Saturday, April 30, 2011
So how exactly would you start a dog treat business?
First, consider your market. Are you marketing big dogs, little dogs, or medium-sized dogs? What will your treats be made from? Do you have a name for your treats? Have you reviewed important laws about making/selling dog treats?
A lot goes into starting a business - sometimes, a lot more than you thought. Follow the guidelines below to start making money!
Figure out who you will be making your dog treats for. Big, small, medium, or a combination of the three(there are different treat sizes for dog sizes)? The amount of money you spend to make your treats will depend on this factor, as well as the ingredients...
What will your treats be made of? Organic/natural treats are high in demand. Keep in mind, some dogs are allergic to certain ingredients (e.g. wheat, corn, ect), and they cannot eat sugar. Ever wonder why hersheys doesn't invest in making chocolate dog treats? It contains caffeine and theobromine - two stimulants which affect the central nervous system and heart muscle. Too much can cause a dog to go into a seizure and possibly die. The thing about dog treats is, they don't have to be sweet. Check out dogtreatrecipes.org for recipe ideas/more info.
Once you figure out who your target market is (dog size) and the recipe, come up with a name for your new business and a logo. Remember: the name should be short and easy to remember. Your logo should fit the name. They need to make sense together and leave an impression on your customers - they will be going on the bags/boxes you're packaging the treats in.
A bag of Wet Noses Apple & Carrot Organic dog treats costs around $8. A box of Scooby Snacks costs about $4. You need to make a profit from your dog treats, but keep them fair (to you and your customers) and see if you are able to compete with store prices.
Market Your Business
Start making flyers, buy business cards, and contact friends/family you know who have dogs. Create a blog/website and start selling your treats online. The sky's the limit with this type of business.
Just remember: marketing is very very important. You know what Coca-Cola is. Everyone in America does. Yet Coke continues to advertise with commercials, banners, ect, because they understand how important marketing really is. In fact, that's why people still remember their soda after 100 years.
If you want customers, you have to market.
There are important laws and regulations that you need to review before starting a dog treat business:
- The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) states that dog treats must be pure, wholesome, and safe to eat (no harmful ingredients!). Treats can only be produced in clean, sanitary conditions and they must be labeled honestly.
- The State Department of Agriculture (SDA) may have additional rules about making/selling dog treats. Some states require that you make your treats in a commercially licensed kitchen. Get a parent's help to check with your county government to determine this.
- Labeling can be tricky. Treats sold with meat may require a special license and labeling in some states. If treats do not have meat, you have to put "not for human consumption" on your label. Be sure to include that your treats are snacks and do not contain a dog's full daily nutrition.
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Resource: EHow - Regulations For Making and Selling Dog Treats