HowtoStartBizCD

Is one of your goals for 2011 to start a pet sitting and dog walking business?

Are you thinking about starting a pet sitting or dog walking business but not sure how to get started in a way that will insure success?
Or are you in your first year of pet sitting and aren’t generating the kind of profits you’d like to be generating?

If you are new to pet sitting and dog walking or in your first year of pet sitting, this recording is for YOU.

In this 60-minute recording you will learn the steps needed to create a firm foundation from which to launch and run a pet sitting business that thrives from day one. You will also receive a 12-point tips and tools worksheet for pet sitting business start up.

It’s a myth that new business owners have to struggle, overwork and underearn in their first year of business.

Why reinvent the wheel? In this mp3 recording you will gain all the tips and tools you will need to get your business phone to ring! You will learn how to create a business that will be stress-free: from Day One. You will come away with being able to create a level of success that usually happens for most businesses after year three-all in your first year of business.

Click here for more information and to purchase the How to Start a Successful Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Business Recording.

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Hello pet sitters,

I’ve experienced a few delays with the ebook production but come hell or high water, my book will be sent out as promised by the end of December to those who have preordered the book.

Debra Farrington, the book reviewer for the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) recently reviewed my book and she emailed the review to me today.

I have to admit it was a bit vulnerable sending her my manuscript. It’s a little like, “Here, critique my baby, would you?”
🙂

This review will appear in the next issue of the NAPPS magazine:

“If you’re a brand new pet sitter looking for a guide to pet sitting from A-Z, this probably isn’t your resource, though you’ll find lots of good advice here. But if you’ve been a pet sitter for even a little while and you’re looking to grow your business into something that not only pays the bills, but gives you the lifestyle you want and deserve, then run—don’t walk—to the nearest computer and order this book.

Kristin Morrison, owner of a very large pet sitting business herself, and coach to pet sitters for many years, shares her secrets and strategies to free your creative energies, imagine your business (and life) as you’d like to see it, set goals and then, as Jean Luc Picard on Star Trek would say, “make it so.” There are plenty of practical tips on how to run your business on a day-to-day basis here, but the largest percentage of the book is dedicated to out-of-the-box exercises and practices that will help you understand what may be holding you back from being outrageously successful, and encouraging you to be very intentional about creating the business you truly want—whatever that looks like to you.

Included in the book are chapters on creating a good foundation, creating a business plan, recognizing your own self-worth, removing roadblocks to financial freedom, getting organized, marketing and promoting your business, being an employer, providing great service, and so much more. Those of you who have heard Kristin on one of the mentoring conference calls, or worked with her personally, will hear her voice in these pages, which are written just as she speaks with coaching clients. Approach this book with an open spirit, and a willingness to really look at what you’re doing, and you will walk away inspired and ready to make whatever changes you need to make to have a business and a life—both!—that match your dreams.”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
There is still time to save $5 by preordering your ebook now. It will be emailed to you by the end of December.

Click here to find out more and to preorder the book: Six-Figure Pet Sitting.

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Turkey

by Kristin Morrison on November 24, 2010

in Blogging,pet sitting blog

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Last November I was riding my bike down a busy street in my town when I saw a turkey walking down the street.

Yes, a turkey.

He was on the sidewalk and so was I. I got off my bike so I could pass without scaring him.

As I passed, he began clucking at me. (Yes, turkeys cluck. I know that now.)

Then he began running toward me.

He came up close and looked up at me. Looked me deep in the eyes.

No joke.

He clucked.

He looked.

He clucked some more.

He was about a foot away and his head came to my knee.

It was like he knew me. (I’d never seen him before.)

To my untrained eyes he appeared to be a teenager turkey.

I said hello and then I began walking my bike away.

He clucked excitedly and ran after me.

He walked beside me. He became obviously distressed if I got too far ahead of him. The clucking would increase and he would pick up the pace so that we were walking side by side.

People in cars stopped and stared.

People across the street stopped and stared. Camera phones came out and I’m sure I appeared on many local Facebook pages last November.

