That was the thinking last year when the childhood friends came up with the idea for Poopsters, a mobile pooper-scooper business catering to pet owners looking to enjoy some quality time with their furry loved ones, but are less enthusiastic about the more down-and-dirty aspects of pet care.
“I came up with the idea because I have two bull dogs and never enjoyed picking up after them,” said Arechigla, 20. “And I figured someone might be willing to pay to have their dog’s poop picked up. Once I got a couple of houses, I knew I was on to something.”
“At first our friends and families just shook their heads,” added Avila, 19. “Everyone was laughing at us.”
But no one’s laughing now. As it turns out, the Brentwood residents have a nose for sniffing out entrepreneurial opportunities, and while the smell of success might not always be sweet, business is, well, regular.
“We have probably a couple dozen clients,” said Arechigla, a full-time student at Los Medanos College (LMC) and a licensed Realtor. “It’s a pretty popular thing.”
And fairly profitable, too. For a minimal cost of $10 to $25 per visit – depending on the number of animals and their fecal frequency – the Poopsters will come in, scooper at the ready, once a week or once a month. For first-time customers whose yards have gone 30 or more days without a cleaning, a one-time fee is charged to get a schedule on course.
“One of the first questions I’ll ask someone is when the last time was they picked up their yard, and how many pets they have,” said Arechigla. “If it’s been a while and they’ve got a couple of animals, we usually charge a one-time cleanup fee.”
The Poopsters estimate they bring in a few thousand dollars a month working approximately 20 hours a week – not bad for few minutes worth of work. Their motto – “They poop it, we scoop it” – has served them well.
“After the first few visits, you get to know the lay of the land, where to look for the poop and roughly how much (poop) you can expect to collect,” said Avila, who’s also a student at LMC and full-time health care provider at Cortona Park in Brentwood.
“I’ve gotten to where I can look around a yard and can tell by the smell if I’ve gotten everything,” said Arechigla. “I guess that’s a good thing.”
And as they’ve honed their poop-procuring skills, the young men are finding it’s not so bad shoveling scat.
“It’s an OK job,” said Arechigla. “I like being around dogs. Each one has its own personality. I bring them treats, get them on my side and it is kind of fun.”
As for what the future brings, the dynamic-duo would like to expand the business and perhaps eventually hire some additional human help. Avila said he’d like to expand on the four-legged clientèle as well.
“It would be cool to get a horse,” laughed Avila. “But I’m not sure what we would charge for that.”
For additional information, or to make an appointment, call 925-470-6676.