Written by Douglas Mefford in Pets
Viewed by 130 readers since 05-24-2009
For those who have a love of animals and pets, a pet store business can be a daily joy to work in an environment that gives you pleasure. It does, however, require more than just that affinity and affection for animals to make a pet store successful. In order to take care of yourself and your living inventory you will need to learn to be much more than just an “animal lover.”
As with any business, there are certain methods and processes that need to be learned and mastered. The ability to maintain stock inventory, overhead, taxes, and the thousand and one other aspects of retail business are as necessary as knowing how to feed the animals in your care. You need to learn how to schedule hours and work for your employees, as any respectable sized pet shop would be impossible for a single person to keep up with.
Once you understand the basic principles of business you can begin to research the details of your chosen field of endeavor. Since you are going to be dealing in livestock and with some of it being considered “exotic”, you will need to learn and keep up with government regulations on the care and transportation of animals. You will also need to have a general working knowledge of the various types of ailments the animals that comprise your inventory might be subject to. Recognizing a problem quickly can not only save your stock but may prevent a pandemic escaping into the population.
A good working knowledge of each type of animal you will be offering for sale is also essential. In this way you will have a better idea of what supplies you need to order and approximately how much food and the like must be kept in-house . The physical setup of your pet store will be very different from other retail stores. You will need cages, tanks, and other enclosures to contain your stock. You will also need to maintain an exercise area for the various animals and employees to help take care of them this way.
You will need to understand that, as a responsible pet lover, you will have to teach and instruct your customers on the proper feeding and housing of the animals they purchase from your pet store. Just because someone may want a pet guinea pig doesn’t mean they know what is required to keep them healthy and happy. As you learn the habits and likes of your customers you can concentrate on ways to gently point out the how-to of animal care to new customers.
It will be a requirement to locate and maintain business relations with your suppliers as well. A bit of investigative work may be needed to make sure you are not inadvertently supporting a “puppy mill” or other such abusive breeders. With the love of animals to sharer, pet shop ownership offers a much more friendly and personal relationship with your customers. This is an extra bonus for spreading the word and advertising your business so that it can grow into a successful business.