Starting a Pet Sitting Business

Starting a Pet Sitting Business

Posted by on Mar 14, 2011 in Articles, Pet Care | 9 comments

starting a pet sitting businessA recent article I read got me thinking. People really don’t know what it goes into creating a pet sitting business. As Cary states, there are many websites that claim you can start your own pet sitting company in 4 easy steps.  HA!!!

My friends, if you are using a pet sitting business that used 4 easy steps, I would scoop up your pets and run fast in the other direction. I have created the list below to really outline ALL that I have done over the nine years Bella’s House & Pet Sitting has been making the pets happy in North Scottsdale. These are the things I had to do to start it and keep it running. I am sure I have forgotten some. If there are any other pet sitting companies reading this, feel free to leave a comment adding what I have forgotten. These are all the elements I help other pet sitters with when I coach then through Jump Consulting too! (in no particular order) Chose a Name Registered it with the State Paid for my LLC Researched and paid for a URL Chose Colors Paid for a Logo Formulated a Service Agreement Purchased Insurance Purchased Bonding Defined service areas. Did research to see what was out there. Researched pricing and came up with Price List. Joined National Organizations so I could get a mentor because I wasn’t well versed in the industry yet. I created fliers I printed fliers I went door to door for years! I made countless changes and updates to my website. My policies and procedures were tried and tested multiple times until I got it “right” I created a company culture I created branding specific to Bella’s. (That’s why I chuckle when companies in town say they are the BEST and their name doesn’t begin with a B like Bella’s does…) I figured out an Accounting Method ….tired yet? I gained relationships with vets, groomers, and other industry professionals so I could build up a networking circuit, learn, and have experts to call upon when I need. Created business cards Joined local networking groups. Started a Facebook, built it up, and post on it everyday. Started Twitter Created a YouTube Account (with over 70 video’s as of March 2010) Created my own pen and paper scheduling system. Found and learned an online system. Find pet sitters to work for Bella’s (tough!!! Waited up to 3 months to find the perfect fit sometimes…) Created an employee manual Found and hired a background company. Found and hired a payroll company. (went through 3 till I found the best fit for me) Got workman’s compensation. Been through two cars. Bought another laptop. Now are you tried? Purchased approx 80 TShirts over the course of the companies life, 30 Long Sleeve, and 10 sweatshirts. (Had to create the design for those too) Purchased Pens and Dog Bowls Paid for three rounds of Marketing Shots Created a Blog. ( Recreated my website (again). Paid to recreated logos to reflect the seasons. Learned about all types of leashes and walking techniques. Created booths for community events. Created unique events to bring people and their pets together in the community like the Yappy Hours. Created our own concierge program. Created a system for keys so they were organized and secure. Got a PO Box Created all online review accounts SEOed my website to be #1 in our area. Created unique services. …ok I am tired from typing! I am SURE there are many more things…. but while doing all of this, for the first 4.5 years I managed to do most of this …and do pet sits all in between this!!! Now… do you understand why we can’t charge what the kid next door charges? :) Professional pet sitting is  serious matter.  In fact, when I applied for Insurance, we are not the highest, but high on the scale because we are in people’s homes and dealing with their pets. Even the insurance agencies take the amount of liability pet sitters take on as serious business. This is why a professional pet sitter is different from the kid next door….


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  1. All so true! Pets are pet sitters’ passion. Who wants to go on vacation and have to worry the whole time if the kid next door showed up? Is he/she backed up? Will they remember to email/text you when you’re gone? Will you be friends with the neighbors if something goes wrong. No thanks! I’ll get a pro!

  2. There was an article written by PetSitUSA about the 5 reasons to NOT start a pet sitting business. I highly recommend anyone who thinks they have what it takes to be a professional pet sitter, dog walker and/or pet minder (where you offer to board peoples’ pets) have a read of that article.

    Then read the comments of that article.

    If they still think they have ‘what it takes’ then please contact me as I’m always looking for professionals to connect with :-)

    People forget that this is a business first and foremost. Never doubt my passion and love for my business and the pets in my care however I don’t forget for a moment this is a business. Lots of other sitters forget IMO. As you probably can relate ! xox

  3. As for the insurance part of the equation – I would love for more insurance companies here in Australia to offer insurance specifically for pet sitters. I did some serious research into it late last year and unfortunately there are only two “players” in the market here.

  4. Also what services..many of us offer more than just pet sitting services.

  5. Excellent list Bella! Most people have no idea how much effort goes into building a successful business. And to be a true professional pet sitter. Thanks for summarizing your growth. You rock!

  6. I love the “just go leave fliers at Petsmart.” Did the person who invented the Porsche just leave fliers?

  7. Thanks Nicole :) Glad you enjoyed! I emailed you, did you get it? =)

  8. Bella,
    While I haven’t done all this stuff to build a successful business, it makes me tired seeing how much of the stuff on the list I have done (and how much I can still do). Great article and great job showing that it isn’t easy as many people would think!

  9. Bella,

    What an exhausting list but so very true. When we closed a partnership and went solo and in a new area due to relocating, it was like starting from scratch. It takes several years and lots of hard work, energy and sweat. No matter what anyone tells you … it’s NOT EASY, but don’t give up. Nothing is perfect from the start. You learn something NEW each and every day.

    I highly recommend getting one’s self an attorney and bookkeeper right from the start (at least w/in 12 months of starting). We waited because I was pretty diverse with a background in Office Admin and having worked with attorney’s for years. BIG BIG mistake, now I’m redoing so much.

    Great article and it needs to be shared EVERYWHERE to all the so-called people who says I love pets and have my own, I can pet sit for you.


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