Dog Walking Business Startup: Be Your Own Boss in the Company of Canines | Stephen Atkinson | Skillshare

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Dog Walking Business Startup: Be Your Own Boss in the Company of Canines

teacher avatar Stephen Atkinson

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

11 Lessons (1h 18m)
    • 1. Introduction

    • 2. Overview

    • 3. Scoping the Competition

    • 4. Services

    • 5. Finance

    • 6. Getting organised

    • 7. Naming your business

    • 8. Offline Marketing

    • 9. Online Marketing

    • 10. Clients

    • 11. Walking the dogs

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About This Class


This simple and straightforward course will teach you how to start your own successful dog walking business - which means you can be your own boss and combine your passion for being with dogs into your own profitable enterprise.

Learn How to Become a Professional Dog Walker with this Comprehensive Course

  • Learn everything you need to know to start your business from scratch, so you can hit the ground running - and start earning money fast
  • Discover the best, cost-effective ways to promote your business - saving you time and money - on the way to your first paying clients
  • Build a business that is both enjoyable and profitable - love the work you do and make a profit

Everything you need to build your own successful dog walking business

In an ever busier world, the demand for dog walking services has never been higher. As a consequence of this huge demand, professional 'dog walkers' have sprung up in recent years - and now you can join them by combining your passion for dogs with your own business!

This course is the ultimate guide to starting a dog walking business and leads you step-by-step through everything you need to know to start your own thriving business. Learn from my experience how to avoid the most common mistakes and get off to a flying start.

About the course

  • I designed the Dog Walking Start Up course to be easily understood by absolute beginners - so that anyone with a love of dogs and desire to work for themselves can do it
  • As you complete each of the course modules, you will be able to put into place everything you need to build your new business - so you can get your business up and running quickly
  • Step-by-step, you will learn how to set-up your business the easy way using simple examples to demonstrate how to check out and beat the competition, and what are the best services you can offer - so you build you business faster
  • Keep your costs low by using simple and cost-effective marketing techniques shown in the course, both online and in the 'real world' - keeping your costs low, and profits high
  • Learn how to find you first customers, build trust with them and have them promote your business for you - the fastest way to build your income
  • By the end of the Dog Walking Business Start Up you will have saved time, by getting all the information you need in one concise course and you will have saved money by not making expensive errors going through a tedious trial and error process.
  • Most importantly, you will have learned all the skills you need to start your own successful dog walking business.

Get started without delay – and start building your dog walking business today!

