Messages archived from the Scoopers & Friends Discussion Board, going back to May of 1998. The discussion board board is an online forum about the business of pet-waste removal. Browse the messages, CLICK HERE TO SEARCH by keyword, or click here to participate in current discussions.Archive Page 1 | Page 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48 | 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61 | 62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75 | 76 | 77 | 78 | 79 | 80 | 81 | 82 | 83 | 84 | 85 | 86 | 87 | 88 | 89 | 90 | 91 | 92 | 93 | 94 | 95 | 96 | 97 | 98 | 99 | 100 | 101 | 102 | 103 | 104 | 105 | 106
Saturday, 20-Jun-98 17:09:01
... Hi everyone!! Well, we're finally going to
launch our business after much consideration.
I just have one questions for those who clean
kennels........How much do you charge and how
often do you clean them? Most of the kennels
around here are not in town....about 20 minutes
away. Also I noticed some dogs have a cement
pad in there dog runs. How do you clean the
spot on the cement where the doo was? Stupid
question I know but I was curious :-)!
Friday, 26-Jun-98 17:19:02
Re: cleaning kennels
... By "kennels" I'm assuming you mean places where there are
more than a few dogs, as opposed to a "dog run" or pen. You may
have to negotiate a price for such situations, though charging
much less than your normal per-dog price could mean an awful lot
of work for you, with very little return based on how much money
you'll make for the amount of time and effort involved.
I remember a situation where the number of dogs would vary from 5 to 12, and really the only way to make sure the job was worthwhile was to charge our regular prices based on the number of dogs -- or at least very close to that price. It's your time and work, so you are the only one who knows how much that's worth to you.
As for the concrete surface, there could be just a trace or there could be more residue from scooping, depending on the dog, the weather, and the type of scooper you use. Frequently you'll be able to ask the customer to have a water hose available, and then you can just hose down the concrete after scooping.
Frequency of cleaning is a good question. It will depend on what the customer wants. In a normal yard, with just one dog or two, once a week can be fine. But if dogs are in a smaller pen full-time, you'd expect that daily cleaning would be much preferable; or maybe twice a week would do.
Now, the trouble with kennels that have many dogs is that they would need service so frequently, and at prices such that most kennel owners would really be better off to hire a regular employee, at least part time. That's why large commercial kennel operations are not likely to be such good prospects as regular residential customers with just a few dogs.
After all, if you are generating $30, $45, or more per hour with residential pet owners, you might not want to be spending your time and efforts working for kennels and making only a quarter of that.
So, after all that.... Go ahead and bid these kinds of jobs, but be sure your return is going to be worthwhile.
Monday, 22-Jun-98 00:54:52
... Dr. DooLitter (Richard Sherwood) posted a message
that included questions about the odor problem
inherent in this line of work. Unfortunately I
lost most of the message in the process of
posting it to the board.
The gist of it was along the lines of "How
do you deal with the problem of the smell of all
that dog poop?"
The waste, of course, can have a particularly
acrid, penetrating, and persistent terrible odor.
The best thing is to dispose of it as soon as
possible, or have a container away from
If you're using a car to conduct your
business, take all the bags of waste out of the
vehicle at the end of every day's work. Don't
leave bags of poop closed up in your trunk
Once you have more than just a few customers
you should be able to get at least a cheap
used car to use exclusively for business. With
only a few customers each day, you can put the
bags in the trunk during the work day, and take
them out and put them in the trash each day.
Clean all traces of waste from your tools at
the end of each route, as well. This should be
fairly easy especially if you are spraying off
the tools after each customer.
If you don't store your bags of waste in
your vehicle overnight, and don't keep them
indoors, dispose of the material as soon as you
can, keep the tools clean, keep the truck bed
washed, don't wear the same clothes from day to
day without washing them, shower and scrub
completely immediately after each day's work-
all of these things will help manage the problem.
