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How to Start Your Own Dog Walking Service

December 13, 2011

The dog walking and pet sitting business is a huge market, it’s massive. At least here in the UK we go bananas for our cats (zen masters!) and canine companions (well, the majority of us do, sadly, there are some that should not own a pet!) and we (the majority) would do anything for them, because they are part of the family.

Many of the start-up dog walkers I have worked have feared that there may not be enough ‘custom’ or there are ‘just too many’ in an area.

You know this already, many new business owners start up and are gone within the first few months, 60% within the first year.

And the dog walking and pet sitting businesses are included in that statistic. Why? Did the owners think it would be easy, they would be just ‘walking dogs’, they would stick out a few leaflets and flyers and sit and wait for customers to come to them?

You’ve made seen the film ‘Field of Dreams’, Kevin Costner builds a baseball ground and takes ‘build it and they will come’ approach, that is best left for the movie screen.

For you to run a profitable and highly successful dog walking and pet sitting business you have to work (and yes, hard at times) at the ‘building’!

Every dog walking and pet sitting business owner that does ‘survive and thrive’ spends time working ‘on’ their business not just in. The ones that don’t, can be seen lowering prices just to eat!

If you are serious (and the fact you are reading this, shows that you are) and you approach your business from the start as a ‘professional service and business, with exceptional customer care and commitment to providing a first class service that leaves your customers speechless’, you’ll be busy, very busy indeed.

You see, all businesses work in the same way, all of them, and here’s the secret (actually it isn’t a secret, it’s where people go wrong):

You need a great offer (service)

You need to tell people (who are desperate for your offer) that you have it

You need to clearly show them how they can get it

Yeah, that sounds easy! Seriously it is. So why do 60% fail?

That, I’m afraid, is something I don’t have the complete answer to. And is the answer to the main question “Is this a good time to start your dog walking and pet sitting business!”

Yes, it is. As you start, 60% will be gone by the end of the year. In all my years helping solo business owners start up here is what I can share with you to make sure next year you are not one of those statistics:

• Running a business is easy, if you start right, have systems in place, be yourself and always find a way to build a list of prospects and customers (people buy and bring into their family home: dogs, cats and other animals every day!)

• Constant communication with your customers (and potential customers) is KEY (this is where I think social media can help your business)

• Your business is not about you, it’s about what you can do for your customer. Actually they don’t care about you! Harsh, yes, especially if you are people person! And especially if you are setting up your dog walking business because you love animals and people!

• All successful businesses (no MATTER what they are) run in the same way. You sell the benefits and the features of what you do, so that people are desperate to get it

• All fantastic businesses (including yours) is a game of psychology first: getting into the mind of your customer, to market and be the one that everyone calls on, learn what your customer is asking in their head and then sell them the answers to their needs and nightmares.

• And lastly, accept the fact that your business is not going to appeal to everyone – not everyone is going to become a customer. This is called ‘rejection’ or ‘no’, and that’s okay!

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From → Pet Sitting

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