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Nutrition

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

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

 

Nutrition

Biggest Takeaways You Don’t Want To Miss:

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

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


Show Highlights:

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

Tweetables:

Links:

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

https://www.B3Nutrition.com

Downloadable Offer:

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

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

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

 

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credit card rates

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

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

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

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

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

 

credit card rates

 

Tiered Pricing vs Interchange Plus Pricing?

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

There are advantages and disadvantages to both models.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

Luckily for you (and your wallet), I am in your corner!

I have networked my way to these people above three years ago! When I realized just how incredible they were, I asked them if they would watch our (pet sitter’s) backs with credit card rates and processing…after having my own fateful failures with the credit card industry.

For any that have coached with me, you know I am always preaching, “build your team” and that you need to have personal relationships with your team to hold people accountable. You need to know that person that you trust with your credit card rates will be working at the same company for a long time. High turnover or not having a point person to speak to isn’t only bad customer service, but it does nothing to help your company. You can’t hold anyone accountable for anything!

It is the difference between emailing someone and asking them for something you need or being on hold for 25 minutes while you get transferred to three different departments.

When I discovered a family owned company out of California who I could call or email and get the same person every time, I have to admit, I was impressed. Normally credit card rates and processing doesn’t work that way.

You get a call center.

Or someone saying they have no power and it was the “higher ups.”

But not in this instance.

When I first switched, they gave me such a great deal on my credit card rates that I watched them and I waited. I waited for them to prove what I knew to be true about the industry. I waited for the rate to go up. I waited for them to be sleazy, go back on their word, not return my messages….

But they never happened. And it didn’t happen for any of my clients either!

I watched my rate and it stayed low. In fact, when some time had gone by and my business grew I asked them to review my rate and they were actually able to lower it! They helped me through things like PCI Compliance, and were always prompt in returning my emails… and from the SAME person – who knew me and my business.

After I signed up, and they courted me to tell the world about how great they are… I obliged. Not because of the referral fee they offer, but because they were old school.

Their word was their bond. It has been three years. I have three years of my history and that of my clients to stand confidently on as I type this article to you.

 

credit card rates

How Can I Be So Sure?

 

I wanted to advocate for you all… so I asked them: Can you do special things for the people I coach? And can you eliminate those crazy fees and help us out so we aren’t blindsided?

Here is what they did:

They have protected all of the accounts I send them. I asked what that meant. Here is the answer:

“It means we avoid rate and fee increases on the pet sitter accounts. We essentially have all of the pet sitter accounts pulled from the file that has any increases involved.”

 

This company can control the credit card rates because each credit card processing company runs things differently. They have the ability to create a special code, those only pet sitters who pass through me receive. In fact, if you called up the company today, and just tried to get a deal… it wouldn’t be as good or protected as if you came in with me.

That’s a company interested in personal relationships and earning your business.

 

How Do You Know Which Is Best For You?

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

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

 

What’s My Motive?

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

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

If you want to be personally connected to see how much money you can save, to ask questions, or to be in the “protected” pet sitter group, just let me know and I will connect you!

pet sitting package deal

september pet sitting blog ideas

4 September Pet Sitting Blog Ideas

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

4 September Pet Sitting Blog Ideas

september pet sitting blog ideas

1. Holidays – Labor Day!

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

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

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

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

2. Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall!

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

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

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

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

3. Autumn Activities

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

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

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

4. Educational Pet Themes Of The Month

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

  • Happy Healthy Cat Month
  • National Disaster Preparedness Month

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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pet sitting independent contractors

The Problems With Pet Sitting Independent Contractors

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

The Problems With Hiring Pet Sitting Independent Contractorspet sitting independent contractors

Lack Of Control

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

Seems weird right?

But it’s true.

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

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

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

Strict Rules & Regulations

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

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

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

Insurance Complications

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

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

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

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

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

Ways To Overcome Problems With Pet Sitting Employees

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

But that isn’t always the case.

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

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

Trust

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

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

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

pet sitting deal

Cost

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

Interviewing/Hiring/Training

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

Become one with it.

Perfect it!

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

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

employee handbook

Episode 57: Lead Through Strengths With Lisa Cummings

Description

On this episode, Bella spends time with Lisa Cummings, Founder of Lead Through Strengths.  Lisa talks about how it is her life’s mission to help people get over their obsession of fixing weaknesses instead of focusing on their strengths, the things that make them happy, give them energy and make them successful.

pet sitter marketing

Lisa Cummings

“Notice what works to get more of what works!” – Lisa Cummings

Pay attention to what is working. Make sure in your customer surveys you aren’t just asking what needs improvement. Ask customers what they loved most about the various parts of the service. You may find that some simple little thing you do, like giving out a little “report card” at the end of a stay, may be the thing that keeps them coming back and gets them referring you. After all, it is easier to replicate what is working for you than to try to figure out the 50 or 60 potential solutions to something one client says they don’t like.

To zero in on your strengths Lisa recommends the book Strengthsfinder 2.0 which gives you a code to take an online strengths survey. It gets away from skills and knowledge and helps you find your natural talents, the way you think, feel and act that feel good to you. It gives a filter for helping figure out the best way for you to approach issues. The book explains the definition of the 34 potential talent themes revealed by the survey.

Another way to zero in on strengths is to look for what brings you ease, energy and enjoyment. If a particular activity causes you to lose track of time, stop and exam just what about it really kept you engaged.

On her website, Lisa  has a list of things you may want “more of” in your daily life. It can give you clues as to what activities you are more attracted to.

Two books that Lisa recommends are First Break All the Rules by Gallup Press and Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham. She says that if you read them from the standpoint of managing people and then combine that with a strengthsfinder of those people you manage it is most helpful in managing people.

When you have a business challenge imagine putting it through a funnel.  You drop it in at the top and you filter it through all the top talents and strengths in your business.  Try thinking how to solve it using each of those strengths.  Lisa says is causes your brain to think in ways it normally doesn’t and can lead to some creative solutions.

One first step you can take is to decide what you want your company to remembered for and what you want to be remembered for. Come up with a list of words and phrases around that which will serve as an outline of what is most important to you.  Another is to list out the values that are important to you. Lisa has a list of values on her website you can use as a reference.

