3 Simple Steps to Catapult Your Organic Dog Food Business

Many dog owners are now discovering the many benefits of weaning their pets from dry dog food dependency. Although many of these food items are formulated to suit the nutritional needs of our canine companions, many pets eventually end up with one or more medical conditions like obesity, diabetes and even bloat. At the same time, these dry dog food products can become increasingly expensive. If the dog owner continues with this kind of pet feeding, the monthly bills for dog food alone can be staggering. Or, if the dog owner chooses to buy more affordable but less nutritious dog food items, their pets’ health could be compromised.

This is why the organic dog food business is booming these days. In order to launch your own pet food business, here are a few things you should do.

1. Go gourmet as opposed to ordinary organic food fare. If you are a small time organic dog food business owner, you will likely have more success as a gourmet canine food manufacturer. There are already a lot of organic pet food businesses out there, which means that you have a lot of competition to deal with. But gourmet products are more profitable, and because these are considered as luxury items, you can sell at higher prices to a limited group of clienteles.

Just make sure that your gourmet dog food products are unique and distinctive. Use as many organic ingredients as you can.

2. Choose organic packaging as well. Here is one trade secret: many dog owners might be enticed to try your products more if the packaging is eye-catching. If you have enough funds, try to create custom made containers that are both serviceable and environment-friendly. Using recycled materials will help cement your reputation as an organic food manufacturer.

3. Make sure that you make arrangements with courier service. If you are operating your business online, you would rely on heavily on the courier service. Make sure that you make arrangements with them on how you want your products picked up from your place (which is great if you are sending out products by the bulk) and how you want these shipped (next-door-delivery, unmarked boxes, special lining, etc.)

Karen Freeman is the author of Start Your Own Gourmet Dog Treats Business: Bake Your Way To Success. As a dog treats bakery owner, she shares her expert insider tips to starting and growing a successful dog treat business from home.

Tips to Successfully Market a Dog Grooming Business

The demand for dog grooming services continues to grow as more people home canine pets and then find they have absolutely no time to take care of them and groom them. Owning a pet is a big responsibility and if we fail to keep the dog clean and well groomed the poor dog suffers.

If time is a problem the solution is to find a good pet grooming salon. This brings us right back to where we started. If you have an interest in dogs and their well being, this could be a good line of work for you to be engaged in provided you are willing to wear the mantle of entrepreneurial responsibility

Once you set up your business it will not take off unless you market it. No business can market itself without some active marketing by the owner. Read on to find out tips on how you can successfully market your business.

* First you need to identify your target audience and don’t say dogs! Your target audience is the type of customer base you want to attract. Are you going for the rich and famous or the middle class, working man with 4.1 kids, a white picket fence and a dog? This is an important question because it will determine the kind of establishment you set up.

* For example, if your target audience is the higher strata of society and you have a very basic salon or a mobile van in your garden, do you seriously think you will attract traffic? No way!

* Next you will need a suitable advertising campaign that lets people know you are in business. You can advertise in the most popular local newspaper and even offer a discount voucher that readers have to cut out and bring with them. Everyone loves a bargain and times are hard so a 20-25 percent voucher will go down well. To establish yourself, you need to invest a little bit of your money and time.

* Remember that initial contact is very important so work at making an impact on both the dog and its owner. Customers will be watching to see how Fido reacts to you and how you treat him.

* The internet is one of the best mediums of advertisement; you can offer the discount vouchers online and also fill your site with valuable information in the form of web content that will have people coming back for more.

Use these tips as a starting point and get as creative as you can to market your pet grooming business.

Photographs With Your Pets

Everybody loves pictures of their pets, but very few actually go the full way to getting a portrait done, despite the fact that their pet is one of the most important parts of their family. More would do it if they had the chance.

You have to be quick because lots of pets are skittish, especially in new places. Remember, you cannot simply start a pet photography business because you like animals.

The odds are you have a way with pets though. Giving off a good sense of professionalism is a great way to garner repeat and referral clients.

One thing you will need is some backdrops. Empathy is often required in this business. Keep in mind that finding locations is essential, as is keeping a number of special mobile backgrounds. Compile a portfolio of your assignments.

Make sure you market yourself out there to your potential clients. If you create a niche for yourself in this area you will be one step up on your competition. Make or get a clear sign for your business.

But how to do you advertise without the cash of a big business?

