Updated: Aug 17
People love their pets – sometimes to the point of making them their family members, says Psychology Today. It’s only natural to shower attention and material gifts on what (or who) you love. A woman once left her $13 million fortune to her pet cat, as ABC News can confirm.
This is all very relevant information if you’re a budding entrepreneur looking for a lucrative niche to target. People love their pets and don’t mind spending on them, meaning demand for pet-related care and products is there. 2022, especially, has extra potential for pet businesses than other years (more on this below).
Here, World of Cats and Dogs offers some reasons why now is the best time to set up a pet-care business. We also provide suggestions on how to get started.
Now is an Ideal Time for a Pet-Related Business
2022 is an especially promising year to set up a pet-related business. Here’s why:
⦁ The pandemic made people get more pets: 23 million Americans got new pets during the pandemic. Pets, as you know, are therapeutic, offer excellent companionship, and generally make you feel good. All these extra pets have needs that need to be catered to.
⦁ People are spending increasingly more money on pets: Americans spent a staggering $109.6 billion on their pets in 2021, reports PetKeen, and these numbers are only going to climb in the future. To put things into perspective, that works out to anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per household per month.
⦁ The pet industry is booming: The pet industry, needless to say, is doing well. That means you won’t have trouble finding suppliers, skilled help, and similar assistance for doing business.
⦁ Government assistance is available: As you likely know, the government has been offering a lot of financial assistance and other perks to struggling businesses recently. Grants, loans, and other forms of assistance are easier to come by.
Can’t Wait to Start Your Own Pet-Related Business? Do it Right
Starting a business isn’t as hard as it seems. Conversely, keeping it going isn’t as easy as it sounds either. Preparation is the key to success.
⦁ Figure Out What You Can Do
First, brainstorm a pet business idea. What can you do? It should, ideally, be something you’re good at, and enjoy doing, and that’s also in demand. You could make a pet product (like a leash or decorative food bowls) or sell a service (dog sitting, grooming, and walking).
⦁ Research the Market
Whatever ideas you come up with, you must double-check the viability in the market. For instance, the demand for dog walking has decreased in the post-pandemic world, but the demand for dog grooming and care has increased. Whatever product(s) or service(s) you choose, try to make it future-proof.
Pet sitting is a growing industry now that more people are traveling. While some want to bring their pets, others worry about leaving their animals at home without company since they’ve been so used to having people at home most of the time. You don’t need any credentials to pet sit, either; however, basic knowledge of and chemistry with pets is definitely a benefit. If you’re unsure how much to charge, search online for pet sitters with similar experiences and use that to base your rates.
If you are planning a brick-and-mortar location, add location scoping to your market research. It’s important to get a location that is in a high-traffic area that is not overly saturated with pet-related stores or where real estate is overpriced. If possible, choose an area with a high walk score, which means people from the surrounding area can easily walk to many shops and restaurants. Areas like this can bring in lots of natural leads, and you can network with other local businesses in the area to help develop a buy local atmosphere.
⦁ Plan It Out
Having a business plan allows you to get organized and set out concrete goals to establish yourself properly in the new field. It covers everything from finance and seed money to operations and business goals. It can also help with marketing – such as setting up a website and advertising on social media. It can take a while to craft a good plan, but it’s a worthwhile use of your time.
⦁ Keep Your Finances in Check
Having a solid budget, setting up an emergency fund, and ensuring a good cash flow are all mission-critical goals. Getting a smooth, potentially-automated invoicing process set up can help in this regard. By sending professional-looking invoices to your clients on time, you can get paid on time, set clear payment terms, invoice on-demand, and accept a variety of payment methods. Invoice makers allow you to create templates online conveniently. The best invoice template is a personalized one – something that includes your name, logo, brand colors, and other pertinent information.
Having a pet-related business can be a wonderful, rewarding, and fulfilling experience. Expect all the usual entrepreneurial challenges along the way. You can check in with sites like World of Cats and Dogs to see what topics are important to pet owners now. You may even be able to promote your new services on these sites. The key is to increase your exposure and be strategic about your business plan. If you plan things out and are persistent, you will eventually set up in creating a lucrative new business for yourself.
Image via istockphoto
The author of this post is Linda Chase and she holds all the rights to it! She is our guest blogger and she will be posting articles every now and then when she has something new and important to write. Please feel free to comment on our new writer and express your opinion on this blog post.