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Pet Businesses

Aquarium Maintenance Service

Take care of fish and other creatures with an aquarium maintenance service.

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Business At A Glance

Aquarium Maintenance Service

Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Franchises Available? No
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

If you love aquariums–the colorful tropical fish darting from side to side, gently waving water plants, and those funky little bubble-activated deep-sea divers–then an aquarium maintenance service is the business for you. You’ll clean and maintain the tanks, feed and care for the fish on a routine basis, make additions and replacements as necessary and administer any special medications.
You can also set up and stock aquariums for clients who don’t already have them up and running, perform tasks like changing filtration systems, replacing plumbing and moving aquariums. And you can set up, stock and maintain ponds as well–water gardens complete with fish are the hottest new trend in residential landscaping.
The advantages to this business are that you can start with a minimal investment, part time if you like, and you get all the fun of working with fish every day. If you’re a fish person, this a wonderful business, but if you’re not a true hobbyist, you won’t be happy. Fish, especially those that live in saltwater tanks, can be very difficult to care for. You must have knowledge and experience in dealing with these delicate creatures in addition to a genuine love for them. You’ll need to have a real concern for your finny charges’ lives and for maintaining them at their optimum.

The Market

Your clients can be businesses that find fish to be relaxing for their customers–doctors, dentists and restaurants are all good candidates–but you’ll also do work for various other businesses. You’ll find that some of your clients will be private parties who love fish but don’t have the time, desire or expertise to care for their finny friends. And of course, you’ll have business and residential customers with ponds and water gardens.
 
Establish relationships with fish-store and pet-store owners and ask them to refer their customers to you. You can offer them a finder’s fee for each successful referral. (Don’t forget to leave plenty of your business cards for them to hand out.) Place ads in the pet section of your local newspaper. Send brochures to interior designers who specialize in commercial establishments–they can refer you to their clients. And if you plan to go the pond route, get in with garden and nursery retailers, and landscape architects and contractors, who can give you referrals.

Needed Equipment

You don’t need a lot to get started–some resource books and equipment like siphons, nets, algae pads, buckets, planting sticks and tongs, and plastic tarps and towels.
 
You’ll purchase fish food, saltwater test kits and any necessary medications but pass the costs along to your clients. You’ll also set up aquariums for clients, so you’ll need to establish relationships with fish stores or wholesalers who can give you good deals, or else stock your own home tanks from which you can draw.

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Pet Businesses

Tropical Fish and Aquarium Rentals

This is a colorful business idea for fish aficionados.

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Business At A Glance

Tropical Fish and Aquarium Rentals

Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

You can earn gigantic profits by starting a tropical fish and aquarium rental business, and best of all, this very unique enterprise can be set in motion for less than $5,000 and managed right from a homebased office.
 
At this point, I am sure you’re wondering exactly who would rent tropical fish and an aquarium? The list is very long, and if you think about waiting rooms, the list of potential clients can include doctors, lawyers, restaurants and business offices. The concept behind the tropical fish rental is this.
 
People who must wait in a waiting room need something to keep them occupied, and believe it or not it would be less expensive for businesses and professional offices to rent tropical fish every month than to supply customers and patients with costly newspapers and magazines. Once a regular clientele base has been established for a tropical fish and aquarium rental business, the yearly profits that can be earned could well exceed $50,000 or more.

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Pet Businesses

Dog Training Classes

Throw a bone to fellow dog lovers who need a little help keeping their pooches in line.

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Business At A Glance

Dog Training Classes

Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Becoming a dog trainer and starting a business teaching people how to train their dogs can be both a personally rewarding lifestyle and a profitable business to operate. There are millions of dogs in North America and, while a great number of them are well trained, there are an equal number of dogs and owners that would certainly benefit from participating in a training or obedience instruction program.
 
As the adopted owner of a 90-pound, extremely strong and stubborn Rottweiler, I can personally attest to the many benefits that both myself and Dana have received by enlisting the services of a professional trainer who ran both of us through the trenches, so to speak. The starting point for launching a dog training business is to first become a professional certified trainer.
 
While this is not an expensive or difficult certificate to acquire, it does require you to have a love for dogs and a desire to assist dogs and dog owners to lead a more rewarding and enjoyable coexistence. The training classes can be conducted from a fixed training location or on a mobile basis wherein you go to the client’s home.
 
In both cases the current rates for one-on-one training are in the range of $30 to $40 per hour, while group rates (up to six) work out to approximately $5 to $10 per hour per student. Selling books on training and obedience topics to clients, as well as specialty dog foods and equipment such as leashes and collars, can also generate additional revenue.

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Pet Businesses

Dog Walker

Dog walking isn’t just for high school kids anymore. Put your energy and love for dogs into action with this business idea.

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Business At A Glance

Dog Walker

Startup Costs: Under $2,000
Home Based: Can be operated from home.
Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
Online Operation? No

Business Overview

A dog-walking service is perfectly suited for people with time, patience, and a love for dogs. Best of all, with an investment of just a few hundred dollars you can be up and running your own full- or part-time dog-walking service in no time.
 
There are various styles of multilead dog walking collars and leashes available that will allow three or more dogs to be walked at the same time without becoming tangled in the leash. Acquiring this equipment is important because it will reduce frustration and enable you to walk many dogs at the same time, which in turn will increase revenues and profits.
 
Design a promotional flier detailing your dog-walking service and qualifications, and distribute the fliers to businesses that are frequented by dog owners, such as grooming locations, kennels, pet food stores, animal shelters, and community centers. Once word is out about your dog-walking service, it should not take long to establish a base of 20 or 30 regular clients. Dog-walking rates are in the range of $6 to $12 per hour, per dog. Again, walking multiple dogs at a time gives you your best income and profit potential.

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