand.

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

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

Pet Sitting Applicants

Update Your Dog Walking and Pet Sitting Job Description Wording

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Start Asking Different Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Applicants

Create A Shorter Timeline For Applicants

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

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

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

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

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Add Extra Touches – Little Things Matter!

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

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

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

Dog Walking Applicant

Give Visuals

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

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

You Be You, Boo!

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

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

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

 

mastermind pet sitting

Episode 176: Planning for Your Dog Walking Business in 2020

I know with being six days away from Christmas that planning for your dog walking business in 2020 is probably the last thing on your mind. However, I strategically posted this before Christmas so that you have time to get your thoughts flowing.

I want to help you come up with a plan to grow and exceed your expectations for business planning in 2020.

 

Dog walking Planning 2020

Biggest Take Away You Don’t Want To Miss

There’s a major difference between planning for your dog walking business and goal setting. Where making plans can include a to do list that never stops growing, setting goals are concrete, quantifiable and specific. When you set a goal you need to give yourself an end date and start breaking down the processes necessary to get there.

Most importantly, you need to hold yourself accountable or get an accountability partner that can.

Show Highlights

  • 90 Day Goals [4:20]
  • 30 Day Goals [5:50]
  • Accountability [8:00]
  • What’s so different about 2020? [9:10]
  • Where to begin [10:38]
  • Can you hire out? [13:35]

Links

Join Jump Mastermind

Let’s Connect!

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

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

 

 

How to Build Trust in Your Pet Business on Social Media

Nowadays with all the automation that we can incorporate in business, it’s becoming more and more necessary to prove that we are human. Especially when it comes to the internet and consistent technological advances.

How do we remain human in a fast-paced technological world? 

The answer isn’t as simple as we would think. Remaining human has a lot to do with identifying who we are, what we represent, and what we want our clients to see. Then it’s about transferring that human quality not only in face to face contact but through our social media as well.

Thankfully, Bryan Kramer, the founder of the H2H movement as well as Keynote Speaker, TED Talk Speaker,  Coach, and CEO of H2H Companies, a Business Performance Coaching Company, was able to teach us more about human to human interactions and how you can build trust in your pet business on social media. 

 

Trust on Social Media

 

Your Why and Your Purpose

In order to present yourself as trustworthy on social media, you first need to know yourself.

What is your why?

What is your purpose?

Your purpose is made up of three equal parts.

  1. Inspiration
  2. Vision
  3. Innovation

The key to a sound purpose is the equality of these three parts. Too much of one thing will cause your purpose to be unclear and unattainable.  All three of these are reliant on your ability to balance them and pursue them.

Understanding your why and your purpose will not only give you a foundation for the values of your business but it will also help you to identify how you want your business to be portrayed to the public. When portraying your business it’s important to stay real to who you are. Especially, when it comes to technology.

It is all too easy to lose our human traits when representing ourselves through a screen rather than in person.

So, how do we remain human in a fast-paced technological world?

Identify and live out your why and your purpose. 

How We Share in Person Vs. Social Media

Social media is the face of your business.

What kind of stories are you telling?

What kind of stories are you hiding?

Is your social media consistent with the same emotion or does it vary and expand beyond what others are doing?

Do you want to blend in or stand out?

Trust me when I say, you do not want to blend in.

In order to stand out, you have to come across as human on social media, very similar to how you would portray yourself in person.

In-person we are multi-dimensional. We share all of our different emotions whether that’s happy, sad, angry, anything in between. You’ll be able to read those emotions in our tone of voice, facial expression, body language, and obviously with our words.

On social media, we tend to lean on one emotion and only portray that emotion, all. the. time. The issue with that is that it’s not actually who we are. We aren’t always happy and excitable.

Say, if you’re on social media and all of your posts have dozens of exclamation points because you want to make your viewers excited. That’s great, but if your page is full of excitement, it looks very fake. That is not who you are.

Show your emotions and let your personality shine. 

Divide your social media into thirds. Share one third about you, one third about other people and one third of educational content and news.

 

Jump Mastermind

 

Identifying Your Unique Traits

To marry your passion and your brand, you’ll need to identify what makes you unique.

Everyone shares in their own way and it’s extremely important to identify what category of sharer each person in your company is. By doing so, you’ll ensure that you’re making the ask of the right person.

