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I got an email today that inspired me to write a blog post.
Thanks Emi!

Here’s the email I received:

Hi Kristin,
I purchased your online product Business Hiring Kit: For Hiring Pet Sitting/Dog Walking Staff ™ two days ago and have been very pleased with the content.

One of my main hurdles is how to tell my current clients, that I have been taking care of myself for the past year, that I am going to transition from being the owner/dog walker/pet sitter to just the owner with hired staff to cover the pet sitting and dog walking.

Do you have any suggestions on how to make this transition smooth and professional?

Thanks,
Emi
Sniff and Go Dog Walking and Pet Services

Here’s my response:

Hi Emi,
Nice to hear from you. 🙂

I’m so glad you are happy with the Hiring Kit. I developed it years ago to use in my own pet sitting business and it has helped me hire top-notch pet sitters and dog walkers in my own pet sitting business. I currently have 30 great pet sitters on staff, all of whom I’ve hired through using the Hiring Kit. I have heard from lots of other pet sitters that my Hiring Kit has helped them hire great people too. I love hearing that.

Yes, I do have 5 suggestions for making the transition easier:

1) Share the jobs for awhile with your new staff. If you are hiring dog walkers continue walking on M/W/F and having your new walker walk T/TH.

2) Go to at least 3-5 of the client interviews when your staff meets your clients. After that the staff member should be able to go on his/her own.

3) When clients call about particular sits and you are going to put new staff members in say, “I’d love to help you but unfortunately I’m not available for those dates. I have a wonderful assistant that is. Would you like me to set up a time to have you meet my assistant?” If you are sharing the job say: “I’m available for some of those dates. For the dates I’m not available I have a wonderful assistant.”

4) Have your clients pay you via mailing a check or giving you their credit card information. Don’t have them leave checks for your assistant to pick up. It creates more work for your assistant.

5) Be sure to use a client questionnaire when staff members do sits on their own. Mail it to clients with a self-addressed stamped envelope so they will feel compelled to return it. The Six-Figure Pet Sitting Academy sells a client service questionnaire or you can create your own.

Have your questionnaire be simple enough that it will just take clients only a minute or two to fill it out the form and send it back to you with their comments. Having a self-addressed stamped envelope will compel them to mail back the questionnaire! I’ve found the online questionnaires to be less effective for client response so mail the questionnaire to them.

Sending out questionnaires will help you get feedback on how your new staff member is doing. It’s often easier for clients to write out their feedback than pick up the phone to let you know what their experience was like in using your new staff member. Keep it simple for them and for you!

A final note about the questionnaire: share the feedback, both good and bad, with your staff. The positive feedback will keep your staff motivated and the negative feedback will get them back on the right track.

Hope this information helps, Emi!

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I’ve been on nearly a hundred pet sitting business coaching calls in the past few weeks.

It’s been really great to work with some of you after being gone for so long.

As much as I love traveling (and I really, really love it!) I do love coming back and diving into my life here. It is so gratifying to work with pet sitters from around the country who are hungry to grow their businesses so that they can lead rich, meaningful and fulfilling lives both professionally and personally.

I was talking with a friend the other day about money. We were engaged in a discussion about her recent business venture which resulted in a big profit. My face lit up with happiness over her financial success.

She smiled and said to me, “Kristin, you love money.”

I thought about it for a minute and then I said:

“Yes, it’s true I do love money,” I replied. “But money in and of itself would be so boring and unsatisfying. It’s flat and kind of an ugly color green. It’s what money gives me and my coaching clients that is really where the excitement is for me.”

Mostly it comes down to freedom. To me, having enough money equals freedom. The freedom to travel around the world. Money provides the resources and the time to be able to live my life in a way that feels really right for me. To live my life in a way that really suits me.

What about for you? What does money equal for you? For everyone it is so different.

Part of my coaching involves determining the WHY of money for the person I’m working with.

When I can help them see what they can create in their lives if they have more money things usually happen pretty quickly. They begin to do the action steps I’ve given them. Their bank account grows. They are able to hire more help and create more space in their life.

And what my coaching clients want from money isn’t more things. Sheesh. We all have enough things now, don’t we?

Some of my clients want enough money so they have more time.

