The ONLY national non-profit organization for professional pet sitters.

New Pet Sitters: Set the Foundation For 2015

New Pet Sitters: Set the Foundation For 2015

You’ve always thought about making a career out of pet sitting. Getting paid to care for animals and be your own boss may sound like a dream job, but running your own pet sitting business requires more than grooming and walking. Here are some important considerations for getting your business off the ground and launching a successful pet sitter career in 2015.

Licensing, Bonding, and Insurance
Licensing let’s your clients and curious prospects know that you can be trusted to do business. Be sure and check your state’s licensing requirements with the U.S. Small Business Administration before applying. Know the difference between a business license, which permits you to operate in the area, and professional license, awarded after rigorous study and exams for certification. Although neither are required to be a pet sitter, licensing gives your business credibility.

Bonding and insurance are must-haves for pet sitters. Bonding, aka Dishonesty Bond, gives your clients peace of mind by guaranteeing payback for any missing items from their homes while you work. Liability insurance covers personal injury, bodily injury to a 3rd party (i.e. your client’s dog bites a stranger walking outside), and property damage, among others.

Exclusive bonding and liability insurance rates for all NAPPS members are available via the Business Insurers of the Carolinas, NAPPS partners since 1992.

Showcase Your Services Online
Most potential clients like to see your previous experience, service areas, and rates before reaching out. Once you’ve decided on your business model, showcase your business online.

Anybody with a computer can create a website. Platforms like Wordpress, Blogger, and even MyNAPPS allow you to create sites for free, and have easy-to-use dashboards that let you add business content anywhere on your site. With free visual themes that look great on smartphones, and simple systems for customization, creating a website in 2015 is painless.

Build a Network with Referrals
Fast business growth begins with a solid network. Ask for referrals from your client’s colleagues with furry friends of their own! After you’ve built trust over time, your quality of care does the talking for you. Hand your promotional business cards to new connections, making sure your website and other important information is clearly printed. Offer something that sets yourself apart from the local competition, like a free bag of gourmet dog food for new contracts or discounted rates for the first month.

Pet sitting can be an amazing career for animal lovers. With the right approach, you can start attracting pet owners fast that’ll fill up your client book for 2015 beyond.
Katherine Halek is the lead advertising and print strategy advisor at Signazon, a leading online printer that provides marketing collateral for thousands of pet care businesses around the United States. Katherine enjoys writing about entrepreneur pet sitters, small pet care businesses, and the ins and outs of advertising. Connect with her on Twitter and Google+