Do you want to start a pet cremation business? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a pet cremation business with NO money and no experience.
Pet cremation business is rapidly gaining prominence in recent time especially in developed countries. Some people who own pets would rather prefer that their dead pets be cremated as against burying them. Cremation of pets is convenient and generally accepted by pet owners if they are given the option.
The good thing about pet cremation is that it can either be done in conventional crematories, or the crematories dedicated only to pets; the bottom line is that people who want a dignified way of laying their dead pets to rest will be willing to pay for such services.
The fact that people cherish having the ashes of their dead pets in an attractive container (vast, urns, pots et al) placed in a place of their choice (could be by their bed side or anywhere in their house) makes pet cremation business a very lucrative business in the united states.
If you are a vet doctor, or if you are already into the human cremation business, you can choose to add pet cremation as part of your service offering. As a matter of fact, you will have a comparative advantage in the market. Note that when you are into the pet cremation business, you must show empathy to your clients whenever they come to discuss how to get their dead pets cremated.
If you are in doubt if this kind of business is worth investing in, just try and do a research on existing pet cremation companies in your area and you will be shocked to know what they make monthly.
It is important to note that this kind of business is not for everyone, it is for those who naturally can comfort and care for bereaved pet owners whether money is involved or not. If you don’t have this basic quality, you might not succeed in this business.
So, if you are serious about starting your own pet cremation company, all you need do is to read this article and you will be well equipped.
You can start your pet cremation company from a small town in the United States and if you are consistent and creative, it won’t be too long before your brand becomes a nationally recognized brand and your business network spreads across the length and breadth of the United States of America.
Steps to Starting a Pet Cremation Business
1. Understand the Industry
Pet cremation business falls under the cremation services industry and a pet cremation company is a company that basically cremates pets as requested by the owners of the pet. They may also be involved in burial services of pets, the sale of caskets and other related funeral merchandise and transporting pet remains from the vet clinics or place of death to the venue where the pet is to be cremated or buried.
The cemetery services industry comprises of businesses that primarily operate sites reserved solely for the interment of human and animal remains. The industry also includes companies that offer cremation services.
If you are a close watcher of the Cemetery Services industry, you will rightly observe that the industry is one of the few industries that have successfully dug itself out of the recessionary woes that once plagued businesses during the recession period in the United States.
With increasing disposable income and a growing proportion of US citizens reaching 65 years and older, families have become far more likely to purchase high-value industry merchandise and burial services, thereby increasing the revenue generated in the industry.
These factors are expected to continue going forward. Experts project that the number of cremations is going to rise, thereby threatening the growth in the cemetery services industry.
The Cemetery Services industry is indeed a very large industry and pretty much thriving in all parts of the world especially in developed countries such as United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Australia and Italy et al.
Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, there are about 7,112 licensed cemetery services companies scattered all across the United States of America and they are responsible for employing about 33,518 employees. The industry rakes in a whopping sum of $4bn annually with an annual growth rate projected at 4.1 percent within 2011 and 2016.
The establishments with the lion share of the industry are SCI and StoneMor. A recent report published by IBISWORLD reveals that the regions with the greatest concentration of cemeteries and crematories in the United States are the Mid-Atlantic, the Southeast and the Great Lakes.
The distribution of cemeteries and crematories is related to population trends and age structure. Additionally, consumer preferences for cremation as opposed to burials, is another important factor that can influence the share of establishments.
The report further stated that the Mid-Atlantic has the greatest share of cemeteries in the United States in 2016, which is estimated at 26.5 percent of the total.
Pennsylvania is the most heavily concentrated state in the country in terms of industry establishments, holding an estimated 10.9 percent of cemeteries and crematories in 2016. New York follows as a close second with 9.6 percent of establishments.
The number of pets dying in the United States and all over the world is anticipated to increase and this will in turn create market for the pet cemetery services industry. Nonetheless, continued competition from discount retailers and the ease of online ordering from casket manufacturers, as well as a rise in low-priced cremations, are expected to curtail prices for pet cremation services operators.
