Are you a dog lover and wish to start a dog sitting business? Guess you are on the right track because you are on your way to starting a lucrative business and at the same time, doing what you love. While the idea of starting a dog sitting business may sound odd to many, it is one of the easiest and risk-free ways of making money. Many dog owners treat their dogs with the utmost care and love, and they don’t mind spending a considerable amount of money to care for their dogs.
In the time past, dog boarding was a normal thing for dog owners. But with the recent rise of the dog sitting business, dog owners have realized that it is better and safer to employ a dog sitter to care for their dog while they are away. Why take your dog to a place where it will be locked away all day in a cage when you can get someone to care for your dog and treat it nicely.
However, no matter how lucrative the pet sitting business is, it is not meant for everyone. It is most likely for people who love dogs, and there are also procedures you need to take before you start the business. Below are a few ways in which you can begin to your dog sitting business;
Create a Dog Sitting business plan
Starting a dog sitting business is no different from starting every other regular business. Before you think of starting your dog sitting business, you need to have a plan. ask yourself some specific questions like what services would you be offering as a dog sitter. There are lots of things that are involved in being a dog sitter. things like walking the dog, feeding it, cleaning it’s litter box, clearing its poop, caring for the dog overnight and sometimes taking it to a vet if need be.
You need to be mentally and physically ready for this task. Also, will you be kind enough to offer extra services if it arises? Some clients might want you to help them in carrying out some household chores, which isn’t part of the plan. All these and many more are questions you need to ask yourself and give definite answers to them.
Then you also need to know who your ideal clients will be, why the clients should choose you, how many hours you will work daily, and what happens to your business when you are indisposed. All these should be part of your business plans, and once you have been able to give yourself a convincing answer, then you are ready to get to the next step.
Know the rules and regulations
Every business has some rules and regulations that govern it, so does the dog sitting business. So it is not enough for you to love dogs; you need to understand the rules and regulations attached to dog care. Check from your community because each area has its laws, while there is no strict rules, you still need to adhere to the few rules strictly to avoid any future problems or fine. The rules are simple, like every dog having a tag to its collar and maybe not walking more than four dogs at the same time. Hence, it should not be difficult for you to follow.
Licensed, bonded, and insured
Starting a dog sitting business means you will be entering people’s homes. Hence the need to get your company a license and also be protected. Being bonded is also an added advantage as it will give your clients a well-deserved peace of mind. While trying to get a license for your business, make sure to do proper research because licensing differs from state to state. While also trying to get insurance, do a thorough research, look through different options, check their cost, and what they cover before you make a choice. Although bonding is meant for companies with employees, your clients will be happy to know that if anything happens in the process of watching their dogs, then they are covered. The bond will strengthen the trust your clients will have in you. Trust is essential in the dog sitting business.
Check your competition
Knowing that the dog sitting business has become very rampant, and it is lucrative, you need to know the people you are competing with. Do thorough research about your competitors; know their prices so you can understand how to set your rates. You can always offer lower rates or discount to your loyal clients to keep them to yourself. Even with the cut, don’t fail to provide high-quality service as it will make your clients refer more people to you.
Set your rates
The dog sitting business is becoming rampant each day, but it doesn’t mean you should set your prices low to outstand your competitors. Rates, however, varies, so research properly and know what other dog sitters around you are charging. try to create service packages that you will offer, so your clients will know what to expect. Stay professional while setting your rates so your prospective clients won’t have any reason to question your professionalism. Especially when your price is below what others are charging.
Your primary aim is to make a profit, so think about the expenses you will have to make daily before setting your rates, so you don’t end up at a loss.
Since there are lots of people for you to compete with, it will be safer for you to get few qualifications so you won’t only stand-out from your competitors, but also your clients will be more confident in your services. With the internet, getting skills will not be difficult. as there are lots of dog sitting certifications you can get that will boost your confidence more and give you an upper hand in the business.