Lisa also recommends finding out similar information from your customers.  Casually ask customers what word or words come to mind when they think of you or your business.

Finally, she suggests you make a list of at least 100 responses to “I am good at _________!”. It helps you not only affirm how much you are good at but you can group them into trends and see if you are truly applying them in your business.

About Lisa

Lisa Cummings has delivered training & speaking events to over 9,000 participants in 14 countries. You can see her featured in places like Harvard Business Publishing, Training Magazine, and Forbes. She’s the CEO of a company called Lead Through Strengths. When she’s not out spotting strengths with teams, you’ll find her rescuing stray dogs or playing drums.

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Episode 56: Defining Your Brand With Lain Ehmann

Description

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

communication business

Lain Ehmann

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Lain

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

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Bella in your business pet sitting podcast

Episode 53: Everything You Need To Know About Vetting With Justin Recla

On this episode Bella speaks with Justin Recla, Operations Officer for The Clear Business Directory Due Diligence and Vetting Solutions.

pet sitting business

Justin Recla

They discuss:

  • The importance of vetting your potential business partners, employees, and service providers
  • How best to go about vetting
  • How Justin and Tonya’s background in Counterintelligence translated over to the business world.
  • Does having a due diligence process tells others that you do not trust them?
  • How business owners can use their vetting process when marketing themselves.

Justin and Tonya Dawn Recla are Army veterans and former government agents who bring over 20 years of combined counterintelligence experience to the business world. They established The Clear Business DirectoryTM and have forever changed the way business gets done. For the first time, consumers and business owners alike can make sure potential partners, investors, and service providers are who they say they are and can do what they say they can do.

You can find out more at ClearBusinessDirectory.com.

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staff stealing clients

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

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

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

staff stealing clients

Communication Styles

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

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

Hiring The Right Type Of Person

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

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

Keeping Up Morale

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

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

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

dog walking handbook

pet sitting business coach

Is A Pet Sitting Business Coach The Right Solution For Me?

Operating a pet sitting business is no easy task, especially alone. You’ll need a strong team behind you in order to help you build a successful, thriving business. One member that you might be considering adding to your team is a pet sitting business coach. But before you do so, you have to determine whether or a not a coach is the right solution for you. Today let’s talk about a few considerations to think about before seeking coaching for your business.

Is A Pet Sitting Business Coach The Right Solution For Me?

Pet Sitting Business Coach

Timing Is Everything

When deciding to work with a pet sitting business coach, you have to be in a certain mindset. Keep in mind that while a coach is somebody that will motivate you to build your business, you two may not always agree on the best strategy. A good coach is going to challenge your thinking, and is going to make you uncomfortable at times. You have to anticipate and be ready for this challenge, and know that it isn’t personal. A pet sitting business coach wants to see you succeed, and will ensure this by consistently broadening your horizons and helping you get out of your own way.

A pet sitting business coach is definitely going to add a lot more WORK to your plate to help you accomplish your goals. You have to be willing to budget time to complete your homework and ensure that you make all your sessions in order to see the best results. If you don’t, this greatly increases your chance for failure and just wastes everybody’s time.

I understand that setting aside this time can be difficult, because us business owners always have tons of projects on your plate. If you feel like this is you, then consider finishing a few of those projects up before seeking coaching. A clear plate and a clear mind will allow you to make the most of your sessions and have better results.

Coaching Is An Investment

It’s no secret that a pet sitting business coach is an investment. It can be costly, but if you go in with the correct mindset, you WILL see a return on your investment. That being said, cost is definitely a factor to consider. When you decide to work with a pet sitting business coach, it’s important that you are not only ready to make the investment, but that you’re willing and able to complete the necessary steps in order to get your return.

How Do You Learn?

A pet sitting business coach may be the right solution for you, depending on your learning style.  Coaches may offer a variety of learning resources including:

  • Phone classes
  • Webinars
  • Workbooks
  • Group Coaching
  • One-On-One Coaching

You’ll want to do a bit a research to make sure that the coach you’re considering offers learning resources that coincide with your learning style.

NOTE: Make sure to find out if there is an expiration date to access the information. You don’t want to end up purchasing something thinking you have lifetime access but actually don’t!

While you will learn a lot that you didn’t know before, from a pet sitting business coach, you have to be open to being wrong. More specifically, you have to be open to someone telling you what works, and you should be open to receiving the new information. Sometimes this can be difficult, but keep in mind that both you and your pet sitting business coach are aiming towards a common goal – help your business soar!

Keep in mind that while pet sitting business coaches can be invaluable to your business, there are also a number of problems to consider before working with one, which you can read about in my post here.

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Episode 47: Customer Experience With Joey Coleman

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

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

    Pet Sitting Customer Experience

    Joey Coleman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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pet sitting business coaches

The Problems With Pet Sitting Business Coaches

Finding a coach that clicks with your personality and your vision for your business can be difficult. As with anything in business, there are tons of problems that can arise when trying to work with pet sitting business coaches. Let’s discuss some of those problems as well as some ways you can address them, to ensure you’re working with the person that’s right for you.

pet sitting business coaches

Knowledge About Types Of Business

First and foremost, ask yourself whether or not the pet sitting business coaches you’re considering has knowledge about the type of business you run. You don’t want to want to hire a dog walking business coach when your business mainly focuses on pet sitting. Or at least you want to know that they understand the different types of operations for both. The same goes for the topic of ICs and Employees. Some specialize in this, some have an area of influence in one over the other. To truly understand this, you have to know exactly what type of business you are building. One size doesn’t fit all here 🙂

Booking Availability

Is the coach you’re considering easy to book with? Do their times available fit your schedule? Can you book them through a software, or do you have to email back and forth with time zones to set something up? Remember – your coach is going to be advising you on how to streamline your business processes. So if their booking system isn’t streamlined, this could speak to the scope of their process and the advice they can provide. You don’t get a second change

Industry Ties

How is the coach you’re considering tied to the industry? Did they once run a pet sitting company of their own? What other prominent figures in the industry do they have relationships with? Most importantly – are they qualified to be giving you advice about the pet sitting industry? Consider the fact that it can be easy for a person to look good on paper (or a computer screen!), but if they haven’t actually DONE the things they’re giving you advice on, it may be difficult for them to teach you how to implement and execute. Don’t be afraid to ask them to prove it to you. They should be happy to!

