What’s a business you can start with little to no money down with having a ton of fun? You guessed it; the dog walking service business.
I got this idea about how to start a dog walking service after meeting a cool person in Puerto Rico who walked dogs near the beach. I started chatting with her and was so impressed with not only her story, but also, how much fun she was having with all the money she was making.
As she told me, starting a dog walking service business can be incredibly rewarding, fun and enjoyable as either a part-time gig or even a full time business. But before you start, here are the 9 main steps you will need take to get started in this unique and exciting business venture.
- You’ll Need To Research Local Regulations In Your Town: Before you get started with your dog walking service business in your town, you will first need to research your local laws and regulations around dog walking businesses. Some cities or states could possibly require you to obtain a business license or permits to operate your dog walking service business. This won’t be too difficult to obtain in the case you do need to obtain these documents.
- Creating A Detailed Business Plan: Before you get started in this exciting business venture, you will need to develop a robust business plan that’ll include your target market, specific services you will offer centers around dog walking, pricing of your dog walking services, and marketing strategies on how to get your customers in your area.
- Get Insured – ASAP!: You never know what can help in a business, especially with a dog walking service business. You will need to purchase liability insurance to protect yourself, the dogs and your clients in case of any unpredictable accidents or injuries that may occur.
- Build An Exciting Brand: Create a stellar logo (with a focus and emphasis on dog walking), a easy to use website for customers, and business cards to establish a professional brand. Always carry your business cards, and have a 10% off coupon on the back of the card when you meet new people. This will create business quickly! Also, consider even doing one free dog walk just to start building your customer base quickly.
- Network, Network and…NETWORK!: As the saying goes, “all the money is made in partying“. When you go out and about, whether it’s a networking event or even out to dinner with friends or family, always be prepared to share your business info with people around you. Start networking with local pet stores and get them to follow you on social media (if your content is interesting and fun), groomers, and local veterinarians to get the word out about your dog walking services. You can also create nice colorful flyers and post them in your community at different stores. However, your best way to get a ton of leads is through social media.
- You will Need To Set Up a Scheduling System To Track Customers: Use a scheduling system from day one to track customers, employees and everything in between. You’ll need things such as a calendar or booking software (dog walking services software is available), to manage your dog walking appointments and to ensure you have enough time between walks with the other dogs on the schedule for the day.
- Consider Getting Professional Solid Equipment: You’ll need to have a reliable leash for the dogs, collar, and waste bags readily available just in case. Also, strongly consider getting a pet first aid kit and also a GPS tracking device for every dog you are walking.
- Meeting With Potential Clients: When you meet with potential clients, be sure to ask about their dog’s behavior, temperament, and any special needs. It’s important to establish a good relationship with the dog and the owner.
- Providing Excellent Service: Make sure you provide consitent excellent service to all of your clients and their dogs. Show up on time each time, communicate thoroughly and effectively, and treat each dog with care, attention and love!