Calling all professional dog walkers, pet sitters (including cat sitters and horse sitters!), doggy daycare, and home boarders! Most professional pet care people look into joining a trade association as a method of gaining customers and access to various benefits/discounts, although generally, it seems that most people stay members for access to the trade associations' private forums. I am of the opinion that paying a yearly fee to be a member of a forum is a little crazy, but the sense of community gives a sole-trading pet care professional people to bounce advertising ideas off, discuss methods of dealing with difficult customers or dogs in an effective way, express concern about tax, worry over dog or animal welfare laws, and share experiences (such as why we ask our clients where their water shut off switch is during the winter months - it might not have happened to me or you, but there are enough pet sitters who've walked into a flooded house who've shared their tales of woe!). Some trade associations are good, others are on the suspect side, but they all charge an amount of money. If you get benefit from that, fabulous - but if you come to your renewal date and find yourself only paying for their community forums...well, I might have a solution for you. My solution is also a forums, also private and away from the eyes of customers (Pet Forums are REALLY great for animal advice (I should know, I lurk and read a lot ), but not really suitable for the business side of things when trying to display a public professional image!). It is also free, and only available to professional pet carers. So what do we term professional? You must be treating pet care as a career (not a temporary job, not as something to do for pocket money), you must be insured, and you must be looking after animals (dog walking, doggy daycare, kennels, catteries, cat sitting, pet sitting, dog boarding, rabbit boarding, or other small animal boarding, horse and other equine sitting, and so on and so forth!). So everyone that is just starting out, to those that have been in the business for donkeys years...everyone gets the benefit of a sounding boarding for advice, suggestions, solutions and general community feeling, while still being a sole trader. As the meerkats say, "Simples!" If you're interested, shoot me a PM, and I'll send you a link.