If you have an Instagram page for your dog, you’re already an obsessed pet parent. The next logical step is launching a full-fledged business dedicated to your beloved pup! If you follow us, you already know we have an Etsy shop where we sell Zira the Corgi merchandise.
Ever since we opened our online store, people have been asking how we’ve managed to make our own corgi accessories and shirts for dog lovers. Now that we’ve been operating our business for a few months, we feel like we have enough insight to give some helpful advice. In reality, getting an online business up and running isn’t that hard! Here are some of our tips for starting your own small business centered around your furry friend.
1. Get Some Designs
The first thing you’ll need to do is get some designs ready to put on your products and use as branding images. This is a good time to reach out to your friends who do graphic design or learn Photoshop yourself. I (Kasey, Zira’s dad) use a free image editor called GIMP to make simple designs–it has the same basic capabilities as Photoshop and it’s free! You can search some GIMP tutorials on YouTube to get the hang of it.
Jesse, my girlfriend and Zira’s mom, makes digital art using her iPad Pro. Feel free to reach out to either of us via Instagram if you need something done! Otherwise, you can always go to Fiverr or simply Google “graphic design services” if you need help.
2. Sign Up for a Website
Next, you’ll need a platform to sell your products. Some of your options include:
- Big Cartel
We prefer Etsy for our business because it’s simple to set up, easy to operate, and people go on Etsy all the time looking for dog-related products. However, you should choose a platform that works best for you.
3. Fill Your Shop With Products
If you want to make a profit from your new e-commerce store, you’ll need some merchandise to sell. The easiest way to start selling products online is using Printful.
Printful is a print-on-demand and drop-shipping service that handles basically everything for you. Plus, you don’t need to pay any minimums or monthly fees. With Printful, you can start selling the following products:
- Phone cases
- Tote bags
- Canvas prints
You may notice we have some pieces of merchandise that aren’t offered through Printful. When it comes to pin and stickers, we’ve simply Googled some companies and tried out a few different ones. However, if you’re just starting out and don’t want to pay anything up-front for inventory, we recommend starting with Printful then branching out to other products as your business grows.
4. Drive Traffic to Your Store!
Once you’ve completed the last 3 steps, it’s time to start promoting your products. A good place to start is simply sharing with your followers on social media! If people are already following your dog’s page, they’re already a potential customer. You don’t want to completely bombard your customers with your products, but make sure they know they’re available.
If you follow these steps, starting an online business for your dog will cost you almost nothing. We hope these tips will help!
Do you have any more questions for us about starting your online shop? Leave a comment below and we might answer your question in a future blog post!