The pet care industry is growing rapidly, and if you’ve always dreamed about opening your own pet care business, this could be the perfect time to finally take the leap! But starting a pet care business takes some work, so you don’t want to rush the process without spending time planning and researching your next steps. From marketing your pet care products on multiple platforms with Valet Seller to hiring employees who are great with animals, these tips will help you through the early days of business ownership.
Pet Care Business Models
The term “pet care” can apply to a wide range of businesses, so think about which model appeals to you. Perhaps you’re a great baker, and you’ve considered baking pet treats and even creating custom orders for your clients. Or maybe you love the idea of selling equipment like leashes, harnesses, toys, and beds through an e-commerce shop. Maybe you used to volunteer at an animal shelter, and now, you could use the skills that you learned there to become a dog walker or pet sitter. Alternatively, you might be interested in becoming a pet groomer.
Qualifications and Certifications
Depending on which business model you choose and what services you plan to offer, you may need a certain certification or license to work with pets. You won’t need any special certifications to start up an online shop for pet products, but if you want to open a pet grooming business, you may need to get a license first. Research the regulations in your area to determine if you will need to pursue any specific qualifications before you start operating your business. You may also need to purchase insurance.
This is also a good time to think about whether or not there are any other skills you might want to learn prior to starting your business. For instance, you could take an online class on marketing, enroll in a basic dog training course, or even brush up on your accounting skills.
The Planning Process
You could technically choose a name for your business, register with your chosen structure, and start operating right away – but doing some planning first is definitely a smarter choice. Sit down and block off a few hours to come up with a general business plan. As you begin building your business, you might deviate from this plan at times, but it’s good to have a roadmap outlined.
In your business plan, Oberlo recommends writing an executive summary, descriptions of your products and services, a market analysis, marketing plans, and ideas for your management and sales strategy. In addition, you should include financial projections. You can incorporate your overall budget into your business plan, or you can create a separate budget document.
Advertising Your Pet Care Business
You’ve worked out your business plan, and now, it’s time to let the world know that you’re open! You’ll need to put your marketing strategy into action. As the owner of a pet care business, you will primarily want to focus on local advertising that targets potential customers in your own community. While social media marketing is a good idea, you don’t need to focus on building a large, widespread following – instead, use tactics that will draw in people who live nearby and need local services for their pets.
Which marketing techniques should you use for your business? Gingr recommends creating a website and adding a blog, where you can share updates on new products or services as well as tips on pet care. Writing these posts with search engine optimization in mind will help more people find your site! In addition, you can pay for local advertising campaigns on Facebook and Google. And if you’re selling products, make sure to set up eye-catching e-commerce pages on your website and explore multiple sales platforms to get your products in front of more consumers.
When you’re running a pet care business, you need to focus heavily on client relations. People care deeply about their pets, and whether they are buying a new harness for a dog or hiring someone to watch their cats for the weekend, they want to know that their furry friends are in good hands! Make sure to ask your clients in-depth questions about their pets’ needs, offer incentives to loyal customers, and follow up with them for feedback so that you can continuously improve.
Establish a Payroll System
At first, you might be the only employee of your business. But as you take on more clients, you’ll eventually need to hire more team members. You might be eager to start advertising for open positions, but before you start accepting applications, you need to figure out how you’ll manage your payroll system. Setting up your payroll system can seem complicated, but if you look up the different steps involved, the process will be much easier. When we say “payroll” it refers to a software system that should enable you to easily distribute regular paychecks to your employees and keep reporting records for state and federal taxes.
How do you add employees to your payroll system and send out checks? First, you’ll need their payroll information in a W-4 form and then determine their gross pay, make pre-tax deductions, deduct taxes, and make any remaining voluntary deductions. This figure will represent their net profit.
Hiring Your Pet Care Business Team
When it comes to hiring your team, you want to screen for trustworthy candidates who have worked with animals in the past. This will make it easier for you to delegate certain duties to them without going through an extensive training process – and it will give you and your clients peace of mind! During interviews, present real-life scenarios to applicants and ask them how they would handle these situations. This will give you a good idea of which candidates can think on their feet and feel truly prepared for the responsibilities of the job.
Running a pet care business can be very fulfilling. Whether you want to sell unique pet care products and gear, start your own grooming boutique, or become a pet sitter, you can open a thriving business in this growing sector. By following these steps, you’ll be able to launch your business, find your first customers, and grow your team!
Are you starting an e-commerce shop for pet care products? Sell your goods across multiple marketplaces with Valet Seller. Schedule a product demo through our website today!