Last Updated: June 1, 2023 • Visit Blog Homepage

If you're starting a dog training business, setting your prices can be a tricky task. On one hand, you want to charge enough to make a profit and support yourself. On the other hand, you don't want your prices to be so high that they turn customers away. There's definitely a sweet spot when it comes to setting the prices for your dog training business. You don't want to charge so little that people don't take you seriously. High prices CAN scare away clients but they also attract others. It's a balancing act, but you'll figure it out.

Here are six steps to help you price your dog training services in a way that benefits both you and your clients:

1. Research Your Market

Look at what other dog trainers in your area are charging. This will give you a general idea of what to expect, but remember that different trainers have different levels of experience, certifications, and services offered. If you're just entering the training market, you're not going to be able to charge as much as someone with 20+ years of experience. However, that person with 20+ years of experience is also probably charging more than most can afford, so you can try to figure out a way to attract the customers that they are out-pricing.

2. Consider Your Expenses

Think about the cost of running your business, including rent, equipment, supplies, insurance, marketing, and any other expenses. You'll want to factor these costs into your pricing structure. It's tempting to charge just enough to get by, but at the end of the day, if you're not making enough to live your life, you're going to have to pick up another job just to make ends meet. Don't price yourself out of business.

3. Determine Your Desired Income

Figure out how much you want to make per hour, per week, or per year. This will help you determine how much you need to charge to meet your financial goals. Take a look at this dog training financial forecasting spreadsheet. Download it onto your computer and play around with the numbers to get an idea of how much you'll be earning 3, 6, and 9 months after starting. You can adjust the different values to find your profit sweet spot.

4. Decide on Your Services

Consider what services you will offer, such as private training, group classes, or board-and-train. Different services will require different amounts of time, effort, and expertise, so you'll want to adjust your prices accordingly. One of the most lucrative forms of training is doing board and train. This tends to happens with hunting dogs, but can also be for dogs that need a lot of work or pet parents that want to take a vacation for a few weeks and come back to a better-behaving pet.

5. Create Packages

Offer packages of services at different price points to make it easy for customers to choose the right one for their needs and budget. You can offer introductory packages, basic packages, and premium packages. By offering packages, you can also front load your income so that you have a better idea of your monthly and yearly income. If you're currently only charging per lesson, it's hard to know just how much you'll be making. However, if you charge $1000 for 20 lessons up front, you'll have $1000 in the bank instantly, and then you just need to work on scheduling those 20 lessons. Plus, you don't have to chase down your clients for payment anymore!

6. Be Flexible

Keep in mind that your prices may change over time as your business grows and evolves. Be open to adjusting your prices based on changes in your expenses, competition, or market demand. Also, if you have someone contact you about training, and the price is just a little bit out of their budget, think about offering them a private discount, where they can't tell anyone about the special price you gave them. They'll be SUPER happy with your business and most likely refer you clients in the future. You might make a bit less on that client, but their referrals could pay major dividends.

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