Perhaps the qualifications for becoming a pet groomer are not as advanced as those of becoming a vet, but you have not gotten to the position that you are in without the correct training, hard work, and a genuine affection for animals. Depending on where you got your training, whether through an apprenticeship, state-licensed school, community college or technical college there is no doubt that you have the right qualifications for the much needed service that you offer. However, sometimes the training may not have equipped you with the business skills needed to run a profitable business. In this post we will talk about how you can expand your pet grooming business and increase your revenue.
What does the future hold for the pet grooming industry?
According to the statistics issued by the U.S. Bureau of Labor, employment within the animal services and care market is expected to increase by 22% between 2016 and 2026. These promising statistics are higher than those of most other industries.
Pet owners are expected to fork out a whopping $75.38 Billion in 2019 for their beloved pets, these statistics are drawn from a report issued by the American Pet Products Association (APPA). In their breakdown they estimate that $6.31 Billion will be spent on other services like grooming, boarding training, exercising, and other similar services. Meanwhile, $1.97 billion will be spent on live animal purchases.
There is plenty of room to expand your pet grooming business!
More traffic will expand your pet grooming business and increase your income
A steady stream of customers is the only way to keep that income coming in. Customer retention in the pet grooming business can be challenging; clients may move away from the area and sometimes beloved pets may pass on. When newcomers to the area arrive you have to be in a position to attract their business by letting them know that you are in their vicinity. Besides having to compete with other businesses in the area, you may also find that economic upturns and downturns can also affect the number of paws that come to your enterprise on a daily basis. The challenge for your pet grooming business is to confront these gains and losses by adapting to new methods and circumstances, while keeping yourself focused on what you do best.
These tips will help ensure a steady flow of traffic for your pet grooming business and expand your pet grooming business.
Websites offer online presence
If you don’t already have a website, then now is the time to create one. Perhaps you already have one that you have completely forgotten, now is the time to improve it. Make sure that your address and contact details are correct so that new customers can find your shop or contact you. Newcomers to an area will inevitably go online to search for a pet grooming service, and you may be missing out on the opportunity to attract their business. Building a website has become cheaper and easier to do by using a number of online tools.
Write blogs for your website and make sure that all content is SEO enriched.
Have a social media presence
Besides having a website, a social media presence is also an essential online presence for attracting pet owners. Keep yourself connected with your customers through some of the most popular platforms for your type of business; Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Don’t limit yourself to these, nor do you have to be present on all, choose the ones that you feel more comfortable with. Use social media to upload interesting photos, like before and after shots or videos; these are a great way to promote your work and events that you have recently run.
Work out a digital marketing strategy
Having a marketing strategy, and a plan to implement it, is an important part of promoting your business. Post regularly and keep clients updated on upcoming specials and events. Your content on all social media and websites must be optimized so that searches can lead to your business. Set up a content calendar where you can track holidays and those special events. Reviewing this calendar will help you know when to post.
Always respond to reviews
Most people looking for services online first go to the reviews before making a decision. Make the time to respond to reviews; whether they are good or bad. Be polite either way and thank people for taking the time to review while you make use of the opportunity to show how much you value your clients and their pets.
Expand the services that you offer
The opportunities to attract new customers are limitless so here are a few ideas.
- Offer an area of your store to paying customers who want a self-service wash area for their pets. Often, these clients may have dog breeds that don’t require grooming, but may not want the mess that comes with doing this at home.
- Teeth cleaning services will be a relief for some owners who struggle to do it themselves.
- Take a special course on treating skin conditions in pets and offer it as an extra service.
- Retail is an opportunity to increase the income of your business. Look for a range of pet grooming products that customers can buy to maintain their pets’ hygiene between visits. Other ideas for retail are pet toys, leashes and tags. Some businesses even go as far as getting a machine that can engrave names onto the tags in just a few minutes.
- Start an e-commerce store and sell grooming products and accessories online.
- Offer deep conditioning treatments, de-matting and de-shedding for canines. These are all problems that many dog owners don’t have time to deal with themselves.
- Provide flea and deodorizing treatments.
Some of these services are more luxurious than others, but there are customers who don’t mind paying a bit extra.
Giveaways increase customer loyalty
Promotional giveaways are a great way to advertise your business. Have inexpensive gifts printed with your store’s name and details and give them to customers on certain occasions. These could be at holiday time, on the store’s opening anniversary, or if a customer spends a certain amount and above. These don’t only increase customer loyalty, but also attract new business. Some ideas are refrigerator magnets, pet toys, bandannas and branded ? bags.
Offer free consultations for customers bringing their dog in for the first time. Discuss with them what cut they want for their dog and offer them advice on what is suitable for his breed.
Have a loyalty reward program
Loyalty reward programs for customers will increase the chances that they come back to your business instead of trying out a competitor in the area. You will have to take the time to establish how many visit will unlock a reward, and what the reward will be. The rewards could differ according to customer needs and could either be a free grooming session or products to use at home between sessions.
Network with other businesses in the area
Connect with the local vet, pet shops and other businesses in the area and ask them to advertise your services, in return for you doing the same. Besides mentioning your business to their clients, you could leave a few business cards for prospective customers to take, and you could offer to display of their cards to your shop.
Use community and charitable events as an opportunity to advertise
Show your community and clients that your values are the same as theirs by taking part in community events, marathons and by supporting local charities. These events are a great opportunity to hand out promotional material and giveaways. Besides participating in events you could also offer to host one on your premises and run a competition with prizes. Take the opportunity to socialize with potential customers and to spark an interest in your business.
Create a customer referral program
This is a non-digital way to advertise your pet grooming business but is still as effective now as ever. Word of mouth recommendations are just as important as online reviews and introducing a reward program for referrals to other pet owners will certainly get your clients making recommendations to their friends and colleagues.
Ensure that the reward on offer will be meaningful for your existing customers and before making the program known decide how many client referrals will consist of a reward.
Popular rewards to offer clients for referrals, competitions and as part of loyalty programs include:
- Complimentary trim or haircut
- Free nail trimming or ear cleaning’
- Complimentary pet bath
- Gift certificate to one of your network businesses or affiliates
Pet grooming is not just about dogs
There are a few breeds of cats that require grooming and consider that there may not be other salons in your area offering this service. If you don’t have the skills to do this, even though most pet groomers do, you may want to consider taking a course.
Your pet grooming salon provides your community with an invaluable service, but you also want your customers to feel that they are invaluable to you. By offering extra services and adding into that a good marketing mix, you will be able to expand your pet grooming business and increase your income substantially.