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Pet Lover? Why Not Pet Business Founder? Here’s How…

Pets are Almost Hotter than Robots!

If you’re in the pet business, the phrase ‘dog days of summer’ holds an optimistic meaning.  Business is barking…err, booming.  According to the American Pet Products Association’s Annual Report, Americans spent nearly $6B more on pet products and services in 2016 — that’s 10.7% ahead of 2015 at a record $66.75B.

The expanding industry and business growth rates have motivated many pet lovers to take the startup leap.  Tempted?  Consider these niche options:

  1. Photography:  like Sara Riddle, Founder of Sara Riddle Photography, who specializes in personal and commercial pet photography and offers a line of printed images and pet-themed accessories.
  2. Mobile grooming:  getting an early jump on the in-home service trend, Sarah Ray pivoted from veterinary technician to Founder of PurrFurred Pet Styling with a fleet of mobile vans and expanding list of services including competition styling, teeth cleaning and Blueberry Facial Wash.
  3. Couture and Accessories:  from playful holiday wear to accessories and winter-wear, founders like Madelena Perrelli of The Diamond Collar achieved business success by delivering unique, high-value products to niche customers with unmet needs.  Always a formula for success!
  4. Special events:  According to the The Daily Mail, 3 in 4 pet owners celebrate their four- (or two-, or no-) legged friends’ birthdays. We’re spotting companies like CA-based The Dog Bakery, founded by Karry Barolo, which creates and delivers special occasion dog cakes.

How are pet businesses managing all this growth?  As in all industries, founders are using digital media to scale.

  • Facebook Post Boost:  the most simple, cost-effective tool to increase your awareness.  For a few dollars and clicks, businesses can drive up Facebook page or ad views in a target geography or audience profile. Here’s a quick How-To.
  • Mobile App:  Once you establish a core set of customers who know and love you, consider adding a mobile app to complement your core business. Check out Bark Buddy, the pet matching mobile app from Bark & Co, creators of Bark Box.
  • Amazon Dash:  created by the customer and ripe for volume-ready sellers, Dash Buttons are a one-click solution for Amazon Prime users to reorder product favorites. Guess who made their Top 10? Greenies Dog Dental Chews.
  • Business operations software:  recently featured in Pet BusinessFastraxpos is known for quick ramp-up and broad business support capabilities, allowing pet retailers and service providers to manage inventory, clients, and even marketing activities in one application.

Just a few opportunities and tips to fine-tune your business plan and quickly claw your way into the black.  For more best practices, check out two of our favorites: The Balance’s Pet Product Marketing Tips  and Women in the Pet Industry.

Do YOU have a pet-related business? We’ll be sharing sheBOOMer stories and tips all week long. Please send yours to nancy@sheboom.com with some details.

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