Items you will need
Computer with internet access
In 2009, even in the middle of a recession, Americans spent roughly 10.2 billion dollars on supplies and over-the-counter medications for their pets. If you are thinking about starting a home business making collars for cats and dogs, some of that money could be yours. Although starting any business is hard work, there is already a niche market for pet collars and, according to the above statistic, that niche is willing to spend a lot of money.
Meet the needs of all breeds. Brachycephalic (smashed-faced) dogs like pugs and bulldogs can't wear collars because their necks and heads are the same size. Add a line of harnesses for these breeds. Whippets and greyhounds shouldn't wear thin or tight collars because those collars can damage the dogs' necks. Large (at least 2 inches wide), soft martingale collars are best for these breeds and can be crafted from luxurious fabrics.
Gather and assemble your supplies. Make some collars before you begin to actively advertise your wares. At minimum you will need a sewing machine, scissors, pins, measuring tape or yardstick, nylon webbing, buckles and other collar hardware, ribbon, and anything else you wish to decorate your collars with. Make several practice collars in different sizes and styles until you can create a sturdy, professional product.
Name and register your business. Shakespeare asked "What's in a name?" and the answer as it relates to small businesses is "everything." Pick something short, memorable, and related to your product. Once you name your business, apply for a business license in your city, especially if you plan to sell any collars within city limits.
Advertise your business. The hard part of starting a home business like making and selling pet collars is letting the public know you exist. You cannot have too much of an Internet presence. Open a virtual shop on etsy.com, create your own free website on webs.com or a similar site. Add a signature to your business email advertising your business. Take advantage of social networking sites to get the word out. Make flyers and post them at pet-related businesses like veterinarian offices, boarding kennels and groomers.
Sell you collars in person. Apply for booth space at every craft fair in or near your town. If the local animal rescue organization is having a large adoption or fund raising event, offer to sell your collars and split the profits with the host organization. Ask the organizers of holiday church bazaars if they allow non-church members to participate as sellers.
- collar image by Allyson Ricketts from Fotolia.com