A 7-Step Guide To Starting Your Pet Supply Store
Where to Start and What To Do
Starting a pet supply store is an excellent idea if you want to start a business. The possibilities are endless if you wish to sell dog food, pet toys, or other pet supplies. If you're considering starting a pet supply store, you'll need to think about essential factors. This article will give you things to think about before opening your business.
1. Form A Business Plan
If you're thinking of starting a pet supply store, it's crucial that you start with a solid business plan. A well-written business plan can help you get your business started on the right foot and keep it on track as it grows.
You've got a great idea for a pet supply store, but you're unsure how to put it on paper. Business plans can seem overwhelming and challenging to write, but they're just a way to structure your thoughts.
Before you start writing, ensure you understand a business plan's essential components. This article will cover the key points in creating a solid business plan for your pet supply store.
What is a business plan?
A business plan is a written document that outlines your company's mission, goals, and objectives — and how you'll achieve them.
Your company's mission statement should be one sentence describing why your company exists and what it does: "Our mission is to provide high-quality pet supplies at affordable prices." A mission statement might also include an objective or goal: "To provide our customers with the best shopping experience."
A business plan is not just an overview of your business's history and finances; it also describes how you plan to grow in the future. This includes details about what makes your company unique and why customers should choose it over competitors' offerings.
Business plans can be as long or short as necessary based on what's needed for funding or other purposes (such as
A good business plan will answer the following questions:
- What is the purpose of your business?
- What products or services does it provide?
- Who are your customers, and what are their needs?
- How much money do you need to start and run your business? How will you obtain financing?
- How much revenue do you expect from sales of goods or services? How much will each type of product cost to produce?
- What are all the costs associated with running the business?
- What expenses will be paid by cash flow, and what costs must be paid by other means such as loans or credit cards?
- What profit is expected from sales of goods or services over time?
2. Create A Legal Entity
Before you begin operating your pet supply store, you need to create a legal entity for your business, such as an LLC.
An LLC is a limited liability company that protects your personal assets from liability risks of doing business. This means that if your business fails and creditors come after you, they can't sue you personally for money owed by the company.
You can form an LLC with the help of an attorney or through online services such as LegalZoom, which charges approximately $199 to set up an LLC in most states.
Plan to consult an attorney or other legal authority to help determine the best legal structure for your new business.
3. Registration (EIN), Permits & Insurance To Operate
Every business needs an Employer Identification Number (EIN). A federal tax ID is a unique nine-digit number used to identify a business entity. It's also the starting point for many types of business filings. In addition to an EIN, you'll need a state tax ID to register your business with your state government.
Register Your Business
Registering your pet supply business with the Federal government will require you to apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The next step is registering your business with your state government. This varies by state but generally involves filling out paperwork and paying a small registration fee. Once again, there are instructions online for how to do this by visiting your state's Department of Revenue website.
You will need permits and licenses to operate a pet supply business, especially if you plan to sell live animals or offer grooming and animal health services.
The type of license or permit required will depend on the type of business you are starting, but here are some of the most common ones:
Business license: If starting a retail store, you will need a business license. You can purchase this from your state's department of revenue.
Pet shop license: If you plan on selling live animals, whether they are dogs or cats, birds or fish, you will need a pet shop license. The requirements vary by state but typically include posting a sign at the entrance that includes contact information for reporting animal abuse and providing adequate space for each animal so they can move around freely without getting tangled in their cage or pen.
Health certificate: Any time an animal arrives at your facility from another location, its health must be checked by a veterinarian before it can be sold or adopted out. The veterinarian must provide paperwork showing the animal was healthy when it left its previous location and remains healthy after coming into your care. You may also want to require this for dogs that come into your facility for grooming services so that they don't bring any diseases with them.
Be sure to contact your state, local city, and county officials to secure the appropriate licenses and permits you need to operate your specific type of pet supply and pet services business. It is essential to do this to avoid any future legal liability or tax issues.
4. Open a Business Bank Account
One of the most important things you can do for your business is open a bank account.
Banking services are essential for any business and help you manage money, track expenses, and grow your company.
Consider the following when deciding on what type of bank to use for your pet supply store:
Money management: Your pet supply store needs an account that will give you various options to manage cash flow and keep track of expenses. This can include options like online banking and mobile alerts, which allow you to stay on top of all financial transactions.