Time to sit with their kid on their lap and eat cookies together in the warm sunshine.

Sometimes it’s all about taking the trip they’ve always dreamed of taking. Having enough money and time to go on that Alaskan cruise or that trek through the jungle in Peru which will inevitably bring them closer to their spouse or themselves.

Sometimes it’s about wanting to create stability: being able to buy a house or provide for their family.

It’s not about the money.

It’s what is created from the money.

If you want to make more money in your pet sitting and dog walking business to provide the kind of life that is meaningful for YOU there is still time to sign up for Tuesday’s teleclass: Get Pet Sitting Clients NOW: Marketing that Works.

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Teleclass: Tuesday, June 22, 2010 at 5:00pm PST / 8:00pm EST
Click here to sign up now for the “Get Pet Sitting Clients NOW: Marketing that Works” teleclass.

Marketing. It’s a word that often causes business owners to groan.

There are so many advertising options and a lot of those options are expensive. Google ad words. Pay-per-Click Advertising (also called PPC). Pet sitting directories. Online Yellow Page advertising. The list goes on and on of possible marketing options available to pet sitters.

What really works though?

What marketing actions do you really need to take to have your business phone ring with new client calls month after month?

Whether you are new to pet sitting or have been pet sitting for years, you will learn exactly what you need to do to get your phone to ring!

On this powerful upcoming teleclass you will learn:

* What is an absolute must when it comes to online advertising
* Why adding a couple of words in your business name will dramatically increase the amount of business you can get
* Top 5 inexpensive advertising options that will generate results for your business.
* Simple steps to increase your search engine ranking on Google
* Free marketing strategies that will rocket you to success
* Why making one (little) change will make all the difference
* Inexpensive advertising solutions that cause your phone to ring
* And much more!

You will come away with:

* A marketing strategy that you are excited to implement immediately
* A list of 75 FREE websites to market your pet sitting business online
* A clear knowing of what marketing works and what doesn’t
* Inexpensive ideas, tips and tools to launch your new or existing
pet sitting business to success

Details and FAQ about the “Get Pet Sitting Clients NOW: Marketing that Works” Teleclass:

When? Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Time: 5:00pm PST / 8:00pm EST

How long is this teleclass? 60 minutes (there will be time for Q & A from the audience)

How Much? $20 (register by June 15) / $30 (restister June 16 or later)

How: Conference Call instructions will be given upon sign-up!

Okay, this sounds great! How do I sign up? It’s easy! Just click to sign up now for the Get Pet Sitting Clients NOW: Marketing that Works teleclass page.

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Hello pet sitters,

I will be leading the next NAPPS teleconference on Monday, May 17 at 5:00pm PST / 8:00pm EST.

My topic will be “How to Recover from Pet Sitter’s Burnout”. This is a topic I have successfully dealt with in my own pet sitting business. I’ve also coached hundreds of pet sitters from across the country on this very prevalent issue.

It’s a topic that I’m very passionate about and I’m really excited to ‘see’ NAPPS members on the call.

Please note: this teleconference is only open to NAPPS members.

If you are a NAPPS member and need information on how to access the May 17th teleconference please contact NAPPS directly at: (856) 439-0324. They will be happy to give you the conference call number.

I look forward to “seeing” you on the teleconference,
Kristin Morrison
Founder, Six-Figure Pet Sitting Academy.com

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Hello dear pet sitters,

When I was planning my trip I had anticipated writing many Six-Figure blog posts and keeping all of you in the loop about my traveling adventures.

Once I started my travels I quickly realized that the purpose of this trip, for me, was to not be tapped into work at all except for the brief emails with my managers who are running the pet sitting portion of my business.

I’m definitely looking forward to diving into work when I return to America: taking over the reins of my pet sitting company from my managers who have done such a good job managing in my absence, scheduling one-on-one coaching sessions, facilitating my group teleclasses and working on and completing my book for pet sitters.

But for now…I’m in Bali and really enjoying taking cooking classes, learning Indonesian from a local man, and meeting many other local Balinese and fellow travelers.

Just wanted to check in and let you know that I’m looking forward to working with you again when I return. I’ll post the exact date I’ll be back in action on this blog in a couple of weeks.

Happy pet sitting,
Kristin

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Hello pet sitters!

