Being an entrepreneur is one of the best decisions to make. On the one hand, it offers you the liberty to work as per your comfort; it also provides you all the success you desire.
Creating a brand image of self as an entrepreneur is a dream of many people, but the hardest decision to make is based on the selection of the business.
Think about it; there are low to high investment business plans available from which you can select a business based on skills and location.
So which is the best business to start can be a big question to answer here. To help you decide, we are here with one of the most exemplary business ideas, which is to start a dog-walking business.
So, let us move ahead with the steps that you are required to follow when starting a dog-walking business.
Step To Follow To Start A Dog-Walking Business.
According to the ASPCA, there are approximately 78 million dogs and 85.8 million cats in the United States. The great majority of those dogs are left alone every day while their owners are at work. Many pet owners would gladly appoint a dog walker to assist them with their dog when given a choice.
Statistically speaking, starting a dog-walking business will be a tremendous profitable opportunity in the USA. So, here are the broad steps to be followed when starting one:
Step 1: Start with a business plan.
A clear-cut plan of action to start the dog walking business is essential for success. Start with listing down your competitors, analyzing the local market, and understanding the target customer needs. A clear dog-walking business plan will help you to understand various aspects of the business that includes:
- Get a clear idea of the business
- Understand the current market expectations
- Develop a plan on the way to organize the business
- Curate the list of services that can be offered
- Plan on the funding needs
- Check the marketing options
Step 2: Select the name and legal entity
Once the business blueprint is ready, it is important to select the name and the type of entity that you are willing to get registered as. It is important as you will be able to get all the licenses required to start the business after this. Select a name that goes with the dog-walking business and is easy to remember. Ensure to avoid lengthy and confusing names that are linked to other brands.
Once done with the name, the next is to check the type of identity. Proprietorship and LLC are two great options to start with. The first one gives you complete autonomy and ownership of the business, while the second is a partnership but limits your liability. For the dog-walking business, a proprietorship is a great option.
Step 3: Secure the licenses and registrations.
Every business needs additional licenses to run without being charged with hefty penalties. Generally, dog-walking businesses do not require any special licenses or permits in the USA. However, still, it is advisable to look at the local municipality at the local associations listed in the US Small Business Associations directory of local business resources.
Once done with the licenses, the next step is to move ahead with the tax registrations. First, you will be required to get an EIN followed by small business taxes and state sales tax.
Step 4: Connect with the financial institution.
There are two aspects for which you would be required to connect with the financial institution. One is to open a business account, and the other is to meet the credit needs. When you create the business plan and analyze the funding needs for the dog-walking business, you will get an idea of the funding needs. The top three types of loans that you can apply for are SBA loans, term loans, and lines of credit.
Personal asset protection requires the availability of different business banking and credit accounts. It also simplifies accounting and tax preparation. It also establishes your company’s credit history, which can help you obtain funds and attract investment in the future. Maintaining precise and complete records also makes annual tax filing much easier.
Step 5: Get all the right insurances.
The dog-walking business is, in fact, one of the best ones to start with. But securing proper insurance will increase the safety and security of the business to a great extent.
Insurance, like licenses and permits, is required for your business to operate safely and legally. The company’s financial well-being is secured when you have insurance and any kind of loss covered by it occurs.
If you’re not sure what kinds of dangers your company could encounter, start with General Liability Insurance. Small businesses require this most frequent type of coverage, so it’s a good place to start.
Step 6: Define your brand.
A step that is usually skipped by many people when starting a dog-walking business is defining their brand. For any business to grow and succeed, you must define its brand, mission, vision, and aim.
This will make the potential customers connect in a more precise and smooth manner. Ensure to create a logo as well for your company here.
Step 7: Go online, Market, and advertise.
The next stage is to construct a website for your business once you’ve defined your brand and designed your logo. Additionally, create an online presence by developing a Facebook page, Instagram page, and Linkedin profile.
Online marketing should be a crucial component of your overall marketing plan. Including a blog, inviting guest bloggers, and being active on social media are some ideas.
Small company owners frequently underestimate their power to impact word-of-mouth marketing. Make contacts with local pet retailers, vets, and dog groomers as they can offer you opportunities as well.
Step 8: Analyse the progress periodically.
Once your dog-walking business is live and ready to bring in the change, it is time to reevaluate the performance periodically.
Doing so will help you know about the success and failure points and the things that are required to be changed. Remember, a deep and genuine analysis will ensure better profitability and success rate in the long run.
Some Tips From Experts
While starting a dog-walking business is simple and a fun idea with great profitability options, experts design a few tips to ensure you have a smooth run. So, here are the top tips that you should follow:
- Become First-Aid Certified
There are chances that while walking the dog, some mishaps might occur. Though you have the insurance to cover any loss, still having the First-aid certification is beneficial. Knowing the way to give first-aid to a dog and an individual will be a great addition.
- Know About Safety and Equipment
Learn about dog-walking safety and the many sorts of equipment you’ll need to take additional measures. For example, you may take an online dog-walking certification course and then head to a pet store to look for the best leashes, collars, and harnesses.
- Install Pet Software System
The technology has advanced a lot, and for the business’s success, you will be required to invest in various software. Using software like online scheduling, invoicing, GPS tracking, and others linked to pet safety and security will offer added benefits.
- Develop business packages
Fees are determined by each client’s or dog’s particular needs. Professionals charge $15-17 for a 15-20 minute walk and $18-22 for a 30-40-minute stroll, and $22-27 for a 40-60 minute stroll. Many dog walkers demand an extra cost of $5 per dog if your customer wants late-night or early-evening walks.
Roughly speaking, if you just have two dogs to walk at the beginning with $20/hour, you can earn around $7300 a year from each dog, which is great. And as the business goes up, this earning will multiply at a great pace.
This financial figure might surprise you, but dog-walking is a great opportunity to start a low-investment business in the USA. Mixed with the right business strategy and advertising, the profit earned from it is spectacular.
So, if you want to establish a small-scale, local business, start the sole dog-walking business today!