While economic conditions have caused many entrepreneurs to pack up shop, it might be a good time to open a pet care business. With so many Americans out of work and jobs becoming scarcer, opening a home based business seems like an attractive option. While home based businesses have high failure rates, businesses with a sound plan and little capital outlay can be good sources of income in todays economic climate. If you have dog experience or have the time to get certified in a certain area and are willing to do what it takes to get a business off the ground now just might be the time to act on your entrepreneurial dreams. Here is a list of popular dog related businesses that you can run out of your home or vehicle with just a website and an entrepreneurial mindset:
1. Dog Trainer: The best way to get started in this business is through attending a variety of training and behavior seminars, conferences and workshops. The American Dog Trainers Networks recommends that potential trainers attend several dozen 1 to 4 day seminars. These seminars usually cost around $30 to $50 per day. When considering the cost of starting a normal business the capital needed is relatively low. Some Universities even offer certification programs in dog training. Check your local legislation to find out what the requirements are in your state and you will soon be on your way. A user-friendly website will be necessary unless you have an extensive professional network to help. You might consider partnering with local boarding facilities or Veterinarians offices as they typically do not have the budget to staff a full-time trainer and will refer clients to you or allow you to conduct classes on their grounds.
2. Home Waste Management: This one might surprise you, but these businesses are growing in popularity among American households. This business venture involves removing and disposing of animal waste from the yards of busy dog owners. If you already have a truck or van suitable for the job your only real capital outlay in this situation is a professional vehicle wrap with your business information and a web site. You might need to obtain a license so check with the local business bureau in your city. Try placing flyers and coupons at local pet superstores to attract people who live in your area who spend money on their pets.
3. Dog Walker: This is a business that requires almost no costs to start and that has the potential to provide some discretionary income on the side for your family. If you have older and responsible children they can even get in on the action. You might consider a website; however, a low-tech option works as well. Try distributing flyers for daily dog walking services in your neighborhood, local apartment complex bulletin boards as well as the posting board of your Veterinarian. Simple word of mouth or email advertising within your network works as well. As a dog walker you show up to provide an afternoon or evening walk or play session with a home bound pooch while his owner is at work. This ensures proper exercise for the dog and convenience for the owner. The cost per visit will be relatively low so you will need several clients to make money. You can’t really lose money in this business though so it makes an ideal opportunity for a first time entrepreneur.
4. Dog Sitter: If you wish to take the dog walking business to the next level you can get licensed and bonded and advertise additional services such as overnight dog care while your clients are out of town or care provided within your own home for owners who do not wish to leave their animals in kennels while they are away. As an in home dog sitter you will be responsible for feeding, cleaning up after, administering medications and providing stimulating exercise and physical attention to all animals within the home. You might try offering additional value added services like watering the plants, bringing in the mail, cleaning the house or others to provide convenience to the client. It is also nice to add a personal touch like a thank you note on the counter for when the owner arrives home. With so many pet sitters out there you need to build good referrals and differentiate yourself form the competition to succeed.