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How To Start A Pet Store In 2023

How To Start A Pet Store In 2023

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How To Start A Pet Store In 2023

How To Start A Pet Store

Are your pets like family members, and do you spoil them with all of the latest special treats and accessories? You’re far from alone – Americans treat their pets like human members of their family, and it’s shaping the demand for quality pet products and foods. If a business that focuses on your love of pets sounds ideal, then opening a pet store could be an exciting opportunity.

Starting a pet store requires more than being passionate about pets. It involves understanding your customers, their pets, and sound business management. This guide aims to provide you with a comprehensive overview, actionable steps, and answers to common questions.

Business Overview

Starting a pet store isn’t just about playing with cute puppies. Pet stores provide pet owners with convenient locations to stock up on pet supplies, dog food, live animals, and other items. While online pet stores create plenty of competition for brick-and-mortar pet stores, local retailers can stand out by offering other services, like dog training and pet grooming. Many customers go to stores because they’re a source of information about their pet’s health and nutrition. A knowledgeable store owner can create a valuable experience that online retailers can’t provide to customers.

Many pet stores offer a comprehensive inventory for cats, dogs, and small animals, while some stores may specialize in reptiles or birds. Boutique pet stores target a specialized niche and offer high-quality items that may carry higher prices and allow pet owners to truly pamper their pets. It’s common for stores to allow owners to bring their leashed pets in, adding to the shopping experience and sense of community and engagement that these stores work to create.

Industry Summary

The pet industry is one of the most robust sectors in the retail world. According to the National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), 70% of U.S. households, or over 90 million families, own a pet. It is estimated that 78 million dogs and 85.8 million cats are owned in the United States.

When it comes to pets, Americans spend a lot on their pets. In 2022, the pet industry generated over $123 billion in annual sales in the US and the American Kennel Club estimates that annual costs for a pet average $2,500 for things like food, grooming, vets, etc. With numbers like these, it’s clear that people love their pets and are willing to spend on their care and happiness.

What makes the pet industry particularly interesting is its resilience. Even in the face of economic downturns, pet spending tends to remain stable as pet parents consider their furry friends’ needs non-negotiable. The strength of the pet industry signals strong potential for entrepreneurs looking to start a pet store.

There is steep competition in this industry, though, and brick-and-mortar stores will have to compete against mass merchandisers and online retailers. Still, with careful branding and strategic program offerings, these businesses can stay relevant and competitive. PetSmart Inc., Petco Animal Supplies Inc., Pet Retail Brands, and Pet Supplies Plus currently hold the largest share of the pet store market.

Several trends are shaping the pet industry, and being aware of these can help position your pet store for success.

  1. Humanization of pets: Pet owners increasingly view their pets as family members, driving demand for premium products and services. This could range from organic pet food to designer pet clothing and pet wellness services.
  2. Health & wellness: According to Pet Food Industry, health and wellness benefits of pet foods are a high priority for many pet owners. Pet food manufacturers are responding to those demands and are increasingly producing foods with healthier ingredients and formulas designed for pets with certain health conditions. Limited ingredient diets, foods with ancient grains, foods with high protein contents, and foods made with superfoods are becoming more popular.
  3. Technology integration: The use of technology in pet care is on the rise. From pet wearables tracking health data to smart leashes, pet cameras, and automatic toys and feeders are gaining popularity, and it’s likely that more of these technology-driven products will continue to be released.
  4. Online shopping: Pet stores are also starting to offer customers multiple ways to shop. While customers can always come into a brick-and-mortar store to browse and shop, many of these stores are also creating websites for shopping. Customers can opt to purchase products online and then have those products shipped to them or pick them up at the store to save on shipping.
  5. Eco-friendly products: With growing environmental consciousness, pet owners are seeking out eco-friendly products. This includes everything from biodegradable waste bags to sustainably sourced pet food. Consumers are also increasingly aware of how foods are produced, and they’re seeking out foods that are well-sourced and carefully manufactured. This has resulted in an increased demand for foods that are made in the U.S.A., as well as for foods that use ethically sourced ingredients.

