The pandemic pet boom helped clear shelters and created many new, rewarding pet-human relationships. However, its effects don’t stop there. These new pet parents need new, accessible ways to get pet supplies, gear and treats now that life has returned to normal.
Find a Focus Area
Pets need specialized care, and many new pet parents are still trying to find their best options. THis leaves you many opportunities to find where you best fit into the picture. Consider your lifestyle preferences, current obligations, interests, and the earning potential of each career before making a decision to ensure a good fit.
Some of the most popular pet-focused careers include:
- Dog walker
- Pet Sitter
- Specialty Food or treat company
- Pet supply store
However, you aren’t limited to these. Many individuals combine their love of pets with other interests. For example, you could choose to return to school to get a vet tech certification or learn grooming techniques. Alternatively, you could channel compassion toward suffering animals into a pet charity. There is almost no end to the number of careers that opened due to the pet boom.
Explore Digital Tools
The number of people shopping online has increased, and the pandemic gave it an added boost. That’s why maximizing the digital tools at your disposal makes sense when designing your pet business. For example, if you want to open an online pet supply store, it is logical to choose a pet store pos system designed for your business needs. On the other hand, if you want to grow a dog-walking business, you might consider an app that allows virtual scheduling.
Marketing is another area where digital tools are especially helpful. Maximize your reach with digital ads and social media exposure. Try not to take on more than you can manage. It is better to have one or two social channels with quality content than four that you never interact with.
Get the Training You Need
No matter what career path you choose, you will probably need to complete some training. It may be as simple as learning how to use your digital tools, a crash course in guerilla marketing, or a pet CPR and first aid program. On the other hand, it could mean returning to school for an advanced degree. Because of the variability, this should definitely be something you consider when choosing your pet-focused business.
Search for high-quality programs to ensure you are prepared. You might be surprised to find many options available for little or no cost online. Before jumping into a new training program, especially if there is a large price tag, it is often helpful to read reviews and talk to past program participants and graduates to get a few unbiased opinions. It can also help you know what to expect while training.
Have a Business Plan
A business plan is absolutely necessary, regardless of how big or small of a business you are planning. This document serves as a roadmap for how you want to start, manage and grow your company. It is also malleable, and you can expect it to grow and change as your business does.
Each business plan is unique, but almost all have the same core sections. These typically include an executive summary, business description, market analysis, financial details and a description of your products or services. Be thorough, since you will refer back to this document frequently while launching and during growth stages.
Prepare for Tax Season
Many new business owners fail to plan for tax season. This is particularly troublesome for individuals who have always had taxes taken from their paychecks. However, it is a mistake that can cost you a large sum of money and potentially derail your new pet business.
Talk to a financial advisor or tax professional about what you need to do throughout the year ot be ready for tax time. You can also take the IRS’s self-paced course for a basic understanding of the rules. It’s also a good idea to ask about making advance tax payments on earnings to avoid penalties and interest at the end of the year.
If you plan to take advantage of the pandemic pet boom by opening a pet business, start by finding your focus area. Then, develop a solid business plan, take advantage of digital tools and get the training you need to make it a success.
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