Why Is It A Good Business?
Pet is human’s friend, we love to have a popular animal that is common as pet such as dog, cat, rabbit, guinea pig, or even less common animal like lizards, snake, tortoise, hedgehog, etc. The number of people who have pet in most country, especially in the US and Europe is big enough to create adequate demands for entrepreneurs to start pet related business such as pet shop, pet care, veterinarian, animal breeder, or even pet competition organizer. Pet statistics from American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) specifically write in their site:
Facts about Pet Ownership in the U.S.: It’s estimated that 70-80 million dogs and 74-96 million cats are owned in the United States. Approximately 37-47% of all households in the United States have a dog, and 30-37% have a cat.
And petsecure.com.au stated that:
Americans spend over $50 billion per year on their pets.
Just looking at a glimpse of those incredible numbers above, it is not an understatement to say that pet shop business is a massive business that has great market potential.
What about the competition?
Mostly pet owners are not having enough time to prepare their pet’s food from fresh ingredients and besides that kind of food will also cost higher than a regular pet food that is available in a pet shop. Unless their pet is a herbivore and able to eat raw vegetables that can be easily bought in a local grocery market, they will likely need to buy instant pet food or pre-cooked pet food to fulfill their pet’s nutrition. So there is obviously small to none competition from pet owners to start your pet store business, in fact they are potentially to become a pet shop regular customer.
Aside from pet’s food, a pet shop can also sell many stuff such as toys, accessories, vitamins, etc. that will help to increase the turnover. So the competition of pet shop business is predictably only come from another pet shop nearby, because there won’t be any pet owner who will buy those stuff in a very large quantity unless they want to start a business.
If you want to know the local market potential of pet shop business, you can start by observing park in your nearby area, asking for information to local animal shelter and local pet community (if there is any). By counting of the number of people who have pet in your local area and see if there is any pet shop that will be your competitor, you can decide whether its worth your time and money to jump into this business as well. You can also plan another niche in the pet related business (such as animal breeder, vet, etc.) if you think that pet shop business alone won’t be enough to get the required income to make business running smoothly.
The good news about opening a pet shop is you can start small. This is one of small business ideas that can be built with relatively small starting capital. You don’t need to have deep experience in animals to get started, but you must at least know basic things about the animal that is going to be your target consumer, so that you have an image of what their owners need to buy.
How To Start A Pet Shop Business?
First, you need to decide what kind of animal that your business will serve. Is it dogs, cats, hamsters, rabbits, guinea pigs, fishes, or birds, exotic animal such as snakes/lizzards?
By choosing the animal type, you can further list the potential products that can be sold in your pet shop. Imagine what kind of stuff do the pet owner will need when they have that particular pet, for example: Hamster owners gonna need sun flower seeds to feed their pets, wood chips to make a perfect house for those hamsters and a hamster wheel to keep them busy 🙂
If you know specifically that some animals need certain products like medicine or vitamin, you can include it in your products list too of course.
After that, you must find suppliers who are selling those products on your list that you want to sell to your customer. Make sure to get a discounted price, because that’s where your revenue at.
Then you can start calculate your purchase budget to build the initial stock and immediately promote your business to make sales. For a small starting, you can stock up more on fast moving products such as pet’s food, but you need to be aware about its expiry date too since you’re going to buy in bulk order.
But before spending your money to stock up some pet stuff, it is good to prepare a business place first so that you can manage and sell your products professionally. You might also want to take care of your business legal requirements such as business name registration, tax identification, legal document for specific license (you might need it in case you plan to sell live animals), etc.