by Nancy Hassel, American Pet Professionals
The pet industry has made its mark in the past decade and has proven time and time again that it is recession-proof and that any area you are passionate about within the industry, you can really be successful.
But it’s of course not all about the money, right? Most of us got into this industry because of the love of pets and animals, and how we always wanted to work with pets. Because we found a better way, came up with a new idea/invention or niche that would help pets, make things easier for pet parents, animal rescues and shelters and so on.
We love pets – studies are now showing, perhaps even more than some humans, or as my dog likes to say hoomans, lol. (Sorry humans). Our world is becoming more and more pet-friendly where it is not uncommon to see dogs trotting alongside there owners at a major airport, with special potty stations just for dogs, and in everyday life where we did not see them just 10 years ago.
A lot what was not the norm a decade ago is so normal and common nowadays that is seems crazy that just 10 years ago, people thought we were crazy pet owners – now they are all trying to get in on the nearly 100 Billion dollar action of our industry.
And, we welcome those that may have looked at us like we had two heads a decade ago – that is the incredible thing about our industry as it grows – we want to work with new people in our industry as well as the OG’s. We are one big community after all, who have the common theme of loving pets.
But, you can’t talk about the industry without talking about the numbers. The numbers are impressive to say the least.
Here in the US, we are closely approaching $100 Billion dollars annually, which means pet parents of all ages are spending like crazy on their pets.
Remember the recession? I do – our business started in the middle of it and while a pet parent’s income may have been decreased or been cut in half, but many were still spending on their pets. In 2009, we were already at 45+ Billion, people were feeding their dogs and cats better food and then they may have been eating. And if the last few years, you haven’t been paying attention to massive trade shows, new innovative products, new pet services, places to go with your pet, and all the big brand name companies that now have a ‘pet’ division of products – just go to any store and look around. (Or when walking the show floors at Global or SuperZoo this coming year).
However, if you are thinking about starting a pet business, have a great idea you want to invent – you will not become a millionaire (or billionaire) overnight. There is no get rich quick scheme, like anything else you will have to put the time, hard work, money (yes you will have to spend money!), and effort into your business, idea, product or service.
You will probably work more than anything you have ever done before (if you’re not already an entrepreneur), but you may find great success with doing that hard work in our industry. You may even become so successful that you could not imagine a simple idea, service or pet product would lead you to your dreams of working with pets, enriching their lives and being part of a community that gets the ‘crazy pet parents’ because we are not crazy – we are the ones that get it.
I absolutely love this industry, love helping pet businesses, still love walking miles of trade show floors, educating pet professionals, learning from others in and our of our industry, and of course being able to have my dog with me 90% of the time when working and traveling because of the world we live in now. I can’t wait to see all the amazing things to come in the next decade in our industry – and what may seem crazy now will be so normal in just a few years.
Wishing you all nothing but success, happiness and good health in the new year.
What is your favorite part of being in the pet industry?
And what do you hope to see in the next decade?