Your Pet Sitting Business – Getting Started

A pet sitting business is a great idea for anyone who loves animals. As more and more families have both parents working they have less and less time to care for their pets. Your pet sitting business will include walking dogs, visiting pets that are left alone all day and staying with pets while their owners are away on vacation.

What Does a Pet Sitter Do?

Pet sitting involves walking dogs, feeding birds, playing with kittens, staying with pets while their owners are away and scooping poop. It is up to you what services you offer.

Usually you will start off doing small jobs like walking dogs and checking on animals during the day. You need to build trust with your clients before they will ask you to stay in their home with their pet while they are abroad.

You will be looking after pets of all descriptions from goldfish to parakeets and from snakes to horses, so be sure to expect the unexpected at all times.

Pet Sitting Business – Legal Necessities

Dogs in particular can cause a lot of damage to people and property, so every pet sitting business needs to have insurance as well as properly drawn up legal contracts. This is what separates the well-run professional business from the teenager who walks a few dogs.

female pet sitting business owner with dogYou will need to check whether you need a business license because this varies according to where you live. In the United States check what you need at the Small Business Administration Site.

You will also need a business name and a logo. For your business name think *original*, search for your preferred name online to check whether any other nearby business already uses that name. Try to get your city into the business name  because people search for dog sitting services + city name.

Your logo needs to be original, pay a graphic designer to do it because it is going to be the image of your business. It needs to be professional looking rather than just a free one comes with Microsoft Publisher.

Marketing Your Pet Sitting Business

Flyers are the lowest cost way to attract interest in your service. Print them on colored paper and include your photograph with various animals. Walk around your target area and put a flyer in every mailbox.

Have some tee-shirts and sweatshirts printed with your logo, make sure to include your business phone number as part
of your design. Give your company tee-shirts to friends and relatives and ask them to wear them around town.

There are various databases of pet sitters where you can register for a fee. It is probably better to set up your own website before you start paying out money to third party organizations. Building your own site is much easier than most people think, and you can do it for free. People expect even the smallest business to have a website nowadays and it should bring you a lot of business.

Small Business Administration Site

Domestic House Cleaning Jobs – Starting Your Own Business

Domestic house cleaning jobs are available in every town and city in the country. This is a job that anyone can do, male or female, old or young.

Setting Up Your Domestic House Cleaning Jobs Service

House cleaning does not pay well. If you are working on your own, by yourself, then you are never going to make a comfortable living from your business. You need to employ other people and to establish a reputation if you are to succeed.

Employing other people is a big commitment that many people who are just starting a business are reluctant to commit to. It is best to test the waters first.Domestic House Cleaning Jobs - cleaner with van

  • Advertize your house cleaning services
  • Be prepared to do the domestic house cleaning jobs yourself
  • Call on family members to help if you have enough business
  • Advertize for employees

Legal Stuff

If you are employing people then you need an accountant and an attorney. Do not try to manage without these two professionals or your domestic house cleaning jobs service will die an early death.


The accountant will make your payroll tasks manageable. He will advise whether or when you should form a company and help with taxes. If you try to do all this yourself then your energies and time will be diverted away from the day to day tasks of growing your business.


The attorney will advise on contracts and conditions of employment. It is his job to keep you in compliance with all local laws. Having an attorney on board with your business will save you money and stress in the long run.

Marketing Your Services

Your prime marketing method is the lettering on the side of your van. You must have a van. Buy a used one because your customers do not want to see you getting rich from what they are paying you. Choose a white van and always keep it perfectly clean because nobody will pay you to do domestic house cleaning jobs if you cannot even keep your van clean.

Buy business cards, with personalized ones for each employee. Have your employees leave one of their cards every time they do a job. This encourages accountability.

Quality Control

Your business depends on how good a job your employees do and how honest they are. You need to keep a check on every employee. Set up test jobs with friends, where you offer to clean their home for free. Get the house key in advance and check what needs to be done. Leave money in a few obvious and hidden places. When your employee has finished, go back and check on how well the cleaning was done and that your money is still where you left it.

Getting people to pass on your name to friends and neighbors depends on your company reputation. Look after it, because once lost, you can never get it back.

Having an attorney

Yard Work Jobs – How to Set Yourself Up

Yard work jobs are always there, 365 days of the year. This is not just a summer job, though there is more to do over the summer. People need their leaves swept up in October, their snow cleared in January and new shrubs planted in March. Yard work jobs are about much more than cutting the lawn.

