• November 23rd, 2023
    Written by: Kimberly

    We all know the benefits of supporting small businesses. You are able to put your support into the community, help make sure jobs are created, and more. But part of choosing to support local businesses also means supporting them directly.

    Many people find their pet sitters, dog walkers, and even their babysitters from national websites that have directories that connect people with individuals that are happy to perform these services. While it’s true that you are somewhat supporting local workers, what you are not necessarily supporting is local *businesses.*

    Why a National Directory is a Profit Machine for Others

    The need for services like pet care has led tech companies to try to “disrupt” the industry by creating directories and websites that serve as a middleman, connecting people to the services they need. It feels easy, because anyone can go to the site, browse a bunch of names, and find someone they feel like they can trust. These sites CAN make finding people a bit easier, but overall, they end up being worse for the community overall.

    That is because:

    • As a middleman, these companies and websites take a cut of the profit from the local company. Choosing locally means that any money you spend goes directly to the local sitter. This keeps all your investment in your local community that can help these local pet sitters grow.
    • Should there ever be any legal challenges, national companies are not bound by the same rules and regulations nor will they necessarily have the right insurance to help you with your care. Local pet sitters have local insurance and any issues take place locally.
    • Directories become a game of lowest price and not reputation, highest quality, or any of the other features that are better for your pet. We ALL look for the best prices, of course. But it is a lot easier to weigh the pros and cons of different pricing when we talk to and work with businesses directly than when we see everyone in a giant graph and go straight to the lowest priced workers. Remember, since the middleman is also cut out, some companies can offer even better rates as well.

    These directories also do a decent job giving a voice to local pet sitters, but they don’t help those pet sitters build a business. The reason this matters is because building a business is how you become known locally, and how you yourself can find a pet sitter you need in the future.

    Within these directories, anyone – even if they hate dogs/cats or have barely spent any time with them – can just sign up, offer a low price, and get business. There’s no reputation or verification, while also making it harder for actual local companies to build those same things that will help you find them.

    Shopping local is just smarter. It helps the local economy, it helps the local government, and it helps you. If you’re looking for a pet sitter in Lake Mary or Sanford, FL, contact FurBabies, today.