Do you want to start a pet sitting business? If yes, you have landed at the right place. Anyone, from a teenager to a housewife can start a pet sitting business from home, in a garage, or backyard by investing almost no money. Here, in this article, we lay down all the important steps one must follow to start this pet-related business.
The pet sitting business primarily involves taking care of pets. One can charge their clients and pet owners for the variety of pet care services offered. You additionally can even sell pet food and other necessities.
Pet sitting business does not involve high setup costs, so you can start with minimal money. It is seen, most pet sitting businesses are run from home. So basically you need to have a basic setup. You can work according to your flexible schedule and how many animals you will look after at a time.
As owners have to leave for a vacation or have to be at the work, these pet sitting services come to the rescue. Owners are ready to pay more for proper animal care services where their pets can feel at home. As a business owner, it’s your duty to make it happen.
Here are the 12 Steps to Start Pet Sitting Business
If you want to start a successful pet sitting business, here are the following steps:
1. Understand the Local Market
The first step toward starting this type of pet business is to learn more about the local demand and trends for pet sitting services. Do market research and gather information regarding the market size, services offered by existing pet sitting service providers, the pricing offered, etc. This feedback will immensely help you in planning your business more effectively.
2. Get the Required Skills
To become a successful pet sitter, you must have some skills related to pet care. Some of them are sufficient knowledge about animal behavior, the ability to do animal CPR and first aid, passion for animals, and good communication skills.
If you have no experience, it is strongly advised to attend a certificate program on pet sitting from a nearby institute. Also, working as an intern in an existing pet sitting company will provide you with much-needed learnings about the trade.
3. Create a Business Plan
A proper business plan will help you to set goals. As you plan, be clear about your objectives. This will help you to define the initial costs and market. Decide whether you want to start the pet sitting business as a full-time job or you will do it when possible. A detailed plan will help you to make better future decisions.
4. How Much Does it Cost to Start a Pet Sitting Business?
The cost of starting a small-scale pet sitting business will not cost much. One can start this business with an investment as low as $500. Some of the costs that you need to consider include company registration fees, license fees, insurance expenses, tools to keep dogs, website, and promotional costs.
5. Make Your Business Legally-Compliant
Permits and licenses are necessary to start a pet sitting business. The legality differs from state to state, but establishing a business is important. This will help your pet sitting business against any legal implication or liability. For example, in the United States, many startups prefer forming an LLC. This is because registering as an LLC will not make the business owner personally liable if anyone sues on issues of financial disputes.
6. Apply for Taxes & Registrations
The taxes largely vary from state to state. You will have to register your pet sitting business for state and federal taxes. Obtain a Federal EIN. The government will identify your business in its federal tax filings and this will allow you to hire employees or open a business bank account.
7. Get Organized
It is essential to be disciplined and organized to run a professional pet sitting service business. Take appropriate steps to maintain records of the pet’s exercise schedule, food, medications, etc.
Also, make a separate sheet of the contact details of pet owners to provide them with updates on the recent developments of the pets.
Furthermore, proper business accounting will help you to maintain proper financial records. Setting up separate accounts will simplify the various expenses involved clearly defining the sources of income for your pet sitting business. Good accounting software will help to track the financial performance of your business by simplifying the annual tax filing.
8. Buy Insurance
Business insurance plays a critical role when it comes to ensuring the safety of your business and employees. Getting insurance for a pet sitting business will help you to compensate for any mishap.
You may consider insurances like Pet Sitters Associates LLC and Pet Sitter Insurance. Several states have made it mandatory for businesses to have insurance.
9. Legal Contract With Pet Owner
Keeping things clear will keep your business free from any legal obligation. It’s highly recommended that you get a signed contract before taking up the business. Once the pet owner agrees to your terms of service, you accept the service. Have a detailed copy of the legal relationship you will hold between the client and the service you will provide.
Things which you can include in the legal contract:
- Service specifications
- Payment options
- Time period
- Cancellation policies
- Veterinary situations
A legal contract with the signature of the client is important. Get it done before you begin your pet sitting service for a new client.
10. Pet Sitting Services To Offer
Select the services you want to offer. This will help you to fix up the pricing and charges. This may vary between the services your offer and the number of visits. Several owners offer special services like:
- Obedience training
- Pet Activities
- Pet Training
- Vet services
- Pooper scooper service
Suggested Read: How to Start a Pet Shop Business
You can charge individually for every service you offer. See how other local pet sitting businesses have priced their services. If you are starting new, try charging less than your competition. Owners often choose services that offer an in-home environment for pets and are ready to pay higher for better services.
12. Pet Sitting Business Promotion
Once you are set to go, now it’s time to promote. The business will mostly depend on the local clients, you can start with printed pamphlets and business cards. Investing in your local marketing will help you to bring more business. You can target:
- Vet clinics
- Local stores
- Dog groomers
- Pet stores
- Neighborhood newsletters
Put up one-page advertisements with your business cards at these places. Pet owners visiting any of the places will keep your card for future reference. Creating a website will not only help you in developing a brand but also help to reach more customers and create confidence.
Pet sitting business is not only a profitable venture but an emotionally fulfilling business for animal lovers. This guide will help you to expand your business by including additional services for pet owners.
About the Author: 99businessideas.com led by Rupak Chakrabarty is committed to helping beginners, entrepreneurs, and small business owners in starting, managing, and growing their business. Our aim is to educate the entrepreneur on the various stages of entrepreneurship.