9 Steps To Starting Your Pet Sitting Business
Posted by Dodd Caldwell · May 16, 2017
Everywhere you go, people have pets. It makes no difference the climate, whether it’s in the city or out in the country, people everywhere love animals and have pets that are very dear to them. That is why starting a pet sitting business is a great idea no matter where you live.
A pet sitting business can be very profitable and carries many benefits – you can make your own hours, work from home, and expand your business as you wish into areas that interest you. The pet sitting and dog walking businesses are fairly new industries, but the number of people who use these services is quickly on the rise.
Pet sitting is a great new field to jump into with both feet. All you really need to begin is a love for animals!
Step #1: Make a Plan
Decide exactly what type of services you will offer. Will you host pets on your own property? Offer a pick up service? Visit pets once a day in their homes? Administer medications? Change litter boxes?
Ask people you know who have pets. What type of services would they be willing to pay for? Make a decision about what your business will provide based on these types of things and also what you are capable of doing with the resources available to you.
Step #2: Set Up Your Business
You can start with the fun part – give your business a name! In today’s market, the name of your business is very important. It needs to be memorable and give a good indication of what you offer. Try to steer away from cheesy, cliched names.
If you truly want to become a recognized business, then you will need to consider getting licensed. To find out what is required in your community, contact your local city hall. Pet sitting businesses are usually either sole proprietorships (businesses formed by an individual whose personal assets are not separate) or limited liability companies (LLCs) which separates the business assets from the personal ones and does not hold the business owner personally liable for any business debts.
To complete the process of licensing and setting up your business, it would be a good idea to consult with an accountant or other professional who has experience with the process.
Step #3: Consider Insurance
Many things could happen while caring for other’s pets such as injury or damage to property. There are companies who offer this service to pet sitting businesses. Consider investing in insurance to save yourself from future legal headaches.
Step #4: Generate your Forms
Before you can open for business, you will need to generate some forms. When your clients want to acquire your services, you will need to give them a contract to fill out and sign. Also, you can create a card to keep a record of what you did with each pet during your pet sitting tenure.
Also, have a form clients can fill out about medications, feedings, and any other instructions they may need to give you about how to care for their pet. You can create these forms digitally, or print them out. Either way, getting everything in “writing” will avoid confusion and ensure the best care for the pets.
Step #5: Set Up Payment
Decide how much to charge for your services so that you make enough money for your time spent. Things to consider – the type of animal, how many animals, and tasks you’re required to accomplish while with the pet(s).
Utilize the internet to offer online payment options (such as automatic payment) for your clients. Using small business billing software is invaluable to you and will allow you more time and energy to focus on your clients and their furry friends!
The easier you make it for clients to pay you, the happier they are. With this MoonClerk Pet Sitting Software for Billing, you can allow mobile payments, payments from your website and/or Facebook page, and see quickly which clients have made payments (or not).
Step #6: Build a Website
Remember those forms and payment options? Time to get them linked all in one place. Get a sharp looking logo designed with your business name to use on your website and also in marketing.
Your website should give a quick impression of you and your care and love for pets. But creating a website is not enough. You can find tips online about how to get your website to show up in a Google search.
As stated, your website can and should be a hub for forms, payment, and important information about your business, because these days people go straight to the internet to get information or make a payment.
Step #7: Invest in Supplies
Take stock of what you will need for your business. If you’ll only be visiting pets in their homes, for example, you may not need much – maybe some leashes, water bowls, and toys. If you will be hosting pets on your property, you might need to make more preparations, such as fencing.
Will you wear a uniform or t-shirt with your logo? Get those in order and consider other supplies not related to pets such as folders, clipboards, and writing utensils which you may need to have with you at all times.
Step #8: Time for Marketing
Since you’re ready to “open the doors” of your business, it’s time to generate some excitement! If you have invested in clothing with your logo and/or phone number, you can wear it around your community and be happy to answer questions about your services.
You can also get your name out there by printing our flyers and business cards and placing them in businesses such as veterinarian offices and pet stores. Consider investing in a large magnet to place on your vehicle with your logo and phone number.
Utilize social media to get the word out online about your business. Create a Facebook page with information that can be shared. There is no shortage of cute animal photos on the internet- use a funny cat picture to your advantage by adding your information to it!
Step #9: Make it Personal
By now you should be getting inquiries about clients or starting up conversations at the park with cute dogs. Give every single person you come in contact with a personal response, and answer a phone call or email as soon as possible.
Your clientele will grow with marketing and advertisement, but mostly by word of mouth. If you provide excellent care for pets and also make every client feel like you know and care for them as well, you will get more and more referrals.
Build relationships with the pets you are caring for and treat each one as if they were your own pet. Going the extra mile for your furry friends will not go unnoticed, and your business will continue to grow!
A pet sitting business is a largely untapped market and is quickly on the rise. Getting your foot in the door in this industry can prove to be highly successful.
Since we live in an online world, starting a small business like pet sitting can be much easier with the use of productivity tools to manage your tasks or finances.
People in every demographic have pets that need care. Pet sitting can be tailored to fit the different needs of any client in all parts of the world. Now that sounds like good business!