You have done all the basic necessities to start your business, now it is time to get ready for clients. The first step is to get your paperwork in order. This is essential to your organization.
These are what I would consider the bare necessities, but there are many more that will contribute to making your business much easier and much more organized.
Let's talk about what should be in your service contract first. Firstly, I don't like to call the contract a "contract". I like to call it a service agreement. It is essentially the same thing just with different terminology. Contracts have been given a bad name and therefore scare people off. Service agreement sounds nicer and less binding although it is just as binding. The contract should include the name and address of the home you will be working in as well as your name to show it is an agreement between yourself and the homeowner. This allows you to be in the home. It should then lay out what you will be doing there. You should have all your business policies spelt out and a place for your client to agree to them. Some of your business policies should include liability issues such as damage, aggression, illnesses, accidents, etc. You should also list your cancellation policy, payment policy, etc. There is a lot of thought that should go into a service contract and it should not be taken lightly. The contract is there to protect your business and your pocket.
The next item is your dog information sheet. This sheet will have all the dog's information such as breed, color, microchip number, shot record, birthday, etc. Then it will ask questions about how the client wants you to take care of the dog. This sheet should be pre-filled with all the questions so you will not forget to ask the client any important questions. When I first started my business, I did not have a sheet and just came with pencil and paper. I found upon returning to the office, that I was notorious for forgetting something which would result in me making a phone call. I then made an information sheet to help guide me in these questions. You can even give the information sheet to your client to fill out, but I would recommend you doing it with your client so you are both on the same page. You would then save this form for each future visit.
The next form is the veterinarian release. This is used to allow you to take the dog to the vet without baring the responsibility of the payment. It will list who the dog's normal vet is and gives permission to take to another vet if necessary.
The last essential form is the report card. This is left behind after each visit to document what you did and how the dog did on your visit. The client's like to read about their dog's day.
There are many other forms which will aid you in simplifying your business such as the medication permission slip which will give you permission to administer meds and give med instructions, the telephone reservation form will help in those phone inquiries and the satisfaction survey will help you get some feedback on your services.
All of these forms and more are offered in the dog walking package located on the Home Business Forms website. This package includes 16 dog walking business forms which come personalized with all of your business information for a low price of $39.99!
Once you have done all the above steps, it is time to start getting some clients.