How to start a dog walking business
“A bad day dog walking is better than a good day at most jobs.”
Do you love dogs?
Are you tired of working for others?
Would you rather work outside?
If that’s the case working with dogs is for you!
Nice to meet you! My name is Josh Schermer and maybe you’re like I was fifteen years ago? I loved dogs and didn’t love any of the jobs I’d worked at. Anytime I’d look at job ads I’d get depressed. I’d see dog walkers out working and I’d get jealous. I’d go on to grow my dog walking business from a single client to one of the largest pet services in the country! I’ve learned a lot over the past 15 years running a dog walking business. I’ve taken those lessons and turned them into a step-by-step program to start your own dog walking business.
Example Content Covered in “How To Start A Dog Walking Business”
Location, location, location. The location you concentrate on can decide the success of your pet business. Choosing what’s convenient is often not the best business decision. Driving thirty minutes each day if it means gaining access to a much wealthier clientele can be worth it.
Your first 10 years in the pet service industry. I have consistently found that dog walkers and pet sitters make the most money in the first ten years in the industry. This is often because, in the beginning, we are willing to live the anytime and anyplace lifestyle. That becomes hard to maintain though and it makes the next point very important.
Do not reinvest in your business. This might sound counterintuitive but it’s not. Pet services are not like real estate. They do not appreciate over time and get the idea of franchising your business or getting purchased for millions out of your head. Unfortunately, pet services sell for much less than they are worth. So take as many earnings off the table during the first 10 years as you can.
Be cheap where you can. Don’t spend thousands of dollars on a website and logo. Don’t pay for coaches or consultants. Purchase your waste bags in bulk and look for sales for shoes and gear you like using.
Spend where it’s worth it. I highly recommend you use paid scheduling/billing software. The amount of time it saves you is worth much more than it costs. That and it keeps you organized and saves you lots on
Local SEO. This is an easy one. You can make your website SEO friendly for local search, for free. Or you can pay for online ads, forever.
Relationships. I made a phone call to introduce myself to a local dog trainer in my city and we spoke for about an hour. After that single phone call, they started referring me and I’ve received over 50 referrals from them so far.
Prices. Don’t price like Walmart. Price like Starbucks. Be as aggressive as possible with your pricing. You’re looking for people who want to work with you and people who like you will do that. Your starting prices should be the most expensive in the area, if not close to it. You will probably only raise your prices every 3-4 years so go strong at the start.
Specializing. The saddest day of my pet business was when I stopped working with pets on a daily basis. I highly recommend you specialize as much as you can. This might mean becoming a dog trainer or dog groomer or something else. Your personal earning potential is so high and working with the pets is what keeps you happy and youthful. With that said strongly consider the next point.
You don’t have to hire someone to be successful. The biggest mistake pet professionals make is that they have to hire people to work for them. You don’t and managing people in the pet industry is very hard work. It is 100% possible for you to have a successful business on your own. You can especially do this if you follow the next point.
Your prices are based on emotion and not what your competitors charge. Pricing is such an under-appreciated art. The beauty of being an individual is you can charge based on people’s demand for you, not just your service. Someone’s dog walker or pet sitter is a very personal topic to pet parents. Many pet parents will pay much more for you than they would for someone else. Might you need to charge less at first? Yes, but once you get known and have demand you should be able to dictate your prices.
Base your prices on what you want to make, not what you need to make. Consider how much you want to make from this business. Quickly write down on paper your expenses, rainy day funds and some type of retirement account. Then design your prices and your business around this number. If you don’t do this you might get stuck working in the wrong neighborhood, with the wrong customers, selling the wrong services.
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What People Are Saying
“This was a life changing experience for me!” Stephanie L. – Sacramento
“I loved, loved, loved the 90-day program! This is actually the first information product I’ve finished in over 10 years.”
Brooke S. – Alexandria
“I have a week left in the 90-day program and it’s been amazing. There is so much information, I’ll be going back to this program for years to come.”Jason – Vancouver
“Josh Schermer is an entrepreneurial genius.”Dave Buck – NYC