January 2010

January Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Business Tips


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?

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.

Want to add POWER to your Business? Read More »

Bali Sandwich


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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