Here again, talking about pet sitting ad nauseum. But I must share, how we made $2k last month pet sitting! This was after consistently hitting $1k since May 2022. Our dog-sitting venture first started with Rover in 2019 but did not become this successful until I started my own business called RMV Tail & Paws. Today, I wanted to share with you how to grow a clientele for your business so that you, too, could make money doing what you love to do!
But first, if you haven’t yet, make sure to check out my top 5 tools for growing a small business. This is a round-up of my favorites and includes everything from website, social media, email marketing, and accounting.
How to Grow Clientele for Small Businesses
I have one golden rule when it comes to growing your clientele: Be genuinely invested in their best interest. Care about your clients like you do about your friends and family. Trust me, wanting to help others is the best way to earn their trust, and their business. This is first and foremost my mission when it comes to gaining new clients. Money, referrals, and reviews come after taking care of the person’s needs.
Beyond that tid-bit of advice, here is a more step-wise actionable guideline to growing a clientele.
- Communicate clearly. Have a website with a list of services, products and pricing. In this day and age, transparency is key. Be clear about what you have to offer, and what it costs. Make it easily accessible via a website. I use WordPress for all my website needs.
- Honesty is the best policy, and I am very honest with my clients. I communicate with them from the get-go what I can offer them and what I can’t. Sometimes, clients have special requests that are outside of what I can provide. Or they ask for more than I can give. I am direct and honest when what they ask for does not align with my values or my business. Most of the time, they are grateful for my honesty, and if they have to look elsewhere, it’s in the best interest of both parties.
- Use social media. It’s free marketing. I received some of my first clients through social media. I posted on a Facebook group for our neighborhood my services. I also use Tailwind to manage Instagram posts. On top of that, our neighborhood has an online bulletin on which I shared my website.
- Promote your business in person. Be an open book. I constantly talk to others about the things I am doing. Not as a form of bragging, but as a way of saying, “Hey, how can I help you?” It all goes back to genuinely wanting to take care of others. Trust me, people can FEEL your intentions. I got into the habit of mentioning that I dog sit to my patients, my co-workers, my workout buddies, the farmers I volunteer with, and our friends. When I learn that someone has a dog, I always offer to watch them when they are away. And I carry my business cards while I dog-walk. I have run into multiple people who learn that I am a dog-walker/dog-sitter and book appointments on the spot!
- Place business cards in other businesses. I have my business cards at a local coffee shop in our neighborhood. I also have them ever ready at the dental office. It’s a great way to grow! Simply ask neighboring businesses if they would promote you.
- Actively ask for reviews. This is a biggie. After ensuring that my clients have a STELLAR experience, I go out on a limb and ask them for a review. I go so far as to send my clients the link to my review page. Every single one has been more than happy to do it for me, which is also validation that I am doing good work! YAY!
- Take lots of photos. A picture says a thousand words. At least, for visual people like myself. I take photos of happy pups, pet cuddles, dog walks, and adventures. I post them on both social media and the website. If others can see how happy the pets are, they are more likely to choose my business over a pet spa or a pet hotel, where the pets don’t get individualized care, love, or attention.
If you want to start a pet-sitting business, you can check out this how-to guide I created. It goes through the 5 steps to creating a pet-sitting business.
You, too, can start earning morning doing what you love.