If you're looking at how to start your career as a professional dog walker, you may be on the right track: a dog walking business can be a great solution for a work at home mom or other self-employed individual who's looking to expand her business in another direction. Dog walking services are in demand these days as many dog owners simply don't have the time to walk their own pets, especially during the workday. Some basic tips on a dog walking startup can help you get set up the right way.
Plan for Transportation
The way that you get your clients houses is going to be a key part of your dog walking business plan. When it comes to providing these kinds of services, time is money, and reliability is also a major part of the equation. Make sure you have a personal vehicle to get between clients houses, or if you use public transportation, factor in time to make your dog walking route a reasonable proposition.
Look Practically at a Client List
One of the biggest steps in planning this kind of business is knowing what clients you will be starting up with. Sure, you can grow your business over time, but in order to have a good chance of success, you'll need a few solid clients who you can count on in the beginning. Put together a concrete list of clients and get firm commitments from them before putting a lot of resources into your dog walking enterprise.
Evaluate Insurance Needs
You might not think that a business as small as yours would need insurance, but for dog walking services, where you're dealing with a sentimentally valuable personal pet, insurance is a good tool for helping clients to understand that you're serious about what you're doing. Insurance companies will often sell specific policies customized for your dog walking business, so talk to company representatives and hammer out a plan to get financial security and more credibility for your business.
Promote Your Dog Walking Business
When it comes to promotion for your dog walking service, the possibilities are endless. It can help to start with some good business cards and distribute them wherever possible. Good distribution strategies include giving out cards at personal meetings, printing them in local directories, leaving them on public bulletin boards, or mailing them out to potential clients.
Look at Business Tax Structure
One aspect that trips up a lot of start up businesses is the tax burden. When you take in money as a small business, you will be responsible to pay taxes differently. Paying taxes in a small business scenario often involves paying taxes quarterly. Invest in a good tax accountant and get help on how to manage this important aspect of your dog walking service.
All of the above can help you start up a dog walking business that has the potential to thrive.