Proven Track Record

Has the pet sitting business coach worked with other pet business owners? If so, what RESULTS have they had? Look deeply into the reviews and testimonies that coaches have. The reviews that really speak to a coach are ones that talk about results and growth. Not reviews that are simply talking them up but give no explanation why. Just because somebody has all 5 stars reviews doesn’t necessarily mean they’re the best – look deeper into what people say and learn how to read between the lines. Is the success quantifiable? After all, you want a return on your investment, right?

Costs

One of the biggest problems with pet sitting business coaches is cost. Some are cheap, some are in the middle, and some are expensive. But the real problem here is figuring out what cost SAYS about the coach. I talk more on this fact in my blog, “How Much Does A Pet Sitting Business Coach Cost?”

Downloadable Material

You might want to take a look at the amount of downloadable material that a coach offers. What form is it in? E-books, workbooks, audio files, or video files? Which method do you learn best from and can retain the information from? How many downloadable resources does the coach have, and are they continually adding to their library? These are all crucial questions you want to figure out the answers to, before giving your business and livelihood to a coach so you can make sure the format is what will work for you.

Free Material

Most coaches will have free material you can read, hear, or experience before committing to them. You can find this on blogs, podcasts, info-graphics, and 20-30 minute coaching sessions. This can help you get a big feel for the coach to see if your two styles click. Keep in mind that not only is the coach committing to you, you are committing to the coach! You don’t want to make the mistake of putting your business in the hands of someone you don’t mesh with.

Support

While your coach is there to support you, it’s important to be able to reach them in other ways besides your one-on-one sessions. Determine whether or not the coach has Facebook groups, is accessible by email, phone, etc. Facebook groups are especially valuable because you’re not only going to connect with your coach, you’re getting to network with other pet business owners which you can learn and grow from.

How Do They Solve YOUR Problems?

When you do that free coaching session or even first session with your coach, think about how they tried to solve your problems. Are they just listening to your troubles, and acting more as a therapist? Yes-ing you to death? Or are they really coaching you, getting to the root of the problem and giving you sound advice that you can execute? Determining the difference between the two can be hard, but if you walk away from the session still feeling lost, you may need to consider whether or not you’re really benefiting from that coach’s style.

Do They Offer Different, Unique Solutions To Your Problems?

It’s really critical that your coach isn’t just giving you general industry advice. You want them to give you unique solutions to your problems that work for YOU and your business. Think about it – if your coach is giving the same advice to every client, this can really saturate the industry and make it difficult for you to stand out.

The most important problem to figure out when considering pet sitting business coaches, is to figure out what you’re looking for. This is really similar to hiring, in that if you don’t know what you’re looking for, you’ll find out once you hire the WRONG person! If you’re aware of the qualities you want in a coach, you will know once you find that perfect person.

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Bella in your business pet sitting podcast

Episode 46: Website Copy, SEO, Blogging, & FB Live With Jen Phillips April

On this episode of “Bella in your Business” Bella speaks with Jen Phillips April, an SEO copywriter and social media trainer. They discuss different ways of impacting the traffic you get from search engines.

blogging SEO pet sitting business

Jen Phillips April

Specifically they discuss:

  • Website copy (the words on your website) and how you need to rewrite so people can find your page more easily when searching
  • The wide range of searches user are doing these days
  • How consistent blogging can affect your SEO
  • The importance of Facebook Live to attract customers.

Jen Phillips April’s online marketing journey started way back in 2005 with a dog treat recipe site. Using content and the best practices of SEO, she grew that site to 87, 500 visitors/month. These days, she works with clients like pet sitters and dog trainers. She writes their website copy so it gets found by Google (and their target market) and she also offers training on social media and SEO. When she is not working with her clients, she is usually reading a novel, practicing her Down Dog or cooking up a delicious meal.

Check out Jen’s free 5 day email course on “How To Gain MASSIVE Visibility with Facebook Live in Only 5 Minutes a Day — Even if You’ve Never “Done” Video Before.” 

You can find out more at www.jenphillipsapril.com

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pet sitting business coach cost

How Much Does A Pet Sitting Business Coach Cost?

One of the biggest deciding factors when choosing a pet sitting business coach to work with is cost. Good advice can be valuable, but what it really comes down to is how much you’re willing to spend on it, and if you will get a return on your investment. The cost of a coach can range depending on what you’re looking for – so, today we’re going to break down the exactly what you should be thinking about in terms of cost when choosing a coach to work with.

How Much Does A Pet Sitting Business Coach Cost?

pet sitting business coach cost

Free

Yes, I am totally serious when I say that you could be getting advice for your business for free. Many coaches will offer free content to help you familiarize yourself with their style before committing to them. This is important because when you choose a coach, you are handing over your business and livelihood to them. A piece of bad advice or lack of advice could send you down paths you don’t want to be on.

This free content could include blogs, podcasts, Facebook groups, and free 20-30 minute coaching sessions. All of these resources are great ways to help yourself get a sense of what the coach believes in, and if their beliefs & personality, fit in with the vision you have for your business.

Low Cost

When a pet sitting business coach is offering their services for a low price, you want to ask yourself, “Is this person in it to make a living?” If your answer to this question is NO, you might want to do a little more thinking about this person. If they are doing it just to make a little side money, it might not be the mentality that you are looking for. Maybe it is? Having a coach that is coaching to make a living is beneficial for your business because they will really care about your success. They will have more vested in it because their success depends on your success.

If they’re offering their services for a low cost, this can really speak to the quality of the content and how much they believe in it. Think of the old saying “you get what you pay for.”

Also consider whether or not this content or advice is really valuable and unique? Or is it just restating much of what someone else has already said? How much knowledge is this person backing their products up with? Is it put together professionally? These are all valuable thoughts to consider when choosing a business coach.

