Could be a good regular source of incomeHere's a way to not only start your own business and earn money but to keep fit as well! There are no qualifications required to walk peoples dogs but obviously a like of animals is essential. You need to be fit, should your business take off well, the strain put upon you walking up to four or so dogs of all different sizes and leg powers could be quite a lot.
Should you feel you need to know a bit more about animal care some local Colleges may do part-time courses, certainly knowing how to handle a dog is imperative.
Although not necessary, prospective Clients like it a lot more if you can brandish some qualification or certificate of attendance to Training or Competence.
On how many dogs you are allowed to walk, you must remember that dogs can have a pack mentality, more than four dogs could easily form a gang and control would become difficult. Also of course one may not get on with another which could mean you have to walk certain dogs separately. It is vital you know a Dog's personality before you start walking it, talk to the prospective customer in depth beforehand.
How much do you Charge?The going rate as I write (August 2012) would appear to be around £12 an hour. You may like to consider varying rates for weekdays, weekends and Holiday times. Don't forget you may have to drive to a persons house, so think about overheads in time and petrol and adjust rates accordingly.
Getting yourself known is naturally the key. If you're 'trading as' or going the full way and having a Limited Company, some of these tips may be useful..
Think of a catchy name for your Business, one which 'does what it says on the Tin'. Titles such as 'Scruffy Walkers', DoogleDog Walkers' (completely made up by the way).
An inexpensive way to advertise is to put Cards up in local Shops making extra effort in locations where there are more professional people and all the household are out most of the day.
Start a Blog. A Blog is as good as a Website and some such as blogger' are completely free to set up. In this day and age if you aren't on the Net, you aren't in tune. You can also subscribe to Index Sites, some are free, some are not.
Social Network; Facebook and Twitter. Using the right keywords and tags, you'll get heard of. The secret is to post on a regular basis.
Word of Mouth; probably the most effective way. Dog owners often know each other, they bump into each other on their own walks, they chat, word soon gets round.
This is vital in any Business and with Pet's you are dealing with living beings and the costs incurred to you in event of an accident or even one of the Dog's biting someone could be very high indeed.
All in all, this is a good source of earning extra income, but it has to be said you're dealing with live animals and unless you are completely dedicated to Pets and have a good knowledge of their behaviour, you need to be sure of your decision.
Plus of course, it isn't only during the drier warmer Months of the year!