Time To Pet Blog

Author: Michael Grenier (page 1 of 11)

Friday Feature Focus – Bulk Update

When navigating the Scheduler section of Time To Pet – you way want to make changes to multiple events at the same time. For example – let’s say one of your staff member’s called out sick and you need to quickly reassign their events to another staff. Or maybe you had a big snowstorm and all of your clients stayed home from work and cancelled their events. Bulk Update makes it easy to make these changes in a flash!

Bulk Update can be found right from the Scheduler page:

Your screen will adjust and only the calendar will be highlighted. You’ll also notice that your events have become slightly grayed out:

There are two ways you can start to select your events!

  1. You can click on an individual event to select it and include it in the Bulk Update. A selected event will appear significantly darker. To de-select an event, click it again.
  2. Using the Bulk Update Toolbar click the Select Options button. “Select All Visible” will select all events visible on the calendar. For example if you only want visits for John Doe on August 18th selected:
    1. Filter the Calendar by John Doe
    2. Click “Day” to narrow down the calendar to show only one day at a time.
    3. Use the arrows in the upper right corner to navigate to August 18th.
    4. Click “Select All Visible”.

You’ll notice that the number of events you have selected will be included in the Update Events button. You can click this button to start to process your update. Time To Pet will ask you if you want to re-assign the events or update the status of the selected events:

We also have a great video showing you how to utilize the Bulk Update tool as well!

Friday Feature Focus – Staff Documents

After hiring your first staff member – you will now almost certainly accumulate a file cabinet or two filled with paperwork. This might include employment contracts, resumes, applications or all types of other documents. If you need a convenient place to store these documents – you can attach them right to your staff member’s profile in Time To Pet!

After scanning and saving a document, you can upload it right to your staff member’s profile page under the Docs tab:

You can browse for documents on your PC or smart phone right from here and then attach them to your staff account:

You can also view all of your Staff Documents in the “Documents” section under Staff in the sidebar.  These are searchable from your computer or from your smart phone:

Friday Feature Focus – Custom Client Rates

When scheduling events for your clients – Time To Pet automatically creates the invoice for you as well. This means that you do not need to go back and count your visits to generate the invoice. We generate the invoice based on the service that was scheduled and the “Default Cost” of the event. For example – if your “Dog Walking” service has a default cost of $20 then when you schedule the event, it will create a line item for $20 on the invoice. But many of your clients may pay you a different amount. Let’s say your brother also happens to be your clients and you charge him less?

Time To Pet supports Custom Rates for this exact reason! Custom Rates can be added on a client by client basis and when a custom rate is set – Time To Pet will always use that custom rate when generating new invoices.

Pro tip – Custom rates will only apply to new invoices. For example – if a customer has been using your services for two years and you decide to reduce their rate by adding a new custom rate, their previous invoices will not be updated.

 

You can add a custom rate by navigating to the Rates tab on a client’s profile:

Custom rates can either be a flat rate (like reducing a $25 service to $20):

Or they can be a % discount (like giving your client a 20% discount by setting the rate to 80%):

Just be sure to save your changes!

Client Spotlight – Chelsea’s Critter Care LLC!

Our next Client Spotlight is shining on Chelsea Hall and her team at Chelsea’s Critter Care LLC. Based in Montgomery Village, MD – Chelsea is the definition of an entrepreneur.  She started her business when she was only 12 years old and hasn’t looked back since! Chelsea’s Critter Care now includes a team of experienced dog walkers and pet sitters who are providing phenomenal care to the pets in the Clarksburg, Germantown, Gaithersburg and Rockville area! Be sure to visit their website and like them on Facebook too!

What caused you to get into pet sitting/dog walking?
At twelve years old, I asked my mom for a dog of my own- a request that was swiftly denied. I wanted to make it a point to prove that I was responsible enough for dog ownership and began to walk my neighbor’s dog, Hey Dude (yes, that was really his name!). Word spread quickly and before I knew it, I was walking several neighborhood dogs! My business really started booming after I earned my driver’s license and expanded my territory. I am fortunate that this has been my primary career focus throughout my entire life. I guess I have my strict mother to thank for my start!

