Merriam business owner Andy Wiltz recently launched a new side hustle to his doggy daycare business: picking up pets’ poop in northern Johnson County and Olathe.
Wiltz launched a franchise operation for the national Pet Butler brand in July. His new poop scooping business is now housed with Wiltz’s other business, Woof’s Play & Stay, in Merriam.
Pet Butler is a subscription-based pet waste removal service in which customers can have their lawns swept on a weekly or every-other-week basis, as well as one-time pickups.
“I actually enjoy what I do; it’s kind of fun thinking about one of my jobs is a professional poop scooper,” Wiltz said. “I did not go to college thinking that was going to be my career goal, but when you enjoy what you do, it’s not really work.
“I know it’s a cliche to say that, but we have fun. We joke around all the time. We send each other pictures of weird dog poop, it’s just something you do. If you’re not having fun at work, you need a new job.”
Adding to business
Wiltz said he had been looking for ways to diversify his revenue stream during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly with less traveling and people working from home.
And poop scooping made sense, since there is some overlap for many of his existing clients at the doggy daycare.
“There’s a lot of synergies between this and my existing customer base,” Wiltz said. “We get to see dogs when they get dropped off at Woof’s, but then if we’re servicing their house on a day where the dog’s not at daycare, we get to see them there. It confuses the dogs, like ‘I know these people, why are they here?’ So they walk around with us when we’re in the backyard, and we get to play with them there, too.”
So far, Wiltz says he has about 60 regular customers for poop-scooping, and he expects business to ramp up next spring, when temperatures warm up after winter and snow melts away.
“Revenues aren’t huge right now, but we’re also laying the groundwork and setting up our processes,” Wiltz said. “So we’re going to be ready come this spring when there’s a flood of new people wanting this service.”
Wiltz’s franchise is the second Pet Butler location in the Kansas City metro. The other covers southern Overland Park and into the Belton, Mo., area.