If you’re the type that considers being led by 40 dogs throughout the park all day one of the best possible forms of fun, you may want to think about a career revolving around our furry little friends. Dog walking is not only enjoyable for pooches; it’s also great exercise for you! Plus, the cash involved usually isn’t too shabby either, especially if you live in an area where dog walking is the norm. Whether you want to make dog walking and/or grooming your main career, or if you’re just looking for a little extra cash on the side (and some lovin’ from man’s best friend), dog walking can be very rewarding.
Let’s take a look at how you can get headed in the right direction when starting out your dog walking business.
1. Consider how much of your time you want your dog walking business to consume. You will probably need to start out small and work your way up. Decide whether you want this to be part-time or full-time, how much time you can devote to the pooches, and how you’re going to make a name for yourself.
2. Prepare yourself for running a business. Are you going to be hiring any employees or run everything by yourself? What areas of your city are you going to make your services available to? If you’re making your business large, be prepared to purchase insurance, interview potential employees and make sure they’re reliable, manage a payroll system, and plan and organize your walking schedules, along with whatever else may come up in the business aspect. Rude clients? Runaway dogs? Consider all the possibilities and have a plan for each.
3. Have some stylish and memorable business cards printed up. A professional image should be projected, as well as clearly describing what your business is and what you do. The first five seconds of looking at your business card should not leave customers confused; it should provide them with adequate information in an organized way. You may include information as far as where the dogs will be walked, how you will keep the dogs entertained throughout the day, and how you will keep them fed. Don’t be afraid to be creative, either!
4. Advertise, advertise, advertise. Get your name out there! Pass around flyers (professional, not tacky), introduce yourself and engage in conversations with people you see walking their dogs, talk up your business to family and friends, present an overall trustworthy business experience to anyone you can. You’d be surprised at how quickly a business can grow from word-of-mouth. If people are happy with something, they almost always will tell other people, and vice versa. Make sure you do everything you can to make the former happen.
5. Make a splash on the Internet. The Internet has increasingly become people’s first place to search for everything and anything, so it only makes sense to market yourself online. If you don’t know how to create a website, consider hiring someone who can do it for you. Consider how you want the layout and design of it to strike people when they visit it. You may also want to add other services as your business grows larger. Other services may include: dog-bathing/grooming, dog-training, medical attention, and dog sitting. Who knows, maybe you’ll even embark on a career as a veterinary assistant in time.
6. Have fun! If spending time with dogs is something you truly enjoy, you’ll realize that while it is hard work to start and manage your own business, the benefits and pure joy you’ll receive every day is totally worth it. Happy walking!
Image License: Creative Commons image source
Guest Author : Kristen Cruz plans include continuing to pursue writing and photography while traveling the country, though she also harbors a dormant interest in pet sitting and dog walking.