Our Pets: Gold Mine for Jobs, New Businesses
The pet industry, from birds to 150-pound dogs, is a job hunter's and entrepreneur's dream.
Revenues for basic products and services total more than $45 billion. Those include food, bird cages, cute outfits, medical care, grooming, and boarding. And as pet parents continue to humanize their animal companions, new products and services are limited only by the creator's imagination. Remember when doggy day care didn't exist? Entrepreneurs who do grooming in the driveway with their portable vans are making a bundle, since pet parents can't bear to inflict separation anxiety on Fido.
Given that earning opportunities are almost infinite, the challenge is to select where you want to start in the industry. To learn how it operates, it's useful to get a job in retail. There you will learn about consumer attitudes and behavior, supply chains, animal health and welfare, and emerging trends. Then analyze revenue potential. For instance, you might find out training to become a groomer has an excellent return on investment. If you already have a degree in human psychology, you might decide to add on one in animal behavior. Demand is surging for pet psychotherapy. Or you can discern the steady work and decent income in dog walking. Addressing pet grief can also be an area of expertise.
All this field requires is a love of animals. You can do the work full or part time. Capital costs for launching your own business can be little or nothing. With experience, you can keep adding products and services.
Jane Genova, coach, book author, and lecturer on careers, specializes in transitions. Her talk on professional shifts at the New York State Bar Association has been published in VITAL SPEECHES OF THE DAY. Her latest book is OVER-50: HOW WE KEEP WORKING. She blogs on the subject at http://janegenova.com, http://lawandmore.typepad.com, http://careertransitions.typepad.com and http://over-50.typepad.com.more...