Target Market

Understanding your target market is key to developing effective marketing strategies and delivering a product or service that meets customer needs. In the case of a pet store, your target market is generally quite broad, but let’s break it down into some identifiable segments.

Pet owners: Of course, the most obvious segment of your target market is pet owners themselves. These are individuals or families who currently have pets and regularly need supplies like food, toys, and grooming products, along with various other services.

Prospective pet owners: These are individuals or families who are considering getting a pet. They will need advice, pet supplies, and potentially the pet itself, making them an important target market. By offering support and educational resources, you can turn these prospective pet owners into loyal customers.

Pet enthusiasts: Not all of your customers will be pet owners. Pet enthusiasts might not have pets of their own but could be seeking gifts for friends or family members who do, or they might be interested in pet-related products for themselves, like clothing or home decor featuring their favorite breeds.

Specialized pet owners: This segment includes owners of less common pets such as reptiles, birds, or exotic fish. If you choose to cater to these customers, you may have a niche market that could differentiate your store from competitors.

Health and eco-conscious consumers: As the trends towards organic, eco-friendly, and high-quality products continue to grow, there is a significant market for pet owners seeking healthier or more sustainable products for their pets.

By identifying your target market segments, you can tailor your product offerings, services, and marketing strategies to attract and retain these customers. Understanding your customers is an essential part of running a successful pet store.

Checklist To Start a Pet Store

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Starting a pet store can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it’s important to make sure you’re prepared for the challenges ahead. Use this checklist to help get your business off on the right foot.

Step 1: Research the Market

Conducting thorough market research is an essential first step in starting any business, including a pet store.

Why is it important? Picture it like this: before setting off on a road trip, wouldn’t you first ensure your destination exists, and that there’s a road to get you there? Similarly, before investing your time, money, and energy into a business, you want to ensure there’s a market for your products or services, and a path to reach that market. Without demand, even the most carefully planned and executed business can struggle.

So, how do you conduct this all-important research?

Identify your customer profile: Start by getting clear about who your potential customers are. In the case of a pet store, your customers are not just pet owners, but can also include potential pet owners, pet enthusiasts, and others we’ve previously discussed. Understanding their demographics, spending habits, pet ownership rates, and other relevant characteristics can give you an idea of your potential market size.

Use online tools and resources: Several online resources can be invaluable for market research. Websites like Statista and IBISWorld provide industry reports, including information about market size, growth, and trends. The American Pet Products Association (APPA) also offers extensive data about the pet industry. Google Trends can provide insights into what pet products or services people are searching for, indicating demand.

Surveys and questionnaires: Reach out directly to potential customers to gauge their interest in your pet store idea. Use tools like Google Forms or SurveyMonkey to create online surveys, and share them on social media, in local community groups, or even via email if you have contacts who might be interested.

Check out the competition: Investigate other pet stores in your area. How many are there? What do they offer? Are they successful? Their performance can provide a rough estimate of demand. However, don’t be discouraged if there are already several pet stores – it may indicate a strong pet culture in your community. Consider how you can differentiate your store to capture a portion of that market.

Reach out to industry insiders: Talk to people already running pet stores or working in the pet industry. While they might not provide all their business secrets, you can gain valuable insights about the industry, the market, and the realities of running a pet store.

Social media and online communities: Check out social media and online forums like Reddit or pet-focused communities. What are people talking about? What are they asking for that they can’t find? These discussions can provide a wealth of information about what potential customers want and need.

Conducting market research might seem like a big task, but it’s an investment that pays dividends. By understanding your potential market, you can make informed decisions, minimize risk, and set your pet store up for success. Armed with knowledge, you’re not just guessing – you’re strategizing. And that’s a key part of being a successful entrepreneur.

