Do you love dogs? Perhaps you have an affinity for all breeds of cats, or maybe you’re one of those people who genuinely enjoy cleaning aquariums.
If you’ve always wanted to start a pet care business that you can rely on for steady income, now may be the right time to take the plunge into a new pet-related venture. This guide from TDPel Media can help you learn everything you need to know to get started.
3 Reasons to Start Your Pet Business Now
Dog walking and pet sitting services are just a couple of the more lucrative options that you could consider if you wish to start a pet-centered business. Just remember that you’ll need a specific set of skills, a love of animals, and the right equipment. Chances are, you’ll also need to register your business with the state; research the different business structures available and see what works best for your startup. Then, you’ll need to take the necessary steps to file the correct paperwork with the government.
If you don’t like the idea of spending the day wrangling animals but still love them, you may consider opening an online storefront for pet products such as food, toys, or natural supplements. Below are three reasons to get started now instead of later.
- You Don’t Need Investors or a Physical Store (But You Will Need Supplies)
Perhaps the most obvious perk of pet care startups is that, unlike other small businesses, they don’t require a lot of money up-front to get started. For example, if you plan to walk dogs, you may need to provide leashes, harnesses, treats, and water for your canine friends. You can do some research online and ready plenty of reviews to ensure you’re getting the right products that won’t break after the first few uses.
- You Don’t Have to Work Traditional Hours
Your hours likely won’t run from nine to five every day. Dog walking, in particular, is great for those who wish to exercise while working. You may care for animals in the early hours of the morning or overnight, and you’ll have a lot of freedom to say yes and no to opportunities that fit your schedule.
- You Can Explore the Business as a Side Gig First
Fortunately for you, your new pet care venture doesn’t have to be a full-time job right away — or ever. If you’re still working at a desk job or you’ve got family responsibilities that prevent you from working full-time, explore the idea of running your pet care business as a side hustle or occasional gig. For example, you could walk dogs on Tuesday and Thursday morning while your child is in preschool, or sit for friends’ dogs during their vacation to earn extra money and to see if you enjoy the work.
How Do I Advertise?
These days, social media takes the sting out of marketing. Simply advertise your services over Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, including your contact information. You should also consider getting a home page where customers can go to learn more about what you offer. Make sure you include prices as well as testimonials from past clients (once you get some)!
How Will I Get Paid?
Many freelancers and entrepreneurs don’t have a full understanding of the plethora of payment options available to them. Consider setting up the following invoicing process:
- Make sure your clients understand the terms of payment and sign contracts if necessary.
- Give your clients an invoice immediately after working for them.
- Different clients may want different file formats for their invoices, depending on how tech savvy they are, so use this free tool to convert a PDF to Word if necessary.
- Direct your clients to an easy, digital way to pay you after completing the transaction.
Creating an invoice template will help your business look as professional as possible. You can customize a pre-made invoice template by adding your business name, logo, and contact information. And if you don’t have a logo to include on your invoices, you can even make a free custom logo using pre-made templates. In fact, there are many free alternatives to premium software that will help business owners who are just starting out.
To take your money management a step further, consider using bookkeeping software created for small businesses. You’ll have a digital way to organize and catalog your receipts and invoices, and ideally, you will be able to chart your cash flow to determine how well your business is running.
If you have a love of animals and wish to free up your schedule beyond the constraints of a nine to five job, consider working with pets in the variety of ways listed above.
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