Do you gaze into pet store windows and tickle the puppies under their chin? Animals prompt passion in many people. After all, their loyalty, smiling faces, and playfulness bring out the best in us. As a result, some pet lovers take responsibility for adopting and raising pets. While for others, this passion transforms into a full-fledged business venture. In the 21st century, pet care is a billion-dollar industry, overflowing with opportunities.
Whether you are fond of pet grooming, training, or pet-related merchandise – you can kick off any venture. Nevertheless, making the transition from a pet lover to a pet care professional is no easy feat. It is more than kissing kittens and playing with puppies as you have to figure out licenses, certifications, etc.
Likewise, as a business owner, you have to find resources to raise capital, determine start-up costs and payroll considerations. Whether you’re starting a local Georgia business or you’re aiming to create a successful multi-national, you’re going to need the money to do it.
If your love for animals is inspiring you to make a difference, let us help you out. Here are six tips to readily start a pet business.
Develop a Business Plan
A business plan serves as a foundation for every business. Hence, start developing one for your pet business. Here are a few things you must include in the business plan.
- Pick a niche – grooming services, pet food, supplies, or pet care and determine what resources are available to you.
- Provide a concise description of your company and state the type of ownership – sole trader, partnership, etc.
- Explain your products and services and be specific about what you are selling.
- Disclose your target audience – the people who have an interest in your product offerings.
- Give a brief financial analysis to estimate your overhead costs and income.
You’ll also want to make yourself accessible and get your name out there, a good way of doing this is by creating a website for your store. When you’re just starting you’ll more than likely not have the funds to hire a web developer, but web development doesn’t have to be hard.
Many websites are built using WordPress which is fairly easy to get the hang of. If you’re not sure where to start you can search for something like “How to create a WordPress website“. You’ll be able to find articles and video tutorials that can help you get started on creating your own website.
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It doesn’t matter if you own a pet grooming or day-care business – working with animals can lead to unpredictable situations. What if a pet escapes from your premises or equipment causes electrical-system impairment? Surprisingly, pet business insurance can protect your company against damages and financial liabilities. It covers bodily injuries, property damage, and other obligations arising from business operations.
Simultaneously, it also covers professional liability that includes negligence, inaccurate advice, etc. It will protect you from all false accusations by clients regarding the quality of service. Moreover, you can also have worker’s compensation insurance in the package. It would compensate them for on-job injuries, dog bites, lower back pains, deep scratches, etc.
Register Your Business
Whether you have a small pet shop or a huge company – it is essential to complete all legal obligations. Therefore, look into federal, state, city-level regulations, and register your business. Since you are doing business with living creatures – pets, you might come across additional procedures.
It includes safety regulations(such as having the correct warning signs for business), certifications, immunization, and sanitation requirements. Once you meet all these requirements, register for taxes. You can apply for an employee identification number (EIN) through a website or online.
You also have to register a business name and ensure web domain availability. Although it is not mandatory, open a business bank account and apply for a credit card. It is always a rational decision to keep personal assets away from businesses.
Build a Team
Undoubtedly, many small businesses start without any employees, but you can run a pet business like this. After all, it is impossible to look after multiple pets single-handedly. Thus, find people who believe in your mission and are passionate about animals. Likewise, look for candidates who know pets – their likes, dislikes, and lifestyle.
Assess all the applicants and hire employees carefully because one bad hire can damage the customer experience. Most importantly, offer market-competitive wages and fringe benefits to create a positive work environment. Believe it or not, happy, and hardworking employees hold the power to make your business succeed.
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Outline the Business Policies
As a business owner, you have to devise specific workplace policies to maintain discipline. If you don’t have expertise in this field, have a look at these tips;
- Decide the operational working hours and distribute tasks between employees to manage workflow smoothly.
- Set pricing policies for your products and services. You have to make sure they are competitive yet sustainable.
- Choose the mode of payments – cash or credit and handle contracts wisely. If you don’t have the capacity, spell out liabilities to streamline finances and eliminate cash flow problems.
- Plan your marketing strategies and how you will target customers.
- Lastly, prepare a contingency plan to deal with emergencies.
Work on Customer Generation
Once the business model is ready, focus on the ‘marketing’ aspect of the business. In addition to finding customers, you have to keep them invested in your brand. Allocate 10% of your total budget to marketing and spread awareness through social media.
You can launch advertising campaigns to attract new customers or loyalty programs for customer retention. Another way to establish trust is by offering something for nothing. For instance, if you own a pet-walking business, consider offering the first walk free. It builds credibility while enhancing your brand image.
Although entrepreneurship is not a straightforward career path, it is highly rewarding. You have to start from scratch and devote long working hours to pursue your dreams and passion. It could be an incredible idea to create a pet business as a pet lover and turn your passion into a career.
You can surround yourself with cats, dogs, parrots, or every other animal you adore and earn money. However, before calling the shots, do some homework, and learn how to run a business.