Welcome to October’s series on 31 Ways to Earn Extra Cash Before Christmas. In this series, I’m highlighting simple and legitimate ways you can earn extra cash in the next two months for those of you who could use a little extra cash to help you pay for Christmas — or just for your living expenses if you’re in a tight spot right now.
If you’ve found a great way to make extra cash before Christmas that doesn’t require an outlay of cash upfront, please email me your tip. I’d love to hear it and possibly share it during this series!
Guest post by Debby from Nutrition Concepts
A while back, I realized that many pet owners wanted at-home care for their pets instead of boarding them when they were on vacation or just gone at work all day long. And since I’m a huge animal lover, I started a pet sitting business in my community about 3 years ago — and it turned into a great way to make extra money!
I’m a dog owner and lover, so I mostly focused on catering to dog owners, but I also have a few cat owners as clients now. I give my clients the option of bringing their pet(s) to me or having me come into their home one to three times per day.
3 Things To Consider Before Setting Up a Pet-Sitting Business
1. Setting Rates
- In deciding how I would set my rates, I surveyed what local boarding facilities were charging. (I looked at Petsmart, Petshotel, and a few other local kennels/boarding facilities).
- Based on their rates, I decided on the following: $25 a day for one dog and $35 a day for two dogs (3 visits a day), $10 for a single visit and $15 a day for cats (single visit).
2. Creating Business Materials
- I made my own Pet Sitting Business Cards using Avery business card stock. It cost me about $10 to buy the business card stock but you could also make up your own using regular 8 ½ x 11″ paper or card stock and cut them up to business card size.
- I created a Pet Sitting Information Sheet to keep track of all of the information I need while caring for my clients’ pet. This makes it easy to know exactly how the client wants their pet fed, walked, etc.
- We have a community/HOA website that I advertised on at first, but all of my clients now come from word-of-mouth referrals.
- I also keep business cards in my purse or pocket to hand out to people I meet when I’m out and about and also when I’m out walking my dog in the morning and evening.
Prospective Client Playdate
When I have a new/prospective client who wants their dog to stay at my house, I have them come over for a play date and complete the Pet Information Sheet. I’ve learned to ask good questions during the play date visit to find out what the animal’s behaviors and habits are really like. As with all relationships, communication and being clear about expectations will make it a good experience for both parties.
Keys to Success
The key to success in this business (and many other businesses) is great customer service – I regularly stay in contact with my clients to let them know how their pet is doing, and I send notes to new clients to thank them for their business.
Another key is to find clients as close to your home as possible so you don’t have to spend a lot of gas money driving to home visits.
Pet sitting is a great way to make a nice extra income. Plus, if you’re an animal lover, it’s also a lot of fun!
Debby is an ex-corporate executive turned small business owner and nutrition educator who has a passion for life and helping others. She writes about raising healthy children and eating healthfully on a budget at her site, Nutrition Concepts. You can also find her at her Facebook Page, Nutrition Concepts, Inc.