Animal transportation services are necessary as the number of pets in the United States has increased significantly in recent decades. According to the American book on pet ownership and demography, there are approximately 60 million dogs and 70 million cats in American homes today. Aside from that, households that own pets spent 36% more in 2001 compared to 1996. With that, owning a business that caters to the pet market, including a pet transportation service company, has a lot of potential for healthy growth.
This is due to the fact that many Americans move around the country every year and therefore would need pet transportation services to move their pets as well. On a smaller scale, pet transportation services can also meet the needs of local residents who need these services to transport their pets to and from the veterinarian, in a local area or even at the animal crematorium dead.
Start-up costs and s of funding:
Starting a pet transportation business really depends on the scale you want your business to be. If you want to start on a smaller scale, all you really need is probably a van that has been modified to be safe and suitable for transporting animals. Of course, you will have to open an office or operate from your home with just a phone, an email and a fax machine. All of this will cost you less than $ 20,000.
On a larger scale, especially when considering cross-border transportation, you will likely need to invest in a larger truck that can accommodate a few animals at the same time. Other than that, the interior of the truck should be suitable, safe and clean for pets, with adequate ventilation and cleaning facilities. In order to make this business viable, you may need to quickly expand your business to include sales agent offices in various locations. In this way, you can increase the volume of business in order to increase profitability. All of this can cost you between $ 200,000 and $ 500,000 in initial start-up costs.
Funding can be obtained from investors who may be interested in the potential of such a business. Apart from this, lending institutions such as banks can be approached to obtain a loan for the business. As with any business creation, an impressive business plan should be developed for potential investors and financiers, indicating potential growth as well as the estimated annual costs and revenues of the business.
Pricing guidelines for service:
The pricing strategy of a pet transportation service business varies depending on the fixed and variable cost of the business, as well as the nature of the service provided. Local transportation services can start with a minimum charge of $ 20 to $ 40 for the first 20 miles and an additional $ 10 for each 10 miles thereafter.
With regard to interstate transport or transport between cities, the distance between origin and destination will be the main determinant of prices. With that, prices can range from $ 100 and up, also depending on the size of the pet and the pet carrier.
Advertising and marketing:
As you target pet owners, the best marketing approach would be to advertise where pet owners would go. Reading material for pet owners as well as events in which the same target group participates. Placing brochures in pet stores and possibly assigning pet stores with commissions to each customer they recommend would be a good idea. Advertising in pet magazines or getting a report on your services would be helpful. Of course, the classified ads in the yellow pages are essential to facilitate the location of customers.
Other promotion channels would be participation as a seller in exhibitions or dog shows. This will help increase awareness of the existence of the business. In addition, working with associations such as the American Kennel Association would create and improve the visibility of animal breeders and pet store owners. Especially when you participate in events organized by these associations.
Launching a website and allowing potential customers to get instant price quotes from your website would also be a great idea.
This business requires a fair amount of equipment, the most important of which would be the vehicle used to transport the animals. Other than that, other equipment such as crates, kennels and carriers may be required as some customers do not have these items with them. The size and use of these boxes must comply with guidelines established by the Independent Pet and Animal Transport Association (IPATA).
Managers and drivers should be employed to take care of animals during their transit. The other necessary equipment would be sinks built into the vehicle to allow easy cleaning and water refills.
Recommended training, experience or skills required:
No in-depth training is required for a pet transportation service business. However, you need to hire good drivers and animal managers. It would be best if you have experience and experience in handling animals during the trip so that you can train your staff and make sure that they handle animals properly. Apart from that, your staff should also know what to do in case of problems during the trip and should also be equipped with the latest information on the position of the kennel and the veterinarian in case of emergency.
Apart from that, the business owner must be well informed of all legal requirements relating to the transportation of pets. For example, there are IPATA guidelines on the size of crates and wire crates that are required by law. In addition, all pets must be accompanied by an interstate travel certificate certified by a veterinarian.
The income potential of this business depends on the size of the business. A larger company with multiple offices and destinations will be able to support a higher sales volume. Thanks to this, the pet transportation business will be able to generate at least six-figure income each year.
Animal owners, pet stores and animal breeders.
A pet transportation business requires investment and a passion for animal welfare in order to be successful. As it is also a niche market, a lot of marketing and publicity must be invested in the business in order to publicize the services.
by Randy Wilson