January 11, 2015 – Let’s talk marketing today. Sundays are sometimes quieter days in our business…and I mean “our” business. Yours might be different. For instance, we had only a cat to visit today. If we had a vacation sit to do, we’d be on the go from breakfast to bed…or if we had boarders here as we often do, we’d be keeping them busy. But Sundays I generally spend more time doing paperwork than footwork.
Among the invoicing and filing and so forth, and grabbing ten minutes to rest, we have to remember how we got to this point in our business – and keep up with the marketing. If you’re just starting out, marketing is even more important because you don’t have a stream of income from regular clients or referrals to fall back on. Just as in any business though, it only takes one email, text, or call to have it all taken away if one of your bigger clients decides to leave.
Over the next few weeks I’ll run a series of marketing articles, on marketing day…maybe Sundays. I’ll bring you some marketing tips and ideas and in-between I’d love to hear about your thoughts to share with others, too.
Looking at Your Pet Sitting Business Before Setting a Marketing Plan
My professional background is in technical writing and copy writing…so marketing is in my blood. I played around with several ideas when I started out in pet sitting. Some worked, some didn’t. What did might not work for you and that is the key issue to take away from this week’s marketing blog post…
Before you can market to the world, you need to (a) know what you are offering and, (b) know who your audience is.
(a) Too many people starting out as pet sitters try to accommodate everything they’re asked to do just so they’ll get the job. You don’t have to. Give yourself parameters. Figure out where your comfort level lies. (Are you afraid of or incapable of handling big dogs? Are you allergic to cats?)
You have to be reasonable. This IS considered a seven-day-a-week job, though you don’t need to necessarily work every week for seven days. I know of a gal who clearly stated she wouldn’t work after dark…so no bedtime visits. Of course, that also meant no dinner visits during the dark winter months. I haven’t seen her ads or business cards up lately, so I’m not sure she made a go of it.
This is a critical point though, so think it through over the next week. What do you WANT to do in your business…and what are you WILLING to do? You can always make adjustments as you go, but at least you’ll have a starting point.
(b) In the case of pet sitters, your audience is of course your clients. They’re not all the same. The clientele living in one direction from our home are completely different from the ones living in the other direction. A half hour away from each other. The area we thought would be our bread and butter has hardly paid for a single lunch.
We targeted that particular area heavily at first with newspaper ads and inserts as well as business cards in shops. As it turned out, the other area where they don’t have a local newspaper or shops, provides the bulk of our clients. Go figure!
Take a look at the areas around you that you hope to, or are now servicing. Is it working for you? Are there other regions you should be looking at?
Once you have these two things clearly on paper…we’ll move on to step two.
Until next time…have fun out there!