big rockpile..cutting costs..idea/you/others

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Raindancer, Feb 7, 2005.

  1. Raindancer

    Raindancer Well-Known Member

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    I agree with BeeFree's thoughts as a pet sitter. You have such a loving heart, and think you'd be wonderful as a pet care provider!!

    As a professional pet sitter (tho slowly phasing out now due to other family commitments), have a legit biz/service..city license, prof. associations, abide by codes set there-in, pay my biz taxes and network with other pet professionals. I've have great word of mouth and such wonderful folks to work for!! Clients view me as extended family (as I do them) where their pets are concerned while their away. AND, I've been my own boss..I had potential to grow as large as I liked or keep it small, part time and personal (which I have). I bet you could do this..and there's such a NEED!!. You could scale this to your own hours (within reason with your "clients" needs), restrict to certain driving distances, and even restrict to certain critters. Just giving you general thoughts outside the industries "norms"..but you MUST have an absolute love for animals and and giving them the best care you have to offer, no matter which mode you decided on.

    I built my biz from the ground up and absolutely loved it. Rather than going general animal care, I specialized in cats (my heart and knowledge) and small critters. Just as Day Bird, with his experience, could easily become a "bird sitter", there is a NEED!! People will pay for your loving, caring, responsible care and knowledge, whether house pets or someone who deals with livestock. There is such a NEED (I'll say it again!). Along with my fee (as most pet sitters), included as a courtesy is bringing in the mail, watering house plants, rotating lights/blinds (whatever security measures need), hauling trash out on pick-up days, administering simple med's (I also gave sub-Q shots to diabetics), filling bird feeders/baths etc..whatever simple things clients wanted done to make their time away stress free. Trust is the main issue! But you HAVE to love what you do with animals concerned and to go to what ever lengths are needed for their comfort and care, or this job is not for you.

    I know in the area we're looking at moving to, there are no prof. pet sitters!! I SO worry how I'd manage with my current house critters should we need/want to go away, and to have that peace of mind. Right now I have family close by who tend to my menagerie of just house pets..but what if, down the line I have chickens and goats to feed, and family not so readily available? A scary thought to me to leave all my furred and feathered babies to someone who might do the job, but might not give a damn for their well-being. Someone like ME was what I needed, and so my biz was started. They got no less than what *I* expected of exceptional care! I hope I can find someone I'd glady pay, if need be, to meet those expectations.:) Did I mention there is a NEED!!?? (OK.. sorry..being redundant!) But think about it!

    You could do this as a "hobby" sitter (word of mouth, under the table)..or go as a legit pet sitter (biz license, taxes, etc) and market your service to a broader clientel and perhaps make better $. It's all what you want to put into it, and the amount of time willing to devote to it. If interested..let me know (anyone)..can guide you into helping you get started. Just a thought as a way to suppliment if you have the time and inclination. Like anything, it takes a while to get the word out that you're there, but, once known, that's all it takes to get the ball rolling!

    Excuse my blah, blahing...just some thoughts. Think I'll have another glass of wine:) Hope things work out for you, big rockpile. Don't give up!!!

    Dee
     
  2. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    As someone who hires pet (ok, farm) sitters, one of my pet peeves (sorry... but it WAS a good pun!) is sitters who don't get to the dogs soon enough, leaving the dogs to mess in the house. We're VERY clear that the dogs need to go out a minimum of every 4 hours during the day, for a minimum of about 45 min of play, and that they've got to get all the dogs, young and old, out.

    So, okay, some people are not responsible enough to follow instructions, or they figure "what will they know... I'll let them out every 6 hours and skip a session."

    Fine. No problem, we won't know... unless you leave the fecal material on the carpets. That's something we're just bound to notice!

    EVERY time over the past couple of years, we've had a pet sitter, they ignore the accidents as if they haven't happened. So if you're going to do this professionally, make yourself a little cleaning kit and be ready to clean. If you hit the house on time and as contracted and Fluffy has had an accident you can make mention of it to the homeowner... and two things may happen:

    1. The homeowner may hire you to come more often.

    and 2. The homeowner will be so grateful you were responsible enough to clean up the mess they'll recommend you all over the place.

