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Drive business growth with rural America marketing insights

Are you ready for actionable marketing insight you can apply to help you reach, connect and convert rural American consumers? Hop in the front seat as you’ll be riding shotgun with Cliff Callis, your OUTdrive host, as he takes you down the road to success.

Jan 4, 2022

An ASPCA survey revealed that nearly 23 million Americans welcomed a pet during the height of the pandemic in 2020 - aptly referred to as “pandemic puppies.” And, according to a study by the American Veterinary Medical Association, a majority (75%-85%) of pet owners think of their pets as family. Pair those statistics together and you have a huge market of pet owners returning to work with no one to care for their beloved pets while they are away. In today’s episode of OUTdrive, Cliff visits with Collin Funkhouser, who turned his dog walking side gig into a booming pet care business. 

Collin and his wife, Meghan, are the owners of Funky Bunch Pet Care, providing home-based pet sitting and services in rural America. The couple started pet sitting part-time to help pay for their college tuition, and in 2012 they established the Funky Bunch name. In 2020, they made it their full-time profession and now provide pet care to over 200 clients in Sedalia. Due to continued growth and demand, they recently opened a service line in Springfield. In addition to being business owners, Collin and Meghan also host the Pet Sitter Confessional, a podcast by pet sitters for pet sitters.

Before focusing solely on their small business, Collin spent time working for the Missouri Department of Conservation in Sedalia. He also has an extensive wildlife education, holding a bachelor’s degree in wildlife biology from Missouri State, a master’s in Natural Resource Management from Texas Tech and a PhD in quantitative biology from the University of Texas at Arlington. 

Tune into this episode to learn how Collin and Meghan are doing all the right things from a marketing perspective to grow their brand and small business. With a quick visit to their social media platforms or podcast, you’ll see that this couple is one funky bunch with a passion for pets.

What you’ll learn: 

  • How Collin and his wife transitioned from using dog walking side gig to pay for college to launching Funky Bunch Pet Care and making pet care their full time job
  • Collin explains how he builds trust with clients through digital platforms
  • The process of booking and building trust with a client through digital marketing and the steps Collin and Meghan take when meeting pet owners for the first time.
  • How Collin and Meghan started their pet sitting podcast 
  • The scalability of pet care and taking the steps to grow a small business
  • Using search marketing and search results as part of connecting with clients, and other branding strategies Collin is seeing in the pet care industry
  • Some of the challenges of the pet care industry from educating clients to dealing with pandemic puppies to living an isolated lifestyle