Work at Home: Pet Sitter
If you are looking for an idea to start your own business working from home, then have you thought about being a pet sitter?
A pet sitter could be a live-in job, although mostly you need to pop round and feed them - and if it is a dog you are looking after it will probably want walking twice per day. You will need to love taking care of animals, but if you are keen on pets this might be perfect way to start your own business working from home.
Your market is anybody with a pet! Why Would They Need a Pet Sitter? People need a pet sitter for a variety of reasons:
- long or short business trips
- weekend breaks
It is better for the pets if they are looked after by a petsitter than if they are bundled off to boarding kennels where they feel abandoned and alone.
In some instances, if you have the space, you might be able to have the pet stay at your house. But usually you would be going to the client's house.
If you can't commit to looking after a pet as a pet sitter, you could think about offering a day care or dog walking service. People who are out at work all day, often long days, might like somebody to walk their dog on a regular basis - and/or even on a "callout" basis (charge extra!) if they are delayed at work.
Word of mouth works best with this. Dog owners are easy to spot - they are out walking their dogs! Get some business cards printed up, create a simple website - just one page will do - setting out your name, address, ways to contact you and a list of your services. Print your website address on your business card. Pass your card to every dog walker you pass in the street.
Make some notices up and put them on noticeboards. Speak to the local kennels. They might be able to pass you business leads where they know of people who can't afford proper kennels, or if they are phoning to kennels to see if they know of a local pet sitter.
You will need to be insured if you are running your own business. There are special insurance policies to cover you in case somebody's pet meets with a mishap while in your care. If you are employed by a pet sitting company to work on their behalf they will have insured you already. Insurance is very important, so don't overlook this or think you can get away with it for now ... it's not worth the risk
You would need to price the service appropriately. The amount you can charge will vary from region to region, depending on competition and the lifestyle of people in your area. But think at least in terms of the minimum wage. Don't sell yourself short! Think about the long term and how you could turn this into a proper business employing people to do the jobs for you, so working as a pet sitting and dog walking agency - and if that happened nobody would want to work for you if you'd priced your service so low you couldn't afford to pay them. And by then your clients would leave if you put your rates up. So price for a professional service from the start.
Good luck starting your own business as a pet sitter and dog walker if this is what you choose to do!