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31  Office Procedures, Scheduling, Routing / Office Procedures, Scheduling, Routing / Re: What step? on: October 21, 2012, 06:43:16 PM
I too find that if I take the time to call and ask for the payment that usually works well.  the problem is that I HATE calling to ask for the money.  It seems like at the time of the next billing I always have about $1300 or more still owed to me.  I could really use that money!  I need to get better at that I suppose.  Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes Roll Eyes

Same here.  Just with one less zero  Smiley.

TGP,  Thanks for the advice.  I looked at my state's laws on late fees and will stay with the 10% but will add the late fee terms to the invoices.  Hope that helps with getting paid on time. 
32  Office Procedures, Scheduling, Routing / Office Procedures, Scheduling, Routing / Re: What step? on: October 20, 2012, 10:35:59 PM
Thank you. 

I have been a little lenient with a couple of my clients; they pay but usually a week or two after the due date.

I was going to change my late fee from a one time 10% to 5% for every week late.
33  Office Procedures, Scheduling, Routing / Office Procedures, Scheduling, Routing / Re: What step? on: October 18, 2012, 04:13:38 PM
I am curious, how much do you charge for a late fee?

34  Dealing with Dogs / Dealing with Dogs / Re: Biscuits on: October 06, 2012, 06:56:31 PM
"milkbone" type biscuits
I recommend offering Milkbone and not a generic brand.  It will cost a few pennies more a treat but (hope this does not happen) you will hear of a recall on Milkbone products sooner then on some generic brand.

I like the small size of milkbone biscuits.  It is about the right size for all dogs to enjoy.
35  Dealing with Dogs / Dealing with Dogs / Re: Biscuits on: October 06, 2012, 06:47:50 PM
I bring and give out Milkbone dog biscuits.  The plain original ones.

When I do the meet and greet and we agree on a service schedule and a agreement is signed I ask if [dog(s) name] can have a Milkbone and if I can give one every time I see the dog(s).

So far everyone has been alright with it.  I have had only one person say no because the dogs were on a special natural diet or something. 

The good thing about Milkbone is it is a recognized name and most dog owners have at one point in time given their dogs a Milkbone.  So the owner will probably know if the dogs had an allergic reaction. 
36  Advertising and Marketing / Advertising and Marketing / Re: "Refer a friend" on: October 06, 2012, 02:54:57 PM
Something similar to what tgp went through happened to me.  The dog, a Boxer, was the sweetest thing to me when the owner was around but one day I when into the backyard when only the dog was outside and the dog went into attack mode. 
37  Advertising and Marketing / Advertising and Marketing / Re: "Refer a friend" on: September 28, 2012, 07:26:36 PM
I am offering 20$ credit to both (client and new customer).  I will be letting all my clients know in my newsletter next week.
38  Starting Up / Starting Up / Re: New to the biz, questions about area and population etc on: September 02, 2012, 02:51:38 PM
IMHO, hoping for 150 - 200 customers in that small of a population is probably an unrealistic goal.  I am in my 9th year.  I service an area of over 500,000.  I don't have 100 customers.  I did for about a week in January of '08.  Then I took a hard hit that year.  4 years later I almost reached 100 again.  Then in the last month it was deja vu all over again.  I am way down.  

Scott, for the longest time I though you had over a 100 customers.   Shocked  Now my confidence in getting up to 100 customers where I am is looking slim.   Sad
39  Apartments and Condos / Apartments and Condos / Re: Bidding Dog Parks on: August 21, 2012, 09:01:04 PM
I am actually hoping to do the same thing  Smiley

One or two the city will hopefully build (so some time in the next 2-10 years) & the other a non-profit group is trying to have built.  Working on setting up a meeting with the groups organizer, to find out were it will be located and if and how I can help.  Would love to have a sign up on a fence in the park if possible or something.  In exchange for either scooping, maintaining and providing waste stations and bags, or by donating.
40  Customer Service and Communication / Customer Service and Communication / Re: Customer Service agreements / Welcome packs on: August 21, 2012, 08:53:28 PM
Thank you.  Sorry for not responding for such a long time. 

