Is it possible to over specialize a specialty shop?

Discussion in 'Growing and Managing a Business' started by Jsilver, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. Jsilver

    Jsilver
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm looking to start a pet shop focusing on snakes. Reptile shops are nothing new, but they usually also carry lizards and other reptiles. From what I've seen in reptile shops most of the inventory is snake related.

    My idea is to have the largest variety of snakes, snake supplies, and prey items. I will probably make most of my money on prey items followed closely by supplies.

    The thing is, carrying lizards would open up a lot more options for selling prey items. On the other hand, lizards require much more intensive care, so my overhead would be a little higher. Also if I venture off into lizards, that will leave me less space for snakes.

    I live in the most densly populated county in Florida, and am about to finish a marketing degree. The closest reptile shop would be about 30 minutes away from where I want to locate. I don't think I'm going to have fierce competition.

    What I'm wondering is, should I do what I want and concentrate on one product line (snakes, snake accessories, snake food). Or possibly add a small lizard section so I can make money selling lizard food.

    Lizards eat about 7 times as often as snakes, so I would make a killing on food. The added care of the lizards and the bugs they eat would probably force me to hire an extra full timer though. Snakes only, I would probably need only 2 people in the shop at any given time.
     
  2. Fergal

    Fergal
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Premium Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Messages:
    10,575
    Likes Received:
    1,165
    There are advantages to being highly specialised. In your case you could become known as a real expert in snakes and the go to business for anything related to snakes. Your customers would see you as a specialist and recognise that you are not distracted by other types of animals, plus focusing on just snakes would allow you to gain more knowledge on them and the specific needs of your customers.

    The big question is, is the market large enough to sustain your business, and that's where market research comes in. Have you done some research to estimate how much you could sell on a weekly or monthly basis and how much profit you could make from those sales? You could also do some planning to determine how much you would need to sell in order to break even.

    One option would be to start out with snakes only. Get to know your business and your customers as much as possible. Learn what your customers are buying from your shop and what they are buying from other shops. If snakes are not enough to sustain your business you could expand, once you have a better understanding of your customers and their regular purchases.

    Does that kind of approach sound like it might help you?

    Good luck with it.
     
  3. Jsilver

    Jsilver
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks, I did that research you suggested. It looks like the snake shop is a go. I won't have to bother with lizards either as snakes seem to be more popular.
     
  4. Fergal

    Fergal
    uix_expand uix_collapse
    Premium Member
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Messages:
    10,575
    Likes Received:
    1,165
    Sounds great Jsilver. I wish you the very best of luck with your new shop, it is an exciting venture and I hope it goes very well for you.
     

Share This Page