What if I told you you could have the capacity for even MORE business than you previously thought and all it took was a little automation (i.e. putting some great systems in place)? Or, what if you’re feeling like you’re at capacity with clients but not making enough money, and therefore somehow need to take on more clients in the same amount (or even less) time?
Even though it’s super duper exciting when we get to onboard a new client and a new client chooses to work with OUR business, it can still feel overwhelming, time-consuming, and frustrating…
“How did my new client not know that I do X?”
“Oh my goodness, why is she calling me AGAIN?!”
“How many times do I have to explain Y?”
“Crap, I forgot to send over Z!! Hopefully she’s not looking elsewhere now.”
Imagine if all of the manual tasks that went into helping a new client get set up in your system were automated, simple, and done without you needing to handhold or answer unnecessary questions. Imagine the amount of time you could get back in your day or the additional clients you could take on because onboarding is so easy breezy!
One of the best ways to assist with this is through the implementation of a client welcome packet!
First things first…
What’s a client welcome packet?
Think of a welcome packet as a trusty sidekick that guides your new clients through everything they need to know to become a part of your pet care, pet photography, or dog training program.
A welcome packet helps to:
Make positive first impressions and deliver wonderful client experiences
Professionally welcome new clients into your business, and thank them for choosing your business
Set proper boundaries for you and your clients
Outlines your process so your new clients know exactly what to expect and what steps they need to take
Avoid unnecessary questions, concerns, and complaints
Save you lots of time in your day so you can relax and/or take on even more without the stress and overwhelm
What should you include in a client welcome packet?
If you’re ready to upscale your client onboarding experience, here are 9 of the best and most effective things to include in your pet business welcome packet:
1. A welcome message. Remember, the pet industry is personal. That means you’re going to be working directly with someone’s beloved pets, whether you’re a dog walker, a pet sitter, a veterinarian, a dog trainer, a pet photographer, or a groomer… you name it. That means they need to know a little bit about you and your business. Thank them for trusting you, and allow them to continue to do so through your words and reassurance that they’re in good hands!
2. Outline what’s inside. A table of contents of sorts works great here just so new clients can know what to expect inside the welcome packet and they can also go back later and know where they can skip to read the information they need at that moment in time! Again, easy is the name of the game here, so we want to make it simple for them!
3. Introduce you and/or your team. A lot of pet care providers struggle with expanding their team or having clients work with someone they never have before. A great way to combat this worry is through team introductions. It builds trust. Bonus points if you include pictures of your team members as photos of team members looking into the camera are proven to build more trust!
4. Explain your services! This may seem like an obvious one, but there are lots of reasons why this is good to outline in your welcome packet.
They can learn more about what you do.
They can clearly understand what it is they’re getting from you.
They can see what else you do in case the need arises for other services that may not have known you offer and can refer back to.
Builds expertise/credibility in showing that you’re an expert at what you do and what you’re qualified to do.
5. The process. The systems nerd in me probably loves this inclusion the most!! This right here is the time saver! This section will help prevent email back and forth, confusion, delays, issues, and all the things. By outlining your process, you’re setting clear client expectations and scopes so new clients know exactly what to expect and won’t be surprised at any stage in the process.
6. Your communication methods. Probably my second favorite component of the welcome packet, as this is where the burnout can really start to melt away. By clearly outlining the ways your business communicates with clients, you can set proper boundaries from the beginning and no longer receive text messages at 9am on a Saturday expecting a response. This is EVERYTHING!
7. Overview of software or any other tool they’ll be using to work with you. When clients are expected to use a booking software or a tool to communicate with you, it’s important to provide them with the important links, resources, and visuals they need to understand how to use it easily and properly. Not only will this be less of a headache for YOU, but it also helps to make working with you more approachable, seamless, and professional.
8. Any checklists/things they should know. By equipping your new clients with everything they need to have done on their end, it’ll help both of you be set up for success when you finally begin working together!
9. Resources/Referrals/Recommendations. There are so many benefits to this section of your welcome packet, but essentially the goal here is to make sure they feel FULLY taken care of, even if it’s outside of your specific offerings. This builds trust, establishes credibility, shows your involvement in the community, and so much more!
Bonus: If you want to also share specific materials you like for dogs like certain collars, etc., this can be a way for you to plug in your affiliate links and earn some extra cash on the side! Learn more about passive income here.
How to Make a Welcome Packet
The best and easiest way to get a welcome packet is through Canva! Canva is a free graphic design tool you can use to build all sorts of different graphics from Facebook cover photos to business cards and everything in between.
To save even more time, use one of our Welcome Packet Templates for Pet Businesses! We have welcome packets for dog walkers and pet sitters, dog trainers, pet photographers, and doggie daycare and boarding facilities.
Included with your welcome packet:
Written AND video Canva tutorials walking you through how to make customizations to your template
Access to the Canva template, which includes 40 pages you can mix and match, customize, add to, or delete!
See some of our customers’ Welcome Packet Templates in use!
Laura from Pawsitive Vibes Cat Behavior and Training
“I stumbled upon the welcome packet template as something I didn't know I needed, but decided to give it a shot. The template was very professional and well-designed and easy to edit in Canva with my own branding and copy. Since implementing it in my business, I have noticed much more clarity with clients in terms of expectations, policies, and procedures. I'd recommend it as essential to any pet business!”
Jenn from My Charming Canine
“It gives a really professional first impression to include in my autoresponder that also sends the first form about their household!”
Lydia from The Stamford Cat Sitter
“Being honest, a welcome packet wasn’t something I had ever considered for our business or thought would be all that necessary. But I was at a point where I was looking to elevate our brand image and set us apart from local competitors. I was doing a lot of work on our website and Instagram page but was looking for that extra something to set us aside from others. I was also looking for user friendly ways to smooth our signup process and make everything clearer for our prospective clients.
I took one look at the Pet Sitter/Dog Walker Welcome Pack template on Mikaela’s website and knew it would work perfectly - I was surprised it went as far as to give detailed content suggestions on each page and I was able to match this with every aspect of our business seamlessly. I was also excited at the prospect of adding in our colour scheme and branding touches, which looked amazing as soon as I got started. After our website and social media pages, the welcome packet is the first proper flavour for the service our clients get when they sign up, and I maintain it immediately gives a sense of our dedication and professionalism - even if they don’t read it cover to cover.“
To shop our welcome packets, get the deets, and/or read through the FAQ, head to the shop here. Upleveling your client experience doesn’t have to be hard or time-consuming. In fact, allow your onboarding process to save YOU time, too! You got this, petpreneur!