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:Guest Article by Tyler Evans of Dogzasters.com.
Pet-based businesses are booming right now, in part because so many households adopted animals at the height of the pandemic when they knew they would be home a lot more. Now that so many people are going back to work outside the home, they’re looking for pet-sitters, dog-walkers, groomers, and other individuals who can help care for their beloved animals. If you’ve been thinking about starting a business, there’s no time like the present to make a move.
Start by connecting with The Animal Pad, a San Diego-based organization that helps dogs of all breeds find a new home. This is a great resource and a partnership could be beneficial for both of you.
Here are a few considerations you’ll need to make when you’re ready to get started:
Narrow down your options
Eventually, you may want to branch out into several different areas of pet care, from boarding to grooming, but in the beginning, it’s much easier to focus on one service at a time. Assess your existing skills and consider whether you want to go back to school or become certified in a particular area. If your business will be product-based–such as an online store where you can sell pet accessories and toys–you’ll need to think about details like where you’ll store inventory, how to build a stellar website, and how to fill any gaps in the market in order to separate yourself from your competitors. If you’ll be caring for pets in your home, how will you ensure their safety and comfort? Mapping out these details is essential in the very beginning, so take your time in the planning stages.
Get the legalities out of the way
Once you have a clear understanding of the type of business you want to start, it’s crucial to take care of the legal details right away. Form a business structure (creating an LLC is a common option for small business owners), apply for a business license, and settle on a catchy name that isn’t already taken. It’s also a good idea to apply for a DBA, or “doing business as”, name. This will come in handy if you do decide to sell different products or services down the road and want to differentiate them from your existing business; it will also allow you to secure a website domain if the one you want is already taken.
Get paid on time
When you’re ready to start reeling in customers, it’s essential to prepare a marketing plan and think about how you can secure the financial aspect of your business. Set up professional pages on social media to spread the word about your services, and look for online tools that will make both processes easier. It’s important to consider ways to make paying easier for customers, such as offering various payment options and invoicing them promptly; with an invoice template, you can customize a professional-looking format with your own logo, fonts, and colors. Making the most of the tools available to you will save time and money while ensuring healthy cash flow.
Manage your money wisely
Your business is making money; now what? It’s essential to make sure you have access to the right accounting tools so you can stay on top of your revenue. Look for software that will help you organize receipts for tax purposes while giving you insights into where your money is going each month. This kind of tech is crucial for small business owners, as it will allow you to manage your cash flow and minimize errors that could prove costly down the line.
Running a business takes a lot of time, effort, and planning, but when you’re working with animals it can also be extremely beneficial. Do your research, especially where marketing is concerned, and utilize all the tech tools available to you in order to make each process easier.
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