Hello Pet Business Owner,catapult_blackoutline

  • Are you running your pet sitting, dog walking or dog training business… or is your business running you?
  • Are you spending too much time bogged down in the routine tasks of your pet business… and not enough time actually enjoying what you do?
  • Do you feel like you deserve to have more ideal clients and make more money (hint: you do deserve it!)… but you’re struggling to figure out exactly what’s keeping your business from growing with ease?

If you are ready to rocket your pet business to the next level, click to find out more and to sign up now for the CATAPULT 4-Week Pet Business Program for Dog Walkers, Pet Sitters and Dog Trainers.

I look forward to helping you create unlimited success in your pet business this year,

Kristin Morrison signature

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how-to-hireDo you have pet sitting or dog walking staff members?

If not, do you want to hire some great people this year? Or…are you one of those pet sitters who consistently hires horrible people? (Don’t worry if you do, there’s hope!)

Here’s the Thing: Fear Is Normal. If you haven’t yet hired, you probably are feeling some fear about hiring. If so, don’t worry! That’s normal when you are new to hiring. And believe it or not, fear is actually a good emotion that keeps you on your toes about hiring the right person. But having TOO much fear around hiring can lead to bad decisions or (eek!) no decision at all. And without staff then you are forced to work more hours than you might like in your pet sitting business. And that’s no fun. 🙁

Is Your ‘Picker’ Off?  If you do have pet sitters and dog walkers working for you, are they GREAT staff members? Lots of pet sitting business owners are just that…great pet sitting business owners. But often great pet sitting business owners can have a hard time making the shift to picking the right people and hiring great staff members. And believe me, it IS a big shift to go from being a pet sitter or a pet sitting business owner to someone who is actually hiring pet sitters. It’s a different skill set.

I Had a Bad Picker Too. Then I Made Some Big Shifts In The Way I Hired.  If you have fear around hiring pet sitters and are terrible at hiring you are not alone. When I first started hiring I had a lot of fear around hiring pet sitters too (and that fear kept me awake far too many nights when I was first hiring!) And early on, when I hired people, my staff choices were horrible. (It hurts just thinking about it.) But then I discovered and developed simple and foolproof methods that made the hiring pet sitters process nearly painless and helped me hire incredible people. I hired about 250 pet sitters in the 18 years that I owned my pet care business. And for the last few years of running my business we often had an average of 35 great pet sitters on staff at any one time. I had created a different reality for myself and my company. Hiring went from being the task I despised to one I actually enjoyed…because I had learned how to pick the right people.

My Favorite Pet Sitting Staff Compliment Ever. The most common happy compliment given to me about my pet sitting company from our clients who used our pet care service was: “I don’t know where you find your pet sitting and dog walking staff but they are ALL so wonderful.”  Ahh….music to my ears.

Hiring Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers. Made Easy. (Yes, Easy!) I’m excited to share with you proven ways that will help YOU hire great staff too. At the end of this month I’m teaching a webinar that will help you hire wonderful pet sitters and dog walkers. Click for more information and to sign up now for the webinar How to Hire Great Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers.

I’m so looking forward to help you hire wonderful pet sitters and dog walkers so you can take a much-needed break (or perhaps just get some office work done!)

Kristin Morrison signatureKristin4

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FacebookBanner4Let me ask you something…

-Do you feel cranky and irritable when your business phone rings?

-Has your car become your premier dining spot in between pet sitting, dog training and dog walking jobs?

-Do you find yourself wanting to walk away from your business because you’ve fallen out of love with it?

Don’t worry, there’s hope! (And just in time for the holidays. Whew!)

I experienced burnout in my own pet business a few years ago and it wasn’t pretty. I nearly threw in the towel in my business. But thankfully I didn’t.

BurnoutWebinarImageInstead I made some important changes in the way I ran my business and after only one year of making those changes I made more money, worked less and yes, fell in love with my business again. I know, I know… it sounds like a Hollywood movie but it’s true. I’ve helped lots of pet business owners do the same. I can help you too.

If you are ready to recover from business burnout and to create a healthy relationship with your business, so that your pet business works for you instead of you working for your business, you’ll want to attend the upcoming webinar.

Looking forward to helping you rediscover ease and profit in your business,

Kristin Morrison signature

PLEASE NOTE: THE WEBINAR IS NOW OVER BUT GOOD NEWS! YOU CAN CLICK HERE NOW TO PURCHASE THE HOW TO RECOVER FROM PET SITTING, DOG WALKING, DOG TRAINING OR PET GROOMING BUSINESS BURNOUT WEBINAR REPLAY.

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CORRECT 4 Week Image REDReady to JUMPSTART your life…and your pet sitting business?

Has your pet business (and your life) left you feeling drained… exhausted… uninspired? Have you lost sight of what you wanted to accomplish with your business? Do you feel like there’s no time or energy left to enjoy life outside of work?

