What You Need to Know to Start a Business for Your Dog

Lola and Tobías are those dogs the Maldonados. Both exercise between 3,600 and 4,000 pesos of the monthly family budget, which results from consuming 12 and 15 kilos of premium groceries, four to six bags of prizes, several rolls of garbage bags, bait, toys and clothing. In addition, every four weeks the purchase of a bed, strap, harness or nameplate, as well as the beauty and wellness area at home.

These dogs belong to a new generation of pets known as perrhijos. In many families, they replace or delay the arrival of the offspring and fuel new business. Animal welfare.

What You Need to Know to Start a Business for Your Dog
What You Need to Know to Start a Business for Your Dog

The sector includes specialty stores, spas, beauty salons, hotels and hospitals, training centers, kindergartens, party halls and funeral homes: a true blend of companies serving a national market of $ 1.988 million that will reach 2.735 million by 2022. according to data from Euromonitor.

If these numbers make sense to you and you want to partake in a segment that meets the needs of pets, which Inegi says have seven out of ten homes in Mexico, read on and start a business that specializes in products and services for them specializes in new kings of the house.

Customer area

Non-fad products and services for dogs will continue to gain a foothold in the country. According to the study Mexico: Pets in our homesFrom Consulta Mitofsky, pet presence is concentrated in the center of the country (at 59%) with the dog being the preferred companion animal with 87% of preferences. The owners of these animals do not hesitate to offer them a special diet, which is why eight out of ten people at levels A, B, C + purchase this type of food.

Perhaps that is why there are those who claim that there are already two categories of dog lovers: dog lovers and dog parents. The former are the classic owners who love dogs, put them on the level of pets and provide them with the satisfactions necessary for their wellbeing. The latter take this to a higher level by showing a more active and informed participation in your pet’s raising, feeding, recreation, and upbringing, and giving them a place in the family.

Suggested value

In a business that offers everything for your dog, in addition to the search for services and material goods, you have the security of finding specialist staff for the aesthetic care of dogs and being one step ahead of the dogs’ needs Dog lover Y. Dog parents.

The aim is to provide an accelerated service where the consumer does not have to wait for a bag of croquettes. It also ensures that you receive them regularly from an automated monitoring and customer supply system (e.g. a CRM or ERP) at your doorstep. In addition, it offers quality products that meet safety standards, as well as services that are overseen by animal welfare and care experts.

In this sense, there is an opportunity in premium products, ie those of the highest quality that can only be found in specialized locations. Euromonitor points out that with the trend of the “humanization” of dogs the possibility arises to develop innovations and to develop new products, especially the range of high-end products, since the range in the middle range is already saturated.

This is exactly why Petn’Go, an e-commerce of pet products, was born out of Alejandro González’s need for high-quality food for his dog Fender.

“There wasn’t what I was looking for for him in Mexico, so I started trying things that were recommended to me from the US. This is where the business idea came about and in 2013 I founded the company in partnership with my brother Andrés González and my friend Julio Cesar Calvo. On the one hand, we created a B2C called Petn’Go; and on the other hand a B2B called PetMarket, which is to be sold to companies like PetCo and Liverpool, ”recalls Alejandro.

After overcoming funding problems and a learning curve due to a lack of business knowledge, the entrepreneur and his partners have matured the business. Now they have performance indicators, controls and processes as well as differential values ​​that they adapt to the consumer’s taste. For example, they deliver the same day and cover the shipping costs for a minimum purchase of 2,500 pesos. All with the advantages of immediacy and ease of e-commerce.

Like this entrepreneur, define a business model and set your value proposition. You may find it in a line of products (e.g. a vegan line) or in the service. The important thing is that you find something that sets you apart.

Distribution channels

If you are determined to start a specialty dog ​​store, you need to be clear about the business model and then define the sales channels. When it comes to a physical store, direct sales is the most logical channel. that is, buy and sell on site. This requires trained personnel to guide the buyer and carry out the transaction, as well as goods from warehouse.

Is your business online? Then do what Alejandro González from Petn’Go does: set up a platform with a shopping cart, install a chat and a telephone line. The aim is to ensure that the customer, who relies on the immediacy of the internet and wants everything quickly, feels visited and makes a purchase on the site.