What is the most fulfilling part of owning a pet sitting/dog walking business?
I truly enjoy being able to put my clients’ minds at ease while they are away from their beloved fur babies. It takes A LOT of trust to place everything valuable in someone else’s hands and for me to be deemed worthy of that trust means everything.

What is the most challenging?
The most challenging part of owning a pet sitting/dog walking service is the need to be available at all times. I have a hard time putting my phone away due to the possibility of an emergency or the need to schedule a visit at the last moment. Hiring a strong team of pet lovers has eased some of this, but it is still my responsibility to schedule and delegate at all hours of the day.

Where do you see your business in 5 years?
In five years, I hope to be at a point where I can take a full leadership role in my company. At this time, I have a daily dog walking schedule of my own on top of the necessary billing, scheduling, and emailing that needs to be done to keep business running smoothly. I currently have 11 wonderful employees, but am expanding my team in hopes of limiting my own need to do visits and overnight stays.

What has Time To Pet changed the most about how you run your business?
We are streamlined, organized and better than ever. Prior to TTP, my client info sheets were handwritten and stored in a binder that was falling apart (keep in mind I did begin when I was only twelve!) I was the only one who had access to the important client info sheets, which became inconvenient as I expanded and hired more employees. On top of that, we encountered frequent glitches in the shared calendar that was previously used for scheduling. I wanted a way to make information readily available to all of my team members, and TTP was the perfect solution. Thank you for being the catalyst we needed to reach next level of service that always felt just out of our grasp!

Friday Feature Focus – Force Credit Card For Scheduling Requests

Many Time To Pet clients have simplified their billing process by requiring customers to pay via credit card and/or ACH payments. This means that they do not collect checks or cash payments from their clients or have to worry about their staff collecting payment either. All payments happen through Time To Pet which creates a simple process for both clients as well as for the pet care company. But what happens when a client has an invoice due and they haven’t added their payment information?

In order to make this process even simpler – Time To Pet allows our clients to force their customers to have a credit card on file prior to requesting services. That means that customers must add a payment method before they can make a service order request.

The first step to require credit cards (or an ACH/e-check payment method) is to enable payments in your Time To Pet system. This can be completed in the Credit Card Setup section.  We also have a great help article relating to accepting credit card payments as well.

After enabling payments – the feature to force credit cards can be enabled in Portal Settings:

If a client then attempts to schedule services without a payment method on file – Time To Pet will inform that they a payment method is required:

Client Spotlight – Atlantic Pet Sitting!

logoUp next in our Client Spotlight series is Chris Herath and Atlantic Pet Sitting! Focused on taking professional pet services to a new level for the residents along the Grand Strand – Atlantic Pet Sitting is built on five principles.  These principles are being trustworthy, on time, dependable, professional and affectionate towards animals. Focusing on these principles allow Chris to accomplish his simple goal – providing your pets with the same high levels of care that he would provide his own pets. If you live along the Grand Strand – be sure to visit Atlantic Pet Sitting’s website and don’t forget to like them on Facebook too!

chris-herathWhat caused you to get into pet sitting/dog walking?
While out camping with my wife, a coonhound who was about 30 lbs underweight wandered up to our camp site. After doing our due diligence in trying to find the owner, we determined he was just left out there. At the time, we already had three cats and weren’t looking to get a dog but we instantly fell in love with Coleman. It became clear very quickly that our work and travel schedule made it necessary for us to hire a pet sitter to take care of our dog. When we went looking for a pet sitter, we struggled finding a legitimate business in our area with someone who was available full time for pet care. We ended up just having neighbors and family take care of Coleman, but it was such an inconvenience. I was constantly saying, “I can’t believe we can’t find a pet sitting business in the area. I should start one.” At the time, I was working for my own financial company but was not quite feeling fulfilled by the career I was in. I decided to have a friend of mine help me put up a website for pet sitting to see what would happen. Within about 3 months I was spending all my time on the pet business and was loving it. This gave me the confidence to devote all my attention to making this dream a reality. The rest they say is history!

