Starting up as a solo pet sitter is relatively straight forward - a professional pet sitter in Queensland will obtain an ABN and register a unique trading name (this is not the same as trademarking a name, which costs thousands of dollars).
A professional pet sitter will take out a public liability insurance policy, which may or may not cover pets under their care.
A solo pet sitter (and business owner) will most likely opt to operate as a sole trader. An alternative is to structure their business as a company, which has greater set up costs and accounting requirements.
The pet sitting business owner will often choose to be available to work 7 days per week, 365 days per year. There are seasonal fluctuations, typically with high peak times at holiday times such as christmas and easter. The rest of the year can be unpredictable.
Many solo sitters have no back up plans for emergencies. Others have an arrangement to contract the services of another sitter if required (and most likely will pay the full client fee to the contracted sitter). This is not an ideal arrangement for peak holiday times, as both sitters are likely to have full schedules.
Pets are depending on them to be fed, so the sitter needs to turn up even if they are feeling unwell. A pet sitter needs to be comfortable with working on weekends and when others are on holiday. If the pet sitter would like to take time off, whether a day off each week or a week or two each year, they have the choice of letting their clients know they are unavailable (and possibly losing them to another pet care service) or hiring help.
As a solo pet sitter, I decided to investigate my options for hiring help. It would be nice to have extra help for peak periods, as well as a reliable backup. I'd like my business to operate 365 days per year even if I have some days off. I currently work part-time in my business and full-time over peak periods. I didn't want to wait until I was working full-time and getting burnt out as many pet sitters do before exploring my options.