When I started pet sitting full time, I initially tried any advertising I could think of. In order to build an initial client base, I threw lots of time and money down every conceivable avenue, only to receive very little in return. I learned quickly that networking and building relationships in the community was the fastest and best way to build my client base. Though we're always accepting new clients, we're now a manageable size, considering it's basically just myself and one other sitter. I prefer to keep it small because, well, let's be real: I'm a control freak. That, and I love the fact that I know each of my clients very well. They are almost like family. We partner with our clients to make sure their pets get the best care. Many of our clients have been with us since the beginning in 2005, and we're so grateful to have these relationships that often last through multiple "generations" of pets.
We now build our business primarily from client and community referrals, which is the best way to go for us. Just as our clients want to have the best pet sitter in all the land, we want to have the most awesome clients. By gaining new clients through referrals and spending time in the community, we can more readily trust that this will be the case, and they usually feel very comfortable knowing that a trusted source has said we're the best.
Because we value referrals so highly, we offer our clients an ongoing, graduated referral reward that gets better each time the referred client uses our services. Our client who is kind enough to refer to us gets rewarded over and over! It's been a great success for us, and it's a good feeling to know that we can say thank you to those who spread the word about Well Minded.
Growing our business this way allows us to create a family bond with our clients. I love that when a client's name pops up on my phone, I know exactly who they are and who their pets are. Size does matter. And we prefer to keep it small.