I noticed the turkey would stare intently at me with his little black eye on the side of his head.

He was truly LOOKING at me. He was present in a humans rarely are.

He wouldn’t let me out of his sight.

There was something oddly comforting about him.

Each time I would stop, he would stop. When I began walking, he would walk. It was the avian version of Simon Says.

I walked to a park to get him away from the speeding cars. He found a worm or something in the grass and promptly forgot about me.

I noticed that I felt more than a bit disappointed that food could get in the way of our connection.

I got on my bike slowly. I hoped he’d see me leaving and come running toward me as he had all the way down the street.

But no.

He was busy looking for food.

I felt oddly alone as I rode my bike home.

🙁

I told a few friends about the experience and I thought about the turkey from time to time, wondering how he was doing.

I wondered if he’d gotten hit by a car. That thought made me very sad.

So I tried not to think about it.

Last Tuesday I was riding my bike on the same street and low and behold, there was a turkey on the sidewalk.

I got off my bike and sure enough: he came running up to me, making a slightly deeper clucking sound than I remembered from last year.

It was him!

Same turkey. I’m sure of it. Unless all turkeys like me this much.

He was a tall adult now and last year’s drab brown feathers shown iridescent.

I’ve never thought of turkeys as beautiful before but he was so beautiful.

He clucked excitedly and followed me as I walked my bike down the street.

People stopped and stared.

“I’ve never seen anything like that! A wild turkey following a person,” one guy said. “He really likes you.”

“Yes, I met him last year,” I replied, as though I was talking about an old friend. “Perhaps I’m the turkey whisperer,” I mused.

“Perhaps you are,” the guy said in wonder.

He took a picture of us. I smiled. Turkey looked up at me with adoring eyes.

Other people lined up on the opposite sidewalk to stare at me and Turkey walking down the sidewalk. Cars stopped and iphones came out.

We are probably on Facebook again this November. Me and Turkey.

We walked beside a retirement home and a woman who worked there came out. “That turkey peers in the window at the residents sometimes. They love him. They become animated and alive when they see him.”

“Oh, that’s sweet.” I stared at Turkey and he stared back at me, clucking.

“There are a few wild turkeys around here,” the woman continued. “One got hit by a car last year and we had a funeral for him. A lot of people came to the turkey funeral. Everyone who came was quite upset.”

“I’m so glad it wasn’t this guy,” I smiled.

“Yes, he seems to really like you.”

We walked away, me and Turkey. We stopped at the red light and then when it turned green we walked through the crosswalk.

People stared and pointed, pointed and stared. I felt a little embarrassed. Like we were famous or something. Turkey looked intently at me as we crossed the street.

We reached a patch of grass and he began rooting around for worms or bugs or whatever it is that turkeys eat.

I kept going.

I looked over my shoulder at one point, hoping he’d run after me.

But he didn’t. He was deeply focused on whatever was in the grass.

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Horray!

The business book for pet sitters is now available for preorder.

Two years ago I began writing this book.

Then I decided to go on my trip to India and Bali so I put the writing of the book on hold.

I came back from my trip clear that I wanted to finish the book before I left on my next sabbatical (my next trip will be for four months and I’ll be leaving in February 2011–more to come about that trip in a future blog post!)

My business book for pet sitters was about 85% complete but I was having a hard time completing the final 15% of my book.

Have you ever climbed a really steep mountain and experienced that last little bit of hiking to be the hardest part?

That was what I was going through with the book.

Anyway, I told my business coaching (yes, I have a business coach!) about my fits and starts around completing the book. She gave me a firm talking to about my book that was (metaphorically speaking) sitting in the corner and not getting enough regular attention from me.

She asked me what it would take to finish it. I told her I needed weekly and perhaps daily support around completing it.

She suggested I get a writing coach and so I did. Within 3 weeks of hiring my writing coach the book was nearly complete!

Amazing what happens when we business owners (and writers) get support, eh?

We are now doing final editing of the book and will be laying the book out in a beautiful and easy-to-read ebook format. The ebook will be ready in December.