Step 2: Write a Business Plan

Putting pen to paper and drafting a business plan for your pet store can feel like an unnecessary task, but it’s one that offers great rewards. Think of it as building a blueprint for a house. It helps you visualize the end goal and outlines the steps needed to get there.

A business plan is like a GPS for your business journey. It not only navigates your path to success but also helps others understand your route. This is especially helpful if you’re seeking external funding. Investors or lenders are more inclined to support your pet store if they see a well-thought-out plan demonstrating the potential for growth and return on their investment.

Let’s delve into some key sections of your business plan that can play a major role in getting a pet store off the ground:

Market analysis: This section showcases the results of your market research. It will outline your understanding of the pet industry, trends, customer demographics, and competition. It’s like painting a picture of the landscape in which your pet store will operate.

Business model and services: Here, you’ll need to detail what your pet store will offer. Will you sell pet supplies, offer grooming services, or perhaps a unique product or service not readily available in the market? This section gives potential investors a clear idea of what your store will do and how it will generate revenue.

Marketing strategy: This section outlines how you plan to attract and retain customers. It can include traditional advertising, social media marketing, partnerships with local vets, or loyalty programs for frequent shoppers. Your strategy should reflect an understanding of your target market and how best to reach them.

Operations and management: Investors will want to know who’s steering the ship. Highlight your team’s qualifications and experience, and describe the operational processes that will support your pet store’s daily activities.

Financial projections: Money talks, especially when it comes to attracting investment. Your financial projections should include projected income, expenses, and profitability. It’s worth noting that pet stores might see seasonality in their sales – for example, higher sales during the holiday season or summer months when people are more likely to adopt pets. This seasonality should be factored into your financial projections to provide a realistic picture of your financial performance throughout the year.

Writing a business plan for your pet store is not just a task to be checked off your list. It’s a chance to dive deep into your business idea, understand the market, refine your strategies, and build a solid foundation for your entrepreneurial journey. It’s the bridge between your business idea and the reality of opening your pet store. It takes your dream out of your head and puts it down on paper, ready to be brought to life.

Related: How to write a business plan 

Step 3: Source Funding

Finding the capital to open your pet store can feel overwhelming, but don’t worry, it’s part of every entrepreneur’s journey, and most struggle at this step. Let’s look at the most common funding options for a pet store and what you might expect from each.

Often, the initial seed money for a business comes from personal savings. The obvious advantage here is you won’t have monthly loan payments hanging over your head as you get your pet store off the ground. However, it’s important to ensure you have a financial cushion for unexpected expenses – because trust me, they will come up. In starting a business, surprises are par for the course.

While personal savings can provide a good start, the costs of opening a pet store – which can include inventory, premises, permits, and more – may require additional funding and traditional bank loans are a common funding option. However, lenders usually require borrowers to invest a significant portion of their own funds, typically between 15% and 25%. Plus, you’ll generally need a decent credit score (above 650) and sufficient collateral. But don’t fret – if a bank considers your loan a bit too risky, they can apply for a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan guarantee, which provides reassurance to the lender that the loan will be repaid.

If you’re looking at a small amount of funding or if traditional credit isn’t available, microloans could be an option. These are smaller loans, often provided by economic development organizations or alternative lenders. While the interest rates might be a bit higher, they can be easier to obtain and offer smaller, more manageable loan amounts.

For some, local angel investors can provide much-needed capital. These are individuals with a high net worth who are interested in supporting businesses. However, most investors are looking for high-growth, scalable businesses. As a pet store owner, you’ll need to highlight how your business can provide a return on their investment. It can be a challenge, but with the right pitch and business plan, it’s not out of reach.

In the world of entrepreneurship, it’s all about finding the funding option that suits your business model, your financial needs, and your personal comfort level. Whether that’s dipping into personal savings, securing a loan, or making a winning pitch to an angel investor, it’s all part of your journey in starting your pet store. By understanding the pros and cons of each funding option, you’ll be able to make an informed decision about what’s best for you and your business.

