As a pet store owner, you have a leg up when it comes to identifying target audiences because they are dealing with a very select market that cannot be categorized any further than “pet owner/lover”. This is a great starting point as you are in a strong position to offer pet enthusiasts everything they need to care for their furry friends. The challenge you have however, is how to highlight not only the benefit to the pet, but also to appeal to its human, all in service of growing your pet-goods business. This is where working capital can come in; a business necessity which is not always easy to get your hands on, especially when it comes to approaching traditional lenders. Luckily there are simple working capital options out there. Once secured, here are some key places you can use growth capital to build your pet business.
Identifying your niche
Pet stores face fierce competition with chains, supermarkets and discounters fighting for their deals. So carving out a unique space for your pet store is essential. Here is where you might want to invest in market research in order to understand exactly what is happening in the market around you, why people are shopping with you, what local pet owners need, what their income structures are like and what you can then do to improve your service and products to meet these demands.
Find the right premises
Location, location, location. The right spot can make all the difference when it comes to running a successful pet store. In a perfect world you want a location that is busy with lots of passers-by. You would want a position that is close to parking for both customer’s ease and simplified stock deliveries. The perfect location won’t come cheap though and this is a great place to spend growth capital. You may also find that your current location works but your store could use a facelift. Growth capital is also well-spent on this type of makeover as the new look will naturally revive your store, draw-in customers and improve floor efficiencies.
Stock and equipment
You carry a lot of stock in your store and will need adequate shelving, storage and display stands to do that product justice. You will also need a spacious counter and humane areas for any live animals that may be kept in your facility (bearing in mind that animal enclosures always need to be at least 1m apart to be considered safe). Perhaps you also offer a grooming section in which case you will need a great ergonomic space to efficiently carry out this task. So look at your current layout and ask yourself if you can make strategic improvements to the physical space that will have lasting impact on how you grow your bottom line.
Taking payments in your pet store
Of course, without payment options, you not going to succeed in business. So the best electronic point of sale system (EPSO) is a necessity. This includes a cash register, monitor, barcode scanner, receipt printer, EPOS software and card reader. Be sure to check out and compare different point of sale systems for your pet shop and ensure you have the most suitable system to run an efficient business. If your EPOS could use an upgrade, this is a great place to invest growth capital.
The bottom line
Each of the areas listed above are ideal places to invest growth capital in order to upgrade your pet store and improve operations. You offer an important service to your local community by helping them care for the ones they love. So, consider using growth capital to invest in your pet store and improve your client experience, one happy customer (and their pet) at a time.