I started my dog walking business in January of this year and after 9 months or so of steady growth I have concluded that, for me a smaller, more compact dog walking 'round' is better. Initially I found it oh-so-easy to say yes to any and every enquiry that came my way but often this took me miles away from home and meant I was spending way too much time driving, picking up dogs, driving some more and collecting more dogs before eventually starting my walk then doing the doggy drop offs once done.
A few months back I lost a couple of temporary customers who only needed me for a short while and also at the same time I stopped walking a badly behaved dog; lastly I was put in the awkward position of chasing a couple of customers for monies owed leading to more lost dogs. Initially this felt like a bit of a blow but it all turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the majority of these customers were quite some distance from my home and this left me with a core set of customers quite close by. Suddenly my routine changed and I found I was spending virtually no time in the car and at all and I was actually able to complete my round without the need for a vehicle at all.
So I have decided to be very strict with my dog walking 'zone'. Yes, my customer base will grow slower but I have enough customers right now and if I get a new enquiry and they live in my revised 'zone' I'll happily take them on but if they live outside of the zone then i'll have to pass it on to one of the other dog walkers out there. (I have finally made some contacts with other dog walkers via a very friendly Facebook Page).
I think my new 'no car' way of doing the round means the dogs are stimulated from the get-go (no time spent bored in the back of the car) and I don't have the worries that I know other dog walkers have about their vans breaking down, mechanical bills and time off the road.
Coastal Dog Walkers
Welcome to the occasional ramblings of a North Shields dog walker.