Related: Finding the money to start a business

Step 4: Select your Location

Stepping into the next stage of your entrepreneurial journey, securing a location for your pet store, is an exhilarating chapter. This is where your business starts to take physical shape, whether that’s a traditional storefront or an online platform.

The importance of funding before you sign any contracts cannot be understated. Why? Because securing funding might take longer than anticipated, and having your finances sorted in advance helps you move forward confidently.

Securing a storefront location: Selecting the right physical location is a crucial decision that can greatly impact the success of your pet store. Ideally, you want a place with high visibility and foot traffic, easy access, and enough parking. You’ll need to balance these considerations with the cost of rent or purchase, keeping in mind your budget constraints.

In terms of preparing the storefront for opening, it would involve interior renovation to suit your store’s theme and the specific needs of a pet store. Considerations such as durable and easy-to-clean flooring, proper ventilation, climate control, and secure, comfortable spaces for the animals will be essential.

Additionally, the store layout should be designed to allow easy navigation for your customers. Clearly marked sections for different types of pets and products will help customers find what they need more easily.

Setting up an online store: In the digital age, online stores have become an increasingly popular business model for your pet store. Building an online pet store requires careful attention to website design and navigation, high-quality photographs of products, and detailed product descriptions.

Ensuring a seamless and secure checkout process will help convert visitors into customers. Equally important is a reliable system for inventory management, shipping, and handling customer inquiries and complaints.

While there are no physical renovations to handle with an online store, preparing your site for launching involves rigorous testing to ensure all features work as expected and provide a smooth user experience.

Whether you choose a storefront or an online business model (or both!), it’s important to scout your competition and learn from their successes and shortcomings. Checking out how other pet stores, both physical and online, are set up can provide valuable insights that can guide your decision-making process.

Related: Choosing a business location

Step 5: Register the Business

Starting a pet store is an exciting adventure, but it also comes with a heap of paperwork. To make sure your pet store is legal and ready to go, you’ll need to navigate a few key steps of the registration process. It’s important to note that requirements can vary by state, so always check with your local government or a legal advisor for the most accurate information.

Choose a business structure: Your first step is deciding on a business structure. There are four primary options which include Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Limited Liability Company, and Corporation.

Most small business owners starting a pet shop opt for an LLC due to its liability protection and potential for tax savings. This means your personal assets are generally protected if your business is sued.

Related: Comparison of business structures

Business name registration: After registering the business structure, you may need to register your business name. This process will vary depending on what business structure you pick. Sole proprietors and partnerships will often be required to register a “Doing Business As” (DBA), while corporations and LLCs register with the state during the formation process.

Related: Tips and ideas for naming a pet store

During this time, it’s also a good idea to check if the name you want is available as a web domain, even if you’re not ready to set up a website yet.

Related: Finding a domain name for your business

Obtain business licenses and permits: Running a pet store will require several specific business licenses and permits. This could include a retail sales license, a pet shop license, and potentially licenses for selling certain types of animals. Some states or cities might also require regular health inspections.

Pet shop businesses are also subject to animal welfare laws in the United States and will have licensing and regulations under federal and state laws. At the federal level, there is licensing required under the Animal Welfare Act and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). At the state level, there is often additional legislation on the care and sale of animals. The Humane Society of the United States has a list of pet store laws by state.

In addition, there will likely be a variety of general licenses or permits needed before opening. This could include a business license, seller’s permit, and Employer Identification Number (EIN).

You’ll need to check with your local city or county government to find out exactly what’s needed.

Related: State guides for general business licensing

While this might seem like a lot of bureaucracy, it’s an important part of setting up your business on a strong foundation. By carefully navigating these steps, you’re not just complying with the law – you’re also protecting yourself, your business, and your future success. And with each form you complete, you’re another step closer to opening the doors of your very own pet store.

