"All of us at Busy Bee Critter Sitters would absolutely recommend Pet Sitter Plus to anyone looking for a solution to their admin headaches!"
Eleanor & Nina - Busy Bee Critter Sitter
Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Busy Bee Critter Sitters
Nina & Eleanor are loving Pet Sitter Plus in Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Busy Bee Critter Sitters
Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Nina & Eleanor
"When we became a partnership in 2012 we were running everything with pen and paper and doing all the visits ourselves. We had one online system for building and emailing invoices and our scheduling information was in a master agenda book. It was fine when business was one or two walks a day but when we started taking on new staff we knew this wasn't going to work for long.
At first we started to add new systems just to deal with the current most pressing problem. This meant that in two months of amazing growth we acquired a program that provided a calendar for each staff member, a program for master scheduling, a program for invoices, a program for expenses and we were still using a multitude of spreadsheets and paper lists to calculate payment, track our accounting and record client information. God forbid a client should forget an invoice or pay the wrong amount! We would even take pictures of each other's agenda books so when we were back at home we knew what the other was doing.
"We were spending as much time on managing our admin tools as we were doing admin itself."
On top of that we had no way to record information about clients and pets. The forms we used at consultations were in a filing cabinet, but how to communicate that information to the staff?
"We spent tons of time texting staff with feeding instructions, special client requests and contact details etc."
Then, if a different walker took on that same pet later we would have to text it all over again. Anything communicated over the phone or in a text was lost and we were all constantly having to confirm things with each other.
When we expanded to an additional service area and hired on even more staff we knew we had to consolidate things and make it easier for the two of us to work separately from our own homes. I wish Pet Sitter Plus had been the first thing we found, but unfortunately it wasn't!
"We suffered through the free trials for several other software’s and were really disappointed."
Most of them were set up to handle one specific business model and didn't give enough freedom to play with the settings if your business was different. Others had no structure whatsoever, leaving you to put other systems in place to handle what it lacked, or spend just as much time calculating invoices (frequently incorrectly) as you were before.
Being in Canada we didn't see Pet Sitter Plus at first, but we're so glad we found it eventually! We were pleased to see that it wasn't region specific and it was designed for businesses that had staff. We signed up for the free trial and got a wonderful Skype tutorial from Richard Booty. He was very supportive of our business, gave us tons of advice for getting the most out of Plus and best of all, continues to be available should we have questions, concerns or even suggestions.
We were a little uncertain about paying for a software service at first.Being such a new business, every dollar going out instead of in was a concern, but it is worth every penny. The amount of time we save means we can put our efforts towards advertising and new ventures which buys us more business and with that comes peace of mind.
Now we use Plus to do all our scheduling, invoicing and staff management. The walkers find it easy to use, but it is also powerful enough to make light work of some of our most daunting tasks. It keeps track of our tax and revenue which makes tax time easy.
"One of the best things is having all our clients' information in one place. Now if a walker forgets how much a pet should be fed, or needs to call a client they can look that up themselves and save everyone time."
When making bookings we can also look through old service orders to see what types of services a client has booked in the past and offer them the same again. It saves us “back-and-forthing” and gives our communications that personal touch that makes clients feel valued. We can also quickly and easily pass on new information to all our walkers be it a permanent change like a new address, or a one time change like a special meal, or an unusual time.
The invoicing and payment system has also dramatically cut the amount of time we spend with the calculator out, which in turn dramatically cuts the number of errors we make. Even clients with “interesting” payment histories are kept track of with accuracy so each month we know what they owe and when they last paid.
"We can add bookings and payments, make changes and send invoices from either of our home computers or from our phones or tablets. For a business that's run out of multiple home offices and, more often than not, while we're on the go, that's a big plus!"
We are both sure that there's no way we could have grown as much as we have in the past year without Pet Sitter Plus. We now have a staff of six and are constantly expanding and exploring new options. We recently brought one of our walkers on as an administrative assistant as well and Plus makes it easy for all of us to work from our own homes efficiently and effectively. It is also wonderful knowing that Plus can continue to handle all of our needs as we grow and expand. Its flexible systems mean that if we move into new things like doggy daycare or overnight kennelling, this software is powerful enough to handle those new things.
Regular updates have continued to improve the software and comfort us that Pet Software has a dedicated team that will continue to support Plus for a long time to come.
All of us at Busy Bee Critter Sitters would absolutely recommend Pet Sitter Plus to anyone looking for a solution to their admin headaches!"