So long story short, I would like to start up a pet supply store. This store would offer:
- High end pet food (if you are unaware of the market, chewy was bought out by PetSmart so a few companies pulled their support. These companies made them a lot of $$)
- Cheap dog beds. I hate spending $70 on a dog bed. No one buys them, so I would try to keep beds under $20.
- Higher-end harnesses/leashes/collars. You can buy them online, but most places don't sell in store. This is a problem because you might get a wrong size then have to go through the hassle of sending it back.
- Home made dog toys. Super simple and people love them. Can sell with a good profit margin.
These are just a few things I had in mind, I have about a whole notebooks worth of ideas, promotions, etc. I did a google forms survey and had 500 responses from the community. 95% of the responses said they would try out high end food for their pets if given the chance. The survey was launched yesterday, and I plan on closing it after the weekend so those numbers might change.
Within 120 miles, we do not have a store like this. Past the 120 mile mark, there are probably 15 all within 20 miles. I interviewed one manager from one of these stores and they mentioned that they see about 5 people a day that have driven from my community. There is definitely a demand for this kind of service, and we do have a medium population (70k) and it is growing every year.
The additional idea:
This is the "fad" part. A pet cafe. I could use the same space to open a coffee shop, have it partially walled off from the store.
I have 5 years of experience running a small coffee hut. My family owned many coffee shops but closed down about 6 years ago, and they still have all of the equipment (cupboards, fridges, giant espresso machine, frothing cups, hoppers, tampers, etc.) I spoke with the family member that has the equipment, and they would loan it to me interest free for a really good deal. So that part is out of the way.
I would not make my own pastries, I would just get them store bought. But I might look into making my own dog pastries.
The pet part: 1 or 2 days out of the week, I would coordinate with my local shelter to have them bring in dogs or cats for adoption. This would bring in non-pet owners to come and pet the animals, hangout with them, sit and have a cup of coffee (so they can either adopt or relieve them of the "getting an animal itch".) There is a surplus of volunteers at the shelter and there is actually a waiting list! We would need 1 or 2 volunteers there through the day to talk to customers, watch the animals, and promote adopting from the shelter.
This is actually a thing I have been seeing on Facebook for a couple years in Japan and how it is a huge hit. I am seeing it more in the states, and I believe this would work in my community.
Liability insurance. Is it higher if we allow shelter dogs to join us in the coffee shop? Should we not allow outside pets in the cafe? I do not want someone getting bit. I do not want equipment getting destroyed.
Leasing property. I have found a few properties online I would like to look more into. Is it problematic to allow animals on a leased property? Are there special rules normally? I am just talking in general.
Renovating. If the building is leased, how does renovations work? If the area is carpeted, I would pay to have tile put in or concrete. Do most places allow this? Also I would like to paint the inside.
Going out of style. I know this will happen. I know this won't last forever. Would it be dumb to sink this money into a business that most likely won't be around for longer than 5 years? I would love to have it forever, but in reality, these things pass.