Author Topic: Dog waste removal business  (Read 4236 times)

Tyler118

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Dog waste removal business
« on: January 24, 2018, 09:33:52 PM »
Hello all, I'm looking for a side hustle job. I don't really want to work for someone and would love to get into my business for myself. I live in a community of about 20k people and there is a lot of retired people in the community. I've been thinking of businesses that would be unique for my area and have a need. That is when I came up with the idea of dog waste removal aka pooper scooper. There is absolutely no competition in the area or at least any professional service. Start up costs would be fairly low and the work would not bother me. I would actually enjoy being able to be outside and see dogs all day.

My question is what do you guys think of this sort of business? Do you think it could be profitable? I've looked at other pooper scooper companies and their business plans and it seems as though you could make a decent amount of money especially if you get a weekly deal. Any tips for starting the business? For the very beginning can I just advertise on FB work for cash or do I need to go the proper way by registering a business and getting liability insurance? Any other tips would be much appreciated!

Thanks!

SC93

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2018, 10:11:06 PM »
My friend wanted to start one 25 years ago, I gave him a name to use but he was lazy and never did it.

Scooby's Doo

You could also add on litter box cleaning.

Although, I'm not sure you will see many dogs doing this. They should be inside while you are working. You might check with the health department, I was helping a guy with a business like this about 5 years ago and I'm remembering something about the spread of some type of disease so you must clean your tools using special cleaner..... I don't remember exactly but worth checking in to for everyone's safety. The last I knew he was doing great. I might look back and see if I can find his information.

Tyler118

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2018, 10:16:29 PM »
Cool thanks for the info! I'm guessing you might be talking about Parvo? I've been watching some youtube videos about professional pooper scoopers (yes they make videos about this lol) and they all say to make sure to clean supplies and shoes in order not to spread it. That's a great name too! I was thinking about Super Scoopers. There are so many good names that would work.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2018, 01:57:26 AM »
Just curious: Who will be paying you? The community?

I think you should register as a company. If you own a company you can often withdraw your purchases from your income. In 2 countries that I know it is beneficial to own a company. But I don't know about the US.
And you are doing stuff legally, in contrary of being paid in cash.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2018, 03:42:05 AM »
Another side hustle that I think is a good idea but will most likely never do is driveway address numbers. Like if your address is 128 Cherry Boulevard, you would have a stencil for each number and the proper paint and put the number (128) at the end of the driveway. The number could be very beneficial when an ambulance, delivery person or a 911 call. The numbers could be fluorescent so easily seen at night. You could send flyers to a whole neighborhood and if you get lucky you might get a whole lot of interest. You could put together a flyer and maybe even go to the fire department and police department and speak to the Chief to see if they approve the idea and if they would give their seal of approval on your flyer.

In my area, I have never seen any such numbers on driveways. So seems there is a opportunity for this kind of thing. You might have to check with some zoning people or some other town officials to make sure it is legal to do this. Maybe there is a reason I see no numbering anywhere.

Roger D

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2018, 03:53:37 AM »
And you are doing stuff legally, in contrary of being paid in cash.
Cash is not illegal. You probably pay for some things in cash yourself.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2018, 04:28:04 AM »
And you are doing stuff legally, in contrary of being paid in cash.
Cash is not illegal. You probably pay for some things in cash yourself.

You are right. I meant cash without receipt and without book keeping.

SC93

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2018, 02:52:11 PM »
Another side hustle that I think is a good idea but will most likely never do is driveway address numbers. Like if your address is 128 Cherry Boulevard, you would have a stencil for each number and the proper paint and put the number (128) at the end of the driveway. The number could be very beneficial when an ambulance, delivery person or a 911 call. The numbers could be fluorescent so easily seen at night. You could send flyers to a whole neighborhood and if you get lucky you might get a whole lot of interest. You could put together a flyer and maybe even go to the fire department and police department and speak to the Chief to see if they approve the idea and if they would give their seal of approval on your flyer.

In my area, I have never seen any such numbers on driveways. So seems there is a opportunity for this kind of thing. You might have to check with some zoning people or some other town officials to make sure it is legal to do this. Maybe there is a reason I see no numbering anywhere.

I think it should be a law for people to have the numbers painted on their curb. Luckily ours had just been painted, on both sides of the driveway, when we bought the house or else I had already inquired about having it done. Very hard to get people on board for this though and I don't know why. It's not really a money-maker since you have to buy the materials to actually do the work, print the flyers and then once you do get people that want it, you have to pay for gas to drive to their neighborhood and on top of all of that, your time to do the work.