Yard Work Jobs – Getting Started

Almost every area can provide work for a gardener. Keeping a yard tidy is time-consuming and not something that everyone enjoys doing. Most people enjoy looking at their yard, but do not want all the work involved in keeping it looking beautiful.

This is your opportunity, as long as you are prepared to get dirty and to work in all weathers. Young people often offer a lawn-mowing service over the summer to try to earn pocket money, but to make a job of it and provide a secure income you need to be willing to work all year round.

Tools You Need to Have

  • lawnmower
  • strimmer
  • rake
  • grass rake
  • garden spade
  • garden fork
  • shovel
  • Dutch hoe
  • sheers
  • pruners
  • pruning saw
  • brush
  • trowel

Even basic yard work jobs will need these tools. There are other tools you can add at a later date like hedge trimmers, a chain saw and a leaf blower. These are all more expensive so wait until you have a  definite need for them before laying out the cash.

mowing the lawnMarketing

Once people see you are offering a yard work service your phone will be hopping. It’s just getting the word out there in the first place.

Yard work jobs do not pay well, so you need to keep a tight lid on your marketing spend. Start by printing flyers on colored paper, include photos showing you doing various jobs because a picture really is worth a thousand words and you will get a better response with images than just with a text-only flyer. Walk around your target neighborhood and deliver your flyers to every home and business.

Real world jobs, yard work in the orchard

Make up a plywood sign that you can stick in the ground wherever you are working. Just put your name, Yard Work and your phone number. If you have a trailer then attach advertizing boards to it in the same way. Do these ads carefully because you need to let people know that you are a clean and tidy worker.

 Work Diary

Hopefully you will soon be snowed under with yard work job for scores of clients. You need to set up a work diary to manage your different customers. This will help you to reduce travel time between jobs to the minimum and to ensure that you never miss an appointment. Total, 100% reliability is essential, because your aim is to establish a good reputation and repeat customers.


Gardener Girl In Orange Garden Stock Photo By Sura Nualpradid/

New Self Employment Ideas

The world is changing and there are always new self employment ideas emerging. People are busier than ever and many still have the money to pay someone to provide a personal service. Others will pay you to perform mundane tasks such as watering their plants when they are away.

11 New Self Employment Ideas

These ideas were not around ten years ago. The employment market is constantly changing as people’s needs change. There are two big factors generating new self employment ideas at the moment;

  • the aging populationnew self-employment ideas - pett sitting
  • increasing number of families where both parents work

Pet Sitter

Many pet owners are not happy about the idea of sending their family pet away for a week or longer while they are on vacation. Kennels and catteries may provide the basic essentials of life but pets come home traumatized.

Cats and dogs are sociable animals and are not happy if they are deprived of company and their familiar surroundings.

Read more about setting up a pet sitting business.


The best protection for a home is to have someone living in it. Many people are reluctant to leave their home unoccupied for weeks on end while they are away. This is where you come in by offering to live in their home, to do routine maintenance and generally keep an eye on the place.

Read about how to start a house sitting business in your home town.

Parcel Collector

Courier services and the Post Office are fond of leaving cards saying they are holding a parcel for you at their “local” depot. If both parents are out at work five days a week it can be very difficult finding time to go to collect the parcel. A local parcel collection service will save time and fuel costs involve in visiting the depot and many people will pay for his service.

Education Consultant

Choosing the right school and college can make the difference between success and failure. Parents look for help from people who are knowledgeable in all the local alternatives.

This is specialized knowledge that most people do not have access to. All that you need to do is to search for everything from test results to local staff appointments. It is the way you put this information together and compare features of different schools that will make your business a success.

Personalized Cards

Birthday and Christmas cards do not have to be the mass-produced in China variety. People will still pay for quality. You can set up a local business where you use your computer to design one-off cards for people. The costs are low, basically just printer supplies and margins are high.

Plant Watering & Maintenance

There are plant hire businesses available either as franchises or one-off companies, but these require a substantial investment. When people are going away in summer their plants will not survive without watering. You could offer a plant visiting service, or you could start a plant minding service where you take the plant away and look after it for a set period. You would need transport, ideally a small van, but that is your only expense. Many new self employment ideas require specialized knowledge or skills but this is one that anyone with green fingers can take self employment ideas - aerial photography

Aerial Photography

This is not so much a new self employment idea, but one that has become much more attractive with digital photography. People always love a framed photo of their home on the wall. You do not need your own plane because you can hire a plane and pilot for just a few hours.

