Growing Your Pet Sitting Business - Part 5/5

Make a Not-to-Do List

Most people have the aptly named “To Do” lists, but have you ever created a “Not to Do List”? The principle is if what you’re doing isn’t moving you forward, then it’s holding you back.

This list is something you should create and place in a prominent place that you can view every day. So what types of things could you have in your “Not to do List” – see some examples below:

  • During Working hours – do not watch television
  • Don’t think about how much money your competitors are making
  • Forget about clients who have cancelled your services
  • Remember work-life balance

The things you put on this list will help you focus on the value adding activities for your business and beyond. Remember to review it regularly.

Growing Your Pet Sitting Business - Part 4/5

Be Quirky

One of the best forms of marketing is word of mouth and this can also be one of the cheapest methods of growing your business. Word of Mouth is when someone mentions a product, service or event to their family or friends that is worthy of discussion.  For example if you went to your local supermarket to buy some milk, it is unlikely to be worthy of discussion to your friends or family unless something extraordinary happened.

The same applies to running your own pet sitting business. Take a step back and ask yourself how do you compare to your competitors. You may have similar prices, similar services and offer a similar catchment area, but what makes you stand out. What persuades someone looking for a pet sitter in your area to pick you.

Something that can work in your favour is your unique selling point – your quirk. Quirks are sometimes unexpected, usually free or very cheap to employ, and will result in some word of mouth discussion. For example in some gyms, there are personal trainers who will give their clients a free personal training session on their birthday, but they won’t tell them in advance.

Find a quirk that matches your own personality and makes it very personal to your service.

Growing Your Pet Sitting Business - Part 3/5

Use the Pareto Principle

Ever heard of the principle 20% of what you do, gives you 80% of the value. The principle derives from an Italian Economist who found that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. Since then it has been extended to many situations and more recently into a typical working day in an office where it was found that in a typical 8 hour day people were really only doing productive work in 90 minutes.

In practice what you should be doing is to figure out what the most important things that you do to give you the most value. To relate it to pet sitting, you may find that dog walking is your most profitable service compared to cat sitting. By maximising your work to doing more dog walking than cat sitting will increase your profit and get you on track to growing your business.

Growing Your Pet Sitting Business - Part 2/5

 Schedule a “MAD” Day

MAD Days are common within the creative industries and they mean “Massive Action Day”. This is a day that is set aside in advance with several hours dedicated to some seriously productive working. Try to get your schedule set in advance to set aside some time that you are able to switch off your phone, and email and focus on those tedious tasks which are hovering in the background.

Backlog of paperwork, following up sales leads, invoicing, bookkeeping are all examples of things which can mount up in the background. By taking a day to focus on clearing your backlog (if you have one) will relief you of doing this in small chunks over a longer period of time. This extra time you gain can then be used to growing your business.

Growing Your Pet Sitting Business - Part 1/5

Brainstorm and Create an Action Board

Whether you are a seasoned pet sitter or just setting out, it is useful from time to time to do some brainstorming on what you want to achieve from your pet sitting business. Brainstorming can either be done individually or more productively with a friend or family member and is thinking of ways that you can grow your business. On a piece of paper write down every idea you can think of (even the most random). The next stage is to try to categorise the ideas into groups. Logically think about each and every idea you have wrote down and think whether it is achievable for your business.

Once you have a list of ideas start mapping them out on an action board (or piece of paper). This is a definitive list of things you want to implement in your business with deadline dates. Some examples of this could be:

  • Get some Polo-shirts printed up with your logo to increase your professional image and free advertising when you are out and about
  • Visit all the local vets and leave some leaflets with them on your services.

The action board should be viewed as a live document that is updated regularly. This will help you keep an eye on what still needs to be implemented and shows you how well you are doing with your deadlines.

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