If you are contemplating starting your own pet cremation services business in the United States, you should ensure that you carry out a thorough market survey and feasibility studies. If you get some key factors wrong before starting your own pet cremation services business, then you are likely going to struggle to stay afloat.
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographic composition of those who require the services of pet cremation services companies cut across families who own pets, and corporate organizations such as zoos, vet clinics, security outfits and the police who own pets.
3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
It is important to state that pet cremation is a niche area in the cemetery services industry. So, if you are planning to launch your own pet cremation services business, you can decide to come up with creative concepts that will make you standout.
The Level of Competition in the Industry
The level competition in the pet cremation services industry can be said to be fair to all players in the industry and aspiring players who intend starting their own pet cremation services business. At the same time, we are not ruling out the fact that the competitions exist in the pet cremation services line of business.
You are expected to compete with funeral homes and cemetery operators that also engage in pet cremation. The truth is that no matter the level of competition in an industry, if you have done your due diligence and you brand and promote your services or business properly, you will always make headway in the industry.
Just ensure that you position your business properly, adopt safe and swift pet cremation services process and you know how to attract and reach out to your target market.
4. Know Your Major Competitors in the Industry
You will quite agree that in every industry, there are always brands that perform better or are better regarded by customers and the general public than others.
Some of these brands are those that have been in the industry for a long time, while others are best known for how they conduct their businesses and the results they have achieved over the years. These are some of the leading pet cremation services companies in the United States of America;
- Paws To Heaven Pet Crematory
- Southeastern Pet Cremation
- Rainbow Bridge Pet Crematorium
- Family’s Pet Cremation
- Pet Angels Pet Cremation
- Heavenly Acres Pet Cemetery
- Animal Rites, USA
- Agape Pet Services of Virginia, LLC
- Colonial Pet Cremations Services
- Pet Crematory Agency, Inc.
- Peebles Pet Services
- Hartsdale Pet Cemetery & Hartsdale Pet Crematory
- Pawn Prints Pet Crematory
- Faithful Companion Pet Cremation Services by Marrocco
- Forrest Run Pet Cemetery
- Ever After Pets
- Florida Pet Cremation, Inc.
- Regency Forest Pet Memorial
- Jacksonville Pet Funeral Home & Pet Crematory
- Cremation Urns by Legacy USA
Getting your economic analysis right and adopting best practices in the industry you choose to build a business in are some of the critical steps you have to take before starting your business.
If you are mapping out your economic analysis to start your pet cremation services business, you should carry out thorough market survey and costing of the required amount needed to purchase animal cremation machine, batch load incinerators, vases (urns) in various shapes and designs and all safety gadgets needed, the cost of renting a facility and also the running cost to successfully run the business.
If you are considering starting a pet cremation services business, then your concern should not be limited to the cost of purchasing cremation equipment, but you should also consider the cost of renting a facility, branding and how to build a robust clientele base.
5. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to choosing how you intend starting a business. Basically, you should be guided by your overall business vision and mission statement. If you are looking towards starting a pet cremation services company, you would have to start from the very scratch because you can hardly get the franchise of a pet cremation services company to buy.
Besides starting a pet cremation services company from the scratch is less stressful when compared to other small – scale businesses that usually requires detailed groundwork before launching the business.
With pet cremation services company, you should just try as much as possible to secure animal cremation machine, batch load incinerators, vases in various shapes and designs and safety gadgets, build business relationship with organizations and then leverage on every marketing tool within your disposal especially the internet to market your services.
Please note that most of the big and successful pet cremation services companies around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand. It takes dedication, hard work and determination to achieve business success and of course you can build your own pet cremation services company brand to become a successful brand in the United States of America.
6. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
If you decide to start your own pet cremation services company today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well – established pet cremation services companies in your business location, funeral homes and cemetery services operators who also offer pet cremation.
The only way to avoid this challenge is to look inward and create your own market. Some other challenges and threats that you are likely going to face is unfavorable government price regulations. There is nothing you can do as regards these threats and challenges other than to stay positive that things will work well for you.
7. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
When considering starting a pet cremation services company, the legal entity you choose will go a long way to determine how big the business can grow. Generally, you have the option of either choosing a general partnership, Limited Liability Company, or a sole proprietorship for a pet cremation services company.
