Lewis Waller is the founder of Dog Walkers City – the US and UKs premium directory of Dog walkers and sitters. Interested in becoming a Dog sitter? Take a look at Starting A Dog Walking Business - The Complete Guide
If you need some extra cash, a new career or just have some spare time on your hands, becoming a professional dog walker could be the answer! In fact, it's one of the easiest business start-ups you could think of and requires considerably less time, money and responsibility than the majority of business/services out there.
There are a huge number of upsides to becoming a professional dog walker. The flexible hours, long walks and time with our furry friends to name a few. But as with any job, it does come with its responsibilities.
But how would you go about becoming a dog walker? Well as I said, it's a reasonably simple process, and with a bit of hard word and commitment you could be walking your first clients pooch in no time.
The first thing you'll need to think about is your inventory. Dog leads, bowls, food, treats, toys and waste bags should be the first things on your list. You'll also need to think about potential walks to take your customers dogs on and how many dogs you can manage to look after at the same time. One of the most important things to set up is your insurance. This would be probably be your biggest expenditure, but shop around and you'll find it fairly cheap (and you can pay monthly).
Once you're ready to get started you'll need to begin the process of finding customers. I always recommend starting off by asking friends and family to spread the word about your new service. Nine out of ten times you'll get your first client this way. It's surprising how sometimes, word of mouth is all you need to build up a regular customer base – especially in a small town.
Your main tool when advertising and gaining exposure should be the internet. I'd start off by getting business cards printed. This can be very cheap either online or in your local printers. Handing these out in pet shops etc (you could also get flyers printed) is a sure way to spread the word.
Facebook, Twitter and Google Places are all websites you can use to advertise for free and a lot of time this is all you'll need to do to get enough customers to start off. There are also a ton of free local classified websites you can use and country and city specific Dog walker directories.
I have of course, simplified this entire process for the purposes of a blog post but hopefully you get the idea. I really believe that with a small amount of commitment and hard work, becoming a professional dog walker is one of the easiest and simplest business start ups you'll find.