Social networking is the answer, my friend. The net is so full of these that there will be no time to print all the passes that you want for your business. But take the time because all of it will pay off in the end. In the mall, on the road or even outside your own home, this is where they will see.

Now is the very best time to jump into this field that you love so much. You will thank yourself every night for your engagement in this institution. Go out and make it so, young man.

Home Business Idea For You – Start A Dog Bakery

Many of us have our dear loved pets and we all show complete attention is growing them hail and healthy. Most importantly we know what pet love to eat and serve them as per their taste and flavor. Being a pet owner and having experience in raising pets will give you the opportunity to start pet bakery business, which you can start anywhere even in home.

Arkansas, a major state sited in the Southern region of United States is an excellent place that has decent population living in. This state covers a total area of about 53,179 square miles and its population is ranked 32 in the United States. Business meetings, vacation and romantic gateway makes Arkansas an excellent place to recreate and live in. Starting a dog bakery business in Arkansas will be a biggest venture and moreover it will be successful if you do it with the right source and equipments. On using the best bakery equipments and accessories, your baking business will become easier to do and moreover you can prepare yummy foods that pet love.

It is quite essential to have good container, boxes and trays, since preparing baked foods without all these is not possible. With the simplicity to prepare and the ease of source makes pet bakery business incredible! Besides all these you never have to invest huge capital as an investment. With little investment, you can make huge profits and this is why it is recommended to start dog bakery business from home.

Business From a Dog Raincoat

It was one rainy afternoon when Chelsea decided to make a dog raincoat for her pet, Mimi. She has no other choice but to stay home and to keep herself entertained, she decided to watch the movie Legally Blonde. She found it attractive to see Reese’s pet clad in those girly fashionable dog dresses. And that is what inspired her to make clothes for her dog herself. And because it is a rainy season, she thought it might be useful to make Mimi some dog raincoats to keep her dry and warm when going out for a walk.

She searched her closet for her old raincoats so she can utilize it in making coats for Mimi. She also found it helpful to browse the internet for a pattern and for the instructions to follow. And in just few easy steps Chelsea already made a raincoat for her hairy friend. Making raincoats for her pet became one of her hobbies.

Chelsea’s friends and neighbours cannot help but notice the dog raincoats that Mimi fashioned when she was out for a walk on a rainy day. Intrigued by what they saw, they asked where she bought those raincoats for dogs and were amazed to know that it was hand made by Chelsea. Soon enough she got requests from them to make them their pet raincoats, too. And this is where she started her business. Apart from making raincoats, she also got into making dog dresses that Mimi modelled. Other dog owners in the neighbourhood were influenced to dress up their pets in fashion as Mimi modelled them. Thus, Chelsea’s business stated to boom.

Chelsea’s pet clothes business was opened inspired by a movie. Aside from raincoats for dogs, she also expanded her business by making various other pet clothes such as dog sweaters, pajamas, booties and other dog accessories. And it was Chelsea who introduced dog fashion in their neighbourhood- a business that started out from making raincoats for dogs.

The Two Minute Guide on How to Start a Photography Business

Are you one of those people who can’t wait to show off those holiday snaps as soon as you return home? And then can’t resist using ‘Photoshop’ with your most picturesque images, which you then enlarge and display proudly in your home? If the answers yes, then why not think about trying to turn your hobby into a money making venture by starting a photography business and becoming a professional photographer!

With digital photography it’s incredibly easy to take and produce photos, but before you think about starting a new career in photography it’s always advisable to carry out some research, acquiring tips and advice on purchasing photography essentials and how to take those great shots that others will want to buy. Why not subscribe to an online magazine and receive monthly updates that will teach you everything you need to know to create photographic masterpieces, time and time again?

Then start creating a portfolio that you can display as a hard copy as well as online. You probably won’t want to just specialize in just one type of photography at first. Ask friends and family to sit for you as a means to provide material to advertise your portrait photography business. You can combine an enjoyable family day trip with an opportunity to acquire beautiful images and even try out your photography techniques on the family pet to provide stock to advertise your pet photography business. Why unlike us, do pets always make a great photo? Offer to photograph family parties or even a friends wedding to gain confidence and experience and add to your portfolio to advertise your wedding photography business. Set up your own website or display your work for free on social networking sites such as MySpace, Facebook etc.

Start marketing your photography business. Some local newspapers allow free ads or you could try using free listing online services. Print off your own photography business cards and flyers, which can be distributed to appropriate venues. Drop off supplies to local play groups, dog grooming parlours, perhaps even offering a free sitting as an enticement.

