Be it saving time, managing your schedules or being able to be with your family while being at work, there’s undeniably a lot of advantages in starting a home-based small business. Still, regardless of how economic it might look to use your home as your work environment, any business requires some level of initial investment and planning, which leaves a very important question: What kind of home business can be both profitable and viably managed at home?
If you live in a large place and like animals, perhaps you might want to consider entering the pet niche. Working with animals can be gratifying, surprisingly easy to get into, and not in low demand.
Here I’ll present five alternatives for home-based pet businesses, each with their advantages and disadvantages. Depending on where in the UK you’re living at, you might need to do different kinds of paperwork in order to work with animals, so that’s something important to research before taking over any of these businesses.
One of the main concerns a lot pet owners need to face, at one point or another, is having someone take care of their animals when they aren’t able to, so finding someone trustworthy to do so can be a real bliss. Sitting can take two shapes: Either a daycare in which you take care of people’s pets for a number of hours, for example at work, or full-time sitting of pets while their owners go on vacations or business trips. Of course, though, combining these alternatives can be a good idea.
Advantages: At base value, everything that a pet asks from their human caretakers is love and nutrition, so if you think you’re able to provide both to several animals at once then you might find this job easy to handle or even natural. Of course, another big advantage is the high demand of the service.
Disadvantages: Pets can be a handful, and that’s especially true when applied to big amounts of those. There’s several factors you’ll need to have in mind when working. How many can I have around at a time? Is it viable to take care of animals of different species? Do I have a place large enough for the pets to play? It’s important to have these in mind and not biting more than you can chew.
One of the dog owner’s biggest struggles is teaching their pet how to behave correctly and follow instructions. And still, it’s not a task that anyone can manage. With that in mind, it’s not surprising for people to be willing to pay for a professional service.
Advantages: Compared to dog sitting, training is a lot less time consuming, requiring around an hour per session before the pet gets too tired to keep focus. A dog’s training works best two or three times per week and the sessions pay well.
Disadvantages: It’s not a job for everyone. Dog training is a skill that must be acquired and developed with time. It’d be wise for rookie dog trainers to take courses on the matter before starting a business. Also, this business might usually involve dealing with rowdy dogs, so one must be prepared for that.
If you have bathed a dog in the past, you probably understand why some people would rather not do it at home: It tends to be messy. Still, that also gives a business opportunity, since it doesn’t stop the owners from wanting their pets clean and fragrant.
Advantages: This is a business that can launch quickly. While there is some specialized equipment for dog bathing, it’s not that expensive, and even if you can’t afford it, using your very own bathtub and baby soap can be enough to get started until you can afford the specialized showerheads, tubs and perfumes. Given enough practice, washing dogs can become a pleasurable activity as well as a source of income.
Disadvantages: As it was previously mentioned, there is a good reason why owners would choose to seek specialists in order to wash their dogs. It is, indeed, messy. Dogs can get moody after a bath, and you might end up almost as wet as them.
A similar job to the one above, dog washing and grooming work great together. Still, of course, grooming isn’t just in demand for dogs, but also for cats and other furry animals. Every owner likes their pets to look pretty, so styling them can be a nice and entertaining business for the creative types, as well as a healthy routine for the dogs that get too shaggy.
Advantages: While pet grooming is a bit more time consuming than dog bathing, it’s a better paid service. As it was mentioned above, it’s very easy to merge them both, so it’s very viable to start with dog washing and then expanding the business to pet grooming.
Disadvantages: In this area, having the right equipment is a must. Grooming a dog requires using scissors, shaving machines and perfumes if you want to cause a real impression on the owners. It also requires extra care since animals don’t worry so much about standing still as humans do when they go to a hairdresser. This is a job that requires a lot of skill to be done right.
I put this down on the list since, technically, it’s not a business that you manage entirely at home. Still, I feel like I need to add it because of all the advantages that it has. Dogs love being walked, and not every owner has the time or will to do it themselves, which creates a very in-demand business.
Advantages: While this doesn’t apply to every dog, lots of owners will want their pets to get a daily walk or even twice per day, which means a payment on a daily basis and the opportunity to create a stronger relationship with the clients. You can walk several dogs at a time, which makes it far less time consuming than any other item in this list if the walks are scheduled appropriately. This means that while you will do most of your actual work outside, you won’t have to leave your house for that long. There is also a huge health advantage, since walking is as positive for you as it is for the animals.
Disadvantages: If you’re reading this list it’s likely that you want to work at home, and there’s no going around the fact that, as a dog walker, you will be working outside. Having clients on a daily basis means that you will need to be prepared to walk every day, so an illness or injury can have quite an impact on your clientele. It’s also better if you have no trouble using poop bags, because that’s something you’ll have to do a lot.
All in all, there are a lot of jobs in demand when it comes to the pet niche, and a lot of those can be started up cheaply and at home. Still, they all have something in common: In order to successfully work in this area, a love for animals is a must, as well as willingness to know more about them. As with any other businesses, they also require a level of general research and dedication.
The UK is full of animal lovers, so none of these businesses are in short demand. If you think you have what it takes to partake in them, they might be great opportunities for your health and your wallet.