Start a Pet Food Store
If you love animals and want to be your own boss, you might dream of a business that allows you to keep them around and make money. A good way to combine this is by opening a pet food store.
This is one of the most profitable alternatives in the pet industry, since it is a vital need and therefore, its movement is constant. Take the time to determine your ability to run a pet food store and set up your business carefully.
Here are a few steps you can take to succeed in this important process you are about to embark on:
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Operation of a pet food store
This business idea proposes to open a physical store that specializes in selling pet food, especially for dogs, cats, fish, birds and hamsters, which are usually the types of animals that stay at home the most. The key is to have the best known and most consumed food brands to offer variety to your customers.
Food stores are characterized, among other things, by offering several more items dedicated to pets, which may include food plates, leashes, toys, hygiene products, among others.
What is the profile of the entrepreneur?
The ideal profile corresponds to those who are willing to acquire knowledge of how the business works. It is essential that the entrepreneur likes animals. It is also important for the entrepreneur to have knowledge about the feeding required by each animal species as well as care and breeding, genetics and diseases.
Why is it a profitable business?
The pet industry is a constantly growing sector. Currently, the expenditure of Spanish people in this market, which includes food, accessories, hygiene and health, exceeds 700 million euros. The greatest weight of this pet sector is held by the food industry, which accounts for 72% of the sector’s total turnover.
Who will be my customers?
Every day there are more people who decide to have a pet, so the business will be aimed at the general public who have pets at home. The food that we are going to sell will be mainly destined to dogs and cats, being the type of animals that people have the most.
That is why the location of your business must coincide with families, couples and in general, people who have pets. We recommend residential areas or commercial sectors with a large influx of potential customers.
Requirements for a pet food store
A business like this requires knowledge in the area, this means knowing what are the most supplied types of food, not only the brands, but also the quantities according to the weights and so on. Information that allows you to advise your customers according to the variety of products you are going to offer.
Like any other business, you need to have the corresponding operating permits. You may even be required to have certificates of training in the area to start your business. Check with the regulatory body in your city to find out what permits are required, as these may vary in each area.
Now let’s see part by part what you’ll need to open your business:
Food: in main lines you want to sell food for dogs and cats, but also to increase and sell food for other animal species like turtles, hamsters, birds and fish. Contact the suppliers of the most important brands to get the food in bulk.
Accessories: in addition to the food, we will extend the offer with a range of accessories for animals such as: feeders, balls, collars, leashes, muzzles, small and other size fish tanks, car and travel accessories, etc. You can contact local manufacturers to support the local market and also get them directly from those who make them, which will allow you to access better prices.
Entrance and shop window: the shop window should show the personality of the store and thus attract customers. The store must reflect an image that is expected by the target audience, taking care of the decoration, lighting, cleaning and grooming, among other elements with which it must surprise and please the public that enters.
The staff: must transmit professionalism and experience, and must be sufficiently trained to advise the customer in their purchases. In this way, they will be able to accompany you in the process so that you can choose exactly what you are looking for according to your needs and conditions.
First steps of a pet food store
The first thing is to carry out a market study that allows you to know the location of your potential customers and thus, the best location area. Also
you must identify the location of competitors, as we will see in a moment, the prices that are handled in the market and the current demand in order to equip your business.
Identify your competitors
They will be animal food stores with similar characteristics to those described in this project. These shops are going to be the direct competition of the business, therefore, it will be necessary to study the area chosen for the location, since it is basic to know what the established competition does in an area close to ours, and to bet on differentiation, so that, in this way, your possibilities of attracting customers are greater.
Another series of competitors will be the pet shops that incorporate the offer of accessories and food, shops specialized in animal species, hypermarkets and veterinarians.
Don’t forget to make a business plan that allows you to calculate the amount of initial investment you will need to open your pet food store. There you will describe all the activity of your business and identify what you need.
How do I promote my business?
To start promoting your business, you can start with advertising through mailings in the area where you locate your store, ads in the local press, brochures about new products to come or the most attractive ones, Internet ads on industry pages, in magazines, flyers and business cards with related businesses that do not offer food, etc.
To promote your shop, participating in some animal-related event, such as a pet competition, would be a very interesting option where you could easily make yourself known to a large number of people in the sector. Always carry physical advertising at hand.
Tips for setting up a pet food shop
The friendly, timely and respectful attention to the customer and the good performance of the product, make the customers buy again with the “word of mouth” and invite acquaintances.
It is very important that you pay attention to the conditions and the expiration date of each of the food packages that you are going to offer to your public. In addition, you should also ensure that the staff working with you are either highly experienced, able to advise customers correctly, or willing and able to learn and train in the area.
Remember that the staff is one of the two main faces that will qualify your clients and stakeholders, so if you want them to come back, you must provide the best service.
Weaknesses: when entrepreneurs set up a pet food store, it is normal that they add other types of products, as we told you, in order to obtain greater income and diversify what their store offers. However, if in your plans is later, the sale of animals between dogs and cats, you should consider it, because more and more people reject and question the sale of animals.
This type of activity has been pointed out as an act of torture, in front of the females that raise several litters along their life, which also generates the presence of sufferings in the animals.
Points in favour: the pet food market is a very dynamic sector that is constantly growing. In countries such as Spain, there is a strong demand for pets, with the population owning pets being quite large, reaching between 40% and 50% of Spanish households. This proportion is increasing in recent years not only in this place, but also in other countries.
Choose good suppliers who provide you with food on time. If possible, contact another supplier in case the first one doesn’t suit you, this way you will always have a supply available in your business.
As you can see, the possibilities of a business like this are many, because they are the gateway to sell another series of pet items that will allow you to increase your profits and your customers, find what they need in one place.
Start your business today.