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1. Introduction: welcomes the dog walking business. Starts of guide. Who is this cost? Fall? Well, you may be frustrated with your current job or circumstances, maybe an office drone. Maybe you want to get out in the fresh air for a change and form that as part of your job. Maybe he's just become unemployed. Are looking for a new direction where you can govern your own income and decide on which you want to wear. And when you want to end it, maybe the great outdoors is calling to you. Maybe you want to combine your passions with your work. Whatever the reason, do you want to start up your own dog walking business? You must do one thing, and that's love dogs. In this course, we show you how to set up your own dog walking business, how to market it so people know you're there. How to get your fast clients. How to be prepared for your first walk on what the future could hold for you. Working is your own boss with your own business. By the end of the course, you will save time in knowing how to do things the correct way without making too many mistakes. You'll save money by not making expensive errors, and you will have your own successful dog walking business. Let's get started. 2. Overview: view of a dog walking business. One. Considering starting a dog walking business, you need to have to think about what type of person you are. You adopt person, or are you a people person? When you're starting your own dog walking business, you'll actually need to be both with these things because, although on a day to day basis you'd be walking dogs and you may get on well with those, you also need to get on with people because it's actually people that will pay your wages and not your canine friends. So it's important to be able to talk to people, understand what they require from you on build trust with them. I'm being your own boss. This can be a challenging step for most people, especially if you worked for a salary. Our weekly wage for most of your life, stepping out into your own business could be quite scary. You will need to be self motivated when you work for someone else. Your motivation is to get your salary check at the end of every month and therefore tenable work. When you work for yourself, it's very different, So motivation is key when working for yourself. Also, what worries people when they start off with their own business is a lack of regular money . If you're used to a monthly or weekly salary, same paycheck coming month after month after month, then that gives you a bit of a cushion. So you compare. The bills are not. Everything is going to be in place when you start working for yourself. The money that you went could be up and down, so you need to be ready for that. You also need to be ready to know how much you need every month. They're not so obvious data their challenges of running your own dog walking business. The main one is probably the weather. If you've worked in an office or a shop for most of your life, then you're transferring to a role where you're outside most of the time, some good days when the sun is shining and it's very pleasant and you've got several doctoring wrong with you. It's a beautiful there on the other extreme when it's snowing or it's raining heavily and you still got to take those dogs out. Then that might not be so appealing, so you need to know that you are on outdoors passing, and the main thing about the weather is to be ready for it. You also need to get organized in advance of starting your business so that when you do start it, things are going to creep up on you. You're going to know exactly what you need to do every day. So getting organized is important. House is getting organized with your finances, knowing exactly on which you need to bring in every month. How are you going to do that? And also how you're going to keep your costs down in the initial phases of your business? We'll be going through all of that in the next few modules. 3. Scoping the Competition: setting up your dog walking business. This module is all about scoping out your competition wherever you live. Wherever you decide to set up your dog walking business, you are always going to have competition. Competition is not always about thing. If there was competition, it means that there is a need for your services in your area. What you need to do is work out what services you can offer to differentiate yourself from your competition on the way to start that is to investigate your local competition. What they're doing right, what they're doing wrong. What's a star is quite easy these days. Google is obviously in the easiest place to start so far up the computer. Get into Google on tape into the search box, dog walking service on a dog walking business and your local areas. Name the town you live in. That should bring you up. A list of the local dog walking business is you have often you will see a map next to those businesses. We show you exactly where they are. Obviously, if you've got a concentration of businesses in one area, one side of town and you'll have the other side of town, then this presents an opportunity for you so geographically gonna have an advantage as well . Checking out the competition is all about asking the right questions. So one by one you need to go into the competition's websites and find out all about them as much as possible. The key questions you need to be asking. I'm thinking about, uh, what services do they currently offer? Is it just dog walking? Is it how sitting? Use the work shoot attached to this module and start writing down what your competitors are offering. Also, define where they are best within five miles of you over in 10 miles of you or 15 miles of year. Next, have a look at their pricing page if they have one and see how much they charged for those particular services. This just stopped giving you an overall picture of how much to charge what services to use and also have a look at their website. Generally, is it good? Is it? But is it easy to navigate? Do you get confused when you use it? Because if you get confused when you use it, then that potential clients will too, does it look old. Has he got some dead links on it? The main thing is you need to better all these things. Some other things you might need to think about is what services that they don't offer that you might be able to offer. There might be an obvious one that you have thought about, but they never have, such as taking your clients doctor walk and then welcome of a local poodle parlour toe. Have them cleaned and fresh when he brought back. How do you make your website stand out from? There's if there's a poor old websites, which it might be if they're bean around for a long time, then you need to make sure that you've got good websites. That's easy to find, and people could never get well, what your competitors good on ballot are there Only review sites on the Net that you can go into and check out how they're getting rated by their clients. So what to do next, use the worksheet attached to this module and put down your thoughts, but everything you learned about your competitors, the services of the offer on the prices they charge and then look out for opportunities to outdo them in all areas 4. Services: setting up your dog walking business. What services can you offer by now? You should have investigated. Want your local competition? Does what services The offer on what prices say. Charging from this information, you will get a general feel of what people want. Dog walking business is coming all different types, so you may find people wanting dog walking, obviously, but also maybe doggy day care or don't building. We'll go through a few the services now, but it is important to start thinking about what you're. What you're offering is going to be for your customer on what prices you are going to charge. You also need to start thinking about how you can differentiate your services from the services offered by your local competitors. The festival. Let's go through some the most common services that dog walking company can offer the first service you might offer his group walks. This is where you take more than one dog for a walk at a time. The question that you need to ask yourself is, How many dogs are you going to walk at one particular time? One of the advantages of group walks is that you can maximize the amount of money Where in power, for example, say you were charging $15 per dog per walk for an hour, and he took four dogs for a walk all in that same hour. You don't $60 for that hour. The downside is they took quite a bit of organizing, and you need to understand which dogs will play nicely with other dogs. What you don't want is doctor being aggressive of each other. You also need to incorporate, pick up time and drop off time into these because obviously you re picking each dog up from their individual home on dropping it back at their individual