Book a stall at local street markets, arts exhibitions or wedding fayres. You can display your masterpieces and not just make some sales but also promote your photography business. Always have a supply of business cards or flyers to hand as well as making your portfolio available.

Offer additional services such as uploading images on to souvenir items such as table mats or mugs or printing t-shirts. Check out online sites such as cafepress.com for all your printing requirements.

Make contact with newspapers, magazines, online businesses etc enclosing examples of your work and enquiring about freelance work. Consider offering some images for free as a useful means of advertising.

Pet Sitting – An Ideal New Business Opportunity

Reasons to start a pet sitting business can be different, depending on whom you ask. Some motivation comes from those affected by the national rise in layoffs. For others, it might be the desire for a mid-life career change, or as a response to The American Pet Product Manufacturers Association estimation that Americans will spend an overall total of $43 billion on pets in 2008.

Whatever the reason, small businesses nationally have created 60-80 percent of the net new jobs over the last decade, and they are the core of how the United States is growing.

Pet sitting has been named as one of the fastest growing home-based businesses according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Entrepreneur.com’s report ‘Become a Pet-Sitter or Dog Walker’ explains that the outlook for pet sitters and dog walkers has never been better. Both pet sitting and dog walking are still in their infancy as recognized professions. But with only about 3 percent of households nationally using a pet sitter or dog walker, there is plenty of room for new pet sitting and dog walking businesses to emerge and grow. There are no statistics on the number of dog walkers, but some estimates put the number of bonded and insured pet-sitter businesses nationwide at 10,000.

Pet sitting and dog walking can be very profitable and rewarding, especially in large major metropolitan areas where pet walking in particular has become more popular. The national average is about $16 per visit, and it usually customary to charge an additional $1 to $3 for each additional animal in the household. Do the math, and at 6 visits per 7 day work week, is $672 per week or $34,944 per year. Add a few more pets per household, and you are making well over $35,000 while working for yourself, and with some of the cutest clients in town.

Professional pet sitters care for people’s pets either for the day or for longer periods of time like during vacations or business trips. Many professional pet sitters also double as dog walkers they often offer other services like cleaning up accidents, changing cat litter boxes, administering pet medications, bringing in newspapers and mail, watering plants and taking out trash.

A background in pet care work such as veterinary, pet shelter, dog training or boarding care is of course very useful and usually recommended. A well-trained and experienced pet sitter or dog walker must be able to interact effectively with all types of dogs and cats large and small and be comfortable with other pets such as birds, rabbits, ferrets, snakes, etc. It is also extremely important to be able to determine if and when a pet requires veterinary medical attention. Becoming associated with a veterinarian who can provide emergency services is recommended by the Humane Society of the United States. Always check with a licensed veterinarian if you are a pet sitter, and have any questions about the care of a pet including administration of medications. In addition, becoming Pet CPR certified can be a valuable asset to your business. For more information about Pet CPR courses, please contact your local American Red Cross chapter.

The Humane Society of the United States provides some very good tips for pet owners in search for a pet sitter. Do you have written proof of commercial liability insurance and bonding? What is your training and experience? Is there a backup in case of emergencies? Do you provide related services such as grooming, dog walking, dog training, and play time? Do you have a contract spelling out services and fees? Can you provide phone numbers of other clients as references? Be prepared to answer any of these questions from prospective clients.

Once you establish your business, how do you get your clients? If you have a pet, chances are likely you network with other pet owners in the neighborhood, at the dog park, and at your veterinarian’s office or training class, where the opportunity to get new clients is unlimited. Word of mouth is one of the very best ways to market your services, most importantly because it is FREE! As you get one client it will certainly multiply into more as they are sure to share their positive experiences with other pet owners in need of your services.

Your organic marketing approach, paired with an online presence will sure to make your business grow. Clients expect you to be online, so they can shop your services, and learn more about you. With approximately 90% of Americans using the Internet, a website for your pet business is not a luxury, it’s a necessity.

There are also several national pet sitter and professional pet associations such as PetSitUSA, Pet Sitters International, The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters, and The International Association of Canine Professionals that can get you started on the right track, and offer tips and advice about important insurance, bonding requirements, training, as well as networking opportunities.

So, for those with an entrepreneurial spirit and a love of pets, now has never been a better time to follow your dreams of starting your own successful pet sitting or dog walking business.

