As stated in our previous article Tips To Become A Top Notch Sitter – Part 1, it’s important to be sure that you’re incredibly honest with both a potential client and yourself when it comes to expectations. What does that mean? First and foremost, can you give the cat client everything it needs? Does the cat require medication, subcutaneous fluids, or injections? If yes, you must be sure that you have previous experience with these.
Additionally, you need to know how to manage your time. With multiple five-star reviews comes more reservation requests. Taking on more reservations requires amazing time management skills, taking your travel radius into account, and setting realistic expectations. I live in Los Angeles, specifically in the neighborhood of Hollywood. For me, I know it is completely unrealistic to have my travel radius be anything beyond four to five miles. In areas with less traffic to contend with, it’s not uncommon to have a travel radius of more than ten miles. If I were back in upstate New York where I grew up, I would have a travel radius of ten miles because the commute time is much less crazy. In LA, Beverly Hills is fewer than five miles away, but it can often take 35+ minutes to get there.
It’s completely unrealistic for me to do anything outside of a five-mile radius, especially when it comes to multiple bookings in a day. During the holidays, I often drop my radius down to three miles because I can have as many as ten clients within 14 hours. Anything outside of that three-mile radius would not only make the commute crazy but it would make me very grumpy. When you’re grumpy from the commute or have a completely jam-packed schedule, it often negatively affects the time you’re spending with your cat clients. This makes you fall short of giving the best experience you can offer.
Think About the Logistics
Continuing with the travel train of thought: if you are in a major city and rely on public transportation, you need to be super mindful and even more brutally honest about your travel distance, time, and the number of clients you take on. Many cities have excellent public transportation (Los Angeles is not one of those places!). However, you become reliant on the schedules of the metro transit system and therefore have no control over scheduling, accidents, issues, weather-related delays, etc. As someone who lived in New York City for years and had to rely on either the train, the bus, my bike, or my feet, I know it’s tough to not always be able to account for the regular crazy occurrences. Additionally, if you have a client who is requesting a double drop-in, but lives 45-60 minutes away, it may be in everyone’s best interest to turn down the request as that will result in 90-120 minutes of commuting alone if absolutely everything runs smoothly.
Don’t Take On Everything That Comes Your Way
While I don’t recommend that sitters turn down clients often, if it’s in the best interest of the kitty and human client, then it should be taken into serious consideration.
One bad reservation can have a real domino effect. Not only can it put the cat(s) in danger of neglect, it can leave a bad taste in the client’s mouth. If you leave a bad taste in the client’s mouth, it could potentially have a ripple effect with future bookings and potential Meowtel clients. That’s a lot of negative consequences just because you were trying to bank a few extra bucks. Trust me, it’s not worth it.
So really, just keep your kitty workload reasonable. If you find yourself overloaded or having questions about managing your time or visits, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. After all, we sitters should be able to spend time with our kitties, too!