One of the best current growth professions - house sitting has come about from the increase in time spent away from home, whether through holidays or business trips.
It is attractive because it is easy and you can choose your level of participation and profit. You can also share the sitting with others, as part of a team.
House sitting is an easy scheme to market. Develop contacts with travel agents who, despite being on commission, will supply you with leads. Also send mail shots to travel agency managers, and advertise your service to private home owners through leaflets, posters and advertisements in the local press, concentrating on the more affluent areas around where you live.
Your rates per day should depend on what the client will pay, but 25 per day is a reasonable minimum. You should come to an agreement about the use of the television and telephone, and it is a good idea to emphasize that a weekend is your minimum period and that you will not sit for children.
It is important that you can demonstrate your trustworthiness, so don't forget to supply references to potential customers. You will also need to take account of insurance and travel in your costing.
It is best to start solo until you have learned the ropes, but once you have done this you could recruit a team. House sitting can be a lonely job on your own, but you could find that you're sitting on a gold mine.