A cute cat or a goofy dog can always brighten our day. In fact, spending time with animals is the best way to unwind after a long day. The famous saying claims that a dog is a man’s best friend, but we believe that all animals can be our best friends, and we’re sure that any animal lover will agree with us.
While taking care of a pet can be a great source of happiness, it doesn’t only have to be something that we do in our free time. On the contrary, we can turn our passion for animals into a successful business.
What’s more, we don’t need a lot of money to get started. Setting up a pet sitting business isn’t as hard as one might think. With some enthusiasm, a bit of knowledge, and a lot of love for animals, we will manage to set up a rewarding and profitable business.
Here is what we should know before we start our journey:
Develop a Business Plan
Before doing anything else, we need to write a business plan. That means analyzing the market, defining our field of work, thinking about our competition, developing a marketing campaign, taking care of funding, etc.
Also, it would be smart to make a list of everything we need to buy in order to get started and then calculate the amount we’ll need for that.
Get a License
When it comes to business licensing, every state and city have their own requirements. It’s essential that we register our business before we actually start working. To find out all the necessary information, we could contact our local city hall or chamber of commerce.
Most pet sitting businesses are registered as limited liability companies or sole proprietorships. The former is when our personal and business assets are separated, and as a business owner, we aren’t personally liable for any business-related debts. The latter is when we start a business without separating our personal and business assets.
If we don’t have any experience, it might be smart to hire an accountant to help us set up our business.
Think About Insurance
Pets can be unpredictable — we all know that. That’s why we should consider getting an insurance policy that would protect us from potential legal action. For example, if a pet gets hurt or sick while it’s under our supervision, or if it causes some damage, it would be handy to have insurance.
Spending a couple of hundred dollars and being prepared for anything is much better than finding ourselves in a problematic situation with no insurance.
Create a Price List
While dealing with numbers isn’t everyone’s favorite activity, it’s a crucial one for every business. Before we determine our rates, we should think about the type of animals we would sit, the amount of time we would spend on pet sitting, and the number of animals we would take care of.
Moreover, we should decide if we want to charge per job, per hour, or per day.
Also, we should check out the competition’s prices. That will give us a better understanding of what we can earn.
No matter how great our pet sitting business is, if nobody knows about it, we won’t be able to profit. Therefore, we need to employ our marketing skills and get the word about our business out.
We could make flyers and business cards and place them on bulletin boards in pet stores, supermarkets, dog groomers, pet clinics, etc. Also, we could create a website, a Facebook page, or place ads on Craigslist.
Obtain Contracts and Records
To protect both ourselves and our customers, we should obtain a signed contract with all new clients. In the contract, we need to outline what our services include, prices, payment options, damages, cancellation policies, urgent situations that require going to the vet, and so on.
In addition, we need to keep detailed records. That means getting the client’s phone number, address, and email, as well as the instructions about the pet’s eating habits, injuries, allergies, etc.
By doing that, we will have all the necessary information about the pet and its owner in one place. That will allow us to make informed decisions and act accordingly in any urgent situation.
Now we come to the best part — spending time with pets! While we have to take care of administrative matters such as organization and bookkeeping, we will still spend the majority of our time with animals. And that’s amazing news!
Finally, we must never forget that word of mouth can go a long way. Doing a good job and being friendly with clients will help our business grow.