Step 6: Set Up the Shop

Setting up your pet store is an exciting phase. This is when you get to design your space, purchase your equipment, and prepare your store for customers.

Here’s a rundown on procuring equipment and preparing your shop:

Create a list of necessary equipment: This will vary depending on the scope of your store. At a minimum, you’ll likely need shelving for products, display cages or tanks for live animals, refrigeration for certain types of food, a cash register or point-of-sale system, and signage. If you’re offering additional services like grooming or pet daycare, you’ll need specific equipment for those as well.

Find reliable suppliers: Sourcing reliable suppliers is a key step when setting up your pet store. Whether you’re offering food, toys, accessories, or even live pets, you’ll need to ensure that you’re delivering high-quality products that your customers can trust.

Also, building a good relationship with your suppliers can be helpful in the startup stage as they can provide invaluable insights into industry trends and product selection.

Design your store layout: The layout of your store should be designed to optimize space, showcase products effectively, and create a comfortable shopping environment for customers. Make sure your layout is easy to navigate, with clear signage and logically organized sections. Consider working with a professional designer or retail consultant for this step, if budget allows.

Prepare for the arrival of live animals: If you’re selling pets, you’ll need to set up comfortable, clean habitats that meet each species’ needs. This might mean special lighting for reptiles, spacious cages for birds, or filtered tanks for fish. Always prioritize the welfare of the animals in your care.

Health and safety: Ensure your store meets health and safety regulations. This may involve installing fire safety equipment, setting up safe storage for cleaning supplies, or creating a plan for safe animal handling.

As with every step in starting a business, the goal here is to set up your pet store for success from day one. Invest in good quality equipment, design a welcoming store environment, and prioritize the safety and well-being of both your customers and the pets you sell or care for. Once all these elements are in place, you’ll be ready to open your doors and welcome your first customers.

Step 7: Hire Staff (if needed)

Bringing in the right team to help run your pet store is a significant step. You’re not just looking for people to staff the register; you’re seeking those who share your passion for animals and can deliver a stellar customer experience.

For a pet store, you might require a mix of full-time and part-time employees. Some common positions include store managers, sales associates, animal caregivers, and stock personnel. Managers oversee operations, while sales associates help customers with their purchases and questions. Animal caregivers look after the pets in the store, and stock personnel manage inventory.

Before you start hiring, there are a few legal matters to attend to. These steps are designed to protect both you and your employees:

Employer Identification Number (EIN): You’ll need to obtain an EIN from the IRS. This is required for tax purposes.

Workers’ compensation insurance: Depending on your state, you may need to get workers’ compensation insurance to cover any workplace-related injuries or illnesses.

Employment eligibility verification: For every employee you hire, you must verify their eligibility to work in the U.S. They’ll need to fill out Form I-9, and you’ll need to keep it on file.

Labor Law Compliance: Be sure you’re familiar with federal and state labor laws, including minimum wage, overtime pay, and child labor restrictions.

New Hire Reporting: You must report any new hires to your state’s directory within a certain period, typically 20 days.

Getting these legalities sorted out is an essential part of the hiring process. As you’re laying the groundwork for your pet store, this step will ensure you’re prepared to bring on a team that will help make your business a success. Once the paperwork is out of the way, you can focus on finding the right people who will be just as excited as you are to help customers find the perfect products for their beloved pets.

Related: State guides for hiring your first employee

Step 8: Create a Marketing Plan

Our next step involves marketing so people can find out that your pet store is open. There are several strategies that a pet store can use, and we’ll go over some popular methods.

Online, create a professional-looking website and optimize for search engines. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) involves creating content with relevant keywords that potential customers might use when searching for a pet store. A well-optimized website can help your store rank higher in search results, attracting more visitors and potential customers.

