If you or your kids love dogs or cats, why not start a lucrative home business?
The possibilities are endless...from writing pet-related newsletters to publishing pet-related e-zines to selling trendy accessories, fancy foods, natural medicines, and more.
My youngest daughter Maria is starting a "Doggie Daycare" this summer. She's been busy making colorful flyers to hang up around town and also plans on putting in an ad in Dad's company newsletter.
And if that isn't enough...
She just recently started a blog about dog training just for kids!
You can take a peek HERE Even my oldest daughter is cashing in on the pet home business trend. She feeds and takes care of horses while the owners are on vacation...and she makes a cool $20 dollars an hour!
She even got hired for hourly help at a stable as well.
In the past 10 years, the pet industry in the U.S. has doubled, from $18 billion to $34 billion.
And it doesn't look like it will slow down any time soon.
"Pets have replaced children,"says Ken Hall, chief marketing officer for PetSmart. The trend today, Hall says, is to pamper "four-legged children instead of two-legged ones."
That's because as baby boomers are becoming empty-nesters, they are treating their pets more like their own children - as grown-up children are less "cuddly"!
Dogs and cats are the pets of choice.
More than 75 million U.S. households own one. Fish are the next most common pet (13 million households), followed by birds (7 million).
That's a LOT of potential customers!
Last year, dog owners spent an average of $33 on toys, $53 on treats, and $52 on miscellaneous pet supplies.
It is estimated that pet owners will spend a total of $31 billion on their furry little friends this year, up from $17 billion in 1994.
Riding on the waves of this tide, PetSmart, with 700 stores in North America, is selling "thousands of goods, including disposable diapers, The Doggy Bone Cookbook, and apparel such as a faux-fur trimmed pink wool coat," says USA Today.
And as the baby boomers get older, the market will expand.
In the past 12 years, U.S. spending on pets has doubled
So if you or your kids love animals, this could be the perfect home business for you to think about.
And you don't need a lot of money to start a pet home business either.
A $200 Swarovski crystal necklace with coordinated "Mommy" bracelet from Le Prissy Pets in Honolulu
A GPS Global Petfinder at $350 and a Gucci pet carrier at $720, both from Neiman Marcus
Aromatherapy baths for $50 and monogrammed terry spa robes for $40 from a Massachusetts dog spa
And, best of the best, a bone-shaped doggy cellphone, selling for $349 (plus a $16 per month calling plan) at PetsMobility in Scottsdale, Arizona
Pretty amazing isn't it?
So what's the best way for you and your kids to profit BIG TIME from this trend?
Start your own pet home business online.
And that's just to name a few.
Since most pet owners treat their pets like people, position your home business as if it were serving human beings instead of animals.
For example, the short list of pet services above may be converted as follows:
Turn your boarding facility into a Pet Hotel.
Turn your grooming service into a Pet Spa.
Instead of calling yourself a trainer, market yourself as a Pet Behavior Specialist.
Turn your pet food supply business into a Gourmet Pet Food Shop.
Instead of a pet supplies store, open a Specialty Pet Boutique.
According to the January issue of the APPMA Advisor, there are several other industry trends to keep an eye on.
Among the top are doggy day care and in-home grooming services.
Can you believe braces and prescription lenses are selling for pets?
Here are some lists to get you started for either direct mail or email marketing (even better) of your market of baby boomers and baby procrastinators (young couples who are waiting to have human children):
Adorned Pampered Pet Owners
Alliance Buyers: Pet Lovers
Signatures - Pet Merchandise Buyers
There are a huge number of information seekers who are on the Web every day looking for the newest pet idea/product/gadget.
The APPMA estimates that this includes 14% of dog owners, 19% of cat owners, 18% of fish owners, and 23% of bird owners.
With so much money and time being spent online for pets, you could certainly get a piece of the action with your own dog or cat home business.