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What Price Should I Charge For My Dog Walking Business? (part 2)

dog walking services pricingYou're wondering what price you should charge for your dog walking and pet sitting business, right?  Well, you've come to a great place.

First, you may want to read part one on how much to charge for your dog walking services where we discussed a pretty broad set of items you should think about.  After you've read that, come back to this article because it's a little more specific than that one because here we're going to talk specifically about considerations when charging by TIME (not by the service).

So, you've decided to charge by your TIME spent.  That means that regardless of what service you're doing, you're just charging by how much time you're spending with the client's pet.  Probably a good choice.

Consideration number one:

  • What are the "time" options your dog walking clients can choose from?

For example, how much time are you willing to offer to a client?  And are you going to have multiple options they can pick from?  Let's say you're willing to have a 15-minute block of time that someone can buy.  Will this block suit all your customer's needs?  Will some need more time or less?  If so, what other increments of time will you offer?  Maybe 10-minute increments (so you'll offer 15 minutes, 25, 35, 45, etc) or maybe 15-minute increments could be better (15, 30, 45, 60, etc)?  You probably want to consider what your actual service is that you're performing and how long it takes you to accomplish that task before you decide on the time blocks you'll offer people. 

Consideration number two:

  • Are you going to charge a flat fee for your time or will the price vary? 

For example, will you have higher prices for weekend and super early/late visits or will all your visits be exactly the same price?  You can make more by charging for "premium" times (which are those times that you probably don't want to work) although perhaps clients may get confused by your pricing chart if there are a gazillion different prices for all times of the day.  If you're going to charge different prices for different times of the day, make sure to keep it easy for a potential client to understand.  Ever gone to a website and couldn't figure out how much the product cost so you just left and bought it elsewhere?  That could happen to you if customers can't easily understand how much your walking and sitting services are.   

Consideration number three:

  • Will you have "holiday" rates for your time?

Aside from weekend or morning/evening premiums, will you charge more on holidays?  You can probably get away with this pretty easily because most people understand that they're going to have to pay a little more for someone to come on Christmas Day or Thanksgiving.

Consideration number four:

  • Where are you spending your time that you're charging for? 

Do your clients live in a crowded city or a sprawling suburb?  The answer to that can have a big impact on how much you want to charge.  If you live in a big city and lots of your clients are all near each other (or maybe even in the same building), you're spending your time a lot more efficiently than someone in a suburb ever could.  If all it takes you to get from one client to another is a 90 second elevator ride, you can fit in a lot more clients than if it's taking you a 15-minute drive to get from one client to the next on the other side of that suburban town.  If you can get from one client to the next in a matter of seconds, perhaps you can play the price game a little more and charge less because you can make it up in volume.  On the other hand, a suburban dog walker might not be able to have low prices because they just don't have the ability to fit in enough dogs in a day to make the lower prices work.

Consideration number 5:

  • What's your time worth?

If all you're charging is $10 for an hour of your time, think about all the things you could be doing in that hour.  Is $10 worth it (or $15 or $25 or whatever it is you're charging for that time)?  Could you be making better use of your time in the office building the business?  In which case, you could/should hire some staff.  Or, perhaps you're perfectly content with what you're doing and it's working great.  Or, maybe your time is worth more than you're making and you need to get a job somewhere else.

What price to charge for your dog walking and sitting business is impossible to say without factoring these 5 items in (as well as many other variables).  So, think about it and let us know what you ended up charging via the comment boxes below.  We'd love to know what you decided and how you got to that decision.


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Topics: business 101, how to start a business..., dog business, dog walking

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