We sat down with Joette White, owner of Dallas, Texas-based Park Cities Pet Sitter (PCPS). Once a pet sitter for the company, White now serves as top dog to PCPS’s more than 40 employees (some of whom are pictured here), and she is paving the way to the company’s unprecedented growth and success.
How did you get started with Park Cities?
The company was started in 1992 and I started working as a pet sitter in 1996. Then I worked my way up to running the company which gave the owner a chance to take a real vacation. I purchased it in 2000 and we have grown to be five times larger than we were nearly 18 years ago.
Before working with Pet Sitter Plus, you were using a different software. Why did you feel the need to change the software you were using?
The main reason we made the move to PSP is because we needed more than our software at the time could offer. Speed, client accounting in the same software, being able to track our staff, and room for growth as we looked at best practices when it comes to managing our employees. We also wanted to have as much control as possible when it came to customization.
Each business is uniquely different and while many of us have similar needs... we have just as many individual needs depending on how we each run our companies. We had simply outgrown our last software we had been using for nearly a decade.
How has Pet Sitter Plus improved your business?
We do a very large volume of business, about 60,000 visits per year, so where we have seen improvement is in the overall speed in being able to schedule services, roll walks monthly, etc. We also have the ability to customize which we did not have before. And how we manage staff has changed since we started using PSP, since we have more insight now on what our staff is doing and when and where they are doing it thanks to the Check-in and Check-out feature.
The monitoring system alerts us as to when staff is late, if they’ve shortened an appointment, and/or if they are checking in and out from different locations. Now that we can see staff activity, we have someone who monitors the report daily to ensure everyone is where they need to be and at the appropriate time. This helps us keep our staff on their toes, as my admin manager calls them directly if they have not checked in or out, etc.
“What took us nearly a day to do,
now only takes a few clicks and a matter of seconds”
What is your favorite feature of Pet Sitter Plus?
I love being able to customize this software, but one of my favorite things is the bulk scheduling tool, because it saves us an enormous amount of time. What took us nearly a day to do, now only takes a few clicks and a matter of seconds.
As Pet Sitter Plus evolves to include even more features, do you see your company growing with the software?
We are still looking for key features to be added down the road and are excited about the possibilities. We knew coming into this relationship we would not have everything we wanted right away... but we also knew we would be helping to shape this software into the best in the business! We are in for the long haul!
If you could offer one piece of advice for someone starting their own pet sitting business, what would it be?
Start with employees, not independent contractors so you have total control over how your staff do the job. You will be way ahead of most of the competition and it is a great marketing tool as well.
“We knew coming into this relationship we would not have everything we wanted right away... but we also knew we would be helping to shape this software into the best in the business! We are in for the long haul!”