There are heavier expenses to bear with this opportunity. The plane does not come cheap. You also need a good DSLR camera. Your photos will be blown up to 18 inches across, so they need to be perfect, a low cost camera will not produce shots that you can enlarge to this extent.

Event Planning

Social events like weddings, funerals and major anniversaries only happen very occasionally for the individual. This means that the individual does not have the necessary knowledge, contacts and skills to organize the occasion.

Corporate events is another field again, including team-building days, training days and conferences.

You can start as an event planner without any formal qualifications, all that is needed is common sense and a logical mindset. You will build up the contacts you need over time. It is best to specialize in one area at first and to establish a reputation by word of mouth recommendations.

 Conference Organizer

All you need to organize a conference is the Internet and a phone. You can either organize conferences off your own bat, or for third parties. Hotels charge a set fee, all you have to do is to find and pay speakers and publicize the conference to attract paying attendees.

Reiki Practitioner

Reiki is something that anyone can do, though you do need to undergo training. The training is very reasonable and is usually conducted by a Reiki Master in your own locality.

Reiki is an energy channeling system of healing that requires no “belief” for it to work. Your only costs are for a special table for your clients to lie on and marketing.


This is another traditional self-employment “job” where opportunities have increased one hundred fold with the Internet. Any artist can now market his or her work easily, either on third party sites or on his or her own website.

Ebay Middle Man

Lots of people hesitate about selling stuff on auction sites. It may be because they are not confident with the technology, or even because they do not know how to take a good photo. This is your opportunity to step in, help people and build a business at the same time. You can sign up as an ebay trading assistant through the ebay website. (This is number 12, a bonus idea)

How to Buy a DSLR Camera

Real World Jobs You Could Start Tomorrow

There have always been hundreds of ways to make a living by working for yourself, but most real world jobs take years of training and a large sum of money to start the ball rolling. Here we look at some that require no training and that you can start up for less than the price of a restaurant meal for two. We have ignored some “obvious” jobs that just do not make you enough money to live on.

16 Traditional Real World Jobs


Yard work, cleaning and dog walking are three real world jobs that have been around forever. They are open to men and women  of all ages who are in reasonable health.Real world jobs - Gardening

 Yard Work

Traditionally the preserve of teenagers over the summer, yard work can be done by anyone fit enough to use a spade and lawn mower.

Homeowners know that their yard needs maintenance all year round and anyone who commits to providing the service come rain or shine twelve months of the year can carve out a great business.

Yes, it helps if you have a horticulture degree, but you don’t need one for 99% of the work. This is one of those real world jobs where you can set yourself up for the price of a few basic garden tools. It works best if you have a small van or a trailer, especially if you are carrying a lawnmower and covering a wide area, but most people have access to suitable transport from relatives until they can afford to buy their own 4ft x 4ft trailer.

Read more about starting your own yard work business.



You might have more time than money but there are people who have the opposite time vs money problem. There are many families where both parents go out to work. These people will often be looking for a trustworthy cleaner.

With the aging population, many older people are also looking for help with their household chores, so the demand for domestic cleaners is increasing.

The set up cost here is minimal, just a few cards in local shop windows will start you off. After that it is largely word of mouth recommendations that will increase your clientele.

You might not even need a van or car for transport if your customers are within walking distance because you will not be carrying cleaning supplies in most cases.

Read more about starting your own domestic house cleaning jobs business.

Dog Walking

This is traditionally a job for teenagers, but anyone can do it. The busy lifestyle we live today means that people no longer have the time to exercise their dogs.Real world jobs - dog walking Dogs still need to go out every day and busy dog owners will pay you to exercise their dog.

If you love dogs and you are prepared to walk them in all weathers then this could be the perfect earner for you. You will get wet and you will need to scoop poop, but those downsides aside this is the perfect job for many people.

It does not pay well though and many dog walkers make it pay by walking three or four dogs at a time.

This is more a job in the city where apartment-living means that dogs have no yard to run in during the day. Your clients will live closer together in the city too, so you will be able to exercise multiple dogs at a time more easily.

Read more about starting your own pet sitting business.

