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Starting a service in the pet industry

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#1 mother of teen

Posted 29 October 2016 - 07:23 AM

I recently answered an ad on a community board by someone who wanted their 4 dogs to go on a weekly outing.  I messaged her detailing how I would safely transport them, where I might take them, my experience with dogs (limited to my pets and an intro vet nursing course 15 years ago) and a price, and it's all good to go. I am planning to use a tracking app to text them a screen shot of our outing - it will show where we were, how long we were there, and how far and fast we walked.

It made me think about trying to get a few more clients on board.  I applied for an ABN and am thinking of registering a business name then just putting it out over facebook, through the school newsletter etc. that I will be available to do drop-ins and 1 hour outings for pets while people are on holidays or at work. I feel kind of silly though TBH.  Should I try get a client base before naming it as a business or just go for it with a few cards and flyers printed and facebook advertising?  

It would be pretty cool to eventually have a uniform shirt and cap printed, maybe expand into dog washing if I have enough to support the costs of a hydrobath etc.

Silly pipe dream or not?  Start as just me walking dogs or name it?  I'm worried about just walking dogs as a side hobby because I am on benefits and don't want to risk cheating the system by not declaring income.  But to declare it as income I will need to do a profit and loss and have an ABN.

Edited by mother of teen, 29 October 2016 - 07:26 AM.

#2 Bone Apple Tea

Posted 29 October 2016 - 08:29 AM

There is a demand for it.  A lady at work was telling me she pays a company $20 per half an hour for walking her dog.  She uses them every day she is at work.

Edited by canstayferal, 29 October 2016 - 08:47 AM.

#3 paddington_

Posted 29 October 2016 - 09:00 AM

Go for it!  If it's something that you would love to do and can make a living out of,  then why not.  You never know how big it could get.

With many households having both parents or adults at work,  I think it will become an ever increasing industry.

Good luck!

#4 ..-

Posted 29 October 2016 - 09:05 AM

I also think there is a demand. We use a similar service three times a week but in our case our dog is baby sat for three full days and goes out on rambles with the other dogs on the roster. Our girl has very bad separation anxiety so needs more than a walk but I know the service we use offers walks. The lady will take five or six at a time for long walks though - maybe two hours. She has a FB page and uploads pics of the dogs on their walks etc.

I would be much more likely to hire an official service for our dog. She is a very precious part of our family so I would need to know she was being properly cared for.

#5 paddington_

Posted 29 October 2016 - 09:10 AM

There is a private (non chain) dog grooming service at the top of our street.
Her doggy salon is open 6 days a week and she is ALWAYS booked out 3 months in advance.

#6 BadCat

Posted 29 October 2016 - 09:20 AM

I'd go with a business name.  It doesn't cost much to set it up, and an ABN adds a perception of validity to you as business.  It was $79 for me to set up a business name.  The ABN was free.

I was thinking the other day how much I would love to have a really big dog but that I just don't have the energy to walk one every day.  I should work at building up that energy, it would be good for me, but that's a whole other story.  But it occurred to me that it would be doable if I could pay someone to walk it most days of the week.  So yeah, definitely a service that would get used.

Edited by BadCat, 29 October 2016 - 09:21 AM.

#7 mother of teen

Posted 01 November 2016 - 09:32 AM

I'm thinking of registering as 'Pooped Pets' - too silly to be taken seriously?  I haven't come up with much else.  Do people still generally recognise that pooped mean tired out?  I'll delete the name suggestion if I go with it for privacy.

#8 Etta

Posted 01 November 2016 - 09:41 AM

Sounds like a great idea. Just make sure that you are doing things that are sustainable in terms of your time. Make sure that the tracking app and reporting back to them is going to work long-term for you when you have a lot more clients.

I like the name - I think the double meaning is clever. Or you could do Pooped Out Pets (or Dog Tired!). Good luck with it.

#9 Guest_canadianmum_*

Posted 01 November 2016 - 09:48 AM

I like Dog Tired.

Great idea.

#10 Therese

Posted 01 November 2016 - 09:59 AM

There is definitely a demand for it. I would go ahead and give it a go.

Good luck :)

#11 flowermama

Posted 01 November 2016 - 10:01 AM

I was at a local little beach area a few weeks ago and there was a professional dog-outing place there; there were at least 4 staff members and around 20 dogs (they took them in shifts). They had on uniforms and the vans had logos. Clearly there's the demand for this service!

#12 mother of teen

Posted 01 November 2016 - 10:14 AM

I'm limiting myself to two medium-large dogs at a time, or 4 small ones.  There are pet walkers in the area that take a dozen off lead dogs down the beach at a time, but I think that's risky and don't believe I have skills to adequately and safely manage that many.

I think Pooped Out Pets is better than Pooped Pets - thanks for that.  I liked the double meaning but my kids didn't get it, so I wondered if it was just me.  I will consider Dog Tired and see if it is taken.

#13 Lucrezia Bauble

Posted 01 November 2016 - 10:23 AM

Definitely a demand for it - our puppy is at doggy day care as I type - they groom as well (as well as emptying his stinky anal gland :sick: - he is nervous and is secreting, apparently. That's something I would pay any amount of money for someone else to do).

When he is older we will (hopefullly) be leaving him alone in our secure yard for up to 6 hours on the days both DH and I work and the kids are at school -  so we will definitely be engaging the services of a dog walker/dog minder to break up that time alone.

#14 Empress NG

Posted 04 November 2016 - 09:08 AM

Go for it!  I wouldn't use pooped pets as a business name.  Apart from the 'poop' in the name, it is also a bit narrow, ie, you aren't just offering services to tired dogs and owners but more broadly.  Even something simple like "your name pet care" could work well I think.  Even if you expand to employ other people, it would still be your business so name still good.  A name also gives the feeling of personal care.

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