An Idea for a Small Business You Can Start

Start-up costs range $50 to $500,000+, earnings $5,000 to $2,000,000++, skills from knowing nothing to running an airline. Bon appetit!


Start-up cost: $5,000 to $11,000

Potential earnings: $25,000 to $50,000+ a year, depending on the number of clients you have and the services you offer.

Advertising: Place an ad in the business telephone directory; post flyers on bulletin boards at veterinarian offices, grooming centers, pet stores, and animal food stores; send direct mailings to local travel agencies, pet and animal associations and clubs; advertise on local cable television, in newspapers, and in pet newsletters, especially in the spring and summer months; rent a booth at pet and animal shows.

Equipment needed: Animal supplies (food, crates, leashes, travel carriers in case you have to take the animal for medical care), a dependable vehicle to transport animals in case of an emergency, billing and record-keeping systems, a business telephone line and answering machine, a pager or a cellular phone, scheduling book.

This business involves visits to clients' homes to feed and exercise their pets. Your services may also include a home security check, watering plants, or collecting mail or newspapers. Most owners of pet sitting services are bonded.

You will need to set up appointments with your clients in their homes to go over the services requested and to give them cost estimates.

Excerpted with permission from "101 Best Home-Based Businesses for Women" by Priscilla Y. Huff. Published by Prima Publishing. For more on this and 100 other great businesses you can start, Buy the book nowor ask for it at your favorite bookstore. You can also call (800) 632-8676

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