How to Start a Pet Sitting Business
Pet sitting is a great gig for animal lovers! Taking care of dogs and cats all day sounds like a dream to many of us, and just imagine making your living that way.
We’ll discuss here how to start a pet sitting business so your dreams can become reality.
Make a Business Plan
The first step in starting a pet sitting business is establishing a clear business plan. This step is going to require asking yourself a lot of honest questions about your business goals. Consider the following when drafting your pet sitting business plan:
- Who is your target demographic?
- What amount will you dedicate to startup costs?
- What will your rates be?
- What services will you offer?
These questions are a good place to start when planning your pet sitting business. It’s important to spend as much time as you need in the planning stages in order to lay a strong foundation for your future business.
Register for a Business License
Before taking on clients, you will need to register for a business license. Your local city hall or business advisory group are good resources to determine what is required to get started.
You’ll also want to get insurance for your pet sitting business. This will ensure that any legal disputes will be covered in part or in full.
Consult an Accountant
When starting your own business, it’s important to seek professional financial advice to make important decisions.
Generally, pet sitting businesses are sole proprietorships or limited liability companies (LLCs). Sole proprietorship businesses are formed by one person whose personal and business assets are not separated. This means that as the owner, you are responsible for all debts. LLCs separate personal and business assets, so as the owner you would not be personally responsible for any business debts.
Build a Website
In the digital age we live in, you are most likely going to want a website for your pet sitting business. A website is a great way to expand the reach of your business and to detail the services your offer.
A visually appealing, informational website boosts trust in your business and allows customers to clearly see your services, rates, and policies. Make sure you do your research and establish competitive rates. Look into similar businesses nearby and see their costs for services.
Establish Legal Requirements
It’s also important that you determine any legal documents you’ll need to use with clients. Working with a legal professional on this can help you draft contracts and terms to ensure protection in any scenario. As exciting as it is to start working with your first few clients, make sure you don’t jump into anything without a signature from them on any required paperwork.
Make a Marketing Plan
Once you launch your new pet sitting business, you’ll want to be ready to do some heavy-lifting to get the word out. Creating a detailed marketing plan for your new business is a crucial step in raising awareness for your business and setting yourself apart from the competition. Here are a couple of ideas:
- Print out flyers for your business and ask to hang them at local businesses like pet sotres, groomers, and vet clinics.
- Advertise a first-time customer promotion on your flyers and website.
- Incentivize new clients to let their pet-parent friends know about the services you offer.
- Set up a phone system to ensure you aren’t missing calls from prospective clients.
If your business grows quickly, you may find that you need to hire additional help. Make sure anyone you hire is just as much of an animal enthusiast as you are!
Here are some helpful articles on understanding animal behavior you can have your new hires study:
- Understanding your cat’s tail movements
- Meaning of common cat behaviors
- Do dogs and cats like to be hugged
- What your dog’s sleeping habits mean
We hope this helped give you a few ideas on how to start your pet sitting business! Looking for some more reading? Check out our recent article on dog collars versus harnesses.