Guest Author: Susan Peterson
The pet-care industry is booming in the U.S., and there is room for anyone looking to provide services. If you’re interested in entering this market, you have a few important things to consider before starting your business. Today, Dog Behavior Blog shares a few strategies for setting up your pet care business for success!
1. Find the Perfect Niche for Your Skills
The first step in creating your business is finding your place in the market. Research shows that Americans spend an average of over $100 billion on pets annually. That means there is space available for competition. What skills can you offer? For example, are you interested in pet grooming, pet walking, or pet sitting? Perhaps you have some ideas about new pet toys and want to start a small e-commerce business. You can get certified in training and offer training services. You just need to find your place.
2. Do Your Market Research
The best way to find where you fit in is to conduct market research. This requires analyzing trends in the current market to see what consumers want and where supply is not meeting demand. Collect data on your target audience. What are they spending their money on? What products or services do they seem to ignore?
3. Be Your Own Marketing Department
No business maintains success without a strong marketing strategy. You can hire professionals to help you boost your brand, but if you need to save money in the beginning, be your own marketing team.
For example, social media is your marketing bread and butter. Create business pages and use your logo to create a cohesive visual brand. Link your website and seek influencers with followers in your target market. You can get your name out there for very little cost.
4. Choose a Business Structure
When you’re starting a new business, one of the first decisions you’ll have to make is what type of business entity to establish. This is an important choice, because it will affect your personal liability, taxes, and a host of other factors. If you’re starting a pet care business, an LLC is probably the best option.
LLCs offer limited liability protection for their owners, meaning that you won’t be personally responsible for any debts or liabilities incurred by the business. In addition, LLCs offer flexibility in how they’re taxed, which can be a major advantage for small businesses. You can quickly set up and register your business through the state through an online formation service.
5. Provide an All-Inclusive Experience
Try not to limit yourself to a single product or service. The good thing about the pet-care industry is you can sensibly include combinations of products and services without the business becoming too broad. For example, if you start a grooming business, include offers for specialty shampoos and cute accessories. If you start a pet-walking business, think about services you can provide to pets with special needs. You can start small and branch out as you build clientele. This allows your business room to grow.
6. Hire Quality Staff
Every business is only as good as its staff. You need an organized and thorough plan for finding workers who are passionate about animals and love working with them. If you are not sure how to properly vet employees, consider hiring a company to handle the process for you. They will evaluate what you expect from employees and apply that to the search and interview process.
7. Purchase Accounting Software
Once you launch your business and start making sales, you need an effective way to complete transactions safely. Every small business needs sophisticated accounting software to make the
process more organized and allow you to store your receipts and invoices. This will come in handy during tax season and give you constant insight into your cash flow status. Some programs will even track inventory for you.
8. Gather the Right Supplies
There are a few supplies you will need in order to provide the best care for your furry clients. Top-rated supplies are ideal, so when spending money on high cost items, focus on product reviews from veterinarians to ensure you make the right purchase. Otherwise, turn to your favorite pet supply outlets.
When shopping for supplies, you may need food and water bowls, as well as a place for pets to sleep. For dogs, you may need crates or kennels; for cats, you will need litter boxes. You will also need leashes and collars for walks, as well as toys and treats. In terms of cleaning supplies, you may need shampoo, wipes, and other cleaning products to keep pets clean and healthy. Don’t forget to buy in dog waste bags in bulk to make sure poop pickup is a cinch. By having all of these supplies on hand, you can be sure that your pet care business is fully equipped to provide the best possible care for your four-legged friends.
By taking steps like conducting market research, registering as an LLC, and hiring quality employees, you can find success as a pet care business. As your pet-care business takes off, remember that these pets are part of someone’s family. Treat them with the utmost kindness. Your clients will fill the love in your care and become loyal customers.