I hear so many Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers suffering from burnout – particularly early on in their business and also for many following on from the pandemic.
For most of us when we start out we’re cash poor and time rich before we have a full roster of clients.
We know when we sign up that there’s gonna be a period of hard work, late nights and weekends until we get established.
And we’re fired up and excited and that gets us through a lot of the long hours!
But it’s not sustainable long term.
And there comes a tipping point where you have enough clients that you’re making a bit of profit and it’s time to hire some help so you’re not doing it all alone!
And then the balance should tip back…
But it’s not always as easy as that is it?
- The profit you’re making will never seem like enough!
- And even if you DO decide to hire, can you actually get the right people?
- Can you rely on them?
I get it! I’ve been there and helped many clients through burnout and into the other side of growth, expansion and domination of their market place.
It can be done I promise you.
Here are Some Tips To Avoid Burnout
#1. Have a Plan
I LOVE a good plan!
It can be tempting to jump right into action – why waste time with a plan, there’s work to do!
But you don’t need to spend hours and hours on it!
Better to lay out a basic plan and have a quick weekly review where you can tweak and add what you need.
What to include in the plan?
- How much revenue (or profit) you need to be making before you start hiring. And stick to this instead of telling yourself ‘it’s not enough’ when you reach it.
- Remember that hiring when you feel not quite ready can actually open up the capacity in your business to really start to grow.
- Trust yourself, make the leap and don’t stagnate.
#2. Schedule Non-Negotiable Time For Yourself
It can be difficult – especially when clients want walks and Pet Sitting on evenings and weekends.
But even if it’s an hour for a nice coffee on a Wednesday afternoon, give yourself this time – it’ll keep you sane. And you’ll probably find you’ll have all the best ideas and the solutions to your business problems will pop into your head in that hour.
If you have a hobby or class you love, make time for it. You might not be able to make as much time for it as usual when you’re in start-up mode, but have at least one regular session of your hobby that you don’t miss.
Treat these as if they’re a customer appointment – you’d never break one of those!
One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was to set up your business so you can easily keep going as long as it takes.
If you set it up so you’re going flat out, you WILL burn out before you get where you want to go.
It’s a cliche, but the truth is YOU are the greatest asset in your business, especially in the startup phase, so treat yourself that way!
#3. Hire the Right Help For Your Business
Hiring’s not always easy
But some hiring is easier than others!
And it’s not just about hiring walkers and sitters.
You can hire online virtual assistants to help with marketing and customer service & phone answering, quickly, easily and inexpensively and without a long term commitment. And this can massively take the burden off you whilst you’re still Dog Walking or Pet Sitting yourself and while you’re hiring. Your VA can even help with the shortlisting!
#4. Get Support From People That Understand!
*cough* Join my Membership *cough*
Lol! It doesn’t have to be my membership – there’s lots of low cost support for business owners (although there’s not many places you get so much specific PET business training and support for the price of a coffee a week – just sayin’!)
It can be lonely starting a business, but it doesn’t have to be!
And by getting the right support, you don’t have to re-invent the wheel at every stage – I’ve been running my Pet Sitting and Dog Walking business for over 10 years and everything I learn goes in to the membership.
And that’s not all! When you’re feeling the burnout there are friendly faces at every stage in their business journey who GET IT and will pull you through!
In all seriousness, my community may or may not be the right one for you, but there IS a community that’ll be great for you. Find it and make the most of it. It’ll see you through the hard times!
#5. Be Kind to Yourself!
You’re probably your own worst critic and always focused on how much better you should be doing and how much further along you expected to be!
Honestly, this is the biggest driver of burnout.
Learn to accept where you are and recognise the progress you’ve made.
As I’ve said, I’ve been in this business over 10 years. I LOVE it and am really proud of so much that I’ve achieved.
But there is still SO much more I want to do!
So if you’re waiting to ‘get there’ and then enjoy it, you’ll be waiting a long time!
Learn to enjoy the journey.
It’s your business, do it your way. I LOVE blogging and social media and I love pets. This would actually be a dream job for me if it was a job, but it’s even better than that, it’s my business!
Make sure you create a business YOU love.