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!

OOMA_office_LOGO-01

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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! 🙂
Kristin Morrison signature

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psa_web_logoDo you need insurance for your pet sitting business? If so, you’ll want to read this…

If you’ve read my books, you’ve read how I highly recommend Pet Sitters Associates. It’s great for those who are on a tight business budget and for those who need and want to get low-cost business insurance without joining a pet sitting membership.

I wanted to give Pet Sitters Associates an opportunity to share with you today who they are and what they do:

Q: What is Pet Sitters Associates?

A: We started Pet Sitters Associates in 1998. Our philosophy has always been to help individuals throughout the United States start up their pet care businesses at the most affordable rates possible. Pet Sitters Associates proudly offers membership benefits that include pet business insurance administered by RPS Scobie Group and underwritten by an AM Best rated: A (Excellent) Insurance Company.

Q: What is the cost of the basic membership, which includes liability insurance?

A: The cost is $185 for membership and insurance through Pet Sitters Associates. The membership and insurance is good for one full year from the time of joining and can be effective immediately at www.petsitllc.com.

 Q. What are the member benefits?

A. You will gain access to a library of resources including our customer checklist and archived newsletters, quarterly newsletters, and the option to be listed on one of the largest online pet business directories and pet business liability insurance.

Q. What is the cost if we have additional partners/spouse/employees?

A. The cost is $85 for each additional person on your policy.

Q. What type of pet care business does the basic liability cover?

A. It covers pet sitting in the pet owner’s home, pet transportation, pet walking, and pooper scooper services.

Q. What if I bring animals into my home?

A. Members need to purchase the optional pet daycare coverage to extend the liability insurance to cover incidents at their home or pet daycare operation. The cost for this additional coverage is $155 and can be added for up to 3 employees/ICs.

Q. Do you offer a bond?

A. Our Broadened Property Damage/Bond coverage costs an additional $100. This coverage provides $10,000 per occurrence or $25,000 of insurance coverage annually for the theft, breakage, and mysterious disappearance of the personal property of the pet owner while under the care of you, your employees, your independent contractors, or your incidental helpers. Please note if you do not purchase this additional coverage, there is no coverage under your basic membership policy for loss, damage, or theft of the owner’s personal property.

Q. What if I do any housesitting without animals?

A. You would then need to add the house sitting coverage for an additional $100. House sitting without pets present cannot exceed 45% of the total pet care business revenue.

Q. What about grooming?

A. Pet grooming coverage for an additional $50 would need to be added. This coverage provides basic insurance for individuals who cut hair or nails while pet sitting. If you are only bathing and brushing pets, there is no need for you to purchase this.

Thanks, Pet Sitters Associates, for sharing who you are and what you do! And pet sitters: if you don’t have insurance, you need it! Click the link to find out more about Pet Sitters Associates now.

 

 

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Prosperous Pet Business BIG High Res BannerEver have the experience where you have to keep silent about something because it just isn’t the right time to reveal it?

We’ll, I’ve been having that experience for a couple of months now. And it’s been tough, let me tell you…

But finally…I can share!

Last year I had the idea to create an online conference for pet business owners. But not just any online conference…

A FREE online pet business conference. Yes, free!

One where pet business owners, and even those interested in starting a pet business, can attend from their home, office or even their car.

A conference for all service-based pet business owners including: dog trainers, pet groomers, pet sitters, dog walkers and doggy day care owners.

A pet business conference that has video interviews with top pet business experts like:

-Patti Moran of Pet Sitters International

-Paul Mann, creator of the world’s largest pet care franchise

-Ian Dunbar, renowned dog trainer, author and TED speaker

-Plus top social media experts, branding and marketing experts, and more!

And in addition to pet business experts: I wanted to include mind, body, and spirit experts because, to me, having a successful business includes nurturing our body and soul too.

Because what’s the point of a successful business and lots of money if we aren’t happy and healthy in all areas of our lives?

If you dream it, if you build it, it will happen. And then it will no longer be a dream. It will be reality.

I’m very excited to announce The Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference!

The conference will start on September 22, 2014.
Prepare to be amazed!

Click to find out more and to sign up now to attend the Prosperous Pet Business Online Conference.

Not able to attend the online pet business conference? No problem! You can purchase all 19 conference videos with expert pet business speakers for a very low price for a limited time and get immediate access NOW.

To your prosperity (on all levels),
Kristin Morrison

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key to successIn my own pet care business as well as in my work with dog trainers, pet groomers, pet sitters and doggy day care owners, I’ve discovered some common traits that nurture happiness and six-figure+ success.

Here are five secrets for success (practice them and watch your pet business grow and thrive!):

1. Set office hours and keep them. Successful pet business owners know when to close up shop and when to leave the door closed until morning (even if it is their home office).

2. Don’t offer discounts before your clients ask. And even then only give discounts during very slow periods. Be sure to let clients know that this is a ‘one-time event’. Also let them know (with a smile) that you plan to do such a good job that they will want you back at whatever price you charge! Confidence is attractive in a service-based business.

3. Set boundaries in a clear and direct way with clients. Successful pet business owners enforce their policies and procedures with clients regardless of how uncomfortable it might be to do so. Feel the fear and do it anyway (in a loving way). It’ll save you time and money and also gain respect from your clients.

4. Hire a manager who can help run your business so you can have a life again. (One that doesn’t involve work 24/7.) Successful pet business owners know that hiring and having a manager, or even just a phone and email assistant to help them run the business, will help them make more money in the long run. (In addition to bringing more happiness, joy and ease in running the business when they ARE working.)

5. Go on vacation at least once a year. Successful pet business owners have their priorities straight and a vacation is part of their priority. They put the vacation date in their calendar and it’s as solid as a client appointment. And once the date is set, everything works out from there.

If you have a pet sitting and dog walking company and you’d like to experience #4 above: This month I’m offering a brand new webinar on how to hire a train the right pet sitting office manager.

In the last few years I had 5 managers running my own pet care business and because of that I was able to travel around the world for months at a time (while my business ran under their care). And when I wasn’t traveling I only worked 2-3 days a week in my business. That’s the power of hiring good managers! And I’ll show YOU how you can do that too.

The webinar is over but….if you are ready to take your pet sitting business to the next level by checking #4 off your list (hiring a manager), you can now purchase the How to Hire and Train the Right Pet Sitting Manager webinar.

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