Starting a Pet Sitting Business - Are You Ready?
Are you Ready?
You've taken care of all the legalities and necessities of opening your new pet
sitting business. You've obtained the appropriate licensing and insurance policies,
developed a winning marketing plan, acquired all the proper service contracts and forms
required to start a successful pet sitting business. So, what's next?
The Next Step
As with any business, the first step to being successful is laying the proper
groundwork. Once you've made preparations and laid the proper groundwork, the next step
is to create your Business Policy Statement. This step should not be skipped and is highly
recommended before acquiring clients.
Why is it Important?
A Policy Statement establishes expectations between you, the pet sitter, and your
client. It outlines what services you will provide to the client, what fees you will
charge for those services, what behavior is expected of the client and/or pet, when
payment is expected, what happens if payment is not made in a timely manner and so on. A
Policy Statement formalizes the Client/Sitter relationship and ensures you have a shared
understanding of the services being providing.
Creating a handout outlining your Policy Statement to distribute to new clients at the
initial Get Acquainted visit is a good way to start your relationship off on the right foot.
Your company website is another key place to post your Policy information and lend
credibility to your business. Most clients appreciate this extra effort; it gives them
peace of mind knowing Fluffy will be taken care of accordingly and builds their confidence
in you, as a professional pet sitter.
What Things Should be Included?
What types of services will you offer? There are many types of services sitters offer.
You need to decide which ones you'd like to include in your business. Some examples of
services include: Vacation Care, Daily dog walks, pet taxi service to groomer or vet
appointments, supply runs for food and supplies, potty training visits, overnight visits, etc.
How long will your visits last? Visits typically last any where from 20 minutes to 1
hour in length depending on the type of care you provide and the area you are servicing.
The amount of time you spend at each visit will determine how many visits you can
comfortably complete in one day and what you will need to charge per visit to make a
What types of pets will you service? Will you only service dogs and cats? What about
hamsters, rabbits and fish? Are you comfortable with birds or snakes? There are many
animals besides dogs and cats that you may encounter in your business. Some you may not
wish to care for. The key is to set clear expectations up front.