When you reach retirement age, you might worry about how you are going to sustain the quality of life to which you have become accustomed. Retirement means leaving your job and not everyone is lucky enough to receive a pension. If you are worried about making ends meet in retirement and you love animals, you might consider starting a career in pet sitting. The pet-sitting business is not for everyone but it might be a good option to consider for those who love kitties and pooches and also want a retirement income.
Pet Sitters International
Pet Sitters International (PSI) is an organization of pet sitters that was founded in 1994. With more than 7,000 professional pet sitters around the globe, it is the world’s largest and most trusted association for professional pet sitters. The collective offers a number of services to members including education, promotion, and support to ensure that pets all over the world get the best care possible. Interestingly, about 80% of their members are over the age of forty. The most important skills you need to be a successful pet sitter are customer service skills and a passion for pets. If this sounds like you, then pet sitting might be the perfect opportunity for you to earn a sustainable cash flow in your twilight years.
Starting a Pet Sitting Business
No matter what type of business you have in mind, you should never start it on a whim. In order to be successful in your endeavor, you need to think carefully and come up with a business plan before you begin. Think about what kind of animals you will serve and what services you will offer such as daytime sitting, overnight services, in-home sitting, or other pet activities. Then, do some research to see what other pet sitters in your area are charging for your services. You do not necessarily need to offer lower prices to gain customers, but you should keep your prices competitive to entice people to contact you. In addition to deciding what services you want to offer and at what price, you also need to think about how you are going to advertise yourself and your services. Putting up flyers at the premises of local businesses is a great start, but you should also think about setting up a website where potential clients can go for more information about you and your services. Once you have a few jobs under your belt, you can add testimonials to your website and ask some of your favorite customers to offer references. (The humans, not the animals!)
Other Tips for Pet Sitting
If you want to be successful as a pet sitter, you should view it not as a hobby, but a business and a career. You need to think about purchasing business insurance and you should always present yourself to your clients as a professional. Running your business properly will help you to establish trust with your clients, which will keep them coming back to you. People want to know that when they are not able to be present for their pets, their furry companions will still receive the same level of care they would receive at home, if not better. If you are able to convince pet parents that their four-legged-friends will be in good hands with you, your business should grow exponentially.
Just because you retire doesn’t mean that you have to give up working. Your golden years are an excellent opportunity to reassess your goals and to make a change in your life. If you are looking for a way to make a little retirement income while also exploring and developing your passion for pets, a pet-sitting business might be right for you.