Ordinarily, sole proprietorship should have been the ideal business structure for a small – scale pet cremation services company especially if you are just starting out with a moderate startup capital and operating in a small neighborhoods.
But if your intention is to grow the business and open your branches all across key cities in the United States of America, then choosing sole proprietor is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company, LLC or even general partnership will cut it for you.
8. Choose a Catchy Business Name
When it comes to choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. Usually it is the norm for people to follow the trend in the industry they intend operating from when naming their business.
If you are considering starting your own pet cremation services company, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;
- Pet After – World® Pet Cremation Services, Inc.
- Pet Nation® Pet Cremation Services, LLC
- Animal Kingdom® Pet Cremation Services, Inc.
- Douglas Murray and Sons Pet Cremation Services Company
- Donald Kendrick® Pet Cremation Services, Inc.
- Excellent Care® Pet Cremation Services, Inc.
- Theo Classic® Pet Cremation Services, Inc.
- Pet Haven® Pet Cremation Services, LLC
- Ally White® Pet Cremation Services, Inc.
- Trans World® Pet Cremation Services, Inc.
9. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
In the United States and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. So, it is important to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your pet cremation services company.
Here are some of the basic insurance covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own pet cremation services company in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Health insurance
- Liability insurance
- Risk Insurance
- Motor vehicle insurance (comprehensive insurance)
- Workers Compensation
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
10. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
If you are considering starting your own pet cremation services company, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection/trademark. This is because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run it without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.
But if you just want to protect your company’s logo and other documents or software that are unique to you or even jingles and media production concepts, then you can go ahead to file for intellectual property protection. If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO.
11. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
When it comes to operating a pet cremation services business, you do not need to have any formal training or special certification before you can be allowed to open and operate a pet cremation services business in the United States of America.
All you need is informal training that will expose you to the in and out of operating the business. On the other hand, if you come across any form of certification that can aid you to properly conduct your pet cremation services business, then by all means try and pursue such certification.
12. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations.
If you do, it won’t be too long before the long hand of the law catches up with you. These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own pet cremation services company in the United States of America;
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License/Dead Body Handler’s License
- Tax Payer’s ID/Tax Identification Number
- Business Plan
- Copy of license for the cremation facility and/or a recent inspection report
- Employee Handbook
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
13. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
Starting a pet cremation services company can be cost effective especially if you choose to start on a small scale and operating within a community or city. Acquiring animal cremation machine, batch load incinerators, vases and safety gadgets are part of what will consume a large chunk of your start – up capital.
So, if you choose to start the business on a large scale with more than one facility, then you would need to source for fund to finance the business because it is expensive to start a standard large scale pet cremation services company across key cities in the United States of America.
No doubt when it comes to financing a business, one of the first things you should consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business.
Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for startup capital for your pet cremation services company;
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Selling shares to interested investors
- Applying for Loan from your Bank
- Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from donor organizations and angel investors
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends
14. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
When it comes to choosing a location for your pet cremation services company, the rule of thumb is that you should be guided by the demand for such services and the demographic composition of the location. If you are able to start your pet cremation services company in the right location for such business, you won’t struggle to make headway with the business.
It cannot be overemphasized that the location you chose to start your pet cremation services company is key to the success of the business, hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location; a location where the demography consists of people and businesses who own pets
Most importantly, before choosing a location for your pet cremation services company, ensure that you first conduct a thorough feasibility studies and market survey. The possibility of you coming across similar businesses that just closed shop in the location you want to open yours can’t be ruled out.
These are some of the key factors that you should consider before choosing a location for your pet cremation services company;
- The demography of the location as it relates to old people and organizations that own pets
- The demand for the services of pet cremation services in the location
- Accessibility and road network of the location
- The number of pet cremation services companies, funeral homes and cemetery operators who are also into the cremation of dead pets in the location
- The local laws and regulations in the community
- Traffic, parking and security
15. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
On the average, there are no special technologies or equipment needed to run this type of business except for animal cremation machine, batch load incinerators, vases, safety gadgets and other relevant software applications. You will also need computers, internet facility, telephone, fax machine and office furniture amongst others and all these can be gotten as fairly used.
