For people who love animals, pet care is a great business idea. There are many groups that can help pet sitters who are just starting out turn their home-based pleasure into a business that makes a good living. Not only that, but it gives you a chance to make a living doing something you love, which is always a plus.
Use these 7 tips to start the pet care business of your dreams.
1. Handle Your Business Professionally
Many aspiring pet care business owners start their businesses because they love animals. They know how important it is for proud pet owners to keep their pets safe, but they don't always see the business as a way to make money, which is a big mistake. The initial investment required to launch a pet boarding business can range from $24,000 to $81,000, depending on the scope of the business, the location, and the presence or absence of government regulations.
In the end, it doesn't matter how much you love animals or care about people; if you want to run a business, you have to be cruel, or you won't be able to do it for very long. That doesn't mean you should go all mercenary on your clients and charge them an arm and a leg, but it does mean you should treat your firm like a business and not a hobby when it comes to matters of money, personnel, insurance, and so on.
2. Investing in Invoicing Software
When you own a small business, time is money. You hear this often, but do you really know what it means? If you spend most of your time doing things that don't help your bottom line, how long does the employee plan take you? You might just get by every year, but your business will never grow to be truly profitable. Some ways to make money are:
- Marketing your business
- Improving effectiveness
- Making improvements to your building
- Use your current customers to make more money by upselling cleaning services or cross-selling related items like toys, treats, and other supplies.
Invest in invoicing software that can handle your billing needs. Maintain a log of your activities, including how much time each one takes. That means keeping accurate financial records, drafting estimates and slick invoices, maintaining a list of clients, and monitoring sales and expenses. There's a good chance you'll see big ways to make yourself more effective and efficient.
3. Delegate Responsibilities When Appropriate
Although you may launch your business as a lone man or woman, you'll quickly learn that you can't do it all alone. Whether you hire staff or count on family, you must be smart about how you give tasks to other people. Think of it like outsourcing within your own business!
One of the most important things to remember when hiring is to focus on what you do best and let someone else handle the rest. To do that, you need to first think about your own skills. For instance, if you really know how to "close the deal" when talking to possible clients, you shouldn't let your receptionist handle all the inquiries. On the other hand, let a staff member get their hands dirty if they have the "Midas Touch" when it comes to cleaning.
4. Build Your Savings
Breaking even isn't good enough. To run a business that can last for a long time, you need to save money, even if it's just $20 per week. Those savings will give you a safety net in case something goes wrong (like a broken pipe or a roof that leaks), and they will also give you the money you need to grow in the future.
Establishing monthly financial objectives is a fantastic place to start, and you should do all in your power to achieve them. And these goals should get bigger over time. If you do this, you will have to get better at running your business. You'll find ways to be more productive, save time, and make money that you wouldn't have thought of before. You have to do more than simply play fetch with your renters, and I know that sounds like a lot of work, but if you want your boarding business to flourish, you have to.
It is recommended that all pet boarders purchase insurance. The bare minimum for each animal in your care should be $2,000 in insurance. But if you can, invest in a better plan. The most frequent type of urgent pet surgery has an average price of $2,000 per procedure. Your liability could increase to $5,000 if an animal has a more serious injury, like a broken limb.
A common rule of thumb is to acquire a little bit more insurance than you think you need when purchasing any kind of insurance. It is preferable to be protected and never require insurance than to require it and not own it.
Marketing activities should be constantly maintained if growth is a top priority. Posting flyers on public bulletin boards is a good first step, but you should also seek out referrals from vets, cultivate referrals from satisfied customers, advertise in local periodicals (not necessarily newspapers), and establish an online presence.
To be successful in marketing, you need to put yourself in your customers' shoes. What sort of television shows do they typically watch? Which sections of the paper do they often read? What are their hangout spots like? In what ways do they spend time with their pets? Does your pet participate in any community activities (pet parades, dog park Olympics, talent shows)? You should seek out these channels and make the most of them.
7. Hire The Best Team
Animal-lovers are a must-have in any workforce. However, you should also consider the applicant's background, demeanor, and how well they would work with the current staff. Most pet boarding establishments are run more like tiny families than like other, more "structured" enterprises.
Having a reliable team in place means you should actively work to keep them there. Whether it's by using technology to entice them (the upcoming generation of workers wants their schedule on their phone), providing incentives for performance (extra days off), accommodating their personal lives (using a schedule template they filled out), or simply showing appreciation (buying coffee for the gang or giving out an employee appreciation award), there are many ways to motivate employees.
Showcase Your Passion
Your dedication to the business is what will set you apart from other boarding facilities. Owners place a premium on the well-being of their pets and won't entrust their extended family to just anybody for boarding.
It's important to show potential customers that you care about their pet just as much as you do your own. That commitment needs to shine through in all aspects of your business, from advertising to facilities to, most importantly, consultations with clients. Your pet store will thrive under your enthusiastic direction.