Although the sector has experienced better and worse times, it is still a profitable business. However, opening a pet shop requires a great deal of dedication and is an activity that is only suitable for people who know the sector and who like animals.
Pros and cons
One of the main problems is the high level of competition. In this business the problem of competition is multiplied by three. On the one hand, each pet shop has to compete with the other shops dedicated to the same activity; on the other hand, with commercial surfaces, which sell food products and accessories at prices that cannot be competed with and, finally, with veterinary clinics, which are the ones that pose the most problems to specialized shops because they have almost all the services and products that we offer.
Even so, these specialist shops are a business with a future: people are increasingly concerned about the feeding and hygiene of their animals, which has opened up the market. And it seems that families still want to have pets.
Like all businesses, pet shops can be affected by the fashions of having one or another animal. When the sales of one species drop, the sales of others rise, so it is always possible to keep them.
One possibility is to offer veterinary services. To open a clinic-shop now, it is necessary that both shops have independent entrances and have two activity licenses. This increases costs but also offers a comprehensive customer service. In this case, one of the partners must be a veterinarian and be a member of the association.
Specialize in the sale of a small number of species and expand your offer according to the possibilities and demand.
It is advisable to initially sell accessories and food for the most common species and different small animals that serve as an attraction. Animals are perishable goods that have to be cared for and fed every day until they are sold so, especially at the beginning, you have to limit their quantity.
Beware of dogs and cats
They are the ones who give the most work and not always the ones who leave the most margin. Besides, when they stop being puppies their demand drops and then you either give them back to the breeder or you have to give them away halfway. In any case, you have to know them very well: if customers perceive that you know nothing about dogs, no matter how funny your puppies are, it is very possible that they will not buy them from you.
Some people sell them to order thanks to agreements with breeders. In this way, you don’t miss the opportunity to offer these species to customers but you avoid the problems of having them in the shop. This option is recommended when you start and you can use it with other less demanded species or with imported animals.
Expand your services
In addition to selling animals, accessories and food, it offers other services: dog grooming, home feed, day care, training… Even if you have to subcontract them, you will get a margin that will improve your profit and loss account.
You should be concerned about the dogs you sell, know how to advise your customers and have notions of health, food and animal hygiene. Otherwise, you will be doomed to failure.