How to Start a Pet Shop Business

Published: 27th May 2010
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Even in the period of the financial crisis Russians would rather scrimp on themselves than on dumb animals.

Since we become responsible, forever, for those we have tamed.

Pet shops are seemed to be one of few businesses which haven't suffered recession. Well-known trade-marks such as Pedigree, Chappy, Whiskas, KiteKat indefatigably encourage us from TV screens to buy food and toys for our pets.

The market of pet products is huge and full of prospects.

In this article we'll discuss how to open a pet shop.

It is very good if you have your own pets and you are a regular customer of a pet shop yourself. Then you have an idea on what you like in the currently available shops and what you can improve. Certainly, the perfect alternative is to have a veterinary education and wide knowledge about pets.

The most simple and low-cost way to start business in the pet products sphere is to set up a small shop where the choice will include food, grooming products and accessories.

License for such shop set up is not required; its floor space can start from 10 sq. m.

It is better to look for the room for such shop in a bedroom suburb. If there are no competitors nearby, you can safely open you own small pet shop. With proper assortment and comparable prices, such shop will always find its customer.

Assortment in a small shop should be formed of the most fast-moving items - these are goods for cats and dogs. Such small shops usually pay back within a year; however it is not worth expecting a big gain from a single shop.

Traditionally a pet shop owner, who has opened one store and has well-proved sale technology, sets up the next one.

An average retail margin in small pet shops amounts to 30%. As for the most demand goods (popular food and litters) the margin is less, for rarely sold items the margin can come up to 200%.

The second variant of a pet shop presupposes a large range of pet goods, starting from food and finishing with pets on sale. In this format there are absolutely different requirements to the floor space of the shop, its staff and product range selection. The sales area of the full-range store usually starts from 70 sq. m. You can find a shop room both in the center of the city or in a bedroom district. It will be profitable to set up a pet shop attached to veterinaries or not far from it. Payback of such store is 1-2 years.

The product range should be large; in the meanwhile it should include goods, which enjoy high demand. Exclusive and rarely purchased goods should be sold on request.

The assortment should include pets, birdcages and boxes, toys, there should be a section of veterinary preparations, vitamins and mineral supplements.

You can gain good profit selling pets, but take into account that animals can die at mismanagement.

Wide-range shop assistants should be well-qualified; they should perfectly know all the ins and outs about pets and products for sale.

Competent advice is a very important component of a pet shop success. If an assistant of the shop recognizes that a customer is inexperienced, he should query the client about his pet and help to make the right choice.

Sale of pet pharmaceutical products is subjected to licensing. In order to get a license there must be a veterinarian in the store staff, but the veterinarian is required not only to obtain all essential documents. If assistant veterinarian works in the pet shop, this fact causes customers' trust and pushes up sales.

The third variant of the pet shop is a specialized store. If you have experience and knowledge in one specific area, you can set up a high-specialized shop.

For example, aquariums grows in popularity and you can set up a store specialized exceptionally on toy fish.

Being engaged in toy fish business, you can sale a broad range of fish, aquariums, fish food, veterinarian preparations and books on toy fish. The shop assistant should be much aware of goods for sale. You can also gain an extra income from customs aquariums manufacture, its installation, designer aquarium d├ęcor and aquarium service.

If you have chosen a high level of specialization, you should offer you customers a full complex of services in the given field and provide clients with full information during sale. Then you can rely on the popularity of the store.

The retail margin in such shops is higher, than in the wide-range ones, but for the higher price your purchaser gets more qualitative consultations and an opportunity to buy unique goods, which are not available in full-range stores.

If you intend to set up a small store, it is more reasonable to start cooperation with only one supplier, who has a wide product range even if the prices are not the best. The larger a projected shop, the more quantity of suppliers it is efficiently to cooperate with in order to buy goods at the best price. You can ask the suppliers for recommendations on the primary assortment formation. In the beginning of the work mistakes in the product range are unavoidable, but in few months it will become clear what products are in demand, what products should be purchased additionally and what should be returned to the supplier (discuss this option in advance).

In any case forming the primary product range your should presume that the assortment should include food for cats, dogs, rodents, birds and dry food for fish, litters, grooming products and accessories.

If you will sell pets, configure a line of additional products which can be purchased along with these pets.

Give your preference to the goods of the well-known producers, which are actively advertised.

Don't try to earn big profits at once, it is better to advice a client more suitable product that more expensive one. The customer will appreciate it and will come next time in our shop.

Arrange degustation, distribute probes, let your purchasers know about newly-developed products, carry our promotion actions.

All the product range should be properly exhibited on display and grouped thematically, price tags should be large.

If products on request are sold in the shop, the correspondent information should be easily available for clients. Colorful catalogues and full information should be provided for such products.

There should be a good smell in the shop even if pets are sold there. See about good microclimate.

It is also very important to select the staff of people who really love pets and can give advice to every customer.

You can also find even more discount pet supplies. Visit today and save up to 90% on dog food, cat supplies or fish accessories!

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