A Dog Walking Business – The Pros and Cons
Starting a dog walking service is like any other business; you need to consider the pros and cons. Because there are very few prerequisites (the main one being a love of dogs) for starting a dog walking business it is all so easy to think, well it’s only walking dogs how difficult can it be?
This post should help you start considering if a dog walking business is for you.
As mentioned earlier you need to love dogs and you need to be a fan of the outdoors (as that is where you likely to spend most of your time). If you are not keen on animals and prefer a job that keeps you out of the weather, then this isn’t the business for you – otherwise read on.
Your clients in your dog walking business will be the most important part of your business, as without clients you will not have a business. In running a dog walking business you will need to build trust with your clients after all you will be looking after their beloved pets and, in all likely hood will need access to their homes, you need to be seen to be and actually have to be, responsible and trustworthy.
If you are considering having your own dog walking business then you are considering being self-employed. This is a scary step for most people especially if you are used to having a regular wage coming in month after month to the pay the bills. Being your own boss means radical changes in your outlook and the way you view and deal with your finances. Being your own boss also means you are responsible for everything; that means being motivated to get out of bed in the morning when the rain is beating against the window, getting organized with your marketing campaign, dealing with problems and motivating yourself – kind of sounds like a regular job doesn’t it? – however the upside is you have no boss, you decide how you work and in the end your own efforts will bring financial rewards with no upper ceiling, unlike a job.
Don’t underestimate this one – if you are used to sitting at a desk 8 hours a day, then walking 3 or 4 excitable hounds in the pouring rain (or snow or fog) might come as a shock, and you will need to be prepared for whatever Mother Nature decides to throw at you. On the plus side walking with your canine friends on a warm and lovely summer’s day is a great way to earn a living.
This can be another challenge if you have never worked for yourself, but unless you let your potential customers know who you are and what you can do for them you will not make any money. You need to promote your business, there will be more articles on this important aspect later, but for now you must be aware that you need to get yourself out there – think about your business name (is it catchy, does is communicate what you do?), are you planning to have a website (these days, you’ll need one, so will you build it yourself or buy one in?). How will you reach your customers (online advertising, leaflet drops, partnering with local businesses?). Good promotion is a combination of method, and testing to see what really works, until you build up your business to a level where most of your referrals are word-of-mouth (the most economical and effective way of gaining new clients).
Since this websites primary function is to give the tools you build a successful dog walking business, we will be expanding on all the above in forthcoming posts.