Aimee Chivers has turned her passion for animals and love of the outdoors into a successful dog walking and pet sitting business. In this interview, she tells us about her experience of running her business, MissChivers Pet Services, and shares her advice for new freelancers and entrepreneurs.
Hi Aimee, could you please tell us a little bit about yourself and your business?
My name is Aimee Chivers and last year I started a small business in dog walking and house/pet sitting called MissChivers Pet Services. We currently have a number of regular customers for dog walking and many more for pet sitting and house sitting.
We also help clients with new puppies, giving advice on training and generally being there when the owners have other commitments.
How did you become involved with dog walking and pet sitting? What did you do before?
I have always been involved with animals one way or another. When I was younger, I owned many animals, cats, and a couple of dogs. And before starting my own business, I helped a friend with her pet care business for a few years.
I've had many different jobs which were always fun and very creative, but I always knew that I wanted to be my own boss eventually. I am very interested in psychology so I started working at homeless shelters, hoping to study and learn about this area.
However, I soon came to realise that office work was not for me. So I put 2 and 2 together and decided to work with dogs and animals outdoors!
Now, I have a business that I am passionate about and, in my spare time, I study dog psychology. I find it fascinating learning about their language and different training techniques.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
The thing I love most about my job is seeing my regular pets every day. They are always so happy to see me, and going for walks everyday always clears my head - no matter how bad the weather is! It does me just as much good as the dogs.
In my line of work, every day is different and, when you work with animals, anything can happen so I have a lot of funny memories from the animals I have worked with.
I also much prefer the freedom I get with being self-employed. My time management seems to be spot on right now.
What do you find most challenging about being self-employed?
The most challenging thing about my job is controlling when I work and when I get to take time off. With any self-employment, it's easy to work overtime and forget to keep the evenings for yourself. It’s important to make time to relax and to leave not so important emails for the next day.
If you were launching your business today, what advice would you give yourself?
I would say to make sure that you have a good website. It’s an essential platform to promote your brand, yourself, and your services and I was very fortunate to find someone who really helped me with this.
I am also taking a business course which will hopefully help me obtain government funding and push my business to the next level. I wish I had started this sooner as I have definitely benefitted from doing it!
How does the future look for MissChivers Pet Services? Is there anything you’re particularly looking forward to?
The future looks really good for MissChivers Pet Services! With a new van on the horizon and the possibility of getting more dog walkers on board within the business, I am very confident 2018 will be a promising year for my business.
Finally, as a Debitoor user, how has it helped you with the running of MissChivers Pet Services?
Debitoor invoicing software has been very useful for my business! Straight forward, simple to use and very professional looking – I would advise anyone who is setting up a business to consider using Debitoor.