House Sitting as one of your Startup Business Ideas
House sitting is one of the best home business opportunities out there. This simple, stress-free job can help you earn extra cash all year long—and all you have to do are the same little chores you already do at home. Here’s how you can make money house sitting:
What Is House Sitting?
A house sitting job involves taking care of someone else’s home while the owner is away. It typically works one of two ways: live-in or check-in. Live-in means you actually stay in the home until the owner returns, taking care of their animals, making sure the place stays clean, and tending to other chores the owner may ask of you. Check-in means you simply walk into the house occasionally to make sure everything is OK. This is easier, but usually pays less.
How do I Get Started?
All you need to do to get started is find a few clients who are willing to give you a try. If you’ve never done this job before, it’s a good idea to start with a relative or friend who already trusts you. You can learn what it’s like in a low-pressure setting and get your first reference at the same time.
Now it’s time to make money house sitting. Start marketing your business by bringing up vacations in conversation; people love chatting about their previous trips, and when they’re done talking about it you can offer to take care of the house the next time they head out of town. You can also look for ads in the paper or online asking for a house sitter, or put up your own ads to attract new clients.
At the end of each job, ask the happy homeowner to spread the word about you, and give them business cards that they can hand over to interested friends. Word of mouth is your best marketing tool in this business, so don’t hesitate to use it!
Things to Keep in Mind
Many people will be anxious about the possibility of a house sitter damaging their property or stealing something. At the same time, you have to worry about the possibility of being sued for more than you can pay over a theft you didn’t commit. The best way to avoid this situation and allay the fears of both parties is to get bonded. A bond will cover the price of any damage or property loss that you’re blamed for, up to a set point. Many homeowners will only hire you if you’re bonded, so this will also allow you to make money house sitting for more people.
You’ll also want to consider the animals you’ll be asked to take care of if you’re doubling as a pet sitter. It’s especially important to meet the dogs while the owners are still around. You may want to invest in pet sitter’s insurance as well.
Ways to Stand Out
A live-in house sitter has several opportunities to set his or her services apart from those of others. A great way to do this is to leave a small gift at the end of each job. For example, you can make a bouquet of flowers or bits of origami art and leave them in the center of the table. Another idea is to leave owners a fresh batch of cookies or brownies. People love seeing such a thoughtful gesture, and it doesn’t require much work on your part. Your clients will be more likely to hire you again, and if they do, they’ll soon start to think of your little tradition as part of coming home. This is a very effective branding strategy.
Once you’ve built up a group of clients, you’ll be able to make money house sitting all year round. It’s also extremely easy to combine with other work from home jobs or even a full-time day job. This might be just what you need to make some extra cash.
Use house sitting as one of your startup business ideas; provide great services to your clients and this can easily turn into a long term income earner for you. If you’re thinking of quitting your day job to work from home; check out this article.
Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles on Free Digital Photos Net.