That being said, being low cost doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad! It could be that the coach is providing these resources to you from their heart. Or, that they are up and coming and just starting out! Again, the best way to determine this is to get a feel for the coach through their free content.

High Cost

When considering working with a high-cost pet sitting business coach, there are also a series of questions you want to think about before working with them. First and foremost: Is the content really more value? Higher price does NOT necessarily equate to higher value, even though it’s easy as a consumer to think so. How do you get around this? Make the coach show you the value. Do they have social proof such as testimonials? Reviews? A large following that are singing their praises? These are all great ways to determine whether or not a coach’s value justifies their high cost.

It’s also important to note that a high-cost coach is probably more serious about your results. Why? A high-cost coach is probably doing this full time. Higher costs = having to work harder to generate revenue. Plus, a high-cost coach is most likely going to have a wider range of solutions to their client’s problems which also justifies what they’re charging. Typically they can work with a wide variety of businesses and you are paying for their global skills and knowledge.

Different Ways To Spend

Pet sitting business coaches are adapting to the variety of innovation going on in our industry today. Coaches offer tons of different products and methods for you to receive advice tailored to your business, in the format that’s most comfortable for you. Coaches may offer services such as private online groups, one-on- one coaching, downloadable products, long term coaching packages, and virtual classes. Each of these have their benefits and disadvantages. It’s really up to you to find which method your most attracted to in order to help your business soar!

Deciding which pet sitting business coach to work with can be a process. It’s important to ask yourself the tough questions to determine whether or not you’re making the right decision for you and your business. While there are many factors that are important to consider, cost is one of the major ones you should definitely think about when deciding on a pet sitting business coach.

No matter which pet sitting business coach you choose, you will always want to make sure that you can get a return on your investment,

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Episode 44: Why Your Business Needs Pet CPR Training With Cara Armour

In this episode of “Bella In Your Business”, Bella speaks with Cara Armour, Product Manager and Marketing Manager for ProPetHeroa pet CPR and first aid online training program for pet business owners.

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

Pet CPR Training

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

She is also a volunteer and foster home for The Boxer Rescue Inc, a health conscious breeder of Boxers.

Bella and Cara talk about Pet First Aid and how to go about training you and your staff.

They discuss the benefits of being trained which are:

  • Being able to save the lives of your pets or pet clients.
  • Learning to recognize potential issues with a pet and bring that to the owner’s attention.
  • Using that trained status to stand out from your competition and create greater security among your clients.

They talk about how an online training course, such as the ones available through ProPetHero are more useful than in-person training because:

  • You can do them at your own pace and anywhere you want.
  • The cost is significantly low compared to sending staff to an in-person training course
  • You can monitor staff’s progress and comprehension of the material.

There is even a special discount for “Bella in your Business” fans. You can get 10% off by going to here.
Coupon code: CPR-petsitter

Pet CPR Training

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Episode 43: Helping Your Clients Deal With Pet Loss Grief With Wendy Van de Poll

In this episode, Bella speaks with Wendy Van de Poll, the founder of The Center for Pet Loss Grief and an international best selling and award-winning author and speaker. They discuss pet loss grief and what pet professionals can say and do to be supportive to their clients in their loss. They also talk about how pet professionals can deal with their own grief.

Topics covered are:

  • What is pet loss grief
  • What you as a pet professional should do when a client gets the news that their pet has a terminal illness
  • How to help your clients when their pets die
  • What you shouldn’t say or do
  • How a pet professional can deal with their own grief over losing an animal client
Pet Loss Grief

Wendy Van de Poll

Wendy Van de Poll is a pioneering leader in the field of pet loss grief support. She is dedicated to providing a safe place for her clients to express their grief over the loss of their pets. What makes Wendy successful with her clients is that she get’s grief! “Over the years I’ve dealt with my own grief and helping many families communicate and connect with their pets long after their loss. It’s what I’ve done since I was just 5 yrs old!”

She is compassionate and supportive to all who know her. Her passion is to help people when they are grieving over the loss of a pet and her larger than life love for animals has led her to devote her life to the mission of increasing the quality of life between animals and people no matter what stage they are in their cycle of life! She has been called the animal whisperer. She is a Certified End of Life and Pet Grief Support Coach, Certified Pet Funeral Celebrant, Animal Medium and Communicator. She is the founder of The Center for Pet Loss Grief and an international best selling and award-winning author and speaker. She holds a Master’s of Science degree in Wolf Ecology and Behavior and has run with wild wolves in Minnesota, coyotes in Massachusetts and foxes in her backyard. She lives in the woods with her husband, two crazy birds, her rescue dog Addie and all kinds of wildlife.

You can find out more about Wendy and the Center for Pet Loss Grief at https://centerforpetlossgrief.com.

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partnership agreements

Partnership Agreements: The $40K Pet Sitting Business Lesson Learned

When you start a pet sitting business, you never think about the end, right? You start your business, all excited, with all these hopes and dreams of changing the world and having all this freedom and flexibility to do what you want.

Right? 

Or maybe you already have this wonderful business going part time or full blast and you meet that (what you think is) love of your life. You get married, no prenup, because let’s face it, neither one of you is made of money… and you live happily ever after.

Or do you? 

Or let’s even say that you and your friend or co-worker decide, “heck! we can do this together!” and you start a business together, skipping down the yellow brick road singing along together. You think this is great! I get to be with someone I trust and make money doing what I love.

But is that true?

partnership agreements

When Beth Green came to Arizona to do a little R&R and business boot camp, we felt strongly that we needed to share her story. We needed to warn the pet sitting industry about what could happen to your business. As we both point out in this video, it is almost irresponsible not to plan for a business dissolution. We plan for marketing, finances, customers, employees, but not an exit plan? It is easily forgotten in the mix, which is why Beth & I really wanted to bring home this very important message.

Why Do So Many People Forget About Partnership Agreements?

A partnership agreement is a document that you sign when you first start a business or a legal relationship (like a marriage) explaining what each other’s roles are in the business *and* what course of action you have agreed to take when one partner wants out of the business relationship. Without these partnership agreements – your business is left exposed and all your hard work could go down the drain.

