Terriberry, I use petsitters not so often these days but several times per year anyway.my wife and I are from connecticut and we live in the deep south of jersey, so every holiday is a couple days at least in connecticut.
our 3 dogs and 2 cats are for all purposes like kids, (I have kids and grand kids so I know the actual difference, the dogs don`t have thumbs and can`t talk lol). we have a wonderful petsitter at the moment but it was not always the case. we tried the big petsitters that send kids that watch the dvd`s and not the dogs.
the point is petsitting is for alot of us like child care, we want that personal touch and want to feel good about entrusting our pets and home to someone, I want a face with accountability.
I would suggest look at what the big guys do well and if it fits you copy it but at the end of the day they maybe that big because they never say no to anyone, and especially holidays how many are going to cancel a trip to stay home. the horror stories I could tell.
keep it personal.
great success to you.