If you're looking for a rewarding business working with animals you might consider starting a Pet Sitting service. Starting a Pet Sitting business is fairly easy but building a successful Pet Sitting business will take planning and dedication. You should first determine your intentions. Are you looking to make side cash by periodically watching a pet or two? Or are you looking to make a career of your Pet Sitting profession? While the process to get started will be similar there is a bit more to consider when running a full time Pet Sitting business.
If you're going to start this business from your home be sure you have enough room to adequately house any pets you are in care of. Be considerate of your neighbors. They may not be pleased to have a pack of howling dogs next door. For animals that require, do you have resources available to provide exercise and play time? This can be in your own yard or a local park.
Gain some knowledge by starting off small. You can watch your friend's and family's pets. You can also volunteer at a local shelter to get some hands on experience with different animals. Take a dog training class to familiarize yourself with basic handling skills. While there are no current requirements for education or certifications to be a Pet Sitter you may consider a college degree in animal sciences or behavior. Another option to consider is a Pet Sitting Certification. While probably not necessary for a small side business, larger businesses will benefit from a certification in that it will create more confidence from your client's point of view. There are a few companies that provide these certifications. Do your research and find the certification that will benefit your business the most.
Once you've determined your perfect Pet Sitting business name you should register with your Secretary of State for a business license or your local state agency responsible for issuing business licenses. Get some basic accounting software and determine your rates. It is highly recommended to seek out business insurance and become bonded. This step will help protect you in the event an animal in your care is injured or becomes ill in any way. Determine your business practices such as drop off and pick up times. Create a form for any special care or medication a pet may need and have your clients fill this out. Determine and include housing, food, and toy policies clearly on any informational and guideline forms.
You will want to purchase a few cages, bedding, leashes, feeding bowls and other pet supplies. Partition parts of your business to house different animals. You don't want cats stressing out any birds you may be caring for. Be willing to show your clients where their pets will be housed. Keep your business clean and tend to any pet accidents immediately. Simply put, be professional!
When you are ready to make the leap, there are many different ways to advertise your new Pet Sitting business. Use your network of family, friends, co-workers, and others professionals you may be associated with. Let them know you are starting a business and ask if they would refer you if they hear of someone who can use pet sitting services. Create some business cards or flyers and hand them out or post them at local businesses that may have a bulletin board. Create a website to highlight your business. Use online classified websites and social media to advertise. As well, there are sites already dedicated to connecting pet owners to pet sitters. Consider setting up an account with one of these services to help get your name out there.
Be creative and think of ways to attract customers and generate business. Offer a 10% discount during your slow times, reduced rates for longer stays or multiple pets and different pet pickup and drop off options. Set yourself apart from your competition. A professional Pet Sitting business can generate anywhere from $10K to $100K a year depending on different factors. You can start small and grow your business over time. Expand your facility, hire additional personnel, or create add on services like dog walking or pet grooming. Ultimately, providing the best care possible for these family pets will help build a quality and return customer base.