In early 2021, I had the honor of speaking at Pet Sitters International’s Online Summit, Focus on Fundamentals. No surprise, the title of my segment was Your Pet Business Secret Sauce: Understanding and Attracting Your Ideal Customer. I walked the attendees through what your ideal customer is, why it’s so vital to know who your ideal customer is, and tools that you can use to truly understand and then attract your ideal customers to your pet business.

I had a blast because I love talking about ideal customer. It’s one of those marketing buzzwords that you hear and roll your eyes at. But when you really get into it and challenge yourself to do the work, you find that knowing your ideal customer is so underrated.

I received the nicest email

After the event, I received the nicest email from an attendee named Jay.

It read:

Rachel:
Wow! Your presentation at PSI online conference was terrific. Found it quite interesting, informative, and helpful.

It was the only session I attended at the conference. Our perspective is different than most other attendees. I am now Semi-Retired, operating business part-time, after 23 years in business. We are not looking to grow business, just continuing to transform the business into mainly cats.

Wanted to let you know, techniques you provided regarding recruiting and understanding the ideal client do work. I was able to get similar training years ago at our Local State University Small Business Center. (University of Central Missouri) Around 5 years ago we began focusing on obtaining and retention of ideal clients. Going mostly cats, as our exit strategy for semi-retirement, our ideal clients are local cat lovers.

We been able to add 65 Cat Sitting clients to our client base in our small-town market. (population less than 20K) 5 years ago 30% of clients cats, now it’s around 65%. Besides using online techniques, we also focus on building relationships offline as well.

Thank you for sharing tools that you use, few I have not tried, and providing practical tips how to use them effectively.

Best wishes for continued success with your business.

Sincerely,
Jay Pattiz
Pampered Pet Sitting
Cats at Home Pet Sitting

I was touched to receive this message, but most of all, I was proud to hear that someone with 20+ years in the industry spent the time to hone in on their ideal customer… and got to reap the rewards of their hard work.

After all, Jay saw an incredibly impressive jump in number of cat clients. 30% to 65% is huge!

After hearing Jay’s story, I asked him if he would share more about what he learned along the way. So check out this interview below to learn more about Jay, his pet business, and how ideal customer was the secret sauce he needed!

Interview With Jay Pattiz

Rachel: What does the term ‘ideal customer’ mean to you?

Jay: Everything! When we achieved enough ideal clients (more than customers) it allowed me to semi-retire in January. Now after 23+ years I am able operate our Pet Sitting business part time. This has allowed me to pursue other interests as well.

R: Can you tell me about how you decided upon/came up with your ideal customer?

J: We are cat people; we have had them in our home for over 40 years, and they are our passion. We have been involved over the years with cat rescues, cat clubs, and have participated in CFA Cat Shows. It’s natural that local cat lovers would be chosen as our Ideal Clients. In 2016, after 18 years in business, I decided to mainly focus on cat sitting and building up our cat clientele.

R: How has having a specific ideal customer in mind helped your business?

J: I believe it is one of the keys to our long-term success. To us, they are more than just a customer, they are loyal clients. Often our Ideal Clients become big supporters of our business. They spread awareness of our business, provide referrals, share our social media posts, include Facebook Boosted Posts, and write positive reviews.

R: Is there anything else you would like to share about your pet sitting journey? Any advice to share with others?

J: Pampered Pet Sitting started May 1, 1997. In 2011, after seeing the business starting to slip, I went to a local University Small Business Center for help establishing an online presence. That year, we started social media pages – Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Later that year, we got a custom logo designed and launched a multipage website. In 2016, to focus on cat sitting and increase our cat client base, we launched Cats at Home Pet Sitting. Our specialized cat brand even allowed us to expand service area.

J: Here are a few tips may help others achieve long-term pet sitting business success:

1)Know your numbers. Do not totally depend on Pros to do your books. Understand your books, know your stats, so you may use them to manage your business more effectively.

2)Know your numbers. Do not totally depend on Pros to do your books. Understand your books, know your stats, so you may use them to manage your business more effectively.

3)Know your numbers. Do not totally depend on Pros to do your books. Understand your books, know your stats, so you may use them to manage your business more effectively.

R: These are all wonderful tips! Thanks for sharing them! Can you also share more about where people can find you?

J: Our websites are www.warrensburgpetsitting.com and www.catsathomepetsitting.com

While Jay still runs his original pet business, his focus and time now go into Cats At Home Pet Sitting where he is able to accept and work with his ideal customers. Needless to say, it was wonderful talking to someone who spent over 20 years navigating the pet sitting space.

If you want help honing in on your ideal customer, grab this free Customer Vision board now! This is a really fun + interactive way to figure out who it is you want to say “YES!” to over and over again.