In the United States, 70 percent of households include at least one pet. Plus, pet-related spending is on the rise. Pet industry sales crossed the $100 billion mark for the first in 2020, with estimates showing that sales numbers likely hit around $109.6 billion in 2021.
Since households are spending more money on their animal companions, that could make it the perfect moment to get a new pet care business off of the ground. If you’ve decided now is the right time to launch your pet care company in Binghamton, here’s how to make it a success, presented by Pibbles & More Animal Rescue, Inc.
Choosing the Right Pet Care Business to Launch
Before you do anything else, you’ll need to decide what kind of pet care business you’ll launch. The option you choose determines the type of preparations you’ll need to make. For example, it’ll impact licensing and permit requirements. Additionally, it’ll let you know what kinds of supplies, products, or equipment you’ll need.
Ultimately, there is a slew of options available. First, you have the classics: dog walker, pet sitter, dog trainer, and groomer. Next, you have product options, like developing your own line of treats, toys, or beds.
Selling established brands through a brick-and-mortar or e-commerce store is another approach. With that, the initial costs can be high if you need to secure inventory. However, by drop shipping, you can sell pet care items without maintaining your inventory on-site or handling shipping, giving you a simpler way to enter the e-commerce space.
After that, you can get into some less common niches. Poop scooping, cat patio (catio) installation, or dog house building are all options. You could focus on toilet training cats or brewing pet-safe beer. A professional pet photographer is an option, too, as well as a tag engraver or a dog daycare operator.
Some people even find aspiring pet owners the right shelter animal in their area, serving as a kind of matchmaker. Ultimately, the possibilities are near-endless.
Launching the Company Officially
Once you know what kind of business you want to start, it’s time to prep for your launch. Usually, that means officially forming your company.
Start by creating a business plan to get your ducks in a row. You’ll also need to choose the primary business name to support your operations. In some cases, you’ll want to go with a “doing business as” (DBA) name, too. With those, you have an easier time branching out later while keeping everything under one umbrella. Plus, if your preferred domain name isn’t available, a DBA might make it easier to pursue alternatives.
After that, you’ll need to register in New York and prepare for business taxes with an EIN. Then, get any required licenses and permits. Once that’s handled, and you get your startup supplies, you’re ready to go.
Unconventional Marketing Strategies for Your Pet Care Business
When marketing a small business, specific strategies are classics. Social media is an effective and affordable option. Couple that with a new website for your pet care business, and you have a decent foundation.
The issue is that some of the tried-and-true techniques won’t help you stand out. Since Binghamton and the Triple Cities area are relatively big, you’ll want to add some creative approaches.
For example, let’s say you operate a dog walking business. If you want to get some extra attention, custom printed dog waste bags could be an excellent option. You could hand them out to dog park visitors, or, if it’s allowed, set up a waste bag station along a popular dog-walking path that’s available to everyone.
Whether you’re a pet sitter, groomer, or dog walker, you could partner with other non-competing pet care businesses for some joint activities. Along with traditional cross-promotional activities, look for unique options that expand everyone’s reach.
For example, you could come together to create new puppy and new kitten gift baskets filled with branded pet care items and discount coupons that local shelters can hand out with every adoption. Along with getting the word out about your products or services, you’re helping your community and assisting families as they welcome pets into their homes.
Consider where pet owners go with their animal companions and what they do along the way. Then, see if you can find a unique way to engage with them, allowing you to increase your company’s visibility.
My name is Penny Martin, I was lucky enough to have a dog in my home since the day I was born. When I was younger, my family always went to animal shelters for our furry friends, and now that I’m grown, I do the same. A lot of rescue dogs have had hard lives, but when I can make them happy in my home the joy in my heart is unmatched.