How to get started with a pet sitting business for under $200?
Pets are quite normal these days as many urban and suburban households are keeping their favorite animals at home with them. However, while going on vacations or for any emergency means, you need to leave the pets at home or a pet boarding. Leaving them at home can make them scared, bored and can call for health risks. And leaving them, boarding will not only cost a lot but will also put the pet in an unfamiliar environment which can make them uncomfortable. All these are the reasons why the pet owners are now going for pet sitting services, who can take care of their pets at the client’s home keeping the pets in their familiar space.
Who are pet sitters?
Pet sitters are trained and experienced people who can take care of pets at their client’s homes. They usually stay at a client’s home or come visit every day a few times to feed and take care of the pet. It’s common for people of all types of pets to need this service. It could be a dog, cat or any small animals. This makes sure that the pets are happy in their home and not in an unfamiliar space. Pet sitters tend to feed the pets, clean them, take them for walks, and overall make sure that they are not feeling lonely or sad.
Being a pet sitter, one can choose to keep their services restricted to either cats or dogs. Or one can also diversify by sitting various types of pets like other mammals, birds, amphibians, fishes, reptiles, etc. This depends on the comfort level and expertise of the person. This is to make sure that they understand their animals and what they need. Today pet sitting is a promising business opportunity for many who love pets and know how to take care of them. This business can be started without much capital spent but allow the pet sitter to earn quite a nice profit. Also, one can take courses and certifications for learning how to become a pet sitter.
What does a pet sitter do?
As the number of pets is increasing, owners are also becoming more aware of the pet sitting options for their pets. Getting a pet sitter benefits the pet owners and the pet quite extensively. It allows for the dog, cat or similar to remain in their happy and comfortable space at their home. But, they also will not have to go without food or daily exercise. Also getting a pet sitter means one will have to travel with their pets, which can save them from travel trauma for both the pet and the owner. Conversely, if the pet is small or susceptible to illness, taking them to a new place can lead to infections and illness.
Many would think that a pet sitter doesn’t do much, but that is just an untrue notion. Pet sitters tend to have a lot of responsibilities which makes them good at what they do. Pet sitters visit the pet’s place at least two to three times a day. Moreover, if needed some also stay overnight.
Some of the responsibilities are like:
- Providing pets with food and water on time.
- Walk the dogs, play with them and give them regular exercise.
- Play with cats and keep them busy for a while to keep them active.
- Clean the litter boxes.
- Give medicines if the pet requires it.
- Provide the pet with proper grooming like brushing their coat, brushing their teeth, clip nails, etc.
Also, in case the pets fall sick, it is the sitter’s responsibility to take them to the owner’s preferred vet and also inform the owner immediately. For this usually, the owners are made to fill out an information sheet where all the needed details are written. Their veterinarian likely already has this sheet. But giving it to the pet sitter is important too. For instance, if the pet has any allergies, age, medical conditions, medications, etc.
Why are pet sitters highly demanded?
Many would think that pet sitting may not be the best option to start a business. They think there may not be enough demand for it and one may end up with the loss of time and money. However, this cannot be more wrong. The number of pets is increasing every day. So, the requirement for someone to take care of them while the owners are vacationing is also increasing. Also, some clients don’t just call for when they are going on vacation, but for various other reasons too.
Some of the very common reasons why pet sitters are hired are:
- Client going for a family vacation.
- The client works for long hours and stays out of home most of the day.
- The client going out on a business trip.
- The client is in town but will be out for the entire day for any event.
- Some of the other reasons that can also be the reason for hiring a pet sitter are:
- Special needs dog and requires timely medication regularly and the client is a full time working person.
- The client or client’s family member is sick or in the hospital due to which they need a pet sitter to take care of the pet.
- The client has a new puppy or kitten and needs entertainment visits way too often.
Pet sitting business
With time, new avenues and options are increasing every day for those who want to start their own business. Pet sitting has now become a full-fledged business opportunity for many. One should be a pet lover and tend to have a good rapport with the animals. Coupled with having a trustworthy nature, one can be a good pet sitter. One can start the business singlehandedly, but in time one can expand the enterprise. One can hire other pet sitters as well so that they can accommodate multiple clients at a time. This will not only bring more earning but will make one a successful pet sitting company after a few years of hard work.
Also, a very general question that many tend to ask is what is the overall earning of a pet sitter? Well, the pay can change from sitter to sitter. Also, experience plays a very important role in deciding the charges. However, in general, a pet sitter can earn up to 20-30 dollars per day and 40-70 dollars per night.
Factors that decide the pet sitting prices are:
- Location of the clients’ place
- Type of pet
- Type of care
- Time of call
- Holidays etc.
Why choose to start a pet sitting business?
If you are thinking about starting a pet sitting business, then some of the benefits and advantageous points to remember are:
The best thing is that you do not require a storefront or an office set up. This is because most of the work will be done from your own home. Granted, you will also be using your vehicle to travel to the client’s home. In addition to being a pet sitter, most of the work will be done at the client’s home or outside. This is so the pets can be taken out for walks and games. This reduces the overall expenses and one can also deduct the expenses while filing for taxes.
