One of the newer businesses out there is, depending on your tolerance for such things, also one of the most disgusting: Poop scooping. You go from home to home cleaning up pet waste. This is one of those jobs that has to be done but which a lot of people prefer not to do themselves. Enter the professional poop scooper.
It’s a very simple business to start. You only need transportation to the homes on your route and clean up supplies. You can do it part time on weekends, so it can be a side job. If enough people in your neighborhood want to hire you, you may not even need to leave your subdivision in order to make money. Rates vary in different parts of the country, but generally you can make between $6 per week per dog up to $20 per week per dog. You may want to fine tune your fees to compensate for the size of the dog and/or the size of the yard. If you have five clients with one dog each and you charge $15 per week, that works out to $3,600 per year. Not a bad chunk of extra cash.
To make your work easier and less back breaking, you’ll want to get a shovel or some other long handled scooping device. You’ll need plenty of plastic bags in which to put the waste. The only tricky part of this business is knowing how to dispose of the waste you collect. In some areas, it’s as easy as putting the plastic bags into the homeowner’s regular trash can. In other areas, pet waste must be taken to the landfill or to the hazardous waste center. If you have to use the landfill or waste center, you’ll need to pay the appropriate fees for a permit, so factor that cost into your rates.
Getting business is much like any other small business. You can advertise in the Yellow Pages, hand out flyers, advertise in local papers, and put a sign on your car that advertises your business. Most of your business will probably come from word of mouth. You can also advertise at kennels, veterinarians, and grooming salons (with the owner’s permission, of course).
You can expand this business as you want. You can hire employees and increase the geographical area you cover. (You want to start with a small area because too much traveling will erode your profits in the beginning.) You can start looking for commercial clients such as condominiums, public parks, hotels and campgrounds that have pet walk areas, kennels, and any other area where pet poop is likely to be found. You can also include other services such as pet sitting, dog walking, and collecting mail and papers for clients on vacation. If poop doesn’t keep you busy enough, there are other services you can add.
The big downside to a poop scooping business is that it’s out in the weather. Dogs poop in the rain, snow, and summer heat and you’ll be out there in all of it, collecting poop. For some people being outside is an advantage. For others it’s not. Take that into account when deciding whether this business is for you. The other downside is that it is physical labor. You will walk a lot and bend, even with a good scooper. You’ll probably also be the butt of a few jokes and this isn’t a job that will impress anyone. However, for someone who needs some extra cash or hates the office grind, poop scooping can be a good alternative.