Plant Nursery

If you have a fair-sized back yard then you can grow plants for profit. Forget bedding plants because the competition is too fierce from commercial growers, but there are plenty of other options.

A poly-tunnel will help, but it is only essential if you plan to sell through farmers’ markets. You can take cuttings from your established shrubs, stick them in the ground for two years and then sell them on for a substantial amount.

Just check out prices for raspberry bushes – raspberries grow like weeds! All you have to do is to stick the canes that you cut down into the ground and they will grow roots. Every time you cut off a piece of raspberry root, plant it instead of burning it.

Bamboo is another popular option, because it grows quickly and is easy to grow from seed. Pampas grass is another great plant to grow for sale.

Read more about how to start a backyard nursery business.


This is a job that many women take up and turn it into a full-time, work from home job. All you need is a car and you are a traveling beautician. If you have a spare bedroom at home, all it takes is a coat of paint, a table and some calming music.

Waxing, spray tans, nails and makeup can all be part of your business. You will find that word of mouth recommendations and a Facebook page are all you need in terms of marketing. A good manner with customers is more important than low prices. You are offering a very personal service that people are happy to pay for as long as they feel comfortable with you.

Read more about starting a beauty business at home.

Private Tutor

Anyone can set up as a tutor, though teachers are more likely to succeed. You can specialize in any age group and subjects and charge as much as the market will bear. If you are good people will pay whatever you ask.

You can either travel to your students’ homes or set up a room in your own home and have your students come to you. Marketing is just a case of a few classified ads in your local free newspaper. You can set this up as a part-time business alongside another job, or just live with the seasonal rush of clients and work 14 hour days when you can.

Read more about starting a tuition business.

Motivational Speaker

If you are a skilled oral communicator then this is a job that pays well. Expect at least $250 for a one hour session and $500 for a half-day seminar. As your reputation spreads what you can charge will double and triple.

A website and contacts are important in getting you work, and it will take a year or two to reach a full-time income level. Reputation is absolutely everything here; clients have very high expectations of someone they are paying $1,000. Research, excellent general knowledge and humor are all essential to success.

real world jobs - chimney sweepChimney Sweep

Many of us need a chimney sweep but cannot find one willing to visit. It appears that chimney sweeps are in high demand and can charge an arm and a leg to call out to you. There is a supply/demand imbalance that you could benefit from.

All you need is a brush and a set of chimney rods, like drain rods but they screw onto your chimney cleaning brush. A van is a necessary here, as well as a willingness to get a bit dirty. Soot is not nice stuff, so you need to be able to sweep chimneys without getting the entire room covered in the black stuff. There are simple ways to achieve this.

Your marketing will be ads in local magazines and newspapers, along with the lettering on your van. A white van, kept perfectly clean will enhance your reputation for cleanliness.

Read more about starting a chimney sweep business.

Drain Man

Drains become blocked – It’s a fact of life. Clearing them is not a pleasant job, but it is a simple one; all you need are drain rods, overalls, rubber gloves and a van.

Most people call in plumbers for blocked drains and pay well for calling them. In 99 cases out of 10 it takes only a modicum of knowledge that any handyman has to clear the drains. People are prepared to pay well because the job is a dirty one.

Read more about how to start a 24 hour drain cleaning business.

Vending Machine Owner

This requires a larger investment than most of the real world jobs on this page and is probably more risky as a  result. You have to be able to sell the idea of vending machines to businesses. You own the machine and place it in a business. You stock it and give the business a regular income from your markup.

The machines need to be in secure locations to prevent vandalism and each one is a substantial investment. One machine is not going to give you a full-time income. You will need at least twenty, which probably means paying someone to fill them up every few days, another step that many newly self-employed people are reluctant to take.

Window Cleaning

Window cleaning is a high profit, in demand service. You can no longer find insurance for window cleaners to climb ladders, which is why most businesses have disappeared. This is one of those real world jobs that has evolved though.

You can buy long-reach window cleaning equipment that will allow you to clean upstairs windows without ladders. It costs a bit more than a sponge and chamois leather, but is not that expensive.

Marketing normally involves knocking on doors, and you will need a mid-sized van.

Pest Control

We all live within six feet of a rat. Rats are just one part of the pest control business’s bread and butter. There are termites, ants, wasps and cockroaches as well.

If you can overcome your natural aversion to these pests and want to help home owners and businesses to deal with their pest infestations then this is a job for you.