home. So it is important to work out how long this is going to take and keeping your area a smallest possible. When you do a group walk another service you might offer. He's doing solar works. Obviously, not all dogs get on with the docks, so you may come across dogs, which required to be walked on their own. The advantage of this service is usually you can do a shorter walks, maybe 1/2 an hour or 20 minutes. I never said issued my offer would be puppy visits This is exactly what it sounds like. Basically, you would visit a puppy. Maybe it was 12 12 weeks old. We see owners want used to check up on, maybe play with for a few minutes on, make sure they've got food and water again. These can be quick visits, maybe 20 minutes. Another option might be a pet taxi. This is where you might transport on honors dog to the vets or to another place for the owner. Obviously, you need to work out your own prices for this and keep the radius of how you fire you. Go with the pet taxi, a smallest possible or charge mileage, depending on how many miles you have to go. Pet sitting dog sitting or small pet sitting is exactly what it sounds like. Basically, you would go to the owner's home and look after their pets, possibly overnight. This can be quite lucrative, obviously, and but it depends if you want to stay in someone else's home with small pets, they obviously do not need much attention, such as hamsters and rabbits, guinea pigs, these type of things. But if a known house, quite a few pets and they're going on holiday and their small pets. They may want somebody to stay with them or at least coming and feed them, so you may work out service for that. Doc. Boarding is an alternative for customers putting their dogs into kennels while they're away on holiday or on business trips. Basically, you would take their dog into your home and look after it while they are aware again, this can be a lucrative service. But you need to make sure that the dog gets on with your own pets and also with your family . Well, when we're looking at your services, it is important to have a schedule off times for when you go for your walks and how many walks you're going to do per day. It is important to put this in place before you start your business. Initially, work will start to trickle in, but as you get busier, you need to have that schedule in place and make sure you stick to it. Otherwise, planning your walks will become very, very difficult. Now that you're getting a good idea of what services you can offer, How are you going to price US Services Festival? Obviously, look at the competition, there is no point in making your price is much, much higher than the competition. On the other hand, you don't want to go too low. Dropping your prices may start price war, where everybody tries to drop that prices and keep lower and lower and lower. This degrades the whole system on everybody in the end losers. So I would not suggest keeping your prices lower or trying to undercut your competition. In the end, you need to price based on the services you offer. If you can differentiate your services on, be better than the competition, you can at least us charge as much as a competition, if not more. Also, if your price is a slightly higher, you can always drop them. But if you put them lower, it is very difficult to raise your prices later on. Also, if your price is too low in my indicate, they are not professional. So what I would suggest is you look at your competitors and decide which competitors you would most like to be like. Have a look at their pricing on going about a similar rate, but definitely not low. You can, however, to get things moving initially is offer special promotions, so you may say for every five walks booked, you will give a free walk or you will offer 20% off the 1st 10 walks off your price. This will help get people in and build up trust on Get your first initial. Few customers also always remedy. You can usually charge more for solo walks because they are paying for a special service rather than group walks. However, with group walks, remember that you have to pick up several dogs in a defined area and you are not getting paid for that travelling time so that make sure that you charge enough for group walks to always. That is impossible for me to give you definitive prices that you should charge for your services. This depends on your local area, how many competitors you have on what they're charging. This is why you need to do this research. What to do next, work out exactly what services you are going to offer, and at what price is using the worksheet attached to this module 5. Finance: way now come to one of the key areas of your new business finance. Many people started dog walking business because one that started costs are very low in comparison to with status, to it enables people to be their own boss on three. Its grip. Combining a love of dogs of a simple business model like all small businesses, will take time to build your business. You cannot realistically expect to drop off a few leaflets in your local area or put an advert in the newspaper, and the money will start flooding in. You need to be both realistic. Onda optimistic when starting your business. This course is designed to help you set up your dog walking business the smart way by minimizing your coughs on maximising your income. So what is your starting budget? Do you have on? Do you need one? In setting up a conventional business such as a small shop, a decent started budget is essential. After all, you will have to buy and or rent premises by fixtures and fittings, maybe even special equipment, and have a substantial buffer of money to pay your stuff, even if the money doesn't flowing straight away. with the dog walking business. Things luckily are a lot simpler, unnoticed, costly. We're going to what your initial and ongoing costs are in a short while. But needless to say, the static requirements are very low compared to of our businesses. So if you do have a pot of money that you have labeled, you're starting budget. Don't start spending it yet. Just hold on to it for now until you knew exactly what you do and don't need to get your business up on running. Remember, this course is all about starting your business a very smart way. Okay, When considering the flow of cash and announce of your business, you fast need to set your financial goals. This will help you with working out your prices and services that you offer the example on screen now, and it is just an example. Please feel free to substitute your own figures. This example assumes the minimum you need to draw from your business or pay yourself every month. It's $2000 the cost for running the business at $220 and you need to put aside $900 for tax . Remember the Zahrani example figures on, I strongly advise you to seek the evasive tax professional regarding what percentage of your incomings you should put aside for tax. So now simplified example, your dog walking business needs to bring in around $3120 per month. This gives you a baseline target, but here is a reality check. This is simply a girl, and to achieve it you will need to work on to focus, and it may take some time to build your business up. It's that magic number. Be prepared for this. Making a successful dog walking business does not happen overnight if you have the funds than I suggest, you put away a buffer fund that will cover you for the 1st 6 months to a year of your new business. This emergency fund will help smooth out the financial ups and downs of your first few months in business. So what about the initial costs of your dog walking business? Well, your biggest expense is likely to be your vehicle. You may need to buy ELISA suitable vehicle for your business. If you buy that ensure you get the best monthly financed, do you can and include that in your mother costs for simplicity. Sick. I've just put an upfront cost on this example. Slide. If you already have a suitable vehicle, then you could scratch that cost. Or if you are lucky and your customers are all within walking distance, you may not need a vehicle at all. Your next initial cost is likely to be for your website. Yes, you will need one. But again, you may be able to get a monthly deal on this. Oh, do yourself to keep the cost down. You will also need to do some initial advertising more about this letter again. Shop around for the best deals, the other essential. You will need it. Staff of your business is insurance, and again we will discuss this. Another natural. You're static. Costs will be different to this example, so make sure you knock them down on the worksheet attached to this module. You may remember a couple of slides back. We set an example of a minimum monthly girl. Part of that was $220 for ongoing costs. These the costs in your business that are likely to re care every month. The obvious ones are telephone and Internet charges. The less obvious are the amounts you might spend on