One of the major reasons why people would like to venture into the pet sitting business is the fact that it has low start-up costs. One will only require costs for licenses and marketing. Even most of the time supplies for pet-sitting will be provided by the pet owners. Consider joining Facebook groups as this is likely where you’ll find the bulk of your client base. Also, ask all of your friends and family if they know anybody who owns a pet. Then, if interested, you’ll have a nice starter amount of clients. You’ll likely be able to find a solid 2-3 regular clients when asking everyone you know if they also know people who are in need.
One can use a pet sitting business as a side job or as a full-time profession, according to one’s choice. There is no fixed number of clients that one needs to pull every day or every week. You can choose to work as little or as much as you want to. This is great if you’re working at a job you hate and want to start growing a side hustle on the weekends. On the weekends you can likely charge at least 10-20% more as that’s when most people don’t want to work. Also, this can be a great job for teenagers to start with no money, or at least next to it.
Many people do not like to work sitting at a single place for too long. Pet sitting jobs, on the other hand, is a very active type of job. One can work going around, playing with the pets and get some real physical activity. This will suit perfectly for those who like an active lifestyle.
It’s recommended to get at least 150 minutes of moderate to intensive exercise every week. This recommendation comes from the American Heart & Stroke Association. Also, if increased to 300 minutes, you’ll unlock a plethora of additional health benefits. You will very easily achieve this with any pet sitting business, even with just a few clients.
Wide range of clients:
This is a certain business where word of mouth and proper marketing can do wonders. As everybody wants to keep their pets safe and want to enjoy some vacation time without having to constantly worry about the pets. Therefore hiring a good pet sitter with good services will help them have the peace of mind they need. This will help the pet owner have a much more relaxing and rewarding vacation. This is the reason why good pet sitting services after a certain period can bring in a good number of clients.
Unquestionably, you’ll end up meeting some very interesting people starting a pet sitting business for free…or basically free. You could end up finding a client who has 10 other friends who need pet-sitting services. This will make it likely for you to hire additional employees quickly to meet the demand. Obviously, this is what you’re aiming for in the end. This is so eventually you don’t even have to do the pet sitting and instead just collect your cut of the pay.
Be happy with work:
Why do you work where you are not interested? Instead, choose a profession that brings you joy and mental peace. If you love pets and love to be around animals, then this profession can make one successful, self-sustaining and happy.
Living a long and fulfilling life comes from being happy and stress-free.
People think 5 years is too much of a long-term investment. Yet, those same people will work at a job they hate for 40 years. Don’t be one of those people. Become one of the 5% of the population who is financially independent. Become part of the FIRE movement.
Steps to start a pet sitting business
Decided is a pet sitting business is one you want to venture into? Then these next steps should be followed on how to start a pet sitting business effectively.
Before starting any venture, having a clear plan is a must-have. One should map out everything related to the venture and not leave anything for the later stage. Some of the things that should be planned only are:
Name of the business. There are plenty of free tools on the internet for generating business names.
Target market. This can be found out by getting any dog walkers you see at the park. Also, make sure to ask them if they have any other animals at home. You can also attend pet care conventions in your local city.
Startup costs and break down of cost. Most pet owners will supply the needed products. Nevertheless, one should always come prepared with a small duffle bag of products to be safe. These can include poop bags, a small shovel for cat & dog poop, toys, extra leash, healthy quality treats, pee spot neutralizer spray, and so on. Just make sure to get permission from the owner before using things like treats and toys. There are of course all extra things that can be purchased over time. These can simply help you look more professional. In the beginning, though, I wouldn’t worry about these extras that much.
Break-even time limit. There would be nothing worse than spending hundreds of dollars each week on treats and toys but finding out you’re not even making any money. Most owners will likely have everything you need to take care of their pets. When doing so though, keep in mind if you feel anything at that specific owner’s place you feel is missing.
Legalize the business
The second step to set up the business is to give the business a legal entity. To make sure that you do not fall liable to any service lawsuits. It’s better to give the business a legal position to protect against this. One can make the business a DBA, Sole Proprietor, LLC or Corporation. It is better to choose an agent to make sure that these steps are completed in less time.
Probably the easiest and more likely choice, in the beginning, is DBA or Sole Proprietor.
Businesses tend to pay taxes and for that one should make sure their business is registered for various taxes. Get the documentation and other formalities before any further steps are taken into setting up the process. You may find that you qualify for business rebates or grants too.
Business bank account
To have a business bank account and credit card will make sure that your assets are not any risk in case your business gets into any legal troubles for any reason. Also handling the business assets becomes much easier and hassle-free. Most banks offer basic business bank accounts that will be more than enough in the beginning for around $5 per month.
