The ONLY national non-profit organization for professional pet sitters.

Taking the Next Step: Ways to Grow Your Business


Taking the Next Step: Ways to Grow Your Business

The time is now to start pushing growth for your pet sitting business. Pet sitting as a profession, has grown at a rapid pace. Consider these numbers: in 2014, an estimated $58.51 billion was spent on pet expenditures. 

Of that $58.51 billion, $4.73 billion was spent on pet services such as grooming and boarding.

The field is wide open for growth in 2015, and it’s time to carve your piece of the pie while doing what you love.

Increase Your Pet Services
You’ve built a solid reputation as an expert pet sitter. Now is the time to boost your services to separate yourself from local competition and promote growth in your business. 

If you currently work exclusively with cats and dogs, embrace your love of all animals by caring for birds, reptiles, and other popular pets. Invest in advanced courses and certification for pet nutrition and emergency first aid by getting NAPPS certified.

When adding transportation services to your repertoire such as pet shuttling to the vet or pet play dates at the park, check with your liability insurance and auto insurance first. In some states, counties and local municipalities require a special permit from the Department of Agricultural and other agencies.
 
For all new services, be sure and readjust your rates so you and your client are getting maximum value for your time.

Make Your Presence Felt in the Community
Be creative about getting your business noticed locally. Being a timid pet sitter works against your business’s growth. Step out of your comfort zone and implement fresh marketing initiatives that promote your brand and attract new clientele.

Become a familiar face at local government hearings for causes such as animal safety or pet ownership regulations with community leaders. The local press often covers these events, which can lead to significant exposure. Give away free swag like free branded t-shirts at family events, and stickers on your next dog park visit.

One of the most effective ways of exposure involves being active with local nonprofits and charities. Networking opportunities are plenty and the satisfaction you get from helping the community is priceless. Most organizations have a “Supporters” section on their high traffic sites, and by becoming an official partner, your business’s website can be included on the page for even more exposure.

NAPPS also offers a number of ways to make a difference in your community.

Visit the official charity of NAPPS, www.pawsandstripes.org, and learn how you and man’s best friend can help brighten the lives of American veterans’ suffering from PTSD.  Presents 4 Pets is a NAPPS annual collection drive to benefit shelter and rescue pets. Looking for other volunteer work? Give back to your association by volunteering for a NAPPS Committee.

Build Your Online Reputation
More people are searching locally on their phones for pet sitters more than ever. Six in ten people go online using their mobile phones, and four in five prospective consumers conduct local searches on search engines. You need to lock down your brand online and influence what is being said about your services.

Double-check that all your online listings on Google Places, Better Business Bureau (BBB), and Yelp have been claimed. These domains always show up in your business’s front-page search results, so make sure all your contact and website information is updated. Monitor your reviews and engage unhappy clients so prospects see that you take your business seriously. Ask satisfied clients to post on your Yelp and BBB profiles to build your standing online. Your online reputation is your reputation.

Take your pet sitting services to the next level in 2015. With pet sitting opportunities at an all-time high, the time is now to put in the work and grow your brand’s revenue now!
 
 
Katherine Halek is the lead advertising and print strategy advisor at Signazon, a leading online printer that provides marketing collateral for thousands of pet care businesses around the United States. Katherine enjoys writing about entrepreneur pet sitters, small pet care businesses, and the ins and outs of advertising. Connect with her on Twitter and Google+