How do I start my own exotic pet store?

I’ve always had an affinity for exotic pets and my dream is to own an Exotic Pet store and rescue poorly treated animals. Does anyone know how to go about setting up my own shop? Do I need any permits, licenses, certifications, etc? And if so how do I get them?

first I would assume you know something about it and not just want it. go to school, get a degree in buisness or w/e. And yes for any buisness you need permits and licenses and all that crap. Also for certain animals need certain permits depending on what they are and where you live. If you’re actually serious about doing this, you need to have alot of hands on time with exotic animals and being in that kind of job. you should work at a pet store or something first so you know what to do, a personally owned one, not a giant chain, learn how they run theres for 6 months or so, then continue learning how to start your own.

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5 Responses to How do I start my own exotic pet store?

  1. Robert A says:

    Why don’t you start by trying to be a breeder.
    References :

  2. jakstylez says:

    first I would assume you know something about it and not just want it. go to school, get a degree in buisness or w/e. And yes for any buisness you need permits and licenses and all that crap. Also for certain animals need certain permits depending on what they are and where you live. If you’re actually serious about doing this, you need to have alot of hands on time with exotic animals and being in that kind of job. you should work at a pet store or something first so you know what to do, a personally owned one, not a giant chain, learn how they run theres for 6 months or so, then continue learning how to start your own.
    References :

  3. Gecko says:

    You have to go to your state and city to find out what you need as far as permits and how to get them.

    The question you really should be asking is how are you going to fund this store?

    Look into creating a business plan, consider rental costs for your retail space, electric bills (think of all those lights/UTH/misters) and costs for yourself and any employees you hire. Don’t forget that "rescued" exotics are almost 100% guaranteed to need vet care and that can get expensive. Not to mention where are you going to source the rest of your animals? You won’t have much of store with only rescues.
    References :

  4. Michelle says:

    If you have the drive and the passion for exotic animals, then you don’t necessarily need an education, but having some money is ideal. Apply for a business loan(s) so that you can build or buy a building to open your shop. Be sure that the building you’re investing in has everything your exotic pets will need (think of the animals you will sell, and base your needs on that). A very large bulding is something you would want.

    Also, take in to consideration where you live. If you live in the suburbs, you actually may have to move away to a city where there are a lot more people. California, Florida, and New York are some places where there are lots of people. But, also think about how people live in those states. Most people in NY live in apartments that may not like pets, whereas places like Florida and California offer more room for houses and condos, where people have room for pets.

    If you would like to open a pet shop that rescues mistreated animals, try to befriend a local Vet company, such as Banfield, to possibly open a vet right next to or behind your pet store where people can bring their injured or sick pets. You could even host events like Petsmart does and have an Adoption Day where you can showcase all of your animals or have people bring in their pets to give up for adoption.

    Many people who look at exotic pets run into animals they’ve either never seen, or have never owned before, so be sure to train staff (or you) to know everything about taking care of the animals and what they need to be happy in someone’s home. Also, put out books for people to read or buy that tells them all about the pets in your store, such as origin, personalities, how much room they need, etc.

    Be sure you know how to manage money very well, and purchase the necessities before the accessories! Extra cages are better to have than really nice tile or wood floor in your store. ALWAYS BUY EXTRA CAGES!! You never know when you’ll get overshipped animals, or a lot of people turn in their pets all at once, or if you need to clean several cages at the same time.

    Is your store going to sell just pets, or pets and accessories? Maybe you could have an aisle specially made for every pet in your store where people can buy cages, food, toys, collars, or whatever they could need. People don’t like buying pets in one store, and supplies in another because it wastes gas and time.

    Be sure you look your absolute best! Splurge on yourself and get a makeover so that you’ll look outstanding to the customers. The more polished you look, the more people will take you seriously. Invest in a "uniform" for your pet store. Maybe some black or khaki Dickie’s pants and a custom-made shirt you designed online that had your logo on the chest or the center-front.

    Maybe a slogan would be good. Like how Petco has "Petco, where the pets go…". You could create your own slogan that could possibly be used on TV ads if you ever choose to go that far (with exotic pets, I would!). If you do, be sure to list all of the pets that you own and other stores don’t. Maybe you could have a 10-15% off keychain card for all of your registered customers?

    When you establish all of the basics inside your store, then you can work on the outside. You can paint the building any color you want, but try to go for neutral colors like off-white, beige, tan, cream, or any combination of those- to be easy on the eyes. You want your building to look sophisticated and professional- a place people will take seriously. Find a company that can make the giant letters to go on the top of your store that can also light up so that people can see your store from far away and at night. If you want that "edge" to your store, try earth tones like brown, green, gold, and maybe dark blue. If you want the inside to look absolutely amazing, you could hire an interior designer to design the inside of your store. To do this a little cheaper, try to find a school nearby that has interior design students, and offer them an opportunity to work with your store so that they could have more designs for their portfolios. Ask a certain number of students (or hand out a certain number of self-made applications to the teachers) to create a design, and pick from those which one you want for your store. Be sure to offer the student at least half of what you would pay a professional, to give them a little more incentive and drive to do a better job on your store.

    When your business first starts out, make business cards to pass along to all of your friends and family to get them to visit or donate money to your store. If you choose to move to another state or city, try asking local pet stores if you can leave X-amount of business cards at their cash registers to kinda get the word out, or try hitting up the newspaper and placing an ad. If there’s a school nearby, design a poster (professionally) that you can staple or tape to the bulliten boards or in/near certain classes.
    References :
    http://www.ezinearticles.com/?Exotic-Pets&id=1020952

    http://www.125aday.com/books/248/start-pet-shop.cfm

    Also wishes to open an exotic pet store :-D

  5. xaaro291x says:

    You wont make much money in doing so. It cost alot to pay for your store, employees, and supplies. You are better off breeding from home because you dont have to pay for anything except supplies. If you dont care about the money you are going to need a business degree and some license/permits depending on what you sell
    References :

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