Eco-friendly business practices have become an increasingly important element in the allurement of prospective clientele. As a pet-sitter, it is important you have knowledge of the most earth-friendly and pet-friendly commodities for your business venture. Make your pet-sitting business stand out from the rest, with the following eco-friendly practices and pet products:
Market your business in an eco-friendly way, without the unnecessary waste of paper materials. Many smartphone owners have a QR code scanner app on their phone. QR codes provide companies the efficient ability to link their physical marketing material with their online website. When a potential customer sees a QR code, they are able to scan it and access more information about the company or their product. Go one step beyond a photo-copied coffee-shop advertisement for your business and reduce your paper waste through the integration of a QR code that links with your website.
Payment & Instant Invoicing
Paper invoices are a waste of paper and mailing materials, which is not conducive for an eco-friendly business. Eliminate the headache of manual invoice composition and the waste of physical invoices, with an electronic invoice system. Conduct payment transfers through your mobile device, as a convenient service for your clients. For more information on the benefits of instant invoicing and mobile payments, Flint has an article that will guide you through this eco-friendly and efficient process.
Pet Treats & Food
Ensure your pet client receives the most eco-friendly treats, through provision of chemical and preservative-free, high-quality pet food. Many pet food brands will use low-grade waste meat — the discards from the beef and poultry conglomerates. These poor quality meat-based pet foods are made from the 4D’s — dead, dying, diseased, disabled animals. A pet who consumes low-grade meat will most likely encounter poor digestive tendencies and is at higher risk of illness or disease. Guide the owner toward pet foods that are FDA-certified, food-grade meat, and nutritionally beneficial for the pet. “Organic” is another certification of pet foods that are made of meats raised in a sustainable, humane environment. The organic food ensures the meat is raised without drugs or hormones, is minimally processed, and only preserved with natural supplements. Organic goes beyond the “FDA-certified, food-grade” meat, as there are stricter rules about the eco-friendly and humane treatment standards.
When you are the care-taker of a dog, use biodegradable dog-waste bags. Plastic bags are one of the worst culprits of landfill overflow– the decomposition of plastic bags ranges from 20 to 100 years. There are a wide range of biodegradable bags available for purchase at pet stores, like the BioBag at Petco. Steer clear of clay cat litter, as the clay in these litters are procured in non-eco-friendly ways, through strip-mining. Additionally, clay sediment is saturated with carcinogenic silica dust, which is harmful for the lungs of both you and the cat. The sodium bentonite found in clay clumping-litter can attach to the cat’s fur and may be ingested when the cat grooms itself. Sodium bentonite can swell up 15 to 18 times its dry size and will clog up the cat’s digestive system. Opt for a more eco-friendly cat litter, like one made from recycled newspaper, which is reportedly three times more absorbent than clay, non-toxic and dust-free.
August 24, 2015 | DogGeek
In a small business, marketing is hard. We all know we need to do it but sometimes we don’t know where to start. Sit back and take a deep breath, it’s not as hard or time consuming as you think. Here are 10 tips that you can use to help market your business.
- Get a website with a real domain name. No, I’m not saying you need to go spend thousands of dollars with an agency to get a site up and running, although if you have it to spare it will help. Now you can use a plethora of tools from WordPress to Blogger to Wix. All of them offer easy ways to get your site up and running. But do invest the $10 or so dollars a year in a domain name. URLs that have pet sitter.blogger.com do not look as perfessional and if that company ever goes out of business you loose your site traffic. When starting Out, don’t try to be everything to everyone, just add some of your basic information starting with what services you offer and how to contact you. You don’t need a huge website to start.
- Become social. Everyone talks about social. Should I do Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc… Truth is, do what you like. If you try to start them all at one time and you don’t particularly like that platform it won’t do you any good. Start with one you like, add something daily, respond to folks asking questions and stick to it. Extra bonus suggestion: when you are sitting up your profile, ensure that your contact information and what you do is in there. This will help people to decide to follow you and with searches.
- Get listed on other sites. No… This is not a promotion to list here, although you can. But list everyone you can and you think will help. This will not only help visitors to those sites find your business but will help search engines find your site also. If the site offers ratings and reviews all the best! But remember to ask your best customers to go to the site and review your listing. There’s nothing wrong with asking!
- Use a car decal. They are inexpensive now and they provide an easy way for people to see your business. Don’t just put your name, ensure that you have what you do and a way to contact you. Example, if you are a pet sitter, put “Michael’s Dog Sitting 555-555-5555 Facebook.com/MichaelsDogSitting”. Always include the area code if you want to use your phone number, with mobile phones people next door don’t always have the same one as you.5. Have fun. Seriously, have fun, it shows. Your clients will be happier if you are happy and they will help spread the word. The best referral you can ever have is a happy client. And besides, your doing what you love working with animals all day, how can you not have fun?
Got more tips for your fellow pet business owners? Add them below!
July 8, 2014 | DogGeek
As a frequent traveler I have to leave my pups at home a lot more than I would like to. Fortunately, my wife and I have been lucky enough to find some great dog sitters and house sitters to take care of our “kids” when we’re out. Unfortunately though, each sitter always forgets to do a couple of things that we think would take them from being a good dog sitter to a great dog sitter that we would promote more to all of our friends and family. Add these things to your list and you’ll win us over as clients for life!
- Check in each day with a text to let us know how things are going, nothing fancy, just let us know you’re really there.
Important though to remember that we’re traveling and may not be on the same time zone so don’t make it too early or late.
- Send a photo of the pups having fun or lounging around. It just takes a second and reinforces the fact that our pups are safe.
- Leave a note for uswhen we get home. It leaves your client with a warm and fuzzy to ensure they call you next time.
- Invest in Square, PayPal or other ways to take credit cards. Sure, cash is king, but after I see that note you just left I can’t leave a cash tip when you are gone.
- Create an email list and use a service like MailChimp to send out emails around the holidays to remind people to book your services before all of your time is taken. It doesn’t cost much and is easy to use.
- Create a small website. Use a service like Blogger, WordPress, WIX, etc. that is free. That way people can have your contact info and find you.
- Create a Facebook page and Twitter feed. It may seem useless to you, but it will help people find your site and give a place for your clients to say good things about you. When was the last time you bought something without a review? This will help you get them.
The bottoms line is that people’s dogs are their family. Just as when you are traveling without your wife or kids, you always like to hear from them or check in. With your pups, you can’t always do that so be there to help put our minds at ease. These tips will help you get more clients and help ensure that your current ones stay with you.
June 19, 2014 | DogGeek