When you change the way you live your life… your business naturally shifts as well. If you are ready to transform your life and your business, join me (and pet business owners just like you) on this amazing 4-week journey to fulfillment, balance, and renewed inspiration.

Click to find out more and to sign up now for the 4-Week Best Year Yet Jumpstart Program.

You’ll get to experience your transformational journey with other pet business owners like you who ready to embrace their dreams and create thriving, fulfilled lives (and help you create yours).

This is a virtual program that you can attend on your computer and it’s designed so YOU CAN PARTICIPATE FROM ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. And you can even attend from your pet sitting, dog training or doggy day care office. Think you might need to miss a class? No problem! You can watch, listen and learn from the replay link you’ll receive within 24 hours of each class date. I am committed to making it easy for you to create your best year yet!

Before you attend your first group session on October 22, you’ll create your powerful 12-Month Best Year Yet plan using the Best Year Yet online goal-setting system. After creating your plan you’ll be prepared to transform your visions and goals from dreams to reality.

Date: Wednesday, October 22, 2014 – Wednesday, November 12, 2014 (4 Wednesdays)

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

How does class take place? Fun, interactive format with Powerpoint (via webinar). Call-in instructions will be given upon signup.

How long is this class? 90 minutes

How much: $295 (register by Oct. 17) / $395 (register Oct. 18 or later)

Want more information? Click here to find out more and to sign up now for the 4-Week Best Year Yet Jumpstart Program.

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raising pricesBelow are 5 tips around writing and sending the perfect rate increase letter for your pet sitting, dog walking, dog training, doggy day care or pet grooming clients:

1) Composing a rate increase letter: above all, keep it simple. Do not apologize in any way, shape or form about raising your rates. Here’s a sample of the rate increase letter that I sent out to my own pet sitting and dog walking clients year after year (and hundreds of pet business owners have used this template so it’s a proven letter with very little ‘pushback’ from clients):

Dear Wonderful Dog Walking Clients (or Pet Sitting Clients),
It’s been such a pleasure to work with you and your pets this year. Thanks so much for the opportunity of letting us care for your pets.

Due to the rising cost of doing business we will be raising our rates slightly. Starting on (date a month away from date you send letter), our rates will go up $2/per walk and $2/per pet sitting visit. Our overnight sitting rates will go up $5/per night.

As always, we are committed to providing you with excellent pet care service and we look forward to doing that for you this year.

Thanks for letting us serve you and your pets,

Your Name

Your Business Name

2) When and how to send your rate increase letter: If you regularly mail or email your dog walking, dog training or pet sitting bills simply include the rate increase letter in your next round of bills. To make sure everyone is aware of your rate increase you can gather the email addresses of your clients and send out a mass email to your business email list. If you are a smaller company and deal with clients more on the phone rather than email or mailing them bills then just verbally tell them. However, due the fear that may arise in declaring your rate increase, it’s sometimes easier to write a letter or email.

If this is your first time raising your rates I encourage you to take the easier route and write your clients a letter or email. Don’t make it harder on yourself than you need to and do remember to give each client at least a month’s notice before the increase takes effect.

3) If you are afraid that they won’t want to work with you anymore, read this. I’ll bet that they won’t leave you if you raise your rates a dollar or two. Why? They are used to working with you. They like you. You like them. Their pets like you. You know the house. Just one of the above would keep them wanting to use you no matter what you charge. Let me tell you a little secret: no one likes change. And how that applies to raising your rates is that most people don’t want to go out looking for a new pet sitter or dog walker when they can just keep you and pay you a little bit more. Finding a new pet sitter is a hassle. Staying with you is easy. And they like working with you. And remember they don’t like change (and nor do you, which is why it’s hard to let your clients know you are raising your fees – even positive change can be hard for us humans!)

4) If they do leave. I know, I just said above that they probably wouldn’t leave but be prepared that one or two might. But, hey, out of 30 or 50 or 100 clients, one or two isn’t bad. And really: do you want to work with clients who are unhappy that you are simply charging what your time is worth? I don’t think so. My experience has been that the clients who leave when I’ve raised my rates have been clients I’d secretly wanted to let go of anyway.

Here’s another secret I’ve learned in my years of pet sitting: After a client has left simply due to my raising rates, soon after I’ve had well-paying and enjoyable clients fill their slot. Having had this experience happen over and over in the course of the nearly two decades that I owned my pet sitting business has helped believe in the power of raising rates! I now let those who do want to leave, leave. And I let them go gracefully and gratefully because I know that having them leave makes room for clients to show up who will respect me and respect my rates.

time to act5) Write your own rate increase letter. Now. It’s great to read about this but you won’t make any more money unless you actually write and send your own rate increase letter. I encourage you to do this today and send it out to your clients tonight or tomorrow. If you love what you are doing then you are meant to thrive financially and this is one simple way that you can easily and effortlessly make more money this year. So what are you waiting for? Stop reading this and begin writing your own rate increase letter now (and you can copy and paste the one above to make it VERY simple). That short and sweet rate increase letter above has worked great for me, for hundreds of pet business owners who have read this article or who have found this blog post!