advertising each month or your fuel costs. Obviously, some of these costs will fluctuate, but it is best to have a rough idea of how much they will be every month. So based on your previous calculations, you now have a good idea of how much you need to make per month on. Based on your competitive research on the demand for dog walking business services in your local area, you should have a good idea of what prices you're going to charge for this example. Let's so you charge $15 per walk and you want to do two walks a day of five dogs that equals $150 a day, are working Monday to Friday and averaging out over the months. That adds up to about three grand, not yet quite as much you need to hit your target, but what about your other services? Join the months you may get favor income from pet sitting, poppy visits, security visits and solar walks. These might add up to another $250. Your group walks will always and you the most power, but you can plug the gaps with these ancillary services. This all helps to get you closer to your monthly girl. So what do you need to do next? Print out the white sheet for this module and work out your financial girls on what combination of dogs and services you need to get to them? Don't be overly optimistic of your numbers. Remember, your dog walking business is very likely to start slowly on built, so make sure this is reflected in your financial plans. On Be prepared for it. You are very unlikely to hit your monthly goal in the first humans, so plan for a gradual increase in income. 6. Getting organised: okay, It's time to get organized. Leo Dog walking business Because the dog walking business is a reasonably simple business in many ways, don't fool yourself in getting started and then thinking about getting organized getting organized in advance is starting will save you a lot of time in the long run, especially if you suddenly start getting a lot of clients for a start, your founding a company and you being your own boss and two new that you will need to create a business entity for a dog walking business. This is usually a simple procedure in the U. S. The easiest way to do this would be to set up a sole proprietorship on it. I'll see in the UK it might be a sole trader, are limited company, and you would need to register a self employed with their Majesties revenues and customs. It completely depends on the ship. Your particular business sticks on how you plan to grow the business, so I cannot give a definitive answer. How would, however, strongly suggest that you seek competent legal advice to discuss which business entity suits your business model and the relevant financial advantages in the US it is very likely that you will have to register your business for a business license with your town or state . It obviously varies from town to town and state to state, so you will need to check locally for this. But generally it is a very strength ful procedure. Once you have a business and steam place again, your lawyer may be helped to help me with the Pickwick in the UK At the time of releasing this course, there is no requirement for a license to walk other people's dogs. However, there may be restrictions on the number of dogs you could walk at any one time, so check this out with your local authority first, also in the U. K. Should you offer boarding of clients own dogs in your own home, you will have to apply for a home boating license from your local A 40. This would involve an annual cost on an inspection of your property. You will also need insurance for your business against the possibility of being sued. Liability insurance can be obtained via private insurance companies. Never alternative is to gain insurance via the membership of a national pet sitting organization such as naps. That's in a P P s. Sometimes you will have to pay extra for your insurance through membership, all often after discounted rate. Always some organizations, it is included in your membership fee. I have included a list of specialist insurance companies on pet sitting organizations on the way it treats that accompanies this module. Make sure you shop around for the best deal on insurance. You may be thinking, Do I really need insurance? Will the shelter answer is yes on hair. Some of the main reasons the dog walking business is built on trust your clients will be entrusting their precious pets to your care. Having the correct insurance in place lend you credibility. You will look more professional and you will be able to build trust with your clients. Your potential clients are far more likely to give you their business than a dog walker of new insurance. Having the right insurance will protect you if anything goes wrong. Some of the things you need to consider when buying your insurance are Are you covered? If your dog attacks another dog or even of a person, this is often referred to as that party liability insurance. What if your dog it becomes lost or stolen or hat while in your care? Also consider what you would do if you lost your clients. Keys on. They had to change their locks. A lot of specialists dog walking business insurance policies cover this, too. Your car insurance may also need to be updated to include business use. Accounts of bookkeeping is very important to set up inventive proceeding with your business again because of dog walking. Business is simple business model. The accounts do not need to be complicated. The man reason you need to keep good accounts so that you know that your business is heading in the right direction on it is in line with your financial goals. By keeping good financial records, you will be able to know which dogs you're walking on any given day, how much you are charging, which clients have paid you and how much and how much you're spending on running your business. The other reason for keeping good accounts is that it is going to make it so much easier and less stressful. When you come to tax season, you will need to employ the services of C p A. Or an accountant who is able to advise you on the best and simplest way to keep your records, whether it be on a simple spreadsheet or on one of the numerous online systems. You also need to set a persistent to keep track of your paperwork, such as customer agreements and contract details again, This doesn't need to be over complicated. Just filed alphabetically in a ring binder will do in most circumstances. If you have never been in business for yourself before, here is the Golden Rule. Whatever you spend on your business leads doggie bags. Doc treats advertising. Business counts, etcetera. You need to keep the receipts for all of these on. They need to be entered into your accounts. All the expenditure on your business will offset some of your tax liability. Again, I suggest you discusses oven accounting professional pride to start in the business. How you bill your clients will depend to a certain extent what type of plaques you have on what services you offer. If you are building on a monthly basis, for example, you're probably produce invoices. This can easily be done by any accounting software you use or by using invoice templates readily available within where processing software such as Microsoft Word or Open Office. If you're getting paid weekly in cash than a small duplicate receipt book will do the job. The same thing goes for business mileage. Every time you jump in your vehicle to do anything of your business, make sure you make a note of the start knowledge. The Jenny Destination The end of Journey knowledge on the total Mileage Travelled makes a daily habit and again, check of your accountant how this should be logged for maximum benefit scheduling and Dari management can be challenging when running a dog walking business. So it is important to have an idea of how many walks you can offer during the deer in particular group walks, which tend to bring in the most income. Often clients of work 9 to 5 who want their dogs walking during lunch time. But obviously this will become unfeasible if all your new clients want their dogs walking at noon. Often it is better to have time frames for group walks such as eight AM till 11 a.m. then 11 a.m. Till two PM than two PM till five PM Something like that. This gives you more scope to pick up dogs on Walkman groups. This is only an example, but it would, in this case, allow you to walk three groups of dogs during the day. How you work out your schedule depends on your circumstances, the distances you have to travel between picking up dogs and dropping them off on what services you end up offering. The key thing is you need to carefully manage the customer's expectations. One of the ways you could do this in advance is to show the town friends for walks on your website. When you meet a client for the first time, they will only be thinking about the needs of their dog. So you need to discuss how long that dog is left in the home and agree a town that they're happy with and fits