Don’t forget to claim your Google Business Profile. It’s a free tool that helps businesses get found on Google Search and Maps. Filling out your profile with as much information as possible – including your address, hours of operation, and photos of your store – makes it easier for potential customers to find you. Besides Google, there are other business directories like Yelp, Bing, and Yellow Pages where you can list your pet store.

Leverage social media platforms to connect with your audience. Regularly post engaging content on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok, which could be anything from cute pet pictures to educational posts about pet care. Social media ads targeted to your local area can also be a cost-effective way of drawing attention to your store.

Email marketing is another powerful online tool. Collect email addresses from customers and website visitors, and then send regular newsletters with updates, promotions, or pet care tips.

Turning to traditional marketing methods, consider joining your local Chamber of Commerce. It offers networking opportunities, can help build your reputation in the community, and often provides resources to help businesses thrive.

Some stores that offer additional services like grooming or training establish customer loyalty programs or referral programs to generate additional sales from their existing clientele.

You can also host or participate in local events. Sponsoring a dog show, a pet adoption event, collaboration with an animal shelter, or even a pet-owner meet-and-greet can draw attention to your store while showing your commitment to the community.

Last, consider using direct mail. Despite living in a digital world, many people respond to offers that come in the mail. A well-designed flyer or coupon can draw customers to your store.

Marketing isn’t a one-size-fits-all scenario. Try different strategies, measure their success, and tweak your plan as needed. Effective marketing is a dynamic, evolving process that can set your pet store up for long-term success.

Related: Low-cost ideas to market a new business

Step 9: Prepare to Open!

As we approach the final lap of starting your pet store, a handful of crucial activities may still be needed. The specifics for may vary depending on your particular business model, location, and niche within the pet industry. However, these steps provide a general checklist to ensure you’ve covered all your bases.

Business insurance: Insurance is essential for protecting your business. For a pet store, you’ll likely need general liability insurance, commercial property insurance, and potentially professional liability insurance if you’re offering services like grooming or boarding.

We recommend getting at least three insurance quotes, including local insurance agents and online providers like Coverwallet or Hiscox to get the best coverage and price.

Contracts: Depending on your pet store’s operations, you may need specific contracts, such as supplier agreements, pet purchase agreements, and possibly service contracts if you’re offering grooming or boarding services.

RocketLawyer and Law Depot have free and inexpensive templates that may be helpful.

Bank account: It’s important to separate your business and personal finances. Opening a business bank account will help you manage cash flow, pay for expenses, and prepare for taxes.

Management software: Inventory management, in particular, is vital for pet stores. Lightspeed Retail and Korona POS, are popular examples of software solutions tailored to pet stores, offering point-of-sale systems as well as inventory tracking and other useful features.

Credit card processing: If not using a POS system, you’ll need to be able to process credit cards. Square or Stripe are popular choices due to their straightforward pricing and comprehensive features.

Grand opening: Plan a special event or promotion for your grand opening to draw customers to your new store. Reach out to the local community, promote on social media, and consider traditional advertising to spread the word.

This material is property of StartingYourBusiness.com

Greg’s Tip: When starting your pet store, it’s essential to create a distinctive brand that resonates with your target market. The pet industry is a competitive one, and you’ll be competing with both local pet stores and big chains.

To stand out, you need to offer something they don’t. This could be a focus on a specific type of pet, unique products, exceptional service, or a commitment to sustainability.

Greg's Business Tip

Common Questions When Starting A Pet Store

How much does it cost to start a pet store?

Initiating a new pet store venture can require an investment anywhere between $50,000 to $100,000 or more. This range depends greatly on the size of the store, the location, the range of products and services you plan to offer, and the cost of labor in your area.

Let’s look at some key costs involved in starting a pet store:

Store leasing: A major chunk of your budget goes into securing a location for your pet store. The cost of leasing a store will vary depending on the size, location, and local real estate market, but you could expect to pay a deposit anywhere from $2,000 to $15,000.

