A time when companies are relieving almost half of their workforce, is a time when you should be considering starting your own business. Just yesterday, I asked a prospective suitor, what kind of business would he start if he wanted to start one. He gave me the unimpressive answer that he wasn’t thinking of starting one. I ended the conversation by saying, “I think you need to really start thinking about one.”
So, if you’re that smart person thinking of a business to start, there are thousands upon thousands of businesses one can start. The dog farming business is just one of them. The sweet part about this business is that it is currently booming in Nigeria, at least 1 in 20 households have a dog. We bring you, dog farming in Nigeria: step by step guide.
Just like every other business, the dog farming business is a serious one that also requires planning and brainstorming. Blue Buffalo, a pet products authority in the south suggests that during this brainstorming session, you should write down and answer all important questions relating to your about-to-be-launched business. The questions and answers should come from your head please, not your heart. Having a dog as a pet is a whole lot different from farming more than one for sale.
So, why are you going into the business? For the money? To be your own boss? How motivated and committed are you to the business in the long run, when the initial hype must have cooled?
Take time to plan every aspect of the business, do a market survey and of course craft a detailed business plan. Your business plan will keep you focused and serve as a compass as you sail in the business.
This is also the step you learn all there is to know about dog farming in Nigeria. You could enroll for an offline or online training, or even teach yourself.
Next step after planning is set up. This is the step where you put into action all those brainstorming you did in the first step. Everything you do from now on is based on the breed you have decided to work with. There are different kinds of breeds such as Alsatian, Boerbull, Bull Mastiff, Caucasian, Dobberman, German Shepherd, Neopolitan Mastiff, PitBull, Samoyed and Rottweiler.
In this step, the first thing you do is find your founding dogs and get Pet insurance for all of them. You can’t just walk out on the streets and pick up a stray dog as your founding dog. You’ll need an healthy well-bred dog. Where to find one? Well, from other dog farmers of course! This is when you should consider establishing good relationships with other breeders for support and interaction.
Other things you need to take care of in this step are building the dog kennels, buying needed materials and equipments like beddings, chains, disinfectants, dog-clothes (smiles) and other supplies you find in the dog-store that you feel you might need. Last and very important, stock up on dog food that is appropriate for the breed you’ll be working with.
Make sure you keep detailed record of all these expenses, so they can be deducted from your taxes if you register a company for your business.
This is the step you begin managing your dogs and litters. Have a feeding and exercising routine that works well for everyone (both dog and breeder.) Remember this is a business that is based on life, so if your dogs are not healthy, you stand a risk of losing all your investment. Bottom Line: keep your dogs healthy at all times. Schedule routine check ups with the vet. Never miss their vaccination and other immunization against common diseases. Keep them well nourished and in a clean environment.
As your dog tribe grows, you’ll get better at all these, but as a beginner, be a sponge and soak up as much information about the dog breeding business as possible. However, you shouldn’t be a hearer only, but doer also. Meet and interact with other breeders in your locality.
While doing all these, become familiar with your dogs, able to know their strengths and weaknesses, an information you’ll need when picking complementary partners for them.
This is the step you tell the world that you’re a dog farmer. How do you do this? By word of mouth, through family and friends, by social media or other online avenues, most especially Facebook. Other online avenues you could explore to get the word out are online forums, YouTube, e-mail list, classified ads (Craiglist) and website or blog. We’re in the digital age, you’ll do well to get your dog farming business online if you want unlimited exposure. After all, the more people who know about your dog farming business, the more sales you would make.
As you take steps on making some exposure, you should simultaneously establish yourself as a reputable dog farmer. There are several ways you can do this. First of all is to register and then become a licensed dog farmer. Another is attending and speaking in dog seminars, shows and events.
One smart offline marketing tip is to use public transport when taking your breeds for medical check up and yes, dog-shopping! Remember to take along your business cards. You could meet someone who falls in love with your dog and wants to buy.
By all means, get the word out that there’s a dog farmer on the radar.
We finally got to the step we’ve all been waiting for. How to make your profits from the dog farming business. There is no hard thinking to be done here. Just fix a price that is reasonable while also bringing you a nice profit. Of course, the more sales, the more profit, so get busy with the marketing!
As you make sales, remember to ask for testimonials and references. Upload the happy pictures, videos and other media on your online channels, most especially Facebook. Also, don’t forget to keep in touch with past clients, they are usually the ones who refer new customers to you.
Selling of dogs itself is not the only way to make money with the dog farming business. If you have strong healthy breeds, there are guides for this by Blue Buffalo, a pet expert and apparently you could make money mating your buck with other people’s bitches. Owners of the strong buck, charge thousands of naira for this simple act. Also, participating in dog shows, events and competition is another cool way to make money from the dog farming business. You must however invest in the training of the dogs, but the rewards (if your dog wins) is usually worth it.
Now you have the five simple step by step guide you can follow to start dog farming in Nigeria. Do you have passion for dogs? What are you waiting for? Turn that passion into some cool cash!