PocketSuite: How to Build a Successful Pet Sitting Business

All pet sitters want to build a healthy and successful business. But as your sitting business grows, so does the stress of managing your expanding client list, schedule and income stream.
The act of putting best practices in place to help you manage your growth sounds like both a daunting and tedious task. But the truth is it’s not. There are simple tips to follow and free technology available to make the act of building a successful and scalable pet sitting business a breeze.
Your Client List
To provide the quickest and highest quality service to prospective clients, you need to know who your client is, how to reach them, and what their needs are.
Keeping all this information in a single location will pay large dividends as your customer base grows. Mobile tools these days allow you to keep all your client contact information, notes, transaction history, and payment statuses in an easily-accessible spot. Client data and access to information in the most convenient way possible will save you a tremendous amount of time, especially as your days start filling up with more and more pet visits.
Schedule & Appointments
The days of pen and paper scheduling are over!
Keep an organized daily, weekly, and monthly calendar in place that’s easily accessible and able to be updated on the fly. Appointment details constantly change, so give yourself a digital tool that allows for easy edits and updates. Not to mention, new clients reach out to you at random times throughout the course of the day, so put convenient systems in place to efficiently field these appointment requests and add them to your calendar without having to play phone tag.
Make sure your clients stay organized too! That means automating and customizing notifications and reminders sent to clients about upcoming sits or sessions. This will ensure your clients are always on the same page, and will ‘professional and politely’ remind them of upcoming appointments with you, so you’re never left hanging.
Payments
Everyone likes getting paid. The trick is to ensure no payment ever slips through the cracks.
Protect yourself before walking into any sit. Ask clients to put their card down to reserve appointments ahead of time. This will not only reduce flaky clients and last minute cancellations, but will professionally demonstrate to your clients that your time is valuable. Not mention, your entire payment process is streamlined once your appointment is complete – say farewell to those awkward “How much do I owe you?” conversations…Simply charge your clients as you’re walking out the door, and move on to your next appointment.

If you still prefer to invoice, then make sure no invoices are ever left hanging. Part of this is setting up a simple monitoring system to enable you to get notified with each invoice that has been paid. Then give yourself an easy dashboard to keep yourself up to date on any invoices still outstanding. This will also give you a sense as to who your best clients are (and even who your worst ones are).
Putting these Practices into Reality
The question now becomes how to implement these tips in the easiest and least disruptive way possible.
Good news! There are now tools out there that help solo professionals run their business from their phone. The key is to find the tools that are simple, that are affordable, and that move with you wherever you go – mobile. The more a single app does, the easier your life becomes.
As you start growing and winning more business, you’ll be able to bring these clients on in the most efficient way possible, maintaining your ability to serve them well – all the while making your day-to-day a lot less stressful.

More about the author:

Sam Madden: Sam Madden is the co-founder of PocketSuite, the first mobile business tool for independent professionals and solopreneurs. Sam spent most of his career researching and investing in business technology for small and medium sized businesses. He has since shifted all of his focus to build great technologies like PocketSuite to help eager and independent professionals succeed. You can read more about Sam’s mission on Entrepreneur Magazine.


PetsitUSA Blog

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Black hairs on a golden retriever

Photo by Djanick Michaud.

Photo by Djanick Michaud.

Most golden retrievers don’t have any black hairs on them, but sometimes, they experience somatic mutations that allow black pigment to appear on their fur.

Djanick Michaud sent me this photo of this dog with just a few black hairs that are likely the result of one of these mutations.

It’s not heritable, but you can get some weird black hairs in a purebred golden retriever.

golden retriever  black spot


Canis lupus hominis

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Flea For Y'all

Flea For Y'all
ASHEVILLE, N.C. –For the first time in Asheville locals seeking out antiques and pickers from around the region have begun gathering near the French Broad river for a one of a kind market. Sunday is the opening day for the Asheville Flea For Y'all
Read more on WLOS

Garden City Flea Circus celebrates animals
The Garden City Flea Circus is a pet adoption and awareness event where more than a dozen local pet rescue organizations will be on site with their beloved creatures which are looking for a new “fur-ever” home. Participating rescues include Dog Aide, …
Read more on Hometownlife.com

Chappaqua Flea and Farmers' Market Come Together this Saturday
The Chappaqua Flea joins the Farmer's Market again on Saturday, June 20th from 9am-1pm with even more vendors! The Chappaqua Flea is a curated, outdoor market featuring vendors who sell everything from vintage finds, furniture, antiques, jewelry, …
Read more on HamletHub (press release) (registration) (blog)

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Win The Anxiety Wrap (10 winners!)

