Taking products to market, for your dog bakery, is simply the way that you will get dog treats to your customers.
You may have considered either having on online bakery or a “brick and mortar” bakery, where you set up shop in a storefront.
However, there are a number of other ways to market your dog treats…
Deciding exactly how you will get your dog treats to your customers, is a decision that you should make early in the process.
Your decision about product distribution will depend on your circumstances, your personality, and your personal preferences.
Your dog treat business plan should include detailed information about how you will get your dog treats from your kitchen to your customers.
While there are a number of different ways to do this, it boils down to two simple ideas. Either customers come to you…or you go to the customers.
With an online bakery, you fill orders and send them via the postal service, UPS or FedEx. The model is simple, and you have little contact with your customers, except for the occasional question or complaint.
Store front bakeries for people are almost a thing of the past now. They had big windows on the front, and, of course, there were delightful goodies displayed in the windows to tempt customers to come inside.
Inside the corner bakery, the aroma was incredible. And there were bakery display cases filled with yummy looking cakes, cookies and breads that looked far too difficult to make at home. I could go on, but I know you have the idea.
To set up business, you need to rent or buy a building. You will have overhead expenses like heat, air conditioning, water, sewage. You will have to invest in bakery counters or displays, bakery shelves, commercial bakery equipment, including refrigeration and ovens.
You will have to advertise. And you should also have a website. Every business should have a website in this age of internet growth!
You may have to hire someone to help you, because, just to break even, you will have to sell quite a few dog treats. It doesn't matter that your mark-up on the dog treats is high. Your expenses for this model are high, also.
The profits made in a store-front dog bakery can be huge, but you will need more money to start this kind of dog bakery.
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For this model of product distribution, you pack your bakery dog treats into your van or SUV and literally take them to:
Since most veterinarians sell dog treats themselves, consider why they would buy them from you. What can you offer them that is different?
This is usually the crowd looking for bargains. You will pay a rental fee to have your stand. But, you will need to keep your prices down, or your customers, bargain hunters that they are--won't buy.
Again, you need to consider your rental fee. But this crowd can be a little more upscale. You will be able to charge more and may decide to sell gourmet dog treats to your local Farmer's Market.
You will have to explore this in your area. Pet hotels can vary quite a bit. Some are pretty upscale.
In this case you will be selling at wholesale. The pet store needs to make a profit, too. Consider how low your pricing can be—but still allow both you and the stores to make a profit.
With this kind of business, you can increase or decrease your business by controlling the number of parties that you have. You can take the summer off to be with the kids, or you can schedule more parties if you need to increase your income.
Your marketing will determine how much business you have for this business. If you do a good job, you will have repeat business, year after year.
Product distribution for these business models requires both time and gas. Figure both into your budget planning.
Most of all, don't limit yourself. I ran a small pet bakery from my home, and it was modest. You can do better. The sky is the limit if you take the advice of Chris Trombley and Doug Bertram in their Bake a Dog a Bone!
If I had it to do over again--that's what I would do!
Where would you like to go next?