In the article, Become A Bird-Sitter (BIRD TALK October 2007 issue) you were given six steps on how to start your bird-sitting business. Here are four more tips for success.
1) Financially securing your new business is important. Bonding is a important alternative. A bond is not an insurance policy, but a third party financial guarantee to the customer that you will perform your duties as specified in your contract. Coverage is usually limited to what you can cover with your assets. You can find a bonding company in the yellow pages under surety bonds. Ask questions and read literature carefully. If you have employees, you’ll need to add them to your insurance and bond as well.
2) Get the word out with business cards. You can elect to have cards professionally printed or do it yourself on your computer. Business card paper is available at office supply stores, and there are several computer programs that make creating business cards a cinch.
Flyers can be simple or elaborate, professionally printed or produced on your computer.
You can include information about your bird-related background, a menu of services offered, some simple advice for the bird owner about to go on vacation, and of course, your contact information. Add a photo of a bird for eye-catching interest.
3) Renting a booth at a bird fair or show is great way to meet your target customer base. “When I was starting out,” said pet-sitter Rosemarie Vega, “I’d rent a booth at a local bird fair. I made up a pamphlet on what to look for in a pet sitter, and people surrounded the table wanting to get the information or talk about pet sitting. I’d pass out my business cards along with the other information. A table usually cost $80 to $100, but meeting clients made it worthwhile.”
4) Advertise in local newspapers and get out to the areas where bird owners flock to in order to meet potential clients. If you have a website, link to other related sites when possible. Advertise in local pet publications and bird-related magazines, such as BIRD TALK and Birds USA. Send occasional press releases to local media about your business, particularly in the weeks leading up to busy vacations seasons.