This is a guest post by Bella Vasta of Bella’s House & Pet Sitting and Jump Consulting.
Pop Quiz: What do you think is the absolute best thing you can do for your competition (and the worst thing you can do for yourself)?
Give bad service? Under appreciate your clients? Destroy their personal property?
While all those are obviously bad, there is something even worse.
And the reason this other thing is worse for you and better for your competition is simply because it can easily happen without your knowledge or ability to prevent it before the damage is done.
Answer: The best thing you can do for your competition is to hire poorly.
Whether you have IC’s or Employees, the interview is a critical skill that every business owner must conquer if the ever want to grow their business.
Pet Sitters all around the country are expressing their frustrations with their new hires not working out and thinking that it is impossible to make work.
I have a successful pet sitting business with employees who work hard, are honest and go above and beyond for me and their clients.
This is no accident.
There are specific ways to find and attract the right pet sitter for your team.
For example, this is why I am so blessed!
Recently I asked one of my pet sitters, Meghan, to help me out.
I’ve always known how awesome she is, and she gets a ton of compliments (along with $tips) from clients all the time.
So much in fact that I wanted to know first hand what exactly she believes makes a great pet sitter employee.
I asked her to outline what she does to make her client’s experience with our company so over the top. Below, is a portion of what she came back with.
Here are a few tips for being successful with Bella’s House and Pets, or many jobs for that matter.
Common sense goes a long way.
If you ask most hiring managers what they look for in potential employees one of the most common responses will be common sense. That means being able to differentiate a situation that is outside your expertise from merely looking around a little extra.
Now sometimes clients enjoy us asking questions, it shows we’re taking initiative with the care of their pets, but you need to read the body/text language that you are receiving as responses and think back to how they acted at their consult.
You can’t teach common sense, you either have it or you don’t, so if you aren’t able to gauge things on your own or make educated decisions with your own resources then you need to hone those skills.
Kindness goes a long way.
I go out of my way to do “nice” things for my clients. You don’t have to go to the lengths that I do (I was raised to take care of the house for my parents so this is second nature to me), but making sure that the house is at least how they left it is vital.
Take out your trash and make sure you haven’t forgotten anything-double checking never hurt anyone.
Talk to your clients. If something cute or funny happened during the day, shoot them an email or a text and be like “so and so did this, I bet they wish you were here to see” or something cutesy that connects the pet to the pet parent and makes them feel appreciated.
Yet again, you know your clients (if you don’t WORK ON IT) and you can tell what is too much communication or not enough. If they text you back “k.” they probably are busy and just do the standard nightly communication. It’s up to you, to work on this and connect with your pet parents.
Be friendly yet professional.
It’s not hard to start a friendship with some of your clients but remember you work for them and Bella, you are always representing the company first and foremost.
Don’t let your guard down and become too chummy because you may lose respect or credibility in the client’s eyes. This does not mean be cold or rude if they offer you things they necessarily shouldn’t.
You work for your money.
If this is just a job and you’re not going to put much effort into it then that reflects on the amount of clients you receive and people requesting you.
I have had my car for three months and I have put 5300 miles on it. Those are all work miles since I bought this car for work only. There are times I’m working at 5:30 in the morning because that’s what has to be done for the safety of some of the pets walking in the morning (with the heat rising) or because there are more clients then usual so my sleep needs to be sacrificed in order to make sure all clients get quality time.
How amazing?! I simply asked her to jot down a few things so I could better understand what she’s doing and she gave me an entire top 10 list of things (only 5 are listed above).
I am adding this to my employee handbook. Very detailed. Very relevant. I am so happy to have her working for me and not the competition! 🙂
Think about this… Meghan had a choice of what pet sitting company she wanted to work with. If I wasn’t able to woo her over to my team, my competition would have!
See what I mean by ‘The best thing you can do for your competition is to hire poorly?’
Whether you have IC’s or Employee’s, the hiring process for pet sitters can be a real tough-y. Don’t do it alone. Don’t make the mistakes others did when they first started.
Let’s Get YOUR Questions – and Challenges – Answered
I’ve been down the hiring road many times over (and actually have come to enjoy it).
It won’t help you much for me to address how I personally overcame the potential challenges listed above since you probably have your own set of specific challenges.
That’s exactly why I personally invite you to join Josh Cary and me for…
A live Q&A call dedicated exclusively to answering YOUR questions on the topic of hiring!
This call already took place. You can see the complete list of all hiring questions and gain access to the full 90-minute recording here!