Collage or no?

Wizard Lizard

Fish Fanatic
Joined
May 3, 2020
Messages
85
Reaction score
19
Location
US
So first off, apologies, idk where else to put this and I'm still relatively new to the forum. Figured because I'm going to be doing this all myself this would be most appropriate. Anyways...

I hope to own a pet store in the future, but idk the steps to get there. I keep hearing that I need to go to college for this from people who've never owned a business. Apparently most businesses owners have no collage degree and work experience is more important than a peice of paper. I'd like to get opinions on this. I've also thought to open a vet along side it but not actually work in it as I have no interest in it. Again I'd like thoughts on this. This is very important for me as I'm almost done with high-school. I know what I want but I don't know how to get it.

NOTE: I prob wont respond to this till later tomorrow do to personal issues, sorry.
Thanks to anyone who responds in advance, I really need the help.
 

Colin_T

Fish Guru
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
23,682
Reaction score
8,098
Location
Perth, WA
This thread should have gone in the General Chat section. I'm sure one of the mods will move it there for you. They stick the General Chat section at the very bottom of the forum's main page. It's the 3rd one from the end and most people don't look that far down. :)

--------------------
You don't need a college degree to run a business but you do need to do a small business course so you know how to do the book keeping, taxes and other things associated with running a business. You can do small business courses full time during the day, or part time in the evening. There might even be courses available online.

Having said this, don't bother doing a business course when you leave school. Get a proper job (apprenticeship) and get a trade qualification in one of the major fields, mechanic, plumber, builder, baker, electrician, etc. This will give you an income and a profession to use before you buy/ open your business. And if the business fails (lots do), then you will have a profession to fall back onto.

You can study small business courses while you are working as a professional tradie, and buy a house, car and get some savings in the bank. Then go and work in the pet industry part or full time for a few years and see how you like it. Even if you do volunteer work at a pet shop on weekends, it will let you see what happens and how it works. During the week you can do your normal trade/ profession.

----------------------
If you do open your own pet shop, try to find an area where there isn't a pet shop within 5-10km. Look for an area with a lot of families living nearby, and locate your business on the edge of suburbia and a light commercial district.

Rent is generally cheaper in industrial areas but you want to avoid heavy industrial areas due to the pollution and noise. A light commercial/ industrial area has cleaner air, a cleaner environment and cheap rent.

If you set up a business in a shopping centre or the middle of suburbia, you will pay top dollar for rent and waste all your profits paying some scumbag landlord. An example of this is one of the shops I worked at. It had been in the same location for nearly 20 years and was originally classified as a commercial district. Over time the surrounding area was developed and turned into housing. The owner of the block of units decided he was going to raise everyone's rent because it was now residential instead of commercial. However, instead of increasing rent a small amount like you normally do, he got greedy and decided to increase the rent from $3000 a week to $20,000 a week. Subsequently 90% of the businesses closed and either went elsewhere or just shut their doors for good. Several years later, most of these building were still vacant and it wasn't until he dropped the rent before anyone moved into them. The businesses simply could not take that sort of increase in rent.

You try to have your business near a suburban neighbourhood so you attract families who come and buy furry, scaled or insect pets or fish. If you are too far away from suburbia, people won't know you exist and you will need to do a lot more advertising and have a limited number of customers. People don't want to travel miles to look at the puppies, birds and fish.

--------------------
Unless you run the veterinary clinic, there is no reason to locate your pet shop next to one. A drawback to having a pet shop near a vet is diseases from the animals at the vet can be transmitted to the shop animals more easily. You will have enough diseases in the pet shop and don't need more coming from a vet clinic. You can have your pet shop in the same complex (group of units) as a vet, but I would try to keep a little distance away from a vet. Likewise I wouldn't live or set up a business near a hospital, petrol station, school, or major shopping centre. These locations regularly have a higher crime rate or more pollution. Hospitals have sick people that you don't want near your animals.
 

itiwhetu

Fish Gatherer
Joined
Apr 29, 2012
Messages
2,118
Reaction score
1,329
Location
Hokitika, New Zealand
You don't need any education to run a business all you need is drive and enthusiasm. Find a good mentor and enjoy the journey. All the accounting stuff is taken care of through the software like MYOB. It is easier than you would think.
 
