There is so much to this that I could talk for hours on how to make a profit raising rabbits. But to keep you from scrolling until the end of time I am going to cover a few things you need to have, do, or plan for in order to make a profit in your rabbitry.
To create a consistent income, you need to be strategic in every aspect of your business. Yes, I said business. Because if your goal is to make any amount of money in your rabbitry you have to think about it as a business.
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Your Rabbitry Needs People
Now that might be a “duh” statement but hear me out. I talk to so many people who want to make money in their rabbitry but they don’t want to put in the effort it takes to get those people.
Like it or not the world is on this little device in their back pocket that gives them the answer to all of their questions. If you want to make money you have to go where the people are. Where they spend their time. And that is online.
Whether that is a social media platform and or website you need to be doing at least one thing that allows people to find your rabbitry online. You can read more about that here.
Keep It Presentable
I can not tell you how many places I have been that are not picked up and at least look somewhat decent. Making your property look nice does not mean that you have to spend a lot of money. Your barns and sheds do not have to be professionally designed and manicured. It is not necessary to have the newest equipment.
When people come to pick up and animal or come to learn about the rabbits you have. The buyer just wants to see a clean, well-kept living area for the animals and not see trash laying around.
Pro tip: walk the path that your visitors will walk from the time they park to the time they pick up their animal and leave. Look around for trash that might be laying around that is easy to miss.
Keeping the property clean and presentable will go a long way to making a good impression on buyers. If they are impressed when they come to visit they are more likely to recommend you to others. Simply keeping the trash picked up and animal waste under control will be one of the best things you can do to make a good first impression.
Know About Your Rabbits
Many people feel like they don’t know anything when they buy their first few animals. As a breeder, you will be asked
If you are able to answer most of their questions they will feel like you put their mind at ease. Whatever you do, DO NOT make something up. If they hear something down the road that contradicts what you said and if they were talking to someone your name will come up. Unless that person is of great character and doesn’t name drop. You don’t want to miss lead someone and that gets around. Protect your reputation.
Just say you don’t know but will find the answer for them. I have had rabbits for over 20 years and I still don’t know a thing about litter training a rabbit. It is not something I do so I can not speak to that topic. Be willing to say that and they will respect you for it.
Be Honest In Your Dealings
The statement “honesty is the best policy” is true even in the animal world. If an animal just does not sound like a good fit for their family tell them so. A family who is looking to buy a pet for their small child or someone who is a bit more timid should not purchase a large high-strung breed.
The safety of the buyer should always come first. If the people insist that they want the animal, go ahead with the sale. You will walk away with a clear mind because you told them what they were getting into.
Now if you think they will cause harm to the animal I would have on your website, sales posts, and anywhere else that you reserve the right to decline a sale.
Set Honest Pricing
If an animal is not worth the price you normally sell your animal for, lower the price. Every breeder will have a few babies that come from their best rabbits that just are not quite what they should be.
But also don’t sell yourself short. If your animal is not even to the age of leaving their mother and someone is asking for a discount. Don’t except. You can make that call you know?
Some people will ask for a discount but that is what they do all the time no matter what. It is no reflection on you or them.
If someone has contacted you about buying an animal, respond back as quickly as you can within reason.
You might not be able to get to it right away but when you have ten free minutes send a quick email. Most phone calls will take less than 10 minutes. So ask when a good time would be to call them back.
Now I also have “office hours” listed on the rabbitry page to help people understand that I might not answer back on a weekend or after a certain hour at night. We all have lives family that is our first priority so don’t let your business take over.
The Number Isn’t Everything
If I don’t drive anything else home let this point be it.
Remember, you don’t need to have a large number of breeding stock to be successful. I have met several breeders who have a lot of nice animals but they struggle to keep up. They are not able to share on social or build awareness so they lose sales and have to sell cheap.
Now don’t get me wrong, having a large number of animals isn’t bad if you can keep up. But don’t get so far in over your head you resent what you are doing.
There are many different income streams that you can create in your rabbitry. Check out this post to help you get your income ideas flowing.
Be Smart With Your Money
There is no need for the most expensive equipment or the latest tool because something bigger and better came out. There are many different ways to get the job done without paying the high price.
Keeping up with the newest thing will burn through your profits quicker than you know. Trust me I get it. I LOVE new things. But it is not worth the loss in business growth just for something new.
Check In Other Departments
Just because an item was not in the rabbit section does not mean you can’t find something that might work in another department. For large breed rabbits look in the dog or horse department for combs and brushes. Most of the time they are much less than rabbit grooming supplies and the larger brushes will help you get the job done faster.
The dollar store is a wonderful place to look for inexpensive tools that will do just as well as the ten dollar item at the animal supply store. Read more about saving money in your rabbitry here.
Find Ways To Leave An Impression
Create a customer experience that makes them so surprised and awed that they come back to you again and again. They will tell their friends and acquaintances they here who are looking for what you offer.
One fun way that I always get raised eyebrows is having an automated waiting list and a calendar so they can schedule their visit so we don’t have to go back and forth trying to set a time that works for them.
They think it is really cool and saves both of us time. So it is a win on both sides.
- Around Christmas time I like to send Christmas cards to all of the buyers from the past year. Anything you can do to encourage people to recommend you to others will go a long way.
- Have thank-you cards prewritten if you don’t have time to write them as the buyers come. You can also put 2 or 3 business cards in the thank you card. This makes it easy for them to recommend you to others as well as making it seem like you care and are not looking to get rid of them after you have their money.
- Just be open and talk with them. If you don’t rush them they will not feel pressured and have buyers remorse down the road.
These core principles will help you with making a lasting impression on your buyers. Give it time and you will grow your rabbitry you just have to be persistent.