It’s an excellent time to be an entrepreneur. Companies are more willing than ever to work with people who have developed and manufactured their own products. From clothing to smartphone apps, entrepreneurs are making lucrative deals to market their products to consumers. Recently, an unlikely group of business people launched a new dog treat in Canada.
Max Snax is a business run by a group of junior achievers who work out of the North Nova Education Center in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. The facility runs a 12-week program, which started back in October. It encourages young adults to develop their entrepreneurial spirit.
Participants in the program learn to perform market research, brainstorm ideas with a team, create a product, make adjustments until it is ready for production and then manufacture and distribute their goods. This particular group of moguls decided to market their own dog treats.
Each child receives a job title, like vice-president of finance, and they all work together to create and market a product. These kids decided to create Max Snax and market Buddy Bites, an all-natural dog treat they developed based on a recipe they found online. They tweaked the recipe a bit, and now the ingredients of Buddy Bites include:
- Whole Wheat Flour
- Skim Milk Powder
- Vegetable Oil
- Beef Bouillon
When asked why they picked dog treats, the answer was simple – they wanted to create a product that would have a large market. What better industry to jump into right now than dog products and supplies? Currently, sales in the pet industry are at an all-time high.
After developing the initial product, the taste testers – who were all of the canine species – were less than impressed. The entrepreneurs put their heads together and decided to increase the beef flavoring to entice the pups a little more. The second round of taste tasting went much better, and production of the treats began shortly after.
The group is now selling Buddy Bites for $5 per bag. There are 15 treats per bag, and the kids say that their customers are mainly family, friends and neighbors in their local community. Through this program, kids are able to learn about the importance of a solid business plan, extensive market research and hard work.
Many small businesses fail in the first few years because there was not enough market research done. There may be too much competition in the area or maybe there is not a need for the product or service in that area. It’s really vital to take some type of business classes before attempting to venture out on your own.
The pet industry may seem like a sure thing right now, as sales of pet-related goods and services continue to rise, even though it’s actually just as difficult to start a business in a good market as it is to start one when the market is poor. A better market means there is more competition, and more competition could mean big trouble if you don’t do the right market research.
If you’re thinking of starting a pet-related business, you can check out the resources here on our site that focus on starting a business with dogs, writing business plans and how to get your business up and running. As I said, it’s also best to think about taking a few business classes at your local Adult Education Center or Community College.
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Buddy Bites are made with all-natural ingredients and are safe for human consumption. So far, the group has sold more than 135 bags and they’ve had many repeat customers. If you’re considering jumping into an entrepreneurial venture, whether it involves dogs or not, be prepared for the challenges by doing extensive research and talking to other business owners.
Running your own business is not something to take lightly, especially if you’re planning on making it your full time career. There are plenty of resources available to you, so use them! Create a solid plan and take all the help that you can get while working to get your business off the ground.