Normally the flyer says if you want your number painted to leave money in the envelope provided taped to the door and the charge is something like $15-$20 for a regular job or if you want your favorite college or sports team painted as a background it is $30-$35. So you end up making .27 cents :)

OkieM

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2018, 10:31:35 PM »
I think you can do pretty well at this. The key is getting a high density of clients to limit your travel time. The people that I know that use them say the scooper doesn’t give them a regular time since they organize their routes based on efficiency to keep the price affordable.

whiskeyjack

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2018, 11:10:14 AM »
Another side hustle that I think is a good idea but will most likely never do is driveway address numbers. Like if your address is 128 Cherry Boulevard, you would have a stencil for each number and the proper paint and put the number (128) at the end of the driveway. The number could be very beneficial when an ambulance, delivery person or a 911 call. The numbers could be fluorescent so easily seen at night. You could send flyers to a whole neighborhood and if you get lucky you might get a whole lot of interest. You could put together a flyer and maybe even go to the fire department and police department and speak to the Chief to see if they approve the idea and if they would give their seal of approval on your flyer.

In my area, I have never seen any such numbers on driveways. So seems there is a opportunity for this kind of thing. You might have to check with some zoning people or some other town officials to make sure it is legal to do this. Maybe there is a reason I see no numbering anywhere.

Someone comes by our house every few years and offers to re-paint the numbers.  He doesn't send flyers out - just goes door to door with the materials in hand.  Judging by the curbs he has good success.

Edit:  He uses a stencil & black and white reflective paint. I think I gave him $20.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2018, 11:14:49 AM by whiskeyjack »

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2018, 06:50:02 AM »
There's signs up around our area for a service like this. They say "Got poop? We scoop" and have a picture of the poop emoji. My kids love repeating it and it certainly sticks in your head.

MustachioedPistachio

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2018, 07:26:57 AM »
I wouldn't worry with making it "business official" until you have a solid client base and are considering hiring employees. Worst case, take out an umbrella insurance policy if liability is a concern. Get that cash flowing first! :) Otherwise, sounds like a great plan.

I'm not sure how dense your area is. Concentrating on neighborhoods within walking/biking distance would be great to minimize costs and travel time, especially if you have a FT job. Are there any neighborhood associations? HOAs? Getting a contract with one of those can be a windfall. Buy your local vet(s) lunch and see if you can leave flyers/"poop"ons there. Sorry lol. Any local dog parks? Maybe volunteer there, chat with dog owners, and hand out free poo bags and a card.

Could dog walking be incorporated? Good luck!

MustachioedPistachio

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2018, 07:33:06 AM »
One other thought: any lawn guys/landscapers in your area? I bet they would love to not mow over dog poop...maybe you could do business with them in addition to regular clients? Piggyback off of their existing client base.

chaskavitch

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2018, 08:36:16 AM »
There is a service like this in our area.  I don't know how many people use it, but one of my coworkers just found out about it and thinks it's genius. 

I saw one of their ads recently, which said "Picking up dog poo in the winter isn't my favorite thing to do, but it's a solid number two", and then I laughed for like 5 minutes :)

saijoe

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2018, 12:28:55 PM »
What I always wondered is "What do you do with the Poo?".

Johnez

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2018, 04:18:39 PM »
There was a Forest Gump book I read where they turned pig poop into electricity. Worked great till the plant exploded lol. Could probably turn it into fertilizer or something, maybe with treatment.

SC93

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2018, 06:45:51 PM »
Just put it in the trash can. I'd bet a lot of people go to apartment trash cans and dump it there. I guess if you don't have many customers you could flush it each day.....

LovinPSDs

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2018, 05:38:10 AM »
So I have never owned a service based business like this, but I do have a question.

Wouldn't the main goal be to establish a decent repeating route and then hiring someone to do the work while you take a cut off the top?  I mean is this ultimately the goal when people are talking about starting these service based businesses?  I'm not really sure what this development looks like, how long you would need to be the body vs. hiring a helping hand and be the "brains" of the operation. 

I'm not going to lie, this seems like an interesting model... basically zero overhead.

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2018, 07:00:14 AM »
Just put it in the trash can. I'd bet a lot of people go to apartment trash cans and dump it there. I guess if you don't have many customers you could flush it each day.....

Depending on how the apartment complexes are managed, as a business, and not a resident, you might find yourself in a lot of trouble using their dumpsters unauthorized.

SC93

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2018, 11:21:33 AM »
You do realize how many times a day people dump stuff in apartment trash cans don't you? It probably all comes out even because some people dump stuff in them and some people go around and take stuff from them to resell so I'd say it's about even. lol

Roadrunner53

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2018, 11:50:24 AM »
Speaking of apartment dumpsters...spouse used to work at a school system and the teachers would bring their household kitchen garbage and everything you can imagine and use the school dumpsters as their personal garbage bins! It wasn't like just one or two but a lot of them and other school workers too! We the taxpayers are paying for this service! I pay about $117 every 3 months for garbage pick up and they would cancel theirs and use the schools. I could see if it was a perk working for the school system but it was NOT!

