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If you're looking to break into the business of animal care, and you'd like to work independently, pet sitting is a great place to start. A pet sitter's job is to take care of animals while the owners are away, and provide services like walking, grooming, and feeding.
Interested in becoming a pet sitter? Follow these steps to create a successful pet sitting business.
1. Have A Goal And Create A Business Plan
Part of having a goal is knowing exactly what you want to accomplish with your pet sitting business. Make sure you define your goal. Once you decide what that goal is, put it down in writing and tell someone. After your goal is defined, you can begin working on a business plan. Think of a name for your business, and create a plan outlining how you're going to carry out your business. Decide what geographical area you'd like to work in, and choose places that are easily accessed from your home to avoid long commutes.
2. Consider Services And Price
Before going out and promoting your business, you'll need to decide what services you're going to offer, and what you're going to charge for each service. Most pet sitters charge a fee based on visits per day, but some also charge fees for additional services such as grooming, pooper scooping, and obedience training. To determine a good price, check the going rate of services in your area, and consider competitive pricing.
3. Get Licensed, Bonded And Insured
Being licensed, bonded, and insured is important for a few reasons. Most pet sitters are required to have a license before they can begin accepting clients, but it also makes it look like you care about your business and remain dedicated to providing the best services. Licenses you can get include sole proprietorship's, or LLC's (Limited Liability Company). A sole proprietorship is generally formed by an individual who has no need to separate their assets, where an LLC separates personal and business assets.
Being bonded and insured is important as well. A bond will cover any theft that might occur if you hire other pet sitters to work with you, where being insured will protect both you and the client should anything bad happen.
4. Create Promotional Materials
Next, you'll want to make sure you have the right materials to promote your pet sitting business. Start with a website that's optimized for search engines so it can easily be found by potential clients on Google. This will help people find your services via the web, and improve your chances of getting clients. Outline the services you hope to provide, prices, and include reviews from previous clients.
Also consider creating business cards and fliers to promote yourself. They're easy to hand out, and can do wonders to promote your business. These should have your company name, the website for your business, an e-mail address, and a phone number for easy contact.
5. Spread The Word
Part of spreading the word is already done for you with your website. Help promote your website by linking to it in social networks and posting about your services in pet forums. Visit supermarkets, local veterinary offices, coffee shops, pet stores, post offices, and anywhere else you can think of, hand them some of your business cards and ask if you can post some of your fliers up.
Don't forget about word of mouth, either. Tell anyone and everyone about your new business, and hand them a business card. You can also create shirts and bumper stickers to help promote your business.
6. Keep Records
Make sure you keep detailed records for every client you have. Start by creating a contact sheet of all your clients including phone number, emergency contact number, and e-mail. Next, present a care sheet for the clients to complete about their animals. Make sure you follow any instructions they give you. Finally, create a contract or a veterinary release form, and discuss a veterinary plan with the owner of the animal in case anything goes wrong while they're gone.
7. Provide Fantastic Service
One of the best things you can do for your pet sitting business is provide great service. Take the best care of the animals you can, and follow the clients instructions exactly. If the client is satisfied with your work, you can ask them to leave a review on your website, which will get you more business. Also, the client will be more likely to recommend your services to their friends and colleagues if they're happy with your work.
Follow these steps to help you on the road to creating a successful pet sitting business. With these things in mind, your business will have a fantastic start-up, and your clients will love you!