(Originally published on July 17, 2011; reprints previous original material published in this section)
Animal lovers will find a pet shop not only fulfilling to handle but surprisingly lucrative—if you know how to do it right. For those already involved in breeding pets, setting up a pet shop promises a profitable extension of their business.
The following are the steps and tips to get you started on this fascinating business:
1. Register your business with all the proper government agencies. Before you start, get a business name from the Department of Trade (DTI) if your business will be a sole proprietorship, or from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) if you plan it to be a corporation or partnership. Obtain a barangay clearance before you proceed to get a business permit from the mayor’s office, and then acquire a certificate of registration and authority to print receipts from the BIR. Other entities you have to comply with are the SSS, Pag-ibig, Philhealth, DOLE, Bureau of Animal Industry, and the Department of Agriculture.
2. Know the laws that govern the sourcing, handling and selling of animals. There are endangered species that cannot be sold legally. You may also be liable for cruelty to animals if you fail to implement the proper care of the pets, which includes proper feeding, facilities and handling.
3. Choose a location where there are other pet shops or a mall. People buying pets tend to shop around before they buy. They want to check a wide variety so buyers tend to flock to places where there are many pet shops in the same area. You can observe this in Arranque, Cartimar and other places where plenty of pet animals are sold. However, a pet shop may also be successful alone if it is located inside a large mall. Here the advantage of convenience and high foot traffic can give good sales to pet shops.
4. Invest in good displays. Make sure the containment structures are of the right size for the animals. There must be enough room for the pets to move around and maintain their health. Remember that some animals quickly outgrow their space.
5. Source from reputable dealers. Get only from sources that can provide the legal papers. Never get from illegal sources, not only to avoid future legal problems but there is also that strong possibility of getting a disease-carrier.
6. Know what animals can be kept together. Due to space constraints, it is impractical to keep every animal in its own cage. However, make it a point to find out which animals are antagonistic toward each other. Note that there are members of the same species that cannot be put in the same cage or aquarium.
7. Have a veterinarian on retainer. Your pets will need medical care, from vaccines to antibiotics and vitamins. These are the things that only qualified veterinarians know. They can also provide you valuable advice on how to best take care of the pets.
8. Carry a line of pet supplies and accessories as well. These will help you have a more even cash flow. You may even earn more from the supplies and accessories because they are purchased regularly. People will also want to have all they will need for their pet available in one place. Every time they go back to your store, there is also a chance that you can sell them more pets.
9. Learn as much as you can about the pets you are selling. Customers will patronize pet shops that can give them reliable information. You will also minimize losses due to pets dying of faulty care. Healthy pets also look nicer; hence, they are easier to sell. Knowing about the animals you are selling also ensures you can be in better compliance with the regulatory agencies.
10. Set the proper prices. To price profitably, you must always be aware of the prevailing market prices by canvassing your competitors. This will enable you to set your prices at a level that will sell and still have a good margin. Nevertheless, there are some rules of thumb that are useful to know. Life animals usually go for at least double the cost of the pet including transportation.
11. Market your pet shop. It is not sufficient to just wait for customers to walk in; you must also be continuously promoting your store. Come up with flyers with special offers and learn internet marketing. It is also cost effective to place advertisements in local publications in the area where your store is located.
Pet shops consist of a delightful business to operate but because your inventory are living things, extra special effort must be exerted to ensure their well-being.
If you want to learn more about BusinessCoach Inc., call (2) 727-5628 or 727-8860 for details or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit their website at http://www.businesscoachphil.com to see more business opportunities.
(All rights reserved. Copyright Manila Bulletin. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders.)