How To Start A Dog Walking Business
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If you absolutely love dogs then chances are you just can’t seem to get enough of them, right? If that’s the case then why not get paid for spending time with dogs?
That seems like a dream come true, right?
You can have a job and you can spend as much time as you want around dogs. What you need is a dog walking business.
But of course, now you’re probably wondering just how to start a dog walking business?
This is not professional business or financial advice and should not be taken as such. Always consult a professional business or financial advisor for this information.
How To Start A Dog Walking Business
Starting a Business
If you really want to know how to start a dog walking business and you want to turn this into a job rather than just a hobby or something you’re doing on the side you’ll want to become an actual business.
This means you’re going to need to file a whole lot of paperwork with your local government in order to get a license to operate.
This helps to give you more credibility when you start looking for clients also. On top of that license you’re also going to want to get some insurance to protect yourself.
Make a Plan
What area do you want to work in? Where are you going to walk the dogs to?
Are you just walking up and down the street or is there a park? Are you going to play with them at some point in the walk or are you just taking them out and back again?
How much are you going to charge for the service? Are you going to be walking more than one dog at a time?
Each of these are things that you need to know the answer to before you ever start talking to potential clients.
When they consider working with you these are the things that they’re going to want to know.
Dog walking businesses generally don’t have a physical location that they operate out of because there’s just no reason.
In most cases you would just go to the house that hires you and pick up the dog and take them out for walks.
That means there’s no storefront for you to talk about or try to bring people to. Instead, you’re going to have to advertise with flyers or by word of mouth.
That means you need to get out there and put flyers wherever someone will let you and even pass them out door to door in the areas you’d be willing to work in.
You need to have some clients in order to get new clients. No one really likes to be the first to jump in and give anyone a job (unless it’s a child, since we all seem to want to help them out).
That means you’re going to need someone that will vouch for you and your skills.
If you know anyone with a dog that’s going to be your first step. Walk your aunt’s dog, your best friend’s, the neighbor down the street that you’ve known all your life.
Find someone (preferably a few someone’s) that will let you walk their dog and will promote you.
Use Social Media
Social media is starting to become even better for those who want to focus on specific areas.
It used to be a little too widespread and you might end up with ads for places that were hundreds of miles away from you, but that’s not true anymore.
Now you can focus your advertising dollars in an area that you want to work in.
And your friends and family and current customers will be able to share their experiences and endorsement of you.
That’s worth its weight in gold.
Partner with Local Businesses
Are there dog groomers in your area? How about veterinarians? Or even pet supply stores?
These are all places that you could advertise because these are all people who may have a dog and need someone to help out.
Talk to these businesses and see if they would be willing to promote your service or even just let you put a sign up in the window or on a bulletin board inside the store.
When people see your name in more places they’re going to be more interested in you because it makes you look more legit.
Book Your Schedule
You’re going to need some clients booked into your schedule in order to officially call yourself a business, so start getting some names on the calendar.
Make sure that you’re giving yourself enough time to get from one appointment to the next.
Be careful about over-booking yourself or getting too overwhelmed. You want to be able to give each dog the love and attention that they need during your walk.
If you have too many dogs at the same time you won’t be able to do that. Also, keep in mind what you can reasonably do in a single day or week.
As you continue to build up your business you’ll get to a point where you could hire more people. That’s the goal of a business, right?
You want to be able to expand and grow so that you can make even more money.
Okay, maybe that’s not your dream, but if it is make sure you have enough business to support more employees before you start hiring anyone.
You don’t want to be paying someone and not giving them work to do.
That means you may need to stretch yourself a little for a while before you know that you have enough work to hire someone.
You may also want to work on booking extra jobs (in advance) so that when you bring on that new person you have enough for them to do.
When it comes down to it, figuring out how to start a dog walking business isn’t as difficult as you might think.
It’s about advertising, making sure you’re a legitimate business, and then just getting out there.
Who said you can’t love your job every day? If you’re a dog lover you’re definitely going to love being a dog walker, and you’ll be making a living off of it.
What could be better than that?