I’m so excited to share my secrets for pet sitting business success with all of you pet sitters. This book is a culmination of the knowledge I have gained in my 15+ years of owning and running my large pet sitting company as well as the many years I have coached pet sitters to business success.

Many of you have already preordered the book–if you have ordered your ebook you can be assured that you will receive your copy hot off the press in December!

If you haven’t yet ordered the book and you’d like to: you can preorder the book now and save $5 by going to this page: Six-Figure Pet Sitting Book.

(Please note the $5 off special is only good through November 2010.)

Wishing you much pet sitting business success!
-Kristin

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It’s funny.

I wanted to write this blog post because I recently had a coaching client ask me about how to deal with her competitor that had copied her website text word for word.

I told her what to do (as I will instruct you below).

What I haven’t done in a while though was check my OWN pet sitting website against plagiarism. So just now I did what I’m going to instruct you to do and you know what?

I found 3 pet sitting websites in various parts of the country that had taken a lot of my pet sitting website home page text and used it word-for-word on their home pages.

Uggh.

It’s not a good feeling to see the words you worked hard to come up with on another pet sitter’s website.

And not only that–here’s a little-known fact: web copy that is duplicated word for word on two or more sites results in lower search engine optimization for all of the sites that have the duplicate copy. This is the search engine’s way of making sure the playing field is wide open for all of us and not just inundated with multiple, duplicate sites. (Nice of them, isn’t it?)

So when someone copies your website text not only have they stolen your words but they’ve lowered your search engine optimization ranking (and their own).

Here’s how to check your website to see if your text is being copied and what to do about it if it is:

1) Go to Copyscape and put a banner at the bottom of all the web pages that you want to protect against web copy theft. Even though I have this banner at the bottom of my site, I still get pet sitters copying my text. However, fewer pet sitters copy my text now versus when I didn’t have the banner on there so get this on your site as soon as possible.

2) Enter your website address into Copyscape’s search bar to see if anyone has copied your website text.

3) If someone copied your text, send them this email:

Dear ________
I noticed that you have copied the text from my pet sitting website on
your home page (or whatever page was copied).
Please change your text immediately. Having the same copy on your
site makes us BOTH come down lower on the search engines and it’s
stealing. Please email me to confirm that you’ve made the changes by
____________ (a week from the date of the email). Failure to do so will result in legal action.

Thank you,
Your Name
Your Business Name
Your Business Website

4) If you need to take legal action you can search for “Prepaid Legal Services” online. Prepaid legal services are available in most states and offer inexpensive legal service for $30-40/month.

Prepaid legal services will draw up a ‘cease and desist letter’ and mail it to the party that has copied your site. If that doesn’t resolve the matter you can retain legal counsel at a discounted rate for attorney fees. You can cancel the monthly membership after the issue is resolved and start it up again when/if you need additional legal services. Using a prepaid legal service is a very cost-effective solution for pet sitters needing to resolve this and other legal matters.

5) Check Copyscape every couple of months to make sure your text is not being copied. Again, this will protect your search engine optimization ranking as well as your text.

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kristin-006173Okay, as most of you know I rarely endorse products and services but I just have to tell you pet sitters and dog walkers about this one…

As a pet sitter you may think that all web hosting companies are the same but that just isn’t true.

If you have a website that is hosted by Go Daddy or Vista Print you will find that it is very difficult to change the wording in your site to make it search engine optimization-friendly.

Even if your website is not hosted by the hosts above you may find that you will gain so much more than you can imagine by switching your hosting company to Blue Host.

I have been using this hosting company for my website for 5 years now and here is what I absolutely LOVE about it:

1) You can reach a live human being at any time-day or night! If you have an issue with your website you can call them anytime. They answer the phone! So unheard of these days…

2) You can see how your clients find you online. This hosting company has a cool features where you can go behind the scenes and click a button and boom! You get the inside peek into how your clients/competitors/trawlers are finding you. It is so revealing and will appeal to the detective in you that wants to find out what people typed in to find your pet sitting company. I love this feature!

