Side hustles can be an excellent source of income, especially if you love what you’re doing!
Do you love to play with animals? Does your stomach get twisted in a knot every time you hear of someone going on vacation and dropping their pets off at a large corporate dog boarding business?
You know they don’t provide the love and care that those animals deserve while their owners are away, but you just haven’t had the courage to stick your neck out in order to watch them yourself. But, you know if no one else will, those pets will just continue to go unloved and neglected for months and years to come!
How to Make Money Pet Sitting
You absolutely love animals, so why not take care of them once in a while and make some cash in the process?
The basic rates of a dog boarding facility is between $12-$26, so that is the absolute low end of what you can charge for your pet sitting operation.
If you have a nice home and personally care for each pet (let them outside, play with them, take them for walks, etc.), your going rate should easily be $40 a day. Do you realize how much money you can make with this? If you watched an average of just two pets per day, you’d be raking in $2,400 a month! Cha-Ching!!
So how can you get started? How do you let people know that you’re open for business? First of all, take it slow. A highly successful business is never built in a single day. Build a solid base, do an amazing job, and ALWAYS satisfy your customers.
1) Reach Out to Friends and Family
When starting a small business, it’s best to start with friends and family. They already trust you, and most will happily encourage you with some business just to help you out. Don’t be embarrassed by this. It’s not charity. You’re providing a service for them and they’re paying you.
What you want to do is wow them. Provide a service that’s above and beyond what they would ever expect (wash their dog, send them home with a tasty dog treat, provide pictures of their pets having fun while they were gone, anything out of the ordinary that you think they’ll love). Then, they’ll tell their friends about your service, not just because you’re family, but because they really think that you’re the best pet sitter out there!
2) Encourage Referrals
When you’re starting a business, referrals aren’t just important, they’re essential. You need people to know that your business exists. Sure, you could spend money on TV, radio, or Internet ads, but they’re expensive and they’re not always as effective as you might think. Plus, you probably don’t have the cash to throw around at advertisements anyway.
The absolute best bang for your buck is to reward customers for their referrals. Offer them 50% off their next pet stay for both them and their referral customer. This way, you don’t need to pay out any money in advertisements and hope and pray that it’s effective. You’ll get real life customers AND still get paid something for serving them!
3) Start a Facebook Page and Website
Finally, your customers really need to be able to find you online. By having an online presence and a Facebook page, it shows that you’re reputable. It also allows your satisfied customers to easily refer you to their friends when they need a rock star pet sitter like yourself.
To start a Facebook page for your new business, simply click on the arrow in the upper-right corner of your personal Facebook site (see image to the right). From there, hit “create page” and then follow along with this helpful Facebook video and instruction page.
Also – helpful hint here – once you get 25 likes, you can update your URL from the bunch of random characters that the Facebook bots give you and change that into your actual business name! It helps people find your page and it also makes it’s more searchable! Click these instructions to make the change when you’re ready.
A website is also a great way to up your game in the business world. If you want to start a website, I always recommend iPage (see my step-by-step sign-up instructions here). They’re cheap, reliable, and they offer fantastic technical support if you need it. Click the link below, follow the instructions, and you’ll be well on your way to building a page for your successful business!