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2018, 12:00:16 PM »
You do realize how many times a day people dump stuff in apartment trash cans don't you? It probably all comes out even because some people dump stuff in them and some people go around and take stuff from them to resell so I'd say it's about even. lol

The landlord of the building I work at has gone after people for dumping in his dumpsters. He pays for that. It's theft.

SC93

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2018, 08:00:28 PM »
And just think of how many hundreds or thousands of times it has happened just today at apartment complexes across the nation......

As for the teachers dumping trash at school..... Why would anyone have a problem with that? The way the kids are nowadays I'd be in prison if I would have been a teacher. I'm actually texting with my friend right now helping him with a business and his wife just retired because she couldn't take any more of the TRASH the parents and kids were dishing out. Any way for the teachers to save a little money for teaching some of these monsters nowadays is a good thing. I know there are many great kids but it only takes 1 or 3 a year to ruin it all. And the parents..... that's a whole other story.... Any time a teacher is paid less than $200,000 a year they are not getting paid near enough.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2018, 03:21:46 AM »
We taxpayers pay for the school expenses and garbage removal is one. It is to pay for the school garbage not teachers personal garbage, chairs, lawn furniture. The dumpsters fill up and the garbage companies need to make extra trips to take away garbage. More garbage costs the taxpayers more money per year. I agree that being a teacher has to be a horrible job and I wouldn't want it for any amount of money. But, being a teacher doesn't give them the keys to the dumpsters either. I'd like to have free garbage removal too!

GuitarStv

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2018, 07:40:07 AM »
You do realize how many times a day people dump stuff in apartment trash cans don't you? It probably all comes out even because some people dump stuff in them and some people go around and take stuff from them to resell so I'd say it's about even. lol

The landlord of the building I work at has gone after people for dumping in his dumpsters. He pays for that. It's theft.

I agree that it's a problem . . . and that it's annoying as heck.  Can you really call it theft though?  They're leaving something extra, not taking something away from you.  To me it seems no different than the people who leave garbage attached to my door or in my mailbox, advertising stuff I'm not interested in.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #25 on: February 01, 2018, 08:01:33 AM »
You do realize how many times a day people dump stuff in apartment trash cans don't you? It probably all comes out even because some people dump stuff in them and some people go around and take stuff from them to resell so I'd say it's about even. lol

The landlord of the building I work at has gone after people for dumping in his dumpsters. He pays for that. It's theft.

I agree that it's a problem . . . and that it's annoying as heck.  Can you really call it theft though?  They're leaving something extra, not taking something away from you.  To me it seems no different than the people who leave garbage attached to my door or in my mailbox, advertising stuff I'm not interested in.

Maybe littering would be more accurate than theft. I work for a company that also manages real estate and when someone dumps an old sofa or bunch of tires behind a shopping center or office building they have to go pay someone $50 or so to come haul that away.

Of course around here a lot of people just find a vacant lot or drive out in the desert and dump a bunch of trash.

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #26 on: February 01, 2018, 08:07:18 AM »
You do realize how many times a day people dump stuff in apartment trash cans don't you? It probably all comes out even because some people dump stuff in them and some people go around and take stuff from them to resell so I'd say it's about even. lol

The landlord of the building I work at has gone after people for dumping in his dumpsters. He pays for that. It's theft.

I agree that it's a problem . . . and that it's annoying as heck.  Can you really call it theft though?  They're leaving something extra, not taking something away from you.  To me it seems no different than the people who leave garbage attached to my door or in my mailbox, advertising stuff I'm not interested in.

You pay for the garbage by weight though; so maybe it isn't theft that they charge them under, I don't know (likely trespassing?), but by putting something unauthorized in the dumpster, it's essentially theft of service, as the landlord has to pay for it now.


Here you have to have permits to leave stuff on doors, or else it is littering. And things can only be left in the mailbox if paid for and sent by mail.  It's technically illegal to just set things in them.

SC93

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #27 on: February 01, 2018, 12:19:15 PM »
It is illegal anywhere in the United States to put something in a mailbox without proper postage. Yeah, when I had my cleaning businesses it was illegal to put flyers on doors and it was also called littering..... almost 2 million flyers and never did get in any trouble but it brought in millions of dollars so it would have been worth the small fine.

Yep, lots of things are against the law and most people never get caught. Kinda like traffic violations.... everyone has broken the law at one time or another whether we meant to or not. You know what they say about casting the 1st stone.....