in with one of your dog walking time frames. Initially, when booking walks, it is easier to use an online calendar on your phone or even just a pencil and paper diary . Customers will often change their mind, so you need to be on top of who you're walking on when at all times. When it comes to email, I would suggest that you register a separate professional email address for your business rather than your own personal email address. Also set up a professional sounding voice message on your phone. Try to speak through a new potential customer whilst keeping an eye on four or five docked in your care could prove challenging un distracting. The voice message from your phone should be sure, but include the name of your business. Ask them to leave it there. Name and telephone number on promised to call them back. You should also say your website address. That way they can have a look at your site while they are waiting for you to call them back if they haven't already done so when you agree to walk a new doctor the first time, you will both have to sign a service agreement. This doesn't number things. First of all, it lends credibility to your business and starts building up that all important trust. It also protects both you and the client and, more importantly, outlines who has got responsibility in sentence situation that could arise while you're walking their dogs. For example, you may have a closing the agreement stating that should their dog become ill or is injured and you are not able to contact them for further instructions, then you will make whatever arrangements you see fit for the benefit of their dogs. Best interest. But this will not make you liable to any vets bills, etcetera. That such action cares. You may think that having agreements with closes in such as the previous example, might put some people off. But in general, I have found that they have the opposite effect. Service agreements can difficultly for wonder dog walking business to another, depending on what services are offered. You should have your service agreement drawn up by a lawyer that understands the laws that govern your state of city so it will be legally binding. The other option is to get a generic dog walking legal agreement online, which is economical and says, a lot of time. I've included links to these on the action. If you take this route, I would still show this to your lawyer on have them make any changes necessary to comply with the local laws or the peculiarities of your business. Okay, so you know what to do now complete the worksheet for this module on. I'll see you in the next one 7. Naming your business: okay. And this module, we're going to talk about choosing your business name. It's just a short module, but it is every bit as important as the work you've done so far. Giving your business the right business name can be key to your success, so it is important to take a little bit of time over naming your business. Sometimes the name will spring straight into your mind for your business. But even if this does happen, don't just go of it. Test the name out with some of your friends and family to get a broader opinion more often and becoming difficult to think of a name, especially when you know that once you have chosen it, you're generally stuck with it, whether it's good or bad. As a general rule, you need to keep your business name simple, but also say what your business does if you can. And if you have no plans to expand your business outside of your local area that include the town, New Also, your business name has toe work well as a domain name. Your demand name will be a website address, such as www dot Newtown dog walking dot com. so try and keep it relatively short. I have found that the easiest way to come up with the name is to take a piece of paper and just start scribbling as many ideas down. It's possible without thinking it through too much. Then you get your family to do the same. Once you have a long list of potential names, you can start going through them to see which matched your criteria from which you like. Then pick your top five names and check that the domain names are available. It is important to check if the demand name is available early in the process. You do not want to set your heart on the name, only to find later that someone already has that demand name underneath website attached to it. To check if your demand name is available, it's quite easy going to Google and typing domain name in the search box. A list of domain names sellers will come up, click on any of them and use the demand name Satch to check if your demand name is available. I've used Good Daddy for this example, but you can use any the old work in a similar fashion. If your name is available, you are good to go. We will come back to domain names when we talk about setting up your website and never module. If the name is not available, then you can try out some of your other favorites until you find one that is, once you've decided on your name, making notes of both its under demand name. 8. Offline Marketing: in this module we look a offline or riel. Well, marketing. This should complement your efforts. You're online website. We will be looking at the image you wish to trade for your business on the messages. You want to get across what promotions you can do to kickstart your dog walking business and where the best places to advertiser and also the importance of customer testimonials business cards will be one of the most important tools for effectively marked in your business. They're small and will present a professional image for your dog walking business. Don't be precious with your cats having them out whenever you can. When you meet new people, ask about your business or stick them on notice boards or leave them in piles in officers, pet stores, doc rumors or even the vets. You can get good quality business counts produced cheaply either online or at your local print shop. The key information you need on them is your name. The name of your business with services you offer your phone number and your website address. Don't close your business kinds of any more information. It makes him look cheap and confusing. The job of your business card is simply to get perspective customers to give you a call or visit your website if they are interested in your services, don't try and sell your services on your business card. It will just end up looking cluttered. Fliers perform a similar function to business counts, although depending on the size, they are better for north exports. Etcetera. Your fly should match your business count in style and color, but on flies you will have more room so you can include more information on them that you wouldn't necessarily partner business cat on them. You can put the savages you offer, but don't put your prices on them. You don't want to end up with hundreds of flies that you can't use because you've had to put your prices up. You can. However, it used flies to advertise special promotions, such as a discount on the 1st 5 walks or similar again with flies. Make sure you include the name of your business telephone number on the website address, as we've all your marks in, it is a gradual process to build up your name in the local area. It doesn't happen overnight, so wherever you leave your business Cats and flying is make sure that you keep popping back in to renew the original pile, but you left them. Using local media advertising is something that you could consider when marketing your business to your local community. What role local media advertising it will cost. So bear in mind what you are trying to achieve when you are advertising via your local media, whether that's through newspapers, magazines, local radio or even local TV. My personal opinion is that using local media to advertise your business is something that you could do when you have established your business on have already seen some money flowing in. Even at that stage in the business, I would always want to have a minimum return in business from the sort of advertising, the minimum being. That amount of business revenue gained by advertising covers the cost of the adverts. Whatever words you market your dog walking business, it is key to make the right impression. So you attract your ideal customer. So I think very carefully about the impression you want to make. You also need to be consistent across all your marketing and materials offline and online. Once you are happy with your name and strap line, stick with them so that your name on what you do begins to become known locally. Also, don't change your images and fonts. Too much pick ones you like. Stick with them. This all helps to create a consistent image, as in olio marketing. Keep it simple. Too much information on your flies and other marketing materials will turn people off. I will start to look unprofessional. Keep only the core information on your first contact marketing like