Do you love animals and would love to be your own boss? That’s great. Starting a pet business can be gratifying and profitable. But starting out is not easy. You’d wonder if it’s the kind of business you should do and what you should put in place to make the business a success.
By taking the time to determine your ability to run a successful pet store and then setting up your business carefully, you can start earning money doing something you love, and also make others happy in the process.
Why Start a Pet Business?
If you look around your neighborhood, you will realize that pets are woven into the fabric of people’s lives. Pets are a beauty to behold, they bring joy to their owners, help them manage stress, and contribute to people’s overall well-being.
People whose children have grown up and left home or whose spouse has passed away will tell you their pets fill the painful void left by the loss.
In fact, some couples who don’t have children to call their own consider pets as family members to give their attention and love to.
It is based on this love for pets and the happiness that they bring to people, that you should consider going into a pet-related business. Furthermore, the pet economy is a multibillion-dollar industry. And if you run the business well, you can gain some of this tremendous market which is growing faster than many other areas of our economy. Below are the important things you should know as you prepare to open a pet business.
Starting a Pet Business may Not be Cheap
Initial startup costs for pet businesses vary widely. Product resellers typically need an outlay of $15,000 to $30,000, but home-based sellers will get away with far less. To set up shop, pet food producers may require as little as $30,000 or as much of $500,000 depending on the scope of their plans. Pet sitting, walking, or training may require very little capital, but requires certain training and potentially professional licenses. Having your own place requires maintaining a safe environment so costs associated with things like fencing, waterproof flooring, and child locks should be considered.
Additional funds may be required to get the company started on the right foot. Apply for financing to get sufficient funds to start your pet business and enough capital to cashflow many months with no or slow revenue as you build a loyal customer base.
You May Need a License
Before you can run a pet store, most cities require a license that comes with a mandatory health and safety inspection of your business. If you plan to sell pets and not just foods and accessories, you may be required to state the types of animals you’ll sell as well as your store’s floor plan. If you are boarding you may require a license and if this is going to be done from your home, it is important to look at zoning and ordinances covering these types of activities. Groomers and trainers may require professional licenses and animals used in detection work, guard work, or in the medical field may require their own certifications.
Ignorance of the laws in your local community will likely not get you sympathy from enforcement officers. Ask around in the pet professional community and look for social media groups to join to stay up to date on the requirements.
You Need Insurance
No matter how skilled you or your staff are at handling pets or how careful your customers are, there is still a risk of injury. Claims from things like dog bites can easily eclipse seven figures which would financially devastate most pet-related businesses.
If you are not sure where to start from in terms of general liability insurance for your new pet business, you can discuss your options with experts such as Kennel Pro Insurance. Chances are you may need more than the regular liability cover to handle injuries and losses.
You Need a Good Location
Starting a pet business in the right location can mean the difference between success and failure. Ideally, you’re going to want to get started in a place that has high traffic. High streets and shopping malls typically draw traffic, but they can be costly locations.
Look for affordable locations that have easy road access and links with nearby space for parking. Your aim should be to make it easy for people to see and access your store.
Additional Things You Should Consider
In addition to the capital, license, insurance, you should consider the following important things:
- Get your store equipped with desks, chairs, computers, and paper products before you start a pet business, whether it’s at home or in a retail center.
- You will need to devote time to scout different high-traffic locations to open up your pet business
- You’ll have to undertake massive product research to see what people buy. You’ll probably spend several hours a day researching the latest pet products even after kickstarting the business
- You will also need to develop relationships with producers, marketers, organizers of trade shows, pet associations, and media personnel.
- For the workers, you will need to recruit staff, manage salaries, and file taxes.
- To help, you’ll need a lawyer and accountant.
- You also need to consider a warehouse where you will store your products.
- You will also need to set up shop online especially as no one knows if things will return to normal post-COVID-19. That means you’ll need a website.
- Lastly, you need to create a marketing plan detailing how you intend to promote your business, its products, and services.
To pet lovers, nothing is more enjoyable than running a pet business. Do not let big box pet stores and national Franchises scare you away. You have a great shot at carving out a niche in this industry with your unique expertise, strong brand identity, and a little creative marketing.