You will need to pay for training and you will need a van with no lettering on it, because nobody wants the neighbors to know about their pest problem. Word of mouth advertizing is less useful and you will need to pay for ads and for a website to reach your potential customers.

Man and Van

There are many real world jobs that a man with a van and a ladder can do. From unblocking gutters to roof repairs and from house painting to aerial installations, the world is your oyster.

Once you establish a reputation as a man who will do anything you will find that your phone never stops ringing.

Home Baking

This is not very profitable, mostly because people are rarely willing to pay for top quality bread and cakes. It is time-consuming and it takes a long time to establish a customer base. Most home bakers sell through farmers’ markets because marketing costs are smaller.

It is better to find more profitable and reliable outlets for your baked goods in local restaurants and hotels, who can pass off your home-made bread as their own.

There are health regulations concerning any home cooking that you need to check up on and to comply with. You will usually need a separate sink for washing your hands and to have no laundry appliances in your kitchen.

Book Keeper

With the increase in people moving into self-employed real world jobs there is more demand for help with accounts. You do not need to be a fully-blown accountant to help a handyman to keep his books and to pay his taxes.

This is a job that has a very low bar to entry. Once started you can train and take exams to gain further qualifications.

Laundry Service

Most people are still in 9 to 5 real world jobs where they are paid a wage. This means they have little time for basic household chores like washing and ironing. If you have space for a couple of washing machines and space outside to dry clothes then doing others’ laundry is a possibility. Tumble dryers are very expensive to run and will increase your costs.

Ironing is a more common service that is offered, and one that requires less investment, just a high degree of organization. You will need a van to pick up and deliver customers’ laundry. Marketing is largely through word of mouth with the occasional ad in local newspapers.

chimney sweep
CPA Ireland

The Time Vs Money Problem

You know how it is – You have time but no money. The time vs money problem is converting one into the other.

The conversion method that most people use is simple – It’s called a job.

Problem 1 – A Job

A job is a problem on several levels. Finding one is the biggie.

But – this site is not about finding a job. It is about making your own. If you have in-demand skills and can find a paid position then good luck to you.

Sooner or later your job will come to an end and you will be in the same position again, perhaps you will find this site useful at that time.

It may be that you are “too young” or “too old” to find a traditional job, so you have no alternative but to create your own.

Problem 2 – Time vs Money Without a Job

No job means that you have no money to pay your bills. You have 24 hours a day but not 24c. You have to find or make your ownTime vs money job.

Making your own job is much easier than it sounds. Teenagers have always found summer jobs to provide themselves with spending money. Pensioners have always hired themselves out as gardeners. Both of these groups are well to the time side of the time vs. money conundrum.

Problem 3 – What Kind of Job?

You are here because you don’t know what kind of job, right?

The jobs that you can do depend a lot on your age (read life experience); everyone needs an income, whether they are 14 or 94, but the jobs you can do at 14 years of age are very different from the ones that a 94 year old could do.

There are real-world jobs and there are online jobs.

Real World Jobs

Real world jobs to help you get over the time vs money problem include the traditional gardening and cleaning jobs as well as others like dog waking, pet-sitting, house sitting and child-minding.

You may still need a website to publicise your services, but you spend your time out in the bricks and mortar world meeting real people and probably getting your hands dirty.

Find out more about real world jobs.

New Self-Employment Opportunities

A sub-set of real world jobs are those jobs that did not exist a few years ago. Some of these opportunities have come about through technology, others through the way society has changed.

The time vs money equilibrium has shifted towards people having more money and less time, so they are more willing to pay people to do simple jobs. This includes pet-sitting, dog walking, picking up parcels and assembling furniture.

Other jobs have developed through the march of technology, aerial photography and event planning are two major openings in this area.

Find out more about new self-employment ideas.

Online Jobs

These include writing, researching and social media management. You could develop website building skills or become a Photoshop expert: You could write ebooks or become a blogger who makes a profit (most don’t).

You definitely need a website to market your services because your customers may be coming from 10,000 miles away. You won’t get your hands dirty but your fitness levels will fall as you find yourself sitting at a computer all day.

Online, the world is your marketplace. You may be at one end of the time vs money problem, but somewhere else in the world people will have the opposite problem, not having enough time, but with plenty of money.

 Find out more about online jobs you can do from home.