Starting a Pet Business
You’ve completed your course of study to become a dog trainer. You’ve learned many tricks of the dog training trade and even had hands-on experience. You love your new chosen profession and can’t wait to share your new education with the world. You want to open your own business and start training dogs professionally in order to enrich the lives of pets and their owners. Now the only question is: “How?”
Basics to Success
Anyone can set out to start his own dog training business, but it takes more than just an idea to make a successful enterprise. It takes hard work, determination and, most of all, a real life plan on how to break away from the pack! One of the biggest mistakes new business owners make is trying to operate their new company without a long-term action plan. You cannot simply fly by the seat of your pants and hope for the best.
Here are some tips to help get your new pet business off to a solid start.
Clearly Define Your Company
• What types of dog training services do you offer?
• What kind of competition is in your area?
• What can you offer your customers that the competition can’t? For example: In addition to dog training skills, you also offer cat training.
Define Your Customer Base
• Who would be interested in your dog training service?
• Who should you advertise to and how will you successfully (but economically) achieve this?
• What qualities would your target demographic most value? Varied selection? Lower pricing? Convenience? What’s going to make your company more appealing to them?
Action Plan and Business Plan
• Do you have a business plan for your company for the following year?
• In this business plan, have you clearly laid out a budget for your company?
• Have you set goals and reasonable deadlines by which to accomplish certain plateaus for your company in a formal action plan?
• Does your business and/or action plan include a marketing strategy that includes methods of advertising your company? (Remember, you have to spend money to make money!)
Logo and Branding
• Have you come up with a logo to represent your company? While a logo does not make a business, it certainly helps to reflect the image of the business as well as aid customers in remembering your company. A picture is worth a thousand words! Simple and easy to remember is usually the way to go!
• Have you come up with company branded tactile items (e.g. pens, magnets, key chains, stickers or brochures)? Any little thing that a customer can hold in his hands or take from your business will help him to remember your company when he is at home. Having branded materials out there will also encourage friends and acquaintances of your customers to possibly learn about your company.
• Do you have a website that is prominent on the internet and represents your company well? Most consumers now turn to the internet to research something before they go and spend their money anywhere.
• Do you interact on social media? Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social networking sites are now viable ways to reach a community of potential customers.
There is no magic formula to having a successful pet business. Part of it is, truthfully, offering the right product or service at the right time. However, if you are persistent and have a good business plan when you start out, you are already ahead of the game!