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How to Get Started in Your Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Business

Kristin Morrison, Six Figure Pet SittingBy Kristin Morrison, Founder, Six-Figure Pet Sitting Academy™

Want to start a pet sitting and dog walking business?

It's a great time to start a business because no matter what the economic forecast is, people will be willing to spend top dollar to have their pets cared for.

So how do you start a pet sitting and dog walking business?

Here are some dos and don'ts to get you started:

Do pick a business name that is reflective of what service(s) you provide.
Do you provide pet sitting and dog walking in your business? Use that term in your business name! The benefits will be twofold: 1) clients will know exactly what pet care services you provide and 2) you will come up higher on the search engines if you have your services listed as part of your business name.

Do purchase a business license and fictitious business name (DBA)
Before you do this you must first decide if you want to be a sole proprietor, an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) or a Corporation. How do you decide? Talk to your accountant or a lawyer to find out what is best for you and your business..

Do purchase pet sitting forms and a pet sitting contract for your pet sitting and dog walking business.
Next on your list you'll want to get contracts and forms for your pet sitting and dog walking business. You'll find many forms to choose from online. I've developed a Business Start-up Kit for Pet Sitters as well as individual forms and contracts that you can purchase in order to start and/or run your business successfully.

Here are all the forms you'll want to have ready before you take on your first client:

Do figure out what specific pet sitting and dog walking services to offer in your business before you begin! Some standard services that most pet sitters and dog walkers offer are:

  • Private or small group dog walking
  • Group dog hiking or beach playtime
  • Vacation pet visits
  • Overnight pet sitting in clients home
  • Dog Boarding in pet sitter's home
  • Pet taxi
Do figure out your pricing for each pet service you offer.
Do an online search for all the different pet sitting and dog walking services in your area. Do put your pricing in the middle of what the going rate seems in terms of pet sitting and dog walking pricing in your area for the first couple of years in order to competitive. After that you can raise your prices accordingly.

Do purchase pet sitting business insurance.
You want to protect your business so be sure to purchase pet sitting business insurance.

Do get pet sitting administration software for your business:
You can find the one that works best for you by typing in the keywords 'pet sitting software' and demo the different pet sitting software systems that are out there. Through learning each system you will find the one that works best for you and your business needs.

After completing the steps above it will be time to market your pet sitting business and get your first client!

Here are some don'ts to be a aware of:

Six Figure Pet SittingDon't quit your day job in order to run your business full time.
Unless you have another revenue stream, quitting your day job will put too much pressure on your 'baby' business.

Don't forget to keep track of your mileage.
This will enable you to write off your mileage at the end of the year.

Don't do your own taxes.
Your business will profit from you hiring an expert who knows what to write off.

Don't be afraid to say no.
If a pet sitting job or particular pet doesn't feel 'right' to you, don't take the job. Many pet sitters make the mistake of bypassing their intuition for money and it ends up creating a mess. Learn to listen to what clients feel right to take and what clients don't feel right to take and be willing to say no.

This article was compiled from the book "Six-Figure Pet Sitting: Catapult Your Pet Sitting Business to Unlimited Success" by Kristin Morrison. All rights reserved.

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