The six categories of sharers, outlined by Bryan are:

  1. The AltruistAltruists are individuals who are highly recognized for their commitment to helping others. These are people who not only dedicate themselves in terms of actions, but also with regard to being mindful with their personal relationships.
  2. Early Adopter- The early adopter branding refers to a recognized subculture of progressive individuals who embrace individuality above all else. Although the term has existed since the Jazz age, modern early adopters are often associated with being the first to try new things and share them with others.
  3. ConnectorConnectors are people who pride themselves on their ability to bring people together. These are usually the individuals who are well connected and openly use their network to unite. Typically creative, they obtain validation and satisfaction through others.
  4. Careerist- Careerists are people who are have shown a preference for professional advancement above all other personal achievements. More often associated with business-related networks.
  5. Boomerang- The boomerang brand type refers to people whose brand is closely identified with controversy. In many cases, they do not necessarily agree with the content-choosing to pass on the information for the potential of being seen as provocative.
  6. Selective- The selective is a person that shares information with specific people. They usually carefully curate information based on the general needs and interests of the target audience. They value exclusivity and are largely viewed as being informative and resourceful.

Find out what category of sharer you are by clicking on the picture below and taking Bryan’s quick quiz!


Human on Social

Keep in mind, you may change from day to day as the type that you takes into account how you are feeling when you take it.

Once you and your employees take the quiz, compare and see how you all work together!

Body Language and First Impression

First impressions are critical in our business. Doing our first meet and greet with the client is really the only chance we will have to interact with them and show them who we are.

Oftentimes on these first meetings, we are missing intimacy. We are so busy going through the facts of our business and their pets that we miss making a connection with them.

Bryan describes intimacy as into-me-you-see. It’s the passage of looking past the exterior and the facts and learning more about someone. It’s extremely important for us to build that connection with our clients. We are not just providing a job, we are serving their precious pet, their family member.

In order to be more intimate with our clients, we need to make more agreements with them.

To do so, we start by asking questions about their pets and what they’re looking for from us. Get to know the different lives of each animal to be able to better serve them specifically. Not every client and every pet are going to be cookie-cutter and that’s why it’s so important to treat them as unique as they are.

An agreement can be made around anything and will look different for everyone. To get started making an agreement, you simply have to bring something up transparently and ask them to agree. The thing is, the other person doesn’t have to agree to your terms and may come back with a counteroffer.

Over time, agreements make a relationship strong. You’re learning how to communicate with each other and ensure your interactions are a two-way street.

We are human, talking to a human.

Trust and Delegation

It’s not easy being everywhere at once. As the business owner, it’s almost impossible for you to be at every single meet and greet. You need to trust yourself, your staff and your ability to lead them.

You need to delegate.

Bryan recommends practicing making agreements with your staff.

Sit them down for a team meeting and explain to them why making agreements with clients is so important to your business. Give them the opportunity to practice making agreements with another team member and finalize the meeting with a group debrief/discussion.

As a bigger group, discuss what happened, what they got from it, what they discovered and grow from there.

Conclusion

Keeping yourself relevant and building trust in your pet business on social media is as simple as keeping yourself you. Identify what makes you unique, what is your purpose, and your why. Then identify different ways you can use your team in order to reflect you and your business in everything they do.

If you want to learn more about human to human interaction and how to use it to make your business thrive. Join Bryan Kramer on his H2H Marketing & Leadership Hub Facebook group.

Just click the image below!

Build Trust

 

Hiring Tips For Your Pet Business During the Holidays

Its that time of the year again when everything turns into all holidays, all the time. The time when every store is confused about what to celebrate first with multiple isles of Halloween, Thanksgiving and the MASSIVE Christmas section.

I think we can all admit that September through December, Holiday preparation takes over. 

What’s wrong with that, right?

Except if you are hiring. Dealing with the stress of hiring during the holidays is intense.

 

Here are my Tips and Mindset Shifts Needed to Hire During the Holidays

  1. Embrace the process
  2. Streamline
  3. Have a Fast System
  4. Delegate
  5. Go Where Your Avatar Hangs Out
  6. Always be Hiring

 

finding staff during the holidays

Embrace the Process

There’s nothing more important than taking over your mindset and truly embracing the hard stuff. In order to be successful in hiring for your pet business during the holidays, it’s going to be necessary to first ensure your thoughts are where they should be.

Are you thinking about how awful it is?

Or are you thinking about how you’re going to completely rock out hiring and get amazing new staff?

Embrace people looking for seasonal help.

Keep in mind, your business will become very busy during this time of the year. From family vacations to people maybe not wanting to walk their dogs in the snow, holidays can be great for business.

 

Streamline

You’ve heard me talk about the importance of streamlining your social media process and with the same importance, you also need to streamline your hiring process.

Everyone’s busy and no one has time to wait around for a two or three-week hiring process. They want to jump in with a four to five day hiring process. Trust me, it’s true!

Not only is this beneficial to the applicant but it’s faster for you to get through more applicants at a time. At the end of the day, being quick will make you look better to the applicant because it appears that you are engaged and serious about hiring.

The easiest way to do this is by using hiring software, like JazzHR, that will allow you to automate and add in hiring phases. Recently, one of the Mastermind group members tested out the new JazzHR text option, where you can text applicants from the software.