I’m sitting at an Internet cafe in India and just wanted to check in.
I’ve been away for three weeks now: first in Bali and then a week ago I arrived in India.

This has been an incredible (and in some ways life-changing) trip so far and I still have 7 weeks that I’ll be traveling.

I met some incredible local people in Bali who really took me under their wings and invited me to temple ceremonies and to share meals together. Meeting these wonderful local people helped me really immerse myself in Balinese local culture in a way that I never anticipated.

The inner and outer beauty of the Balinese people was lovely to experience. The natural beauty and lushness of Bali was also a real gift.

I’ll be heading back there in 4 weeks to experience 3 more weeks there before I head home in April. I’m thrilled to go back to Bali as, in some ways, it feels like ‘home’.

India…is another story.

I arrived in Pune, India a week ago and there was a bombing at a restaurant that I was considering going to the same night it was bombed.

Instead of going to the restaurant I chose to meditate in the ashram I was staying at.

Had I been in the restaurant I would have been either injured or killed as everyone who was there experienced some type of injury.

The last count, according to the media reports, was that 11 people were killed and 60 people were injured. Everyone who survived the blast lost all or partial hearing in the bomb blast plus many other injuries.

I’ve never come this close to major injury or death and having this experience has helped me get in touch with, on a deeper level than ever, what is really important in this life.

I’ll be leaving Pune tomorrow and going to a beach town south of Pune (13 hours train ride from Pune).

Relaxing near the water after all the activity of Indian police and Indian army, not to mentioned the frayed nerves of the tourists and locals, will be a good thing!

On a lighter note, I have noticed how challenging it is for me NOT to go online on a daily basis. Even though I have not done any Six-Figure blogging or any work-related Internet activities, I have done A LOT of personal emails and personal Facebook checking while I’ve been away.

I’ve been exploring what it is like to not log on for one day and let me tell you: it is challenging.

So my next edge is to try not log on for a couple of days at a time.

It’s harder than it sounds! I encourage you to try it.

I notice even though not logging on for a day is challenging I feel so much more involved in life when I’m not logging on for 24 hours at a time.

Even today, I’ve somehow managed to be online for nearly 2 hours! 2 hours that could best be spent exploring this city that I won’t be in for much longer.

And on a final note:

Though I deeply love my work (working with all of you is SUCH a gift as is running my pet sitting business) I’m experiencing how deeply restorative it is to my soul it is to not work for a long period of time.

I wish you all a wonderful rest of February. I may or may not check in again in March.

If not, I’ll be back in action in April when I return from my travels!

Take good care,
Kristin

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It’s usually pretty slow in the pet sitting industry in January. After the hustle and bustle of the holidays that have just passed this can be welcome relief. For others you may be wishing/needing new business now to keep up with expenses that ocurred over the holidays.

No matter where you are: busy or not busy, glad it’s slow, not glad it’s slow, there are some very specific tasks that you can and should do this month to insure business success all year long.

Here they are:

1) Pay your Q4 2009 estimated tax payment by January 15 for both State and Federal taxes. It’s important to get in the habit of keeping current with taxes for each calendar year or you will be faced with hefty penalties and interest if you have not paid enough for 2009 taxes.

2) Begin to set aside money now for your Q1 2010 estimated tax payment that will be due by April 15, 2010. How do you do this? Put an envelope on a bulletin board in your office. Get in the habit of putting a minimum of 10% of whatever total from checks that you receive into that envelope. Next create a tax savings account and every month deposit that money into your tax savings account so when it comes time to pay your quarterly payments you will be breathing easy because guess what? You have the money.

3) Place an ad for staff now and spend leisurely time hiring the perfect staff members. This time of year is the best time to hire people–you are not in a hurry and probably don’t desperately need staff members the way you did, say, over the holidays. You want to hire people when you don’t need them. That way they will be ready to go when you do get busy and your judgment will not be impaired by an intensity of need to fill particular pet sitting jobs.

4) Get those 1099s out in the mail to your staff by January 29, 2010. The government will charge you $50 for each and every 1099 that is not sent out by the end of January.

Next make sure to send your information to the government no later than the end of February or same thing: you will be charged $50 for every 1099 that is received by the government after the end of February. Ouch!

