The holiday season is busy for pet sitters. Sometimes people ask me why our family never travels around this time of year, and I have to remind them that this is when everyone else travels; it's when I'm most needed. I know that other pet sitters are busy, too, because I see them on the road several times a day as we all weave our spider web route around town, feeding, walking and loving.
How do I know when I see those other pet sitters? They drive marked cars. Their windows and doors say "Tricia's Critters," "Joan's Pet Sitting," and "Charlie's Canines" (actual company names have been changed so that I don't get sued or advertise for the competition).
I make my visits in stealth mode in an unmarked vehicle.
So why does this matter?
Whether or not to advertise on your vehicle is a choice we all must make. I choose not to for one reason: the security of my clients.
There are bad guys out there who scope out houses for UPS packages, newspaper pileup, and other clues of absence, especially around the holidays. Imagine when they see a car visiting a home three times a day, and that car says "so-and-so's pet sitting service." It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the only family who needs a pet sitter is a family who isn't home and doesn't plan to be for a while. All the bad guy has to do is observe the pet sitter coming and going a few times to get the pattern and realize that the home will be vacant for a few hours between visits. More than enough time to clean the place out.
That being said, I have been tempted, myself, to put my logo and contact information on my car. It's an excellent way to advertise in your service area, and, when asked, pet sitters report that their vehicle advertisements are one of the top ways they gain new clients. The cost is minimal, and it lasts a long time. The gift that keeps on giving.
I always strive for quality over quantity, and when I tell my clients that I drive an unmarked car, it's a selling point for me. Some have never even thought of the security risk of a pet sitter who advertises on their vehicle.
Like anything else, there are pros and cons to advertising your pet sitting business on your car. If you're a pet sitter, why or why don't you advertise on your vehicle? And if you've hired a pet sitter, is this something you consider or care about?
I can't wait to hear your thoughts, but, for now, I'm back in stealth mode. I've got some pups and cats to see!