Starting A Pet Business


This post was provided to Pet Guardian Angels of America by Noah Rue

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How To Own and Manage a Successful Pet Business

If you’re thinking of starting a business in the pet industry, you’ll be stepping into a profitable, thriving field. According to the American Pet Products Association, in 2017, Americans spent $69.51 billion on their pets. That annual total is higher than it’s ever been before, and it bodes well for any entrepreneur who’s set their sights on the pet industry.

What’s even more exciting is that the pet industry is filled with potential opportunities. You can take the more traditional route of opening a dog kennel, pet store, or grooming business, or you can get creative and launch a product for pets, start a cat cafe, or create a niche service that’s just for pet owners. No matter what type of pet business you decide to create, the following business tips for pet business owners can help ensure that your venture is a successful one.

Know Your Audience

Before you start your business, you’ll need to do some market research to make sure that there’s enough demand to sustain the operation. Part of your market research should consist of learning about the pet industry as a whole, as well about the type of pet owners that you’ll be marketing to. If you’ll be launching a certain product, try to get some pet owners to test out the product ahead of time to make sure that it’s as useful and well-received as you think it will be. You may also want to talk to local pet owners to get an idea of their pain points and how your business could solve those issues for them.

As you get to know your audience, do some research into your competitors, too. For instance, if you’re thinking of opening a pet sitting business, do some research into local pet sitters in your area . If you find your location is already saturated with pet sitters, you’d probably be better off by either establishing your business in an area that has greater unmet need, or you’ll need to find a way to make your business more appealing to customers than the existing businesses in the area. All of the information that you’ve learned through your market research will be valuable as you move on to your branding and marketing.

Develop Great Branding and Marketing

Your business’ branding can contribute toward its success, so take your time in naming and branding your business. It’s important to carefully choose your business name, and elements like the sound and spelling of the name can affect how easily customers can remember that name. Be sure that the name isn’t already in use, too. It’s often a good idea to hire a lawyer to help you navigate setting up your business, including trademarking your new name.

Don’t be afraid to bring in professional help when it comes to marketing, too. Hiring a digital agency can ensure that your marketing is done right the first time, and that you get the maximum reward for your marketing budget. Agencies can often do everything from helping you design your logo and branding, to running your social media and online advertising. If you’re not familiar with how to do each of these elements, you’ll spend lots of time and energy learning these skills, whereas an agency can come in and immediately get things up and running. Plus, with an agency to take care of your marketing, you’ll have more time to focus on running your business.

Marketing is essential when starting a new business, so make sure that you budget sufficient funds toward marketing, especially when you’re building up your initial customer base.

Increase Your Profit Margins and Focus on Customer Retention

Good profit margins are essential to a business’ success, so take some time to think about how you can increase your pet business’ profit margins. For instance, pet stores can increase profit margins by working with a smaller number of suppliers so that they can purchase items in bulk, reducing costs – though keep in mind that the more items you decide to purchase and sell, the more likely you’ll have to invest in proper inventory management so you aren’t accidentally throwing money away. Focusing on efficient marketing and establishing an upselling strategy can also increase profits.

Customer retention is also important in managing your business. Rather than paying extra marketing dollars to bring in new customers in the long run, remember to focus on retaining the customers that you currently have. Business loyalty rewards programs and discounts can boost customer retention, and other strategies like customer appreciation events, engaging with customers on social media, and offering a personalized, quality service or shopping experience can also encourage customers to return to you again and again.

Starting any new business, even in the pet industry, is a daunting task, and many businesses fail when their owners haven’t done thorough market research or prepared for the challenges of managing the operation. But many pet businesses also go on to be highly successful. If you have an innovative idea, a new approach to a needed service, or a way to fill a previously unfulfilled need in the pet market, you’ll have a good chance of establishing a successful operation. Good luck!

Noah Yarnol Rue is always looking where his next trip will take him . When he’s not traveling the world, he’s writing articles on the new things he learns. Noah also enjoys a good meme from time to time. You can find Noah on LinkedIn.