As regards leasing or outright purchase of cremation facility, the choice is dependent on your financial standing, but the truth is that to be on the safe side, it is advisable to start off with a short term rent/lease while test running the business in the location.
If things work out as planned, then you go on a long term lease or outright purchase of the property but if not, then move on and source for other ideal location for such business.
When it comes to hiring employees for a standard pet cremation services company, you should make plans to hire a competent Manager (you can occupy this role), Sales and Marketing Officer, Crematory Operators, Accounting Clerk and Cleaners.
On the average, you will need a minimum of 2 to 10 key staff members to run a medium scale but standard pet cremation services company.
The Service Delivery Process of the Business
When it comes to the cremation of pets, there are no hard and fast rules about it. Basically, it is the duty of the marketing and sales team to help the organization source for clients. They go out to source for vet clinics and individuals who have dealings with pets.
Depending on how organized the pet cremation company is, when a customer brings in their dead pet for cremation, the amount charged is agreed on, the dead pet is placed inside a functional incinerator. After some minutes, usually less than an hour, the dead pet is transformed into powder and then placed inside an urn.
It is important to state that a pet cremation services company may decide to improvise or adopt any business process and structure that will guarantee them efficiency and flexibility.
16. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
Usually, running a business requires that you should be proactive when it comes to marketing your services. If you choose to launch a pet cremation services business, then you must go all out to employ strategies that will help you attract customers or else you will likely struggle with the business because there are well – known brands that determine the market direction for this line of business.
Your marketing strategy should center on safe pet cremation processes, affordable pricing, and above all excellent customer service. You should ensure that whenever your customers bring their pets for cremation, they will get excellent service.
The truth is that if you are able to put the above stated in place, you won’t struggle to retain your old customers and at the same time win over new customers.
Businesses these days are aware of the power of the internet and which is why they will do all they can to market their services through the internet. These are some of the marketing ideas and strategies that you can adopt for your pet cremation services company;
- Introduce your pet cremation services company by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to families and corporate organizations such as zoos, vet clinics, security outfit and the police who own pets within and outside the city you are operating in
- Advertise on the internet and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to get your message across
- Create a basic website for your business so as to give your business an online presence
- Directly market your services
- Engage in roadshows in targeted communities from time to time to create awareness of your pet cremation services company
- Join local pet cremation services company associations for industry trends and tips
- Provide discount days for your customers
- Advertise our business in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
- List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Encourage the use of Word of mouth marketing (referrals)
17. Develop Iron-clad Competitive Strategies to Help You Win
The pet cremation services line of business might not be so competitive but that does not mean you should not come up with a unique and highly creative strategy to be able to outsmart your competitors in the industry. Your ability to cremate dead pets in a hygienic and safe environment, your business process and of course your pricing model are part of what you need to stay competitive in the industry.
Another strategy that you can adopt is to ensure that your organization is well positioned and you have business relationship with pet owners and vet clinics et al.
18. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
If you are in business and you are not deliberate about boosting you brand awareness and communicating your corporate identity, then you should be ready to take on whatever the society portrays your business to be. One of the secret of larger corporations is that they are willing to spend fortunes to boost their brand awareness and to continue to communicate their corporate identity the way they want people to perceive them.
If your intention of starting a pet cremation services company is to grow the business beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national brand, then you must be ready to spend money on promotion and advertisement of your brand.
No matter the industry you belong to, the truth is that the market is dynamic and it requires consistent brand awareness and boosting cum promotion to continue to appeal to your target market. Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand awareness and create a corporate identity for your pet cremation services company;
- Place adverts on both print (newspapers and pet related magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community based events
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your services
- Install your billboards in strategic locations all around your city
- Engage in roadshows from time to time in targeted neighborhoods to create awareness ofor your pet cremation services company
- Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
- List your pet cremation services company in local directories/yellow pages
- Advertise your pet cremation services company in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site
- Position your Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where your pet cremation services company is located.
- Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles and wagons are well branded with your company logo