Aside from dog walking insurance, start-up costs are pretty low for a dog walking business. The insurance protects the pooches as well as yourself and public liability protects members of the public and their property should something bad happen as a result of your business. Dog walking insurance can also cover equipment such as leads as well as damage a dog might do that wasn’t your fault. Bear in mind that insurance will need to be adjusted if you’re going to transport the dogs by car.
To get the edge over your competitors, enlist in some dog walking training. It’s not necessary to becoming a dog walker but clients will be safer in the knowledge that you understand different breeds and behaviours.
You’d probably be best walking any local dogs but if you live in a city, there’s scope to work with specific breeds of dog. You’re at an extra advantage if you live near parks and other greenery. This will also give you a sense of how you handle varying weather conditions and the fact that you might have to go for walkies in the dark.
Then it’s a case of getting to the marketing. The good news is that this can be all very basic and local, so you could get away with flyers and noticeboard advertisements. Local social media groups are a good source of business, as long as they’re OK with promotional posts from local businesses.
The last decision to make is how much you’re going to charge per hour or per walk. Factor in time, distance, size of dog and any car journeys undertaken.