How To Use Your Love of Dogs to Start a Low Cost Business.

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The start of a New Year can be just the push you need to stop procrastinating and launch a brand new, low-cost business from home, to supplement your pension. And if you can combine this, with your love of dogs, so much the better.

So how about looking into starting a pet sitting service, it’s so easy and so rewarding, with no huge outlay, and a ready market, just waiting to book with you.

Dog ownership has increased hugely over the last 10 years, and when dog owners want to go on holiday, or simply attend a wedding or a day time function, their number one priority often is, ‘who will look after the dog’.

Most dogs don’t adapt very well to being in conventional kennels, therefore if they can go and stay in a nice cosy house, with lots of home comforts, then faced with a choice, their owners will definitely choose a home dog boarder over the cold kennel environment whenever they can.

So where do you start to set up this kind of business.

You could start small.  Tell everyone you know that you are now looking after dogs, and the word will soon spread.  Think up a suitable name such as ‘Waggy Tails’, or ‘Furry Friends’, and get your name in print. Business card printers always have special offers on, so you could order some low cost snazzy little cards, with your business name and contact details.

Next you need to contact your local council to ask about a home boarding licence. These vary in cost, but it’s affordable and you will soon make your money back on this outlay.  Knowing that you are a bona fide licenced boarder will give potential customers more confidence to book with you, rather than someone who is not registered.

And you must get some insurance.  Home dog boarding, and petsitting in general has it’s own low-cost insurance category. For under £10 a month, you can get yourself covered for a multitude of dog related services, and when you consider that just by looking after one dog per month, you will have covered the cost of this.

Take a wander to your local charity shop, you’ll find some suitable spare dog bowls and blankets, toys and general dog related items to start you off.  No dog will worry if any of it is second hand!

Dog owners are often in a rush and forget crucial things like leads. It’s worth spending a little bit of money on good quality spare leads as you don’t want any mishaps through buying something faulty or old.

Pet sitting in your own home is so easy and dog owners really value your service and rely on you to look after their much loved pet. If their dog is happy with you, and they feel confident, then you will get repeat business from them every time they go away.

You can look after other dogs, even if you have a dog of your own, and many home pet sitters find that this is a great way to socialise their own dog and provide different playmates.

You do not have to commit to looking after any dog until you have met the owners, and the dog. It’s a good idea to do a few short visits, and then one overnight visit, to see how the dog will settle. Then you can be sure that the dog will get to know you, and your home before it actually comes to stay for a longer ‘holiday’.

On average, petsitters can charge from £20-30 per day to look after a dog, and overnight stays can be a little more. That could be £100 a week extra to supplement your pension, BUT don’t forget to make any declarations to HMRC if you need to!

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