Should I hire a website designer for my dog training business?

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I'm a website designer who adores creating websites for dog trainers and dog behaviourists.
Along with my crazy design assistant and fluffy Romanian rescue pup Sasha!

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Dog trainer planning her dog training business website at home

Do I DIY my dog training business website or do I hire a website designer?

This could be a question you are asking yourself right now and the answer is that you need to make a couple of business decisions before making a choice. 

The first is whether you have the budget to invest in a website right away, or not. 

Related post – How much does a dog trainer website cost? 

The second is whether you want to take some time over developing your ideal client, and branding, while using simpler methods to communicate with your pup parents, and then get your website created in the later months of your business. 

Related post – How long does it take to build a dog trainer website with a professional website designer? 

Let’s dig into these points a bit further so you can gain some clarity. Remember though, that it’s your business, and it needs to feel right for you. Every business is different and that’s okay too. So don’t rush this, as it is a big investment and you want to be pleased with the results, because you’ve taken time to do things that are right for you. 

When should I hire a website designer to build my trainer website? 

In my opinion, it’s always better to get an expert to do the things you aren’t expert at, where money allows. I learned this the hard way, by trying to save money early in my business by doing my tax return myself. Fortunately HRMC in the UK were understanding, but it taught me to trust in key services to help me set up my business so it runs smoothly. 

At the beginning of your dog training business

One advantage of hiring a website designer are that you will have a professional-looking website from the beginning. It avoids the DIY disasters I see all the time. 

It avoids you having to use a cheap-looking business website that doesn’t reflect your business in the right way, or one that isn’t easy for clients to use when they want to book you. 

A few months in 

One advantage of waiting a few months is that you will have more of an idea around who you love to work with, more clarify around your mission, vision for your business and maybe even how you want it to look online. 

This avoids you having to get a rebuild done further down the line because you can communicate your website goals to a website designer more effectively. 

Also you may have more budget to invest in your online presence as you become more known and more people book your dog training services. 

But what if I DIYed at the beginning and I’m a couple of years into my business? 

If you are in this situation and you are thinking about refreshing your website, I would ask yourself these questions first, because a website refresh is the same price as a website build. It is a big investment. 

  • Is my website bringing in any enquiries or bookings? If so how many a month? Are you happy with this number? 
  • Does my website reflect my services clearly?
  • Does my website look and feel like I want it to or do I hesitate to share it with people? If so, this is potentially harming your business sales, so a refresh could be something to look at
  • Does my website appear in search results when I type in dog trainer and my area? If not you may need basic SEO work done to get more visible online (which should be standard inside a website designer’s main service)

But what happens if you haven’t got an extra £1k-3k lying around to pay for a website? 

Dog trainer with 2 puppies sitting

There are two options I suggest here. 

1 – You wait and save for a designer to create your website. 

You could save an amount each month towards your website. In the meantime, use your socials and email to communicate with your pup parents. 

You could even create a one page temporary website on Canva where people can go to see an overview of your services. 

Take time to research websites and brands online. 

Take a look at other dog trainer’s websites. What do you like/dislike about them? 

Note down any websites that you love. They don’t need to be in the dog training niche. Note down why you love them so much and what it is about them you love. 

Try to get at least 2 examples of what you love so a designer can take aspects of those brands as inspiration, to create your brand and website (remember we need to take inspiration and not copy anyone’s brand) 

2 – You create a website yourself. 

This could be worth it for you if you know you have a few tech skills. In my opinion, it could last you until you are fully booked consistently, and have cashflow coming in to invest in a website that is designed professionally to attract your ideal client. 

Dog trainer on a farm with golden retriever sitting

Platform that is super-user friendly – Squarespace

If you were thinking of DIYing your first website, I would recommend using Squarespace as it is so user-friendly, but now also has better visibility in search engine results. 

This is one of the reasons I now do most of my work in Squarespace, as it is easier for you as the business owner, to edit and update your website, without hefty charges. 

Some designers even create templates that you can add to Squarespace and edit to your own colours and swap in some images of you working with dogs. 

I aim to provide these templates at some point in the future, but here is a great option if you are thinking of going in this direction. 

Greta has created some gorgeous Squarespace templates here 

Something maybe to consider is that your website is a business expense. Read below. 

Find out if you can write off your website cost against tax

Now I’m by no means a tax expert here (as you can clearly see from the story above) but the cost or part of the cost of your website can be used as a business expense to be written off against tax. 

(Always check with a local accountant before you go ahead though as tax rules vary around the world) 

In summary 

While you don’t need to hire a website designer, my suggestion would be to have a game-plan in mind of when you plan to. 

The results will be a professionally built website that is more visible online, and brings in closely aligned clients that you love to work with. 

There isn’t anything wrong with building your website yourself but it may look less like you wanted it to. Designers are also skilled at making a website super-easy for your clients to use. 

I would suggest a DIY website it be a temporary thing, over the first few months to 2 years, particularly if you have less cash to invest initially.

Want to talk to me about creating your premium dog training website?

Get in touch and we can have a chat about what you need.

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Dog training website bold designed by Helen Nuttall

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