Saturday, May 28, 2011

The busy summer season is upon us!

Are you ready for the summer rush? School is out, and family vacations are already in full swing. I can tell when school is over because my schedule is crammed that first week every summer.

So how do you prepare? Here's some of the things I do:

  • Update my website. Make sure it is accurate, maybe add some fresh information or photos. I just raised my price for visits.
  • Give my car a checkup: air in the tires, oil change. I realized my registration tags had expired, and the new ones never arrived. Off to the DMV to get them replaced.
  • Check my pet sitting supplies in the car. I discovered this week I didn't have a leash for big dogs, just a little thin one. That won't work when walking a pit bull. I also added some poop pick-up bags.
  • Update my iPod Touch with current client info. I use Bento, and love this program for all my pet sitting client files. I input them on my Mac, and then sync the program with my iPod. It is very handy to have phone numbers at my fingertips while out on the road. 
  • Buy new tennis shoes. Slip-on mules just don't work for long walks; I walk right out of them. So I bought some new walking tennies as a treat to start the summer. 
  • Check my supply of business cards. I had to reorder. I like to give two to each customer: one for home, one for their wallet. It has my home phone number, cell, email and website so they can check in with me whenever they want to see how their pets are doing or have a schedule change. I also like to leave a card on the counter at the house in case someone comes in while the client is away. They know I've been there, and can contact me if there is a problem. One time I had to go over and shut off the burglar alarm for a housekeeper. 
  • Take a break. I am taking it easy for a few days, taking advantage of a lull in business. Where I used to panic, I now am grateful for a slow day. I know that within two weeks, my schedule is COMPLETELY full.
  • If you are looking for new clients, now is a great time to remind vets and kennels that you are available. Network with other pet sitters too. As your competition fills up, they'll  refer clients to you.
My business card
I'm sure you can add some of your own tips. If you've heard the saying "shoot while the ducks are flying," now is the time. No point in shooting in the off season. Now is time to take aim and be ready to work.

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© 2011 Terry Albert. All Rights Reserved.

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