Your dog and all your friends' dogs love your homemade treats, and you've often wondered whether you could make money selling them through a home business. You can start a home-based dog treat business with little overhead. If your recipe is good enough and you do effective marketing, you may be able to make a nice profit with your new business.
Determine the unique aspect or benefit that is offered by your recipe for dog treats. There are many treats already on the market from established brands, so even if yours taste good to dogs, you also need a unique angle to market. For example, perhaps your treats are vegetarian or made with a special ingredient, or they are suitable for overweight or diabetic dogs. If your recipe doesn't already have a "hook," you may have to alter it to give it one and help get your new business of the ground.
Check with your local government to see if you need a business license if you are working from home. Even if you are only baking the treats in your home and selling them through mail order or on consignment through established stores, some areas still require a new business to have a license.
Open a business bank account for your new business. This will help you keep your business expenses and income separate from your personal records. You can also install a business phone line, but this is not absolutely necessary. Many small, home-based business owners start out using their home line until they are making a profit.
Put up a free web page advertising your dog treat business. When you start your new pet treat business, you only need one page that promotes the treats, stresses their benefits, and gives viewers a way to purchase them. This can be accomplished by opening a Paypal account and putting a "Buy" button on the web page.
Partner with local pet specialty stores to sell your dog treats. When you are just starting out, you should choose venues that have minimal or no cost to you in order to make a profit. Many smaller pet stores will agree to sell your treats because there is no financial risk for the store, and they will share the profits with you.
Market your pet treats online through free venues such as blogs, social networking websites, forums and email. Put a link to your web page in your email account and in your signature on any forums to which you belong. Promote it on Facebook, Twitter, and any other social or blogging sites to which you belong. Because this type of marketing doesn't cost you anything, any sales you make will be pure profit once you deduct the ingredient expenses.
You can expand your free marketing opportunities by volunteering to give talks to local dog owners' clubs and other related social groups. Focus on a topic like nutrition or controlling dogs' weight so there is a logical way to tie in your treats.
- You can expand your free marketing opportunities by volunteering to give talks to local dog owners' clubs and other related social groups. Focus on a topic like nutrition or controlling dogs' weight so there is a logical way to tie in your treats.
Based in Kissimmee, Fla., Barb Nefer is a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience. She is a mental health counselor, finance coach and travel agency owner. Her work has appeared in such magazines as "The Writer" and "Grit" and she authored the book, "So You Want to Be a Counselor."