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #28 on: February 01, 2018, 12:57:18 PM »
It is illegal anywhere in the United States to put something in a mailbox without proper postage. Yeah, when I had my cleaning businesses it was illegal to put flyers on doors and it was also called littering..... almost 2 million flyers and never did get in any trouble but it brought in millions of dollars so it would have been worth the small fine.

Yep, lots of things are against the law and most people never get caught. Kinda like traffic violations.... everyone has broken the law at one time or another whether we meant to or not. You know what they say about casting the 1st stone.....

All I said was that if you are caught you can be charged with it. I wouldn't build my dog waste business with the idea that I am going to dump the waste illegally.  You can if you want and then eat the fine if you ever get caught.

SC93

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #29 on: February 01, 2018, 03:20:33 PM »
I know you wasn't, I was just saying lots of people do. There was a very large lawn service in Nebraska that dumped their grass clippings illegally for years and never got caught. They may still be doing it, I don't know.

I wasn't actually dumping but I was littering by city code for all of those years in some of the cities. Some people might think it's just as bad but we kept track and always over 95% of our customers had a  NO SOLICITATION  sign up and that also meant no flyers. Actually you could pass out flyers when we opened up in Kansas but you needed to pay for a Pedler's license each day. It was cheaper to pay the fine if you got caught. I don't think there was a rule at all for Omaha besides the littering.

Tyler118

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #30 on: February 01, 2018, 09:36:38 PM »
SC93

That's funny you mention Nebraska because that is actually where I live. I'm on the other end of the state in Scottsbluff but it's quite the coincidence. I'm looking forward to starting my own small business!

SC93

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #31 on: February 01, 2018, 11:14:21 PM »
Cool. My buddy Riley lives in Shelton, they are the founders of Cabela's and Kyle lives near Grand Island and they own Strobel Construction (very large construction company). All my other friends out your way have passed away. It's a whole other world on your end of the state. My daughter lives in Lincoln and awhile ago she said it was 13 there while it was 51 here! lol That's why I had to get the hell out of there, I hate cold weather. Anything under 80 and I'm freezing. lol I do get back to Eagle Raceway as often as possible though. :)

MarciaB

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #32 on: February 02, 2018, 02:44:39 AM »
Can you just dump dog doo anywhere in your town? Meaning, at some point (if you got bigger) would you need a permit or some sort of DEQ piece of paper (??). I know that you can't just start up a carwash for instance for environmental reasons, so is dog poop like that?

At any rate - I like the business idea for a couple of reasons mentioned here: low start-up costs and low/no competition. You could just start spreading the word and see what happens, my bet is that you will get some customers and can see if you like it well enough to continue.

Fresh Bread

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #33 on: February 02, 2018, 03:25:58 AM »
Wouldn't the OP take the dog poo, bag it up (double bag it!) and put it in the household bin of the house he's servicing? Is there any need to take it away? I'm assuming here that the service is the cleaning of the lawn, not the removing of poo from the property.

Roadrunner53

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Vespa

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Re: Dog waste conversion business
« Reply #35 on: April 09, 2018, 01:05:03 AM »
If you're interested in a more sustainable option, consider converting the waste:
aquaponicgardening.ning.com/forum/topics/dog-waste-ok-in-biopod

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #36 on: April 09, 2018, 07:55:52 AM »
Wouldn't the OP take the dog poo, bag it up (double bag it!) and put it in the household bin of the house he's servicing? Is there any need to take it away? I'm assuming here that the service is the cleaning of the lawn, not the removing of poo from the property.

I wouldn't give my lawn care people my garage code- in my neighborhood, you wouldn't be able to get into the trash bins. Everyone's are locked inside garages.

HipGnosis

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #37 on: April 18, 2018, 09:53:42 AM »
Use every free social media in your area.  FB groups, CraigsList, NextDoor, etc.
I think that for a business like that, you don't want to come off as highly professional (ie high cost), so keep it casual.
Do you have a way of managing customers and collections?  How will you manage the schedule of services?
If you use your car, track the miles used just for the biz for tax deduction.  Can you designate an area in your home as the office of the biz for tax deduction?
Once you have positive cash flow, consider giving discounts for referrals.  And repeat business - Get a free scoop after 5?

HipGnosis

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Re: Dog waste removal business
« Reply #38 on: April 18, 2018, 10:05:38 AM »
Also...
Since there is a lot of retired people in the community (who probably have time to do their own scooping), you might want to consider aging, maturing, senior 'services' and/or concierge. 
The U.S. Department of Labor forecasts that senior service jobs will be the fastest growing part of the job market for many years to come.