Ever have that feeling of loving pets too much and you thought that it’s time to earn some cash because of it? Yes, you can! Pet sitting is a type of business that is ideal for new entrepreneurs. In fact, the pet industry has been rising up with a total value of $3 billion dollars as of 2016. What’s best is that starting a pet sitting or dog walking business has a pretty low startup cost which can be a pretty big advantage for new entrepreneurs.
A pet business is the ideal business for pet lovers like you. But keep in mind that you have to deal with everything starting from the pet sitting itself, down to the finances, and paperwork that’s involved unless you’re going to hire people to help you out. The pet industry is a competitive place but you can still get ahead of the competition by following these seven ways down below.
Determine Your Target Market
In the US, there are over 78 million pets which is a huge opportunity to start your business. However, if you’re in a neighborhood where pets aren’t that much of a thing, then you will be having a hard time establishing your pet sitting service. Things can make it difficult for you if a competitor is already in the scene before you. To avoid such trouble, do a research first and scout an area where your pet sitting business will thrive. Additionally, you can also develop a niche to help you set your business apart from the competition.
Get Additional Training if Needed
Your pet loving skills isn’t enough to gain traction from your business. Most of the time, you need to partake in pet training services so you will gain more knowledge and skills on pet sitting. This training should cover up everything including how to use an animal transportation cage, pet nutrition, how to use a leash, and a whole lot more. If you focus more on dogs, make sure to familiarize every dog breed since each one of them has different personalities on dealing with people. Lastly, a first aid training for pets is also a must so that you’ll be ready just in case something happens unexpectedly.
Obtain the Right Requirements
Every business needs a lot of requirements ranging from business permits and of course, your business license. It’s crucial that you have a business license to operate such thing before anything else. Obtaining a business license is already a norm for every business and should be done first hand along with other paperwork so everything will flow smoothly. In case of dogs, sanitation rules will also apply such as picking up after their mess and such. Lastly, make sure that pet sitting is allowed in your area to save yourself from trouble.
Make a Contract Your Clients Will Sign
Pet sitting business requires a contract that their clients will sign that agrees with such terms and services. What your contract should contain are things such as your responsibility as a pet sitter, how much your clients will pay you depending on the rate, and among other things. This contract should also include medical care services just in case something happens unexpectedly during the course of the business. Additionally, you should also include in the contract where the owner is held liable for any damages their pets will do into your own home.
An Insurance Plan is a Must
Insurance is a must have for every business, let alone for a pet sitting business. Pets can be very active and curious, so there will be possibilities they will do accidental damage in just a blink of an eye. That’s why you need to have an insurance plan that covers these damages to save your bank account. Additionally, you can also invest in a bonding whenever you hire some employees to work for you. This bonding protects you in case your employee will go berserk all of a sudden and steal something from your clients.
Create a Business Plan and Set a Pricing
Having a business plan is a recipe for success. It lets you thoroughly plan the flow of your business and what comes in and out of it. It lets you achieve your goals and vision for your business as well as making your ideas come to life. And also, a business plan helps you set prices for your services. At most cases, you can start a pet sitting/dog walking service even if you have less than $10,00 in your bank account which is already a sweet deal.
Get Ahead of the Market
One way to get ahead of your competitors in this already saturated market is by determining your marketing strategy. If you want to go old school, you can contact your local newspaper and have them put an ad about your pet services in their papers. Alternatively, you can go to your local radio station and advertise it there as well. However, the easiest way to market your business is by taking advantage of social media. People are having their eyes on to social media nowadays and this is a huge potential to gain more traction. Create a Facebook or Twitter page, sponsor your business so more people can get a word about your pet sitting/dog walking services.