If you enjoy being outside and work with numerous four-legged coworkers, and also be your own boss you've probably considered whether or not it's feasible to start a dog walking business.
After all, being a dog walker and owning a dog walking business is pretty much the polar opposite of a typical office job; you get to spend time outside, stay active, and see dogs all day. What could be better?
You may be wondering how to start a dog walking business that can survive on its own and how to get your dog walking business up and running.
Starting a dog walking service is not entirely simple. When starting any business there are several financial and risk-related issues to consider. In this article we'll try to go through every step you'll need to take, as well as demonstrate how to start a dog walking business.
So how do you become a dog walker and potentially a business owner? you'll have to weigh the same financial concerns as you would with any other small business. The success of your dog walking business will be determined by how well you handle the additional responsibilities. You'll have to balance administrative work with your regular walking routine. Let's look at some of the things you should know before you start a dog walking service.
Any organization must have a solid strategy in place in order to succeed. It's also preferable to write a business plan now rather than after your firm has grown and you have less time to devote to the task, since it will allow you to prepare a plan with your clear thinking before all of the obligations fall on you and prevent you from thinking clearly. You may use the following steps to create a business plan as you plan to own dog walking business:
1. Market Research:
“Supply and demand,” you've most likely heard of before. It's a common concept in any industry.
In order to increase revenue, businesses that offer services in higher demand might charge their customers more. As long as there are more consumers than companies supplying the service, this is achievable. If there are an excessive number of suppliers and a limited number of clients, each supplier reduces rates in order to retain a competitive edge for the smaller group of clients.
This may seem unrelated to dog walking, but everything has to do with how you develop your business if you want it to be a success. Make sure there aren't already too many dog walkers in your target market—otherwise, you could have a hard time finding dog owner clients and differentiating yourself from the other dog walking services as you don't want to be same as most dog walkers you want to be unique in your own way.
You will need to research your competitors and find out what they offer for their dog walking services so you can plan a head what you can offer to your potential pet owners clients. You will need to reach out to other dog walkers and try to find out valuable information about their business structure, such as:
How busy are they?
You can try to schedule dog walking services so you can experience various competitors for yourself or just interview them and ask how many dogs they provide service to and what their availability looks like. This will tell you if there is a demand in the area for dog walkers. If the competitors are very busy this will be a good indicator that it will be easy for you to find pet owners clients.
What does their service include?
What is included in their service? Are they taking the dogs to a dog park or just to a random parks in the area. If most of the dog walkers offer a walk around the block maybe you can offer a different kind of dog walking service and take your dogs to a special dog park where they can meet with other dog friends.
Are additional services offered to dog owners?
Do they offer other services like pet sitting (you may as well market your business as a pet sitting business too ) or boarding services? Do they offer dog treats as part of the pet sitting? Can they offer pet first aid if needed? You may want to add completion of a pet first aid class to your credentials.
Once you gather all this information it will give you a clear idea of what dog owners in the area will expect to get from your services. It will also be an opportunity for you to explore what you can do better in terms of better service or better product than the average dog walker.
You may think that starting your successful dog walking business has minimal start-up costs because, after all, don't you only need a decent pair of walking shoes? However, you may discover that some additional money is required to get your business started or to help it grow and hire employees.
Write down all the business expenses you may have, such as:
Licenses and LLC formation fees for liability protection
Any equipment you may need from garbage bags, gloves, extra leashes, dog treats etc.
Transportation expenses: do you need transportation for yourself for the dogs or for your workers if you plan to provide services to multiple dogs or senior dogs.
Will you walk dogs to special dog parks that charge a fee
Liability insurance cost.
Employee related expenses.
Write down the revenue you plan to earn from your dog walking services so you can figure out what your your cash flow and profit will look like.
If you need a car for transportation you should look at automobile loans geared for small companies. You may need a car or vehicle to transport your dog walking company's furry clients. Certain auto loans enable tiny firms to acquire vehicles while typically providing a lower interest rate.