Are you working in a job that you really wish you were somewhere else?
Do you love animals and cooking? Would you rather be doing your own thing and making your own money while working with or for our beloved animals? We have come up with 5 options to consider for you to start your own pet business while you are also doing what you enjoy doing at the same time, baking up a storm in the kitchen.
Remember that as with any new business venture, there is no need to place unnecessary pressure on yourself and you should consider starting small. Call it a part-time hobby if you like, and when you find that your new pet business becomes financially viable, then move on and go bigger. Enjoy what you are doing and always, always stay in touch with your clients. Work with a win-win strategy, and always make sure your business benefits you, your family, your lifestyle and the needs of your clients.
Organic is a big selling point on everyone’s lips these days, and even more so for the health of our beloved pets. If you like baking, investigate the options of various organic pet food recipes and start baking away. Keep in mind that some of us keep the treats in the cupboard and they could go moldy or off. If you plan to use animal (by-) products, do your best to support Free Range at all times. Package your pet food products in recycled bags and remember to have a ‘Use By’ date on the packaging to avoid unhappy clients. Mason Jars are more a long-term type packaging option, with the option of being able to decorate them with ribbons, bows and tags. They might also be a better option for treats to stay fresh for longer. Research various organic markets in your area and book a stand a few months ahead to market and sell your baked pet food creations.
Pet Food Bakery
Take your Pet Treats to a whole new level by opening up a bakery that specialises in only supplying fresh pet food products. Make these pet food treats available to be sold online, and make it clear that there will be an added delivery fee. The best pet food treats to sell online are Gift Type Treats, as people will enjoy the luxury of ordering pet gifts for their family and friends’ pets too. A big hit is also pet friendly meaty flavoured cakes to celebrate their birthdays.
Dog Food Truck
Start a pet food delivery business for ONLY in your area. I saw the idea on an American website, but considering that this is not something already in the market here in South Africa, you could think of doing this too. After all, nobody is doing it, so you will have little if no competition. The key here to remember is to always service an area that you can afford financially and physically to maintain a healthy client relationship. Dont try and sell your products to outlying areas, as this will cost you time and money, the two things any start-up business needs to conserve as much as possible. Team up with other local suppliers who sell various brands of dog food, and become their delivery source. Brand your truck well and offer an ‘Order Hotline’ as part of your bold branding on your truck. Keep track of your clients and remind them when it’s time to re-order. While you are delivering your door-to-door orders, offer to supply flyers (or a small Newsletter) of other local pet related businesses to your clients.
Double up your business by offering a Dog Food service at various animal friendly expos and shows.
Much like a coffee shop, but branding it as a Pet Restaurant is another pet business idea which you could consider. Offer your guests a good cup of coffee to attract the moms and dads, but be sure to have a fun menu for their furry friends. Have a few house rules in place, like no aggressive or untrained dogs allowed. Create a play area, or even unique cubicle style areas (use a picket fence) where owners can comfortably sit and enjoy a coffee with their best friend, with the option that the dog cannot escape and run away. Dog and cat treats must be small and tasty, and presented just as nice as it would be to you if you were in a restaurant. Create a doggy platform to serve the food on, but please remember to keep them off the table ;)
Pet Food Online shop
Selling pet food online has been growing very slowly in South Africa, due to the huge costs involved in the housing and transporting of the products. What can work is offering an online shop for specialised pet food products in a specific area, more precisely your local area. There are many people, as mentioned above, who would love to sell their goods online, but who are unable to specialise in online sales. Take the hassle out of their hands and use your computer and social media skills to sell their products online to a community in your area. You might even want to offer to do the deliveries yourself at an extra fee – maybe once a week to start with – and grow the business from there. There are many online shopping platforms available to the South African online entrepreneur with a secure payment gateway, some of them even offer a free service if you have only a certain amount of products. You might want to skip the more costly online payment gateway option, and instead consider payment services like Snapscan, EFT and Cash. Setting up such a business could take up to a year, but hey, you are doing it for fun to start with, so what's the pressure?
Share with us your pet food business ideas that you have started, we would love to hear from you.