If you love dogs and baking tasty treats, starting a dog bakery may have entered your mind. People who love their dogs always are on the lookout for new treats to keep them happy and healthy. This is where dog bakeries come in.
When starting a dog bakery your primary job is to make delicious and healthy treats that cater to a variety of dogs. You can learn new treat recipes from cook books or the Internet; just make sure that the ingredients you use are safe for dog consumption. Keep in mind that just because you can eat it doesn’t mean your dog can. You need to make sure you are following federal ingredient and labeling guidelines. You will need to come up with a catchy brand name and logo and make sure it does not infringe on someone else’s logo. You will have to also research packaging options. You will need to set up a baking facility that meets local and state codes. You, of course, will need to decide on the size of needed staff. You will have to decide whether you will market through a store front, through related businesses, or on the Internet or some combination thereof.
Where will you work?
Before starting a dog bakery it is reccommended that you do your homework. Be sure there is enough demand for this type of business. Create a business plan and determine your costs, the prices for the treats and how many treats will you need to sell in order to make a profit. When starting a dog bakery the making and packaging of treats can be done from anywhere with the proper oven and venting. Even from the comfort of your home (if you have the right setup and zoning laws allow). To sell your products, you can partner with veterinary offices, famous dog trainers, dog daycare centers etc. You might also want to look for setting up stalls at the local dog shows or pet shows, farmer’s markets and Saturday markets. When starting a dog bakery you will be targeting such a slim market base, therefore it may be a good idea to have a presence where you are likely to be noticed by dog owners. This could also mean that you would need to set up stalls in parks, streets etc. where dogs are usually taken for walks.
When starting a dog bakery you can easily make a variety of treats that cater to several breeds, package them and tag them all at the cost of only a few thousand dollars. You can hire a lawyer to write up the wholesale contracts, and make sure there are no trademark infringements. You will need to cover the fees to set up stalls in pet shows, flee markets etc. If needed you may also want to hire a couple of assistants that will take care of the packaging and tagging work, as well as dealing with contracts, managing stalls etc.
Starting a Dog Bakery Business Tips
- Maintain variety– Offer a variety of dog treats catering to many different breeds and dog preferences. You also will need to consider a variety of customer attitudes. So you might want to consider, for example, a line which appeals to wholesome food enthusiasts.
- Cater to various needs– Package your products in multiple quantities. This will make it easier for first time buyers to try out your products.
- Market your products– Make sure that you set up a stall at various dog shows or pet shows in your city. When starting a dog bakery you will need to build a high profile among dog owners in your market. Market your products well. Building brand awareness is very important in this type of business where the target audience is relatively small.
- Be creative in your marketing– You could donate some of your treats to dog adoption agencies as part of a welcome home package for the newly adopted dogs. Have an informative blog or website. You could go to children’s fairs and have a booth where kids can get samples to see which treats their pets like most. You could also sponsor a dog-related event of your own.
Advertising a Dog Bakery
When starting a dog bakery it is often more effective to choose advertising methods that will most likely be viewed by your target market. Therefore look at places where your target market will most likey go, consider advertising in reading material they will most likely read. In addition also keep track of the various ways you are advertising your dog bakery and see which ones are most effective in bringing customers to your business. Keep the advertising methods that are paying off and dump the ones that are not.
- Form Partnerships– Network with veterinarians, dog trainers and breeders in your local area and form partnerships. Offer them commission for referring your service or offer to refer their services in exchange.
- Dog Bakery Business Cards– Give out your business card whenever an opportunity appears. Network as much as possible.
- Flyers– Determine if you can put up flyers in local grocery stores, pet stores, doggy daycares, dog grooming centers, veterinarian offices, parks and community centers. It is best to ask the owner of these businesses for permission first. You can conduct a search on a search engine such as Google to locate these businesses in your zip code or local area. Also hand out flyers to passer byes on the street.
- Brochures– If you decide to have brochures, you can include some information about your business as well as a menu of your popular treats along with thier prices.
- Yahoo Local Searches– If you include your business in the Yahoo Local Searches, when people search for your service your business will appear in the list. To add your business to Yahoo local search, enter the term “add business to yahoo local search” in Yahoo.com and click on the first link.
- Google Local Searches– Google has a local search as well. To add your business to Google local search, enter the term “add business to google search” in Google.com and click on the first link.
- Website– You can decide to develop a website to provide clients with access to general information about your dog bakery.
- Newspaper classified ads– You can consider advertising in newspaper ads in your local newspaper. However since newspaper ads can be expensive, experiment with them first. See if they bring you customers and if it is worth their cost.