Last edited:

2tank

Fish Fanatic
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
161
Reaction score
80
Location
SA
If you are based in the US, I hear college is very expensive. But personally I would go do some degree courses. thats a one year college course.
It is very useful.
 

itiwhetu

Fish Gatherer
Joined
Apr 29, 2012
Messages
2,118
Reaction score
1,329
Location
Hokitika, New Zealand
I used to have twelve tanks in a vet clinic. I looked after them, they caught the fish, and gave advise. I used to do all the problem solving for the clinic. It was a great relationship, there are business opportunities everywhere if you look for them.
 

itiwhetu

Fish Gatherer
Joined
Apr 29, 2012
Messages
2,118
Reaction score
1,329
Location
Hokitika, New Zealand
I have to agree with @Colin_T an apprenticeship is great and I must say knowing that I had that to fall back on gave me the security to try things that I may not have, without it.
 

mcordelia

Fish Herder
Joined
Oct 22, 2020
Messages
1,063
Reaction score
601
Location
michigan
If you are in the US and are not planning on doing college, I would recommend getting a job in the field you are interested in for a few years. If you are currently on your parents health insurance, you will be able to remain on that plan until you are 26, which will give you a safety net. If you are not on a health insurance plan currently, I recommend you apply for medicaid if eligible or for a Marketplace plan (I believe open enrollment is still ongoing).

It is important to have health insurance no matter what your career aspirations are, since health problems that you cannot afford to take care of can easily derail your ability to start or maintain your own business, since as a small business owner you will be putting in long hours and must be as healthy as possible to have the energy to successfully run your business.


Many of the most successful small business owners have experience as a non-business owner first. Often, they start their business to fix the issues they discovered while working in their field of interest or a closely related field. If you do not wish to follow the trajectory that Colin recommend above of first getting a well-paying trade career (for example: electrician, plumber, HVAC, etc), then find a job at a pet store or LFS you feel is reputable and work your way up to a manager. Then you will have enough experience (coupled with taking a course in small business administration) that you will be able to start your own store.
 

Link

Fishaholic
Joined
Aug 6, 2004
Messages
448
Reaction score
27
Location
UK
You only need two things. Determination and money. What one of those can't get you the other will.

In the animal care industry qualifications are overrated for the most part. Unless what you want to do is very specific like veterinary medicine etc. I have about 6 animal care related qualifications and zero in art. I'm a self employed artist.
 
OP
Wizard Lizard

Wizard Lizard

Fish Fanatic
Joined
May 3, 2020
Messages
85
Reaction score
19
Location
US
Thanks for the replies!
So I guess for some clarification I do indeed live in the US. I also have already had an internship at a fish store before but am unable to get a job there. I'm hoping to get a part time job at another pet store while I'm in school to help save money and get experience.
Do to personal reasons I'm going to cut my perants off as much as possible in favor of my grandmother. I'm also a little confused about what some of this stuff is, MYOB for example.
My idea was to own a vet in tandem to the store, kinda working the 2 off one another and have the ability to send people to a vet I know is safe/reputable. However I don't want to work at a vet and this isn't a necessity to me. Just would be nice. Again idk how this stuff would work. However thanks @ColinI didn't think of the disease part, I will definitely keep that in mind if I end up with both businesses.
 

Colin_T

Fish Guru
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Messages
23,682
Reaction score
8,098
Location
Perth, WA
I'm also a little confused about what some of this stuff is, MYOB for example.
MYOB is an accounting software you use on your computer.

You don't have to own a vet clinic to recommend a vet to your customers. We had a vet we worked with at the pet shop. They were about 15km away from the shop but we trusted them because I had used them previously before working in the shop. And while at the shop we regularly sent animals up there for treatment and just about all the animals came back alive and well.
 

PheonixKingZ

Fish Expert
Tank of the Month!
Pet of the Month!
Fish of the Month!
Joined
May 8, 2019
Messages
11,771
Reaction score
6,604
Location
Lawrenceburg, KY
@Colin_T gave excellent advice. ^

When you say “pet store” what kind of pets? Like, rabbits, fish (obviously), dogs, cats?

If you were to the “basic” pet store animals, it would think that list would include: Fish, small rodents, birds, and maybe cats/dogs. Most pet stores usually only have the first three.

I would do lots of research on the care of each and every animal. You don’t want to get the store and set everything up, just to have a rundown, poor cared for place.
 
OP
Wizard Lizard

Wizard Lizard

Fish Fanatic
Joined
May 3, 2020
Messages
85
Reaction score
19
Location
US
Yeah, I hope to do fish, some rodents, reptiles, maybe cats and dogs depending, invertebrates, maybe even plants, I refuse to take in animals I can't care for, that's never ok. Though there is a difference between the temporary housing of a store and permanent housing. I don't plan on doing a chain thing. While I will own multiple business, for me it's a community and animals thing, not a money thing. Lives above profit.
 

trending

Members online

Top