How to be competitive in Pet Sitting/ Dog Walking industry?

Professional Pet Sitting/Dog Walking is a growing industry. Many new people are entering this industry year by year to live their dream of entrepreneurship and love for animals. The startup cost is low compared to boarding, grooming and training, hence the competition is increasing. The global pet care market is projected to reach sales of $110 billion in 2017, which is a major milestone for the industry. The industry has also grown a healthy 3% on average over the past five years, adding $14 billion in incremental growth. Ask yourself how do you stand out of the crowd? Are you doing this as a hobby or you really running a business here? If the answer is I am doing this to run a business then you need to do the following to stay competitive in this industry.

Are you doing this as a hobby or you really running a business here?

  1. Have a professionally done website – Website is the first place your customer will connect with you. You should make sure the website is designed in a way your personality is reflected. People like to do business with a person not a faceless company. First impression matters and well-designed website can help you stand out of the competition. Make sure its easy for customers to get in touch with you. You can create great looking websites on Squarespace, Weebly or Wix.

  2. Use of Technology – Using a software to run your pet-sitting/dog walking business can help you save time and provide you tools to grow. It will also show your customers you are serious about your business and very professional. Technology will also help you be more productive so you can spend time and effort to build your business rather than spend time on routine tasks.

  3. Use of Social Media and marketing – helps increase your brand recognition. You can maintain a connection with your customers and it is very cost-effective marketing tool. Don’t just stop with the big platforms try more localized and neighborhood focused platforms like Nextdoor.

  4. Training and Certification - Professional certification and Training can help businesses stand out from the crowd and distinguish themselves as professionals with training and a higher level of standards - thus building customer trust and a sustaining competitive advantage. This also helps you gain knowledge to handle difficult situations.

  5. Have a business Plan – It is important to have a business plan so you set your goals and objectives and work towards them. This helps you to stay focused and meet your business goals. Treat your plan as a living document which you can revisit and tweak. Planning helps you think through the details so you can focus on execution later in a disciplined approach. Business plan includes your marketing strategies, financial planning etc.

  6. Collect Reviews- With as much as 80% of people relying on customer reviews to make a decision, it is very important to ensure you are collecting your customer’s reviews. Your reviews help tell the story of a happy customer and build trust with your potential customer. Positive reviews also help you get higher ranking in online search.

  7. Build expertise- in area of handling old pets or pets with certain medical issues. This experience is not going to be there with a new comer and you can create a niche market for yourself. Potentially you can charge a premium for this expertise.