So, you have been thinking about starting a pet business? You need to be prepared and know all the ins and outs before you get started. A pet store is not a home business, however many people love pets and want to know how to open a pet store. First, you need to decide what kind of pets you want to sell, do you like dogs, cats, birds, reptiles or fish? Maybe you want to sell all of the types of pets. If you do, you need to be prepared to house them properly. All of the different types of pets need to be in cages and/or aquariums. Only like pets can share housing areas and you are limited by the government on how many like pets you can put in one type of housing. You need to find out the cost of keeping your shop stocked, with pets and supplies, pay the rent and utilities, as well as paying for help. If you don’t have enough money on hand to start, you will need to set up financing to get you through until your pet business can totally support you.
Next, you need to find an appropriate facility to house your pet business. One big enough for cages and aquariums, as well as shelving to provide the supplies needed for customer’s pets. You know you will need food, treats, bowls, cages, fish supplies, reptile supplies and of course lots of toys.
Once you find a facility, you need to contact your city, county or state government to see what licenses you will need and if the facility needs any remodeling at all, you need to contact a contractor to get the permits for you.
Advertising is a biggy; you need to get the word out that you are going to open soon. You will want to place an ad in the paper and get some banners to hang on the front of your pet business shop. You may also want to invest in a few mailings to the neighborhoods around your shop. These efforts will pay off big time when opening day comes. You also need to think about some grand opening specials. You could offer a free bag/container of pet food with the purchase of a pet. You could also offer a ‘buy one, get one half off or even free on the food, treats and toys.
Now it’s moving in day, you have your delivers set up to come to the new pet business today. If you haven’t already, you might want to get there early to dust all the shelves and sweep the floor. Be ready, the delivery people will be there soon. Once everything arrives, you will want to open each box, check the contents against the packing list and then against your original order confirmation. Place everything in its place and step back to admire your work.
Your next step is to visit a few puppy breeders if you are going to sell dogs, cat breeders if you are going to sell cats. Most reptile breeders will ship to you directly, so you’ll need to contact a few suppliers to get set up with snakes, lizards, frogs and such. Fish suppliers work the same way, but you need to have your aquariums, pumps and filters up and running before any fish are delivered to your shop.
You have to decide if you need to hire staff before your grand opening. Can you handle the shop all by yourself….probably not, so place an ad in the local paper are put a flyer up on the front glass of your pet business shop. You will start getting resumes and phone calls galore. Set up some interviews and hire enough staff to help you run that perfect pet business.