Summer means lots of fun for Fidos–but it also means anxiety for many dogs due to thunderstorms, fireworks, summer parties, and other stress factors. In late summer, separation anxiety often…



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DogTipper

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June Book of the Bible Reading from the Legacy Reading Plan

It’s June. Summer. Hurricanes for those along hurricane-prone areas. A time for high temperatures. And a new set of books from the Bible to read. This month, I will be reading from the following: Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther To be honest, I have really come to love and enjoy the Legacy Reading Bible plan, that…



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Sunflower Faith

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What Is the Best Food for my Dog?

Picking the right dog food for your pet can be a daunting task! Just walking into a pet store and gazing up and down countless aisles of food can give a pet owner the “heebie-jeebies”. That’s probably why most people pick one food and stick with it. It’s just too hard for the lay person to know which food is best.Knowing that a friend, relative, or neighbor feeds one type of food, or looking at a healthy coat in an active dog at a dog park may sway anyone to pick the same brand or type. In reality each individual dog may fare better with one type or another of dog food. As the saying goes, “one man’s meat may be another man’s poison.” In the case of pets that means that certain ingredients are tolerated better by different dogs.

leanmeatsfatburningfood.jpgHeavy dogs need less fat and less carboydrates in the diet. That translates to leaner pieces of chicken or beef that you are sharing, and less of those carbohydrate laden  biscuits. The extra fat and extra carbs just add extra calories that they need to burn off! I always remind my clients to feed baby carrots, small pieces of lean meat, chicken jerky, freeze dried raw fish or other veggies and fruit or high protein/ low fat treats.biscuits

Allergic or itchy dogs need a limited ingredient diet that does not include common allergens like wheat, beef, barley, and chicken. Blue Buffalo, Natural Balance, Merricks, Fromms, Halo, and Evanger have a great assrtment of “grain free” limited diet dog foods that may help dogs with chronic itchiness, ear infections, or diarrhea (stomach upset and seizures too.) Good choices for the allergic type are salmon/sweet potato, rabbit/ potato, duck/potato, and venison/ potato.  Image result for fish potato taste of the wild

I’ve always tried to feed my dogs a combination of quality dog food, healthy human food, healthy omega oils, raw food, and homecooked dog food. I pick foods with a higher protein and lower carb percentage ( protein>30%, carbohydrates< 40%, dry food and protein> 8%, carbohydrates< 10% canned food) and avoid wheat, barley, and beef.(Some dogs are allergic to chicken and tolerate beef!) I add fish oil and sardines frequently along with my own home cooking! I usually feed canned food, raw food, and home cooked food because I think moisture in food is real important and helps prevent medical problems.

For more information on the best dog food for your dog , check out Dog Dish Diet and Feed Your Pet to Avoid the Vet.

Dog Dish Diet/Feed your Pet to Avoid the Vet

The post What Is the Best Food for my Dog? appeared first on Dr. Greg's Dog Dish Diet.

Dr. Greg’s Dog Dish Diet

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The Promise

Source.


Canis lupus hominis

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Jane Lynch Named Honorary Patron of k9 connection

Soon to be seen on the small screen in the upcoming CBS comedy series Angel from Hell, actress Jane Lynch– a real life guardian angel to homeless dogs– has just been cast as an Honorary…



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DogTipper

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Untangled: Let God Loosen the Knots of Insecurity in Your Life by Carey Scott Book Review

Untangled: Let God Loosen the Knots of Insecurity in Your Life by Carey Scott My rating: 5 of 5 stars Insecurity seems to be a major issue with women and definitely plenty of books on the subject. Reading “Untangled”, Carey Scott brings a very down to earth, no holding back, been there, gone through the…



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Sunflower Faith

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Profound Things

I wrote my mother’s eulogy the day of the service, this Sunday. I was stuck. I wanted to share all the profound things we had said to one another over the years, but we just didn’t have that kind of relationship defined by meaningful, deep philosophical conversations. As I sat with Brody’s head in my lap, it occurred to me that we also did not share in deep conversations, but it never lessened our bond. As soon as I thought about that, it all started to come.

My mother was not one for profound conversations. Don’t get me wrong- she was a profound thinker, absolutely, but I think she found the idea of sitting around talking about philosophy either pretentious, or simply a distraction from the things that really mattered, like dessert. This was a hard thing for me to accept.

