Starting a Pet Waste Removal Business: Everything You Need to Know
If you want to find a way to help the environment and get paid at the same time, you should think about starting a pet waste removal business. This kind of job helps you to beautify neighborhoods and prevent contaminants and disease. Not only that, but this business also puts to use your creative marketing skills. Starting a business takes work though, so here is what you need to know.
A Typical Day at a Pet Waste Removal Business
As the owner of a pet waste removal service, what is a typical day like? More often than not, they travel to multiple clients’ properties to remove pet waste. The owner also spends time talking with their clients to gain their trust, talking to potential customers about the services you offer, and servicing your equipment. On top of all of that, they need to focus on marketing and advertising to make sure their business is gaining clientele and making a profit. They make a large variety of decisions, which we will outline below.
If you think you are a great fit for the pooper scooper business, you will need to plan everything out before you start. Starting a business takes time and money before you start seeing income. You will need to plan out your services, advertising, professional look, and all the legal aspects so more people will want to use your service. It is much more than just picking up dog poop every day.
Though the legal implications of owning a business can be overwhelming, you can easily break it down. Consider the following to make sure you are legally covered.
- Form a legal entity. This makes it so you are not personally liable if someone sues your business.
- Register for taxes. You need to register for both state and federal taxes before opening your pet waste removal business.
- Obtain permits and licenses. Depending on what state you live in, you need certain permits and licenses. If you do not have then, you could receive fines or have your business shut down.
- Purchase business insurance. If you have employees, you will likely need workers compensation insurance.
- Set up the accounting for your business. Having a great accounting system will make tax season much easier.
- Create a professional service agreement. Have each client sign this before you begin your service. This way, everything is laid out on paper, which protects you from legal accusations.
It is also extremely important to be professional when presenting yourself to potential clients. This includes your interactions in person and online. If the people you interact with gain a good impression, they can bring more clients to your pet clean up service. Keep the following in mind.
- Have a plan. You need to establish goals for your business so you can make plans to achieve them.
- Open a separate bank account. Having a separate bank account for the business makes it easy to keep track of expenses and income.
- Start a website. Today, you need to have a website to keep your pet waste removal business up to date. This way, potential clients can read up on the services you offer and have a way to contact you. You can also use social media to market yourself.
- Define your brand. You will likely be competing with other pet waste removal services, so you will need to figure out how to stand out. Make the public view you in such a way that they will be drawn to your service instead of the others.
Obviously, you need to target pet owners for your business, but what kind of pet owners? Depending on how you market yourself, you can convince several different kinds of pet owners to use your services. Some people are either too lazy or too busy to pick up after their pets, and you can do it for them. There are also many of the elderly who have pets but may have a hard time cleaning up their waste. It does not have to be dog waste either. You can offer to clean litter boxes and other pet containers as well.
Pick Which Services to Offer
Obviously, your main selling point is your pet waste removal service, but you can offer other services as well. Other people in the pooper scooper business offer a handful of other services to increase their profit. Your business can offer the following services:
- Application of flea and tick spray to the yard
- Lawn repair for yellow spots caused by pet urine
- Application of yard deodorizer products
- Pet sitting
- Dog walking
- Pet waste disposal (taking the waste to another disposal site instead of using their own trash receptacle)
Another thing to keep in mind is that you are not limited to residential, single-family homes. You can also offer your services to dog parks, dog daycares, boarding kennels, and veterinary clinics. Helping these kinds of commercial areas can also help spread your business’s name to new people.
On average, pet waste removal businesses charge 10 to 15 dollars per visit, which is usually once a week. On the cheaper end, clients are looking at about 40 dollars a month for your service to dispose of their pet poop. This is only for households with a single pet. If they have multiple, you will need to charge more because the job will require more time. If you offer services in a smaller area, you can easily serve four to six clients in a single hour.
You will want to charge more if your client only wants you to come every other week or once a month. This is because, once again, it will take more time to clean up because there will be more waste. If you are performing a one-time pet poop clean up, you can charge anywhere from 40 and 100 dollars. Charge more if the yard is especially messy.
You will also need to consider the prices of the other services you offer.
Image Source: Pixabay
Thankfully, you do not need any fancy equipment to operate a pet waste removal service. The most expensive part will be the car you use to store the equipment and travel to your clients. Typically, a truck or a van work best. You will need to set money aside each month to cover maintenance and repairs to your vehicle and to replace broken tools.
Other tools you will need include:
- Trash bags
- Waste container (especially if you plan to dispose of the pet poop elsewhere)
Consider the Expenses
There are other expenses you need to keep in mind if you want to start your own pet waste removal business. Not only do you have to pay for the equipment and vehicle(s), but there are many more. You need to pay for high-speed internet to keep track of your website and emails, and you need to be able to answer phone calls as well. You will need to pay for the printing of flyers, business cards, and other forms of advertisement. If you plan to dispose of the pet poop somewhere other than the client’s trash receptacle, you may also need to rent a dumpster or pay a dumping fee at a landfill.
Marketing and Advertising
Advertising your business is going to help drastically when it comes to expanding your clientele. One way to do this is to print business cards, which you can give to your clients and leave at different businesses. It is also a good idea to have business cards or flyers posted at veterinary clinics, dog parks, dog daycares, office complexes, and any other business where pet owners may be.
You should also be sure to utilize the many opportunities the internet offers. Post ads on Craigslist and create a Facebook page for your pooper scooper business. You can even place an ad in local newspapers and newsletters.
You can also advertise with your appearance. Create shirts with your business name and logo on it, essentially making yourself a walking advertisement. You can also add either magnets or custom paint to your vehicle so potential clients can see it wherever you go around town.
Know When to Build a Team
Once the work becomes more than you can handle on your own, you will need to start building a team. Ideally, you can send team members to the clients further away. This allows you to cover the close-by jobs and still have time to work on marketing and keeping the business afloat. You will want to pay your team members between 8 and 12 dollars an hour.
The Pros and Cons of Owning a Pet Waste Removal Business
Obviously, there are both pros and cons to owning a pet waste removal business. Here, we will lay them out for you. The pros include:
- Low startup costs
- Easy to operate
- No special education or training needed
- Environmentally friendly (Removing waste prevents airborne contaminants, reduces bacteria, and protects groundwater.)
The cons of a pet waste clean up service include:
- Exposure to unpleasant smells
- Hazardous jobs
- Research on local laws and regulations needed
- Working outside in all types of weather
- Several long-term contracts to make good money
Is This the Right Job for You?
If you think you are fit for the job, do not be afraid to start a pet waste removal business. They are growing in many cities because people are oftentimes busy and need help maintaining their yard and pets. This is a job that anyone can do. It not only provides income and serves other, but it protects the environment.
Image Source: Pixabay