So you’ve discovered the dog waste removal industry and you’re thinking about starting your own service. That’s awesome! With over 77 million pet dogs owned in the United States, there’s plenty of work to go around and not enough scoopers. However, don’t think you can simply step into this profession without facing some challenges.
People will make fun of you
In this profession, you need to have thick skin. People will make fun of you. That’s okay because the joke is on them. If you set your price point correctly, if you provide great customer service, and you get enough customers you can make some serious money in this profession. So don’t get discouraged when people pass by a yard you are scooping and start calling you names and shouting profanities at you. These immature people do not have any power over you unless you give it to them. Brush it off and keep scooping. You are making a difference for your customer, their dogs, and the environment.
You won’t be an overnight success
While it is true that people don’t like cleaning up after the dog, this is not an indicator that you will be successful in this line of work.
If you are anything like me, you probably experienced excitement when you discovered this career opportunity. I remember sitting at my desk realizing that nobody likes to clean up after their pets or stepping in a land mine while playing in the yard. Connecting the dots to not having enough time due to other obligations, I convinced myself this would be a sure-fire way to make money. What I failed to realize was that there is no such thing as a “get rich quick” business. Simply putting out a sign that this service was now available would not be enough to build a viable business.
Over time, I learned patience and learned that the best way to get rich quick is to get there slowly. So be excited about your business but be content wherever you are in the process. Jesus said that if we can be trusted with little we will also be trusted with much. Wherever you are in your business, God is grooming you to go to the next level.
It’s harder work than you think
You might think it is easy to walk around yards and scoop dog poop into a litter pan. In many ways, it doesn’t take rocket science to do this job but just because it is a simple task doesn’t mean it is not hard work.
It is fairly easy to pattern square or rectangular yards. When it comes to walking a yard with invisible fencing, circular areas, or obstacles like trees, bushes, and pools, the task gets a bit more difficult. Add in terrain features like hills with a steep grade, rolling bumps, rocky soil, and holes you’ll soon discover that what was once an easy task is now harder.
Weather conditions also contribute to the degree of difficulty. Faced with extreme heat or cold, rain, snow, or thunderstorms, you will need to adapt your technique to be an effective scooper.
Besides the technical work of cleaning the yards, as an entrepreneur, you will also need to tackle the responsibilities of marketing, advertising, billing, and collections. To develop effective and efficient routes, you’ll need to solve the traveling salesman problem.
While you could potentially outsource these functions, if you are starting from scratch with limited resources you will wear many hats inside your business. After you have built up enough revenue to hire someone to do the work for you, you’ll be able to shift from the technical aspects of the business into the tactical.
This post is not meant to dissuade you from venturing into the dog waste removal service industry. It is meant to bring sobering thoughts to the excitement coursing through your veins as you think about starting your own business. If you are reading this and are not considering a business like this, let it serve as insight into the profession and let the ideas also apply in whatever industry you seek to enter.
Whatever you choose to devote your life to, remember these words:
The more you do it, the better you’ll get. The better you get, the more confidence you will have. The more confidence you have, the more you will attract customers.