If you are one of the many work-at-home moms who is looking at expanding your horizons and breaking into a new industry, you might be wondering how to get into becoming an animal behavior expert. These professionals are paid to visit different animal "clients" and work on dealing with pet or animal psychology and related issues. This is one small business ideas that might be perfect for you if you are really into the animal world.
At first, the idea of breaking into animal behavior consulting might seem unattainable. How do you get from where you are to the kinds of roles you see on TV, with animal experts taking on big challenges and getting noticed for their expertise? With some hard work and business strategy, you could get your name into the mix in this exciting zoological field.
One of the best ways to get started in animal behavior is to start out "in the trenches," with actual animals in situations where animal psychology is important. This includes animal shelters and kennels, as well as veterinary practices. As you continue to work with animals on a basic level, you will learn more about their behavior. This is a great building block for anyone who wants to become an expert in how animals behave and think.
Working toward a Degree or Certification
A lot of the more serious animal behavior careerists work on a technical behavioral or medical degree to be qualified as veterinarians, but that's not the only way to a rewarding animal behavior career. A mix of practical experience and less intensive certifications can also work. Think about how much you are willing to put into your studies and at what point you want to bring what you've learned to a real-world practice.
Promoting your business as an animal career expert is important, just as it is in any field. When you're starting out, community outreach is often the way to go. You can volunteer at local animal clinics, zoos or other institutions, or, when you've built up experience, start reaching out to local clients, participating in local job events or looking for media opportunities from the local newspaper or renowned local bloggers. Through a mix of print, web and public event exposure, you can start to get noticed in your area. You may want to collaborate with pet sitting or grooming services, or offer your own set of business services, including dog walking and pet sitting, in order to gradually position yourself as a pet or animal expert who can start to build a client base for animal behavior.
The Accounting Side of Your Animal Behavior Business
Along with building your business up gradually, you'll want to understand how to best keep the books for your fledgling enterprise. The federal tax code deals with small business in a specific way. You'll want to learn about business gain or loss to apply it to annual tax returns, where keeping track of your business expenses is key. You'll need to look at what you can charge clients and what you need to charge them in order to make a profit, factoring in travel and any other overhead that is involved. No matter what kind of business you're in, if you're running your own business, you also need to have a head for numbers and a long-term strategy that will help you turn a profit and allow your business to thrive.