- Is Insurance Included in Membership?
Insurance is not included in the membership price. However, we have negotiated an exclusive deal with the UK’s top pet business insurance company who specialise in Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Business Insurance and our members receive a 25% discount off of any policy which is taken out with them. Insurance for most businesses is £79 per year. More details can be found of the insurance offered by clicking here.
- Is Basic Disclosure CRB Check Included in Membership?
A Basic Disclosure CRB Check is needed if you are holding keys on behalf of your client. The cost of this is not included in your membership but we can arrange this for you and the cost is just £65. If you have lived at your current address for more than one year the cost if £25. A criminal record check is valid for 3 years. If you have had one done in the last three years, this can be used.
- Should I Join Before I Start My Business?
Yes! Whether you have been running your business for 10 years or planning to start in 6 months’ time, you will be so glad you joined NarpsUK. Many of our members provide feedback and say they wish they had joined before starting as membership includes access to Business Plans, Forms and Contracts and many other great benefits when starting up. You can set your profile to ‘Inactive’ to start with if you wish. Our Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Business Course is a great place to start so that you are opening your business with a good all round knowledge and Lantra Accreditation. This course is hugely discounted for members. You can find out more by clicking here.
- What Does it Cost to Start a Pet Sitting Business?
You can start your own Pet Sitting or Dog Walking Business for the cost of your membership, insurance, CRB check and license! With these four components you can hand out flyers locally and start to take bookings. In comparison to other start-up businesses, the cost is very small. Joining NarpsUK is NOT buying a franchise so from your first booking, all of the income is yours. Pet sitting and dog walking is more about gaining knowledge and experience rather than paying out money, it is very easy to market your business for free these days by placing online ads on free directory listings on the internet.
- Do I Need a Van?
For home boarding, pop-in services and house sitting you will not need a van at all. For dog walking, to start with you don’t need a van, using harnesses in your car is acceptable until you are collecting more than two dogs. Pet taxi services will require a van but again you could wait until your business starts getting busy. As your business expands, you may want to consider purchasing a suitable vehicle and there are many discussions on our forum with advice from other members on the van options available to you as well as cages. If you are only home boarding you only the number of a local Pet Taxi service if you don’t own a car in case of an emergency.
- Do I Need a License?
You will need to speak to your Local Authority to determine the answer to this. As a general rule, most Home Boarders are required to be licensed and Dog Walkers will not. However, this varies from one Local Authority to another so even if you are just Dog Walking, we would suggest checking this with your Local Authority.
- If I decide to join will everything be sent by post?
Access to everything you need is online via your account page in the member’s area. All of our forms, contracts, application forms, etc are on our website and we do not send anything by post (with the exception of CRB Check Certificates and Lantra Course Certificates). You can print off any of our documents from the member’s area once you become a member if you would like a hard copy for your own records. You can also save every document to your own computer. All of our documents are in Microsoft Word so can be edited to suit your business.
- Do I Need Experience?
You should at least have owned your own dog in the past. If you haven’t had experience with looking after someone else’s pet or your own dogs you will need to get some hands on experience, you can do this by volunteering your services to a local pet recue centre or a local dog boarding kennels. We highly recommend that you also take our Lantra Accreditted Pet Sitting and Dog Walking Business Course to expand your knowledge.
- Can I join, renew or cancel on the phone?
No – New members can only join by filling in the registration page online, renewing or cancelling membership needs to be done online through your account area by clicking on Renew, Subscription Options or Cancel Membership on the right hand side of your account page.
- How do I update my banking card details?
Log in to your account and click on subscription options. Take the steps as if you were renewing your membership and enter your new card details when prompted. This will overwrite your last card details.
- Why does my certificate show an expiry date in one month’s time?
If you purchase a yearly membership your certificate date will expire in one year and the price is discounted too. If you are making monthly payments to us, you are on a rolling one month contract. Your membership expiry date is therefore a month after your last payment. Each time the next payment is taken, the membership date will be extended by another month and you can print your new certificate in your account area.
- Under what circumstances may I get removed from the NarpsUK register?
If you are reported for abuse, animal cruelty, theft and/or having a criminal record, we withhold the right to disable/delete any users account at any time to protect our members, our company image and of course our adorable pets. We operate a three strike system with complaints too, so if you have three complaints which are a breach in our Terms and Conditions and Code of Practice, you will also be removed. Removal from our site for such circumstances DOES NOT entitle you for a refund.
- Can I get a refund?
No NarpsUK does not give refunds because once a new member logs into the member's area for the first time they can download or print all of our forms, contracts, pet sitting business plan, employment contract, membership certificate, flyer, logo, emblems, etc. We give full information of what benefits are received by joining NarpsUK so that you can make an informed decision before joining. You should also read our feedback page to enable you to see that what we provide is to the highest standard for your requirements.
- Do I need a Criminal Record Check carried out?
Only if you will be holding keys for dog walking, pop in services or pet sitting in the owner's home, a customer will want to see a Criminal Record disclosure certificate to confirm that you do not have an criminal records against you. We do not enforce this but strongly recommend that you have one carried out.
- Who can leave me feedback?
When you setup your profile you will be given a profile URL, you may pass this on to any clients who can then leave feedback on your profile. All that is required by them is to confirm their email address. You can also add feedback from existing clients yourself from your account area.
- What is your member's database/calendar for?
The database/calendar is a great tool and is free within the full Gold members package, this database will prove to be invaluable to pet sitting and dog walking businesses, you can store your customers and pet details including emergency numbers, vets details, dates of vaccinations, dog walking times, length of dog walk etc and also store every booking that a customer makes with you including the bookings dates, what service was provided, cost per day, total cost, deposit paid whether the booking was cancelled, this way when a customer contacts you next year you can check back to the dogs behaviour during the stay and any problems or medication, and how much you charged etc. There is also a calendar, an invoicing system and a printable schedule. If you have an Apple or Android device, you can download our app that will sync your information so you can make or cancel bookings while on the go, the app will also show you your daily schedule and you can tick off the jobs as you go.
- How do I make a complaint about one of your members?
All complaints must be made in writing. This can be done by email using our contact form or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org Complaints should include the member’s details, date of the incident, full details of the incident and any supporting evidence.
- What are the benefits of joining NarpsUK?
The main benefit to joining our Association is that you are giving your business credibility by showing your clients that you have signed up to our terms and conditions and code of practice and that they have somewhere they can go if they are not satisfied with your service. Being a member of an association says ‘I am doing things right, I am reliable and you can trust me. There are many other benefits that we offer, and these can be found by clicking here.
- How much does it cost to become a member?
There are three different membership packages available, each one offers different benefits. Click here to visit our Prices and Packages page. We recommend for new businesses that you take either the Silver or Gold memberships as these offer all of the start-up tools you will need to get your business up and running.
- How can I ensure that my business is a success?
There are no guarantees on any new business start-up but joining NarpsUK will give you the best chance of your business being a success, we provide information sheets on how to start and run your business as well as online training courses. Business success is also dependent on location, someone who lives in a rural village is not going to make a big of a success as someone who lives in a city centre. If you live in a highly populated area and do the marketing and advertising correctly (see our information sheets) there is no reason why your business should not be successful.
- How do we register as a partnership?
The NarpsUK membership is for the business rather than the individual. You will need to register the account at one of the two properties and we suggest choosing the one that you would like to display on the postcode search. Your membership certificate will show the business name rather than the individual’s name so you can print out as many of these as you like to show to customers. If you would like to run from two separate locations, and show up under two postcodes, you would need to purchase two memberships of NarpsUK.