Overcoming Startup Challenges: Advice For Petpreneurs
Are you ready to embark on the journey of becoming a petpreneur?
There are tons of pet people out there who are looking to turn their love of animals into a lucrative small business opportunity, and we love to see it!
We know that with the right business sense, you can transform something small like casual dog walking and pet sitting into a successful business idea.
Many people who enter the small pet business space may not think of it as a startup company at first, or even see themselves as an entrepreneur. Our goal is to help petpreneurs see the potential in their businesses, encouraging business growth so they can succeed.
If you have a pet business idea that you want to turn into a startup, the most common challenge you’ll face is figuring out where to start.
Any small business owner, whether they work with pets or not, often shares the same business concerns in the beginning. Entrepreneurs find themselves asking the same questions:
How do you draft a business plan? How do you find investors to secure funding? Where do you find customers? How do you find the right person in the hiring process to join your team? These are some of the many challenges faced by young startups just setting out in the early stage.
If you are looking to begin your startup journey and find success, you’ve come to the right place! In this guide, we’re going to share our tips for entrepreneurs who want to turn their ideas into successful startup.
Our Top Tips for Overcoming Startup Challenges
Entrepreneurs running a startup business face many of the same challenges at the beginning. Here are our top tips that you should keep in mind as you begin to grow your startup business model…
Secure Your Finances
The most common challenge faced by any startup, regardless of industry, is funding. Money makes the world go round, and that includes your business!
Before you can even begin to think about things like marketing to potential customers and company culture, you need the funding first.
The first step for any business founder should be looking for funding for their business, and ways to ensure they have consistent income that matches their scaling needs as they grow.
Before you begin to seek out the finances you need, you need to determine what those needs are. Financial advisors and financial planners can be an amazing asset here, to determine potential future costs and expenses for your business.
For example, a doggy daycare will need to think about financial constraints such as paying for staff, inventory (food, water, pet care supplies), and rent for their business property. Alternatively, if you’re planning on running a dog walking business you might have other financial concerns, such as paying for vehicle transport to appointments.
The challenges you face will vary depending on your business. But regardless, all small businesses will require some kind of funding to get started.
But how can you secure this funding? If you’re starting a new business, you can try the following avenues:
One of the more common ways people will look to secure funding is by securing investors. For most, this will look like small bank loans or even lines of credit. However, you can also look for investments in the form of an angel investor or venture capitalist.
An angel investor is an individual who is willing to give money to a startup, usually at the beginning of the startup journey, typically for ownership equity. Venture capitalists will invest money, but usually in exchange for a percentage of ownership and stake in the company.
Many new startup companies also look to crowdfunding as a source of income when trying to start a small business. This can look like online funding from potential customers, or even collecting donations from people in your personal life.
If you have a community of people who believe in your business, crowdfunding can be an efficient way to secure the funds needed to get your business started.
Find Your Customers
You may think that once you’ve secured the funding for the operation the hard part is over, but not quite!
Now that you have your funding, you need to find potential customers who are going to keep your business running.
Marketing is a challenge for companies big and small, but a marketing strategy is necessary if you’re going to grow your business. Even the most promising startup won’t succeed if nobody knows it exists.
The easiest way to find your customers these days is to get online. People use the internet as their primary resource for finding products and services, meaning growing your online presence should be a top priority.
The following changes can make a huge difference in your outreach:
- Create a website for your product or brand with good SEO practices (or use the Book Your Pet software to create a dedicated booking page, with instant booking features and a direct listing within the Book Your Pet Marketplace)
- Create active social media accounts for your business for advertising and content marketing
- Use virtual communication (like email newsletters) to interact with customers
Like the securing of funding, the way you approach marketing will also vary from business to business.
But we highly recommend you invest your time and effort into it.
Conduct some market research to see how similar businesses approach their marketing strategy.
Perform a SWOT analysis to take a look at their Strength and Weaknesses, and identify any Opportunities you can to compete in the market as well as any Threats they might pose to your planned business.
By completing a review of the current marketplace and your competitors you’ll have a better idea of how to position your business in terms of the services you offer (think about your unique selling point), the prices you charge, and the type of customer you’ll want to attract.
Hire Great Staff
Your business is funded, and people are hearing the buzz about it… Now it’s time to get to work!
In the beginning, it’s not unusual for a startup founder to be working on their own or with a partner, handling all aspects of the business themselves.
As you grow, though, you may find you can’t meet all the needs of your business, meaning you’ll need to hire staff to get work done.
If your small business requires staff, finding the right talent for the job can be nerve-wracking. The biggest challenge in hiring is making sure you find the right talent.
For many new businesses, hiring through referrals and recommendations is a great way to find employees with experience that you can trust when first starting out.
Become a Petpreneur Pro with Book Your Pet
If you’re a petpreneur starting their own small business we want to help and support you.
Our pet business software is designed to automate and streamline your business. We want to give you more time to focus on your four-legged clients and enjoy the part of a pet business everyone loves best – spending time with animals.
It’s our mission to help guide new petpreneurs and help them build and grow strong and successful businesses.
Coming soon, we’ll be launching the Book Your Pet Membership – a community hub packed full of expert guides, information, business templates and workshops to help you get started in business.