If you’ve got the entrepreneurial itch, you will no doubt want to start a business where you can start making a profit sooner rather than later. As you might imagine, there are a plethora of ideas that you can pursue ranging from the ultra-niche to the things in what you may consider a saturated market.
Believe it or not, one of the best low-cost and high-profit startup ideas is dog walking. And, no, we’re not “barking mad” by suggesting such a concept to you! If you’re an animal lover and enjoy the outdoors, dog walking could be the perfect way for you to earn a living. Of course, it’s an idea that quite a lot of other entrepreneurs have. So, how can you position yourself in the market where you make a profit without working so hard for that goal?
In today’s blog post, you will learn how to start a dog walking business that will almost certainly make you a market leader in your area! Here’s what you need to do:
Set up the foundation of your new business
The first thing you must do is consider the legal structure of your business. Do you want to just work as a sole trader? Or would you prefer to create an incorporated company? There are pros and cons to both options; you must choose one that best meets your needs. It’s worth talking to an accountant or business mentor about this as they can help you decide which option is right for you.
Your target audience needs to know that their beloved pooches are in safe hands when you take them out walking. Sure, you might have plenty of experience with your own dogs. But, how many breeds are you familiar with, and do you know what their temperaments are like?
It’s highly recommended that you go on a dog handling course so that you know what to do in any unexpected situations. For instance, how could you stop one of your dogs from attacking other animals during one of your walks? Or would you know what to do if the reverse happened?
Qualifications don’t just give you vital skills. They also boost confidence with your customers, giving them added peace of mind in your abilities as a professional dog walker.
The next thing you have to do is make sure that you’ve got the right business insurance for your startup. As you probably know, each enterprise will have specific requirements when it comes to getting covered for all eventualities. Make sure that you choose a policy with a provider or broker familiar with your niche market.
For example, there’s no point getting quotes from an insurance company that only deals with IT businesses!
Talk to a lawyer
Your clients need to know what your service does and doesn’t include. A contract is essential to ensuring that both you and your customers know what the expectations are with the services that you offer.
While you can get pre-written contracts online that you can buy and download, it’s a better idea to have them drawn up specifically for your startup. That way, you can ensure there are no loopholes or issues in your contract that could possibly leave you in legal hot water!
Brand your business
You might “just” be a dog walker, but you’re still running a business and have a brand behind it all. The latter is the thing that you promote to gain new customers and build up your reputation in your local area.
There are many ways to brand your enterprise. For a start, you should have some business cards printed out so that you can hand them to new and existing clients. And when you take your dogs for a walk, do so with branded leads so people you walk past know who you are. Check out the home page of this website to see examples of branded dog leads.
It’s likely that you will have a car or van to use for transporting each client’s dogs or getting to their properties. Again, here is another branding opportunity! You can have some vinyl graphics fitted to your vehicle. They are brilliant because they cost so little to buy and they don’t do any permanent damage to your car or van’s paintwork.
Invest in the right supplies
Being a dog walker isn’t just about taking people’s dogs out for a stroll. You’ll need to carry some supplies with you, namely:
- Dog treats;
- Water and a bowl;
- Poop bags.
Aside from those items, you’ll need a sturdy backpack to keep them in. That way, you can be prepared for each walk and never run out of supplies! Consider buying treats and poop bags on a wholesale basis so that you’ve always got large stocks of them without paying retail prices.