How to Start a Pet Store?

How to Start a Pet Store?

People adore pets and for many reasons, they have come to hold equal status as beloved family members and comforting partners in time of need. You don’t have to look far to find pet lovers, chances are a few of them just live next door or there are several in your community who have them.


According to a recent study by the APPA (American Pet Products Association), total expenditures for the US Pet Industry totaled $99 billion in 2020, while $95.7 billion was spent on pets in the US during 2019. Furthermore, pet foods and treats equaled $36.9 billion while vet care and product sales summed to a total of $29.3 billion. On the other hand, pet supplies, live animals, and OTC medicine amounted to $19.2 billion in 2019.

All of this information might have piqued your interest in knowing how to start a pet store? If that is the case, then look no further, as here is a small guide to help initiate your own business within the pet industry.


Basic Understanding of Pet Industry

A pet store is usually defined as a retail business that deals in selling different kinds of animals to the public. However, that is not all as many pet stores often include a variety of pet supplies along with pet-related accessories that are also made available for customers. Most of the products sold include a numerous range of aquariums, cat litter, collars, food, toys, and treats, to name a few.


How Lucrative is the Pet Business?

According to a study by the Zip Recruiter, a pet shop owner on average can make around $50,339 every year, which is actually 2% or $1,165 more than the current national average annual salary. However, if we are talking about strictly running a pet supplies store only then according to How to Start an LLC states that a pet store operated by four people can make around $400,000 in sales per year.


Professional Qualification for a Pet Business Owner

When it comes to education, it is obvious that running your business as the owner of the shop it would be best that you have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business administration. However, what can make you shine most are additional certifications and learning that is related to animal care practices and products. Hence your best bet is to get certified and become a professional pet sitter.


The CPPS (Certified Professional Pet Sitter®) Exam is held and managed by the PSI (Pet Sitters International). This is one of the best certifications that you can acquire. Apart from this the PSI also offers you various online courses that can greatly enhance your knowledge and learning as a professional. These courses broadly cover the following topics:

·         Bird Care

·         Business Operation Skills

·         Cat Care

·         Customer Service Skills

·         Disaster Planning

·         Dog Care

·         Health, Sanitation, and Safety

·         Pet Care Basics


Marketing and Promoting Your Pet Business Company

We are currently living in an era where digital technology has encircled both our professional and personal lives. Along with internet penetration and smartphone usage, the best and most feasible form of marketing and promotion is through online medium on the World Wide Web.


Hence it will be best that you acquire a business website development service to get your proprietor site up and running in no time. This will serve your venture well and help you generate online traffic for your business. However, at the same time, I would also recommend that you acquire the best logo design service to have your very own business logo ready. This will help you to distinguish yourself from rivals in the market and the more visible your logo becomes; the more people will become familiar with your venture. 


Additionally, you should also consider investing your efforts and time in SMM (Social Media Marketing), SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and content marketing which includes email marketing. When the time is right for you to invest more capital for your brand and business promotion then you can think about SEM (Search Engine Marketing) for running paid campaigns as well other forms of marketing. These can include print ads, radio infomercials, TV commercials, OOH (Out of Home), social media influencer marketing, and celebrity endorsements.

However, if you are looking to attract locals to your business, then Google My Business is absolutely a fantastic tool that you can use which is also free. Going the extra mile, you can also start your own blog where you can share valuable information related to your market niche as well as publish newsletters and press releases.


Cost of Running Your Pet Store

According to Small Business Chron, your initial cost of opening a pet store can vary depending upon the location and scope of your venture. If you are only interested in selling pet products then anywhere from around $15,000 t0 $30,000 would suffice. However, if you plan to set up a manufacturing facility, then that could easily cost you as much as $500,000 to get started. 


Bob Vetere of the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association states that running a pet store can generate around $135,200 sales in a year when only accounting for the pet-product business. However, 19% of that goes into employee payroll and benefits while an additional 44.5?n cost you for purchasing more inventory. Hence the best action plan is to start small and expand the business when opportunities are favorable.


Licenses & Legal Requirements Per Business Company

It is an absolute must that you follow legal requirements and regulations imposed by both the Federal government as well as your local state authority. This means a complete understanding of the Animal Welfare Act and the Code of Federal Regulations especially when it comes to the selling of animals. Furthermore, the inspections of animals are regulated by the APHIS (Animal Plant Health Inspection Service) which supports the Animal Care Program. Other federal laws include the Endangered Species Act and the Lacey Act.


For state laws and license requirements, you need to investigate with the authorities and inquire about them diligently to avoid any misunderstandings in the future. In more than 24 states it is a mandatory requirement that all pets that are available for sale should be weaned. Another 20 states require retail pet stores to carry out proper sanitation as well as nutrition of animals, while 16 states require veterinary care to be regulated.


Final Word

On an ending note, I would like to remind you that opening your pet business would also mandate that you register your venture with a local state’s revenue agency. Apart from this you also have to apply for a Federal Tax Identification Number and Employer Identification Number. Both can be easily acquired by simply visiting the IRS website. Additionally, you should also consider a Business Bank Account along with a Business Credit Card to keep your personal assets safe. Lastly, as a precautionary measure, have your business insured with the right insurance policy. Cheers, and all the best for your future endeavors!

Written by

Gary Roberts

Gary Roberts is a digital marketer. He loves to blog about digital marketing, designing, and business growth. A true lover of Coffee with chocolate cakes!

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