Last Updated: April 23, 2019 • Visit Blog Homepage

The average working-age American is busier than ever before. The 40-hour work week of decades past doesn't exist anymore. People are working longer hours than ever before. People are giving up their cherished weekends to perform tasks that they couldn't complete during the week, like taking a pet to the vet for vaccines. As they say, every business solves a problem, and pet taxi and pickup businesses are definitely helping solve the issue of taking pets to appointments when parents are busy. If you're looking at starting a pet taxi and pickup business, here are five steps to get you going in the right direction. We don't cover every tiny possible aspect of starting your pet taxi business, but this list will get you started.

1. Create a Pet Taxi Business Plan and Forecast Future Profitability with Spreadsheets

The first step you should always take when starting a new business is to write up a thorough plan. Is there a need for your business? How are you going to fund your business? What are you going to do for marketing and advertising? These are all questions that you'll have to ask yourself when filling out a pet taxi business plan. Writing your business plan should take anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks. If you're able to complete your entire business plan in a day, then you're probably not answering the questions as deeply as you should. Once you complete your business plan, you can start running some profit projections using our online pet care business profit spreadsheet. This spreadsheet will help you figure out how much money you can expect to earn during the first year of running your business.

2. Get Business Paperwork in Order to Become a Legal Business

Once you've decided that starting your business is a good idea, you'll need to start the rather boring process of getting your ducks in a line and completing all the necessary paperwork for your business. This means you're going to need to register your business with your state and your city, and you'll also need to figure out your insurance needs. There's a very good chance that you'll need to take out a special insurance policy for your pet taxi business. This might be done through your car insurance company, or you might have to look into commercial insurance. Either way, make sure you have your insurance set up and your paperwork filed before you start picking up and dropping off pets.

3. Build an Attractive Website that Highlights Your Professionalism

I think we can all agree, there's nothing worse than a poorly designed website. We've all seen them before. It looks like someone's little cousin built it during high school web design class. If we can give one suggestion, pay a web designer to create your website. There are a lot of really nice website builders out there, like Wix and SquareSpace, but you need to invest the time in learning how to use them. Creating a one page GoDaddy website that barely works isn't going to highlight the professionalism of your business. If anything, it's going to highlight the fact that your business doesn't care about appearance since you only spent a weekend building your site and hurt your business more than anything.

4. Create Partnerships with Local Businesses that Need a Taxi Service

Okay. So you've completed your business plan and you think you have a good business idea. You've got your business startup paperwork finished and you've just finished building your website. Well, now the fun can start. The best part of running a business, in my opinion, is the act of acquiring your clients. How are you going to do it? Where will you put up marketing? These are all questions you'll have to ask yourself. For pet taxi and pickup businesses, one of the easiest ways to start getting clients is to create partnerships with local businesses that will utilize your services. Take the time to write up a nice one-pager for your business, and then go around to all the local veterinary clinics in your city and let them know about your new pet taxi service. If they have clients call in that can't make certain appointments due to the time, they can casually mention that your business offers pet taxi services for the area and then give them your phone number. To incentivize vet clinics to start using your business, you can pay a referral fee for every client that they send your way. Maybe something like $5 or $10 per service. This way, they'll encourage more of their clients to start using your pet taxi service and you'll start generating income as quickly as possible.

5. Provide a High-Quality Service and Generate Word of Mouth Clients

Running a referral program like above is a great way to start generating some revenue. However, after a bit, you're going to get sick of paying out referral fees for every client that the vets sen in your direction. That said, you'll want to start focusing on providing the highest quality service possible for your clients, because the fact of the matter is that your clients have friends that have pets. Word of mouth marketing is the cheapest marketing available and it can really be a game-changer for a small business. One of the reasons DoggieDashboard is so popular is because of the high level of customer support we offer. Most of the new businesses that use DoggieDashboard come from word of mouth referrals. Focus on providing a great service and you'll hopefully start getting some "free" clients from happy clients that told their friends about your pet tax business.

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