I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was going to try dog sitting to make some extra money. It's a perfect fit for me since I love dogs and work from home.
I planned to wait a few months before writing an update. However, I'm going to jump the gun after a few weeks and declare it a success. I initially worried that I wouldn't get business because I had no reviews... and that would lead to getting no reviews since I had no business. In an attempt to steer clear of this, I put my prices below market rates.
I also went the extra mile to make sure that my profile popped. I took pictures of our yard that made it look especially huge. (It really is large though.) I waited to take pictures of our house until after our cleaning service came. I tried to show off pictures of my dog enjoying himself at home.
I don't know which played the biggest role, but the combination worked. It took a couple of weeks for the first request to come in. When it finally came in, a second one came the next day. A week later, I had a third request for that evening while I was sitting another dog. I write this having sat three dogs over a span of 10 days and having 8 more days of dog sitting lined up through the middle of September. Even at my cheap rates, I should take home nearly $400 in a little over a month.
It has some room to expand. I didn't get "up to full speed" until the middle of August when the reviews were in. We are on vacation now, which means losing a week of business.
Now that I've given some of the financial highlights, let's look at some of the low-lights. Maybe it's just luck, but so far the oldest dog we've had is 2. Our own dog is a mellow 6 years old. I don't know if it's just that these dogs are young or if it is the excitement of the new environment. In any case, they are super-charged when they show up. Sometimes they get they so excited they can't control their bladder.
With this business, we need to raise our budget for carpet cleaning supplies. In addition, I've found that these new dogs love my dog's bones and toys. The cost of these aren't really significant compared to the income, but it's not zero.
The biggest difficulty is really the feedings. If one dog is getting food, they all want food. Fortunately, our baby gates serve the purpose of separating dogs too. Unfortunately, it is still difficult to feed 3 dogs and 2 kids under the age of 3, which I had to do recently. It's not impossible and I'll certainly get better with practice... and just maybe a plan or system of some kind.
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