We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Karen Krieger a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Hi Karen, thanks for joining us today. Any thoughts about whether to ask friends and family to support your business. What’s okay in your view?
I have always felt supported in all my endeavors by my friends and family, but when I opened Pets and Peeps I couldn’t believe how many people stepped up to contribute to the company! My friends, who are considered family”, raised their hands to become pet sitters, walkers, office managers, consultants and spokesperson for the company. They have been with me every step of the way! I look to them to give me honest feedback about how we run the business. Many of my friends started out as clients, we took care of their cats and dogs and they loved the experience, this is the best confirmation that you are doing something right.
Karen, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
We specialize in providing a high level of commitment, love and attention to the pets in our care just as their owners would. What sets us apart is that we are super focused on service and making our client’s life more manageable. This gives them the time to do the things they really love to do, like travel, spend time with family and friends but without the guilt or concern of leaving their loving pets behind. We make it easy for them because they can trust Pets and Peeps to take the very best care of their loved one.
Founded in 2016, the goal for the company was to provide a warm, loving experience with every client we serve, we stand by that goal today. We want to create the confidence for our clients knowing that we will provide the best care for their pets in a healthy, loving atmosphere where they can thrive. Our services include; overnight pet care, drop in visits (dogs, cats, bunnies, reptiles) and dog walking.
Most of us at Pets and Peeps have always been animal lovers. We were the kind of kids who were bringing home “orphans” who needed a family; cats, dogs, mice, birds, squirrels you name it! It wasn’t unusual to have 5-8 pets living under our roof at one time. At some point our parents refused to take any additional strays into the house, but that didn’t stop us from asking! We loved them all but as kids we clearly did not understand the amount of time and care each little being required.
The love for animals is still with us today as adults and we do understand what it takes to keep our pets happy, healthy and safe. It’s the foundation we created for Pets and Peeps.
Another goal of Pets and Peeps is to make it easy to do business with us. We provide an online registration system for requesting services, which includes a client/pet profile and on line billing with payment options. It also includes access to a visit report and pictures of each pet visit. Our clients have a direct communication link with their sitters.
Our responsive management team is available to work with you for any special requests or questions you may have about our services. Reach out to us at 404-316-5350. Or check us out at www.petsandpeeps4u.com. We look forward to hearing from you!
Karen Krieger, Founder and Owner of Pets and Peeps Personal Assistant Services, LLC,
Web site: www.petsandpeeps4u.com
How do you keep your team’s morale high?
We are in the business of taking care of the family pets when the owners are not available to take care of them. It may be due to business or vacation travel, long workday schedules or changes in the family situation. The strategy for Pets and Peeps is to build a strong committed team that is client (and pet) focused. A team member who has an intuitive approach to animals, is responsible and honest and loves the outdoors (in any weather) and of course, has a passion for animals.
We are responsible for a “family member”, yes, most people consider their pets four legged humans! Our Pets and Peeps team members are animal lovers and most have had pets all of their lives. Five years ago when we started building our team we looked (and still do) for people who were committed to finding something they can do that they are passionate about but will also bring in income. We discovered that there is an abundance of people who are passionate about animals, but not all make a great animal care takers. Our job goes far beyond just being passionate about animals.
We look for people who have strong morals and values, with respect for themselves and those around them. Trust plays a huge part in determining whether someone would make a great team member for our company. We are in a situation where we are in our client’s homes with one of the most important family members. Clients expect stellar care for their pets but they also expect a sitter to treat their home as their own with respect and care for their property.
We are interested in people who are committed to building strong, healthy relationships with people and their pets. There is a bond created very quickly built on trust and commitment which gives our clients peace of mind and comfort.
We want to attract people who have the desire to learn and grow and are not averse to taking calculated risks. These are people who thrive on contributing in a team environment and have a strong desire to make a difference in others’ lives.
Another quality we look for in a team member is their ability to make decisions that will positively impact the client. Many times we are faced with a situation that we need to handle that could be life threatening to the animal. A person who can think quickly on their feet, react and manage the situation to achieve a positive outcome is golden!
We know it takes a certain kind of person who has all of the qualities that we look for. But once you meet our team, you will see it’s possible to find them!
Maintaining high morale is key to our success. The pet care industry is known to create a condition called “compassion fatigue”. This is a where a pet caretaker has been giving all their energy to take care of pets and their families, but they have forgotten to take care of themselves. This usually leads to burnout, whether mentally or physically.
We take a great deal of care to look for the signs of distress or exhaustion and address it immediately. We support a healthy lifestyle for our team members and provide time for them to rest, replenish and spend time with their family and friends.
Another key to keeping up the morale is for our management team to be consistent in their leadership. No one likes surprises or changes without prior discussion or notice. We are dedicated to doing what we say we will do and if changes need to be implemented we will ask for input and feedback from our team. We believe in paying them fairly, recognizing and rewarding the hard work they put in to taking care of our clients and growing the business. We strive to treat each other with respect, take an interest in things that are important to each of us and understand what keeps each of us motivated. Lastly, keep the job fun, interesting and don’t drag the team into problems that the leadership team should be handling.
We feel that taking care of these incredible animals is a gift—unwrap it each day!
Any advice for growing your clientele? What’s been most effective for you?
The most effective strategy for growing our clientele would be through word of mouth, whether from existing clients or strategic partnerships such as groomers, trainers and veterinarians. Of course we have a web site, utilize social media and Google search but word of mouth is by far the most valuable way to grow our business.
Another piece of the strategy is to fully understand the pet care needs of the family who is inquiring about our services. We start every new relationship with a meet and greet. At that meeting we have the opportunity to learn about their pet’s personality, their routines, habits, and preferences. That information is key when recommending the best option for the care of their pet. Once we understand their needs, we present the plan for approval. Clients have the option of daycare, overnight care, weekly walking, drop in visits or a combination of services.
The strategy also includes making it easy to do business with Pets and Peeps. We have an online registration system and client portal which allows our clients to request our services, input pet details and receive pet visit reports. It’s also the system that we use to invoice. We accept debit and credit cards, checks and don’t forget good old cash!
The most important part of the Pets and Peeps strategy to grow the clientele is to hire staff that is honest, open and a trustworthy partner. Rule of thumb, don’t cut corners, listen to the client (and pets), and consistently provide stellar services. This may seem obvious for a business to succeed, but it is critical in the pet care business to succeed over time.
- Website: www,petsandpeeps4u.com
- Instagram: petsandpeeps
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/petsandpeeps4U/
- Linkedin: Pets and Peps Personal Assisitant Services LLC
- Twitter: karenkrieger1
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/pets-and-peeps-personal-assistant-services-roswell