dog1What is the most fulfilling part of owning a pet sitting/dog walking business?
My fulfillment comes from helping people (and of course their pets). I truly believe that a business which helps a large amount of people solve a problem will always be a success. I feel our clients truly appreciate what we do for their pets. Every day I get a text message or a phone call just saying thank you. I have one particular client who had never traveled to see her grandson because she had a diabetic cat and was afraid to travel. Knowing we were the reason she had the peace of mind to finally be able to travel makes this all worth it!

cat1What is the most challenging?
The most challenging aspect is time management when we are super busy! Our typical visit is 30 minutes, and when you have a full day those visits really add up. It’s crucial to get an early start and always be aware of how much progress you have made on your schedule for the day.

Where do you see your business in 5 years?
The future of Atlantic Pet Sitting excites me! Our goal obviously is to be helping even more people than we are now. This would include bringing on more staff and giving others the opportunity to be fulfilled through working as a pet sitter. It’s a really exciting time to be in the pet business as people care for their pets more now than ever before. We are always trying to think outside of the box on ways we can serve our clients to the highest level, and we are always collecting feedback from our clients on where they would like to see us expand.

dog2What has Time To Pet changed the most about how you run your business?
Time to Pet has made a night and day difference in our business. Before Time to Pet I was running everything through separate programs. I had my revenue and client list in Google Docs, I was putting all our appointments on iCal, and I was creating my own invoices. It was so disorganized and nothing was linked. Time to Pet has brought everything to one seamless system. When I enter a client and schedule a round of visits the invoice and schedule is automatically created for me. I don’t worry about adding staff or clients now because I know with a few keystrokes everything will be setup with Time to Pet. The reporting side of things in Time to Pet has also changed the way we do business. I can look at our weekly, monthly, and yearly data to see where emerging opportunities are within our business.

Friday Feature Focus – First/Last

When performing vacation pet sitting – many of our customers like to do something special on their last visit. That may be tidying up a little more, leaving a report of how the visits went or something else. But how do you remember it’s the last visit? Well, Time To Pet makes it super easy with our “First/Last” feature. Enabling “First/Last” will tag the first and last visit of an invoice so you can be sure you know when your customer is coming home.

“First/Last” can be enabled in Scheduler Settings in the Event Settings section:

You will then notice that your events are tagged as “First” or “Last”:

You can also make sure to enable “First/Last” on your mobile app as well! Navigate to Mobile Application Configuration and make sure the “Event First/Last Status” field has been added to the Mobile Field Configuration section:

Mobile Application Updates

Your staff members spend the vast majority of their time utilizing the Time To Pet Mobile Applications so we’ve added increased functionality so they can now do even more from the app! You’ll soon notice three lines on the top left of the mobile app.  These open the “App Menu”:

The Mobile App Menu allows your staff to perform several additional actions in TTP right from the app.  These include access to a quick “Agenda View” of their upcoming visits:

Access to their Documents:

The ability to view, send and receive direct messages sent from the pet care company:

Access to their staff invoices/pay stubs:

And Time Off Functionality:

The mobile application update will be rolling out to all devices in the next 24 hours but you can force an App Update right from the Account tab of your app:

Visit Report Cards

Visit Reports on Mobile

Sending a visit report from the Time To Pet App.

Here at Time To Pet – we are always looking for new, innovative ways that we can help our clients better serve their customers. Today, we are are super excited to announce the release of our Visit Report Card feature! Visit Report Cards are a fun, quick and easy way to provide an update to your clients after completing an event. Visit Report Cards are also entirely configurable which means you can create a custom Visit Report specific for your business.

At the core of this feature is a set of questions that you can answer after completing an event. Visit Report Cards can be used to navigate through an “after-visit” checklist, can substitute for your update note or can be used in addition to your note and some visit pictures. These questions can be  simple yes/no questions, can be a count (a numeric total) or can be a multiple choice question. Some examples of questions are “Refilled Water?”, “Used Bathroom?” or “Ate?”.

