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How to Start a Pet Sitting Business in Just a Week

December 23, 2011

Starting your own pet sitting business is really quite simple. You don’t need a lot of money nor will you need additional training. In fact you could be up and in business within a week. Seriously, here’s how:

First of all, do some research. Talk to veterinarians, pet shop owners, groomers, and if possible, other pet sitters to learn what your community is looking for in a pet sitter. Find out if the veterinarians, pet shop owners, and groomers would be willing to allow you to leave a stack of business cards or post a flyer in their business to promote your new pet sitting service.

Next you need to take care of some legal requirements. Decide your legal structure. Is it a sole proprietorship, partnership, or limited liability corporation? Next, pick a name. Something catchy is a good idea. Make sure your name is not in use by any other companies in your area and that it’s not trademarked. Now, license your business. Check with your state to find out their rules and regulations.

It’s important you have insurance. Many companies offer policies specifically for pet sitters. This will protect you in the event of a lawsuit or other claim. It’s also a good idea to have a bond as this protects you and reassures your customers.

Now you’re ready to get your supplies. It’s a good idea to have a couple emergency kits. Have one for your car in case you need to transport a pet, and then have one for use in the customer’s home. Items in this kit would include a first aid kid, a spare leash, collar, and can opener for pet food, a change of clothing, flashlight, and a spray bottle filled with half water and half vinegar in case you encounter any aggressive dogs on a walk. You also must have a reliable scheduling system. You want to keep track of all your jobs and make sure you’re on time.

The next thing to decide is what your rates are. The national average is $16 a visit. Learn what the rates are for other pet sitters in your community and pick something close to those. When deciding your rates, think about the pet and its needs. Charge less for simple pets, while ones with more special needs will require a higher rate.

Next you can begin advertising. Have some business cards printed. Make them memorable and fun, and perhaps they could have something on the back that would make the potential customer hold onto the card, such as, “Every eighth pet visit is free!” You could also try listing your business in the Yellow Pages or taking out an ad in your local newspaper. Most newspapers have a low cost “services” section where you can run a small classified or business card sized display ad. There are many free options available such as Craigslist and Backpage.com.

Try different things until you find what works best. Pretty soon that phone will start ringing. Get your supplies, have your schedule with you, and get ready to begin your first pet sitting job. In under a week you can be up and in business with your new pet sitting service. To learn more, read Profitable Pet Sitting, available at: http://extraincomebulletin.com

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From → Pet Sitting

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