Dog training businesses frequently operate from clients’ homes, kennels or parks. While some trainers rent commercial space, most travel directly to each client.
Build an impressive portfolio to demonstrate your work to potential clients, including before-and-after photos, client testimonials and videos of your projects. Make your prices easily visible online to reduce client window-shopping.
Create a Business Plan
An essential component of any successful dog training business, a business plan outlines its purpose, goals, operations, marketing strategies, management team member profiles and financial feasibility considerations.
Establish the type of clients you would like to attract, focusing on the benefits your services can provide them, like teaching them about dog attacks. Prepare a pricing strategy, analyzing the competitive landscape to understand where you stand against other providers. In addition, provide details about any value-added services such as free training sessions or discounts that might help.
Financial sections in business plans must provide an analysis of expenses and projected revenues. This allows you to accurately determine whether or not your business is profitable while simultaneously showing lenders that you have enough cash flow to repay loans or investments that might come your way. It’s also useful for documenting long-term goals like when you intend on training 50 dogs or reaching $X in revenues.
Register Your Business
Dog training businesses can be very satisfying ventures. You get to interact closely with both dogs and their owners, creating positive changes for both parties involved.
Before beginning a dog training business, it’s essential to do research on both the market and competition. This research can help identify your target audience as well as the ideal location for you to establish it. Most dog training businesses tend to locate in urban areas due to high concentrations of dog owners as well as greater demand for professionally-trained canines.
Next, decide how you’ll register your business. Options available to you include sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company or corporation registration and can impact taxation, personal liability and registration requirements. It is wise to obtain business insurance as this will cover accidents that might happen while working with clients and their pets – the costs can often be relatively inexpensive.
Create a Website
Websites are essential for any mobile-based business, particularly one that travels directly to clients’ homes or kennels. Create one with clear descriptions of your services, pricing structure and client testimonials as well as your class schedule and contact info.
Partner with pet-related businesses such as veterinary clinics and groomers to promote your business. Leave brochures or business cards at their locations, while offering discounts to their clients.
As most dog training businesses are sole proprietorships, using your Social Security number for tax reporting, you would use your 1040 form. But for additional asset protection and to separate business finances from personal ones, incorporation may be a better solution. Also be sure to get insurance covering liability risks as soon as possible and set aside some personal time every now and again – working too many 12-hour days without taking time for yourself can quickly sap away its joyousness!
Market Your Business
Once your business plan, a rough sketch of its business model, and all required registration/insurance paperwork has been filled out, it is time to start marketing your dog training services using various strategies – both online and off.
As part of online marketing, making sure that your website is SEO optimized and your calls-to-action are visible can help drive up sales. Social media platforms also can be helpful for advertising services offered.
Offline marketing techniques include building relationships with local pet stores, veterinary offices, doggie daycares, groomers and grooming salons to gain client referrals. Furthermore, many trainers find offering discounted or free training sessions as a means of drawing in new clients as an effective way of drawing in potential clients.
Offering training classes can also be a fantastic way to promote your business. For example, dog owners often struggle to teach their pups how to behave appropriately in public environments like coffee shops, breweries or restaurant patios; therefore providing classes to train pets to be at ease in such settings could attract potential new customers.