Do you love dogs but don’t have your own? Are you responsible and do animals naturally gravitate towards you?Consider how to start a dog walking business so that you can make money while spending time with animals.
Research the Market
One of the first things you should do to start your business is some market research. You need to make sure there are enough dog owners in the area to get plenty of work. Plus, you have to consider if most of the dog owners near you are willing to hire someone to walk their pet.
If that’s not the case, you can look at other neighborhoods in your city. You might need to drive to the other side of town to get more clients. That’s okay, but it helps to know that ahead of time in case you aren’t willing to drive a lot to walk dogs.
Write a Business Plan
Like any business, you should write a business plan before you get clients. That way, you can list out your financial projections, marketing plans, and services. This can help you figure out if walking dogs is the right business for you.
It may sound like a great business idea, but you might realize it’s more work than you want to do. A business plan can also help you get funding, and you can use it to guide future decisions. Either way, your business plan is a crucial document, even if no one else ever reads it.
Upgrade Your Phone
When you’re walking dogs, you can’t exactly carry a laptop around. That’s why you may want to upgrade your phone to a new model if yours is a bit older. A new phone will have a longer battery life, and it should work with more apps that you can use to run your business.
You can look for a phone that works with an online charging system. That way, you can stay connected to the internet and have good battery life. When you’re done with a walk, you can send the invoice right away, and you can alert your clients if something happens to their dogs.
Start Promoting Your Business
When you’re ready to start your business, you need to promote it. But you can’t use the same techniques as an online business owner or a massive corporation. You should focus on local marketing tactics, such as flyers and word-of-mouth.
If you want to use the internet, you can use Nextdoor to connect with people in your area. You may also want to set up a Google My Business page. That way, when someone searches for a local dog walker, they may see your website come up.
Set a Walking Schedule
You should also start off your business with a walking schedule. This can help you book clients at times when you’re free and willing to work. If you want to take walks in the afternoon, you can find clients who want their dogs to go out at that time.
Plus, a schedule can keep you from working too much and never taking time off. You might give yourself a day off each week so that you don’t have to do anything. And you can make time for the administrative tasks of running a business, such as bookkeeping and scheduling.
Offer Complementary Services
If you want to make more money in your dog walking business, find other services to offer. You might also offer dog sitting for when clients go out of town. If a lot of your clients have dogs with health problems, you could offer to give the dogs their medicine.
Another option is to train dogs, assuming you have the training and skills to offer that. You might also offer services for cat owners, such as sitting or giving medicine or food. That way, you can package your services to make more money.
A dog walking business can be a great option if you love animals. But it’s a business like any other, so you should consider how to set up your business the right way.
photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/qSYtiRsXjeY
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