I was thinking about it and may just require: an estimated cost, if over the phone and we cannot meet; where the minimum start-up cost plus a partial or full month is required before starting.  So if it should cost more to clean the first time, i can just use the credit to cover it and ask for the remainder of the month next week. 

41  Customer Service and Communication / Customer Service and Communication / Re: Customer Service agreements / Welcome packs on: July 31, 2012, 03:38:19 PM
Super nice if you can do that.  I have found that for me, about 99% of the time, we never meet the customer the first time.  They are quite thrilled that they don't have to take the time to set up a first meeting.  They are busy people that need to hire us to pick up their poop.  We may never ever meet them.

I was looking in to going that route; where it would not be necessary to meet.  How do you go about making an agreement on the service (email, online form, phone, etc.)  and receiving the first payment (since the amount can change based on time it takes and such)?
42  Starting Up / Starting Up / Re: Just starting out here.... on: July 15, 2012, 01:10:31 PM
I have a question though....I am setting up as a Sole Proprietor. I will be doing this as a part time business (atleast that is the plan). I also have a full time business of my own that is a sole proprietor as well....different industry completely.

My question, do i use the same Federal Tax Id that i use form my other business?   I do plan on calling the IRS about it, but i thought if somoene knew, it would save me the phone call.

You can use the same EIN or SSN as for the other business under sole proprietorship.  

Here is a link to explain EIN and businesses.

Another question i have....about Disinfectants.

Can it be purchased locally?  If so where?  I read on here about one or two that you can order online. But what about buying locally? anywhere?

Thanks for taking the time to read this and replying. Smiley

I assume you are talking about this tread

It's possible ... I guess.   Check out your pet stores and ask or ask the vets in your area and find out what they use and where they buy it.

43  Starting Up / Starting Up / Re: Newbie question about offering discounts when having a first time fee on: July 12, 2012, 11:52:52 AM
Thank you.   
44  Starting Up / Starting Up / Re: Thinking about starting a dog waste removal business in my area. on: July 11, 2012, 02:23:45 PM
PrintVista premium business card for $10 (I think you get around 250 of them).

FYI: I believe on that deal Vista Prints places their name on the back of the card.

I use their cards and no they do not place their name on the back of the cards. They are nice cards at a great price.

 Smiley My mistake.  The free cards and items will have the VistaPrint name on them.

Also, you can go to  to get 500 business cards for $10.  Got the promo in the mail and thought I'd pass it on.  Wink

if you ever order from Vistaprint do a google search of vistaprint coupons.    right now I'm looking at tons of stuff and found a coupon for 50% off.  And their prices are pretty cheap as it is.  I love vistaprint!!  I wish I could find someone local that was close in price but have had no luck at all

I personally us to search for online coupons or codes for discounts from online stores.
45  Starting Up / Starting Up / Re: Newbie question about offering discounts when having a first time fee on: July 11, 2012, 02:19:09 PM
They are just regular dog toys that cost $1.00 each. I get them at Walmart and Target.  I have nothing against the Dollar Store as I get all my tissue paper and bows there. (3 bows, the curly hang down kind for $1.00) I just prefer  not to get the dog toys there.

I  should mention that the brochures, business cards, FAQ (aka rules and crap) and newsletter are put in an envelope with there first name(s) on the front and a big Thank You written on the back.  

Almost always they are not home on the first visit.  I do let them know we will be bringing the gift bag.  I tell them we will usually leave it on the front porch or in the mailbox.  (By telling them we will leave it in the mailbox we are getting permission to put something in there mailbox.)

Great.  Thanks. 
One last question, where do you prefer to get gift bags and "lost of a pet" sympathy cards (A little off topic, sorry)?
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