When you are a pet person by nature, you probably spend a lot of your time wondering how, exactly, you can spend more time around those with fur and feathers. Well, starting your own business working with animals is the answer. Pet grooming, dog sitting, and even animal photography are more popular today than ever. That’s why Netizen Me is glad to share these tips and resources to help aspiring entrepreneurs launch their career in animal care.
During the pandemic, people started staying home more often. Even today, the remote work environment remains strong. People simply have more time than before with their animals. But, as the world opens back up, people are also going on vacation. The need for dog sitters and boarding facilities is high. Further, as social media continues to help us stay in touch with our friends and family from all over, pictures of pets are more prevalent than photos of our spouses. This underscores the need for exceptional animal photography and grooming.
First, identify your strengths and weaknesses. Do you have the energy to walk dogs every day? Is your home set up for puppies? When you have decided your capabilities, you can start hammering out the details on what you’d like to do.
Once you register your business name, go ahead and take the time to create a DBA. This is essentially a pseudonym for your business that you can use later down the road if you want to branch out and offer other services. If you plan to have several brands under your business, then you’ll likely want to form an LLC, too. Limited liability companies allow you to stay in control of your business while benefiting from personal asset protection and tax incentives. You can set the LLC and DBA up yourself or work with a formation service for a small fee.
Next comes the difficult task of assigning a dollar value to your services. We know, it feels like stealing to charge just for spending time with animals. But, the truth is that you are providing something that people need, and you also have to pay your light bill. Research what others are charging. For example, The Fur Machine explains that cat groomers can charge up to $70. Figure out how much you’ll have to work at these prices to pay your bills.
It’s important that you factor in all of your expenses when you set your price. If you will offer pet boarding, you’re not just paying for your time. You’re paying for the facility, electricity, heating/cooling, pet bedding, toys, and more! And don’t forget about the food. Look at different pet food options to find one that is both healthy for the animals and a good price. Organic and grain-free options are becoming increasingly popular. This is a good option to consider for your clients, and you can get a free trial to see if it’s a good fit for your needs.
A special note on money: invest in accounting software early so you can best manage your finances. The right software will help you stay organized so that you can make the most out of your taxes. It will also make it easier to stay compliant within your industry while giving you valuable info on where your money goes and how it would be best spent growing your business.
Now, let’s talk about marketing. Ideally, most of your business will come from repeat clients or word-of-mouth. This doesn’t mean that you don’t have to spend some time on marketing. One simple way to spread the word is through fliers, which Canva explains utilize attention-grabbing headlines, imagery, and exceptional typography.
Another trick you might want to try is creating a PDF filled with high quality images that advertises the services you offer. From there, you can do this online using a PDF splitting tool if you want to use a portion of your PDF to advertise elsewhere, including on social media. After all, social media is an excellent and affordable way to advertise. Shopify explains that you can do paid advertisements on Facebook for less than other social media platforms. It can be as little as $0.94 per click, which comes out to $12.07 per 1,000 impressions. There are a variety of social media platforms that you can use to help get the word out, and this is an excellent way to expand your customer base.
Marketing also hinges on getting the facts and knowing your field like the back of your hand, so it’s worth taking the time to find helpful pet care advice from the experts. Using the best products in the business is a great way to establish credibility with your customers, not to mention take the best possible care of your four-legged clients.
If you’d rather spend your days playing with puppies than slaving over a keyboard, a job working with animals may be perfect for you. But, make sure that you tackle business decisions early on, such as setting up your name and structure, and pricing your services appropriately to cover all of your costs, including food and supplies. Then, spend some time learning how to execute a successful marketing plan. It takes time, but if you’re willing to put in the work, you can start your own business that lets you pursue your pet passion.
If you’re looking for a great source for interesting and educational content, then add Netizen Me to your digital reading list!
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Kim Thomas enjoys writing about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Her mission is aligned with that of US Health Corps, and that is to triumph over chronic disease.