Visit Report Cards include the question text (where you can enter the question being asked), a fun icon and the question type. Time To Pet supports nearly 100 different icon options ranging from a food bowl, to a fish, to a leash and everything in between. You can customize your Visit Report Cards directly from the Mobile App Configuration page in Settings.

Visit Report Admin

Configuring visit reports from the Dashboard.

You and your team can send the Visit Report Card immediately after completing an event through the Time To Pet Mobile Application. In addition to the standard note and after selecting a picture (or two) – you can then send a Visit Report Card for each pet that was included in that visit. You can also skip sending a Visit Report Card for one (or for all pets) as well. Your client can view their Visit Report directly in the Conversation Feed of their client portal. If your client receives an email and/or a text message update – they will also get a link directing them to their Visit Report Card.

Be sure to check out our help article on Visit Report Cards and check out our help videos too!

Visit Report Card Settings

Sending A Visit Report Card

 

 

 

Client Spotlight – Zoomies Pet-Sitting!

logo_zoomiesToday’s Client Spotlight is shining on Jessica Cobb and Zoomies Pet-Sitting! Based in Griffin, GA, – Jessica is a true entrepreneur.  She saw a need and an opportunity and built a fantastic business surrounding it!  Zoomies is based on not only providing their human clients with peace of mind but also making sure their pets have fun!  Zoomies’ services include pet sitting, dog walking, transportation, horse and farm care and field trips! Be sure to check out Zoomies website and like them on Facebook too!

jessica-cobbWhat caused you to get into pet sitting/dog walking?
I’ve always wanted to do something involving animals. My opportunity came when we had recently moved to a new state. My husband and I were both working full time jobs and one of our dogs still had to be crated when we weren’t home. Before we moved, my Dad would come over every afternoon and let our dogs out but we didn’t have that anymore and I felt guilty about our youngest dog being cooped up for so long. I searched in our area for someone who offered pet sitting and there was no one in the area that did it professionally or even came up in a Google search! I hated my job at the time, saw the opportunity to create a pet sitting business in an area where they desperately needed one….and it all fell into place!

What is the most fulfilling part of owning a pet sitting/dog walking business?
Of course the animals are a big part of why anyone gets into this business and there are so many rewarding parts to it. However, I’ve found that the most satisfying part of what we do is too help assist the owners. I’ve had numerous clients with health issues that have started our services because they could no longer walk or care for their pet as they once did and our services mean everything to them because they are able to meet their pets needs with our assistance. Or clients who haven’t been able to go on a vacation for years because they haven’t felt comfortable enough to leave their pets and are now able to get away, relax and know their pets are safe and happy in our care. These make the biggest impact and remind me that what we’re providing is SO much more than just walking dogs and feeding animals.

What is the most challenging?
The most challenging part of this business is working around X amount of client’s schedules and still trying to find time for a life. One person’s life is very busy and hectic these days, let alone managing upwards of 100 or more changing schedules and plans! Sometimes it is hard to find balance between work and your personal life because this is a very personal business and you don’t want to let anyone down.

dog1Where do you see your business in 5 years?
In 5 years, I would love to see our pet sitting service area expand to the surrounding areas that don’t have many options in the way of professional in home sitters. Beyond that though, I would love to open a boarding facility/dog daycare where dogs could interact and play with one another. Another part of this facility would be a canine activity center. It would be complete with dock diving, lure coursing and other activities that owners and their dogs could participate in as well as the option to have boarding dogs participate in these exercises while staying with us.

What has Time To Pet changed the most about how you run your business?
Oh gosh, how have I lived WITHOUT TTP for so long!? It has made everything so much simpler! It has freed up a lot of time in regards to the administrative side of things and eliminated a lot of separate processes that I had to do beforehand. It has also added a whole other level of professionalism to my business and I constantly get comments and compliments about how impressed they are with the system, how easy it is to use and how great it looks! I truly don’t know how I managed before using the TTP software!

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