From the blog How to Set Up Your Pet Shop Business for Success

Starting a retail pet shop offers incredible upside for business owners, though it requires thorough preparation and a high amount of upfront investment. The pet store industry’s one that continues to grow at a rapid pace, offering great opportunities to make a strong profit. Understanding the keys to starting a successful pet shop is important for anyone planning to open a new pet store, whether you plan to do so independently or as a franchise owner. Here are a few insights into creating a pet shop business plan that will make your store successful from the start.

Choose What Kind of Pet Shop You Want To Start

There are a few different ways to start your pet shop business; selecting what’s right for you depends on your priorities. The first option for opening a pet shop is to do so independently. The benefit of outright ownership over your shop is control. You’ll be able to make final decisions on product selection, marketing and advertising, and company policies. Start-up costs for an independently-owned pet shop can range into the $100,000s. You’ll need to plan to obtain the capital necessary to clear this relatively high barrier of entry into the pet shop industry.

[Improve Profit Margins! Use Our Profit Calculator for Small Businesses]

The second option available to individuals interested in starting a pet shop is franchise ownership. Working with a large corporation carries its own range of pros and cons. The major benefit of franchise ownership is having the support of an established brand. They’ll give you the materials you need to get the business off the ground as well as provide necessary training to operate the store. On the other hand, you’ll have little say over the direction of your business as a franchise owner. There are also fees associated with franchise ownership. In addition to upfront franchise fee upon start-up, you’ll have to pay royalty fees to the franchisor over the life of your contract.

Create A Thoughtful and Thorough Business Plan for Your Pet Shop

Most new small business owners don’t have thousands of dollars on hand to start up a new pet shop. Luckily, there are many avenues towards securing funding for your new business. Some payment processing companies allow business owners to use future credit card sales to obtain a business loan, so that’s an option to consider. The first step in securing small business financing is creating a business plan. Ensure the plan is thoroughly researched, clearly outlined, and thoughtfully prepared to attract interest from banks and other potential investors. You should consider purchasing business planning software, as it’ll help you be sure that you have touched all the bases needed for a successful business plan. If you require financing for new equipment for your business, you may want to get in touch with Equify Financial.

You’ll also need to register your business and hire legal counsel to ensure you’ve met the legal requirements for opening a pet shop in your state. Another important consideration is the need to deeply and continuously research the pet supply marketplace. Examine the shopping habits of your expected clientele, the types of products that are most popular in your region, which vendors have the best reputation and offer the best deals, and how much to charge for the items you carry.

You’ll need equipment for your new pet shop too, such as cages, aquariums, and shelving. You should also put consideration into the payment processing vendor you choose to work with. Some processors require you to purchase the terminals and pay for your own repairs. Others provide the equipment and repairs as a part of the agreement, saving you costs and hassle.

Understand How To Attract Customers to Your Shop

General business acumen is an important factor in running a successful pet store. However, you’ll also need to understand what attracts pet customers that want the best for their animals. If you choose to start a franchise of a larger corporation, you’ll have a built-in ability to attract customers simply on name-recognition. Independent pet shops face a tougher battle in attracting customers because you’ll have to establish your name and a reputation before earning the trust of your community.

Educating yourself on the details of the various species and their specific needs is a great way to establish your store as the local pet authority. You may also want to select a niche market and cater your inventory towards serving the needs of those customers. For instance, many pet owners only give their animals holistic foods. The natural pet food industry sees billions of dollars in sales every year – gearing your store towards the needs of those shoppers is a great way to attract customers.


Pet ownership has been on the rise for decades and young people account for much of the growth in new owners. Millennial and Gen X pet owners spend more to pamper their pets, making pet shops a great long-term opportunity for entrepreneurial animal lovers. Like any business, it’s important to understand the aspects of owning a pet shop before you get started. With these suggestions, you’ll be on your way to owning lucrative and rewarding pet store.

Try Our Profit Calculator for Small Businesses and Improve Your Profit Margins.

Are you ready to grow together?