I spent my whole life waiting for us to have those deep, intense, heart to heart talks where we would bond over politics, being a woman, or a mother, or a wife. It was really important to me that my mother and I share that kind of moment, and I’ve been working at getting her to engage in one with me for as long as I can remember.

I started when I was eight, by attempting to start a Mom and Me Book Club discussion. I said, “Mom, what does the word ‘conceive’ mean?” I often asked her about words I didn’t quite understand.

She said, “What’s the context?”

So I opened up my Judy Bloom book from the library and read, “I was conceived under the Million Dollar Pier.”

tiger-eyes-judy-blume_612x612

She pursed her lips, pointed to the Encyclopedia Britannica and told me to look it up. That was the end of Mom and Me Book Club, though to her credit, she never once banned me from reading Judy Blume- or anything else, really.

When I was in high school, my subversive reading habits led me to writing all sorts of editorials for the school newspaper about the availability of birth control for teens, the failures of the Oceanside Unified School District, Administrative Team, abortion. I spent a lot of time in the principal’s office. No one could figure out how I grew up to be such a diehard feminist. They all thought my sweet little mom would be mortified to know what I was saying. She knew. She’s the one who planted the seeds in my head in the first place.

Still, I was bound and determined for us to get our deep moment of profound conversation. I kept giving her chance after chance. When I went away to college, I was down for every holiday, and many weekends. She was there for every milestone event in my life. She was at the birth of both my children, the doctor’s appointments when I was worried about something scary, the triumphs and the defeats and the myriad tiny moments in between.

g1

When the kids got older, we’d meet for lunch every week. Brian hated those lunch meetings, because ‘lunch’ was always followed by ‘shopping.’ She’d always convince me that I needed a new pair of boots, a necklace, a pair of earrings. She did not believe in practical gifts. Gifts should be beautiful and shiny and able to be physically opened and lord help you if you used one of those little gift bags instead of wrapping it with actual paper and ten pounds of curling ribbon.

d2

Christmas, 1980-something ish.

Our interactions were a lot like those presents: plentiful, beautiful, and fun.

When she got sick, I panicked, because I was thinking, you know, all this time together, hours and hours and hours, and we still haven’t had those profound conversations that mothers and daughters are supposed to have.

I tried, once, to talk to her about what was going on, and she said, “That’s depressing. Pshaw. Turn on Harry Potter.”

I asked her if she could have anything, what would it be. Anything, Mom. And she said, “I want to go and watch the balloons in your backyard.” That was our life these last two months, Harry Potter and balloons and just being together.

I sat with her every day, Dad and I and the kids, making sure that when she was ready to impart her wisdom, I was not going to miss it. So when Dad was taking the kids to swim class, and I was sitting next to her on the bed, she held my hand, looked at me, and said in as earnest a tone as I have ever heard, ‘Can I ask you about something?’

I was thrilled. This was it. This was the moment I had been waiting for my whole life.

“Of course, mom.”

She took a deep breath, fixed me with her gaze, and said, “Do you know what Spotted Dick is?’

“It’s a spotted pudding, right? What made you think of that?”

“I don’t know. It sounds gross.”

“OK, Mom. I won’t make you eat one.” She giggled.

“That’s it?”

“That’s it.”

As the weeks wound down to days, I knew I had to figure this out if I was going to be able to move forward without regrets about wisdom left unshared. So I thought about what Mom would tell me to do- and I looked it up.

I found a book about dying, and it laid out the things that you’re supposed to say in order for someone you love to be able to die peacefully: I forgive you. I love you. We’re going to be ok.

I put the book down and shook my head. That’s all they had to say?

Forgive? There’s nothing to forgive. There were no unresolved hurts.

I love you? That’s nothing new. We said that every day.

We’re going to be ok? She knew that. We were always trusted to figure things out for ourselves, and though she was there for me if I needed her, I rarely did.

And that’s when I finally figured it out. There is no need to have profound conversations when you live a profound life. She truly did lead by example, with grace, kindness, toughness. For all those friends and family who are so upset that they didn’t get a chance to tell her something, don’t fret. She knew. And you knew her.

I will never have to wonder what advice she would give me in the long days ahead, where she would have stood on an issue. She has built a place in my heart minute by minute and day by day for decades now, and now that she’s disappeared inside its confines, I will never worry about whether or not she is there.

She is.

mom

Patricia Anne Marzec, the greatest woman I’ve known.

 

Pawcurious: With Veterinarian and Author Dr. V

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