Animal Businesses with Low Start Up Costs

Businesses with Low Overhead

Getty Images

There are many options for those wanting to start up an animal business without investing a great deal of money up front. Here are some popular options for animal businesses that have relatively low initial investment costs:

Pet Sitting & Dog Walking

Pet sitting and dog walking businesses have extremely minimal start up costs (and some providers choose to offer both options as a part of their services).

A key cost for these businesses is advertising, but this doesn’t have to be an enormous expense. Much of the design work for advertising materials can be accomplished on a home computer with a good graphic editing program. Business cards can be printed inexpensively in bulk through a commercial office supply store or online services such as Vistaprint.

Advertising materials can often be posted for free on bulletin boards at veterinary clinics, pet supply stores, pet grooming facilities, supermarkets, commercial office buildings, and other businesses. Some pet sitters and dog walkers also take out ads in local newspapers, newsletters, or magazines; paying for this exposure can bring valuable attention to the local target audience.

Other costs for sitters and dog walkers may include a local business license and a liability insurance policy.

Pet Taxi

A pet taxi service can also be started with a minimal investment.

Those who already have a vehicle will only need to purchase a few pet carrier crates and dog harness seatbelts to be equipped for service. Pet taxi service providers can advertise their services in all the methods mentioned previously, plus it would be particularly wise to concentrate advertising at area vet clinics or grooming salons (where busy owners might decide that the time saved by sending Fido to appointments solo is well worth the small transportation cost).

Customization of the service vehicle may be the best way to spend advertising dollars, as the vehicle will serve as a moving advertisement for the business. Logos may be added permanently by a professional painting service or temporarily (and cheaply) with custom magnets.

A businesses license, liability insurance, gasoline, and contract with a reliable cell phone provider are additional costs of providing this type of service.

Pet Bakery

Pet bakery businesses can be started out of the owner’s home, and products can easily be sold via a personal website or online marketplaces like Etsy. Online exposure can draw a steady stream of business, and pet bakery business owners can also draw interest for their products by offering samples at local animal businesses or getting products placed on the shelves of retail shops.

Bakers products such as pans, cookie cutters, and packaging materials can be readily purchased online at a relatively low cost, and these products can be used again and again. The pet baker should invest in a decent digital camera so high-resolution photos of the products can be uploaded to the website.

Pet Photography

Pet photography businesses are a bit more expensive to start than the options previously mentioned, primarily due to the need for quality cameras and related equipment.

Nevertheless, a photographer can get started with a camera and a few good lenses for less than a thousand dollars. Over time it is wise to reinvest some profits of the business into upgrading the quality of the photography equipment.

Pet photographers should consider creating a website that highlights their best photographs and the variety of options available to clients. This website link should be featured on any advertising materials and business cards.

Pooper Scooper Service

Pooper scooper services are amongst the fastest growing animal businesses in the marketplace today, due to both the low start up cost and the rising demand from the pet-owning population. The primary cost involved in starting a pooper scooper business is the purchase of equipment such as shovels, rakes, waste disposal bags, and related sanitation items.

Provided that the business owner already owns a pickup truck or other vehicle that can be put into service, the start-up costs will be very low.

The pooper scooper business owner can advertise through ads placed at area businesses, local publications, online services, or creation of a business web site. Low cost, targeted print advertising may be available through the postal service. Free ads may also be placed at the variety of animal businesses mentioned in previous sections.

Other minimal costs may include obtaining a business license, printing up uniform shirts with a business logo, customizing the pooper scooper vehicle with a logo and contact information, and any waste disposal service fees (such as dumpster rental or landfill drop-off fees).