Welcome back to PetBrainy! Storytime with Shelley continues, as she reveals the journey she went on to acquire her first ten clients. In some ways, it’s easy. In other ways, challenging. Your journey probably won’t look exactly like this. After all, every area and business is totally unique. But, it helps to have someone else’s experience for comparison.
5 Clients the First Week
This is how I found my first five clients. All of them actually came in my first week of business. It is definitely not typical. I’m very, very blessed to get five clients in one week. How exactly did all that happen? The veterinarian’s office I worked for happily supported me. They allowed me to create a coupon. Anybody that I transported to their office for an appointment would get 20% off of their bill. It’s a great motivator for potential pet transport clients.
My First Client: A Long Drive
My very first client came three days after I opened my business. They hired me for a pet transport. I did drive 45 minutes to get the animal, bring it to the vet, and then take it back. It took a big chunk out of my day. Nowadays, I would not do that type of transport, but in the beginning, I would take what I could get. I made $66 as well as a $7.50 tip. Then, one week later, she called me back. I transported her dog to the vet again. That visit, I made $53, and I got a $20 tip. All in all, a great first client.
My Second Client: That’s a Wrap
My second client was also a pet transport client. I needed to transport his pit bull to the veterinarian’s office (a different vet). While I was doing errands around town, he saw my vehicle wrap. That’s how I got my second client. Three weeks later, they came back for more. They became a daily dog-walking client for me, which was quite the win!
My Third Client: Third One is The Charm
My third client was actually another pet transport client- this one was a referral from the vet. Three clients in less than a week! Two of them came from the vet’s office. As you can see, that relationship with the vet’s office was important. They were already sending me business! At that time, I had put my focus on pet transport, so that’s the kind of client I found.
My Fourth Client: Heartbreak Hotel
My fourth client was a daily dog-walking client, and she got my name from Pet Sitters Associates, my insurance company. They either gave her my name, or she looked it up and found my name on their list. She would only be in town for five months while she worked at the jail as a nurse. Her poor little dog was in a crate in a motel room through every her 12 hour shifts. She booked an hour long walk every day. I loved every minute of it. I loved this little dog. It broke my heart when she left That is the problem with building these connections with these animals. Sometimes because your heart breaks when they do not need you anymore!
My Fifth Client: A Forever Client
Now, my fifth client was a pet-sitting client. One day, she saw my business cards and my brochures at the front desk of the veterinarian’s office. She is an still an incredible client to this day, and their family grew too. She started with one dog, this sweet pup named Boo. Now she has some miniature horses and some chickens! Hands down, one of my best clients, right out the gate !
The Next Two Months of Clients
Now, the next five clients didn’t come quite as quickly. This is probably a more typical growth pattern. It took me two full months to get the rest of my first ten clients. Let me share with you how I continued my growth over the next couple of months.
My Sixth Client: Scariest Call Ever
My sixth client is actually kind of an intriguing story. It started with a call from the fire department after somebody with an out of town neighbor. Their two dogs had gotten into a huge fight, and they needed somebody to transport these dogs to the vet. When the call came in, I thought, “…..Oh boy, it’s not good situation.” I prepared ahead and called the vet, and took one of the vet techs with me. When we arrived, blood was everywhere. What a hot mess! We transported one dog at a time to the vet’s office. Both of them ended up in surgery, but they were both okay. Thank goodness the fire department got that call. Yuck!
My Seventh Client: The Grab and Go
My seventh client was a pet-sitting client. Another referral from the vet’s office. This time, a flyer on the office bulletin board caught their eye. They pulled the little tag off and got my phone number. They turned into another great client. In fact, they are still my client today and one of my personal favorites!
My Eighth Client: Some Clients Surprise You
My eighth client was somebody that ran events out of this place called The Caples House. She actually lived there on the property with her little dog. Well, when she ran these events, the dog would bark. Obviously, she couldn’t have her dog there when these events were going on. So she called to see if I could take her little dog to my house. Now, that was not a service I planned on providing. I just wasn’t set up to have additional animals at my home – I had five cats. Other animals might not get along with my kitties
Anyway, She said that her little dog did well with kitties, so I went ahead and gave it a try. I hoped everything would go okay. It went great! The dog actually got along really well with my cats. There are only two dogs allowed in my house, and that’s one of them. They turned into great clients, even to this day! It just goes to show that sometimes things present themselves, and you should give it a second thought before you reject someone. It could turn into a great relationship. If you’re lucky, they may even become a long-lasting client. She found me through a friend. I don’t think her friend had ever used me before, but she had heard about my services and referred her to me.
My Ninth Client: Google Works
My ninth client was another pet-sitting client. This one actually found me through a Google search. Now, when I first started my business, I created some Google Ads. When you initially open your business, your SEO isn’t the greatest. That means your website probably will not show up first when they do a Google search. Because I took some Google Ad Words out, when anyone searches for pet sitting in my area, I am on top of the list. They saw my name, gave me a call, and that’s how they became a client.
My Tenth Client: Who Rescued Who?
My tenth client and I met at the park while on a walk with Luca. the one that stayed in that motel that I mentioned earlier. While we were out, I came across this lady with this little dog barking at us. She apologized and explained, “I’m so sorry my dog is barking. I just got her from the Humane Society, and this is only my second day with her.” I understood entirely. We talked, and I told her about my business. She wanted to book a meet and greet with me right then!
It worked out perfectly. Kya is one of my favorite little dogs. The three of us have gotten to be really great friends. In fact, I’m in her will now. If something happens to her, Kya comes to live with me. She is one of our daily dog walking clients, of course. But her owner also books a play day with me once a month. Just so Kya can spend the whole day with me. So blessed to have little Kya in my life!
You Never Forget Your First Clients
After that, Shelley hired her first employee. She wanted to make sure to work in the business for at least a few months. That way she knew what the expectations to have employees. From there, it just grew and grew and grew. Now she’s starting PetBrainy to help people do the same.
The PetBrainy Circle has been specifically designed to help you grow your pet sitting business. We’ve brought our fellow pet sitting business owners together. No matter the problem, we have answers. Plus, we provide marketing materials for you to use for your business. We even have step by step instructions to bring your pet sitting business to new heights!
Next week, she’ll share the lessons she learned the hard way when she started her pet sitting business. You don’t want to miss the cautionary tales!