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Dog Walking Services

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by Zayna, Apr 6, 2017.


  1. Zayna

    Zayna PetForums VIP

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    Hi all,
    What are your thoughts on these companies where you sign up as a dog walker/pet sitter? Are they a waste of time?
    My husband and I would love to do dog walking/pet sitting but although we've advertised previously we've never had any luck with finding work. I have found these companies online that sign you up and advertise for you. Are they worth a shot?
     
  2. froglet

    froglet PetForums Member

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    Hi!
    I advertise locally as a pet sitter (I own/run a small cleaning business but I also offer pet sitting) and I rarely get any offers.
    I think a lot pf people advertise and there's a lot of competiton.
    Having said that, I was out walking my pooch yesterday and I met a man who had registered with a well 'dog borrowing' site. He was with a lovely elderly Lab, and he told me he has a few regular dogs :)
     
  3. Dr Pepper

    Dr Pepper Banned

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    You've not advertised/marketed yourself correctly then. Or you live in the back of beyond with twenty related neighbours!
     
  4. Zayna

    Zayna PetForums VIP

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    We printed around 200 flyers and posted them all over the neighbourhood... I thought we would at least get enquiries but didn't hear a thing. We even left flyers at a local dog grooming parlour and didn't hear anything from that. I was quite surprised. Any other ideas for getting customers would be greatly appreciated.
    I do like the dog borrowing idea but I don't think you get paid for that. Of course it's not all about the money but as we really need to get some extra income and thought dog walking would be a pleasant way to get it.
     
  5. Lexiedhb

    Lexiedhb Team Ginger!

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    Did you set it up as a proper business with the correct insurance etc? or just as "we've got some spare time on our hands, need ya dog walked?"
     
  6. AlexPed2393

    AlexPed2393 PetForums VIP

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    People are looking for increasingly professional looking services so if it isn't presented and done in a professional manner then you will get less business. Especially as a new company.

    Cheap and cheerful just doesn't cut it nowadays sadly
     
  7. Dr Pepper

    Dr Pepper Banned

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    200 fliers isn't going to cut it, you need to distributing thousands. You'll need a decent website as well. Can you post a copy of your flyer on here, we may be able to see where you went wrong.
     
  8. Zayna

    Zayna PetForums VIP

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    We did look into the insurance that would be required and pretty much had it ready to go, I planned to start it once we had some potential customers. I also have a recent dbs check due to the type of work I do. Can't seem to upload a copy of the flyer I designed but it basically said dog walking services from £6, insured with dbs clearances then had our number and email.... Thinking of getting a few thousand flyers professionally printed and giving it another shot.
     
  9. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    You need a separate DBS, job specific for dog walking.
    I had three at one point last year...one for my job and 2 for volunteering roles.
     
    adamantis likes this.
  10. Zayna

    Zayna PetForums VIP

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    Really!? I wasnt actually aware of that so thank you for pointing it out. Do you know once you have one how long it is valid for? I know with my job I have to get a new one every year... Is it the same with dog walking?
     
  11. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    Mine in education last 3 years...

    My current job working with vulnerable adults I haven't been there a year, so unsure.

    It was I thought changing...however what's changed is the ease of getting another one done due to using the reference number from a previous one. Two of mine are basically the same thing...however I just filled in the dots, got the paperwork and was issued with one.

    Two of mine were 4 weeks apart, and technically I could have committed a crime. As we know basically they are 'out of date' as soon as they are issued.
     
  12. PawsOnMe

    PawsOnMe PetForums VIP

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    Advertise on your local buy and sell fb pages and if your town has a community page ask if you can post there too. I see a lot of people advertising dog walking/pet sitting services and they always get a few replies with people interested.

    I think the majority of people don't read flyers posted through their doors, they just go with the junk mail in the bin. Best asking your local vets, pet shops, dog groomers and other pet related businesses if they can put your flyer up.
     
