The Dirt about the Business of Pet Sitting (it’s not pretty).

by Kristin Morrison on November 6, 2011

in Pet Sitter Networks,Pet Sitters Networking Groups,Pet Sitting Networks

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I’m so excited.

I’m leading a special teleclass just for the Georgia Network of Professional Petsitters (GNPP) on Thursday, November 10 at 7:30pm EST.

I love, love, love the GNPP.

In the past few years, I’ve coached many GNPP members.

My experience of the GNPP through the one-on-one pet sitting business coaching for pet sitters that I have done has been that the pet sitters who are a part of this wonderful organization are committed to harmonious collaboration via their supportive network of pet sitters.

It’s such a beautiful thing…

And it’s a rare thing, this harmonious collaboration and referral network of pet sitters.

But it doesn’t have to be!

Here’s the dirt about pet sitters: owning a business can sometimes bring up people’s (ahem) territorial natures and lead to people being transported to a dog-eat-dog world or becoming catty with one another on a business level.

Sorry for the pet metaphors but they are appropriate here, don’t you think? I’m sure you’ve experienced this on some level yourself.

I’ve experienced it in the form of other pet sitting business owners taking down my pet sitting business cards and flyers from bulletin boards and placing their own where mine used to be and oh-my! The feelings that has brought up for me are not pretty.

No sirrie.

I’ve witnessed the effects of that territorial behavior through other pet sitters that I’ve coached: “I can’t believe she put her cards where mine used to be!” “I can’t believe he told a client that I was not a good pet sitter.”

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

We don’t have to become territorial and pee to mark our spot.

Oh Lord. Did I really just use the word ‘pee’ in a blog post?

Yep. I really did. That’s a first (and maybe a last).

We don’t have to become jerks to other pet sitters to sell our service. We don’t have to put other pet sitters down or take down their advertising material.

The Georgia Network of Professional Pet Sitters proves that harmony amongst pet sitters does exist. And I’m sure there are other networks out there that prove that also. Let me know if you are a part of a great pet sitting networking group–I’d love to offer your pet sitting network a special teleclass as a thank you for contributing to pet sitting peace!

Here’s the thing: there are enough pets to go around.

Really.

There are.

Think about how many plumbers there are. Or gardeners. Or housecleaners.

Most people have toilets (thank God). And gardens. And places to sleep at night (also thank God).

And a lot of people need people to help them with those things.

And most people have pets. So there is enough work to go around, folks.

Here’s the thing: clients are going to like YOU.

Your unique energy.

And even if your business is big like mine and you don’t do the actual work of pet sitting anymore, they are going to like the energy of your business.

That energy gets conveyed through your logo, your website, and other marketing materials so take time to create materials that reflect you and the feeling-tone that you want your business to convey. Your energy comes through loud and clear by your message that’s on your business voicemail or the smile or frown you wear when you are answering the phone. It comes through in your helpful (or not) nature when clients call to book service.

And if clients don’t like your energy or the energy that your business conveys?

They are not your right clients.

Your clients will be drawn to YOU and your business. And your competitors clients will be drawn to them.

It’s simple really.

And for those of you who live in Georgia- I encourage you to check out the Georgia Network of Professional Petsitters. And for those of you who are already members: ‘see’ you on Thursday’s call.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Flor Orozco November 12, 2011 at 8:06 am

Professional associations can be a great resource to share knowledge and network, but as you point out, there is a need to remain professional. Common courtesy and respect goes a long way. Childish tactics to try and gain business at the expense of others will eventually backfire as their entire mindset is wrong. When one runs a successful business a certain amount of self-confidence develops. At this point, the focus is more on continuous improvement of one’s own business, not worrying about what others are doing. There’s room for more than one player in any kind of market, including petsitters.

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Liza Hamon November 12, 2011 at 8:18 am

Great advice Kristen! Your insights on clients are right on! When you are a good match with a client everything will click and as you mention, the client will often like you. We’re all individuals and when it comes to personal services, the personality of the provider can make a real difference. Clients should try to find service providers who mesh well with their own style, beliefs and expectations. It also is worth noting that sometimes, when you realize an existing customer is a bad match, one of the best things you can do is fire the client! Don’t let a client who has unrealistic demands or is impossible to please or saps all your time and energy get you down. Dissolve the relationship and save yourself many headaches and stress.

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Dog Sitting November 14, 2011 at 3:06 am

Really interesting article! I appreciate your new idea. Thanks for sharing with us.

Pet Sitting

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Vanessa December 22, 2011 at 4:19 am

As the Founder of the Network of Professional Pet Carers QLD.

BOY! I can so say a “AMEN SISTA!” to this post. Let’s just say that this is the aim of the NPPC Q … whilst mainly a referral network for professional pet sitters… I always try to foster this type of environment and mentality amongst the pet sitters. Yet unfortunately not everyone thinks like me… that there IS enough for everyone 🙁 and that there IS a place for everyone.

I know for a fact that there are people that are speaking bad about me yet you know what … whatever … next.. I don’t give them any of my energy and focus upon those who support me 🙂

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lori nanan March 15, 2012 at 9:19 am

What a shame when people stoop to this level. I have yet to encounter this and hopefully never do…but, you are right, there is plenty of work for everyone!

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Miranda March 20, 2012 at 7:13 am

I’ve been snubbed by territorial local pet sitters, had business cards ‘vanish’ into thin air and been banned on Facebook. A few other sitters have been friendly and supportive – it all seems to come down to personalities.
Forums can be an interesting experience – so many different opinions and some very dominant personalities, all claiming to be experts. It all boils down to doing what’s right for you.

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