starting a pet sitting businessA recent article comparing Pet Sitters to Tarantula’s got me thinking. People really don’t know what it goes into creating a pet sitting company. As Cary states, there are many websites that claim you can start your own pet sitting company in 4 easy steps.  HA!!!

My friends, if you are using a pet sitting company that used 4 easy steps, I would scoop up your pets and run fast in the other direction.

I have created the list below to really outline ALL that I have done over the nine years Bella’s House & Pet Sitting has been making the pets happy in North Scottsdale. These are the things I had to do to start it and keep it running. I am sure I have forgotten some. If there are any other pet sitting companies reading this, feel free to leave a comment adding what I have forgotten. These are all the elements I help other pet sitters with when I coach then through Jump Consulting too! (in no particular order)

Chose a Name
Registered it with the State
Paid for my LLC
Researched and paid for a URL
Chose Colors
Paid for a Logo
Formulated a Service Agreement
Purchased Insurance
Purchased Bonding
Defined service areas.
Did research to see what was out there.
Researched pricing and came up with Price List.
Joined National Organizations so I could get a mentor because I wasn’t well versed in the industry yet.
I created fliers
I printed fliers
I went door to door for years!
I made countless changes and updates to my website.
My policies and procedures were tried and tested multiple times until I got it “right”
I created a company culture
I created branding specific to Bella’s. (That’s why I chuckle when companies in town say they are the BEST and their name doesn’t begin with a B like Bella’s does…)
I figured out an Accounting Method

….tired yet?

I gained relationships with vets, groomers, and other industry professionals so I could build up a networking circuit, learn, and have experts to call upon when I need.
Created business cards
Joined local networking groups.
Started a Facebook, built it up, and post on it everyday.
Started Twitter
Created a YouTube Account (with over 70 video’s as of March 2010)
Created my own pen and paper scheduling system.
Found and learned an online system.
Find pet sitters to work for Bella’s (tough!!! Waited up to 3 months to find the perfect fit sometimes…)
Created an employee manual
Found and hired a background company.
Found and hired a payroll company. (went through 3 till I found the best fit for me)
Got workman’s compensation.
Been through two cars.
Bought another laptop.

Now are you tried?

Purchased approx 80 TShirts over the course of the companies life, 30 Long Sleeve, and 10 sweatshirts. (Had to create the design for those too)
Purchased Pens and Dog Bowls
Paid for three rounds of Marketing Shots
Created a Blog. (www.scottsdalepetexpert.com)
Recreated my website (again).
Paid to recreated logos to reflect the seasons.
Learned about all types of leashes and walking techniques.
Created booths for community events.
Created unique events to bring people and their pets together in the community like the Yappy Hours.
Created our own concierge program.
Created a system for keys so they were organized and secure.
Got a PO Box
Created all online review accounts
SEOed my website to be #1 in our area.
Created unique services.

…ok I am tired from typing! I am SURE there are many more things…. but while doing all of this, for the first 4.5 years I managed to do most of this …and do pet sits all in between this!!!

Now… do you understand why we can’t charge what the kid next door charges? :)

Professional pet sitting is  serious matter.  In fact, when I applied for Insurance, we are not the highest, but high on the scale because we are in people’s homes and dealing with their pets. Even the insurance agencies take the amount of liability pet sitters take on as serious business.

This is why a professional pet sitter is different from the kid next door….

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