Now that you have made up your mind and gathered enough information and funds to open your pet shop in Singapore, you are already stepping into the steadily growing pet care industry! Petionship has put together a brief step-by-step guide for starting up your pet stores in Singapore!
9 steps to start a pet business in Singapore
Just like any other kind of business, pet shops or pet businesses require entrepreneurial skills and a wide range of capabilities including self-comprehension, business analytics, communications, corporate planning and risk management.
Step 1. Know yourself
You should always remind yourself to analyze your own personality, ability and financial capacity, so that you are well prepared for your pet business.
Step 2. Understand the pet industry
Pet care industry is different from other traditional industries which are human-oriented. Before you open your pet shop, you can spend some time understanding the unique characteristics of the industry and select a suitable niche to tap into. If you want to be a franchisee of a brand or a company, think twice and you are suggested to do thorough research on the headquarters and brands, or even attend offline briefing sessions in Singapore if possible.
Step 3. Set goals and plans and then action
You should carefully set business objectives and make action plans for your pet shop. How to get your first 10 to 100 pet consumers? How to make your 1st $100k? How to regularly review your pet store operations and performances? How to select and procure pet supplies for your customers? Every great business starts with detailed planning followed by strict implementation.
Step 4. Decide on the location of your pet store
You should pay on-site visits as many times as you can to evaluate and analyze the potential location of your pet shop in Singapore. Should it be located downtown or in a residential area? Is Marina Bay a good fit? Do Chinatown and LittleI India attract pet consumers? Also, you must clearly understand the content of the lease agreement to avoid any misunderstandings and potential disputes.
Step 5. Decorate your pet shop
It is your call to decide the decorating style of your pet shop or pet business according to the target customers' attributes and budget. Also, a grooming salon, a pet supplies store, and a pet hotel are of different categories and styles so the floor plan and the traffic flow should be designed accordingly as well.
Step 6. Confirm pre-launch timelines and action checklists for your pet shop
There are a lot of details and timetables you should confirm before you officially launch your pet shop. You should confirm the method of purchase and payment, grand opening sale, promotion plan, sales and marketing materials, etc. An actionable project timeline and checklist will be beneficial for you to manage every aspect of your pet business opening.
Step 7. Prepare various management documents and financial statements
Management documents including staff training documents, standard operating procedures and store management software manuals set the cornerstones of your day-to-day operations for your pet business. Also, it is extremely important to review the financial performance of your pet shop so financial statements should be ready beforehand, including balance sheets, income statements and cash flow statements.
Step 8. Consider using third-party software or services
Leveraging third-party software or services to streamline your pet store operations can boost your operational efficiency to a higher level. You can do market research to see which solution you can adopt based on your budget.
Step 9. Continuously enrich your management ability and industrial knowledge base
The pet care industry is intensely competitive. You should constantly equip yourself with more and more industrial knowledge and expertise.
Important know-hows of opening a pet shop
Pet stores are different from general retail businesses, so you must acquire specific know-hows to make you succeed in the pet care industry.
Obtain a professional qualification as a pet groomer.
If your pet business is a grooming salon, you must obtain professional certification to become a qualified and trusted pet groomer.
Visit at least 50 pet stores.
Competitors’ analysis always works out! Record their strengths and weaknesses, analyze the reasons why their businesses prosper, and think about how to outperform them.
Talk to at least 100 pet owners.
It is always important to know your customers! Talk to pet owners at popular dog walking locations such as parks to understand their consuming behaviors and what matters to them most when making spending decisions.
Attend Pet Expos in Singapore and Asia.
This is a must-do item for all pet care practitioners in Singapore and Asia! Annually there is Pet Expo Singapore (https://petexposg.com/) and Pet Fair SE Asia (https://www.petfair-sea.com/) where you can connect with both suppliers and partners domestically and regionally. If you have sufficient budget, consider traveling to China for Pet Fair Asia (https://www.petfairasia.com/en/), which is the largest pet expo in Asia, or Orlando, FL for Global Pet Expo (https://www.globalpetexpo.org/). These trade shows will definitely be your eye-openers!
Conduct questionnaires with pet customers.
Conduct surveys at pet trade shows or popular dog walking locations such as parks to understand your potential customers' needs better. You can prepare some small gifts to increase their willingness to respond to your questionnaires!
Keep a close eye on pet care market trends.
Pet care market trends are closely followed by major media and statistical authorities. Data and trends such as pet population and demographics, pet consumers’ behaviors, pet business sales data and market values are invaluable reference for your decision making when running your pet business.
To get the latest pet business insights from Petionship, please read our curated blogs for pet businesses.
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