When setting up your pet sitting business you will want to ensure you have considered the types of services you plan to offer and how to move your business forward in the weeks, months and years that lie ahead. Another important consideration is the distance you are willing to travel for business.
Consider Fuel Costs
After the initial business set-up costs, fuel is one of the biggest weekly expenses that pet sitters will have to cover. Some pet sitters are so uncertain of building up a solid client base when they first start out that they willingly accept clients that live too far away.
However, before you agree to a 30-minute daily visit with Fluffy the cat that lives 20 miles away, you should count the cost. How much will it cost for you to drive over to cover each visit? A 20-mile drive might not seem like a lot right now, but that is a round trip of 40 miles. A good way to cover your fuel costs is to factor that in with clients who live more than 5 miles from you. Add an extra per-mile fee to help cover your fuel costs and maximise your profits.
Making Each Appointment
It is all very well taking on bookings from new clients. But you also need to ensure that you can make it to each appointment without compromising any existing clients’ pets. For example, if you have a dog walk 15 miles from home, but another one just across the road, you need to make sure you allow enough time between appointments to cover your travel time.
Pet sitters commonly make the mistake of having two or more back-to-back bookings that they struggle to keep. Avoid this problem by pacing out appointments so that you are not stressed while you are stuck in traffic trying to get to your next appointment.
Benefits of Keeping Business Local
Keeping business local is sometimes easier said than done, but it is possible! Do not be afraid to turn down business from potential clients who live too far away. You will quickly regret it if you take on clients who live 20 or more miles away.
Be very clear in your advertisements that you are a local pet sitting business. List the towns, cities and villages that you cover and stick with these. Being firm in your resolve can help weed out clients who live too far away and encourage local potential clients to get in contact.
Keeping business local and as close to home as possible will make the day-to-day operating of your business much easier to handle. Even though it may seem like bad business to turn down potential clients who live too far away, you will eventually see the sense of keeping business local. Staying local can help keep costs low and make it easier to honour each appointment without letting anyone down.
More from this contributor:
How to Remain Cheerful as a Pet Sitter
Pet Sitters: How to Create a Good First Impression at a Meet and Greet
Pet Sitters: How to Set Your Prices