fliers, business count and even the home page of your website. More detailed information your customers were to find on the other pages of your website, or they will call you up and ask you in the early days of your business and possibly throughout the life of the business, you may want to offer promotions to acquire new customers. Here are some ideas to start you off. One of the easiest ways of encouraging new customers is to offer a new customer discount, such as a 20% discount for any new customer. When they book their 1st 10 walks or if they book five walks, they get the 613 The great thing about dog walking business is that most of your clients become long term clients, So giving away some of your profit in the alley days of a new Klein is generally recouped pretty quickly. You could also awful loyalty Cat civil too little seen in local coffee shops. Pretty easy to make yourself stamped or signed. The clients can't every time they have their dog walks. And when the cat is full, get them a freed up walk on a new fresh card. This will keep your customers coming back for more and more. When you have a few clients and you do a good job for them, they will, in turn become your greatest advocates. So ask them to ask their dog walking friends if they need a dog walker. Then if you get new clients, get both the new Klein on the current client a discount with himself. After all, you wouldn't have the new client if it wasn't for your current client. You could also offer seasonal discounts such as Black Friday discounts for all new clients . Have a think about what you could do by way of promotions to get new clients and try them out as soon as you can. If they work than do more of them to build up your client base. If what you try doesn't work out and try something else with these sorts of offers, you have lost nothing but a little time. So where to advertise? The simple answer is everywhere but everywhere your customers are likely to be. Think about it logically. Festival. Put yourself in your client's shoes. Your typical client might be mired with a couple of Children. Both partners in the relationship work full time during the day they and pretty well and have some disposable income. Also, they care deeply about their dog and consider him or one of the family. It is helpful to build up this picture in your mind of your perfect client when planning all your marketing activities. So where might you find these perfect clients? Well, they all live in houses so you could drop flies around the houses in your local neighborhood. But how do you know which houses have dogs unless you have them blocking? So you might be wasting a lot of flies on houses that don't even have dogs, not to your perfect clients. On the other hand, you might ask to put a leaflet in notice Bullet of local officers. Some of your perfect clients were working those officers, and they could read your flyer on the board and take action. Just one leaflet on office board equals potentially dozens of clients of a slightly not so obvious places to place your fliers are libraries, banks, post offices, convenience stills, gyms and kindergartens. On here is a list of the obvious places. You should also leave them dog trainers who you do not compete with. Pets toes Dark Rumors on vets As mentioned Dahlia, your current customers will become your best advocates, the best and cheapest form of marked in his word of mouth. It costs nothing, and it works best of all. Do a good job for your clients, and they will naturally promote your business for you to help that process along. In the meantime, on reach a wider rodents you can ask for and used testimonials. Testimonies will reinforce your trustworthiness on reliability. When you have a couple of satisfied clients, you need to ask them for a testimonial if you have done a good job for them, then they will be more than willing to do this. Tell them it doesn't have to be very long. Just a few lines about how your services help that dog. Once you have collected one or two testimonials, use them whenever you can in your marketing materials. Such is the shows and punch you want in your flyers and spread them throughout your website or of a whole page dedicated to them. Also prints a must to show new clients when you meet them. First. Defense Never stopped collecting testimonials You could never have to money With all your marketing, you constantly need to monitor your efforts. See what works, what doesn't and then do more of the stuff that worked for your dog walking business. 9. Online Marketing: I think this module we discuss maxing and in particular, the online variety. Maxing your dog walking business is just another way of saying getting the word out about your business So any potential customers good marketing is targeted, so you are spending your time and your money attracting the right clients to your business . Good marketing should also be measurable and that you will be able to know which of your marketing efforts bringing in the best results on the most kinds. A key piece of your marketing strategy or plan will be to have a website now. You may say, Why do I need a website? I can put some flies out and I can use my first book pitch to advertise my business both of these valid ways to advertise your business. But nothing says professional like your own good looking easy to navigate website. So in this module, we're going to look at why you need a website, the ideal website on the options you have for setting up your own website. So what is the man reason for having your own website? That's simple. To attract more clients. The main ways that people find a new service. They require such a dog. Walking is often to ask around friends and family first to see if they know someone I can recommend anyone. If that comes up zero, then you could be pretty sure they will consult Google. There may have been Consult Google Fast. Nearly everyone in the western world is connected to the Internet with the laptop tablet or smartphone. It is now easier to search for new services, so you need to make it easy for them to find your new service. You can do that with a website, the good website. They have every chance of finding you when they type into the search box. If you haven't got a website, then all they are likely to see are your competitors popping up and guess it was likely to get the business. A good website also lends credibility professionalism, as opposed to some when I was know what presence or if they use the Facebook page advertising their business among cute pictures of dogs doing crazy things and your own website allows you to compete on a level playing field with your competitors, and if you do it well, it will help you beat them. Another reason you need a website for your dog walking business is to inform on potentially filter potential clients. Your website should be able to answer the most basic questions about your business. The more a potential client knows about your business, the more likely they are to pick up the phone and call you. Your website can also filter out clients you don't want or don't need. For example, if you are servicing clients at the high end of the market and your pricing reflects that, then having your prices on your website will put off the customers you don't want. I the customers who don't want to pay your prices on, even if they did, would probably make your life a misery by saying they're too high all the time. Your true potential clients in this example may I think your price would reflect your great service on professionalism. I will be quite happy to pay them. So what makes an ideal website? Well, I strongly suggest that you keep it very simple to look at and navigate through everyone. Here is a terrible looking website where you cannot find anything you're looking for you need to make sure that your potential clients confined it. You may have come across the term S e o this stunts for search engine optimization and basically means ensuring that your website can be found by the likes of Google and Bing and Yahoo s CEO is ever changing on beyond the scope of this course. But some websites now come with some S e O built in, so it makes the process a whole lot easier. Your website needs to be kept up to date on this will shout professional one that is out there, shops amateur. Your website should also be a reflection of the image you are trying to present, and its layout, images and fonts should much closely as possible to any of the offline Maxie materials you produce, such as business counts and flyers. For this module, we're going to look at an example dog walking business website and some of the key components that you need to include on yours. The first screen visitors to your website are likely to London will probably be your home screen, so it's pretty obvious that you need to make sure that your potential clients have landed in the right place on this home screen, the name of the business right at