Start Your Own Dog Walking Business!

Starting your own dog walking business is a fairly inexpensive and straightforward entrance into the entrepreneurial world. 

Legalities 

The legal requirements of how to get started will vary depending on where you live. Most states now allow access to a lot of the forms and other business requirements online which makes getting started a breeze. 

  • Business License – Most people will get started as a Limited Liability Corporation ( also known as an LLC). Unlike a sole proprietorship that holds the business owner accountable for all of the business debts, an  LLC separates personal and business assets which makes the owner of the corporation not personally liable for the debts of the business.
  • Insurance – Certain states require a minimum General Liability Insurance for all businesses. When filing for your business license, check with your state office on what’s required and then price check with several companies before making a commitment.
  • Contracts – It’s smart ( and looks very professional) to start off from the get-go with a Terms of Service agreement for your customers. An agreement keeps everything laid out ahead of time so that there are clear lines discussing what to expect and what will be provided. 

Services and Cost  

Decide ahead of time what services you want to provide and what your prices for each service will be. These things can both evolve over time as you learn what does and doesn’t make sense, but you need to have a starting point ironed out. 

Will you do anything in addition to walking dogs? Maybe you will offer check-ins for dogs and other pets when families are on vacation or pop in to give pets medications during the workday. Some pet sitters offer backyard clean up, obedience or overnight pet sitting services as well. Only start off with what you can handle and work from there. 

Advertise!!!

 Learning how to properly advertise is an important step in getting started. If you live in a busy area, you may be able to get by at first by simply creating flyers and hanging in your local park. 

You can also do targeted social media ads that allow you to narrow down your advertising results to a particular zip code and age range. The great thing about this is that it’s easy to choose your investment and you can typically start out with as little as $5. The more you pay, the more people that you are guaranteed to reach. 

It looks professional to have your own business cards that you can leave on communication exchange boards at places like grocery stores, gyms, restaurants,  and community centers. In addition, you can give a few to existing customers, family, and friends and ask them to share with anyone they know that may be in need of your services.

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