Market your business
It is time to spread the word and let people know about your business. You can start by setting up a website for your business because, in today’s world, people search through the internet for whatever services they need. Get a good website designer to design your website in a professional and straightforward manner. It might cost you a few bucks, but it will fetch you massive profit at the end. Your website should have a detailed explanation of what you do, your business location, and your contact. Most importantly, you still need to carry out extra marketing strategies, like designing a flyer or a business card. You can drop your leaflets in supermarkets, banks, and other business places and your web site should be printed on it, for people to visit and make more inquiries.
You can also use social media platforms for advertising your business and driving traffic to your page. Once you get a client, make sure you satisfy your client so he/she can promote your business for you and bring referrals. That way your business will gradually expand.
Buy the right equipment
As a dog sitter, there is equipment that is proper, and a must-have for the business. You need equipment that will help you keep the dogs clean and well entertained. Toys are a must, especially if the dog you are caring for turns out to be complicated. The toy keeps them busy and under control. Waste bags are also essential to clear dogs waste from the streets, as there is a penalty attached to littering the streets with dog’s waste. You need dog beddings if you will be boarding the dogs, dog food and bowls are also required. Try to choose high-quality dog food so you can maintain the good health of the dogs in your care. All of these are necessary to run a perfect dog sitting business.
The initial meeting
Most dog sitting business owners prefer to meet one-on-one with the dog owners and their dogs before they start working. Which seem to be perfect for your business, because it allows you to meet the dog you will be a dog sitting and the owner, ask questions about the dog, know where essential things are being kept, and maybe get a key of the house. Try also to get a feel of the dog, and it’s the environment.
The one-on-one meeting allows you to get familiar with both the dog and its owner. And in case of any red flags, the conference will help you identify it.
As a dog sitter, you can’t afford to be disorganized as it might affect your business and your reputation. Find a way to stay organized, and don’t make a mistake of getting overbooked, so you don’t miss any appointment. You can find a strategy or a system that will work perfectly well for you and stick with it. Try to stay organized by arranging every file appropriately, and filing every contract and information of the dogs you are dog sitting correctly.
Be aware that as your business expands and you get more clients, the more workload you will have. So try to stay organized from the onset and keep accurate records of all your dealings and earnings. If the workload becomes too much for you to handle, you can as well hire an accountant to oversee your finance and help you keep records of your transactions.
Keep detailed records
Having an accurate record of all your clients and their dogs is very important. Get a contact form that would include their home address, phone numbers, email, and any critical emergency number that you can always reach in case of emergency. Also include the dog’s information like its name, breed, color, date of birth, vet’s name and address, health history, etc. try to get a separate form for the dog’s feeding and medications so you don’t make any mistakes in future. All these information are very important for your business. They can also come in handy when you need them.
Get a signed contract
Signed contracts are very important for businesses, and for your dog sitting business you need to get a contract for every client of yours to sign. The contract should boldly spell out the terms and conditions of your business and also an agreement that you and your client will sign. Try to outline your services, and pricing on the contract for the client to sign. Once the contract has been signed by the client, it becomes binding and if there is a breech, you can always sue the client.
Join an association
You can decide to join either a local or federal association. It is always beneficial for businesses, the dog sitting business is not left out, as it also has association that govern it. Choose an association that has lots of benefits for you, but comes with a little price. The association will stand by you if anything goes wrong in future.
Once all of the above is done, then you are ready to kick-start your dog sitting business. Have it in mind that once you start, there is no going back and failure is never an option.
The dog sitting business is suitable for dog lovers, because they will turn their passion into work and earn money from it. If you ever considered a dog sitting business, now is the time to take action and put you’re your dreams into reality.
It might not be rosy at the beginning, but your consistency and hard work will pay off. Use the above guidelines to start your dog sitting business and start making money for yourself. When you are able to get your first client, try as much as possible to impress your client and that client will bring many other clients to you because the words of the mouth is a great advertising tool.
However, the dog sitting business is very lucrative and profitable; all you need is the passion For the business and get it rolling you will be surprised at how much money you will make from the business. It makes more money for you, but the job is not an easy task, so prepare yourself for the fun, the stress and the profit. The profit will however, make up for the stress you will go through.