What’s a Good Business to Start in Minnesota?

If you’re like me, and you probably are: Human, live in North America, are on the internet -> Then you’ve probably at one point or another considered starting your own business in Minnesota.

You may have different reasons for wanting to start your own business, for me it was just about the freedom to actually do what you love (whether in Minnesota, or Ontario!), and be the one who sets the pace, and sets priorities.

For you it may come down to just wanting to work from home, or maybe you’re looking to get away from ‘that boss’. Whatever the justification, if it feels right to you – Then it’s probably right.


There’s a tremendous variety of businesses that you could start on your own, even in parallel with a full or part time job. By doing your new venture in tandem with your existing job, you can phase yourself from the old to the new.

Here’s a couple easy to start business ventures that you can take advantage of right here at home in Minnesota:

  • Pet sitter or dog walking – Low start up cost, and can be done at off hours to fit in with your other job
  • Computer repair – It takes a little bit of reading and practice, but there is essentially zero cost to get started.
  • Photographer – Now this may end up outdated very soon, but it can still be a very easy side project to start for yourself.

For the time being, let’s discuss the dog walking and pet sitting aspect of starting your own business as a pet care provider:


How do I start Pet Sitting or Dog Walking?

With a business such as pet sitting or dog walking, the first step is really all about getting clients. Well, I suppose you SHOULD love animals and pets as well, that would go a long way.

But getting started is hard, because you need clients! How is someone supposed to make money without clients?

A valid question, but the secret… Is to NOT charge. At first, at least.

A great answer on a Quora post of a similar nature here

Getting Pet Sitting or Dog Walking Clients (The Easy Way)

That’s right, don’t charge for the service. That is the number one way you can start out in many fields. Especially businesses that don’t have any real overhead besides time. Time is the great arbitrage as Gary Vee once said. What that means is, if you’re freshly starting a new dog walking or pet sitting business – All you need to invest is your time! It can payoff huge.

When is a Good Time to Charge for Services?

After you’ve made the rounds of getting some no-charge dog walking or pet sitting clients, you can then try to ask for referral business within your new network, or use testimonials from the free clients to use as social proof that you’re doing a great job.

PS – You must do a great job for this to work!

You’re using the giveaway to get the ball rolling. It will help to build confidence, and hone your skills so that you’ve got some personal data to draw experience and vital information from. Such as:

  • What are normal pain points and how to address them to clients
  • What is the time really worth to you – Is is a $10/hour vibe, or more? Only you can decide
  • What is your geographical target? Do you want to stay in your Minnesota community, such as Hastings, Lake Elmo, or Woodbury?
Lake Elmo Mn

Credit where credit is due – let me know if this is your pic!

Why Would People Hire a Dog Walker or Boarding Service in Minnesota?

People would hire you because of the following:

  1. What they’ve heard about you from others
  2. What they’ve heard about you from yourself.

Which of those is more trustworthy you think?

The Value of Social Proof

It has been said many times that word of mouth is one of the best ways to get more business. Via referrals, or review sites, you can be sure that the positive reviews that others leave for your business, or if they talk to their networks, that you are more than likely going to end up with more business.

get reviews

It’s why you aim to do a good job.

For Minnesota natives, there’s lots of reasons to hire dog sitters and pet sitters, or dog walkers. Even boarding services have their place if you are willing to board other people’s pets in your own home.

Whether people are working late, or have emergency matters to attend. There’s a dramatically bigger market than you’d think for these types of pet services. If you’re into pets, and have time – It’s an excellent investment in yourself.


In summary, the moves you make are all tried and true. For ages, it’s been the same things that work for new businesses. Use your time, if you have it, as your giveaway to get your foot in the door, and do a darn good job once you’re in, as the feedback you get from the free pet care jobs can lead to future PAYING jobs.

Pet sitting and dog walking