Why we got into the Pooper Scooper Business.
How Clevens K-9 Scoop got started.
One of the first questions asked when I meet a new client or tell someone what I do is, “Why did you start a Pooper Scooper business?” There are many reasons why owning your own business and being your own boss is rewarding. However, when we started Clevens K-9 Scoop, Michael and I were getting married and weddings are expensive! We needed to figure out a way to earn some extra money while keeping our full-time jobs. Starting a pooper scooper business seemed liked a natural fit.
Michael was working for his cousin’s paving company and I was in Pharmaceutical sales. Recently engaged and overwhelmed by wedding planning, Michael had the idea that this is something he could do after work and on weekends. He likes being outdoors and we love dogs so this was perfect.
In the beginning
I can’t stress enough, that in the beginning, Michael was the one pushing this idea. I thought he was nuts. I had never heard of the pooper scooper industry. I had no idea that there were business out there ready to clean up the dog poop from your yard. I didn’t think people would want or need this type of dog related service. I was so wrong!
Our friends laughed at the idea of starting a pooper scooper business. They thought it was a silly idea. Even some family members said Michael and I were wasting our time and education pursuing this idea. Luckily, we did not listen to them.
Why we picked a pooper scooper business
The more I thought about it, the more I realized a pooper scooper business was like any other type of service. People are busy and value their limited amount of free time. Clevens K-9 Scoop gives this limited free time back to its clients. The poop scooping has to get done and we are more effective and efficient than your typical dog owner. Pair that with being affordable and we knew this idea would work.
About six months after Michael mentioned starting a pooper scooper business, I got behind him and agreed that we could do this. I liked the idea of creating a business with my soon to be husband. We work well together and I knew we would be a great team.
After printing a few business cards, getting car magnets, and telling everyone we knew that we started a pooper scooper business, the calls started to slowly come in. Our very first clients were neighbors in Wynnewood, PA. I think the one neighbor saw our flyer hanging up at the Acme and called us. I remember my excitement after taking her call. This could work! And it did. The pooper scooper business slowly grew to other parts of the Main Line and Delaware County. For our first year in business we had around ½ day’s worth of work and it was perfect for us.
Our first year
After about a year, I took the leap of faith by quitting my full time job to manage Clevens K-9 Scoop. That was over 14 years ago and it was a great decision! I hope our clients, both 2 and 4 legged, agree.
If you are thinking of starting your own pooper scooper business, leave a comment below!
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I just started a pooper scooper business in St. Joseph, MO. We’ve been in business for about 2 months now and we have 6-7 clients. It’s hard finding new clients without door knocking, so I was wondering. How do you guys find more clients?
Thanks for responding to my blog Scooper Troopers. This can be a slow to grow business but 6-7 clients in two months is great. People don’t necessarily know Pooper Scooper businesses exist. Do you have your vehicle wrapped or lettered? Do you have a website and social media pages? Have you gone to your local pet stores/vets and dropped off business cards? Also, are you a member of aPaws (Association of Professional Animal Waste Specialist)? The trade association talks a lot about gaining new clients on its private Facebook page. Keep in mind the busiest time of year for Pooper Scoopers in colder climates is usually Feb-May. When the weather breaks and people want to get in to their yards, that’s when they start calling for service. What have you tried?
We joined lot’s of buy and sell groups on Facebook and find it relatively easy to find work.
I’m interested in starting a pooper scooper business in Raleigh,NC but wasn’t sure of the pricing I should go with. How did you come up with the pricing
Hi Damike, good question! I would search out other pooper scoopers in Raleigh to see what they charge to give you a good idea of what your competition charges. Pricing can depend on many factors like #of dogs, frequency of clean-ups, and size of area to be cleaned. What were you thinking of pricing?
I am doing a business management project. My product I have chosen is a pooper vacuum. Would you PLEASE be so kind in helping me segmenting the market. like describing what the ideal client would be like. I am struggling and it would help so much. Thanks in advance!
Hi Denice, Are you looking for market segment information on those that would use a poop vacuum or a pooper scooper service? Also, the target markets would be different for each. I am happy to help in anyway I can.
This is a great story of being an entrepreneur and starting a business. I am glad things turned out well for you. I do see that there is a need for backyard pet waste removal fairfield county ct. Time is valuable and sometime people do not have the time to pick up the waste from their pets. This service is needed.
