We have come a long way since Patti Moran of Pet Sitters International started pet sitting! Back then, no one really knew who we were or what we did. Back then, there were no Pet Sitting Technology Tools. Everything was printed out, or ever written out. There were no cell phones, emails, let alone social media. It was the early 1980s when Atari was popular and the first Nintendo’s where we had to blow into the cassette tape to get it to work. Remember that? 30 years ago….. The American Pet Products Association only has spending info that goes back to 1997 and that was when the pet industry was only $17 Billion dollars compared to todays estimated $55 Billion!
AS the industry has exploded, so has all the technology. If you are not up on the tech side of things, you need to hire someone to help you.
14 Helpful Pet Sitting Technology Tools
1- Skype/Facetime your pet: How many of you have clients who leave their camera’s on so they can “watch” their pets? How many of you have ever Facetimed your pets when you were away?
2- GPS your pet sitter: A lot of pet sitters control their staff and send reports to the clients based on where their pet sitters have walked the dogs. It is always a way to make sure that sitters are doing what they are supposed to do.
3- GPS your lost dog: We once had a client do this for his cat. He wanted us to take his ipad to find the cat outside based on GPS tracking. We said no. I think this is taking it too far but for those who have pets who run away from home, it is a great way to find them rather than staying up all night worrying!
4- MicroChip: How many lost pets have this technology helped save? The first thing that vets do when they get a lost pet is scan them. Is your pet or your client’s pet micro chipped?
5- Schedule Software: One of the biggest impacts your pet sitting company can have is a scheduling system. This will help you enormously book clients, create sitters schedules, and pull reports. It is a time saver! Who do you use? Leashtime? Power Pet Sitter? another one?
6- Email: Sounds like such a basic system now, huh? I use it for a filing system! Everything in writing, in email, so I can always pull it up. Having clients email us bookings or requests allows it to be in writing and be able to easily forward the message to our staff with the quick click of a button!
7- Text: What better way to get a quick, fast, often one way, communication to a person? Many pet sitters text their bosses what they are done with a pet sit or the sitter’s text the clients. This is especially for the clients that are overseas.
8- Answering Machine: I know people who keep their answering machine so they can “talk” to their pets. You know, you call, it rings and then a tape recorder picks up and the whole house can hear what message you are leaving.
9- Websites: Without a website, you are dead in the water. Once you have a website, then you need to learn html, code, widgets, wordpress…. and the list goes on.
10- Google: Ah yes – the #1 resource for almost all our businesses. What did we ever do without google? Knowing how to “do google” can make or break your business.
11- Blogging: Knowing how to blog is going to be what gets people on google TO your website. Knowing how to be effective with blogging will satisfy your entire marketing plan if done correctly.
12- Social Media: Which one to post to? Which is the best? The worst? What type of message goes on each? Can you mess it up? How often should you post! Oh boy… here we go again with the learning curve. Many companies are ON social media but really are not effective, which in turn actually could HURT your brand! 🙁
13- Quickbooks Online: Where would be be without being able to automatically post all invoices into QB from scheduling programs such as Power Pet Sitter? Being able to track your business trends is a vital piece of info that every single business in every single demographic should be able to recall on a moments notice. Knowing how to operate this is vital to your success.
14- Alarms: Many pet sitters are tracked by their pet sitting clients simply based on how long they have turned on and off the alarm system. It is a different type of monitoring and something that the pet sitters of the 1980s have never had to face. Sometimes alarms go off, sometimes they won’t arm. Sometimes sitters forget the codes. This technology is meant to keep us safe, but is also being used as a monitoring device for pet sitters.
Honestly, where would you be without these amazing technology tools for your business?