 

How Easy Is It To Get A Partnership Agreement?

It is as easy as typing it into your friend, GOOGLE, and then editing it to your satisfaction. Have a lawyer give it a look over, and sign it in front of a notary.

If you are starting a business together, the obvious time to do it is at the beginning when you start. For marriage, it would be a prenup. If you are already married, it would be a post nuptial or a partnership agreement.

What Happens if You Don’t Get Partnership Agreements?

Sit down because you might not like this answer. The options are basically this:
1. You have to remain business partners until one of you caves in.
2. One of you will have to buy the other out and argue over what the business is worth.
3. One abandons it and creates a lot of problems.

I am not a lawyer and there might be more scenarios but this is what I have seen as a business coach.

If Your Business Partner Dies, Their Beneficiary Could Also Come After You:

After I posted this article, I got lots of examples flooding in of other people who have dealt with the fall outs of not having a partnership agreement. Take a look at the lesson Lauren’s family learned:

pet sitting partnership agreements

How Important Is This Really Bella?

Honestly – if you are married right now, you need to have this document. As they say, the only thing that is definite in life is death and taxes. I have had about 3 calls in the past 1.5 years about people freaking out because they are getting a divorce and they are scared that they significant other is going to take away the business. They are terrified because it is their livelihood. Their job. Part of what defines them as a person!

It is VERY real.

 

Another True Story That You Have To Read:

Soon after this post went live, I had another pet sitting business owner come forward and tell me her story. She agreed to go on record and have me share it here with you to show you all that this stuff really does happen….

Jessica Greenfield writes:

Hi Bella!
So my story is very long…. Lol. But I’m going to sum it up and give you the parts that are relevant to the topic at hand. Because I could seriously write a book about my experience with being married, starting a business, drug addiction (my ex, not me!), business failure and divorce…
But what really resonated with me about your video with Beth was when Beth said everyone thinks that nothing will ever happen to their relationship because you are in love and everything is great. Or something to that effect… That’s exactly what I thought too.
While my ex husband and I were engaged, he was laid off from his job. The factory he was working at went out of business and we found ourselves wondering what we were going to do. He made 3x as much as I did at my job so it was a hard hit. After a while of not being able to find another job, my ex wanted to start his own business. He had bad credit so of course, I told him to put everything in my name. He started an online business while I worked full time at my job and helped out here and there. I was able to quit my job after a few months and things were going great (or so I thought). We got married and moved out of our house and converted it to a store. Unfortunately, after just a short time, I realized that things weren’t quite right… money missing, I was being lied to about things, and he wouldn’t let me do or look at any of the financials. I found out my husband was on drugs and driving our business and our entire lives into the ground.
Long story short, we went out of business and got divorced. But everything was in my name. My ex moved out of state and avoided getting the divorce papers for almost a year. I needed to file bankruptcy asap so I could start repairing my life and move on but I couldn’t do this until the divorce was settled. So, after much drama and BS, I decided to suck it up and we each took all the debt that was in our own names. I walked away with $400,000 in debt and he got a $1,500 light bill….
So, my story is a little different than Beth’s. Beth had a successful business that her husband was not a part of and then a divorce while I had a husband with a failing business that I was not a part of (I was merely an employee – not part of the business part of things) and a divorce. But I think the moral of the story is the same. You need to protect yourself and make sure you are prepared for any situation. You may think you know your partner, but things change. Business puts so much stress on your relationship. You change, your partner changes, and you are so busy that you may not even notice until it’s too late. Too late to fix things, too late to remain civil and act like grown-ups… Then what?
Believe me, it’s not a good place to find yourself in.

 

If you have a story and you want to share with the world to help inspire others, just post in the comments below or reach out to me and I would be happy to add it here. I want to help as many people realize how uber important it is to have a partnership agreement in their company!

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Bella in your business pet sitting podcast

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

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

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

She talks with Maureen about:

Facebook Groups In Your Pet Sitting Business

Maureen McCarthy

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

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

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Episode 41: Communication Problems In Pet Sitting Companies With Adam Smith

On this episode Bella speaks with Adam Smith from Precise Petcare. They discuss communication problems pet sitting business owners often have with both the pet sitters who work for them and with customers.  They discuss how the software offered by Precise Petcare addresses many of these challenges.

Communication Problems In Pet Sitting Companies

Adam & Lynn Smith

Precise Petcare is an online management system that could quickly become the center of your business. The online scheduling, billing and client/staff management are all in one place. With their system you’ll have fluid communication between you, your staff and your clients. Much loved features include Pet Care Journals, the Live Sitter Map and GPS sitter check-ins. Precise Petcare was co-created by a pet sitting business owner and a web developer to combine a perfect blend of knowledge and talents specifically for this industry. Husband and wife team, Adam and Lynn Smith understand first-hand what your needs are as a pet sitting business owner and have built each aspect of the software and continuously update and improve the system – without having to rely on outside talents to delay the process!

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transparent pet sitters

3 Transparent Pet Sitters Who Go The Extra Mile On Their Websites

Transparency literally means you can see THROUGH something. It is a term that is thrown around a lot in business. But what does it actually mean? Transparency builds trust because the person, object, or business, isn’t hiding anything. If your viewer feels that you are being transparent, there is a higher chance they will trust you and take you seriously as an authority..

Pet sitting businesses often talk about themselves. Examples being how great they are, and all types of cliches. But, the truth is that many other businesses can also say the same exact things about themselves.

Today, I wanted to inspire you by drawing attention to a few transparent pet sitters who wrote blogs that go the extra length to really let it all hang out there. In short, being very clear about their ways.

3 Transparent Pet Sitters Who Go The Extra Mile On Their Websites

transparent pet sitters

 

#1. The Pet Sitter of Boise:

Julie Fredrick is the owner of this incredible successful and growing business. She utilizes her website 100% as she has started and built this incredible company all while having a “day job.” As part of that, you can learn the answer to about just about everything, without having to make a dreaded phone call to talk to a human. I mean really, who likes to talk on the phone these days?  Take a look at her FAQ page here

Julie goes as far as listing exactly what her insurance policy covers. If that doesn’t scream transparency, I don’t know what does! She is a great example of transparent pet sitters.