the top of the screen, where they will see it fast just above the logo, which in this case also includes a new to the top right of the screen. We also see what is known as a strap line. Usually this is a little bit of text, which snappily sums up what your business is all about in this case, providing a fun and stress free experience for your dog. You also need to ensure your visitors confined their way around the site easily and find the information they're looking for. So prominent menu, as in the example he issued, direct them where to go. Also, it is often useful to put yourself in the shoes of prospective clients. I think about why they might need your services and phrase this in the way of questions to grab their attention when they reach your site. As in the first block of text here. If we go to the law half of the homepage, we have a prominent special offer code to entice first time visitors to read on and encourages them to use our services. This is followed straight away by some highlighted text showing that they're fully insured on the services. The offer This all promotes credibility and quickly lets the customer know what the website and the company is all about. Finally, at the bottom of the screen is what is known as a call to action. In this case, they are prompting the customer to book a walk, moving on to some of the other pages. Your website will need a pitch explaining in a little more detail the services that you offer here. You can explain what service you offer the duration of the services, for example, and I was walk on the benefits of the service. Another period you might have separated or even combined with your services. Page is a pricing pidge. You may feel you do not want to put your prices on your website, but in my opinion, I would do it for a couple of reasons. Festival. Most of the people coming to your website will be looking for them, and secondly, it will help filter in and filter out the right clients for your business. The other essential page for your website is a concept page. I'm always for your perspective, clients to contact you the better, and having a contact page on the website makes it very easy for them to do this. Also, if they use a contact form similar to this one, then they will have the option to send your message regarding what they require so that when you give them a call back, you have a good idea of what they want to discuss. So how do you set up a website? Well, generally, you have a few options If you have to budget, you could have one made by a Web designer. Are a Web design company. Costs on this will very greatly. Another option is to get one off the shelf from one of the many online companies that specialize in providing websites for businesses. And they take care of all the technical stuff. Or, if you are technically minded, you could do it yourself. Using a website building platforms such as WordPress. This would generally be the most economical option, but depending on your technical skills may involve a steep learning cat. If this is the option you decide to go for, there are many training videos available on YouTube or you. To me, prices for getting a website online have become much cheaper of the last few years. So shop around before taking the plunge. Your website lovely the hub of your business. So work out what pages you will need to include on it and also the information you need to include on those pages, such as the services you offer on your prices. Then decide how you want to get your website. However you decide to get your website, you will have to either purchase your demand. Name yourself that you came up with in the previous module or you will have someone patches it for you as part of your website. Deal. You worked out with them. 10. Clients: I think this module we cover an absolutely essential part of your business. Get this part right and you can have a thriving business. You may have decided to start your own dog walking business because one you want to work for yourself and to you love dogs. Dogs are great. They often give love unreservedly on a not judgmental. However, they don't tend to have much use for money and consequently they can't pay you even if they wanted to. Their owners are the ones that will be paying you. People, as we know, tend not to be as predictable as dogs can be. This means that you may have to work just as hard on your relationships with your human clients as your cane and ones. In fact, probably harder the four areas we're going to look at in this module. Our first impressions on how to make the right one. The do's and dont's our fast contact with your clients. What to discuss it, your initial client meeting and access to their home and their dog anywhere. This module is all about building trust of your clients. Trust is not automatic. People are naturally wary of people they don't know, especially if they are considering paying them unless in them walk their beloved dog and giving them access to their home. It's a lot to ask. Your job is to make sure that you can prove that you're worthy of their trust. Until that is done, you will not get the business. Bear this in mind with all your interactions. A dog walking business is a trust best business. The first building block for developing trust is to ensure that the first impression your potential client has a view is a good one. In all likelihood, a potential client will contact you by phone or email. You need to make sure you come across as professional with that first interaction festival phone. The use of your phone in your business is pretty straightforward. If you are using one phone for both personal and business, then assume that every incoming call is a potential business inquiry and answer accordingly . So if you use a jokey answer when you pick up the phone to amuse friends, I'm afraid you may have to explain to them they will be getting a more formal onto from you known. If you have a separate form for your business. Always answer it with your business name. Obviously, you should only answer the phone if it is safe to do so, and you can give the conversation your full attention. So if you are walking a pack of unruly dogs, it may be better to let it go to answer phone. As for your answerphone message, keep it short professional and ask them to leave their name and number for you to get back to them as soon as possible. With female interaction. Ensure that you have a professional sounding email address. Set up a new one on Gmail or Yahoo and use it only for your business. Sign off all of your emails respectfully and professionally. After a potential client gets in touch. Try to get a little bit more information from them over the phone, such as what services they are looking for, where they live, what type of dog they have. It is also useful to find out if they're visited the website on, particularly if they are happy with the prices. This may seem a little presumption, but if they have seen the pricing on the website under happy with it, then This may save you making a potential journey to see a customer on, to find out that they will not pay your prices, which waste everyone's time. If everything sounds OK over the phone that make arrangements to meet with them and get to know their pet before agreeing to take their dog on. On meeting with a potential client, remember that you are still at the first impression stage, so make the most of it. I would suggest dressing relatively casually. They won't expect you to be in a shirt in time, but keep it smart. Remember that you will be going into their home, so change if you are being out walking the dogs and I covered in mud. Simone is like to do a test walk while they get the measure of you. So you may end up work walking their dog for a few minutes while they chat with you about the details of what they want. Always take proof of your insurance, etcetera, on any testimonies you have when you visit Andi. This pretty obvious, but always make sure you are having the discussion with the person or the person's that are going to make the final decision about whether to take you want or not at the meeting, along with meeting the potential clients, You will also meet your potential new Dogar. If you don't, you're probably at the wrong house. It's not within the scope of this course to go into dog behavior, but needless to say, you need to be aware that you are entering the dog's territory, and some dogs could be very protective of their territory and owners, as we're all aware often the way to a dog's how is through its stomach. So Texan treats with you to get the relationship off to a good start, but seat the owner's permission first. It is important, of course, to make friends with their dog on the first visit. But don't put all your focus on the dog. Your main focus should be on these owners. It is their trustee will be hard to win when discussing the requirements of your perspective. New clients be friendly and strike. Fold. Smile