Interviewing a pet sitter

September 2, 2010 by Karin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Business 

The pet sitting industry is no different from other industries in that there are honest and dishonest service providers. I have come across pet sitters who advertise that they are insured and bonded and are members of certain professional organizations when none of that is true.

Ask to see proof. Any professional pet sitter should have a presentation manual with the certificate of insurance and bonding and various memberships and certifications included in their book. The insurance and bonding usually comes with multiple certified copies from the insurance company, so there should be plenty of copies if one is misplaced. The policy needs to include the Lost Key Endorsement and the Care Custody and Control Extension.

Pets Stay Home Training & Care is a pet care and dog training service located in Parksville, BC.

More on professional pet sitting software

September 2, 2010 by Karin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Business 

One of the benefits of the pet sitting software is the reminders that are generated for clients and for us. It’s powerful software that helps manage our client visits. The software generates a list of visits for each day and each morning we receive the list. For client protection no address info is in this list. At the end of the day we check off the completed visits. It helps ensure that nothing is missed.

The software is the equivalent of having an office manager which then allows us to focus on other work.

Pets Stay Home Training & Care is a premium pet care and dog training service in Parksville, BC. http://www.petsstayhome.ca

Why we chose professional pet sitting software

August 30, 2010 by Karin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Business 

We switched from a manual scheduling process to professional pet sitting software in mid 2009 . For new clients, our old process involved filling in four different forms plus a Service Request that we would fill in at the interview. For repeat bookings, the client would email us, we would create another Service Request for the new timeframe, email it back to the client for approval, and the client would email confirmation to us. This was a long, tedious process. When we needed information, we would find it to be outdated or incomplete.

We needed to simplify the process and the record keeping. We reviewed a number of professional pet sitting software applications. As a member of Pet Sitters International we chose their recommended software, Power Pet Sitter. We chose a trial run of it and attended a couple of teleseminars in its usage. We were very happy with it. We introduced it to clients and received good reviews of it.

What we especially like about the software is that the client maintains his/her own information and appointment dates. We are still involved in the process in that we approve the appointments but much of the work has been shifted. However, for those clients who don’t have access to the internet, we will still create and maintain an account for them.

There are security measures in place for accessing any of the information. We tell clients that if they don’t wish to enter any of the information, not to. We can record other information in the file instead.

After having used the software for a number of years, it was definitely the right choice, not only for simplifying the process but in having access to current information for all clients. Clients are also happy with the ease of use for repeat bookings.

Pets Stay Home is a pet care and dog training and behaviour consulting service located in Parksville, BC. http://Pets Stay Home

What Happened to the ACPSN?

August 17, 2010 by Karin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Business 

ACPSN stands for All Canadian Pet Services Network. It was started in 2004, filling a need for a Canadian pet industry group. While the name implies it is an organization and some say it is a non-profit group, it is actually a sole proprietorship registered to Lara Willis in Toronto.

During the first few years, the owner of ACPSN provided everything a pet service would need. There were contracts and all the business forms, Read more

Retirement Business

August 17, 2010 by Karin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Business 

What do retired people for the next 10 to 20 years after retiring? Travelling, golfingĀ and having lots of free time can become old very quickly. Some start consulting businesses in their specialty, others start B&B’s, some open stores and coffee shops. I started a pet service. This business idea was something that I had read about long before I retired.

I had read the book, Pet Sitting for Profit by Patti Moran. Many parts of that book spoke to me Read more

Holiday Season

January 4, 2010 by Karin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Business 

After being in this business for almost six years I’ve noticed that if there is going to be a snowstorm, it will be during the busiest time - over the holidays. So this winter I purchased my first set of winter tires for my 4wd Toyota. The tires really made a difference! As expected, during the holiday season we had a snowstorm which dumped quite a bit of snow. Some of the areas that I needed to get into didn’t get plowed for about four days but going in was no problem. I was very impressed with the Michelin X-Ice i2 tires.

Karin is a pet sitter in Winnipeg and operates Pets Stay Home - Pet Sitting Plus.

http://www.petsstayhome.ca

Pet Sitting Software

December 17, 2009 by Karin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Business 

Staying organized can be a challenge for any business. But for a pet service it will make or break the business. To help manage client and pet information, in 2009 I added pet sitting software. I did that very carefully with research over a couple of years. When I was finally comfortable with one product - confident that it would do what it should - I registered for it.

