The 12 Best Books for Pet Sitting Company Owners
Every time I start a new book that I know is going to be great, it feels like I have one of the world’s best business consultants advising me on how to run my company.
A long time ago, I realized I didn’t have to re-invent the wheel to solve some problem in my business. There are literally hundreds of business books written on any given subject you can think of.
I have come to think of great business books as a framework I can use to build my company upon. Further, I have come to realize that for every issue I encounter in my business (or even in life in general), there is a subject matter expert who has developed a bulletproof framework about the topic, and then wrote a book on it.
Even better, with the popularity of Audible, the author can read the book to me while I am out walking dogs! It’s awesome!
So, let’s get started with The 12 Best Books for Pet Sitting Company Owners!
Building A Storybrand
by Donald Miller
This is one of the best marketing books ever written. There is a lot of talk about StoryBranding right now, and most people are getting it seriously wrong.
Donald Miller literally invented StoryBranding by developing the StoryBrand 7-part framework.
If you have ever had trouble explaining why your service is valuable to your customers, get this book. It explains how to clarify your marketing message so your customers know why they should buy from you.
However, it seems Donald Miller was not content with developing a revolutionary system that makes marketing easy and accessible for any small business owner.
His newest venture, Business Made Simple, is an online course that teaches you everything you need to know about running a business.
by Kim Scott
If you ever wanted to learn how to be a kick-ass boss, here’s the manual.
This book taught me I could both challenge my employees to do the work that needs to get done, while still showing how much I truly care about every one of my team members.
This balance is something I wish I would have known much sooner in my career, and it is something I still strive to achieve.
Kim Scott taught Steve Jobs how to lead his team, but more importantly, she taught Steve Jobs how to get even better results without being such an asshole.
If you have ever challenged a good employee only to have them quit a few weeks later, you need this book.
This book should be required reading for anyone who manages people.
Don’t Shoot The Dog
by Karen Pryor
- Animal Behavior
- Clicker Training
In my opinion, this book is required reading for anyone working with animals. This is the book all other (good) dog training books are based on.
If you want to learn how to connect with dogs and train good behavior without using fear or pain, this book is for you. I give a copy to each new sitter we hire, and earmark some of the tables with examples of various good and bad training methods.
Karen Pryor invented clicker training. So, you could say this book is a useful resource.
You can buy the audio version directly from Karen Pryor’s website. Or, you can pick up the paperback on Amazon.
The Lean Startup
by Eric Ries
- Business Startup
I’m a big fan of this book. Some of you might know, I went to school to learn how to run factories. Because of this, Lean Thinking is dear to my heart.
It is really easy to launch a service or a feature that nobody wants. This book teaches a method for prioritizing what you should be working on based on customer feedback.
This is another book I listen to at least once per year. I also give it a listen whenever I am trying to launch a new service or product.
by Mike Michalowicz
There are a lot of business owners out there who really have no way of telling if they are actually making money or not.
Your business might have money in the bank, but what if that cash is actually already owed for future insurance costs, payroll, credited visits, taxes, or other liabilities?
How do you know if you are saving enough for a rainy day?
We follow the profit first method, and I am happy to show you how we track our finances using the methods covered in this book. Just reach out through our consulting page.
Who: The A Method for Hiring
by Geoff Smart
and Randy Street
We modeled our hiring system from this book. It took us about two years to modify the “GH Smart Method of Hiring” to work in a pet sitting company, but we started off ahead of the game by basing our system on the foundational knowledge in this book.
Hiring a “B-Player” in your company can cut your bottom line down by 2.5 times a sitter’s yearly salary, so I recommend you take hiring seriously and only hiring the best. Otherwise, you will literally be paying the price.
We offer hiring consulting, where we will share with you our entire hiring process, based on this book and our experience gained along the way. This way, you don’t have to go through the same trial and error we faced.
Giving this book a listen while you are out walking your clients’ dogs can give you a leg up, so to speak, when it comes to building your hiring process.
The Psychology of Selling
by Brian Tracy
This book is a classic, and it was one of my first audiobooks.
Whenever I need to hop on sales calls again, I always load up this book on my Audible app and give it a listen for a couple days while I drive to visits or when I wind down before bed. Each time, I get the inspiration and motivation to start selling again.
I also recommend reaching out to your local SBDC to see if they offer discounted Sandler Sales Training.
SEO Fitness Workbook by Jason McDonand PhD
- Search Engine Optimization
Showing up at the top of Google is hard to do. It’s even harder if you are not following a good guide.
There is so much information about SEO out there, it can be hard to know what is signal and what is noise.
Jason McDonald updates this book every year to stay up to date with good SEO practices. He also teaches SEO at Stanford University, so you know he is a credible source!
I review this book each year in January, before developing my SEO strategy for the next year.
They Ask, You Answer by Marcus Sheridan
- Content Marketing
So many business books are written by some billionaire tech CEO who teaches strategies that don’t translate well to small business.
That’s why this book is so refreshing. Marcus Sheridan ran a pool supply company, and grew his company using a simple Content Marketing strategy.
I highly recommend picking up this book to get the full picture. The take away is to write content that answers your customers’ questions.
We really ran with this idea in our company, and now our website does most of the “selling” for us. Now, by the time clients call us, they are ready to book service.
The 4-Hour Workweek
by Tim Ferris
- Virtual Assistants
- Building a Team
The first time I read this book, I was working 50-60 hours per week. I thought the idea of a short work week was ludicrous.
Now, I don’t think I’ll ever get down to 4 hours per week. Tim Ferris even admits he, in fact, works more than 4 hours per week. The title was actually developed using Google Ads, and “The 4-Hour Workweek” turned out to be the most clickable title.
Tim shares many little hacks and tricks that can seriously make your life easier and more productive.
This book helped me prioritize what matters most, and helped me realize the importance of a team, virtual assistants, and delegating work. This book really is a game-changer.
The Virgin Way
by Richard Branson
- Customer Experience
Written by the founder of the massive Virgin group—which now includes Virgin Records, Virgin Trains, Virgin Airlines, Virgin Galactic, Virgin Money, and over 50 other Virgin-branded companies.
Richard’s beginnings were humble. His first business, which he started at 10 years old, was a Christmas tree farm. He later started Student Magazine at age 16.
Now he is offering luxury flights into space, along with hundreds of other services across the Virgin Business Group.
You could say Mr. Branson—who now lives on his own island—has come a long way.
Whenever I need inspiration about how I can become a better leader, improve my company’s customer experience, or improve my company’s culture, I come back to this book.
And what’s with the name Virgin? Richard Branson says with every new business venture, he and his team are often complete virgins to that industry.
Branson goes on to say their inexperience is precisely why they are able to approach a new business in a way that “the old guard” may have thought was impossible.
Good Strategy / Bad Strategy
by Richard P. Rumelt
- Business Strategy
There are a lot of good ideas, and good intentions, masquerading as strategy in people’s businesses.
Strategy is not a buzzword. It’s more than a direction you have a good feeling about.
Rumelt spent his life studying and teaching how to create real plans with what he calls the kernel of strategy.
- A diagnosis
- A guiding policy
- And coherent action.
We used his methods to grow our company and even to build part of our hiring process.
Ever since we implemented the ideas taught in this book, we have seen a complete 180 in the right direction.