Pet Store Logo Design Ideas

These days there is an exciting new range of pet related business springing up. As well as traditional pet stores, there are also sitting and grooming businesses as well as numerous other services and concepts. More upmarket boutiques and kennel services are starting to cater to people who want only the highest standards in products and services for their dog or cat.

No matter what kind of pet business you plan on starting up you will need to get a professional logo design to give your company an identity. A logo will help you to sell your products and services by making a statement about your business that appeals to your market. It will also help you to develop a brand in the long run.

Here are some design ideas for pet store logos. Hopefully this will help you get some ideas and inspiration to make it easier for you to let your designer know exactly what kind of pet business logo you want.

Making a Statement

You need to give some thought to the kind of image you want to project with your logo. Try to understand the relationship between pets and their owners. People value their vets considerably and some even go as far as treating them like family members. Give people the impression that you are a business that cares about the health and happiness of animals. You want people in your target market to understand that you value animals highly and that your products and services are of the highest standard.

There are many niches in the pet care industry and if you are focusing on one specifically then you may want to have your logo designed so that it is appropriate. If you are servicing the low end of the market and your customers are people who do the bare minimum to care for their pets then you may want to concentrate on the value for money or convenience that you offer. If you are servicing high end customers that spend a fortune on their pets then you may want a logo that hints at the prestige and exclusivity that you offer with your products and services.

Popular Pet Store Logo Images

The obvious choice for a pet logo is to feature an image related to animals as a part of the design. Basic text logos can also work well but as pets are typically cute, lovable and brandable you may as well take advantage of this and include a pet related image. Pets can look great as a business mascot in cartoon form or in other more realistic or abstract forms. There are such a wide variety of household pets and species and they can be represented in so many different ways that it would be rare for a designer to come up with something that wasn’t original. Other ‘obvious images’ for logos in the pet business include a dog’s bone, a kennel, paw prints or a leash.

To get ideas on what other pet shops have used on their designs do a Google image search for the keywords ‘pet store logos’. You can then see some examples of great pet shop logo design and possibly draw inspiration for your own.

Color Choice

Pet shop, grooming and sitting logos are usually more colorful than those in other industries. To keep your design from becoming overly complicated though you should ensue that your designer is working within a limit of no more than three or four colors. Minimal color usage will also make it easier when it comes to printing, faxing and photocopying the logo.

Lettering and Fonts

Any kind of font can work well for designs in this industry. A good designer will select a font that compliments the rest of the design and enhances the message. Pet stores and related businesses can often get away with lettering that is colorful, playful and fun. More serious and conservative fonts can also work well depending on the niche. Your designer should present several font variations for you to choose from.

Designer Communication

The best way to get a logo designed specifically for your business is to use an online custom logo design service. Compare some of the packages that are available and look over some of their portfolios to see what kind of work they have done in the past for pet stores and other animal related businesses.

For the best chance of getting a logo that is a perfect match with your business you must brief your designer very carefully. Let them know exactly what kind of products and services you sell and how you are different from other market players. Give them some profiles of your typical customers so that they can design something that appeals to these people directly.

To get your store or pet store or grooming business off to the best possible start it is essential that you invest some time and effort into getting the right logo. Once you have branded your pet shop with a logo it will not be easy to change the design later on so you must be absolutely certain that you have the best design to start with.

Greener Pet Choices – Growing by Consumer Demand

Whether it’s all natural, green, holistic or organic, greener pet products are heavily influencing the choices pet owner consumers are making for their pets, as well as the decisions pet business owners are making for their companies.

In the October 2007 Newsweek article “How to Cut your Carbon Pawprint”, market-research firm Packaged Facts provides statistics of U.S. retail sales of natural pet products expected to reach $1.3 billion in 2007, up from $558 million in 2003. By 2012, the market should reach $2.5 billion.

According to American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, Americans spent an overall total of $41.2 billion on pet care in 2007, up from $38.5 billion in 2006 and $36.3 billion in 2005. It is estimated that pet owners will spend $43.4 billion in total pet expenditures in 2008.

With the rise in greener pet choices, pet owners are now paying closer attention to the products and services they buy, leading pet business owners to pay closer attention to the products and services they sell as well as how their business is marketed.

It is now easier than ever for pet owners to try anything from organic food and treats to recycled pet toys, leashes and collars made from hemp, all natural shampoos and grooming products, bio-degradable waste bags, kitty litter and pans.

