FRI, 08 MAR 2019 BY LINDA ROSADO
Being a business owner is no walk in the park, but it can be one of the most rewarding careers for those who are passionate about their industry and their customers. Starting your own dog bakery is no exception, as long as you have a strong guideline to get your business up and running on all fours.
Owning a pet bakery really is the dog’s bark, but there are many important parts that go into starting and maintaining a successful pet-friendly business. Here are five tips to help you build one of your very own and keep your pup patrons coming back for more.
BARK TO BUSINESS
Running a pet bakery sounds like a dream job for most of us, but it’s still a business that has to be structured. The first step in establishing your own “barkery” is to form your business and choose what type of entity you want to operate as.
Dog is man’s best friend and lawyers are business owners’ best friend, so your life as a pet bakery operator is going to involve at least some of both. You might need to apply for certain permits, licenses and insurances depending on where you choose to bake. Make sure you do your research to know exactly what you need to get your business up and running – and the types of things you’ll need to avoid.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Opening your doors to the pups of the world can make a big difference depending on where you set up shop. It can be the element that makes your pet bakery the big woof, if you take some important factors into consideration.
Big cities are always going to be a thriving spot for pet bakeries. Pup owners in these areas will tend to have a higher income and be more health conscious about their pets’ diets. You’ll also be prone to getting more traffic and a mixture of local and visiting customers.
If you’re looking for a more rural approach to your small business, consider setting up shop in a pet-friendly area outside of town. Dog parks are a treat for pups and their parents, and you can be a part of the occasion. Locating your business near these kinds of areas will allow your bakery to be a convenient stop along the route of anyone or any Fido nearby.
PRIORITIZE YOUR MARKETING
Dogs have a strong sense of smell, but it won’t be enough to get them to your door. The attention you need has to come from the ones behind the leash, which means you need to have a strong grip on your marketing (or barketing) plan.
Creating a website and setting up social media accounts is a great way to get involved with the community and become easier to find online. You can post pictures of the furry friends that come through your door and encourage customers to do the same, while tagging your location.
Donating or giving out treats is another great way to get tails wagging and spread some word of mouth. Whether you want to make goodie bags for your local shelter or hand out free treats at your storefront, you can do some serious marketing with samples.
STOCK UP WITH PET PRODUCTS
You don’t have to become a pet superstore to break the mold, but having extra amenities can separate your pet bakery from all the rest.
Providing pet products like dog bowls and adjustable diners with drinking water for parched pups will show your customers that their four-legged friends matter to you and your business.
You may even want to consider offering supplies like litter pick up bags for owners who made the trip and forgot theirs at home. Having an emergency option for a new customer could be the ultimate way to encourage them to come back.
THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
The most effective way to perk up your customers’ ears is to be unique and responsive. Customers that visit your bakery aren’t looking for generic treats that they could find at their nearest convenience store, they’re looking for something original and personal.
Separating treats by food allergens, recommended dog size or even flavor profiles can make your canine-friendly business a little simpler for the humans in front of the counter. If you’re trying to appeal to different audiences, you can offer gourmet specialties designed with luxurious ingredients or classic options that will cater to every pup’s palate, and we encourage you to rotate recipes to spice up your menu.
Also, consider special occasions, events and upcoming holidays and make limited edition treats. These are great for attracting new customers and keeping things fresh for your current ones.
Starting your own pet bakery takes a lot of time and effort, but it can be the ultimate treat for owners and customers alike.