Pet sitting offers great job satisfaction for animal lovers. But it takes more than a love of animals to keep going. It also takes drive to succeed. However, it can be daunting when you have clients trying to dictate how you run your business.
The Guilt Trip
If you offer home boarding for dogs, cats or small animals, you will likely have a service agreement in place that lets clients know your company’s policies and procedures. A simple service agreement will list your booking, cancellation and deposit requirements.
Some new clients try to pressure pet sitters into giving in to their whims by letting them know that their usual boarder never asks for a deposit or that their boarder is far cheaper. This is a guilt trip tactic intended to get you to lower your prices and waive the required deposit. Do not fall for it!
With new clients, it is always advisable to collect a deposit and the balance at the end of the service agreement. A good way to handle this type of behaviour is to let clients know that while you appreciate their usual boarder does things a certain way, you do things differently. Then leave it at that.
Setting Your Office Hours
Do you have set office hours each day? If so, stick to them! Some clients try to dictate how you should run your business by making you feel guilty for not wanting to walk their dog Fluffy at 6:00am every day. You have every right to decide your hours in advance.
So if you always start work at 8:00am, make sure you let new clients know in good time. That way, everyone will know where they stand and you will not have clients trying to set your office hours for you. Believe me, if you do not make it clear when you are available, clients will attempt to fill in the slots for you!
Of course, some flexibility is desirable when you are running your own pet sitting business. However, you should not turn into a doormat, allowing clients to walk all over you by dictating how you should run your business, from the subtle guilt trip to letting others set your office hours for you. Be clear in your own mind about what you hope to achieve with your business, just how flexible you intend to be. These guidelines will help ensure that you attract the right type of clients.
More from this contributor:
Pet Sitters: How to Build Repeat Customers
Pet Sitters: How to Maintain a Positive View of Clients
Pet Sitters: How to Move on from a Traumatic Work Experience