Keys to Starting Your Own Dog Walking Service

  • 25/03/2020
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People who have a great love for dogs want be able to work with them on a day to day basis. One way for a smart entrepreneur to do this is to start your own dog walking service.

Setting up your business requires a few basic preparations before opening your doors to customers. The Small Business Association website is a great place to find resources. They offer guidance, resources, links and information to anyone wishing to start a small business.

Licensing
Licensing requirements may vary from state to state, but most states do not have special requirements for dog walkers, however, you do need to register your business with the state. Contact your city and county clerk offices to determine if you are required to register your new business with them. Fees for registering are usually minimal and are due each year. At the time of registration for your business license, you will need to decide the sort of business entity you wish to register. The choices are: Sole Proprietor, Partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC), and a C or an S Corporation.

Insurance and Bonding
You will be entering other people's homes and yards, necessitating the purchase of an insurance policy. Insurance is needed in the event you damage something in your client's home or if something should happen while their dog is in your care. Use the internet to aid your search for special Pet Sitter's Insurance policies, some which include surety bonding, designed specifically for businesses like your own.

Services and Contracts
Having a clear and simple menu of services you will provide to your clients, along with established pricing for those services, will go a long way in maintaining a good understanding with your customer about what you can and will provide to them. Lay out your services and prices in a menu format. Design your list in a professional manner. Research other businesses using this format to see how clean and simple this method can be.

Once your customer has selected the services they desire, you will want to provide a standard written contract which will be signed by both of you. If you or your customer have questions, this is the time they should be addressed. Having a signed contract goes a long way toward keeping a good relationship with your client and provide you with protection. Don't skip it!

You would also need to get a good dog walking software package to assist you in creating a fluid an dintegrated system for you and your customers.

Marketing
Referrals from existing customers will eventually bring you more business than any other source, but for a new dog walking service some directed efforts at spreading the word about your business are needed.

Using free advertising venues, such as Craigslist, may bring a customer or two. Style your advertisement there in a professional manner, letting your potential customer know you are a legitimate business. Provide a phone number and email address at which you can be contacted, always returning calls and correspondence within a 24 hour period, if not sooner. Share your business card and a simple flyer at local veterinarian offices. If you get a customer from a local veterinarian, stop by the next day with a plate of cookies for all the staff as a way of saying thank you. Employees will remember you and refer customers to you.

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