How do some of you other folks address this
Tuesday, 23-Jun-98 01:33:42
Re: The smell...
... The smell of our business is like smelling a rose...or they
say the smell of money. ha ha.
you can always have some type of container in your car with a lid to put the bags of waste.
they make i belive containers long enough for your tools too. You could also place some type of air fresher in your trunk. And when picking up the stuff always stand upwind or is it downwind... could try smoking a cigar......
Friday, 24-Jul-98 10:20:40
Re: The smell... ... I can't believe you people actually sit writing e-mails to each other about dog poo! I'm going to have to tell all my friends to try out this web-site, it's the funniest I've read in weeks....
Thursday, 13-Aug-98 23:25:32
Re: Re: The smell...
... Yel....is a little funny at times. But believe me these
are real topics and concerns. I plan to add a few dog jokes
from time to time.
Notice on some of the latest topics. The Backgrounds of some of the "Pooper Scooper", it will make one set-up and take interest. Most of the people have many degrees. They have a world of knowledge. The background topic is on or about Aug 98, one of the latest.
Thanks for your interest....Dr. Doo Litter
Monday, 22-Jun-98 12:01:19
Park cleanup ... Anyone out there ever contract with the park services in your area to clean local parks?
Wednesday, 24-Jun-98 15:11:04
Re: Park cleanup
... A Park.....How in the world did you get involved in a Park.
Who would you see? I am interested.
As far as charging.....a good guess would do the trick. Try timing yourself by walk the area as if you were picking up poop. Then charge $25 per hour. Do not worry about sq feet/yards. Just count normal steps to measure any yard/Area. This will help you in the future. Therefore, step once north/south Then step once East/West.
Measure, by sq steps.
Monday, 06-Jul-98 11:27:00
Re: Re: Park cleanup
... We have a lot of "dog parks" in our area (Salt Lake City)
that get pretty smelly. They're cleaned up twice a year by
volunteer effort, but the Parks Service is interested in
contracting with us. We did approximately what you
suggested--that is, we walked the area, figured out how many
hours it would take, and gave the Parks Service a proposal.
We're waiting to hear the result.
Thanks for the suggestion!
Wednesday, 24-Jun-98 23:28:42
... How do you properly handle requests for references? Do you
ask all your customers for volunteers? Do you offer rewards for
those who are willing to act as references (but then are you
paying your references to say something good about you -- &
wouldn't that defeat the purpose of a reference)? Who's phone
number do you give to whom? -- Do you give your current
customer's number to some stranger? Or do you tell the one who
requests the reference that you will give their number to your
I could not believe it when I had someone request references -- a reference to pick up their dogs' poop!?? (I did not ask the potential customer for financial references so that I could be assured she would pay!)
Friday, 26-Jun-98 17:03:43
... Yes, it's pretty unusual to be asked for references in this
business. In my ten years in the business, I was probably asked
for references less than 5 times. I suppose the longer you are
in business and the more customers you gain , the more
confidence prospective clients will have in you.
One thing I did to promote confidence was to joing the Better Business Bureau. This costs a little money and there may be a requirement for you to be in business at least a year, though.
Frequently customers will be very enthusiastic when they tell you what a great job you did for them. A lot of customers will send notes with glowing compliments or testimonials. You may ask those customers if they would be willing to be a referral for you. You could ask them if they would prefer that you have them call the prospect or if you should give their contact information out. Go with whatever the customer prefers.
If you don't have such references lined up already, you might just call a couple of clients and ask them if they would be willing to give you a referral.
Monday, 29-Jun-98 00:40:38
Business Cards or Flyers (I''ll Tell You A
... My feeling on flyers are a pain in the butt.. excuse me for
feeling this way. Why print up business cards and
Business cards are handy, they can be put in their wallet, etc...
