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How to Start a Dog Treat Business [2020] – A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Start a Dog Treat Business

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If you’re looking for advice on how to start a dog treat business, you’re in the right place.

It’s likely that if you’re here, you’ve either stumbled across the idea of making dog treats for profit, or you’ve seen others successfully running dog treat businesses, and you want to know:

  • Whether it’s a profitable business model
  • What it would cost to get started
  • How to sell dog treats
  • And, what it would take to get started with a dog treat business

Is the Dog Treat Business Profitable?

First…

Income – Expenses = Profit

Therefore, in order to run a profitable dog treat business, you need to budget, and ensure that the expenses for your business are less than your income.

A dog treat business can be very profitable when you have a product that stands apart, when you get enough people to know about your product, and when you make enough sales to exceed the amount you spend to run the business.

What would it cost to Start a Dog Treat Business?

This question is very subjective because each dog treat business owner has different preferences. For example, some dog treat owners may prefer to go door to door and hand out flyers, whereas, another may prefer to run Facebook ads.

The costs of acquiring the customer would be different in those instances, then when you add onto that, different ingredients, packaging, and other variants, it would be impossible to be accurate in estimating the expenses of every dog treat business.

For a bare bones dog treat startup, we can estimate the need for things like:

  • Ingredients – $100
  • Baking equipment – $250
  • Advertising (even if it’s just hosting, a domain name ,and SEO training) – $300
  • Education – $300
  • Incorporation – 500
  • Packaging – $250

If you wanted to start with the basics, you’d spend something like $1700, and you’d want to prepare for re-investing into the business until it becomes profitable.

Other expenses that are common with bakeries are:

  • Photography
  • Videography
  • Digital advertising
  • Influencer marketing
  • Paying the Owners
  • Paying for Help
  • Bookkeeping
  • Legal Consultation
  • and More
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How to Get Started with a Dog Treat Business – Step-by-Step

If you’re ready to get started with your dog treat business, these are the recommended steps:

1. Create a Business Plan

Get clear about things like:

  • When you want to launch?
  • Who is your ideal customer?
  • What offer do you want to sell?
  • How much will you charge?
  • What products and services you need to launch?
  • and More

Even thought you’re just starting out, it’s important to set targets that help guide your actions.

You can’t expect to lose weight without being willing to do the work of eating better or exercising more. Similarly, you can’t expect to make money in business without offering to solve a problem, and selling your solution to those that need it.

Your business plan is your map that explains what your solution is and how you’ll get it to those that need it. It’s a very important starting point in your business.

2. Build a Website

Now, more than ever, people are shopping online. And, it’s very inexpensive as an entrepreneur to use a website as a virtual storefront.

You can buy a domain name and get hosting for less than $300 and these are two foundational assets selling online.

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3. Map your Customer Journey

When I was starting out, I would overcomplicate things in my business. Hahahaha.

Rather than simply creating a streamlined process for customers to learn about my products and services, I would add unnecessary steps that lowered my sales.

I mention this because customer journey mapping became helpful. It helped me to go from…

disorganized customer journey

To a clearer and more intentional process that looks like…

Streamlined customer journey

Basically, the goal went from: making contact with a potential customer and giving them something like a business card, and hoping they’ll follow up…

To, making contact with a potential customer and selling them to go to either a optin page for a free and helpful gift, or to a sales page to purchase something. Mapping helped me to make a direct focus on persuading the prospect to go to a web page where I could follow up because that sales process works best for my business.

Your sales process may look more like…

Dog treat business customer journey map

You may decide to give out samples or you might decide to minimize the expense that comes along with samples, and instead, build trust another way before making the sale. Customer journey mapping can help you to visualize, and decide how you’ll take a stranger: from not knowing about you to building trust, and making a sale.

4. Nail Down your Ingredients and Systemize your Baking Process

As a business, you’ll have to bake in higher volumes than you would if you’re baking when you want to, or doing it for friends and family. When you start baking in higher volume, then it’s important to know your recipes, and manage a consistent level of quality, so you can manage your costs.

5. Create ways for Customers to Find You Online and Offline

Many entrepreneurs have a good product or service, but still don’t get sales. Do you know why?

It’s because no one knows that exist.

You have to make sure that when you have your dog treats, you get the word out. The internet has created new ways of building awareness. You can use the search engines and social media as tools for people to learn about your business, but you don’t want to neglect the offline world too.

You might find good opportunities for growing brand awareness by doing things like handing out samples at dog shows, or places with a large audience of dog owners.

Grow your Email List

As you’re meeting people who are interested in your products, make sure to add them onto your email list. If you give something in exchange for email addresses, you can build a sizable list, and when you launch a new product, you’ll be able to launch to a targeted list of buyers.

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6. Create Ways for Customers to pay online

When you’re selling your product on the go, it can be a challenge to carry change and to accept cash payments. It’s much more efficient to offer options for people to pay online.

You can use services like Shopify that offer payment processing options for online and offline customers, or if you do most of your business online, you can make sure to have a shopping cart software that embeds onto your website.

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7. Make Money

When you have a good product, people aware, and ways to accept payment set up, you’ll be making money!

Additional Resources to Start your Dog Treat Business

Conclusion

Starting a dog treat business can be very exciting. There are so many angles you can approach this from (organic, flavorful, fresh, etc.). It can be low cost and high reward.

Hopefully, you gained a lot of insight about how to start a dog treat business. If you have any questions, you can leave them in the comments section below.

If you’re ready to get started with your business, I recommend you check out the Startup Entrepreneur’s Toolkit and learn how to master the process of getting consistent online sales.

Ready to Take the Next Step to Grow Your Business?

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