The Pet Sitter of Boise

#2. Endless Pawsibilities

Over in Toms River, New Jersey, Endless Pawsibilities owner Tory Lattig is knocking it out of the park. She uses pictures and videos to tell the story of what goes on during a pet sit.

This is an extremely popular question of many first time pet parents. So, to be able to use this blog to show her apprehensive caller what actually happens can really help put down that barrier. Tori just used the internet and the tools on her cell phone to bring to life the actual daily events that occur when you are a client of her company.

 

Endless Pawsibilities

#3. Jen Loves Pets

In San Diego, Jen is answering clients questions by giving a detailed explanation of what they can expect at a meet and greet. I especially love this posting because it is so important to set the right expectations. It’s also a good idea  tell your new client exactly what they can expect from you and what you need from them. Setting these boundaries up in advance sets the both of you up for a great relationship. Also, this is another posting that you can easily add a link in an email to explain when you first meet a client (saving you time!).

Jen Loves Pets

They Ask, You Answer

A lot of what these fabulous pet sitters are doing actually comes from the They Ask, You Answer principle from The Sales Lion. Listen in on the next 30 minutes, and I promise your life will be changed. This concept changed mine and is the epitome of what the sitter’s are doing above.

 

pet sitter marketing

pet sitting office manager

How To Get A Business Phone To A Pet Sitting Office Manager

To all of my pet sitting business owners with staff – this one’s for you! Are you considering hiring an office manager? Or maybe you’re just going away on vacation for a week or two and need a temporary office manager to fill in? Either way, you’ll need to consider how to get your business phone to your pet sitting office manager. This can be tricky and complicated.

So, today I’m going to break down some of the best ways you can get your business phone to your office manager without the hassle!

How To Get A Business Phone To Your Pet Sitting Office Manager

pet sitting office manager

 

Temporary Solutions

If you are looking for a temporary solution, you don’t have to make a permanent move. It might be as simple as forwarding the business line to their cell phone. Or you can even physically give them the business phone. Keep in mind these solutions are only short term. They can also sometimes be a way to do a “trial run” to make sure your potential office manager is right for the job.

If you do this, don’t forget to make sure that their voicemail is personalized for the business! You want it to say something like “Thanks for calling Bella’s Pet Sitting.” You don’t want your clients to know that their call is being directed somewhere else. Keep in mind this is only a short term solution.

Permanent Solutions

If you need a permanent solution, I do not suggest handing a phone back and forth. Even physically delivering a phone to your pet sitting office manager can be messy. There’s too much room for error here. You need to set up a permanent system.

There are a number of companies such as Grasshopper, Phone.com, and RingCentral, that do a “phone tree system.” With this you can redirect a line to many different people depending on where you want it to go.

Since our offices are virtual, this is probably the best way to direct client calls. You really want it to be a cloud based system so you can text if you need to text (even though I don’t recommend it!). You also need to have a record of all communication between all lines. Plus, they have useful features such as transcribing voicemails, the ability to use your computer/tablet, and more.

What About Google Voice?

Ah, Google Voice. Super popular among pet sitters for sure, and I even used it regularly in my own business! What I’ve learned is that it’s really nice for sole proprietors if you’re trying to separate business and personal.

But when your business and operations grows bigger and bigger you will eventually outgrow Google Voice. It’s a good stepping stone but I don’t recommend it long term. It’s a great program for being free, but if you’re serious about bringing on a long-term office manager you will need a more sophisticated software.

Phone systems are really smart these days. Clients calling won’t know they’re in a phone system. They won’t hear things like “Press one for this and press two for that” – unless you want it that way!

Overall, you want your phone system to be able to adapt to YOU and your business. So, do a bit of research and choose the company or solution that will best fit your needs. You’ll be glad you did!

If you’re still unsure about taking the plunge by giving your employees a business phone, be sure to check out this blog I wrote here addressing your concerns.

free coaching session

 

Episode 35: Identifying and Overcoming Challenges As A Small Business Owner

On this episode of “Bella in Your Business” Bella spends time with Heather Dopson, Community Builder at GoDaddy.

Pet Sitters Overcoming Challenges

Heather Dopson, Community Builder at GoDaddy

Heather has a passion for digital trends and innovation along with a deep understanding of social networks, consumers and branding. As a Community Builder at GoDaddy, she leverages her skills as a connector and her drive to help small businesses succeed. Her mission in life is to help people lose their J-O-B and find their J-O-Y.

They discuss:

  • How Heather got to this position of Community Builder
  • Some challenges she sees happen in small businesses and freelance communities
  • How small business should owners determine what they work on themselves or what they outsource/delegate
  • The biggest opportunities she sees people overlook when it comes to driving awareness and driving revenue
  • “Beyond the Domain” a Facebook live series of videos she is doing for GoDaddy.

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

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

small business social media

Sara F. Hawkins

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

Bella and Sara discuss:

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

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

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Episode 32: Amy Schmittauer Explains Video In Her New Book VLog Like A Boss

In this episode of “Bella In Your Business”, Bella speaks with Amy Schmittauer from the popular YouTube series Savvy Sexy Social

In this episode they discuss what a Vlog is, and how and why Amy got into it.  They also talk about how pet sitters can use video to enhance their business and marketing and some tips on how to overcome that fear of being on camera.

Amy’s newly released book Vlog Like a Boss: How to Kill It Online with Video Blogging just launched on Jan 31st and just by listening to this episode, you might win a free copy.

Want to join our book club?

The Jumpers in my FB group voted for Amy’s book as our next book club read. If you would like to join us, we start the middle of February. You can get a copy of her book here and join our FB book club group here

 

Amy Schmittauer

Amy Schmittauer

Amy Schmittauer  is the Vlog Boss. As a new media triple threat —YouTuber, Keynote Speaker and Author—she coaches people to go after what they want in life and leverage online video to make it happen.

Creator of the popular YouTube series Savvy Sexy Social, her channel boasts a global community and millions of views.  And let’s not forget she is Mama to an adorable Beagle named LUCY.

