Ways To Make Quick Money Launching...
A Dog Walking "Fast Cash" Business
Table Of Contents
- Ways To Make Quick Money:
- Launching A Dog Walking Micro-Business
- What You Gain From This Venture
- Who This Venture Benefits Most
- Who Will Succeed
- Who This Venture Benefits Most
- The Venture Step-by-Step
- Basic Requirements
- Startup Equipment
- Delivering The Service
- Running The Operation
- Marketing This Baby
- Making The Moola
- Simple Cashflow Estimate
- Startup Equipment
- Insights and Caveats
- Types Of Collars
- Nurturing Your Customers
- Nurturing Your Customers
- Additional Resources and Final Comments
- Make A Professional Impression
- Dress Appropriately
Dog walking is like an aerobic sport. But you should present yourself dressed like a professional worker at your client's house. The client is handing you a very dear and near possession for a couple of hours, and looking like a bum won't inspire any confidence.
That's not to say that you should look like an FBI agent in black get-up ready to impound good ol' Rover.
- Present yourself to a client in clean, casual, comfortable apparel. Dress in layers so you can get down to your work clothes the moment you get the dog leash in your hands.
- Try to wear a sports jacket, sweater or cap with a label that makes clear that you're either a dog lover or a professional dog walker.
- Use durable, comfortable shoes. You'll be doing lots of walking, and you need to be wearing the correct shoes to keep from damaging your feet.
- Wear a watch to track your time. Some pet owners are like parents. You don't want to return later than expected to an angry "parent" waiting for an explanation for why you had "baby" out past curfew.
- Come Ready To Do Business
- Bring a notepad on a clipboard and a working pen to take any notes or instructions from your client about the dog.
- Bring all the necessary forms that your client must sign in order for you to begin walking the dog.
- Ask the client to explain any special needs about the pet. Be attentive. Don't interrupt. Nod in understanding. Ask questions.
- Repeat the client's demands out loud to ensure that you've understood them before you depart.
- Bring your calendar with you to schedule another walk date with your client before completing the current one.
- Offer An Orientation Day To Your Prospective Client
Prior to walking a client's dog, meet with the client and the dog. Demonstate to your client that you're selective, and that you are sincere about providing a good service.
During this visit find out if you can handle your client's dog. Explain to the client why you can or cannot handle the dog.
- Explain in detail the dog walking services that you provide and ask your client whether this meets expections.
- Be very attentive to how the owner treats the dog. If the dog is rather spoiled, then expect difficulty in training the dog to follow your commands. Indicate that a long walk can only happen once the dog is well trained, but that training will involve shorter walks until the dog can graduate to longer trips.
- Ask the owner how often the dog gets out of the house. A dog that doesn't get out often will be extremely hyper while walking or timid because everything is new to it.
- Check out how the dog interacts with you in front of the client. You'll get an opportunity to see how the dog reacts to strangers by its manner towards you, which you need to understand before you can take the dog out to meet other strangers.
- Call the dog by its name. Bend down or kneel partially and let the animal smell your hand before petting it. Allow the owner to see how well the dog interacts with you before you depart together. Keep an eye open for whether the dog:
- Is the dog acting dominantly towards you?
- Is the dog acting squeamishly around you?
- Is the dog indifferent to your presence?
- Ask the client whether you will be dog walking only while the owner is in the house or during the client's work hours. If the latter, then arrange to have a key to the property and a written permission to enter the premises for the explicit purpose of fetching the dog with its equipment for a walk on specific days and hours of the week. Always carry copies of these documents with you in your clipboard.
- Ask the client if the dog has any special needs. Injuries? Ailments? Allergies? Make a note of any such information and keep it in mind in case of any emergencies.
- Ask the client where to find the dog's leash and collar for walking whenever you need to pick up the dog when the house is empty.
- Ask the client where the dog should be kept after you return from a walk to an empty house.
- Ask the client whether you should feed the dog after a walk.
- Take the dog out for a short 5 to 10 minute trial walk and report back to the client the results to help your customer make an informed decision about contractig your services.
- How To Propose A Dog Walking Service Agreement To A Prospective Client
Once you've received all the answers from your client to your questions, move into trying to seal a deal. Propose the following:
"I'm always focused on making sure that I can provide the best possible experience for the dogs that I walk.
I believe that dogs can have very enjoyable and healthy walks. And the owners can tell this the moment the dog is back home.
If I'm not doing my dog walking job right, then the dog will let you know. So, before I begin taking any dog out for walks, I'd like for both the dog and me to get a feel for each other, and for you to witness how well this goes.
Now that we're back from our trial 5-minute walk, I can tell you the following about your pet's behavior...
Proceed now to list your impression of the animal and areas where you believe you can make a difference in its behavior and health.
Then ask whether the client is interested in hearing about your service plan for the dog. Notice how you're not selling dog walking. You're selling dog health and behavior improvement.
- Settle On A Dog Walking Service Plan
- 30-minute Walks - These walks tend to be for the dogs that can't hack prolonged walks. That includes small, feable or fat dogs that need to work their way up to longer outings.
BEWARE: If you push a dog too far in one direction and it doesn't have the stamina to return with you, either you will have to wait until it is rested out enough to return walking home with you or somehow you'll have to haul it back with you!
