“ The amount of time this package is saving me now is quite astounding and an absolute lifesaver! ”
Fiona MacDonald - Canine Walkers & Animal Extras
Fiona MacDonald of Canine Walkers & Animal Extras transforms her pet sitting business with Pet Sitter Plus
" Discovering Pet Sitter Plus has most definitely been the best thing that has happened for my business since starting up over 7 years ago. "
My name is Fiona Reid and I run a pet sitting business based in Port Melbourne Australia. Canine Walkers & Animal Extras provides dog walking and pet sitting services to literally hundreds of customers and we have around 15 – 20 helpers depending on the season. We also provide “superstar” dogs to the film industry who actually take a part in films, hence the name “animal extras”.
When my business started up I was just doing a few walks and so it made sense to put these in my paper diary, but this very quickly progressed to a few more walks and so I hired my first helper. Before very long this had become a lot of walks and lots of helpers…..and lots of liquid paper in my paper diary which was getting difficult to read! Something had to change.
Fortuitously, while sailing on a yacht in Queensland, a fellow passenger offered to design a spreadsheet to solve my admin problems. What I thought would be a stop gap measure ended up being a pretty good system which served my needs for many years but as my business continued to grow, so the cracks started to appear again. Before I knew it, admin had taken over my life once again. I began to dread month end invoicing which literally used to take all night and I spent the rest of my time manually sending information to my helpers about the jobs they had been assigned and then trying to keep this information up to date.
As I researched a solution I briefly tried using QuickBooks which is an accounting software package for small businesses, but I discovered that it took me longer to do things in QuickBooks than it did when using my spreadsheet. I also toyed with the idea of asking an IT consultant friend of mine to write something specific for my type of business, but this project never got off the ground.
Whilst continuing to search for a solution, each year my business was growing and each year I was becoming more frustrated and stressed with the increasing work load that came with it. Even though my spreadsheet enabled me to raise invoices one by one, the time it was taking to do this, including the time to email them out individually was becoming a constant nightmare. I then had to keep track of payments manually on another spread sheet! My friends started calling me a workaholic and my social life had diminished to nothing. I was always “too busy”!
One day, completely out of the blue, I received an email. Thankfully I just happened to glance at a few words which said “Professional pet sitting software”. I hastily read down the main body of the email and I think I recall my jaw dropping slightly at the time. Could this be the answer to all of my prayers? The email had come from Richard Booty who runs Pet Software based in the UK. Pet Software provides a scheduling and billing solution to pet sitters around the world. After running through the “Demo” I started to get very excited as I could see that this package was exactly what I had been hoping my IT friend was going to put together for me.
So here I was sitting in Melbourne, Australia, thinking that someone from the other side of the world had just answered all my business prayers in one email! I signed up for the free trial immediately and literally haven’t looked back. Initially I was very concerned that it would be an intensely challenging and difficult task to transfer the entire business over to a new software package. I voiced my concerns a number of times to Richard, but he reassured me that it would be a relatively smooth transition and alleviated my concerns. In all honesty, I actually didn’t believe him, and was dreading the transition. I kept seeing visions of dogs looking hungry in back gardens after my staff hadn’t seen the booking to feed it, and dogs locked in apartments not being able to get out as we’d forgotten about them!
Needless to say, none of these mishaps occurred and I very quickly became confident using the new system.
The support that I received from Richard before, during, and after the transition period has been absolutely wonderful. He’s been patient, thorough, readily available and has had answers to all of my (many) questions.
I now have my staff all trained up on how to use the system, so they can access their jobs at the touch of a button. All I actually had to do to train them was send an email – it really is that easy for them to pick it up and they all have access to their own bookings. They can see how much they will be paid at any time and they all absolutely love having access to this information whenever they need it.
" The amount of time this package is saving me now is quite astounding and an absolute lifesaver! "
Invoicing has gone from taking about 2-3 hours per day to about 15 minutes per day. This allows so much more time for working on other aspects of the business, like marketing, but it also allows me to actually have more free time to do “life” stuff!
I can’t thank Richard and his team enough for the change that their software has made to my business and my life. I can highly recommend this software package and the support that comes with it.
I would definitely encourage anyone with a pet sitting business to have a good look at Pet Sitter Plus, as it is most definitely worth every single cent and you will never look back!