In Amy’s first book Vlog Like a Boss: How to Kill It Online with Video Blogging, she shares her collection of strategies and tactics to help you create video that gets the attention you deserve.

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Why Your Staff Should Use Facebook Live For Your Pet Sitting Business Page

Technology is ever changing. And with new technology comes new ways for your business to connect with your clients. One of these ways is Facebook Live – a feature on Facebook where you can broadcast yourself LIVE to your Facebook friends. Cool, right? While blogging is still really popular, video is becoming where it’s AT! Using Facebook Live for pet sitting is a great way that you and your staff can really connect with your audience. So today, we’re going to talk about why having your staff use Facebook Live is a good idea and how you can begin to implement it into your business.

Why Your Staff Should Use Facebook Live On Your Pet Sitting Business Page:

facebook live for pet sitting

Your Clients Will LOVE It!

Live video is so much more personal than pre-recorded, professional video. Clients will love getting to see an inside look of what it’s like to be a pet sitter for your company. It can also help them feel more safe and secure since they’ll have an inside perspective on what your pet sitters do at homes.

But, it’s important to note that you don’t want to just throw your staff into this new task. There is a couple different ways you can go about it:

  1. Hold an official training so ALL of your pet sitters can learn how to use Facebook Live for pet sitting to your standards.
  2. Only allow your “veteran” employees who really understand your brand to take part in it.

Whichever you choose, you want to make sure that you add an additional section in your training manual so that you have all policies and procedures documented in writing.

Your Sitters Will LOVE Doing it!

It’s no secret that your pet sitters love pets! So what better way for them to show off their love for animals by using Facebook Live for pet sitting on your business page? They will feel a sense of pride and importance once asked to be one of the many faces of your business.

Giving your sitters extra responsibility will make them feel appreciated. It will also help you promote your business through content creation. Your job, however, is to give them all the tools they need to succeed.

 

Tell Them The Rules Of The Game:

What do I mean by that? Every week you should have some type of discussion like, “Hey ____, this week on Facebook Live the topic is going to be one reason why you love working for the company.” You want to make sure you give your staff some direction. That way, they won’t have to think on the spot to come up with something to say. Also have some specific guidelines in place such as:

  • How long the video should be
  • What time of day is optimal for posting
  • Only use Facebook Live for dogs/pets that they feel completely comfortable with.

You’ll 100% Set Yourself Apart From The Competition!

We don’t have to be the only people that are the face of our company. In fact, your sitters are the main reason why your clients will come back again and again. Keeping up with the newest trends and technology allows your business to grow and prosper. Stay relevant, engaged, and in-tune with how people want to view content. If you make it EASY for people to see what you’re all about, the sky’s the limit!

pet sitting facebook group

 

Britt Alwerud

Episode 31: Types of Apps

In this episode of “Bella In Your Business”, Bella speaks with Britt Alwerud from Handlr.  They discuss  the top 9 apps they think are great for the Pet Sitting business.

The apps they discuss are:

Britt Alwerud

Britt Alwerud lives in Los Angeles, CA with her menagerie of furbabies – two Goldens, Daisy and Taj, two cats, Tiger and Monkey, two horses named Gracie and Moo, and a chameleon named Larry. Britt owns DogZenergy in San Diego, CA. Now she’s the full-time Founder and CEO of Handlr. Handlr is the ultimate business app for busy pet sitters who are looking to automate and grow their business. Learn more about Handlr by clicking here or email her at britt@myhandlr.com. You can also find Britt on Instagram @doggonetechgirl or follow Handlr on Twitter @myhandlr for weekly business tips.

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choosing pet sitting software

5 Things To Consider When Choosing Pet Sitting Software For Your Business

Choosing pet sitting software is no doubt a daunting task. After all there are a TON of different companies, all with loads of different, innovative features. But how do you know which of those features you truly need? Today we’re going to talk about the 5 things you MUST consider when choosing pet sitting software in order to keep yourself sane and organized.

5 Things To Consider When Choosing Pet Sitting Software For Your Business

choosing pet sitting software

Accounting

When choosing pet sitting software, we have to consider what type of accounting we do. You want to ask yourself if it’s important to you whether or not your accounting is done within the system. By this I mean if you want the software to track invoices, income, give you profit and loss reports, etc.

But, maybe your accountant or CPA prefers you use a software like Quickbooks to do your accounting. Maybe your CPA works with you virtually through Quickbooks where they log in and help you manage business finances. If this is the case, then a software with built-in accounting may not be vital for your business.

 

Customer Service

Another crucial aspect of choosing pet sitting software is customer service. What type of customer service does the software offer? What is there response time like? Do they have 24/7 support? What do other pet business owners think about the company’s customer service? Do they have online Facebook support groups? And are these groups run by community or actual Helpdesk at the company?

All of the above are great questions to ask and research when choosing pet sitting software. As a pet sitter, I know you know as well as I do that things DO go wrong sometimes. And in the event of an emergency or major problem with your software, you want to make sure that someone has your back.

 

How Often Is The Software Updated?

Nowadays, technology and software is constantly changes. There are always new breakthroughs. It’s important to choose pet sitting software that stays on top of the technology industry and is constantly changing with it. This can include things such as increasing loading speeds, GPS, adding new features, and optimizing their software for other devices such as phones or tablets.

Plus, does the company actually listen to their client’s ideas for changes? You definitely want to pick a company that listens to feedback and implements it in a timely manner.

 

Mobile Version or App Version?

It’s really handy for your pet sitters to be able to use the software on their mobile devices. So it’s important to find out when choosing pet sitting software if they at least have mobile friendly version (i.e. a simpler website specifically for a phone). Or, even better, do they have a specific phone application that you can download? And, can the client use the app or just the company?

Being able to use pet sitting software on a mobile device eliminates lots of room for error and can eliminate a paper trail, as in pet sitters won’t have to manually print out client notes or their schedule. There’s lots of benefits to having mobile access to your pet sitting software, so this should be a primary deciding factor.

