1. Do have Pet Sitting Forms and Contracts in place, it is essential that you have the right forms and contracts in place for your customers to fill in and sign before they leave their dog with you. These will include a booking form, veterinary release form, telephone reservation sheet, customer invoice, dog or cat information sheet, dog walking report card, medication log, service agreement, pet accident & illness card.
2. Do get Pet Sitters Insurance, we are very lucky in the UK that you can get pet sitting insurance from just 6.00 per month depending on what service you offer. It is essential to have pet sitters insurance in place to cover unforeseen events.
3. Do get a Pet Sitter’s CRB check, if you offer a dog walking service, pet sitting in the pet’s home or a pop in service and you hold keys you will need to have a CRB check done to show customers that you do not have a criminal record.
4. Do have a paperwork storage system, ideally a Pet Sitters Database, storing your clients and pet’s information is a must as it is very likely that they will come back to you time and time again so a good filing system is essential, they should contain information like vet details, medication and notes on the pets behaviour, service required, booking dates, cost, etc.
5. Do write up a Pet Sitter’s Business Plan, A business plan is a document that sums up your business – its aims, strategies, market and financial forecasts. It will help you gauge exactly what services you will offer pet owners. How much to charge and how well your business is doing. You should make sure it’s short, clear and well presented, and review it regularly as your business progresses.
6. Do run a Marketing Campaign, having a good flyer is key to bringing in new customers, these should be distributed to local veterinarian surgeries, pet shops and grooming parlours. Having a website and Google AdWords campaign is a great idea and shows professionalism. Some recognised membership organisations offer pet owners a post code search facility that retrieves the member pet sitter’s details this will also bring you in more work.
7. Do join a pet sitting membership organisation, if you are serious about running your own pet sitting service you should join a membership organisation who will give you help and advice when you need it, but more importantly it will give your customers peace of mind as it gives your business credibility and professionalism.