I agree, John. This service is just scratching the surface in terms of the public knowing they can hire out this chore of scooping the poop. Fairfield County, CT has a few scoopers that I know of but there is room for more with significant growth in that area.
Hi there. I’m so glad I found your story. I was considering starting up a puppy waste removal business when I realized there aren’t any in my area. I live in Florida so it would be a year round service. But I am nervous and leery about taking the first step. I’m more interested in being a business owner and wasn’t sure if this was something I would need to just do all by myself first and then maybe someday hire someone on? Could you give me an idea of income potential for long term? My other consideration is investing in a mobile dog grooming franchise. But that seems considerably more complicated and I like the idea of truly working for myself. Not to mention those involve about $150g upfront start up cost. I’m trying to make the smartest decision for myself and do as much research as I can since I’m doing all of this by myself. I’m a 45 year old female. My husband of 16 years passed away 7 months ago from pancreatic cancer. So I’m trying to rebuild my life and starting a business I can fully involve myself in is something I really look forward to. Thank you for your insight and advice. 🙂 And good for you guys!!! 🙂
Hi Jenn. Thanks for your comments. Being a business owner has many rewards but it is also a lot of work. I am happy to answer your questions if you would like to email me directly at email@example.com. I also offer consulting services for business owners who are just starting out or looking to take their business to the next level. This line of work does take some time to grow but if you are looking to work your routes first with the idea of hiring employees down the line, I can lead you in the right direction to get your business booming fast. There are also some trade organizations that you can use as a resouce. Have you ever looked in to aPaws? I look forward to hearing from you!
We started our poop scooping business in Scotland some months ago and joined APAWS straight away. I believe that Aable Poop Scoopers are the only UK members. APAWS and our SEPA registration (Scottish Environmental Protection Agency) has done a lot to increase our credability and in turn grow our business. Social media such as Facebook is also a great booster.
That’s great you are getting the word out! Most of our clients didn’t know a business like ours exist until a friend or neighbor tells them about us. Good Luck!
I know this post was over almost a year ago, however I am just starting and setting up the business. I am questioning if it is necessary for me to have a website before I really get started, what are your thoughts?
I’ve been interested in starting this as a business, but I just have such a hard time coming up with logos and a business name. I’m not the most creative person lol. Any advice for how to come up with a name and logo?
this is so awesome to see! I just started ” Dogs Poop, We Scoop!” and like you said it has been slow due to snow being on the ground. The problem I have had is making sure people are truthful with how many dogs they have. And also what is a good rate to charge someone that has 2 or 3 hours of pooper scooping, as I have done 2 yard each 3 hours and only earned 55$ on each yard. I feel like I am not charging enough for really bad yards that haven’t been picked up in at least a year. Facebook ads and radio ads have been huge for me.
Hi Kyle, glad to hear you started your business and getting to work! We bill initial or 1 x only clean-ups by time since it is hard to estimate how long it will take to clean weeks or months worth of waste. I believe that to be the fairest way for the clients and us. Not sure what area you are in, but checkout other scoopers websites to see their pricing. That should give you some guidance. Or join aPaws, the Association of Profession Animal Waste Sevice. They have a great private facebook page where you can ask those questions and get great responses from seasoned professionals. Good Luck!
Thank you Tracy! So I was asked to do a dog show which is 4 days 8:30 to 4pm. Have you ever done dog shows? What is a typical charge? I wanna be fair but also don’t wanna get taken advantage of which has happened a lot. People like to lie about the amount of waste or how long it’s been.
Did they ask you to bid on the job or are they offering advertising as payment? In my experience, they usually offer advertising as payment. What works best for us is to have a marked off area that you would patrol. In that area I would also set up a temporary pet waste station so people can clean up after their own dogs. I hope that helps! Good luck!
Ok. They told me there is gonna be about 900 dogs there. I’m making about 300$ a day on my normal cleanup routes and I’m a one man army. How does a person bid 900 dogs. holey dog poo. I really appreciate you taking the time and responding to me. I feel like I’m gonna have to hire help to keep up my route. I was thinking like 100 or so dogs not 900.
That is a good point that professional dog waste removal is more effective than a typical dog owner. Maybe it would be good to look into hiring someone to remove my dog’s waste. Soon I will have to start looking for a dog waste removal service.
Hello my name is Raymond and I live in Houston,Texas. I am thinking about starting a pooper scooper business here. How do I start?
I’m very interested in starting a dog waste pick up business of my own. I would love more information please. Thank you in advance.