Store setup and equipment: You’ll need to spend some money on interior design, fixtures, and shelving to make your store appealing and easy to navigate. This could run between $5,000 to $25,000. Other essential equipment such as a cash register, POS system, and signage will add another $1,000 to $5,000.

Initial inventory: To start, you may need to spend between $20,000 and $40,000 on inventory, which includes a variety of pet food, toys, supplies, and potentially live animals.

Licenses and permits: These are typically less expensive than some other startup costs, but they are necessary. Expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $1,000 for the necessary paperwork.

Insurance: In order to protect your business from potential lawsuits or accidents, it’s wise to get insurance. While the cost can vary, you might spend around $600 to $2,000 for the first year’s premium.

Marketing: For grand opening advertisements and initial marketing efforts, you should set aside around $2,000 to $5,000.

Remember, this is a general guide, and actual costs will depend on many factors specific to your situation. Importantly, aside from these startup costs, it’s also recommended to have three to six months’ worth of operating expenses saved as a buffer. This can cover unexpected costs or lower-than-expected initial sales, ensuring that your pet store business gets off to a smooth start.

How profitable is a pet store?

Pet store profits will vary depending on factors like the store’s size, specialty, profit margins, and competition. Pet stores can offer pet supplies and accessories, like pet toys, treats, food, fish tanks, cages, pet care products, and more, all offering different demand and profit. Additionally, stores can offer services like grooming and dog training to increase their profits and encourage repeat customers. Expanding to selling through your online store, can also help to increase profits.

However, to offer a broad illustration of potential profitability, we can create a simple formula using some industry standards.

Let’s assume that the average transaction in a pet store is $50, and the store serves an average of 50 customers per day. This would lead to daily sales of $2,500. For a month, assuming the store operates all 30 days, this totals to $75,000 in revenue. Over a year, this equates to $900,000.

Operating expenses, which include costs like rent, utilities, payroll, insurance, and inventory restocking, typically make up around 65-75% of the revenue in the retail sector. Taking the average, 70% of $900,000 equals $630,000.

Subtracting this from the total revenue ($900,000 – $630,000), we get $270,000. This figure represents the gross profit before taxes. Keep in mind that this is a simplified calculation and actual figures could be higher or lower based on your specific situation.

What skills are needed to run a pet shop?

Starting a pet business doesn’t require a business degree, but certain experiences and skills can help.

Pet ownership experience: Previous pet ownership experience is a major asset for a pet store owner. This experience gives a business owner an understanding of pet care basics, an awareness of the products available, and the ability to empathize with and understand the store’s customers.

Knowledge of pet nutrition: Pet nutrition is a hot topic right now. A store owner with a background in pet nutrition will be able to select quality products that meet customer needs and serve as a resource to customers, helping them choose the right foods for their pets.

Awareness of pet industry trends: An awareness of the pet industry trends will help a store owner choose inventory that will meet customer needs.

Customer service skills: Great customer service skills are a must. A store owner should be able to answer customer questions, solve problems, and ensure that every visit to the store is a great experience.

Management experience: Previous experience in hiring, training, and managing staff will help a pet shop owner to assemble a team of quality employees who represent the store well.

What is the NAICS code for a pet store?

The NAICS code for a pet store is 453910.

The NAICS code (North American Industry Classification System) is a federal system to classify different types of businesses for the collection and reporting of statistical data.

Related: What is a NAICS code?

Resources:
American Pet Products Association
Independent Pet Retailer Association
Pet Industry Distributors Association
World Pet Association

Author

  • Greg Bouhl

    With over two decades as an entrepreneur, educator, and business advisor, Greg Bouhl has worked with over 2,000 entrepreneurs to help them start and grow their businesses. Fed up with clients finding and acting on inaccurate and outdated information online, Greg launched StartUp101.com to be a trusted resource for people starting a business.

How To Start A Pet Store In 2023

How To Start A Pet Store In 2023

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