What It's About
A homemade dog treat side hustle that dogs can't stop barking about.
Words of Wisdom
Melissa's dogs loved her homemade treats so much that she decided to get feedback from other dogs, particularly as she knew her dogs would pretty much eat anything when it came down to it.
She took samples of the treats to work. The dog biscuits received rave reviews from her coworkers’ respective pets, and her colleagues starting requesting lots, lots more. Melissa slowly started to realize that she might be able to make something of her hobby—and turn her treats into a business.
If you think furry friend-focused side hustles are small biscuits, you would be wrong. According to the American Pet Products Association, spending on pets nearly doubled between 2006 and 2015 to more than $60 billion, with about two-thirds going to dogs. In 2016, $66.75 billion was spent on pets in the US, and food made up over $28 billion of this amount.
Notes from Chris
When Melissa got her first online order, she didn’t quite believe it. She logged out and back in several times just to confirm the order was really there. Once she finally believed it, she knew she was on her way, and decided in that very moment to fully commit to becoming a business owner. That order was for Bruno’s Barkin’ Biscuits, a package of high-quality dog treats that Melissa had baked up. She started out by investing about $400 in some basic ingredients and baking materials, as well as purchasing various labels and bags to display her treats at the shows. She had to pay $50 to obtain her LLC status. Besides these expenses, her costs have been extremely low. For now, she’s opted to spread the word using a basic Facebook page, as well as relying on word of mouth. Melissa also has an online store through Squareup.com, which was free to set up. She plans on investing in her own website when she has more consistent income from the hustle. Melissa’s ultimate goal is to get her product on the shelves of specialty stores and move away from craft shows, to help free up her weekends to spend time with her family, her kids, and, of course, her dogs. She’s currently in negotiations with a few pet stores. In the meantime, she plans to work on building her customer base and to continue innovating the treats themselves. MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Bruno's Barkin' Biscuits: Learn more about Melissa and her delicious, handmade doggie treats on her website
- What is an LLC?: Learn more about the pros and cons of starting your own LLC here!
- Starting a Pet Food Business: Interested in starting up your own furry friend treats side hustle? Learn more about the process and regulations in your state!
- "Airbnb for Dogs": Woman Hosts Pets at Her Home for $200/Day: After moving to the states to be with her new husband, a nutritionist from Spain decides to host other people's pets in her home.
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