5) Write your goals for this month and for the New Year. Setting goals is one of the most powerful actions you can take in your business. It sounds simple, right? It is. The simple act of writing your goals will help you take actions that will enable you to create what you want this year.

I did it last year at this time as I do every year. But last year I wrote:

I will go on a two month trip in 2010.

I saw that goal there day after day on my bulletin board (it’s very important to post your goals where you can see them) and I began to take big and little actions to support that vision.

A year ago taking this trip was just a pipe dream.

Six months ago I started seriously considering it.

And now I’m going.

You can read more about setting and achieving business goals in my goal setting for pet sitters blog post below.

6) Take the word ‘recession’ out of your vocabulary. That’s right. I know…you turn on the news and it’s recession this and recession that but STOP. Don’t allow yourself to go there or engage in conversations that take you into a downward spiral about the economy.

I can tell you this: for myself and those pet sitting clients that I drilled this into last year: we all had the best year ever!

In a supposed recession.

Why? Because we refused to engage in the conversation of the recession and instead focused on what tasks needed to be done in order to succeed in our businesses.

YOU can have a financially successful year no matter what the media says.

Here’s how: turn off your TV when negative economic news comes on, let friends and family know that you are committed to having the best financial year ever and that you don’t want to talk about a poor economy, when you do get discouraged remember that there are hundreds of other pet sitters across the country who had the BEST YEAR ever in 2009 and that you can create that experience for yourself this year.

Happy 2010 everyone!

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Want to add POWER to your Business?

by Kristin Morrison on January 16, 2010

in Pet Sitting Software

For many years I ran my pet sitting business as many pet sitters do–manually and with a vast paper trail.

I was not running my business in an efficient, stream-lined way. I knew something had to change and yet I found myself afraid to take the leap to an online scheduling system.

Here were my some of fears about signing up for an online scheduling system to help me manage my business:

What if a sit falls through the cracks? I know my paper system is cumbersome but at least I know it works!
How will I move my hundreds of clients and many staff members to an online system? It will be too much work to move everyone over.
What if I can’t learn the system?

So I had my fears but I also had a deeper desire to create freedom in my business. Freedom to travel, to have my managers be able to manage the business from their own homes, freedom to have my staff be able to access their schedule from wherever there is an Internet connection.

When I did a demo for Power Pet Sitter I was blown away by the possibilities available for managing and running my business by having an online scheduling system in place. It took me about a month to learn it. Yes, sometimes the learning curve was tough but one day the system fell into place in my brain and I just really got it.

And now managing my business is a breeze.

I invite those of you who are ready to take your business to the next level to check out Power Pet Sitter. Let them know you heard about Power Pet Sitter from the Six-Figure Pet Sitting Academy and they will give you a large discount on your first few months of service.

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In exactly three weeks I’ll be heading to Bali.

I just got back from my annual New Years retreat in Santa Cruz and have a massive to do list before I leave at the end of January. Yesterday I decided to extend my trip for an extra two weeks so instead of being gone for two months like I’d planned, I will be gone for two and half months! Wow.

I’m thinking back to that fateful conversation about travel that hot August day in 2009 in my friend Peter’s peaceful office…with his great questions…gently probing me with words to get me to my truth around my desire to travel…and now here I am. Getting ready for my trip.

Amazing how one decision six months ago can create a new adventure like this.

But that’s how life changes happen. One foot in front of the other until there you are-where you wanted to be six months earlier.

Things are falling into place. I found a subleaser to rent my house for two and half months. She gave me the deposit last week and tonight she gave me the balance for the rent. I can tell she’s going to take good care of the place and I’m excited to have her stay here and experience the healing energy of my tranquil, retreat-like home.

My managers are stepping in to manage my business with such love, caring and an excitement for my going away. I cried at our business meeting last week as I thanked them for their steadfast support around my trip. It was an unusual business meeting. Crying at a business meeting? It was beautiful.

We all got a little teary.

I’m nervous and excited. Going away for two and half months feels like a bit of a dream right now. Surreal.

I’ll be in Bali for 2 weeks then India for 5 weeks then back to Bali for 3 weeks.

A Bali sandwich.

