You probably noticed that it’s been a bit slow here at the blog lately. I’ve been working furiously to make sure everything was ready for the launch of my new project – a new pet sitting association – the APSE that I’ve launched with Petsittology owner Joshua Cary. I’m really excited about the APSE – we are off to a great start and it’s our goal to make the APSE a new generation of pet sitting organization that promises to give pet sitters, through their membership and active participation, a new voice in shaping the future of the booming pet care industry.

The 49 billion dollar US pet industry is predicted to continue to grow annually by 6% through 2013 (Fast Company Feb 2009). This expansion brings many new opportunities for pet care providers like you and me. One the reasons that I’ve launched the APSE is because I want to ensure that pet sitters have the support and tools they need to expand their services to meet this growing customer demand. Josh and I see a need for an organization that provides a place for both new and established pet sitters to get the resources and business guidance they need to achieve excellence in their pet sitting business.

At the APSE we won’t be simply rehashing the same-old tools and resources currently available for free, but looking to bring something unique and innovative to the pet sitting industry. We want the APSE to be a member-driven organization and, as such, that it will continue to grow and evolve according to the industry needs. We hope to learn from the members as much as they can learn from us.

As well as providing resources and tools for pet sitters we also want the APSE to become an organization that promotes the benefits of pet sitting in the community and recognizes excellence in the pet sitting industry, and connects pet sitting business owners to enable the sharing of knowledge.

At the APSE we plan to leverage cutting edge online technology to ensure that pet sitters are keeping up with the latest business trends and that our member resources are easily accessible. We will be holding regular virtual webinars and conferences that will allow pet sitters to gain the knowledge that they need to succeed on their schedule and at an affordable price.

We are offering three levels of membership with benefits including on-camera video website reviews, professional publicity audio and video creation, a unique pet sitter certification program, and over 150 articles, business forms, and marketing guides that pet sitters can put to immediate use in their business. Members can also connect with their peers in the APSE member lounge to learn from others that have already been successful and seek advice from an advisory board of pet business professionals. Check out all the APSE Member benefits and pricing now.

When you arrive at our membership benefits and pricing page you’ll notice that we are celebrating our launch by giving you a special discount when you join before April 30th. If you join in these first two weeks you will save $40 on your annual APSE membership and be part of a very special group – our APSE Charter Members. As one of these action takers you will be recognized with a unique badge to place on your website and a special “Charter Member” banner will be displayed on your pet sitter locator profile. You will forever be seen as one of our founding members.

We will be asking our Charter Members who are with us during our first two weeks of life to give us feedback about what they experience when they step inside our members areas. We’ll be listening in our Members Lounge to hear what you like, and what you would like to see added or changed and we’ll be taking action to improve the APSE in response to your feedback. Our Charter Members will literally have the chance to shape the future of their APSE. We hope you join us as a Charter Member and have your say!

In the next couple of weeks we’ll be announcing a new competition for members only with some great prizes and a special interview with Josh to learn exactly how he and wife Alitia grew NY based Alitia’s animals to over six figures in less than 12 months.

For more information, visit the APSE website at http://www.petsittingexcellence.com. Come join us and help us build a world class place just for pet sitters!