There are other options, such as Spa Canino Móvil, a company that was founded in 2005 by Víctor Kurt and Jorge Ulrich and to this day has a network of 15 own units and eight franchisees. These entrepreneurs run the dog spa and beauty services at home, so be sure to use a customized vehicle with a tub, work table and water tank, as well as the necessary tools to beautify the dogs.

“Our model has the advantage that the customer can see his pet at all times. In addition, we adapt to your schedule by bringing the service to your home to optimize your times. To make an appointment, just call the call center and plan based on availability and coverage area, ”explains Víctor.

Relationship with customers

These stores feel special as consumers expect to feel part of a community, receive information and good treatment (including their pets), and access innovative and quality products and services quickly and on time.

To fully comply with this, personalized treatment is essential. Depending on your business model, you can complement it with chats, WhatsApp groups, social networks, phone calls and email campaigns.

Casa Luna, a pet store with 60 years of experience in the national market, is well aware of this. Not only does she have trained staff in each of her four sales outlets in Mexico City, but she is also in constant communication with her customers through the online shop through the chat on its website, while communication is strengthened through its social channels.

“We care a lot about the details. We are committed to the welfare of pets by offering innovative products of excellent quality. We also have our own line of products called Lunipet, ”explains Héctor Luna, General Manager.

Just as Héctor maintains direct communication with its customers, make sure that this also happens in your company. Determine which communication channels should support sales and do what it takes to make the customer feel heard, cared for, and satisfied.

Source of income

A recent report from the Cabinet for Strategic Communications shows that there are people out there willing to spend a little over $ 200 a month on food and services for their dogs’ welfare. So one thing is clear: there is money and a market.

Against this background, it is determined which business areas, product lines or services generate the resources. In a physical store, for example, the flow comes out selling groceries and accessories at an average ticket price between 1,200 and 1,500 pesos (it is calculated that a good customer makes two of these purchases per month). While in a dog spa the majority comes from the sale of bath, beauty and care packages, the amount of which is between 250 and 400 pesos.

What about selling animals? The decision depends on your business model and your expectations. + Kota ensures, for example, that this “category” is not an important contributor to the business as it barely accounts for 8% of income.

“In the chain, selling groceries is by far the most important thing. Along with certain consumables such as cat litter. The category accounts for 70% of income. With that in mind, the super-premium food category in Mexico has grown 18% annually over the past five years, which is barely seen in other markets. The market is definitely growing and it is a great opportunity, ”said Murry Tawil, CEO of + Kota.

Key resources

In this piece of the puzzle, your focus should be on identifying the physical, economic, human, or intellectual resources your business needs. For example, if your business is physical, then you certainly have the premises (adaptation and equipment). warehouse Initially, working capital, software and human resources, among others.

It starts with the premises. Its dimensions can be between 70 and 90 square meters. Preferably it should be in a residential area with a high population density and anchored in a shopping mall or commercial area. Opt for a spot with an attractive view to the public, with the option to park a car or two.

The sales area equips it with several shelves and installs a closed circuit. Complete the room with a computer, management software, phone, printer, tall bench, calculator and medicine cabinet.

The aesthetic zone must be in sight; preferably in a shop window area. It has a tub, a stainless steel work table for veterinarians, a water heater, instruments for dog aesthetics (hair clippers, cold air dryers, brushes and combs, scissors, nail clippers, towels, shampoo, flavorings, disinfectants, bandages).

The business works with a manager or manager (can be the entrepreneur), a salesman, an animal stylist, and a delivery man. The accounting service can be outsourced.

When you choose a franchise, the requirements change. Casa Luna, for example, has a model that requires between 60 and 70 square meters of space to sell food, textiles and toys. + Kota now has proposals that adapt to spaces from 40 to 60 meters.

As additional advice, consider a scalable business model into which you can integrate / add new products or services as the business consolidates. Take this into account when renting the premises.

Key activities

A physical store is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Supply, logistics and day-to-day operations are three of the activities that are on the radar. “The turnaround is a good way to make mistakes. much more if you don’t know the secrets of the operation. For example, at the end of 2013 we brought our first container with food. We were only able to place 40% because we hadn’t researched the market well. Incidentally, we are putting it at risk due to an expiration issue. In the end we tried it and placed it, even if it was free, ”remembers Alejandro González from Petn’Go.

Based on this experience, the entrepreneur recommends placing the focus on the expiry of products, adhering to the “First-In, First-Out” storage system and planning the buyback according to the sales model.

