Are you the “animal person” of your social group? Does your life feel incomplete without the pitter-patter of little paws on the hardwood floor or a row of exotic specimens on your shelf? If you love animals and want to be around them all the time, it’s only natural that you’d consider making a career out of this natural interest.
It’s obvious that you’ve got the passion and the ideas, but there are also a lot of logistics to consider when it comes to starting a pet-focused business. As many “aww!” moments as there are when it comes to interacting with animals, there are also business and financial decisions to consider every step of the way.
Pet business insurance is a must-have when it comes to protecting your organization against liability claims from the unpredictable circumstances that inevitably arise around animals. But what else does a “paw-ntrepreneur” need to get started? Here are four ideas:
A clear focus
More broadly, you hope to work with animals. But how? Do you want to run a shop that connects owners with the latest and greatest in pet supplies? Do you want to create elaborate, humane habitats for local reptile and amphibian enthusiasts? Are you eager to turn your home into a doggie daycare facility for local pups who need somewhere to stay while their owners are at work or out of town? It’s time to narrow down your purpose.
For this, you’ll need to write a mission statement and goals. The mission statement should be short, sweet and to the point. In one or two sentences, say exactly what you aim to do and how you intend to make it happen. The goals will allow you to expand on this core idea, both in the short and long term. From there, you’ll know exactly what to work on first.
You’ll have many decisions to make as you formally establish and legalize your business. Do you want to make it a sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company (LLC) or S-corporation? What will your name (as registered with your state government) be? What permits and licenses will you need to operate? For example, you may need a kennel license for that doggie daycare.
Small businesses generally depend heavily on the community around them. Building up community ties is vital if you hope to earn the trust of new clients, so don’t skimp on networking. Establish relationships with local veterinarians, rescues, entrepreneurs, shelters, hobbyists and more to get your name out there and carve out your niche in the community.
Inventory and know-how
Whether you’re making proprietary products, selling items from other manufacturers, or working hands-on with pets, you need to know what you’re doing every step of the way. Remember, these are people’s family members and prized possessions you’re handling! Invest in your own education and training (and those of your staff members) so you can provide the best services possible. And when it comes to products, only stock and sell tried-and-tested products that you’d be proud to use with your own animals.
Cover your bases with business insurance for pet-focused organizations today! CoverHound can help you compare quotes and find the right level of liability protection.
Insurance shopping simplified
Insurance shopping simplified