If one fails to acquire the needed licenses and permits, it can lead to big fines and penalties. It is important that before anything, one should apply for permits. Check all the types of business and state licenses that are required.
Above all, make sure that there is a properly-outlined service contract that covers various agreements about a project. This service contract needs to be signed by the client before starting any particular project.
One should make their businesses insured against any lawsuit in case a client chooses to take legal action against you. What’s more important though is getting insurance to cover yourself against getting hurt by the pet owners’ animal(s). Similarly, one should get insurance for the protection of public people and their pets as well as property. This is in case a dog you’re walking bites or scratches other people or their dogs. Also, if a dog you’re walking chews up something of value on a random person’s lawn.
Choose more proper and better ways to market the business. As a business’s success relies on how fast and effectively the name reaches potential customers. Use print media such as business cards and posters, social media and other ways to reach prospective clients. Like stated above, Facebook groups are likely your best place to find clients. Especially if you’re finding posters aren’t drawing in any customers. You can also consider placing flyers on under people’s windshield wipers. When doing this, place the flier facing towards the inside of the car. This is so the person will actually have a chance to read it for a second. Subsequently, most people automatically throw out any advertisements they get. So you want to get those few extra seconds of each potential client reading your flier as some of them will very likely need your service. Just make sure you’re not breaking any bi-laws or store policies when doing this.
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Cost of pet sitting business
Thus, a pet sitting business is a business that can be started with low capital and overall expenses. Although, it is important to make sure that you know what all the costs are to be included while starting this venture.
Breakdown of costs for starting the pet sitting business is:
LLC/DBA: Choosing the legal structuring of the business will cost one around 5$ to 150$
Choosing a professional organization to help: the cost can go from 5$ to 200$
Insurance: Insurance can cost up to 50$ to 100$
Marketing: Marketing costs can be around 10$ to 20$
Supplies: Pet supplies can cost up to 5$ to 10$
Website: One can set up a website at the cost of around 20$ to 50$.
Overall, one should ensure that the pet sitting business is planned in the best way. As a result, a pet sitting business can be started within and under a budget of 200$. This is quite low for a start-up amount. It can be easy for anyone to start this business which can later turn into a major profit-earning business. Followed by an expanded workforce and market reach.
How to market the pet sitting business?
Every business relies on effective marketing and advertising. Without which it can be quite difficult to bring attention to your business or services. Many people have pets, they also need to leave their house once in a while. Leaving their pets behind tends to become a big headache for them.
So, the baseline is that; the problem exists but many do not know how to solve it. To successfully market your services, first, you need to define the problem to the prospective customers. Then think about why they need a pet sitter. After that, present them with a solution that will make a difference and will solve their problem. The start of a good marketing campaign always marks the points of educating the customer’s first about the issue.
Some of the marketing ways to promote your pet sitting services are:
Target the events:
Take full advantage of any events happening in your city. The chances of you finding pet owners that need your services are at their peak. In such cases use social media to promote both the event and your services together. This will help drive more people to the event landing you even more potential clients. Make sure that the post is reaching the maximum of people with proper tags and hashtags.
Employees at big companies tend to work long hours and that means their dogs are left alone at home. Big corporate places are always eager to provide their employees with perks. You can reach out to the human resource department to promote your services. This way one can get new customers. In return, you can provide a discount to the customers. Also, make sure to mention in your pamphlet or website that your business provides late-night emergency sitting services. This is in case the client stays at the office late.
Vet clinics and hospitals:
There are many vets in the area that you may find, and building a business relationship with the vets can be quite useful. Veterinarians can suggest to their clients about your services. One can distribute their pet sitting business cards, pamphlets, and brochures at the vet hospitals and clinics. Also, use social media to post comments on vet clinics posts and also share them to bring to more people’s attention. Make sure to mention in your brochures and social media accounts that you do provide care for special needs dogs as well.
Things to consider before setting up a business
Before you jump into the pet sitting business, it is crucial to consider a few things that are crucial for starting a pet sitting business.
One should have a good amount of knowledge regarding the pets and their requirements. Having some practical knowledge about handling pet temperaments, feeding them, giving them medications can be helpful. One can also get some certifications in pet handling and animal knowledge to get better recognition.
One should also be flexible with the work, as the clients may ask for services during late hours and holidays as well.
Having insurance is also a must, in case a pet gets hurt or runs away while you are sitting them. This way you can cover for a negligence lawsuit.
If possible get pet specified first aid skill certifications. This is to show your clients that you are capable of handling any first aid situation for the pets.
If you have an inclination towards pets and love animals, then having a pet sitting business can be one of the best things. Choose to start a pet sitting business that is for specific pets you love the most. With consistency, you’ll make a good profit. The best thing is that the demand will only go up for a business as you get more known. This way, you’ll be spending the least amount of marketing money.
If hope this post on how to get started with a pet sitting businesses for under $200 helped you take action. If you learned something, share this article with your followers. I’m sure it will be a great read for them.
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