“They have to be available for a maximum of 30 days. The ideal thing for a company is that you can work on one stock for 10 days or a week. At PetMarket, we can deliver orders in two or three days, ”he explains. You also need to make sure that the foods you buy have all the records in place with the country’s health and regulatory agencies. This is because the aunt who makes great cookies for the dog is never missed, and it turns out that failure to follow processes makes the dog sick.

Another important activity is the logistics of home delivery distribution. It depends to a large extent on that buyer remain a loyal and dedicated consumer.

In order not to disappoint you, make sure that your platform correctly captures all the requirements, that you have an efficient and secure online payment system and that the people who process the orders in the store / warehouse fully comply with the orders. The rest falls to the delivery man, who can be his own job or part of a “cocky” home delivery service.

There are no black threads for day-to-day operations: Pay attention to the administration, the cleanliness of the place, the presentation of the products and very important: the customer service. You can do this with software such as Víctor Kurt from Spa Canino Móvil.

“We have an ERP with which we can measure the business: profits, losses, sales, areas with the highest growth. It is a software that helps us to divide the service into zones and at the same time provide important data to support our customers. So we have a proactive and non-reactive position with regard to their service needs, ”adds Víctor.

Important alliances

In a pet shop there are certain relationships that you need to look after: one is with the suppliers (who may give you credit, discounts or training based on consumer behavior) and another with your co-workers / co-workers (because they are the face of that Company before customers).

You can also form alliances with other entrepreneurs in case your business does not initially offer all of the services you want. For example, you can work with a veterinarian who offers regular meetings in your dog owner business. You gain by offering your customers added value and they gain visibility and possible “patients”.

You can also look for partners to outsource the spa and training service. In this case, consider a gain of 15% to 20%.

Cost structure

A good first step in quantifying your company’s cost structure, part of your business model: will it be an independent company or will you go with a franchise?

If you choose the former, you’ll need to toss all of the meat on the grill to limit the learning curve, minimize risk, and of course optimize your capital, as this option can be up to 35% cheaper compared to a scheme franchise . However, when you choose a franchise business, you get the support of a brand, the appropriate know-how and the necessary support with start-up and operation.

In both cases, the first step is renting the premises, which can range from 150 to 500 pesos per square meter, depending on the location and the facilities offered. Add to the current rent the payment of a deposit or two and the annual amount of a statutory policy equivalent to a month’s rent (protects the owner of the property from damage and refusal to evacuate by the tenant) and when you enter a mall add the The cost of the famous glove is added.

Once the problem is resolved, anticipate the adjustment costs, which will depend on the state of preservation of the property and whether you need to adjust the appearance to the standards of a franchise business. Be sure to reserve a budget between 50,000 and 120,000 pesos.

“There are many ways to get started, but I recommend doing this through a franchise company. This will save you a lot of headaches. The model we propose is an anchor shop that sells groceries, toys and accessories. The initial investment is 854 thousand pesos, 120 thousand franchise fees and 35 thousand for other expenses. The return on investment is between 16 and 20 Months, ”explains Héctor from Casa Luna, a 100% Mexican company that is now in its third generation.

Another franchise alternative is that of + Kota with the + Kota Food program, a shop specializing in the sale of groceries and accessories for spaces from 40 to 60 square meters. The investment is around 1 million pesos and the return on investment is three years.

“We have another model of ‘corral stores’ called that because it has corrals that house the animals for sale. These stores are located in power centers and are between 80 and 150 square meters in size. The investment they need is anywhere from 2 to 2.5 million pesos, including the franchise fee, space adjustments, initial inventory and working capital, ”adds Murry.

If you’re looking for something a little different, explore the aesthetics of the Canino Móvil Spa. His proposal is based on an investment of 1 million pesos and calculates a return on investment of 18 to 24 months with a profit margin of 30%.

Choosing a franchise will solve all your doubts. Pay attention to the topics of delivery, payment of royalties and exit clauses. On the contrary, if you go alone, remember that you neither have the protection of a recognized trademark nor (at least initially) have direct access to different providers. You will also not master the key processes. The good news is that everything is learned.

As you can see, doing business in the pet world requires knowledge, time, capital, a sense of customer service, and a love for animals. Lose the fear of undertaking! Find out and join the Mexico business community.

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