Do you love animals? Are you dreaming of a low-cost start up business you can run from home? Pet Sitting may be just the answer you're looking for. As with any business, the first step to being successful is laying the proper groundwork.
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The Vital First Eignt Steps to Starting a Pet Sitting Business

Do you love animals? Are you dreaming of a low-cost start up business you can run from home? Pet Sitting may be just the answer you're looking for. As with any business, the first step to being successful is laying the proper groundwork. It takes much more than having a good idea or having a passion -it takes preparation to beat the odds.

Some of that preparation should include the creation of legal documents and service contracts, obtaining proper insurance coverage, conducting research and learning more about the industry. While there is no single way to guarantee success, the following are the vital first 8 steps to get you started in the right direction.

1. Develop a business plan

Preparing a business plan is the first step of starting a successful business. A business plan acts as a road map for your business. It outlines your goals and identifies specific financial projections. A good business plan should help you define your target market, identify your competitors, project start up expenses, illustrate how to allocate resources and give you a realistic timeline. If utilized during your initial business set up it will keep you on track and make you successful in achieving your goals.

What goes in a business plan? The plan should be divided into 4 sections:

1. Description of the business
2. Marketing Plan
3. Finances
4. Management

The plan should include an executive summary, supporting documents, and financial projections. Contact your local small business administration office for resources, tools and workshops.

2. Decide on a legal structure for your business

a. Decide how much personal liability protection you need b. Decide how you want your business to be taxed c. Research the various types of ownership structures

1. Sole proprietorship
2. LLC
3. C Corp
4. S Corp

The choice you make will have a large impact on how legal issues are handled. Sole proprietorship is the simplest legal structure but it does not protect your personal assets. Forming an LLC is more complex and expensive. However, it is designed to provide the limited liability features of a corporation and the tax efficiencies of a partnership. This is a popular choice for sole proprietors who are looking to incorporate simply to protect personal assets.

There are many resources on the web to help you investigate the advantages and disadvantages of each and decide which ownership structure is right for you.

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