Know Your Numbers

Running a Professional Pet sitting business one must watch the numbers to stay in business.”  Deborah J Laughlin, Founder of 101Pet Sitting

Know your numbers – Pet Sitting as a BusinessDog knowing your numbers

All pet sitters love animals, well they SHOULD anyway;  but if you are starting a pet sitting business and want to distance yourself from the “hobby sitters”, you should also love, or at least embrace, the business   side of it.  After all, you are running a business.  No matter how or where you run your business, if you use a spreadsheet or Quickbooks, if focus on daily walks or vacationers, dogs, cats or horses – KNOW YOUR NUMBERS!!  What numbers you ask?  Professor Boomer answers:

  • How much are you billing per month?  Then divide that by 4 for the answer to “how much are you billing per week”, divide by 7 and you’ll know, on average, how much you are billing per day.
  • How many visits are you doing per month?  Do the same breakdown as above to find out your average number of visits per day.
  • How much is the average visit per month? (divide how much you are billing by how many visits).  How much are you making from the average sit?  How much are you making if you do the sit?  If an employee does the sit?  How much is the company making from each sit?
  • If you’ve been in business for more than a year, how much are you increasing (hopefully!) your profits by each month?
  • How many NEW clients are you getting each month?  WHERE are they finding out about you?
  • How many clients only used you once vs repeat clients?

Now that you know WHAT your numbers are, let’s talk about what these numbers mean and how they can help you grow your business.  The HOW, WHY, WHAT NOW questions that the numbers ask may be difficult to answer, but to have your business GROW, you need to know them inside and out!

  • What month did you bill the most?  The least?  WHY?!  Our busiest month is July and November because of summer vacations and the Thanksgiving holiday.  To plan for this, we avoid personal vacations during these 2 months, we prepare our staff, we get mentally ready, we contact clients who have booked during these times 3 months in advance to see if they will need our services again – and by doing that, we are CREATING DEMAND, and allowing us to formulate a schedule in advance.
  • Our slowest month is February.  The questions we are asking ourselves is WHY is February slow?  And HOW can we promote February?  We’ll start marketing specifically for February in November – it’s a great time to plan a winter get away!  It’s a great time to go skiing?  Are you a senior and worried about slipping on the ice in February – we would love to help you out and give your dog a walk for you!  Maybe we’ll take a winter get away!
  • How much is an average pet sit?  Is it reasonable for both you and the client?  Are you ok with this number?  If you’re not, change your prices (up OR down).  Are you making money from each sit?  If you’re not – you’re not running a business!
  • Your new client number is HUGE – if it’s 2 per month or 20 per month – this number directs your marketing.  WHERE are the top 5-10 places new clients are finding you?  Referrals from current clients?  Then you’d better be thanking those current clients!  Facebook?  Then you’d better be posting EVERY DAY!  Web site?  Then you’re web site had better be current!  The best thing about asking clients where they found you is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel, they already found you!  All you need to do is focus and streamline your marketing techniques – they are obviously working!
  • We used to stress and worry about the clients who only used us once.  What was wrong with us?  Why didn’t they use us again?  OMG didn’t they LIKE us?  I say “we used to” because you know what, they don’t matter.  If you made a mistake, apologPet Sitter: know your numbersize and move on.  Focus on your repeat clients and what you are doing RIGHT!  You’re not going to be the best fit for every animal and every animal owner every time – and that’s OK!!  We have 4 clients who only used us once.  We have over 100 that have used us multiple times – which do you think is the better number to focus on?

At the end of the day, the numbers don’t lie.  You may love ‘em or hate ‘em, but it’s an honest way of looking at your business.  There is so much hype about having a healthy life and a healthy body – do you have a healthy business?  Your numbers will tell you!

Guest Blog By: Laura Capra of  “Keep Me Company Pet Sitting”

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About Debbie June Rickman Laughlin

Wrote 101-A: Pet Sitting Business "Work Book To Conquer Success", http://101PetSitting.com to help others in the industry, Founder/ CEO of House Calls Pet Sitting and Home Care Services. Established 1981 and still going strong, http://housecalls4pet.com. To relax I do Photography and Painting. View, and Purchase my art at: DJLaughlinArt.com.

Discuss: “Know Your Numbers”

  1. June 24, 2014 at 9:44 pm #

    Lots of great information here. I have never been a “numbers” person or even had a business plan! I just jumped in, knowing I wanted my work to involve animals, without knowing how to run a business. Now that I am growing beyond what I can handle, and interested in adding IC’s, it’s time to do some business planning. Thanks, Debbie (and guest blogger Laura Capra) for all of the great advice.

    Posted by Kelly Hall

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