Accessibility: A local branch is not always necessary, but it's essential that you have easy access to your funds at any time without having to wait in long lines or drive long distances to deposit checks, withdraw cash, or make payments. If your business is located in a rural area with no branches nearby, or you don't have time during working hours because of work commitments, look for an online-only bank with accessible ATMs nationwide.
Security: Protecting customer data is a top priority for most businesses today, especially those dealing with sensitive information such as credit card numbers and personal information like addresses or social security numbers. Be sure you feel comfortable with your bank's services and security processes.
5. Lease a Retail Space
When shopping for retail space, it's essential to know what you want from your location. Some people are looking for high-traffic areas with lots of foot traffic. Others wish for low-cost sites that are easy to find and get customers in the door. Still, others want a convenient place for their customers, who might not have a car or might be traveling by bus or train.
Here are some things to consider when you're looking for retail space:
High visibility is good, but don't overlook less obvious factors like access to public transportation. If you're going to be located in a business district, make sure there's plenty of parking available and that there are no metered spots nearby.
Consider how much space you need — especially if you'd like to expand at some point — and whether there will be room for expansion. If not, consider finding another location to accommodate growth down the road.
Consider whether your target market has enough money to spend on pet supplies; if they don't, it doesn't matter how great your store looks or how much you spend on advertising — they'll still go elsewhere because they can't afford your store!
6. Source Products To Sell In Your Store
When starting a pet supply store, it's important to establish relationships with pet industry distributors and manufacturers so that you can source products for your store.
To succeed in this business, you must have a strong understanding of the supply chain and its workings. You must also know who supplies and how much they charge for each product.
The best way to do this is by researching online and attending industry trade shows and conferences. Two popular pet industry trade shows for retailers are Global Pet Expo and SuperZoo.
Once you've identified some potential suppliers, contact them directly or ask the manufacturer if they have any recommendations for distributors that sell their products.
Once you've found some distributors, start contacting them to see if they will sell directly to you at a wholesale rate.
Some manufacturers do not sell directly to consumers because they're trying to sell as many products as possible at retail stores like yours instead of individual consumers who only need one or two items at a time (which can increase their profit margin).
Here are some of the pet industry's largest and most favored distributors. Contact these distributors to set up an account for your pet supply retail store.
You can also search this database to find other pet distibutors that may serve your store.
7. Start Advertising & Marketing
You need to advertise your pet supply store if you want to be successful in attracting local customers. Many people have dogs and cats and are always looking for ways to keep them healthy and well-fed. Your store will be in high demand as soon as people hear about it.
If you are just starting, you may not have much money to spend on advertising. However, you do not need much cash to start making a difference in your business.
Here are some ideas for getting started:
- Place flyers in local businesses and restaurants. This is an inexpensive way to inform people about your store, but it can also be quite effective if done correctly. You should print flyers on colored paper to stand out from other advertisements in the area. You can also include coupons or discounts on specific items to attract more customers.
- Put up signs around town that say something like "We sell dog food" or "New pet supply store opening soon!" These signs can be made of cardboard or plastic and placed on telephone poles or tree trunks near busy intersections or other areas where people gather with their pets. Again, make sure the signs are colorful so they stand out.
- Create a simple pet supply store business website. Your website is your online billboard for your pet supply retail business. You must have a professional website that explains who you are and where you are located. The services you offer or products you sell. A complex website can be a steep investment when you're first getting started. Consider using the Mighty Sites simple website template for pet supply stores. You can have a simple and professional one-page website up and running for your business in a matter of minutes, and it only costs $9/month.
- Claim your Google Business Profile - Google Business Profile is a free tool that helps you create and manage a Google listing for your business. Your listing appears in Google Maps and Google Search results. A Google My Business profile helps customers find and connect with your pet supply store. It helps you appear higher in local searches. To get started, sign up for a new account at https://www.google.com/business/. Once you've created an account, follow these steps:
- Add the address of your business (or another address associated with your store).
- Add hours of operation. Operating hours may vary based on seasonality or other factors.
- Upload photos of your storefront, products, or other vital images related to your business or the services offered by your pet supply store.
Starting a pet supply store is a rewarding and exciting business venture. Researching the market for suppliers, planning your website, deciding on the right location, and marketing your business are all vital steps to having a successful pet supply store. This article is just an introductory guide to get you started.
We wish you the best of luck on your journey to success with your retail store!