Starting a Dog Walking Business

Around 69 million households own a dog, and the year 2021 saw $9.5 billion spent by owners on professional services such as dog walking. This profession is ideal for people who love dogs, enjoy being in the great outdoors, and are prepared to put in the work required to keep dogs safe and happy during their walks. What does it take to start a dog-walking business, and how can you ensure yours is a success?

Preparing Your Business Plan

The first step for any business involves drafting your business plan. Dog walking sounds like a low-cost business, but there are many expenses involved you may not have considered—including necessary investments in equipment and training. Your plan should be divided into three main sections: your income statement (which should indicate your expenses, revenues, and overall profit for a specific period); your cash flow projection; and your balance sheet. The latter should include your assets, liabilities, and equity. A business plan will be particularly useful if you wish to attract investors—something you may need to do if you wish to expand and/or hire other walkers.

Researching Your Market

Use the Internet to check out your competition, paying particular attention to the areas where they are offering their services. Find out their hourly rates, too, and study the full gamut of services they offer. Join social media groups such as those run by dog owners in your area and gauge the extent to which members may be interested in your services. If the market is saturated, consider covering other areas or offering services nobody else is. For instance, you might decide to specialize in dog agility courses or high-fitness walks/jogging, or offer complementary services like grooming, pet sitting, or administering medication. These may involve additional training, but they may increase your income considerably.

Is Professional Training Required?



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