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.
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.