throughout the meeting and sure that you are having a conversation and not an interrogation, although there will be a lot of information you will need from the clients trying not to fire a barrage of questions at them. It will make them feel uncomfortable. If you are relaxing your conversation with them, they will relax, too, and you will appear more confident. Tell him specific and true stories of the work you have done with dogs as examples of your previous experience. Keep your tone light and confident. Tobacco PR Example. Stories offer proof by way of copies of your insurance documents on customer testimonials. You will need to complete some paperwork in this fast meeting, specifically a dog information sheet on a contract should the clients wish to take you on. I would leave any paid work until later in the meeting, and also when the crimes has agreed to take you on and you are happy to take them on. Pulling out the paperwork at the beginning of the meeting might seem per sumptuous or pushy and could put the clients off as discussed in a previous module. I strong suggest that all of your contracts on farms are checked by your lawyer to make sure they are correct, straightforward and legally binding. Another thing you will have to discuss at the meeting is access to your new clients. Property. This is a major trust issue, so treat this area of the conversation. With respect. You will need a SPAC e from the clients so you can let yourself into the premises and collect their dog. You will also need the code for the alarm if it's required a show. The client that you will not writes the clients address on the key. So in the unlikely circumstances that is lost, no one will be able to use it to enter the client's home. Also, let them know that your insurance covers loss keys on replacement locks. If you have that insurance in place and finally asked them to let their neighbors know that you will be coming to walk their dog, this could save awkward situations down the line. 11. Walking the dogs: Okay, We have covered a lot of ground in this course, and you now should have built a solid foundation for your new dog walking business. You should have worked out your financial goals on the costs associated with your business . It will be organized, and I picked a great name organized for a website for your business and started a marketing campaign, met with and gained your first few clients. And now you are getting ready for your first walk in this final module. We will go through some of the things you will need to think about as you get into your walking routines, such as equipment, your vehicle keys, roots on walking. Okay, nine clients. This may seem a little bizarre, but when setting out on a walk with a new dog for the first time, I like to visualize or practice to walk in my head beforehand. I find it helps me remember all the things I might need on the walk and seeing advance. If I'm like it's come across any problems, try it out. It only takes a minute. Some of the essential equipment you will need in your vehicle or carrying with you is pretty obvious when you think about it. Always walk this past slickly with you occasionally a leak and snap and usually in the most awkward moments. So having a spare lead means you can have an immediate tool to rescue what could be a potentially dangerous situation. A can on fast take. It is also key. Should any of your dogs injure themselves. I would also have a first aid kit for yourself. Remember, you're outside and I want new open, so if you're not careful, it is he used to injure yourself. Don't forget to text of dog trees. These are obviously useful for obedience training, unders rewards. I remember to take poo bags and you care. There are significant fines for not picking up after your dogs, but as a professional dog walker being caught not picking up with severely damage your reputation. Whatever type of vehicle you decide to use in your dog walking business, make sure that it is kept in good condition. It should be mechanically sound clean, uncomfortable. Your dog should be comfortable when traveling between pickups on way, you're walking them un. Remember your vehicle can be part the image that you're promoting for your business. It needs to reflect your professionalism. You also need to have a think about what you will do if your vehicle breaks down while you were out in about and organized breakdown cover. If you do not already have it, finally make sure that you have your insurance documents and driving license with you. Visualizing your walks, as I mentioned earlier, helps you prepare for your walks and you do need to be prepared. One of the biggest issues you will face is the weather. But, as Serrano finds once said, there is no such thing is about whether only inappropriate clothing. So make sure that you have the appropriate clothing for the whether you are likely to encounter, because every day will be different. Also, be prepared for the traffic. Getting stuck in a serious traffic jam can really affect your schedule if you have a lot of dogs to pick up and walk, so building a time Buffett into your dear to account for unexpected traffic, you can always be prepared for it. But stuff sometimes just happens, so keep that in mind that not every day we'll go to plan and things will go wrong except it learn from it and then move on. The security of their homes will be the top priority for the majority of your human clients . So make sure you keep the keys alarm code safe. I always keep keys on separate fops. So if I lose one, I just lose one. I'm not the whole bunch of them. I never put the address or the alarm code on the key. For if the key is lost with the address in the alarm code on the FOB, then this is just handing over the key to a would be burglar. Better to identify the keys by color, coding them or having a picture of the dog on them and just your telephone number. If they are lost on the fine because you even go and pick them up. Planning your route in advance is essential. Remember, you're on the clock and time is money. So here are other things to consider When planning your walking routes Festival. Is it safe for your dogs? Were you applying to walk, especially if they're going to be off? Lead is particularly important to avoid busy roads and places where there are sudden drops or hidden hazards such as barbed wire fences or farming equipment. Again, visualizing are walking the roots alone before you take the dog's house will help you find safe routes. You also need to time your roots. If you have agreed to walk some dogs for half an hour, then you need a secular route that will bring you back to your vehicle. In that time, for him began doing a little research in advance will help here. Above all, consider the needs of your dogs. Does your route offer plenty of safe and interesting places to run player? Mix it up for them and for yourself by not taking the same old roots every day. When it comes to actually walking the dogs, it all boils down to common sense. If you are books for a solo walk, then there will be usually a good reason for this, such as The dog can be aggressive with other dogs. You need to find this information out when you meet it with the owner properties and older dogs may not need longer walks, so bear this in mind. Not all dogs are equal in their particular requirements as you build your dog walking business, you may need to shuffle the doctor of in the walking groups. When you are out together, some dogs will get on. Well, someone's. You need to adjust your packs until you have a good group to work with on that play and get on well together. Every time you introduce a new dock into the pack, it will change the dynamic within the group, so be on the lookout for changes in behavior. Always remember that when you're out and about with your cannon clients that you are permanently on shoe walking a pack of dogs or an unusual breed will attract attention, so be professional unpleasant. With everyone you meet, they might end up being your next customer. And whatever you do without walking your dogs, remember to enjoy yourself. Working with dogs can be frustrating at times, but the great time should totally out worth about times. How many jobs these days can you say that about? And finally, congratulations for completing this cost. I hope you have enjoyed doing it as much as I did putting it together. If you have completed all the steps in this coast, you know how the tools to have on build your own dog walking business. I would love to hear your comments or questions regarding the cost, so please feel free to contact me. Alternatively, you can head over to the dog Walker H. Q website www dot dog walker Hitch que dot com, where you will find favor resources to help you build your dog walking business on If you wish to sign up for the dog Walker hit Q newsletter so you can keep up to date with innovations and updates for people in the pet care industry.