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So You Want to Start A Pet Care Business? Here Are a Few Things to Consider

Over the span of the last few years, pet sales have boomed. Everyone wants their own furry friend, and once they have that little bundle of fun, they realize that there’s a lot that goes into proper care, from diet, grooming, and training to medical needs. The market may wax and wane but one thing is certain: pet owners will always want the best for their babies.


As a pet care expert, this is where you come in. Maybe you’ve recently completed some formal training, or your life experience has you primed for this moment. Whatever the case, before you decide to open a pet grooming studio, veterinary practice, or pet-related shop, there are a few things that you need to know to set you up for success.


Look at the Whole Pet Care Picture


In 2020 alone, United States pet owners gladly spent $103.6 billion on food, supplies, and vital services for their best friends––clearly, there’s a market there. But before jumping into a venture, consider the overhead costs needed to get you to your end goal. 


Pet care insurance is always a must, because you’ll have some of the most unpredictable (but oh, so loveable) customers. But what about a physical location? How much rent can you afford? Are your business licenses and inspections in order? Maybe you want to begin mobile grooming, but you don’t have the right equipment, supplies, or vehicle setup. If you want to capitalize on digital learning and training, could your computer, camera, network connection, or studio use an upgrade? Take into account all the factors at play–and costs incurred–that need to combine to make this dream a reality. You’ll have a better idea of how much capital you’ll need to get your business off the ground.


Know the Market


Consider too, the practicality of the position you’re hoping to carve out for yourself. It’s true that  70% of households include a furry family member, but how do you find these folks and show them that your services are valuable and necessary? Besides landing on a memorable name and identifiable brand, a solid marketing plan is a huge part of making your pet care business successful. If you want to be super savvy, then take time out for thorough market research before any other steps. That data will help you find and focus on your ideal customer and can be invaluable when it comes to planning and making future decisions.


Have a Plan for Business


If you’re a newbie at this (and big props if so!) the whole process can feel very overwhelming. So take a different approach: first, focus on precisely what you want to offer clients. Trying to do it all will mean that something will probably slide. Instead, aim to do one thing really well, and clients will keep coming back. Make note of what you want to be your specialty.


Then, sit down and dream up your ideal business, with everything done to your standards. Compile all those thoughts on paper and then see what you can realistically achieve at the outset. Decide if you’ll eventually want to bring on a staff to facilitate growth, or if you want to keep operations solo. Think through your company’s policies and put them in writing, and take time to draft contracts to use with clients and vendors. Imagine day-in-the-life scenarios and make special note of what you might need to make your job easier, more efficient, and more sustainable over the long term. This could be people, equipment, policies, and more.


With the pandemic having upended everyone’s lives, it’s also key to factor in ways to adjust and to evaluate whether your business plan is versatile enough to make it through a major upset. Take the time to break things down and get granular––this is your dream and your future after all. Talking with folks who’ve already done the work is another way to build information reserves. While there’s only so much you can know at the outset, immersing yourself in the industry and leaving room for imagination are sure ways to soak up some practical know-how.


Learn and Share


Keep up-to-date with industry news, attend trade shows and professional pet shows when you can––competitions can be the best place to network and learn. Once you’ve accumulated all that valuable info, and you know that you have your finger on the pulse of your industry, don’t be afraid to flaunt that hard-earned knowledge on your website, in blogs, and on social media channels. Turn what you’ve learned into a priceless commodity that can help to attract and retain customers. There are plenty of sources for information out there, but you want to be your clients’ trusted authority, their number one pet care resource.


Insurance With a Purpose


Once you have everything squared away and a clear sense of your business, brand, and goals laid out, don’t forget about protection. At this point it’s really the most important part of the planning process, because it safeguards all the time, effort, and money you’ve already invested. But a solid pet care insurance plan goes so much further. It will protect future growth from unavoidable (but often inevitable) accidents that come with the pet care territory. You love what you do, and you love your clients––put a policy in place that will protect you, your business, and your clientele against whatever life brings.


Count On Zinc for Modern Pet Care Insurance Options


So you’re ready to become a full-fledged dog groomer, veterinarian, pet shop owner, or dog trainer, walker, or sitter––that’s awesome, welcome to the pet care family. At Zinc and Insurance for Pet Care we want every aspect of your business to be a success. That said, plenty of risks lurk just out of sight, and try as you may, you might not be able to evade them all. 


That’s why we're here. At Zinc and Insurance for Pet Care, specialists in the grooming and pet care world apply their insurance expertise to your specific business risks. They’ll craft you a customized policy that’s built for what worries you. Get in touch today to learn more about our team or to talk about our offerings. We’re ready to help you manage risk as you set your sights high!

This blog post does not provide insurance advice and is intended for information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional insurance advice from a licensed representative. Never ignore professional insurance advice because of something you have read in this blog post. Contact your licensed representative if you have any questions about your insurance policy.