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Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions For Professional Pet Sitters

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This new year is going to be a good one, we can feel it! If pet ownership trends are any indication, the demand for pet sitting and dog walking services will continue to rise in 2024 as pet parents continue to prioritize their pets’ well-being, enrichment, and quality of life. In preparation for a prosperous, fulfilling year ahead, we’re sharing our Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions for Professional Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers. We hope this list helps you prioritize your business and administrative processes and sets you up for your business’ best year yet!

New Year’s Resolutions For Professional Pet Sitters: Prioritize Bookkeeping

Real talk – bookkeeping is an ongoing process and is often neglected when business demands rise. Instead of fighting the clock and stressing out at the last minute, prioritize your bookkeeping by scheduling bookkeeping tasks weekly. By taking a weekly look at your books, you’ll keep things fresh in your mind, be able to better track expenses, and can address billing and expense discrepancies more quickly.

To prioritize bookkeeping, take a look at your schedule at the beginning of each week and set up one hour to work on your books. If possible, set up a standing appointment with yourself at the same time each week. Then, put your phone on do not disturb (unless you have staff working, of course), log in to your bookkeeping software, connect with your bank to update your transactions, balance your accounts, and give your books a quick once-over.

By checking in with your books more often, for shorter periods, you’ll set your self up for seamless bookkeeping when quarterly and annual taxes are due. Plus, you won’t have that monkey on your back that is inevitable when you’re ignoring something as important as your business financials. Eeeek!

New Year’s Resolutions For Professional Pet Sitters: Revisit Pricing

Economists are estimating that average consumer price inflation should be around 3.2% in 2024, compared to 4.06% in 2023 and 9.59% in 2022. Did you raise your prices in 2022? How about in 2023? Are you where you need to be even as inflation rates promise to stabilize? Well, there’s no way of knowing if you don’t revisit your pricing, is there?

This month, schedule a time to consider your pricing strategy. Think about what you need to make to cover your business expenses and adequately compensate yourself and your team. Work backwards and jot down the prices you need to charge and number of visits you’ll have to complete to make that happen.

Then, take a look at what similar companies are charging in your area. As a professional pet sitter with insurance coverage, workers comp for employees, bonding, education, and industry memberships and recognition, you should be charging at least as much as your highest priced competitor. Don’t believe us? You are reading this right now, right? You are a member of the Texas Pet Sitters Association, right? You are attending our annual conferences, right? If you said yes to any of these, you deserve the highest rate your market can handle. You are the cream of the crop. Price your services accordingly!

pet sitters insurance

Not yet a professional pet sitter? Start by contacting our Platinum Conference Sponsor, Business Insurers of the Carolinas. They will be happy to help you get started with adequate coverage to protect your business and your clients.

New Year’s Resolutions For Professional Pet Sitters: Narrow Services & Service Areas

While looking at your pricing, take an almost critical look at your services and service areas. Do you see any services that are more trouble than they are worth? Are you offering services that your workers don’t want to cover? Do you offer services you personally can’t or no longer want to perform? Think about why you’re still offering these services. Then consider eliminating superfluous services and focusing your efforts on providing services that you and your team look forward to completing. It’s called specialization and it works!

In the same way, take a critical look at your service areas. Are there areas that are no longer ideal for you and your team to serve? Maybe they are hard to reach due to traffic or limited access. Maybe they are unsafe or undesirable during certain times of the day or week. Whatever the case may be, if a service area is no longer serving your business, you shouldn’t be serving it. By streamlining your service areas, your business will be more efficient. You will be set up to grow in your ideal territory, serving your ideal client.

We know, we know. You have clients that love these services or live in these areas. Don’t let a few clients hold you hostage to doing business in a way that is not optimal for your longterm goals. The reality is that businesses change and you have to prioritize your operation over the needs of a few clients. While saying goodbye is definitely hard to do, you owe it to yourself and your team to provide seamless work schedules and routes. Instead of literally going out of your way for a handful of clients that no longer work with your service offerings or service area, network with a professional pet sitter in that area to take over these clients and provide the level of care you’ve provided thus far. That way, everyone wins!

pet sitters association

Our Platinum Sponsor, PSI, has excellent tools to help pet sitters thrive! Not a member yet? We highly recommend you join their organization, especially if you’re hoping to optimize your operation this year.

New Year’s Resolutions For Professional Pet Sitters: Find Balance

Balance? What’s that?! LOL, the elusive work, life balance is especially difficult to attain in the pet sitting industry, isn’t it? Yet, because many of pet sitting businesses operate 24/7, finding balance is more important for pet sitters and dog walkers than it is for many other professionals and business owners.

To find balance, schedule days off each week. Consider growing your team to ensure you can continue to provide outstanding services to your clients while enjoying well-deserved time off.

If you’re not already, sign up for pet sitting software and ask clients to schedule and pay for services online or via their smartphone. By delegating scheduling to your clients, you ensure greater accuracy, put ownership on them to avoid errors and miscommunication, and automate one of the most important business processes – your service schedule! Taking payment via secure scheduling software also allows you to bill your clients at service confirmation, which is beneficial for all involved.

pet sitters software

Our Platinum Sponsor, Time to Pet, is an industry-leading pet sitting software that has made life easier for many of our members and pet sitting business owners around the world. Check them out and take your business operations to the next level!

New Year’s Resolutions For Professional Pet Sitters: Delegate

Delegating is often the hardest thing for small business owners to wrap their minds (and hearts) around but we’re here to tell you that teamwork makes the dream work. There are many ways to delegate responsibilities, automate systems, and maximize your talents. How you delegate responsibilities is up to you.

The goal for delegation should be to keep what you enjoy doing, what you’re good at, and what you can realistically handle. Outside of those tasks, find a trusted professional to help with your bookkeeping, hiring, training plans, etc. While many pet sitting business owners have a hard time delegating at first, very few regret doing so. On the contrary, most experienced pet business owners know that the only way that they can work on their business as opposed to drowning in their business is to delegate.

Thinking of delegating your website design and updates in 2024? Check out our Platinum Sponsor, Barketing, to wow potential and existing clients with a truly top-notch website and more.

The Texas Pet Sitters Association is proud to have brought together hundreds of professional pet sitters from around the country to connect and learn while elevating the pet sitting industry. Although our 2024 conference is currently sold out, we encourage you to join our Facebook page to hear when we announce the location and dates for our 2025 conference, which promises to be out of this world!

If you still have your heart set on attending 2024’s conference, reach out. We may know of someone that has had a change in plans and may be willing to give up their ticket. No promises, but worth a shot!

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