September 2009

Conflicts with Your Pet Sitting Clients can be GOOD for Business

3351810231_f7edc2eccaSound strange? It’s not.

Here’s why: when we work through issues that come up in relationships, including our working relationships, we then develop trust in that particular person and in the relationship itself. Often that relationship is then stronger and more connected than it was prior to the conflict.

That’s why having conflict with your pet sitting and dog walking clients is a ripe opportunity to create a bridge from anger, resentment and misunderstanding to a meaningful, lifelong working relationship.

Think about it: when you hire a service or company to do something for you and they screw up and then bend over backwards to make it right don’t you come away happier and raving to your friends about the excellent customer service?

I know I do. And you probably do too.

And for good reason. You were upset, the company made it right and then some (probably throwing in a little something extra to sweeten the deal and the thus, creating a sweeter relationship) and wah-lah! You went from being an angry, unhappy customer to telling your friends how incredible this particular business now is.

Had there been no conflict you might not be singing their praises to the masses.

Now pet sitters: I’m NOT advising you to create conflict for the sake of creating a more loyal relationship with your clients. Not at all!

What I’m advising is simply to look at conflict differently: look at it as a possible bridge to a more meaningful and lasting relationship with your pet sitting clients.

In my next blog post I will write about how best to bridge that conflict from tension and anger to harmony and customer loyalty. Stay tuned!

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How to Start a Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Business – Step #2

2496956264_1819136d2d_m Step Number Two in the How to Start a Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Business Series is:  Get a Business License / Fictitious Business Name Statement for your Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Business

Before you get your business license you’ll have to decide if you want to be a sole proprietor, an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) or a Corporation. Check with your accountant to find out what is best for you. With the help of your accountant you’ll decid what category of business you’d like to create. Once you decide you are then ready to get a business license.

In some cities you may have to get a county business license and a city business license if you are providing pet sitting for different cities within your county while also working from your home office.  Call your local City Hall to find out how and where to get your business license.

If you are named Jerry and your business is called Jerry’s Pet Sitting Service you will not need to get a fictitious business license.

If your name is Amanda and you want to call your business Jerry’s Pet Sitting (I’ve seen it happen!) or  if you want to call yourself “ Bakerville Pet Sitting and Dog Walking” then you will need to get a ficticious business name. Why? Because your personal name is not part of your business title.  City and state laws require that all businesses that don’t have the owner’s name in them get a special license so the city and state can determine exactly who the owner is.

A business license generally costs anywhere from $40-100 for new businesses. You will be required to renew your business license every year and some cities will base your renewal amount on a percentage of your gross earnings.

A fictitious business name statement generally costs anywhere from $30-60 and you will also need to pay to have your name appear in a local newspaper for 4 weeks. You will need to remember to renew your fictitious business name statement every 5 years.

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5 Inexpensive Pet Sitting Business Marketing Tips

facebook-smallHere are 5 inexpensive marketing ideas to generate more business this month:

  1. Target pet-friendly apartment complexes to go for volume of potential clients: introduce yourself and your business to building managers and ask if they have a ‘welcome packet for new tenants’ that you can add your business cards to.
  2. Advertise on Craigslist: Craigslist comes up high on the search engines and potential clients DO look on Craigslist for pet sitters! Include a picture of you with pets as well as your business logo and a link to your website.
  3. Commit to doing one marketing action a day: drop off business cards while you are running errands, keep a list of clients who have called you in the past but not used you yet and ‘cold call’ them to let them know you are offering a special of one free walk or visit in exchange for the purchase of four walks or visits this month, answer your phone directly at least 20 times per day so you can avoid potential new client hang ups as a result of their getting your voicemail.
  4. Do some direct marketing: contact your city hall or local humane society to get dog license names and addresses: send inexpensive but professional postcards from Vista Print which advertise your pet sitting or dog walking service.
  5. Easily and effortlessly market your business to the masses on Facebook: sign up for the Six-Figure Pet Sitting Academy’s teleclass: Facebook Teleclass: Secrets to Marketing your Business on Facebook on Tuesday, September 22 at 5:00pm PST / 8:00pm EST. (Only $20 if you register by Tuesday, September 15 so sign up NOW!)

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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Coaching for Pet Sitters


In just one complete Search Engine Optimization (SEO) session I will give you the keywords you need to put on your website and tell you exactly where you need to put those keywords plus other important SEO tips that will shoot you to the first page (and often number 1 or number 2) on search engines! You simply relay what I’ve told you to your web person and have your web person enter the information that was discussed in your session.

It’s that easy!

Tired of spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on advertising that doesn’t yield powerful results when it comes to increasing your pet sitting client base?

For the month of September ONLY  I am offering $30 off a complete SEO session ($165 instead of the regular price of $195). You must schedule your session before September 30, 2009 to take advantage of this special offer.

What is also included in your Search Engine Optimization Session:

  • How and where to list your business on Google, MSN and Yahoo
  • 25 FREE websites to link your business website on.
  • Secrets to getting higher on Google Maps and other sites
  • The top 5 pet sitting directories that will generate pet sitting clients
  • What you absolutely need to have on your website for top SEO
  • What you can do to maintain high ranking on the search engines
  • Additional tips and tools to skyrocket above your competitors

Call 616-712-1426 to set up your session or email Coach Kristin at:

Ready to have more clients find you online?

Click here to find out more and to sign up for your complete Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for pet sitters coaching session today.

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How to Start a Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Business-Step #1


STEP ONE: Choose a business name that you LOVE.
Naming a business is as important as naming your kid. Maybe even more important! Why? Because your kid can change his name fairly easily if she/he decides to at some point but trying to change a business name down the road is a very challenging process for both your existing clients and for you.  (I changed my business name after a year so I’m speaking from experience here.)

Pick a name that you like saying and that rolls off your tongue easily. When you get successful and your phone is ringing with client calls you’ll be saying it many times a day so choose carefully.

I also recommend that you pick a name that you really can see yourself using ten or twenty years down the road.

Don’t call your business “Bakerville Pet Sitting” if you have even an inkling of a desire to perhaps expand to surrounding areas down the road.  You’ll be stuck in Bakerville! If you are really clear you want to stay in a specific area then do include your area in your business name.  It’s actually very professional to put the city or town you live in as part of your business name.

Do describe your service in your business name. I don’t recommend pet care—it’s too vague. But pet sitting and dog walking are great to add: Bakerville Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Service. Some may find it’s a little long but, in my opinion better too long than not descriptive enough. This way clients will know exactly what you do.

Make sure you spend some time searching to make sure your business name is not in use already in your county or nearby counties. You don’t want to accidentally ‘take’ another local pet sitting company’s business name.  Check your local phone book and do Internet searches for the name you are interested in.

If you have found that no one in your county is using the name that you want to use then it may be yours to use in your area IF it does not have a federal trademark. You can do a name search to see if the business name has a trademark by going to the  U.S. Patent and Trademark website.

If the name you are interested in does not have a trademark but is used by another business  then you’ll want to contact your local city hall to see what the laws are around name usage.

If you have a list of names and are confused about which one to choose email the list to 5 friends who have good taste (you know who they are!) Have them rate their 1st , 2nd, and 3rd choices. See which ones are first choices and from there you will get clarity.

Once you have named your business you can go on to How to Start a Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Business: Step #2 which I will write about in an upcoming blog post. Stay tuned!

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