    Just make sure you say it as if you were trying to impart important info to them, not whininging... "I use simple green when cleaning up accidents like Fluffy had today, but you might want to hit that with a deodorizer, since her nose is much more sensitive than yours... we recommend... "

    Just my (frustrated) two cents.
     

  3. sylvar

    sylvar Well-Known Member

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    Morrison Corner,
    How much do you pay your Farm Sitters? Just curious. I have never priced anything like this before. If we go out of town I pay the neighbor kids to take care of the chickens and the outside dog and take the inside dog to a kennel. I can't imagine getting paid enough to visit a house every 4 hours to let the dogs out....But then again I am a certified cheapskate. I probably can't imagine getting paid enough to do that 'cause I can't imagine PAYING that much! :)

    Sylvar
     
  4. tsdave

    tsdave Grand Marshal

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    Ditto what sylvar said, I was reading your post and was thinking "Wow that will be expensive". I would guess it would cost over a $100/day for that level of service.
     
  5. COUNTRY WISHES

    COUNTRY WISHES Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    NW NJ's lakeland hills
    Morrison Corner for that kind of service you would need someone to stay at your place. If the person came every four hours and walked the dogs for 45 minutes and then added in travel back and forth to your place they'd be walking those dogs or on the road all day.

    Most suburban dogs go all day at home, most likely spent asleep, until their masters return to walk them after a full days work. I think you may have spoiled yours by being on site most of the day. Better get a house sitter with dog duty the next time, so you don't end up with dog doody.lol
     
  6. MorrisonCorner

    MorrisonCorner Mansfield, VT for 200 yrs

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    We pay (she said dryly) $100/day, provide food in the fridge, and expect the housesitter to spend the night. They're even (since we don't have satelite) allowed to charge movies on our local account at the video store. We actually pay more than $100/day, in that we'll tip anyone we think has done a particularly fine job. My standards for "fine" haven't moved. If I come home and find fecal material scattered around the house I don't tip.

    Now, remember, we have between 6 and 8 dogs at any given moment. To kennel those dogs is going to run me $20/dog/day. So to my mind, $100/day is a bargain to end all bargains. They're in a familiar environment (to Rescues this is important), I don't have to go fetch them, I don't have to pick them up, and (in theory) I don't have to worry about them.

    We tell people they can go off to do things, they don't have to camp out at the place, BUT the dogs need to go out every 4 hours during the day when we're not there because they get anxious. And when they get anxious...

    See post on poop above...

    Anyhow, I'm rather of the opinion that for $100/day people should be reliable. In a 3 day weekend we'll leave on Friday mid-morning, expect them to show up around noon at the latest, and we're usually home by 6 pm on Sunday. The "babysitter" collects $300, steaks, has a fairly decent place to hang out for the weekend... all I ask is that they let the dogs out before the dogs do it on the carpet.

    I'm just not thinking I'm being unreasonable here!

    Where IS that tear your hair out smiley???

    !@#$%^&*!

    Anyhow.. in answer to your question, we pay $100/day, give or take... which is to say we don't measure a "day" precisely so the sitter is coming out a little better than $100/day. And, truthfully, if the right person came along and was willing to do this right and could sell me on it, I'd probably go up somewhat on that. I have a client who is running a boarding kennel/doggie day care, and she gets $20/9 hour day per dog.. so if I've got 6 dogs for someone to keep an eye on, plus 3 cats, plus sheep (pitch hay, not a biggie)... I probably should go up on that. But I'm still looking for that responsible person!
     
  7. sylvar

    sylvar Well-Known Member

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    No, No....Not unreasonable at all. I was right, I couldn't imagine paying someone that much, but with that many dogs you don't really have a choice I guess.

    Sylvar
     
  8. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    Around here most people will take care of a neighbors for nothing,while their out of town a couple days.

    big rockpile
     
  9. jgbndaudio

    jgbndaudio Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    New York
    Where in Vermont are you located? I know a couple people that I may be able to recomend depending on where you are.
    Scotty
    PS. The rate you pay is reasonable but not over the top great. Just my $.02.
     
  10. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Use your computer to make wedding invitations. My relative can convert $50 s worth of materials into as much as $300 gross income. Only takes a few hours. She usually gets someone in the bride's family to gift the invitations as a wedding gift. Works for everyone that way. :cool: