The annual Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey (HILDA), which polls 17,000 Australians, shows that 72 percent of pet owners (a massive 48 percent of all people interviewed) own a dog. It is clear that, with so many owners of man's best friend and more people treating their pets more like their babies or children, dog walking can be lucrative.
If you dream of working with animals and are looking for a fulfilling, well-paying career caring for them, you should perhaps consider starting a dog walking business or service. However, getting started is no walk in the park, so how can you get your foot in the door? Easy! "Paws" what you are doing and read our helpful tips on how to start a dog walking company in Australia.
Before you start caring for your clients' furry friends, finding more information about the business is crucial.
Market research is all about collecting accurate and helpful information about the dog walking business and the potential customers who may require your services.
The goal of this research is to establish the facts on which you will base your business decisions. You could take time out to talk to other walkers in your area or people working in pet-related businesses about your concepts. You could also speak to a few dog owners to get a feel for the potential of your proposed business.
With proper planning and sound data, you will attract more customers.
A successful business starts with understanding your local market, the financial requirements, and the potential for your business, then crystallising it into a plan of action.
You should consider:
The other important part of your business plan is the financials section, which contains your costs, expenses and income projections to help you predict your profits. Using your competitor analysis and market research, you can easily find out how much other walkers charge for their services per dog in your area, so you can set your fees, accordingly.
Although undercutting the cheapest dog walker in your area is an option, you should not view it as your sole option. Use your research of the market to establish what your potential clients are looking for. You might find that offering shorter walks for a group of dogs is acceptable to your audience, or you might be in an affluent area with people willing to pay top dollar for longer, solo walks and added services like grooming.
Establishing the state of the market, your costs and your revenue projections will help you prepare a game plan for your dog walking business, set your budget and give you realistic expectations of what you can earn.
Once you are satisfied that a dog walking job is for you, you can register a business name and set up an ABN and open a bank account. The Australian Government Business portal is a great resource to help you get started.
Your framework covers all the operatives of your business plan. It examines your customers' needs, what services you plan to provide, how you will sell your service and a way to bring these parts together to create a successful, profitable business.
Answering the following frequently asked questions from dog owners will give you a starting point:
Take particular note of the insurance that is required (including public liability).
Every successful dog walker in Australia understands how essential marketing is to the success and longevity of their business. In any case, most people can walk their dogs, so your challenge is to find, maintain and grow your client base and convince them to sign up. Fortunately, there are effective online and offline local marketing strategies that are not only affordable but also highly effective:
The average hourly salary for dog walker jobs in Australia is $24.10. However, your rates could vary widely, depending on the number of dogs you get to walk at a go and your location. Other factors also come into play, including your competitor rates and how many hours per day you will work.
As a business owner, you will need some skills in business administration and marketing to run your business. Clients are also more likely to be attracted to businesses that employ or have individuals who have completed formal training in the area of animal care so they know their pets are in the best hands.
You can get a nationally recognised ACM20117 Certificate II in Animal Studies or ACM30117 Certificate III in Animal Studies from Applied Vocational Training to give your clients the peace of mind that you have the knowledge to handle and care for their loved ones. Contact us to learn more.
We have been training animal care, horse care and veterinary nursing students for over 20 years in Australia. Students who undertake AVT courses range from high school-aged students just starting their pre-vocational journey right through to mature-aged students seeking an alternative career path. Graduates are highly respected and sought after by industry professionals, businesses and organisations. If you want the background knowledge and skills to help you secure your career in the animal care industry, check out our nationally recognised qualifications here or sharpen your skills in one of our workshops.
A recent NCVER VET student outcomes report for Applied Vocational Training graduates found:-