Pet Shop Business Idea
Do you love animals and have retail experience? Are you interested in how to start a pet shop of your own?
While spending time with animals can be a fun and rewarding experience, it can be a lot of work. In addition to making sure that the animals are cared for, you will have to determine which pets are the most popular in your area and locate a dependable breeder for each type.
The pets will have to be fed and cleaned up after whether the shop is open or closed. Sick animals will need to be quarantined from the healthy ones and given proper veterinarian care. You will also need to decide which types of products to stock and find suppliers for those items as well.
In addition to the most popular and most profitable items, you should also stock all the products required for a new pet owner. In addition to completing a sale, pet shop personnel will be expected to answer routine and not-so-routine questions. In short, you will be required to be the pet expert for the entire area to operate a successful pet shop.
How To Start A Pet Shop – Where To Start
When deciding how to start a pet shop, your location will be one of the first decisions you make. You will want to keep your rental costs low while finding a storefront that has plenty of foot traffic and parking.
The building should provide plenty of floor space on the sales floor as well as a large backroom area to store stock and young or sick animals. You will need an assortment of aquariums, cages, lights, stands, and shelving to house the animals.
Your inventory will require shelving and other supplies for attractive displays. A cash register or two and phones will be required for the sales floor, while computers and other office supplies will be needed for your office.
Business Considerations For Your Pet Startup
Every retail business requires a local business license to operate. In addition, you’ll need a federal tax id and to register with your state’s tax department in order to pay all required sales taxes. Each locale will have their own regulations about operating a retail establishment.
Make sure you check with your local business licensing office for a list of business requirements. For animal specific trades, each state will have a list of animals that are restricted from sale. Many states also have a list of animals that can be sold, but must be registered with the state.
While this is usually to prevent the introduction of invasive species, it can also be to control the spread of disease or to restrict the ownership of dangerous or endangered animals. You should also have training in the care of each type of animal that you will sell and be able to spot the first sign of illness or other issues with your animals.
Each customer will expect you to know in detail how to care for the animal that they are purchasing. Be prepared to hand each one a care sheet and a supply list. Invest in a good general liability policy as well as a workman’s compensation policy.
You never know when one of your customers or one of your employees will receive a bite from one of the animals. In addition to the animal specific knowledge that is required, a good working knowledge of business administration and management will be helpful.
Advertising Your Pet Store
Once you’ve learned how to start a pet shop, it’s time to find customers. If there aren’t a lot of pet stores in your area, this will be the easy part. Run a few commercials and purchase a few ads and the customers will find you. Everyone loves an animal, and people will come to look.
The trick will be to get them to buy. Make sure that you run special promotions and sales to entice the lookers to become buyers. Christmas will be your prime selling season, and you should take advantage of it.
Have animals in areas where they can be easily viewed along with affordable starter packages. If there is a lot of competition in your area, make sure that your advertisements point out why your shop is the better store. Your store could have a better source of pets, more unusual pets, or your staff is better trained.
Now that you know how to start a pet shop, you might want to expand. Open a shop across town or add a grooming service next door to your current pet shop. If you find that you have a gift with a particular bird or fish, consider breeding them yourself. A pet photo studio is another expansion idea if you’re handy with a camera.