This blog’s topics will switch for a short time from my pet sitting business tips and tools to my writing about my travel adventures. I don’t know how often I’ll check in and post as I have decided NOT to bring my computer with me.

I need and want to unplug.

I don’t know about you but one of the best ways for me to unplug is to leave my cell phone and computer behind.

There are always internet cafes along the way…

I’m hoping my travels will inspire some of you who haven’t had a vacation in years (very common in the pet sitting industry) to open your mind to the possibility of having time off. If I can do it, anyone can. I used to be a total control freak about my business. I still am very particular about the way it runs but I’ve also learned how to let go on a deeper level in the last few years.

Having great staff members makes all the difference in the world, folks.

And for those of you who aren’t interested in travel adventures on this pet sitting business blog, no worries.

I’ll be back in action again in May with business-related blog posts, exciting teleclasses, pet sitting business coaching, and my continued commitment to your pet sitting business success.

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As I’m sitting here writing this blog post I’m reflecting on just how powerful setting goals has been in my business and personal life.

Writing goals each year has helped me:

~achieve (and often surpass!) the level of income I want to create
~work the kind of schedule I want to work (3-4 days a week)
~hire the right kind of people and the right number of people for my business
~run my business in a outside-the-box way that adds to my happiness, prosperity and well-being

Did you know?
In 1953, researchers surveyed Yale’s graduating seniors to determine how many of them had specific, written goals for their future. The answer: 3%.

Twenty years later, researchers polled the surviving members of the Class of 1953 — and found that the 3% with specific, written goals had accumulated more personal financial wealth than the other 97% of the class combined.

Do you have specific, written goals for your business?

If not, it is time to start:

Here’s how:

1) State your goals in the present tense.
An example of a goal for hiring would be: “I hire 3 pet sitters” instead of “I will hire 3 pet sitters”. Writing your goals in the present tense, as if those goals are already happening affects our subconscious mind in a positive and powerful way. The subconscious mind only operates in the now. If you create goals in the future tense, your subconscious will never support you in achieving your goals.

The subconscious mind is a powerful force and if it is not supporting us it can sometimes sabotage our success (and lack of success) in life. Get your subconscious in alignment with what you want to create in your business and your life this year–by writing your goals in the present tense so your subconscious can assist you in achieving what you want to achieve this year.

2) Set clear, specific and measurable goals for the year. When setting an income goal you want to be very specific about what that amount will be. If you want to make over six-figures in your pet sitting business this year, write the specific amount you want to make: “I gross $110,000 and I net $60,000” instead of writing “I make six-figures this year” .

Important: many business owners often don’t think about their net income when setting goals. Don’t forget about net! A reminder: your gross is the total amount your business generates and the net amount is the amount your business actually makes after all expenses are tallied. Therefore, your net is the real amount your business makes and it is the one to focus on as your net income is the barometer that enables you to know whether or not your pet sitting business is financially supporting you.

3) Set a date by which you will achieve your specific goal. Let’s go back the hiring goal so I can demonstrate what that will look like when you write your goals. Remember: you want to keep that hiring goal in the present and yet have the date by which it is due be in the future.

Here’s what the hiring goal will look like as a written goal: I hire 3 pet sitters by March 1, 2010. See that? Your goal is still stated in the present (not ‘I will hire’, but simply: ‘I hire’) and it has a specific date by which you are going to achieve that: March 1, 2010.

4) Break your goals into small steps and put those small steps in your calendar now. If you have the goal of hiring 3 pet sitters by March 15, 2010 your simple steps might be:

~my hiring paperwork is organized by February 10, 2010
~I put an ad on Craigslist by February 15, 2010
~I conduct face-to-face interviews between February 21-February 28
~I complete the hiring process by March 5, 2010

Putting small steps in your calendar now is a simple way to break down a daunting or big goal into bite-sized chunks.

5) Keep your goals where you can see them on a daily basis. This step is crucial. I’ve found that when I have my goals in clear view I’m much more apt to do the actions it takes to achieve them.

I’ve worked with hundreds of pet sitting coaching clients from around the country who are amazed at the simple act of power that setting goals in their pet sitting businesses can be. Will you be one of those amazed pet sitters next year?

Write out your business goals this year and let me know at the end of 2010 what you created in your business and your life as a result. I’d love to hear from you!

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