Which one did I choose? Power Pet Sitter! It’s the one that Pet Sitters International recommends and has years of testing behind it. I met the owner of the software in Atlanta, GA at the PSI Regional Meeting in September. When she had the software created for her own company, she had 100 pet sitters working for her, and needed software that would keep everything in order. With that type of testing, I know I made the right choice.

Clients have been very happy with it and have provided many positive comments.

We have been keeping pets happy in Winnipeg since 2004.

http://www.petsstayhome.ca

Pet Sitters

December 17, 2009 by Karin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Business 

A number of years ago I was interviewed by the Winnipeg Free Press on what to look for when hiring a pet sitter. The text of that of that interview is below. I have also added a couple of additional points at the bottom of this blog that should be taken into consideration.

November 3, 2007 Edition of the Winnipeg Free Press:
HEADING out of town for the weekend or planning a Christmas getaway?

For pet owners, figuring out what to do with your animal while you’re away can be a difficult dilemma.

Many pets prefer to stay in familiar surroundings and become stressed when taken Read more

Do you need a pet sitter on short notice?

December 14, 2009 by Karin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Business 

One of the benefits of using Pets Stay Home - Pet Sitting Plus is that once you become a client we guarantee service on short notice. Once we’ve had the interview, met your pets and have the necessary information, we don’t need to go through that process again. An entry into our booking system, and service is guaranteed, even if it isĀ for the same day! It’s easy and convenient.

To visit our pet sitting site go to http://www.petsstayhome.ca

We’ve been keeping pets happy since 2004.

Our Travels This Month

September 26, 2009 by Karin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Business 

We are back from the Pet Sitters International conference which was held in Atlanta, GA. This was the time of the flooding after the heavy rains. A few local sitters were late arriving because of flooded basements and roads but with IPhones and BlackBerrys they were coordinating their businesses from the conference.

This mini conference was certainly worth the trip. The day included a session on Pet Emergencies led by a DVM, a session on Legal Considerations for Small Business Owners led by an attorney, a session on Business Branding led by the 2008 PSI’s pet sitter of the year. Meeting so many professional pet sitting company owners was educational as well. It’s interesting to hear their stories.

We combined this mini conference with a week-long vacation. Carol and Donna provided excellent client pet care while we were gone.

For more information on pet sitting services see our website at www.petsstayhome.ca

How can I tell if the business is legitimate?

July 30, 2009 by Karin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Business 

A common concern for first-time clients of pet sitting services is how to determine whether the service is a legitimate business. Here are a few checks that you can do. Read more

Do you have references?

July 16, 2009 by Karin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Business 

I will occasionally hear the phone message “And do you have references?” While it’s important to get references before hiring a new service to ensure that the service has provided reliable and competent care to other clients, how do you know that the names you’ve been given aren’t family and friends posing as clients? Read more

Rates for Pet Sitting Services

May 24, 2009 by Karin · 1 Comment
Filed under: Business 

If you have done any comparison shopping for pet sitting services you will likely have noticed a wide range of prices for services. Why is that?

Well, price is actually arbitrary for this type of service, so comparison of each individual service is needed. While the adage, “You get what you pay for.” may be true for many types of services, pet care services are the exception. Read more

Pet Sitter Insurance, why it’s important

April 29, 2009 by Karin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Business 

binks_logoI will occasionally meet a client who really doesn’t care whether the pet care provider has insurance. Then I’ll come across other clients who wouldn’t considering hiring someone to come into their home without it.

So what’s the big deal with insurance? Well, that insurance, a Pet Sitter Policy, covers your home in the care of the service provider, your pets, your keys and locks, and everything important to you against injury or damage caused by the sitter or your pets. The special coverage for your pets and home, in the provider’s care, is the Care, Custody and Control extension that is added to the insurance policy. There is also a Lost Key Endorsement on these policies. Read more

Blogging for Pets Stay Home

April 7, 2009 by Karin · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Business 

It’s been five years since Pets Stay Home was started in Winnipeg. While I can’t believe how the time has flown, more importantly, how many pets we have met in that time. I believe we have made a difference in many pets and pet parents’ lives. It feels really good to receive notes such as “We love the service you provide.”

One client recently commented that dogs need their people, and cats need their homes. While I hadn’t thought of it that way, I have found that cats do very well with in-home pet care. My next blog will be about boarding vs in-home care.