ReALife LLC was formed and the PetCorps service brand was ready to get started.
But first, I decided to become a member of the Association of Professional Animal Waste Specialists (aPaws), a national trade association of professional pooper-scoopers. To become a member, I had to adhere to the association’s Code of Conduct and have general liability insurance on the business.
I obtained an insurance quote from Kentucky Farm Bureau, who wanted a lump sum payment of over $700 to insure the business. That was money I didn’t have and I needed insurance so I could become a member of aPaws and use their logo in my marketing campaign.
I inquired on pooper-scooper.com about insurance and someone suggested Pet Sitters Associates, LLC. I went to their website and found that PSA’s specialized insurance policy was significantly less expensive than Kentucky Farm Bureau’s. Since I had the cash, I purchased the policy.
Immediately after obtaining proof of insurance, I went over to aPaws’ website and completed my membership application by paying $85.
Now that I had successfully finished setting up my business it was time to start my first marketing campaign.
I immediately went to God in prayer.
“Lord, this business is yours. I am merely its manager. So tell me how you want me to advertise and I will do it.”
As I sat in silence, I listened carefully. I heard God say, “Make fliers out of brightly colored paper. Roll them up like scrolls and wrap a ribbon around them. Distribute the fliers door to door in the neighborhoods where you want to get customers.”
I obeyed. I printed up more than 200 fliers. The message was simple:
Too pooped to scoop?
For as low as $12/week, the professional pooper scoopers at petCorps will collect and dispose of all the unwanted pet waste in your yard.
We do the dirty work so you don’t have to!
I printed these on bright orange paper, with two copies per page in landscape orientation. After cutting the two fliers apart, I rolled them each into scrolls and tied a red ribbon around them.
When the fliers were ready, I hit the streets in a nearby neighborhood and distributed them door-to-door.
At the same time, I published a classified ad in the local newspaper.
It was the end of January and the phone had yet to ring. I decided to take a trip home to Toledo to visit my mom.
My grandmother was living with my mom because it was no longer safe for her to live on her own. She developed Alzheimer’s. Since I had become a Christian, God laid it upon my heart to go home to make sure my grandma was saved.
I grew up in a household that didn’t worship God. My mom was a Catholic and my dad a Lutheran but my family did not attend services at church or practice any form of religion. It wasn’t until I entered the Army that I finally learned about God and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. While that might upset some of my readers who don’t practice any faith, it is a vital part of my story.
Upon arriving at my mom’s, my cell phone rang. It was from a man named Rodney. He was an Army retired chief warrant officer. He said he had received one of my fliers and wanted to establish service. I apologized that I was out of town and set up an appointment to meet with him upon my return.
After getting off the phone with Rodney, I got a call from a woman named Jennifer. Jennifer had seen my ad in the newspaper and wanted to know how much it would cost to have her dog pen cleaned. I also set up an appointment to meet with her upon my return.
When I arrived back home, I had received two more calls. One from a family that lived off Black Jack Road in Radcliff and another from a soldier who lived in Rineyville. I was thrilled that my business was starting to pick up–pun intended.
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