There are more pets in this country than there are pet businesses that can serve their needs. Not to mention, the pet industry is currently a $180 billion dollar global industry, and with many of those pet owners being millennials with young pets, that projection will only continue to grow and stand the test of time.
With the potential for success clearly there, the thought of starting your own pet business has crossed your mind, and you’re finally ready to act.
But where do you start?
If you’ve ever thought about changing career paths and becoming your own Pet Boss, or if you already own a pet business and want to read about some resources and knowledge tidbits you may have missed out on along the way: Read on.
Here are three initial questions to ask yourself if you’re ready to pursue being your own Pet Boss:
First, what are you going to do?
Play with puppies all day? Well, of course… don’t we all want that job?! That will come in time, but owning a pet business is a lot of work that is pawsitively worth it. The really cool thing about breaking into the pet industry is that there are so many different paths you could choose. You could:
- Be pet care service-based. This includes pet sitting, grooming, dog daycare, boarding, etc. It’s often an easier point of entry and requires a lower investment (unless there is a build-out involved), but consider how scalable your business model is. You are trading time for money, and that can sometimes be limiting.
- Become a retailer. Becoming a pet retail shop owner sure sounds like fun, doesn’t it?! This option is also an easier point of entry, but with more risk involved. You have to invest more into your inventory, which requires some market research. What do the pet owners in your market need?
- Become a manufacturer. You have your own product ideas, and you want to get them out to market! You can do this direct to consumer, or wholesale. Just be sure you are doing your research to ensure there’s room (and need) in the marketplace for your product!
- Create an online business. This could be an online-only store (which requires less on-hand inventory), selling an online course, blogging… or even something new that no one else is doing! The start-up costs for this type of business are generally lower, and you can pivot into new things more easily.
- Start a service-based business. Support pet industry businesses with your skills! Leverage a skill you’ve mastered that would be helpful to others in the industry, such as social media management, copywriting, graphic design, business management, etc. There is power behind really niching down and getting specific in order to serve a particular audience.
Next, where is your path of entry going to be?
There are a few potential ways you can break into the pet industry, so let’s check them out:
- Start from scratch. Building your dream from the ground up will take a lot of time and patience, but it gives you the freedom to make every single choice along the way. You’ll want a detailed road map to follow, and be ready to pivot at a moment’s notice! Building a business will throw you surprises!
- Franchise. This path leaves you with a more exact manual and the resources needed to start your pet business. When owning a franchise, you will have to accept some franchise rules and regulations, but the road to opening may be a bit quicker (and sometimes easier).
- Find someone who is ready to sell. There are lots of Bosses out there who own pet businesses and are currently thinking, “what’s next for me?”. You just need to find them! Research the types of businesses you’re interested in opening, and reach out to the owners. You never know when an opportunity will line up perfectly! Join Facebook groups packed with pet industry professionals (like our free one here) to scope out even more opportunities as they arise!
- Go back to school to learn a new skill or trade. Certain pet industry jobs will require further education, like your service-based choices. You might need to find programs to learn a new skill or become certified in something and up-level your credibility. Here are some of our top suggestions for organizations or programs that will further your education in certain skills:
Lastly, is your idea viable?
Determining whether or not your dream is one that will succeed can be tricky, but there are some logical questions you can explore in order to come to a conclusion.
- How is your idea different from what is already out there? Is it unique? How will it serve pet parents differently from your competitors? This is a good way to nail down a unique selling proposition and figure out what makes your pet business idea exceptional.
- Have you done your research to understand the demand? The idea itself is only half the battle! Your product, service, or idea needs to be a solution to a specific problem, whether that means filling a need for pet retail options in your local area, or a brand new product that makes pet owners’ lives easier. Talk to people. Dig for information online. Find out what the people need!
- What skills do you have, and what will you need to hire out for? You won’t be able to do it all forever in your business. Consider what you might need help with and what paying for that looks like. Factor it into your business plan.
- What connections can help you? Are there people in your life you can reach out to that would propel you in the right direction?
- What are your sales channels going to be? You need to know how you’re going to spread the word about your business venture! Are you going to attend trade shows? Pay for targeted ads? How are you going to get directly in front of the right customers?
The answers to these questions (and their sub-questions) are your foundation. They can be your building blocks to building the business of your dreams and becoming the best Pet Boss you can be! Stay tuned for the next phase coming to the blog soon!
Want to do a deep dive on how to start your own pet business? Listen in to episode 14 of the Boss Your Business Podcast!
Learn more with us!
- Need 1:1 support to make massive action now? Book a discovery call with us to see if working 1:1 with Candace is the right fit for you.
- Get on the waitlist! You’re passionate about pets. It’s time to have a business that supports the life you want, too! Learn the specific techniques to find new customers, to increase sales and to build a better team for ANY kind of pet business by joining the Pet Boss Club! Get on the waitlist here.