Considering a Career Change?

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The pet-sitting industry is one that has recently started to grow in today’s society. Pet owners are becoming more responsible pet parents, and in doing so, the everyday needs of their pets are more often realized today than in the past. This is a piece of excellent news for those of us involved in the pet sitting business!

Over 50 percent of all Canadians owns pets. According to the Wall Street Journal, the pet owners in all of North America spent over $535 million on pet sitters, dog walkers, and related services last year. CPSA receives over 30 to 45 quote requests per day from pet parents who are seeking assistance. So should you start up your pet sitting career? First, ask yourself if you’re dedicated and responsible. Second, look at your potential coverage area – are there enough people in your area to support a full-time career?

Before starting any business venture, the essential thing that you can do is research. You’ll find the Canadian government has various programs that will help you plan your business. They can also guide you concerning tax issues, if a license is required, and other governmental regulations that you need to know about before starting your business.

Join associations, groups, and organizations that are related to the pet industry to get some right information from them as well. For instance, several new pet sitters have joined the Canadian Pet Sitters Association to network with other sitters. This provides access to the Members Forum in which CPSA members openly share and discuss various topics relating to the pet sitting industry. In the CPSA Member Forum, you’ll find information about everything from how much to charge per visit to how many dogs should a sitter walk at any given time. There’s also free access to sample forms and other marketing ideas that are available with membership.

Visit your local library to see if you can find any books on pet sitting. When buying a book, be sure that it contains the material that is relevant to your needs. Many of these books are very expensive, so research thoroughly before sinking $40 to $60 into a book. If you can review the book at the library, take advantage of that free service. Check to see when the book was printed as well. There are a lot of older books that give information that is no longer relevant. Remember, non-Canadians have authored most of the books written on this subject, and therefore, the guidelines for operating a small business are going to differ! Your local library can provide internet access as well if you do not have it available at home.

There are several different approaches to researching and developing your new business. Let’s look at some of the most prominent strategies, beginning with the initial planning stage in which you produce ideas.

First, you’ll need to develop several ideas from your initial plan. In other words, sometimes it takes more than one good idea to make a business work. The best foundation for a successful business is to have several possibilities for creating profit. This way, if your central concept doesn’t bring in enough profit, you can venture into other options. Or, if you want to increase your advantage, you’ve got other avenues to explore as well!

The success of your business may very well be directly related to the ability to produce additional ideas continuingly. This process makes sure that your business stays in touch with the opportunities available within the pet sitting industry.

Secondly, after you’ve developed your ideas, you’ll need to evaluate those ideas. It’s always cheaper to examine your thoughts now before you begin your business than to end up in failure because you didn’t carefully look at the ideas before you started.

After these two necessary steps have been completed, you need to prepare a business plan. This identifies the amount and type of financing or personal investment that will be required. If you are going to obtain funding, it makes it easier for your lender to assess the situation and your plan. A business plan will also help you to better identify with your customers and your competition. You’ll be able to outline your short-term and long-term goals while keeping reality in check.

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