Many people are opening a pet sitting/ dog walking business to:
design a career that has the flexibility to grow
work toward financial independence
experience the love and joy of working with pets
Here are 9 steps that can help you get started for a successful business:
Choose your Business Name
Business name is the first thing your customers will link you with so choose one that represents you positively. Avoid using location names in your business if you expand your business outside of that location. You should come up with many names just in case your first choice is already taken. You should check with registration office locally, state or Trademark office just to avoid issues down the road. With your business name you should also decide on your website URL. Do not worry if .com domain name is taken, its common to have other domain names. Just make sure it’s not taken by a similar business
Design your Logo
If you feel comfortable designing your logo you can do it. Make sure its good enough for print and online quality. If you need help you can hire a graphic artist to make one for you. You need to be aware of the copyright and trademark laws when you design your logo. You can find freelancers on sites like 99designs, fiverr or upwork.
Get your Business only Phone Number
It is very important to keep your personal and business number separate. You don’t want your clients to call you on your personal number anytime of the day. You can get a free number using service like Google voice and can use it from your cell or computer. You can also set rules how your call is directed. There other services that re available relatively cheap and provide you with advanced features. Using software phone service you can only carry one device and get both work and personal calls on it.
Decide on the Services you will offer and Pricing
You need to make a list of all the services you are going to offer and the animals you are going to take care of. Then write the description, duration and pricing for each. Before deciding on pricing, research the pricing offered by other businesses in your area and think about the value of your time.
Get your Business License
Before you get your business license, you need to decide how you want to structure your business – sole proprietor, an LLC or a Corporation. You should consult an accountant what makes more sense for you. Check with your local government authorities if you need to get a license for county as well as city.
Get your Business Insurance and Bond
Depending on the number of pet sitter/walker your insurance price will vary. Some of the pet sitting association also offer discounted insurance price to their members. As you are also responsible for your client’s property you should get bonded.
Create or buy necessary Forms and Contracts
You can create yourself or buy the contracts to save time. You can find samples of forms and contracts online. A lot of pet sitting associations also have templates for you to get started with.
Get a Software
If you want to grow your business then you should start using the software that can maintain your customers and pet’s information, helps you with scheduling and lets you invoice your customers. This will keep you organized and help you save lot of time and let you focus your time on marketing your business. Software can also provide you a competitive edge and you can market the feautre.
Join a Pet Sitting Association
As you are new to this business it is always good to be surrounded by other experienced pet sitters/ walkers to help and guide you.