Here’s what she had to say:

 

Hiring

 

Fast System

A fast system doesn’t just mean creating a quick work flow through applicants, it also means setting up your system in a way where you’re able to quickly find each applicant, where they are at in the hiring phases, and how they responded to each phase.  I like having about three to five different phases for the applicant.

In the first phase, I will ask them questions to get to know their character. For each question, I score them from one to five.

In the end, I’ll add up their total points and if they meet the score I decided ahead of time that they needed to meet, then I will move them on to the next phase.

I’ll always recommend that at least one of these preliminary phases either be through knock out questions or a video recorded by the applicant.

This gives you the opportunity to weed out people further based on an actual interaction or, for video, their comfort level in getting out there and doing something out of the ordinary.

 

Delegate

Delegation is one of the most underrated methods of self-care. The simple act of allowing others to do the work that you don’t need to do yourself takes some stress off your plate and frees up your schedule to focus on more important things.

If you have phases with scoring involved, delegating the task of hiring can be super easy. All you need to do is ensure that the person in charge of hiring knows what you’re looking for and what your ideal applicant looks like. Make it a mathematical equasion.

Before the final meeting phase, you can review the applicants and schedule them for an in-person interview with yourself. That way, you saved a bunch of time not reviewing all of their answers and you’re ultimately still the person in charge of if they work at your business or not.

 

Go Where Your Avatar Hangs Out

In order to properly set up your hiring process, you need to know who your ideal applicant is. For the holidays, it can be anyone from a snowbird traveling south for the winter or a college student home for the holidays that are looking to pick up some extra cash. I actually did a free 3 hour clas on this that you can take called Jump and Scale.

If you’re open to the idea of temporary workers, make sure that’s known in your hiring posting and advertise directly to that audience.

Imagine this: “Are you home for the holidays and looking to earn some extra Christmas money while loving on pets? This job may be the perfect one for you!”

I actually liked temporary applicants when I had my business becasue they were typically avaialble during the times when my pet sitting company had in influx of clients like the holidays, school vacations, and the summer.

Once you identify your ideal applicant, figure out where they would spend their time. Are they people who would hang out in your local coffee shop in the middle of the day? Maybe people attending pet holiday parties?

Figure out where they are and attract them.

Always Be Hiring

Do you hire for the Holidays or hire for long term employment?

The answer is simple.

Do both.

Don’t limit yourself by looking for employees that are only going to be long term if you’re able to staff for your Holiday rush.

Always be hiring. It’s the best opportunity for your company to ensure there are always going to be enough staff. I like to say to have more staff than what you need. I know the next thing you are thinking is “But what if I don’t have work for them?” and I would say that isn’t your problem. Be honest with them about where you are at, why you are attracted to them, and opportunities for them to help you market for new clients while we wait for their route to build up.

Hiring Doesn’t Have To Be Stressful

Hiring doesn’t have to be a stressful event where you burn yourself out keeping track of every applicant at different stages in the hiring process.   You do not have to waste your time searching through resume after resume and doing endless amounts of interviews that just don’t match up with your company culture.

Embrace the idea of hiring for your pet business during the holidays, streamline your hiring process, make the system fast and apply phases, delegate the task of sorting through applicants, go where your avatar hangs out and always be hiring.

Interested in learning more about JazzHR?
Check out my post Secrets to Success on JazzHR vs. Indeed for Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers. 

You can also get started with JazzHR here.

 

Holiday Pet Events You Can Copy in Your Town

One of the best ways to gain exposure to your pet sitting or dog walking company is to host or participate in a holiday pet event. But oftentimes we have no idea what to do, where to do it, or just feel like it takes way too much energy. When I used to have my company, Bella’s House & Pet Sitting for 14 years, I would participate and host many events.

These events became known in the community and offered me a lot of exposure and reason to walk up to people and talk about my company in a nonsleezy way. The events were successful and through lots of trial and error, I got them running smoothly. We had all sorts of prizes, giveaways, even a celebrity photographer at one event taking pictures of people and their pets. We had alcohol sponsors, rescue groups getting piles of money, and signs prominently hung outside of businesses with my logo on them.

The holidays are the ideal opportunity to host events and I am going to show you just some of the magic that you can create in your hometown area.

Here are 5 Holiday Pet Events you can host in your town:

  1. Yappy Hour
  2. Mutt and Mingle
  3. Dog Walking Club
  4. Dog Hiking Club
  5. Santa Paws

 

Pet Events

Yappy Hour/ Mutt and Mingle

Host the happiest of happy hour events with Yappy Hour or Mutt and Mingle. It’s a lot of fun to go to the local bar with your dog and especially for a holiday pet event. It can be an indoor or outdoor event. This is a great way to get your community together with their pups and strike up conversations about your business.

