As the owner of a pet sitting business who wants to grow and scale their business by building a team, there is a concern about the people you hire/your pet sitters going behind your back and stealing your clients. There is also a concern regarding your clients cutting you, the business owner out of the transaction. Both of these are genuine concerns and have both happened to me.
Here is my opinion on these issues:
Issue #1. Pet Sitters Stealing Your Clients
There is a very real possibility that you may make a less than a stellar decision with someone that you hire to join your team and that this less than impressive individual could go behind your back and offer their services directly to your pet sitting clients or dog walking clients. This scenario could very well happen and will most likely happen, but don’t let it stop you from growing your team.
TIP: Have Them Sign a Pet Sitter Non-Compete Agreement
What I suggest you do to prevent something like this from happening is first to have every pet sitter/dog walker sign a non-compete agreement. In this agreement, it should clearly spell out that the sitter is more than welcome to start their own business at any time; they’re just not able to do so with your company’s clients.
You should go over this non-compete with your pet sitter prospects thoroughly and ask them if they fully understand the agreement and if they have any questions. You can then tell them you will take them to court if it is revealed that they have done something so dishonest. This scares them!
Issue #2: Clients Poaching your Pet Sitters
You may also have the unpleasant experience of having your clients trying to poach your sitters. Meaning they go behind your back and try to cut you out of the transaction.
TIP: All Scheduling Must Go Through the Pet Sitting Business Owner’s Office
I would make it part of your company policy to have all scheduling go through the office. Any scheduling that is done and any service that is provided without the knowledge of your company will immediately void the service agreement between you and the client. Your company can not be held liable for any damages that takeplace while the client’s pets and home are under the sitter’s care.
Your pet sitters also need to entirely understand this policy as well because they could find themselves in a situation where they are uninsured and making themselves liable.
Final Thoughts on This Subject
Pet sitting clients that try to poach your pet sitters are what I call “non-deal clients.” (Go here to learn how to create your ideal client profile.) These people are not the type of pet owners that you want on your client roster. Let them go immediately and make room for people who you love working with.
Pet sitter or dog walkers that try and steal your clients are dishonest people. If your clients want to do business with someone that would behave in such a manner, you are better off without either of them. I firmly believe in karma. Let go of the negative energy and let karma work its magic. You stay focused on finding impressive, honest people to join your staff and to providing fantastic service to your roster of ideal clients who you absolutely love working with!