In Arlene Satchell’s South Florida Sun-Sentinel article, “South Florida’s businesses tap booming pet care Industry”, Satchell explains how organic foods and natural treats are popular pet food alternatives in Miami. Businesses serving Miami pet owners include numerous pet food stores that sell natural gourmet treats and foods with ingredients that promote wellness. For about $55 to $150 per month, customers can choose breed-specific, cooked to order natural gourmet meals and treats for their pets from one store. Another natural pet business owner in the area opened shop after losing his dog to cancer, and he started looking for healthier alternatives to feed his pets.

The increased awareness of the impact pets have on the environment along with the eco-friendly and natural pet alternatives becoming more widely acceptable have opened the minds of pet and business owners resulting in a green-hungry audience seeking new and possibly non-traditional ways to live a greener lifestyle.

One city’s approach to tackle pet-induced global warming includes a proposal to improve the urban problem of pet waste.

“American dogs and cats produce 10 million tons of waste a year”, as Will Brinton, a scientist in Mount Vernon, Maine, and one of the world’s leading authorities on waste reduction and composting said in an article in The San Francisco Chronicle. San Francisco, a city where animal feces make up nearly 4 percent of its residential waste, is considering “poop power” or, turning pet waste into methane which can in turn heat homes, cook meals, and generate electricity.

For cities where electricity is not generated by pet waste, or for pet businesses like pet sitters, dog walkers, or trainers, that offer services rather than products, a green pet website is an easy option that any pet business can choose when making decisions about how their website is designed, developed, maintained, and powered. A green pet website? Yes, it is possible.

Carbon neutral hosting is the act of balancing out harmful greenhouse gasses generated from the servers that power internet websites. By choosing carbon neutral hosting, pet businesses can offset the carbon emissions generated by the servers that power their website.

From pet food to green websites to how one city wants to put their pet waste to better use, any way you look at it the green path is being carved and it is leading right into the homes and businesses of pet owners all across the country in search of healthier pets and a greener tomorrow.

Molly is a pet lover and professional pet website designer for PetWebPro.com, an eco-friendly company featuring green hosting power, and can help any pet business reach an online audience quickly, easily, and efficiently.

Start A Pet Gift Baskets Business

Gift baskets for special occasion gifts are very popular. We always buy gift baskets with gourmet foods and other treats for family that lives out of town for Birthdays, Christmas, and Mothers Day. It’s something that easy to order and always appreciated!

As pet owners spend more money pampering their pets they are purchasing more special gifts for their furry family too. With so many great treats, shampoos, toys, clothing, and accessories now available for pets it is easy to start a business making pet gift baskets by mixing these products together to make an attractive basket that pet owners will love.

Birthdays and Christmas are obvious pet gift basket sales opportunities but you could also put together themed baskets for St Patrick’s Day, Valentines Day, and as welcome home gifts for families with a new puppy or kitten. You could also market baskets by product theme. For example you could make a super grooming basket, all natural treat basket, travel basket, toy basket, or pet loss gift basket. Or why not put together baskets specialized with products for a particular breed. You could even provide a catalog of products to choose from so that customers can custom make their own unique basket.

Pet baskets could be marketed to pet lovers by placing displays with your business cards in local pet stores, grooming salons, doggie day care facilities, or boarding facilities. You could also sell them on the web via a website or at a chamber of commerce location. Think of some of the places pet owners go to spoil their pets and you have found your perfect market.

Pet gift baskets also make great items for pet businesses to donate to silent auction events and raffles to promote their business. Why not promote them to local pet business owners too!

All you need to make a great basket is the basket itself, some filler to place inside the basket, a cellophane shrink bag, and a decorative finish. Most large craft stores such as Hobby Lobby or Michaels stock these items and you can also buy them wholesale online.

You need to make sure you price your baskets to cover labor, supplies and the items in the basket. A good rule of thumb is to price the basket at twice the cost of the items that you put into the basket.

Gift Basket Wholesale Supply is a great resource for articles about the gift basket business and crafty ideas to make baskets look great. They even offer a free course about making baskets at their site. If you do a Google search on gift baskets you will find many more websites offering advice about the gift basket business.

If you already own a grooming salon, pet sitting business, pet store, dog day care, or boarding facility, pet gift baskets could be a great seasonal profit boost. You can offer these to your clients just by displaying samples in your store to generate conversation.