When you're a busy dog walker and pet sitter, you understand just how important it is to be able to get from one home to another as efficiently as possible.
You're on a tight timeframe and your clients usually want you to make your visit at a particular time or at least within a specified time window.
So, how do your map a route that's efficient and effective? My preferred method is to use Google Maps and the "my maps" tool. Here's how to do it.
(note: the video above visually shows you how to do all the steps described below)
The first thing to do is to log into your Google account (you'll need one to save your map). Once there, go to Google Maps.
From the menu drop down, select "Your Places."
Then select the "Maps" tab and click the button for "Create Map."
Once you've got a blank map that you've created, you can give it a title. You'll want to use something descriptive, such as "Tuesday's Schedule" so you have an idea of either when the routes take place or who the route is for.
Now that you've got a title, you can start adding destination points. Simply enter an address in the search bar to bring up your client's location. Once the destination is plotted on the map click the "+ Add To Map" link.
Repeat this "add to map" procedure for all your destinations.
Once you have all your locations added to the map, use the zoom in/out tool to back out enough to see all your destinations at once.
If you have a new prospective client and you're trying to see how they may fit into your schedule, you can also use this method to figure out if their location is acceptable or if you're going to have to say "no" due to distance.
Now that you can visually see all the places you need to go, you may be able to figure out the best route simply by looking at the map.
However, if you need more information to help you figure out the most efficient route to take, you can get directions, mileage, and to-the-minute drive times to compare different route options.
The best way to do this is to first pick a starting point on the map. Click on the balloon marking that starting location and then click the little forked arrow button to get directions.
You'll notice a new box pop up in the left sidebar where you can add an address you'd like to get to. Add the address and then the maps tool will give you a visual route to take.
If you want step-by-step directions, mileage, and to-the-minute drive times, click the "three vertical dots" button on your current map layer and then select "step-by-step directions."
By comparing how long it takes to get from point A to point B and from point A to point C, you can figure out the best way to get to all your daily visits in a way that saves you time and gas money.
Efficiency is crucially important in the dog walking and pet sitting industry. Going back and forth between homes unnecessarily is a time killer and money waster. Knowing your route ahead of time let's you plan your daily activities in a way that makes sense and enables you to best serve your clients by being punctual for their requested visit time.
How about you? Do you have any other way that you like to map your daily routes? Leave us a comment below and tell us about it, ok?
John loves animals and business. He put the two together and built a multi-million dollar dog walking/running and pet sitting business with hard work, systems, and great people. He now teaches everything he's learned in the Pet Business Masters! community.