Thursday, August 30, 2012

My House Has Gone to the Dogs

I've found myself in many different positions and careers in my life.  One of the most lucrative jobs was working for a law firm where I was responsible for accounts payable and billing.  That position landed me a job working for one of the largest law firms in San Diego County and a hefty  raise!  Oh how I HATED that job and the stuffiness of the firm.  Eventually, I landed a job working for an accounting firm.  That was jumping from the frying pan directly into the fire.  Eventually, I quit that job and decided to do something that I would love and not concern myself with how much the position pays.

I ended up working at Petco as a manager.  After about 5 years working  in a heavily corporate environment and corporate mentality, I decided to start my own business.  What a brainstorm of an idea!  Now I could incorporate my administrative skills with my people skills and knowledge I learned in the pet industry.  I figured I couldn't go wrong since I wasn't gainfully employed at the time.  If it failed, I lost nothing, if it worked out it meant endless possibilities.

My idea was simple.  I would start a home-based pet service business.  When families went on vacation, they could  bring their beloved pet to stay in my home, or I would stay in theirs.  I also included walking dogs and in-home doggy daycare.

Initially, I had business cards printed and I made my own fliers from my computer.  I would distribute the fliers and business cards to local groomers, veterinarians and pet friendly business.  I kept business cards on me at all times.  I got the brainstorm August 2011 and by October 2011 I hadn't had one call for jobs.  My husband approached me and said I would have to seek a job and give up my idea of starting my own business.  I swear, the day he sprung that on me, I got 3 calls from prospective clients who reside right here in Rancho San Diego.  All lived within a 3 mile radius of my home.  I told him, "I can't give up now!  I think the business is going to work!"

Fast forward exactly one year later, I have over 40 clients, many of which are repeat.  One of my original clients, who happened to be one that called on that fateful day, lives in Granite Hills.  They are a newly married middle-aged couple who four dogs into their home.  Comet, a 16 year old Shitzu, Kobe, a 10+ year old Akita, Tessie, a 15 year old German Shepard/Chow mix and Kacie a Blue Merle Australian Shepard.  My clients referred to their dogs as "The Geriatric Unit". 

Sadly, Kacie the Aussie is the only dog left.  Comet was the first to go from complications from seizures.  Kobe passed a few months after Comet from bloat and Tessie passed about two weeks ago from old age.  I still care for Kacie while her mommy and daddy are out of town and I go to her house three times per week while they are at work to take her for a walk.  Kacie brightens my day and reminds me of her siblings and the fact that life is short and eventually I will have to say goodbye to her and some of the other dogs I have grown to love.

Not a day goes by that I don't pinch myself and realize how lucky I am to have a business doing what I love that's actually making money.

For information on my business and services I provide, please visit my website at http://www.crittersittersandiego.com.