Pet business has been growing in popularity and are now featuring as a regular in most towns and cities. This small business area is popular with those who want a career change, a secondary cash flow, have recently retired or had children or are still studying due to the low investment needed to set up in both time and money.
With the market potential huge it is no wonder that pet business is becoming popular start ups but is this venture right for you? Well, there are plenty of opportunities available, ranging from the capital-intensive pet treat manufacturer business to the no-frill pet sitting gig. In this article, let’s focus on the side hustle kind of pet business, namely dog walking and pet sitting.
Dog walking is great introduction into the pet service world needing minimal investment and few overheads. Below are some of the advantages and disadvantages to help you decide if this is the right one for you:
Pro: No Initial Capital Needed
There is not big investment to start a dog walking business other than insurance which is a must if you are looking after other dogs and need to be protected should any accident or injury occur. From Protectivity Insurance, a dog walking business policies start from £5.04 per month. You may decide to advertise locally but if you have a good base of friends and family and you do a good job the word will quickly spread and you’ll find yourself with a wealth of paying clients in no time.
Pro: No Overheads
Dog walking is done in the wonder of the nature and therefore there are really no overheads as you do not need any premises or any equipment – often the owner will even supply the lead and treats!
Pro: Financially and Emotionally Rewarding
With the average price of a dog walker £10 per hour per dog you can see why this can quickly build up to become a profitable venture. It has been reported that some dog walkers in London can even earn up to £100,000 a year! Not only is the business financially rewarding but if you have a love of our four legged friends then there is nothing better than seeing a dog that has enjoyed their walk and your company.
Pro: Opportunity to Offer Other Services
While dog walking there is the opportunity to expand and offer other services to your clients such as puppy sitting or house sitting if they are away or at work and do not want the house to be empty. You may also be able to garden, collect mail or transport their pets to vet appointments to maximise your profit in the time you have.
Con: Can be Physically Demanding
This is a tough job physically and you will need to be fit especially if you are planning to do several walks a day. However it does mean there will be no need to visit a gym. You should also be aware that accidents can happen and you want to be covered in such events. Suggest the dog owners to take up affordable pet insurance.
Con: Working Outside
This could be a benefit or a disadvantage for some people but you must be prepared to work outside in all weather conditions come rain, sun, snow, sleet or anything else the British weather can throw at you. It may pay to invest in some high quality boots and a nice warm coat!
This is still a relatively new business area but is growing rapidly as those who own pets are no longer happy to leave them at home alone for long hours. This makes it a great start up venture with relatively low competition and incredibly easy to get started.
Pro: No Overheads
Pet sitting can be done either at the pet owners home or your own meaning there is no need to buy or rent facilities. Owners will have everything their pet needs in their own homes so there is no need to buy additional equipment however if operating from your own home it might be a good idea to ensure your house is completely pet friendly!
Pro: Ability to Offer Other Services
When visiting others pet owners homes there is always the opportunity to offer other services such as dog walking, house sitting or gardening to really get the most financially from your time.
Pro: Small Initial Investment
Like dog walking, there is no big investment needed to set up a pet sitting business. There will be a need for insurance and with policies from Protectivity Insurance starting at £5.05 per month this is a relatively small cost. It is also recommended to get a DBS check or more commonly known as a criminal record check which cost around £26. If you are entering someone else’s home this will make customers feel more at ease
Con: Ensure Home is Pet Friendly
Pet sitting can be done either at the pet owners home or your own meaning there is no need to buy or rent facilities. Owners will have everything their pet needs in their own homes so there is no need to buy additional equipment however if operating from your own home it might be a good idea to ensure your house is completely pet friendly which may come at a small cost to you.
About the Author: Protectivity Insurance is a leading niche small business insurance provider specialising in pet business in particular dog walking insurance.