If you’ve gotten to the point of reading this blog post then you are seriously considering starting your own dog walking or pet sitting business. You love dogs and you want to help them get the quality care they deserve. You want to work with dogs on a daily basis and you like helping people. Maybe you’ve seen a need in your market for better quality pet care, a different type of pet care, or something else. Before you go for it, consider how you would answer these questions:

  • What companies are currently in the marketplace and what do they offer?
  • What is my company’s mission, and what is my business model?
  • How can I differentiate myself?
  • What tools are available to help me run my business?
  • How much money can I make?
  • What do I need to get started?

What companies are currently in the marketplace and what do they offer?
Before you start your own business it’s important to understand the marketplace. How many dog walking or pet sitting companies are in your market? What services do they offer? How much do they charge? How many pets are in your market? Can the market handle more dog walking companies? Once you research the answers to these questions you will have a better understanding of what’s out there, where there is a void, and where you can do offer better services.

What is my company’s mission, and what is my business model?
After you’ve done your competitive research, it’s time to determine where you will fit in. Are you going to offer the same services as your competition, only better? Are you going to offer different or unique services? Determine what your company and brand stand for and create your message around those important values. Make sure everything you do reflects back on this message so you are communicating consistently across all channels to all customers and prospects.

How can I differentiate myself?
Your business needs to be different from your competitors. It can be through a promise, a service, or a business model. Make sure you communicate clearly to your customers and prospects so they understand what you are saying. Pet owners are looking for a service they can relate to and trust. Advertise that you use Pet Check to show full accountability for the whereabouts of their pet and the peace of mind to know their pet is safe. Companies who use Pet Check are more likely to get business compared to those companies who do not. Pet owners demand accountability and Pet Check provides it.

What tools are available to help me run my business?
When you sign up with Pet Check you are getting the most comprehensive dog walking software on the market. Pet Check runs every aspect of your dog walking and pet sitting business. For example, it handles scheduling, empowering your staff with these schedules in real-time, visit GPS tracking, invoicing, and even an option for automated credit card processing. Pet Check runs your business so you can focus on what’s important to you and your clients.

How much money can I make?
Your business model is a good predictor of what you can expect to make. Establish your prices first, then estimate how many customers you will get in year 1, 2 and 3. Then deduct your expenses and you will have a projection of your net income before taxes. Estimate best and worst case scenarios and make any changes necessary to ensure a profitable and successful business model while still staying competitive.

What do I need to get started?
Now that you are ready to get started there are a few things you’ll need to put in place.

  • Incorporate your business as a sole proprietor, LLC, Inc, etc. Consult an attorney to understand your options.
  • Protect yourself by acquiring business insurance and bonding.
  • Sign up for Pet Check
  • Develop your website and marketing materials
  • Start walking dogs and having fun!

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