As anyone who’s ever loved a dog knows, owners tend to spoil them rotten. From gourmet food to expensive toys, you go out of your way to make sure your furry friends are happy and content. And one of the most popular items in any pet store is undoubtedly rubber chew toys.
The 2021-2022 National Pet Owners Survey of the American Pet Products Association (APPA) reported that 69 million U.S. households own at least one dog. Each family spends an average of $56 a year on dog toys. That’s $3.864 billion a year!
Starting a dog rubber chew toy manufacturing business can be so lucrative. There’s a constant demand for these products. As an entrepreneur, you can corner the market by filling it with top-quality items. So if you’re thinking of starting your own business, this is definitely one industry worth considering.
Of course, like any business, there are certain things you need to do to set up shop successfully. Here’s a quick guide on how to start manufacturing dog rubber chew toys:
Choose Your Niche
Various chew toys are on the market, from bare-bones to more complex shapes and sizes. You’ll need to decide what kind of products you want to make before getting started. This will help you determine the materials and equipment you’ll need and your target market.
One of the problems many dog owners face is that most chew toys do not stand up to their dog’s strong teeth. There is much room in the market for dog chew toys with higher bite resistance.
Research the Competition
Once you’ve chosen your niche, it’s time to see what other manufacturers are doing. See what kinds of products they’re making and how they’re marketing them.
Hire a market research team to do a survey among dog owners on the kind of rubber chew toys they are looking for. What are their problems with existing rubber chew toys on the market? This will give you a good idea of what you’re up against and how to make your own products stand out.
Find a Supplier
You’ll need to source high-quality rubber for your chew toys. This can be tricky, as there are many types of rubber on the market. Natural rubber is safest for dog chew toys as it is even used for children’s toys.
Do some research to find a supplier that can provide you with the material you need at a reasonable price. Ensure an established supply chain so that your production will not be disrupted by delays.
Invest in the Right Equipment
Depending on the chew toys you want to make, you’ll need different equipment. For example, you’ll need a steam vulcanizing autoclave. It will turn the raw, mushy, and sticky rubber into usable products. The processed rubber is harder, stronger, and more weather-resistant while resilient. This is the same equipment used in manufacturing rubber tires.
Make sure you invest in suitable machines for your business. Again, do your research to find the right equipment for your needs at the right price.
Develop Product Designs
Now it’s time to get creative and develop some product designs. This is where your target market comes into play. What kind of chew toys do they want? Keep in mind that dog owners are looking for safe and durable products.
Your product designs should also be easy to mass-produce. This means avoiding intricate designs and sticking to simpler shapes. You can always experiment with different versions and see what sells best.
Get the Word Out
Once you’ve sorted your products, it’s time to start marketing them. Just because you have a great product doesn’t mean people will automatically buy it. You’ll need to develop a marketing strategy to help you reach your target audience.
First, you’ll need to establish a solid online presence through a website. It would also be best if your website is an online store, so visitors can quickly purchase from there.
Set up social media accounts to attract and interact with dog owners. Post regularly all about pet dogs, their care, and how to keep them entertained with rubber chew toys.
You can use paid social media ads to get people to know about your social media accounts. Advertise in online pet magazines, as well.
Get involved in the community by partnering with local shelters or dog rescues. You can also join dog-walking groups or host events for dog owners.
By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to starting a successful business manufacturing rubber chew toys for dogs. Remember to always put your customers’ needs first, and don’t forget to have fun!