If you go to local bars in your area, i being female would give them to guys, they would read it and start talking to me or i say give this to the next girl you want to talk with THESE ARE THE BEST PICK ME UP CARDS AROUND...Give a couple because they love them so much and they pass them on. I would hand them out eveywhere I was, the grocery clerk, etc... They are alot easier to carry around then flyers are... Get a friend to ride around with you to stick them on the mailbox where the flag is (they stick there good) Stop in hair salons (lots of gossip there going on)
But to me it made more sense to use business cards, you can say alot on themand when you are really establish you can change them, clean them up.
Friday, 10-Jul-98 12:19:00
Re: Business Cards or Flyers (I''ll Tell You A Little Secret) ... Even though I've used flyers and gotten new business with them, and I include samples of flyers in my book, I really have to say that Debbie makes a great point about this, and I'd have to agree with her, in general. If you design your business card well, it in fact can be a "mini-flyer."
Monday, 29-Jun-98 04:15:14
YARDSCOOPER-NEW BUSINESS- SOME QUESTIONS
I AM JUST STARTING UP MY WASTE REMOVAL SERVICE AND HAVE A FEW QUESTIONS.
1. I WILL BE WORKING PREDOMINANTLY IN THE KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE AREA, WHICH HAS AN ESTIMATED POPULATION OF 200,000 OR SO. IN YOUR OPINION, IS THIS TYPE OF BUSINESS SUPPORTABLE WITH A POPULATION OF THIS SIZE?
2. HAVE YOU EVER HAD A PROBLEM WITH CUSTOMER NOT PAYING YOU? HOW DID YOU HANDLE IT?
I WOULD LIKE TO GET MY BUSINESS LISTED IN YOUR DIRECTORY:
"TIRED OF STEPPING OUT, AND STEPPING IN IT?"
OWNER: TAMARA DEAL
3613 WILLIAMS MILL ROAD
ROCKFORD, TENNESSEE 37853
THANKYOU FOR YOUR HELP. ANY SUGGESTIONS OR ADVICE FROM ANYONE ELSE ON THE MESSAGE BOARD IS WELCOME!
Monday, 29-Jun-98 11:13:24
Re: YARDSCOOPER-NEW BUSINESS- SOME
... I think Knoxville should be a terrific place for a dog
waste removal service!
From what I've seen, I would think at least 3 or 4 business like this could exist profitably in the area.
I have had a few customers who were slow payers; even had some people who never did pay the bill. This is an interesting issue. I know of at least one pooper-scooper service in my own area that never has this problem because they make all their customers pay monthly in advance. But I like to make it as easy as possible for the customer to buy from me, and I appreciate the fact that many customers may need to have have their confidence in us supported as much as possible. So I take the small risk of not collecting 100 percent of what I bill.
But over the years, I've collected 98 percent of all the charges I've invoiced, and my business grew to about 5 TIMES the size of the company that makes people pay in advance. I'd rather have 98 percent of $200,000 than 100 percent of $40,000, any day. :)
Some things that help with prompt collections are: professional-looking, easy-to-understand invoices; sending pre-addressed and bar-coded envelopes with the bills so customers don't have to write our address on the envelope; don't let the past due amounts get very high before stopping service until the payment is made; and a well-thought out system of collections notices for overdue bills.
I charge a late fee for bills not paid by the date due, as well. It's not the late fee I want, it's the incentive to pay on time that I'm interested in. :) It also gives me something to bargain with. I can say "If you'll pay at least part of this bill each month, I'll waive the late fee."
My trust in the customer almost always is rewarded. I have been taken advantage of just a few times over the years, but overall this is the way I prefer to do business -- and I think it's been a factor in my success, as well. Every business I know has at least a small percentage on bad debts (my rate of 2% non-payers is actually very good compared to average, I've been told), and it's really just one of the costs of doing business. You should include it in your projections of expenses and consider it as you figure your prices.
I've added Yardscoopers to the International Directory of Dog Waste Removal Services. Thanks! However.... I couldn't get the URL you listed. Please make sure of your webpage address and e-mail me later.