- 1-hour Walks These are for the more energetic and fit dogs.
- Group Walks This is where you take out many canines dog walking all at once.
- Adventure Walks This is for the advanced dog walker. It's basically an all day hike for dogs to a suitable location where they can romp and explore without use of a leash at all times.
- Schedule Walks On A Weekly Basis Get your clients to schedule walks ahead of time. This gives your clients a sense that your services are more than just one-off events, and will coax them to schedule multiple walks before the next week arrives. This also provides you with a steady stream of business every week.
- Offer 20- or 30-minute individual walk in a day
- Offer a 1-hour individual walk in a day
- Offer a 30-minute individual walk twice a day
- Offer a 1-hour individual walk twice a day
- Contact information
- Your client's contact information
How often will you be walking the dog? How long will dog walking take? At what time will you be coming to walk the dog? These are all components of a well thought out service plan. Take down the information and draft a terms of service for the client to review.
Get a key to the house if you need to get into the house to take the dog out for a walk or learn where it will be left for you to access according to the service schedule.
Agree on how you will receive payment for dog walking. Will the money be left in an envelope someplace in the property? Will you be paid upfront when you pick up the dog. If the latter is case, then remember that all it takes is for you to fail 1 time in delivering services and your business can be ruined if the news gets out that you stiff your customers.
Live up to you commitments!
The following are standard walking services provided by most dog walking businesses:
Although group walks are definitely more profitable because you get paid by multiple clients for a single walk, it requires permission from the owners to allow their dog(s) to walk with other people's dog(s).
In other words, you need to limit your liability of damaging someone's dog, in case of fights, runaways or third-party property damages.
It takes more skill to walk several dogs in a group rather than 1 dog individually. You've got to be a very effective and experienced dog leader, which requires understanding some fundamentals of applied animal psychology.
Include dog cleanup at no charge in the dog walking service, also feeding and watering the dog. It is basic courtesy to leave the house in order, and the dog fed and watered before you leave.
Professional Dog Walking Service Plans
Here are dog walking service plans in use by various professional dog walking services. These service plans are basic to dog walking:
Notice that the plans don't specify the number of days in a week when a walk can be provided. This is because frequency of walks depends on the need of your client.
Look at these service plans as guidelines to build your own service schedule with your own client.
Create A Dog Walking Agreement Form
You want no "lawless dogs", meaning to say that if you handle a dog, you want it to be all legal.
When you have clients who want you to visit a dog consistently based on an agreed upon schedule, it's best to have this agreement in writing.
A verbal agreement can be easily forgotten or denied.
The agreement should at least specify the following items:
- How often the walks are provided
- How long the walks will be
- Any special activities
- How much you charge for your walks
- Any extra fees associated with your service
- Invoicing (if applicable)
- When you will be paid
- Method of payment
- Client understands his responsibility to make payments promptly
Create A Dog Walking Liability Release Form
It's important that you have your clients sign a liability release form before you begin walking their dogs. The liability form should state that the owner is:
- Responsible for any damages caused by the pet on or off the client's property
- Also include in the dog walking form two clauses stating that owners are:
- Responsible for providing ID tags for their dog
- Responsible for providing up to date vaccinations for their dog
- Check out these Release of Liability forms used by professional dog walking businesses. Use them as guidelines to create your own liability form.
- Belltown Dog Walker (The Release of Liability form is on page 4)
- Sean In The City (The Release of Liability form is on page 3)
- Bona-a-fide Pet Walking (The Release of Liability form is on page 4)
Create A Pet Information Sheet
You should have each of your clients fill out a pet information sheet. This is for the purpose of gathering information about your client's dog that will be of importance to you:
- Does the dog have any allergies?
- Does the dog have any aggression issues?
- Does the dog have any old injuries?
- Does the dog need to take any medications?
- Does the dog need to be fed? How often?
- Emergency contacts
- Owner's number
- Guardian's number
Here is an example of a pet information sheet. The template is free and can be copied and tweaked according to your own needs.
Create A Veterinary Release Form
A veterinary release form gives you permission from the owner to take the dog to a vet in the event that the dog needs medical attention.
The likelihood of this ever happening is rare. But it's good to be prepared. Allay your clients concerns, by letting them know that the form is only a precaution and that you will only follow the directions on this form in the event that all effort on your part to contact them in the event of an emergency have failed.
Here is an example of a veterinary release form. The template is free and can be copied and tweaked according to your own needs.
Know Your Route
Before you take a walk you should study the route you will be taking. You don't want to get lost while walking a client's dog. It makes for a poor walking experience.
Take a GPS or a map of the area with you so in case you get lost you can orient yourself faster.
Take a solo walk along the route you plan to travel with your client's dog. This way you are familiar with it before you walk it with the dog.
Pick areas that allow for dog walking. For instance, some parks may not allow dogs to enter.
Service An Area Within Comfortable Driving Distance
You don't want to travel many miles when you start out. The money you earn on long distance visits will not compensate you for the time, effort, and mental energy you exert on these walks.
Stick to clients who are in close proximity to one another. Once your business begins growing, consider expanding to further locations.
Return to Quick Money Ventures from Ways To Make Quick Money Window Cleaning
- Go to Starting Your Own Business Overnight Home Page