All you have to do is:

  • Find a local bar or venue to host the event
  • Get a liquor sponsor through the venue (they always have some)
  • Designate a photographer
    • You could either hire one for a couple of hours or have someone assigned to take pictures on their phone.
  • Decorate
  • Chat it up with all the attendees!

To take it a step further, you can add cute decorations like dog treats in shot glasses and host a raffle or giveaway.

 

Dog Walking Club

This great event doesn’t have to be just a holiday pet event, but can be a year-round, once a month event.

Here is how it works: Humans and their dogs walk all together in a pack, creating a community where you can get your brand out there to relevant people. Often times it is a one or two-mile loop.

The dog walking would typically work best in a subdivision or where there are a lot of apartment complexes, anywhere where you could walk a big circle. You may even be able to do a mile loop where you “pick up” and “drop off” people along the way.

The biggest advantage is all the advertising that comes with it at each apartment complex once they agree to it.

 

Holiday Pet Events

Dog Hiking Club

Are you a little more of an “off the beaten path” type of person? If so, a dog hiking club may be a better fit for you and your community than a typical walk around the neighborhood.

To do this, it would be very similar to starting a walking club but you would want to find hiking trails best suited for large packs and pups of all breed and ages.

If you have already created a blog with the best dog walking trails in your area, you might want to start with that. Consider reaching out to hiking clubs and see if they wanted to partner with you on an event with a twist… with the dogs!

 

Dog Park Date

Create a holiday pet event within the community you’ve already established and invite your clients to the dog park for a date!

With this event, it’s up to you to be creative on what the event will entail.

Will you host a raffle?

Will there be a flyball or find the treat contest?

This event is perfect to meet new people.

In doing so, you’ll be reaching out to the happy hour crowd who already goes to the dog park but now you’ll be able to get your name out there. While there, you may even meet people outside of your clientele.

 

Santa Paws

The classic Christmas celebration, taking a picture with Santa. No matter what you celebrate typically this type of holiday pet event attracts all types of people.

Host the event yourself by:

  • Partnering up with a local Pet Store
  • Get a trainer to dress up as Santa
  • Hire a Photographer or do it yourself
  • Order a Christmas backdrop off Amazon
  • Make the pictures available on your Facebook page
  • Invite everyone you know!

The Main Idea of Pet Events

The main idea of these pet events is to bring more exposure to your brand. You have to remember that not everyone is going to be ready to buy your services immediately, but getting to know you and what you stand for will make you memorable when they do need your services or even their friends.

Also, remember that these events are not about how many people show up to the event but all that you get to do to attract them to the event. All the promotions, fliers hung in the elevators or put in the pet store bags. All of this helps to ensure that your community gets to know your brand in a fun way that you are giving back and celebrating their bond with their pets!

 

Holiday Tips

Episode 171: Hiring Tips for Finding Staff During the Holidays

Its that time of the year again! When September/October hit and everything turns into all holidays, all the time. The time when every store is confused about what to celebrate first with multiple isles of Halloween, Thanksgiving and the MASSIVE Christmas section.

I think we can all admit that September through December, Holiday preparation takes over.

What’s wrong with that, right? The holiday season is loved by so many! But not everyone has to deal with the stress of trying to hire during the Holidays. We get burnt out trying to find staff during the holidays because people are either only seasonal or not applying at all! Then we get burnt out and it results in an altogether disappointing feeling.

Take back your Holiday season!

Dive in with me as I discuss tips and mindset shifts that we all need in order to take over hiring during the Holiday season.

Hiring During the Holidays

Biggest Takeaways You Don’t Want To Miss

Finding staff during the Holidays can and needs to be taken advantage of! What you need to do is first, check your mindset, make sure you’re going in with a positive, go-getter mentality. Second, streamline your process now! Don’t wait until you’re in extreme need of staff. You need to set up a process now, create a fast system, delegate the hiring tasks, and find your ideal Holiday candidate.

You can take back your Holiday!

Show Highlights

  • Embrace hiring in the Holidays [2:07]
  • Streamline your process [3:06]
  • Create a fast system [5:52]
  • Delegate [6:25]
  • Find your ideal candidate [7:44]
  • Should you hire for long term or seasonal? [11:30]

Hiring During the Holidays

Links

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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
  3. Go to the ‘Ratings and Reviews’ section
  4. Click on ‘Write a Review’

 

Join Jump Mastermind

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

Links

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
    3. Go to the ‘Ratings and Reviews’ section
    4. Click on ‘Write a Review’

Better Marketing with Bella - Social Media Solution

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

Links

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
    3. Go to the ‘Ratings and Reviews’ section
    4. Click on ‘Write a Review’

Better Marketing with Bella - Social Media Solution

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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Better Marketing With Bella

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

Links

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Better Marketing With Bella

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

Links

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Facebook Group - Mastermind

 

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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  4. Click on ‘Write a Review’
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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coach

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

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

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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.

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.

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!

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