When I decided a month ago to take a “break” from my profession as a Nurse Practitioner and pursue my own business as a dog walker, I was scared. That first week of officially being “in business” I thought to myself, “What if no one wants to have their dogs walk with me?” I was pretty terrified. I would wake up in the morning and think to myself, “What have I done?”
But I called on my strengths. I’ve never owned my own business before, but I’m a smart and organized person. I called on my resources: asked friends who already had their own businesses, “How do I file taxes? What do I need to do to be a legit business?” My friend Kate was really helpful in this department. She had taken part in a seminar for women starting their own businesses a couple of years ago at Westminster College. She gave me a binder of information to look over and consider for what kind of business I wanted.
I looked at what other, similar businesses were doing: definitely have a business insurance policy. Have a structured rate schedule. Know where I wanted to take the dogs and how many I could handle at a time.
I called on other resources to start my business and start advertising and getting the word out: friends, former colleagues, social media, veterinary clinics, kennels, and specialty pet shops. My goal was to build one to two clients per month. I’m happy to say that all of my hard work has paid off, and I have 10 clients in the first 3 weeks of business. There are a lot of dogs out there that need walking! I feel so fortunate to have so many great contacts who have referred clients to me.
So for the first three weeks, I’ve spent some money, made some mistakes, fixed some mistakes, and made some money. All in all, I’m really happy with how things are going. I love being outside with the dogs everyday and I have to say, I really like the administrative part of having my own business: I love filling in spreadsheets and seeing my progress!
Several friends have commented on “how much happier” I look. I have to say that I agree with them: I feel a lot happier than how I was with my previous profession. I’m planning on sticking with this for at least a year and seeing where things lead. So far, the sky is the limit!
Happy trails and happy tails… #allgooddogsslc