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copy pet sitting

website pet sitter

Have you ever had a really horrible experience with trying to build a website?

I have.

For example: You sort of know what you want but are trusting the person you hired to help you create this vision of miracles?  You expect it to sing your businesses brand and makes people fall over themselves with an incredible impression of who your business is resulting in lots of sales?

This fairy tail doesn’t exist. That isn’t the way it works. It isn’t reality.

Most of the time it isn’t as simple as just plugging in some colors and words to a template either. I mean, your pet sitting business is different and unique, right? So why have a template that isn’t mobile, responsive, and looks like so many others out there? You need someone to customize a template to make it your own. Not to mention, so many websites are lead with graphics now so having a designer on your team is essential! Your pet sitting website should be no different. We have all the cute puppies and kittens to show off!

Think: Visual Orgasm!

It used to be (even just two years ago) you could hire someone to slap up a template and then be finished. There was minimal graphics with a few pictures, maybe a slider at the most. You would write in what you wanted to say and BOOM! You are done.

Somewhere between then and now it has evolved into needing a developer, designer, and graphic artist.

Throughout this evolution, I feel like we (as business owners who want a new website) have forgotten two things:

1. We need to know what we don’t want.

2. A designer isn’t a developer.

Here Is What I Mean:

Let’s take a look at #1 first. Knowing what you don’t want is as important as knowing what you want. Why? So that you steer clear of those things. For those of us who “don’t know what we want” knowing what we don’t want does help to narrow the field down.

But it is overwhelming, right? You want someone to just hold your hand and walk you through the entire process. Telling you what looks good, taking care of the technical side of things, etc. But that is like finding Price Charming. There aren’t many of them out there and you have to kiss a lot of toads first.

copy pet sitting

So what is a pet sitting business owner to do? 

Often times, myself included, we just throw our hands up in the air and say “The heck with it” and stop the project in its tracks.

That does us no good in getting us to our goal.

A Designer Isn’t A Developer

There is a major difference between someone who can throw up a template and insert things into it and then someone that can customize that template, make it your own. Understand that you have certain colors in your logo and use them throughout the website theme, as well as the font. Things need to be uniformed don’t forget!

There is one type of person who can write the code and there is another person that can design the site. Rarely is it the same person that can successfully do both. They can try but….. ?

 

 It is like asking your home builder to tell you how to feng shui your home.

That rarely works out. 

Getting Personal

It took me forever and a day to try and find someone to give my Bella’s House & Pet Sitting website a facelift. Finally one day I just “went for it”  But there was a lot of work on my end required. I needed to figure out what template I wanted. I needed to figure out what pages I wanted to keep and add. I had to find the plug ins and have the creative idea in my head. I needed to remind the person that my colors all needed to reflect my brand as well as the font type and more. It was wonderful working with her. She took direction incredibly well, but I was clearly in control. It still isn’t exactly where I want it to be. A huge overhaul is still in the making. But for now, there is a facelift. Truth be told, I am in the process of really making the Jump website orgasmic!

The only real time in my life I have experienced someone who is great at both the technical and design aspect of websites has been Jake from Precision Graphics. While you may have to get on a wait list to start working with him and he won’t be the least expensive person… you will get both the design and technical mind when you work with him. I have always been a fan of him but finding people like him is like finding a Prince Charming. Jake and I actually met on odesk years ago.

This also goes to say that I think it is well worth the investment of a copywriter. I don’t mean one to make sure your spelling and grammar is correct. But one to make your voice on the page sound engaging. Sometimes, we aren’t the best writers, or we can’t get out of our own head. Someone like Jamie is great at this.

Turning It Onto You:

Who do you use for your website? Would you recommend them? Give them a shout out below. Or perhaps you have a horror story that you can share the lesson below? What did you learn from it?

In any case – it is important to know that not all web designers are created equal.

When Do I Fire A Pet Sitting Employee?

When To Fire An Employee- (1)

It is all about perspective in life, isn’t it? There is this great book called, “Who Moved My Cheese?” It is a business book.

girl with cute beagle and  cheese on a white plate

Surprisingly short but rich in lessons. One of the lessons is about perspective.

Recently, there was a post in my private coaching group that a client called a pet sitting business owner furious because he saw their pet sitter on his nanny cam eat a piece of cheese from the refrigerator while there for a daily dog walk. This sitter was a top sitter at the company and seemed to be a great employee.

The debate that ensued over the situation was passionate to say the least. In my harmonious group where people never have to be told they are out of line, we almost got to that point. There were strong opinions on either side and it was all about perspective.

Fire Her.

Those that were outraged that an employee would do this were saying that the employee was stealing. If she was doing this, what else was she doing? There was no reason for her to be in the refrigerator and that it was totally off limits.

The client was furious and spends a lot of money with the company per year. Many said it wasn’t about the cheese and really about the principal of what she did. She stole and the company has a no tolerance policy on theft. Why does she feel the right to do what she pleases? It was disrespectful.

The question was also brought up about if it was included in the employee manual. To that point, when you fire someone, proper documentation needs to take place.

 

It’s Just Cheese!

Although many were saying “Off with her head!” many also felt passionately that it was just cheese! It was an honest mistake and the sitter meant nothing by it. They also felt like the business owner could talk to her about boundaries and respect, possibly write her up, talk to the client, replace the cheese, offer some free services and move on. After all, it is tough to find great help and better to coach someone rather than find someone new.

 

All About Perspective

I wanted to write about this because I think it is a great example of what I see as a coach all the time. Usually something happens with an employee and people are either thinking: Off with their head! or No big deal.

I feel that the real answer is somewhere in the middle. I feel that while managing a team, it is important to have timely, professional, factual, mature conversations about situations so that you can coach and mold your staff (employees) to be better and better.

I believe that as humans, we will all make mistakes, and we should all be allowed a little Grace here and there. I believe that through the conversations that you have with the employee you can find out their intent, their heart, their motive on why they did what they did. Perhaps they are working too much and felt dizzy and needed a pick me up? Perhaps they just felt like pet sitting or dog walking was a hobby job and they are just “helping out” and not taking it too seriously. Perhaps the client was just looking for free services? Perhaps the client was lying? Can you really see the difference between cheese and ham on a nanny cam? (I don’t know the answer by the way)

Bottom line is in situations like these,  we usually don’t know enough information at this stage of the game. It is important to gather evidence. Try to see things in every perspective. Then “rule.”  I am not saying what the employee did was right or wrong, I am just encouraging every business owner to really examine the entire story. I feel like every business owner will have their own cheese story. Find out people’s motives. Know their hearts.

 

So Back To You:

I want to hear about a situation where you have had to gain perspective before jumping to conclusions. Tell us your cheese story and lets start a discussion below.

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