3) You can transfer to Blue Host in less than 24 hours. Just contact them and within 24 hours you can easily and effortlessly transfer from your current host to this fantastic hosting company.

4) It’s one of the cheapest hosting companies on the web. You get the most bang for your buck and it is one of the least expensive hosting companies. How is this possible? I’m not sure but I appreciate the monthly savings.

If you are a new pet sitter in the midst of creating a website or an ‘old dog’ pet sitter that is looking to create an even more powerful website at a reasonable price then check out Blue Host today.

You will not be disappointed!

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Creating pet sitting and dog walking business success can be easy.

Really.

Here are 5 simple steps you can take TODAY to create more success in your pet sitting and dog walking business:

1) Begin to accumulate business savings. Even the act of starting with $10/month is progress. Your business savings account will help get you through the lean times, especially when you are first starting out.

2) Create an action plan to ensure that your pet sitting business bookkeeping records are clean, orderly and accurate. Get accounting help if and when you need it. Pay someone to help you learn Quicken or Quickbooks. Knowing how much you make each month will help you set financial goals which will keep you focused and intentional in your business actions.

3) Develop a yearly business plan and create goals and visions for yourself and your business. Review it quarterly and adjust as needed. Having a map will help you get to where you want to go in your business.

4) Budget your time realistically and focus on income-producing activities. Get clear on how many minutes it takes to actually takes to drive to your dog walking/pet sitting jobs. This will help you get clarity about how many clients you can take in a given day and how much time you spend driving. Setting a timer for those business tasks that are challenging can help keep you on track. Focusing your daily actions on income-producing activities such as marketing and answering the phone directly will cause your profits to rise.

5) Let go of difficult-to-work-with clients and staff members. Difficult staff and clients can eat up as much as 95% of our energy which leaves only 5% left for the majority of our (easy) clients and staff. If you notice your thoughts consumed by a particular client or staff member then it might be time to let them go. Talk it over with someone whose opinion you value and once you get clarity about how challenging they are, be willing to let them go sooner rather than later.

Want more tips on how to create success in your pet sitting and dog walking business? Purchase the Secrets for Pet Sitting Business Success Recording now.

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When clients call you while you are tending other pets it can be distracting, can’t it?

And it’s worse when they call you during your free time. What if you have pet sitters working for you, and the client calls you claiming your pet sitter did not show up for a scheduled appointment? It becomes a case of “he said, she said.” Worse yet are those moments when a client ‘thinks’ she called to schedule care but actually forgot to call and consequently her pets have not had food or water for at least 24 hours. This can be reality in the life of a Professional Pet Sitter.

Thanks to some cool technology, Pet Sitters can communicate with their clients automatically, letting them know they arrived at the client’s home in a timely fashion; this comes with the added benefits of limiting liability for pet sitters and the ability to provide a guarantee of service. This convenience also has benefits for your clients. You see, the truth is, even if unspoken, pet parents do worry about their pets when they are away.

In a survey over 120 people, pet parents were asked about which method of pet care they used and why. Of the most telling responses was “I only travel if I can take my pets with me because I’ve had bad experiences with boarding and pet sitting.” (Kelly B, Tucson, AZ).

Terry O. of San Francisco wrote, “ I had a friend use a recommended pet sitter for her cat when she had the opportunity to travel abroad. Fortunately her daughter went to check in on things about 3 days after she left. It did not appear that the pet sitter had even been there once……..When confronted she claimed she lost the key to the house….but never bothered to try contacting the homeowner who did have access to her vm [voicemail] while gone…..this gal has been doing pet sitting for years according to the info received…a fluke? took on too much business? I don’t know how you can protect your selves and animals from someone like that. “

You know you are not going to do something like this and you hope your clients know this isn’t going to happen. And while your clients do trust you there is an unspoken truth…we are all human. We get sick, we have car accidents, we forget and ‘stuff’ happens. And when it happens, pets and others in your care can be negatively affected. When you are upfront about the ‘what ifs’ and when you provide a solution, you will gain the trust and affection of your clients very quickly.

