"My clients are now booking their own appointments and paying online".
Therese Villemure - Suburban Pets
Long Island, NY, USA
of Long Island
of Long Island
Long Island, NY, USA
My name is Therese Villemure and I am the founding owner of Suburban Pets in Long Island NY. After working in the medical field for 14 years, I decided to trade in my business attire for a wardrobe consisting only of sneakers and jeans. I have never looked back.
It started in 2011 when I graduated with a Master’s Degree in Business Management... "What did I do"?, ......well I started a dog walking and pet sitting business! My career as a medical office manager had been really rewarding financially but I wanted something more. I knew that paws and fur could make me happy and also provide a salary.
Four years later, my pet sitting business has 14 employees, 400 clients and services about 10 towns on Long Island. We provide approximately 75 visits per day.
Before Pet Sitter Plus blessed me with their presence, chaos was ensuing all around me. Scheduling was one of the major stresses. I used a Microsoft calendar that would ultimately prove too weak for the amount of appointments. My clients would send me emails or text messages with visit requests that I would then have to input into the calendar. This would take 1-2 hours each night. On top of that, I had to then create schedule spreadsheets to email to my pet sitters every day.
"Invoicing was not even a “thing”. I could not possibly spend any more time on administrative tasks, so I left it to my clients to figure out what they owed me (I know, I know- that is ludicrous)."
QuickBooks was not linked to my calendar so I would have to log all charges separately into Quickbooks which was very time consuming and I would always forget some charges. I was so stressed out because I knew that I was probably losing money. There were other mundane tasks too for example I would have to post clients’ payments manually which would take about 6-8 hours per week.
"Paying my staff was a nightmare."
I depended on them to report how many hours they worked or walks they performed. I didn’t have enough energy in my body to double check that the numbers were correct, so again, I was probably losing money.
At the end of each year, I would spend hours upon hours, making sure my receivables correlated with what I was depositing into my bank account. My accountant suggested, many times, that I should invest in a software program. The problem was that I could not find pet sitter scheduling software that I actually liked.
In October 2014, I decided that something (many things, actually) had to change. I had been working twelve hours a day for almost four years. I walked dogs, hired and managed my staff, scheduled clients, maintained their routine information, posted payments, recorded payables and missed a whole lot of family events. Believe me, I am a person who LOVES to work and I love my clients, their pets and my new career, but the amount of time that I was spending chained to admin tasks was NOT ok.
So I saw that a large dog walking/ pet sitting business based in Chicago was using Pet Sitter Plus and I decided to give them a shot. I had already done trials with two other pet sitting software companies. I found that those two companies lacked the willingness to provide customer support and offered a cookie-cutter program which I could not bend enough to satisfy my needs/wants.
My trial with Pet Sitter Plus was amazing. Throughout the entire trial, I was provided with Skype meetings to help me understand how to get the best out of the software and they were very responsive on the phone too. Tonnes of emails were traded that would answer all my questions and address any concerns. I learned that this system is loaded with possibilities. The team at Pet Sitter Plus walked me through the process of importing data and helped to make the software really work for me.
"I recently went “live” on Pet Sitter Plus and I have cut my time admin time significantly. My clients are now booking their own appointments and paying online".
Their payments are automatically post to their accounts so I am no longer spending time manually posting payment receipts. Invoices are now a “thing”. They are accurate, itemized and sent with the press of a button! Clients also update their pets’ routines and love to post pictures of their pets in the portal. We are all so happy.
Scheduling has improved as well. I dont need to create schedule spreadsheets anymore because my staff all pickup their work from their mobile phones. Now when I change the schedule, the staff know about it right away without the endless phone calls emails and texts.
One more perk of investing into this wonderful system is that Richard Booty has been a mentor in certain ways. He suggested accepting debit/credit cards through Stripe which was something I never thought I would do. I took his advice and could not be happier. When I was trying my best to cancel our Skype meetings (out of fear from actually making the jump to the software), his words of encouragement made an impact. I felt empowered to make the changes necessary to have this amazing business and avoid working twelve hours per day. I am so grateful that he has the eagerness to help his clients that I recently referred a colleague. He, too, is enjoying the software.
"I hope that you will not only participate in a trial of PSP, but actually invest a little time to learn the program. This will actually save you a ton of time and loads of stress in the near future."
Long Island, NY, USA