HOW PARENTS CAN MAKE MONEY AND GET FIT WALKING DOGS
(Thank you to my guest writer, LACIE MARTIN)
If you’re a parent, you probably weren’t expecting that having children would slim your wallet and send you up a few pant sizes. As Lifehacker contributor Melanie Pinola observes, even dads struggle with gaining weight after having kids. And while you may have known that having children is expensive, recent estimates show parents spend an average $233,610 on child costs from birth until the age of 17. Many parents are unprepared for the costs of things like diapers and daycare.
Lately, the term “side hustle” has grown in popularity as people young and old alike utilize the gig economy to connect them with freelance work. Side gigs allow people to build a sizable nest egg on top of what they make from their 9-to-5 job. Parents can benefit from these jobs as they come with flexible hours that can be accommodating for the busy schedule associated with raising children. One side gig, in particular, can have the double bonus of helping new parents get back in shape while making extra money: dog walking. Family Factor presents some things you should know before accepting a dog-walking gig.
The Benefits of a Dog Walking Side Gig
Starting a Dog Walking Business
In order to start your own dog walking business, you’ll need money to establish a web presence, market costs, and insurance. You’ll also need to register your business with the state, though you can use formation services to guide you through the process. Also, keep in mind that if you intend to operate your business using a name that’s different from the one you registered, you’ll need a DBA name, which will require you to file more paperwork. Again, you can use online services to assist you.
As a business owner, you’ll also need to network. There are currently several apps with the sole purpose of connecting dog owners to walkers and caretakers. These apps are convenient for people just getting started because they do their own advertising and have already established a built-in clientele. Unfortunately, these companies also take a generous slice of your earnings.
If you have the connections and motivation, it is totally possible to start your own dog walking business without the help of an app. With your own company, you are responsible for your own marketing. The good thing is you don’t have to reach out to people nationally -- just to dog owners in your immediate area. Instagram is a great platform you can use to reach nearby dog lovers; people love scrolling through photos of cute, snuggly pups. However, it’s important to choose the right hashtags so your exposure is effective.
New parents can make extra cash while getting in some exercise by picking up an active side gig like dog walking. Not only can you make money while burning calories, but you also get the emotional and psychological benefits of being around dogs and spending time outdoors. When starting your dog walking business, you can either use a third-party app to connect with clients or do the work yourself. While apps make things easier, they also charge fees for every dog you walk. Meanwhile, starting your own business is a lot more work, but you have more control and it is more profitable in
I am a mother, not a wizard. I share what is hard, what is scary and what is real. The rest I leave to you.