Pet waste removal companies are in high demand and lucrative. Not everyone cleans up after their pets, leading to a smelly area and potentially spreading disease. You’re in luck if you’ve been wondering how to start a dog poop removal business.
While starting this business takes some planning and dedication, it could be the best thing to happen to you and your family. Here’s how you can start a successful pet waste removal business.
Benefits of Starting a Pet Waste Removal Business
While a pet waste removal business isn’t glamorous, there are still a plethora of benefits that opening this business provides. Some benefits include the following:
- Working for yourself
- Making your own hours
- Earning extra income
- Preventing the spread of disease from pet waste
Start-Up Costs for a Pet Waste Removal Business
Before we dive into the nitty gritty on how to start a dog poop business where you clean up after them, having a better understanding of the start-up costs can help set you up with realistic expectations and, therefore, success.
For the most part, the start-up costs are pretty low for this type of business, especially if you already have a vehicle you can use for work. Some of the things you’ll need to purchase you don’t already have that will contribute to start-up costs include:
- A vehicle to get to and from customers’ homes
- A trailer to carry the waste in so it doesn’t stink up your car
- Trash bags
- Pooper scoopers
- Rubber gloves
- Disinfectant spray
- A business license
- A website
Depending on the products you purchase, you can start this business for under $1,000 or even under $500.
Do Market Research
You’ll want to do plenty of market research when starting any business. The last thing you want to do is create a business with a service that isn’t in high demand where you live.
You’ll want to search on Google for similar companies in the area, make sure the market isn’t over-saturated, and, if it is, ways you can stand out amongst competitors.
Here are some questions you should think about as you conduct market research for a pet waste removal business:
- Do people need and want poop removal services in my area?
- How many potential customers would be interested in this service?
- What is the average cost of pet waste removal in my area?
- Can I service the areas where this is in high demand?
- How many other pet waste removal companies are operating in my area?
As you identify your competitors, you can research them to see their strengths and weaknesses. This will help you find ways to stand out and corner a part of the market they haven’t yet. For example, you can offer a lower rate, environmentally friendly removal, or different hours that might be more appealing to some customers.
Create a Business Plan
Starting a dog poop removal business requires a solid business plan. After you do some research in your market, you can get to making your business plan.
Remember, you can alter your business plan as you need, but getting something on paper will help you get started. You should include a few things in your pet waste removal business plan.
Determine Your Service Location
First, you’ll want to define your service area clearly for your business plan. Depending on where you live, you might need to isolate specific areas of town you’re willing to cover with your services.
You can always expand your service location later as you hire more people or have more availability.
Clearly defining your service location will allow you to target customers in that area and make your job easier by not constantly bouncing all over town when you’re just getting started.
Set Your Prices
Next, you’ll want to decide what your prices will be. The best way to determine how much you’ll charge for your services is to look at what other pet waste removal companies are charging in your area. You’ll likely want to charge around the same or even cheaper to be more appealing to potential customers.
Whatever you charge, you’ll want to make sure that it’s enough to make a profit or, at the bare minimum, break even in the beginning.
Another thing to think about with pricing is how you’ll charge. Do you want to charge per hour? Per square foot of the yard, you’re cleaning up? It’s up to you, but determining this before taking on customers is vital.
Establish Your Work Hours
Lastly, you need to decide on your business hours. Most people go with traditional business hours and weekends, but you might need to alter these depending on what you can feasibly do.
If you’re just starting out and it’s only a part-time thing at the moment, then you need to choose hours that will bring in the most business.
You can always alter your hours as you grow and have more people helping you with your pet waste removal business.
Gather the Necessary Equipment and Supplies
Before you can get started, you’ll need to get all the equipment you need to perform the job well. What you’ll need depends on your removal method, but generally, you’ll need trash bags, pooper scoopers, gloves, and other items mentioned in our start-up costs section.
Once you’re ready to start cleaning up pet waste, you need to find customers! The best way to do this when you’re first starting out is by word of mouth.
You can start by helping out neighbors, friends, and family who will likely mention your business to others. Eventually, people will find you on their own, but this is the best way to gather clients in the beginning stages.
Market Your Business
You’ll want to market your business when you’re not busy scooping poop. You can do this without breaking the bank by creating flyers and hanging them in public places, getting business cards, and offering discounts for first-time customers.
Another way to market your business is going door to door in neighborhoods you service or leaving your flier or business card at people’s front doors.
Once you start getting your pooper scooper business off the ground, you might want to consider expanding. As the owner, you might need to take on more administrative duties, leaving less time to be in the field.
Hiring people to cover different areas of town, market your business, and more can be the best thing to happen to your business. While this brings additional costs, it can allow for a better work-life balance. If you want to expand, make sure you have the funds to do so beforehand.
If you’ve been wondering how to start a pooper scooper business, that’s everything you need to know. These businesses are highly lucrative in areas with many pets and can help you become a business owner with minimal start-up and overhead costs.
As you build your pet waste removal business, utilizing pet services software can help you organize your client list, handle scheduling, and more to keep your life stress-free. For those interested in starting a pet waste removal business, remember to do your research and be ready to do the brunt of the work, at least in the beginning.