There is nothing as exciting as starting a business based on your passion. Philosophers say you’ll never work a day in your life if you are doing what you love. If you are a pet lover, wondering if there is a chance to build a successful pet store business from scratch in this fiercely competitive pet industry, then you are reading the right article.
Now more than ever, there are endless opportunities in the pet industry. The secret is to find a niche and focus on providing the best products ata affordable prices to win customers and beat your competitors.
In this article, you are going to learn the steps on how to set up a flourishing business from nothing.
Choose a niche
The pet industry is wide and the best way to get ahead quickly is to choose a niche to focus on. A niche gives you the opportunity to edge out competition from pet store chains and supermarkets.
To find your niche, begin by conducting market research. Visit various pet shops in your area to identify what they are selling and what they are not selling. Notice the pet shops with the highest traffic. Look into why pet owners prefer that shop instead of the others. Learn their secret and improve on it.
You should also interview pet owners in your region. Inquire about the animals they love, the types of food products and equipment they buy for their pets, and how much they spend on their pets per month.
It would be great if you conducted an online survey to get specific answers from either pet owners or pet shop owners.
If after the survey you still haven’t settled on a niche, then you can ask yourself these questions:
- Is there a product that is in demand, but pet shops are still not selling it?
- Am I interested in selling live animals?
- Do I want to sell pet food products or other equipment?
- Do I want to sell organic pet food products?
- What are the challenges I have been experiencing as a pet owner? Can I transform one of these challenges into a business?
Brainstorm on the ideas until you settle on the one you think is best for your business.
Understand your set up costs
After choosing your niche, the next step is to learn the amount of capital you need to invest to transform your idea into a business. If you are setting up an online shop, then you may need to create a website where your prospects can find you. You can also join an eCommerce platform such as Shopify to gain access to a wider audience.
If you are setting up a brick and mortar business, then you’ll have to rent a building. You also have to pay business rates to the local municipality. In most countries, small businesses get a subsidized rate compared to big businesses.
Also consider the cost of buying supplies, decorating the store, and paying for utilities such as electricity, heating, and water. Take your time and analyze everything you need when starting your pet store business. Calculate the initial costs to understand the amount of capital necessary.
Find the right location for your pet store
Just like any other retail store, the location of your pet shop determines its success or failure. Choose a location that is easily accessible by your customers through convenient transport links such as roads. It should also have ample parking space. The best places to open your pet store should have high traffic. High streets and shopping centers are guaranteed to attract prospects.
You should also settle for a location where other pet stores are already existing. This is because pet owners are already attracted to this area. So, you benefit from the traffic by persuading the pet owners to stick with you instead of their previous sellers.
Get a license for your business
To start a pet shop business in any city or town, you have to get permission from the local authority. If your store satisfies their requirements, then they will grant you a license to begin plying your trade.
Source your equipment and stock
The next step is to create shelving units and display islands where you will showcase your products to clients. Go ahead and purchase the pet supplies from a reputable and affordable wholesaler in the region.
Don’t buy a huge amount of products in the beginning. Instead, get a small number and see what is popular with your customers. For example, if you realize a natural food product is flying off the shelves, then you can restock it in large quantities next time.
Market your pet shop
A business without customers cannot make sales and without sales, your business will not survive. That is why you need to market your products and inform prospects about your existence.
You can hire a freelancer on Fiverr, Upwork or any other freelancing platform to create a sleek website for your business at an affordable price. A website allows prospects who have never visited your shop to learn the story behind your brand, and know the products that you offer. What’s more, as your business grows you may want to sell your products online too and the website will be necessary at that point.
You should also register your company with Google My Business (GMB). This is a free tool created by Google for businesses to manage their online presence on maps and search. For example, if somebody searches for pet shops with your region, your pet shop will come up. It is easy to list your business in Google My Business. Simply verify and edit your business information including your address, opening days and hours, telephone number, and email address.
Build your social media presence to attract pet owners. Identify the place where your prospects hang out most of the time. If they love relaxing on Instagram and Facebook, then launch helpful posts that capture their attention by providing solutions to the challenges of taking care of their pets. Share special offers and even run competitions to increase engagement with followers.
Starting a successful pet shop business should not be daunting. Begin by defining your niche, analyze your startup costs, and find the right location for your business. Get the license to start your business, source the products from an affordable wholesaler, then finally market your pet shop to find clients.
You might also be interested in reading about How to Start a Successful Online Pet Store with a Limited Budget or 5 Marketing Strategies for a Pet Store that Really Works. Do you have your own ideas or Tips on how to setup Successful Pet Store Business from Scratch? Drop in your comment below and share with your fellow readers.