Communication

Every pet sitting company should have a primary form of communication. When communication is spread out between multiple methods (i.e. email, texting, phone calls, voicemail etc.), things get lost in translation. Consider choosing pet sitting software that offers communication within the program. This can be helpful so that you have all client and pet sitter communication within one medium.

Or, if you prefer email (or another method), then choosing pet sitting software with communication built in may not be as important to you.

 

Final Food For Thought

Everything listed above are some of the major things you should consider when trying to choose a software company. You should consider these 5 factors first and determine what’s important to you. Then, you can look at the additional “bells and whistles” that the software companies offer.

Software is there to help you, so you want to find the program that’s right for YOUR business and fits in with your model.

Goal Setting

The Problems With Switching Pet Sitting Software Companies

Thinking of switching pet sitting software companies can be a big pain in the A$%, isn’t it? In fact, all the headache that goes along with switching is the single most important reason why I hear many pet sitters won’t do it.

As a business owner, we already have way too much on our plate. If delegation is the key to success, why don’t we allow our clients to help us out with this process?

Stay with me here…

The Problems With Switching Pet Sitting Software Companies

switch pet sitting software companies

Don’t Make Switching Pet Sitting Software Companies A Solo Project

When switching pet sitting software companies, you will ultimately have your clients log in, update their info as needed, and schedule services with you, right? A common misconception with pet sitters is that they think the burden of updating their client’s information is on THEM – but I’m happy to tell you that this is not the case 🙂

So let’s invite them to “update their information” as we get our new system set up.

[ctt template=”8″ link=”7i813″ via=”no” ]Let your clients update their information by saying, “We want to make sure we have the most current info about Fluffy and Fido” @bellas_pets[/ctt]” This type of phrasing not only shows that you care, but gives the client an incentive to comply. It also alleviates the pain of you having to enter in all the information or pay to have someone do it. Plus, different systems might have different fields for information making it a little difficult. When this happens, we might procrastinate things even more. AKA Not get the task complete!

 

Here Are Two Examples Of What You Can Say To Your Clients:

If you can muster up the positivity and set expectations properly – consider the task of switching pet sitting software systems done!

How do you do that? Well, thankfully, you are reading this now, so here goes a mock letter, that you can copy and paste, right here from my website, for you to use:

 

Sample Letter #1

Dear NAME:

Our tail is wagging in anticipation of this new toy we just bought for XYZ PET SITTING COMPANY. It is an even BETTER scheduling software system that we just know you will absolutely LOVE!

Feel free to scratch and sniff your way around by going HERE and clicking THIS. Once you are in, you can actually create your OWN UN and PW. (I thought it would be better for you to create it rather than making something that you would probably forget, because, let’s face it, you didn’t create it!)

Before we are able to approve your next booking, we just need you to take 5 minutes, enter in the info for your fur babies, your credit card, and then you can be on your way to booking.

EVEN BETTER:

I know it is probably been dog ages since you have updated your babies info, so this will help us all stay on the same page!

HAVE ANY QUESTIONS?
If your paws hurt, you can always watch how easy it is to set up an account by watching this 30 second video HERE

Or, you can give me a howl on the office phone OFFICE HOURS, I am on stand by ready to help!

Tailwags,
YOUR NAME

 

Sample Letter #2

Hello CLIENT,

We are doing some updates to our online profile system and just need for you to update your fur kid(s) info before making your next booking.  Feel free to do it now, if you have the time!

It is as easy as 1-2-3.

1 – Click HERE and create a UN and PW
2 – Fill out all of your info and your pet’s info.
3 – Oh wait, we are all ready done! See how easy that was? 🙂

If you have any questions at all about this new process, I am in the office OFFICE HOURS and ready to help!

Tailwags,
YOUR NAME

Manage Expectations & Solve Problems Before They Come

I have always said, if you can manage someone’s expectations, you will cut the questions down to a minimum. Likewise, if you can expect people’s behavior, you can lessen your frustrations!

Here is what I mean: Anticipate the questions that your clients will have for you and consider making a short video like this one to help show them their answers:

You can easily create videos on Screencast-o-matic for free!

Remember, Questions Do Not Mean Criticism

Don’t fret when clients are asking you questions on the system. It doesn’t mean that the system you just moved to is de-funked. It means that they just simply have questions and they are looking to you for help. Think of it as a way to touch them and open up a conversation about how their services are going or how their pets are doing. Ask them their opinion of what they like and if there is anything you can improve on. Simply ASKING that last question can secure a client for life because they know that you care!

Switching Pet Sitting Software Systems Doesn’t Have To Be Tough

Change is always tough. I am betting that it actually took you a while to take the JUMP towards switching pet sitting software companies, am I right? What you need to do now is hold on tight, anticipate the questions, and know that you don’t need to sit there for hours upon hours to update every single client file.

Nor, is a data transfer going to be seamless. So in my opinion, it is best to have your clients help you do it. 🙂 Not to mention, all of the companies are always there to help you. After all, they want you to LIKE using their software!

Don’t ever let this challenge prevent you from making a switch!

 

Mastermind

Episode 30: Proven Social Media Marketing Methods

Britney Young, Social Media Marketing Manager

Britney Young, Social Media Marketing Manager

In this episode, Bella talks to Britney Young. Britney is a digital marketing professional and social media enthusiast. Her day-to-day life as a social media marketing manager includes: finding/curating relevant content to post to social channels, analyzing post data and post performance to see key trends or spikes in engagement, looking for relevant industry influencers to connect with, and responding to customer inquires, etc.

They discuss:

  • What a social marketing manager does
  • The pros and cons of using automatic republishers like Meet Edgar
  • How often should you post
  • What should you be posting
  • What you should be doing with all of those pet pictures you post
  • Their favorite apps for doctoring up pictures
  • The differences in the social media channels and a good workflow for pushing one post through many of them.
  • Focusing your efforts on a few selected channels.
  • Knowing your audience and finding out what channel works best for them.Apps mentioned:
    – Canva
    – Abobe Spark
    – Pixaby

For more information about Britney Young, you can find her on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/britneynyoung/

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

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

Walt Gavin, independent contractor with Rover.

Walt Galvin, independent contractor with Rover.

Some of the advantages include:

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

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

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

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