Managing employees is one of the biggest challenges of any business, especially when they work in locations that are remote. Your reputation is at risk each time you hire someone to represent you. Using a method to be alerted if they do not show, a method to provide proof to clients who question their presence at their location (no more ‘he said she said’), and a method by which you can measure their performance is just smart business.

The solution comes in the form of a new web service called PETZcheckIN.com. PETZcheckIN.com allows you to provide a guarantee of service (a true guarantee, not one in name only) plus automate your client communications, and provides a way for you to expand your business with little risk. You will have decreased fiscal liability when you can provide 3rd party proof you were at a client’s home and the duration of time you spent with the pets. Contact the folks at PETZcheckIN today and they’ll send you a code for a free trial of the service.

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Six-Figure Pet Sitting Success Story

by Kristin Morrison on July 29, 2010

in Goal Setting

The Six-Figure Pet Sitting Academy helps hundreds of pet sitters create successful, lucrative and ease-filled businesses each year.
Below is just one of our many success stories!

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Name: Lois Kelly
Business Name: Four Paws Pet Sitting Services, LLC
City and State: Raleigh, NC
Website: www.4PawsPetSitting.com

Do you remember the approximate month and year when you first called Kristin Morrison and The Six-Figure Pet Sitting Academy for help in your pet sitting business?
Oh wow, I think almost 5 years ago.


What issues were you having in your business when you first contacted Kristin Morrison and the Six-Figure Pet Sitting Academy?

I think I must have spoken to Kristin at truly the right time. I can’t remember why I called the Six-Figure Pet Sitting Academy that first time but for some reason I called.

I wasn’t having any trouble but I think the reason I called was that I just wanted to grow and not do it myself. I was at the point where my business had grown and I would have to service a smaller area or hire. I had a few people working for me at the time. I would have been one of those business owners with burn out but I talked to Kristin before that ever happened! Lucky me. I was very fortunate and learned a lot immediately.

What is one of the ways that the Six-Figure Pet Sitting Academy helped you in your business?
I always knew to set goals and write them down but in the Catapult! Pet Sitting Business Success class Kristin had us write down the exact figure of what I wanted to make in 2009. I had that figure in front of me on my desk in a little frame. I looked at it often. Next to it I had my basic steps of what I had to do to get to that goal.

I had a plan and stuck to it. Even if I only took 10 minutes working on the computer I did something towards working on my goal.
I love that Kristin can pinpoint issues and implement a plan so quickly. She does not waste any time.

What was your yearly gross total in 2008?
$72,000

What was your yearly gross total in 2009?
I grossed $168,00 in 2009.
My goal was $123,000 after being in your class in 2008.

In one year you grossed over double of what you’d grossed the year before?
Yes.

What has been the most important change you have made in the way you run or manage your business?
I have a purpose in mind. I have not been doing visits myself for a few years thanks to Kristin and I am proactive in my business. I think one thing I did was hire and then go after finding business in the area where I hired.
I am now truly having fun and loving this business.

Is there anything else about your business success that you would like to share?
I did not immediately buy into what Kristin was saying but I followed what she said and I am so happy I did.
I hired an office manager. It is really hard to let go but oh so worth it! I learned that I did not have to be tied down.
I now have 27 sitters.

Attention pet sitter: Are YOU ready to create six-figure pet sitting business success in YOUR pet sitting business? Click to find out more and to sign up for coaching sessions with Kristin Morrison, founder of the Six-Figure Pet Sitting Academy.

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SecretsforSuccessfulPetSitting

Hey Pet Sitters: there’s still time to save $10 on the July 27 Secrets for Pet Sitting Business Success Teleclass if you sign up by July 20.

After July 20 the price will go up to $30 (still a steal for the amount of information you will get that will help you rocked your pet sitting business to success!)

Click here to find out more and to sign up for the Secrets for Pet Sitting Business Success Teleclass.

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