In planning your business strategy, first decide who your potential customers are. You will have to do some research to figure out where your customers are located. The ideal customers for a dog walking business are elderly people, handicapped individuals, those who go on regular vacations, and people with long work hours. Once you get an idea of your prospective customers, you also need to determine who your competition is and what they charge. You can do a survey online to get this kind of information.
One of your next steps should be to make an estimate of your start-up costs. The bulk of your overhead will be in the form of basic dog supplies, business cards, pamphlets, and similar items. While planning your budget, allow some breathing room for unforeseen expenses. Get yourself licensed and insured before commencing your operations.
The most crucial thing in getting your business going is advertising. Distribute your business cards to vets, stores that specialize in pet supplies, and your friends. Telling your friends and associates might just be one of the most efficient ways of building up your client base. Make sure to incorporate special promotions such as discounts for handicapped individuals or the elderly. After you have established your business, you might decide that you want to diversify by offering other services to your customers.
Another great way to gain exposure is by getting listed with one of the pet publications, or perhaps an online directory. Whenever people are looking for dog walkers or pet sitters, they refer to these. There are also various pet care organizations that you can contact about advertising. Becoming a member of one of these is a great idea so that you can get acquainted with the most recent developments in pet care, and to circulate with other pet sitters.
Make a contract for each of your clients that mentions the name of the dog, the rate you will be charging, periods or dates that you will be walking the dog, and the various services you offer. Do not forget to keep a supply of leashes, poop bags, and a first aid kit handy at all times.
Always keep your eyes and ears open to discover new ways and means to enhance your business. Continue diversifying and adding to your client base. This way your dog walking business will turn out to be a roaring success.