If you only sell 10 animals per year and are smart with the income, you can have a successful small business.
Does this mean you will be a wealthy person by simply selling animals? No of course not. However, I want to help you find ways to save money in some areas and bring in an income so your animals are not eating away at your savings. Literally…..
Keep It Tidy
Making your small animal business successful does not mean that you have to spend a lot of money in advertising. Your barns and sheds do not have to be professionally designed and manicured. When people come to pick up and animal, or come to learn about the animals you have. The buyer just wants to see a clean, well-kept living area for the animals. Keeping the property clean and presentable will go a long way. Simply keeping the trash picked up and animal waste under control will be one of the best things you can do.
Know your animal
Many people feel like they know nothing when they buy their first few animals. As a breeder you will be asked many questions. If you are able to answer most of them the buyer will feel like you put their mind at ease.
If you are not sure of the answer DO NOT make something up that sounds good!
They will find out later down the road that what you said was not one hundred percent truthful. You have immediately lost their trust, causing them to not think highly of you as a breeder. He or she certainly will not recommend you to someone else. I cannot express how important this is to your marketing! Word of mouth will get you a sale far quicker than any other form of advertising.
Knowing everything you possibly can about the breed you raise benefit you as well. When you are buying and selling stock. You soon be able to spot an animal that will help you in your breeding program fairly easily once you get the basics down in your mind. You will know when someone is asking to much for an animal, and keep walking.
This is a learned trait you have to train your eye to know what to look for. At first it might seem like you have no idea what you are looking at. Soon it will all click and you will be able to spot a good animal.
Be honest in your dealings.
The statement “Honesty is the best policy” is true even in the animal world. Be willing to tell someone if the breed does not sound right for them will impress that person more then you will ever know.
If an animal just does not sound like a good fit for their family tell them so. A family who is looking to buy a pet for their small child would not want to purchase a large high-strung breed, whether that is a cat, dog, rabbit, goat, or horse it does not matter. Safety of the buyer should always come first. If the people insist that they want the animal, you will at least walk away with a clear mind.
If an animal is not worth the base price you sell your animal for, lower the price. Do not see what you can get out of people. Every breeder will have a few babies that come from their best stock but just are not quite what they should be.
Always be respectful of someone’s budget. Ask someone what the price range is they would like to stay within, and only show them the ones that fit what they are looking for.
If someone has contacted you about buying an animal, respond back as quickly as you can. I know many breeders who have lost business because word has gotten around that they don’t respond to emails for months or they never return phone calls. You might not be able to get to it right away but when you have ten free minuets send a quick email. Most phone calls will take 15 to 20 minutes so ask when a good time would be to call them back if you do not have a lot of time at the moment.
Number isn’t everything
Remember that you do not need to have a large number of breeding stock to be successful. This is across the board for dogs, sheep, goats, poultry rabbits or any other type of animal. I have met many breeders who have a large number of rabbits but the quality is lacking. Now don’t get me wrong, not every breeder with large numbers is bad. It’s much easy to have a fewer number of breeding stock and high quality animals.
Making wise choices
There is no need for the most expensive equipment or update something because a bigger and better version came out. There are many different ways to get the job done without paying the high price.
Check in other departments. Just because an item was not in the right section for your animal does not mean you cannot find something that might work in another department. For large rabbits look for dog water bowls that are inexpensive and have some give to them. In the cold weather, the frozen water blows will pop the ice out like an ice cube tray.
The dollar store is a wonderful place to look inexpensive tools that will do just as well as the ten dollar item at the animal supply store.
For large breed dogs look in the horse department for combs and brushes. Most of the time they are much less than dog grooming supplies. The larger brush will help you get the job done much faster.
Know When To Walk Away
We would all love to keep every baby that we fell in love with, because it was “just so cute,” or that old mother who can’t produce babies any longer because she was our favorite. Sooner rather then later the babies will be adults and the older bunnies will quickly add to the feed bill. Keeping a baby or two might not hurt your business but it is something that we as breeders need to keep at the front of our minds because before we know it. The cages are full and the number of animals we have has gotten way out of control. To help keep you from keeping every adorable little baby think $$$ when you are looking at that cute litter of bunnies or puppies.
This is one of the hardest areas for people. Do not buy or keep an animal just because it’s cute! Make sure the animal is able to produce good babies or product for you in the future. If it is a youngster keep in the forefront of your mind that it may be sold if it does not mature into a nice typed animal you expected, or it has developed a questionable temperament.
It is possible to make money breeding and selling animals, but you need to go into it with the mindset of it being a business. The saying “earn your keep” applies to animals as well.
Above and Beyond
- Take advantage of activities in your community to take your animals for people to interact will them. Even though it is not a sales event, people will remember you if you are friendly and stay accessible to the crowd so they can ask you questions. Keep those business cards handy.
- Around Christmas time I like to send Christmas cards to all of the buyers from the past year. Anything you can do to encourage people to recommend you to others
If you would like a little extra help and guidance. schedule an appointment below.