Up next in our Client Spotlight series is Christine Santora and Around The Ranch Pet Club! Christine is a true pet care pro who has provided peace of mind for her clients for over a decade. The team at Around The Ranch pride themselves on delivering a professional, knowledgable and conventient solution for busy pet parents in Lakewood Ranch, FL. Providing dog walking, pet sitting and home sitting services - Christine and the team consistently go above and beyond for their clients. If you are looking for a professional pet sitter in the Bradenton and Sarasota, FL areas - be sure to give Christine a call! You can learn more on their website, on their Facebook page and on Instagram!
What caused you to get into pet sitting/dog walking?
I was volunteering at the local humane society walking dogs and at the same time the market was starting to go south and my job was soon going too. However, as a mortgage loan officer I was able to work from home so, my 2 young dogs were a bit spoiled and used to the extra attention and walks. When I started to look for another job, most of them meant that I would be gone from the house more. My pups needed consistency and exercise in their day but doggie day cares or kennels were not a good fit for my dogs. I did not also want to rely on friends and family to do it.
I wanted a professional pet sitter/dog walker that would come to my home when I work or went away. Unfortunately, there were not many professional sitters in my area at that time or they did not offer what I was looking for. So, I decided that maybe this was something I could do for a job instead of going back into the corporate world. So, I did some research, joined Pet Sitter International, got certified as a professional pet sitter, put on my walking shoes, printed out some flyers about my services and off I went. Before I knew it I had found my new passion in life and am still loving it 12 years later.
What is the most fulfilling part of owning a pet sitting/dog walking business?
There are so many fulfilling parts of owning a pet sitting/dog walking business. Every dog, cat, bird...pet is different and special. I love bonding and discovering each ones unique personality and hoping that I can become their next best friend. Also, knowing that the pet's owners trust me to care for their furry kids as if they are mine and the opportunity to become part of their family. I'm a walker by nature and to be able to make a business out of my most favorite passions in life, walking and pets, it's a win win!!
What is the most challenging?
The most challenging aspect for me is balancing business and personal time. This can be a 24/7 job and even though I love it, I still need personal time to take care of myself. I now combine my personal / work schedule on one calendar which helps me not overbook clients when I need "My Time" that is already on the calendar. I can't be at my best when clients need me if I'm not taking care of myself.
Where do you see your business in 5 years?
I feel I'm on the right path again after having some life changes in the past few years that did not allow me to do as much. I have a great team of sitters and could not do it without all their hard work and love for the clients and pets. My goal is to continue to grow and level out in the next 5 years while making sure all along we are still delivering exceptional service. God willing, I still want to pet sit and dog walk myself and not just run the business well into my retirement age.
What has Time To Pet changed the most about how you run your business?
Time To Pet has made my life in the pet sitting business so much easier, efficient and more professional. Being in this industry for over 12 years and trying to schedule numerous sitters, cancellations, requests, book keeping, invoices...(I can go on and on) the old fashion way with different applications took so much time. Now, TTP can do almost all that I need done a lot quicker. That frees me up to take more clients request and have some free time. Plus, my clients rave about how they love the it too! Especially, the visit report cards, the ease of making requests, paying invoices and updating their information.
I highly recommend Time To Pet to all pet sitters/dog walkers out there no matter how big or small their company is.