If you have experience working with animals, or are just an animal lover, then starting a work at home pet sitting business may be right for you. Pet sitters offer an important role to pet owners and help keep the one hundred and forty-five million pets in this country healthy and happy. As a pet sitter, you’ll offer a valuable service to busy pet owners who are on vacation or who need someone to take care of their pets during the day.
Getting started as a pet sitter is very simple. To begin with, you’ll need to decide if this really is a business that you want to pursue. First off, ask yourself if you really love animals? If you are considering pet sitting just because you think it will be an easy job, then it is not right for you. You must enjoy spending time with animals and have at least a little experience in being around them. While most pet sitting jobs involve dogs and cats, you may occasionally be asked to care for rabbits, birds or reptiles. Make sure you are comfortable with these pets before accepting assignments involving them.
Start your business by becoming legal. Obtaining a business license doesn’t cost much and will give you a professional edge when getting new clients. You’ll also be able to take advantage of many tax write-offs, including your costs for mileage to and from your customer’s homes and any necessary business supplies.
Speaking of business supplies, all you’ll really need are business cards and an appointment book to keep track of your assignments. Unlike other work at home businesses, the start up necessities for pet sitting are relatively low.
Next, you’ll need to decide on what services you offer and how much you are going to charge. Play detective and find out the going rate for pet sitting services in your area. Try to stay in the same range. Offering lower prices may seem like a way to beat the competition, but it also makes your services appear less valuable to potential clients. You can print your rates on the back of your business cards, or make up a small flyer with prices listed on it.
Getting clients for your pet sitting business may be the most difficult part of running the business. However, with a little effort you can build a client list rather quickly. The best way to get clients and assignments is by word of mouth. Offer to pet sit for neighbors and friends to help build your reputation. Once you’ve done a good job for them, they’ll tell their friends and so on.
You can also use a few free and low cost advertising methods to get the word out about your business. You can distribute your cards at local pet shops, or post a flyer on their bulletin boards. Ask your vet if they would put some of your business cards on their reception desk, or recommend you to other pet owners. A small ad in your local paper can really help get the ball rolling for your business.
Once you have clients calling you for pet sitting appointments, make sure to keep them by treating them with great customer service. Always arrive on time and prepared to watch their pets. Respect their home and their property. If they enjoy your service, they’ll be more likely to call you in the future.