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Last year I was (ouch!) paying $95/month to AT & T for my office landline. OOMA_office_LOGO-01

I really like having a landline because I’ve found the reception is clearer than a cell phone and I like having a ‘real’ phone in my office.

But I didn’t like paying $95/month for that real phone!

I’d been reluctant to switch to another phone carrier thinking it would be a hassle. I told a friend about this and he says, “You have to try Ooma!

Ooma?

What a strange name. 🙂

But he raved about how easy the Ooma phone system was to set up and how inexpensive it was. So I tried it. It took me only a few minutes to set up (and it was super easy to set up). Within a month I was saving over $60 a month on my phone bill. No joke!

One of the most common challenges that pet business owners face is how to project a polished, professional image. How can Ooma Office help them?

Believe it or not, your phone system can help you put your best foot forward. In today’s world you can utilize the power of the Internet to access business phone features and services that used to be exclusive to big companies. The advantage of switching to a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone solution is its’ low cost and flexibility to adapt to the way you do business.

Of the many VoIP phone solutions available, the best one that I’ve found is Ooma Office. It leads the pack with unlimited calling throughout the U.S. and Canada and offers a range of features including extension dialing, analog and digital faxing and conference calling.

And get this: Ooma Office includes advanced features too, like a virtual receptionist (yes, you read that right!) that automatically directs callers to the right extension, the ability to have multiple phones ring from one extension (powerful feature especially if you are out walking dogs or have managers who are working from their home office!), and forwarding voice mail messages as audio files to your email.

So I decided to have an interview with the folks at Ooma so you could get to know this great phone company (and yes, Ooma Office comes with a virtual receptionist, how’s that for a cool feature?)

Q. How much does Ooma Office cost each month and how much can pet business owners save?

A. Service for Ooma Office starts at $19.98 a month and includes one phone number and one extension. After that you can add additional phone numbers or extensions for $9.99 per month each.

Q. How can Ooma help pet business owners take their business to the next level?

A. The first and most important way Ooma Office helps your pet business is by saving you time and money, both of which can be diverted into improving your business’ billable hours and financial health. If you use a traditional phone service and depending upon the number of lines and features you could save hundreds of dollars a month. That money could be spent on getting customers.

Q. What are some of the features that might help owners run their pet business?

A. Ooma Office has features to help you stay connected to your business like creating mobile extensions that route calls off-site to mobile phones or home offices, and multi-ring to ring two phones at the same time to ensure your business never misses a call. The virtual receptionist can be enabled to communicate business hours, directions or other frequently provided information freeing up valuable time during your busy day. Conference calling is easy so you can patch in your client and a staff member in the field or a Vet in an emergency. If you have a question, there’s 24/7 assistance if you need it.

Q. How long does Ooma Office take to set up?

A. Ooma Office set-up is so easy you can do it yourself in less than 30 minutes. And you can use your existing regular business phones.

At the end of the day, if you’re looking for a small business phone system with exceptional voice quality, the flexibility to grow with your business over time, the ability to stay in touch while you’re away from the office and ease of set up and use, look no further than Ooma Office. Click to find out more about Ooma Office and start saving money now on your business phone line!

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Prosperous Pet Business BIG High Res BannerWe are smack dab in the middle of the Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference and I hope you are enjoying it!

So far we’ve had Patti Moran from Pet Sitters International, Arden Moore, Veronica Boutelle from Dogtec, Thom Somes from Pet Tech, Alicia Dattner, dog trainer extraordinaire Trish King, Jerrod Sessler from Pet Butler and today: Chess Edwards who is speaking on how healthy living can have a dramatic and positive impact on your pet business.

We’ve had a bunch of you send pictures of yourself, your pets and/or your kids watching the videos! Love it! Here are a few we’ve received (thanks to Maureen McCarthy, Jennifer Stevenson and her daughter Layla, Melissa Middleton and her dog Barkely, and Pet Loving Carer for submitting these photos: Maureen McCarthy

Jennifer Stevenson and Layla

melissa middleton and barkely

pet loving carer

If you aren’t already signed up, come join us! We’ve got A LOT more speakers headed your way (the online pet business conference ends on October 7).

UPDATE: The pet business conference is now over but don’t worry. You can get the video links sent to you for unlimited viewing immediately sent to your email inbox (it takes only 60 seconds upon order!) We’ve got the conference video package available for you for a limited time.

Enjoy the rest of the conference! 🙂
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