Should pet sitters put signs on their cars to advertise their businesses?
The Pros and Cons ........
When I was a newbie pet sitter I heard a talk by a former police officer about security in pet sitting. He strongly advocated for pet sitters not to put signs on their cars. He offered us several reasons for not doing it that made sense to me, so I didn't do it.
I was many years into my pet sitting business before I decided TO put signs on my car. What brought me to this decision and how did it work for me? How did it work in regards to this police officer's warnings not to put signs on cars advertising a pet sitting business?
The officer suggested a pet sitter should not put a sign on his/her car for the following reasons:
1. If you pull into a client's home, someone who is a bad apple may notice this and figure that the clients are not home, so the bad apple waits until the pet sitter leaves, then breaks into the house.
2. This said bad apple can then follow a sitter around clandestinely throughout the day and find out all of the people who are away, then get themselves into multiple homes after the sitter leaves.
3. The bad apple can approach a sitter at a home causing him/her danger. They might push them into the home as they are leaving and not only steal things from the client, but also hurt/kill the pets and do the same with the pet sitter. Very scary!
4. The bad apple can follow the pet sitter home and the next morning as he/she is leaving at or before dawn for their daily pet runs, they can be attacked.
5. The bad apple can get the contact info of the pet sitter from the sign and arrange a bogus meet and greet, thereby luring the sitter into their home where they can be in danger.
All the above are scary possibilities. Are they probable most of the time, I'd say not often, but all you need is one scary situation to come to fruition and you are toast.
So, why did I put signs on my car many years down the line in professional pet sitting? How did I use these signs in a way that avoided possible trouble?
1. I purchased magnetic, not permanent signs, for my car. I could pop them on or off as needed.
2. I would arrive for the meet and greet with the signs on my car so the client knew who I was when coming in.
3. During the meet and greet I would inform the clients that I never had the signs on my car when I am pet sitting while they are away.
4. I would use the magnetic signs to drive around while doing my personal errands and this was helpful because, in large open places like a supermarket parking lot or Walmart, people would ask me about my services.
5. I had a definite increase in phone or e-mail inquiries from people who saw my magnetic signs while I was driving around.
6. I felt it showed a level of professionalism and after purchasing the sign for about $40.00, the advertising was free.
7. I could take the signs off while driving out of my service area. This saved me from a lot of unwanted contact inquiries from outside of my area.
8. When I decided to close my business, the magnetic signs were easy to remove and store for posterity's sake.
Where I got my signs: I designed and purchased them from www.vistaprint.com.
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