  13. lullabydream

    lullabydream PetForums VIP

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    Good point about vets...my vets has a book with all local pet services in, such as kennels, home boarding etc. They also are good at giving recommendations too, so although you are new, that will not go against you they will just mention you are new and may have less clients...as your business builds the vets clients will no doubt praise your services to the vets..i have about my groomers, without thinking and am sure this goes to help recommendations.
     
  14. Zayna

    Zayna PetForums VIP

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    OK I'll look into the crb thing.
    I'll attempt advertising again, more flyers will help in sure but I'll try to leave them at local vets and groomers rather then just through people's doors.
    I think once you get one or two clients they will recommend you and it goes from there... It's just getting that first one or two!!
     
    lullabydream likes this.
  15. XemzX

    XemzX PetForums VIP

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    I have no experience myself but a friend of mine has just started a dog walking/boarding business and seems to have quite a few customers already. She has walked her own dog in the local park and community for quite some time and just built a reputation up as a lovely girl with good doggy knowledge and experience. I think a lot of it for her has been through word of mouth and her current customers and friends sharing her page on facebook.
    Speaking from the customers side of things it may help to show you have dog knowledge. I know, personally, I would want to know that my dog is in good hands if I boarded him and that they had good understanding of dog behaviour, etc
     
  16. tantrumbean

    tantrumbean PetForums Senior

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    I think the problem with flyers is that a lot of people assume if a business needs to post out flyers to drum up trade, they can't be very good. Some of my friends are dog walkers and their business is pretty much all from word of mouth. Flyers picked up at the vets, etc are one thing, but the ones through the letter box usually go straight in the junk mail
     
  17. EmCHammer

    EmCHammer PetForums VIP

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    Also with fliers you could post a whole street and only 2 peoole on thst street have dogs. Would it be better to target areas where people with dogs are likely to go or likely to look for dog sitters and walkers?
     
  18. Simon.

    Simon. PetForums Junior

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    Hi, Flyer posting is an incredible waste of time and money! I understand that every website you come across says flyer posting door to door is a great way to advertise - honesty, it's not!
    These websites don't run pet care businesses and are just regurgitating what used to work 20+ years ago!

    Long gone are the days of posting flyers, yellow pages and print ads.
    EmCHammer said you might only get 2 clients from a whole street, you would be extremely lucky to get 2. You would probably be looking in the region of 1 or 2 clients (maybe) per 750-1000 flyers posted.

    Flyers in local vets, pet shops and in local newsagents/small shops is worth doing because it will take a couple of minutes to go in and set them up. Put yout flyers in a cardboard stand (you can get them from Amazon/office supply shops) your flyers will look neat, tidy and professional and they will be standing vertical rather than a messy pile on the counter!

    Really drive down on your website and advertising locally online, we all 'Google it' when we are looking for something and pet care businesses are no different.

    Making your website your main advertising and marketing method will beat any other form of advertising - hands down!

    I've written a blog post that will help lay down rock solid foundations for your online advertising, you can find it at - http://petbusinessland.co.uk/get-dog-walking-clients

    Word of mouth is the only other method that comes close to using the internet to kick start your business, but at the beginning of your business, word of mouth is hard to generate!

    I hope this helps and PLEASE don't keep throwing money at flyer posting, it's not going to help your business and you will end up spending way to much time (and money) for very little or no return.
     
    Zayna likes this.
  19. Zayna

    Zayna PetForums VIP

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    Thanks so much for all the advice everyone... I'll check out that blog!!
     
  20. jessicapeige

    jessicapeige PetForums Member

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    CRB, or DBS checks as they're now known, don't last for a certain length of time, nor is there anything to say that you need separate ones for separate jobs. Most employers will request a new one, and then to be re-newed every 2-3 years, as it's only actually valid at the time of issue. You could get a DBS check back clear, and then if that person were to commit a crime, they'd still technically have a DBS check even if it's dated a few months ago. The crime would only show when another DBs check is done. This is the reason new employers always prefer to get new ones done.
     
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