You’ve poured so much of your time and energy into your pet-care business, so of course you want to see it grow. However, you might not know where to start. Which parts of your business should you focus on? What risks should you take? How can you acquire new customers without neglecting your current ones?
Whether you’re just starting your own pet-care business or you’ve been around for a while, this guide can help you grow sustainably and hit all of your goals. These simple changes to your business can enhance your services, build customer loyalty, and draw in new clients.
At Gingr, we are committed to helping pet-care businesses everywhere reach their fullest potential. We believe that everyone has places where they can improve, and who doesn’t want to increase their profits as they better their business? These 6 tips can help you do both. To raise your profits, you should:
- Offer packages.
- Promote your business.
- Set up a loyalty program.
- Sell merchandise.
- Establish a no-show policy.
- Improve customer experience.
Although each of these tips are distinct, they all have one thing in common: they center your customer’s interactions with your business. Your services should always put the customer and their furry friend first. By offering the very best customer experience, you will naturally build a larger client base and ensure that your customers stay loyal for years to come.
As you’re brainstorming ways to increase your profits, don’t lose sight of your clients' perspectives. It’s easy to cut corners or overcharge to raise your profits, but the short-term growth you might get from these changes is not sustainable. Investing in services and programs that your customers will genuinely enjoy is your best option when it comes to continuous growth.
Bundling some of your services into a package can encourage customers to pay for more of your services at a lower collective price. For example, you could bundle a grooming appointment with a flea cleanse or moisturizing treatment. While a customer may not have purchased either of these services in addition to their regularly scheduled grooming appointment, offering them at a discounted price might incentivize them to give their pet a little something extra.
Although you will technically be offering some services at a lower price, more customers will purchase additional services, which will ultimately increase your profits. According to this recent study, nearly two-thirds of customers will make a purchase they were not anticipating if there’s a discount.
On top of that, 80% of customers said that they would be more willing to try out a new product if there was a discount. For this reason, it’s a great idea to offer specific packages just for new customers. Doing so will likely get some new furry friends through the door.
Packages also have promotional potential. In your advertising materials, you could promote your fantastic packages to pique the interest of new customers.
Promote your business.
In addition to offering package deals to your customers, you can also invest more time into promoting your business. With your busy daily schedule, you might feel that you are too short on time to regularly advertise your business. But marketing your business doesn’t have to be a super time-consuming task.
Using pet-care business software, you can easily market your services to old and new customers. Regular promotion can keep your business at the forefront of your customers’ minds. They are more likely to remember to schedule an appointment or to tell their friends about your services. Here are some ways that you can spread the word about your business:
- Email: Likely the most common way you communicate with your clients, email is a very effective tool to send updates about your business. Some pet-care software allows you to manage your contacts, customize your emails, and segment your customers based on shared characteristics so that your emails are as successful as possible.
- Text messages: Want to stay in close contact with your customers? Text messages can help you keep clients updated on the progress of their pet’s appointment. You can also send exclusive coupon codes directly to your customers’ phones.
- Flyers: Consider displaying flyers in your business for customers to take to share among their network. You could also ask other local businesses if they would display one of your flyers. In return, you could hang up one of theirs.
- Advertisements: A good, old-fashioned print, radio, or TV advertisement can help your business get some exposure to clients you might not otherwise reach.
While it might have a higher upfront cost, putting more effort into advertising your business has several long-term benefits, including acquiring new customers and reminding current customers to give you a call.
One last tip: remember to be as consistent as possible with your company’s brand in your marketing materials. This way, your customers will be more likely to remember your brand and you can develop a stronger presence in your community.
Set up a loyalty program.
If you’re looking to increase your profits among your current customers, you could set up a loyalty program. Similar to package deals, loyalty programs encourage your customers to purchase more of your services because of a discount or offer.
There are lots of ways that you could organize your own loyalty program, but here are some ideas to get you started:
- Punch cards: Offer recurring customers a punch card they can use to obtain a free service. For example, if they bring their pet in for five grooming appointments, the sixth appointment is half-off or free.
- Referral discounts: Create an incentive for customers to spread the word about your business by giving referral discounts. If a customer tells one of their friends about your services and that friend comes in for an appointment, you could give the recommender a 20% discount on their next appointment.
- Fee-based programs: For particularly loyal customers, consider charging a flat rate for a year’s worth of services. This way, you guarantee a certain level of revenue from customers who have already paid upfront.
Loyalty programs encourage your customers to continue coming back to your business and might even earn you some new clients. Additionally, loyalty programs allow you to build better relationships with your customers, which can make the workplace even more enjoyable.
While the main focus of your business is the services that you provide, you can also sell merchandise to generate some extra revenue. Merchandise is a fun and easy way to get free advertisement for your business. While you don’t want to slap your logo on everything that you sell, interesting or funny merchandise might strike up a conversation between two pet parents, which could turn into a referral to your business.
What you decide to sell is entirely up to you, but here are some of our favorite merchandise ideas for pet-care businesses:
- Collars and leashes
- Pet beds
- Funny t-shirts
Lastly, just as you want to keep your brand consistent across your marketing channels, you want to do the same for your merchandise. This way, you increase the recognizability of your products which can make your business much more memorable.
Establish a no-show policy.
Your time is valuable, and wasted time is wasted money. A no-show policy can help you prevent abandoned appointment slots. If you have an issue with no-shows, consider setting up a policy that charges your customers a fee if they don’t come to their appointment. This way, you aren’t losing money as a result of a forgetful customer.
To avoid no-shows altogether, you could use a reminder program to send text messages or emails to your customer to make sure that their appointment doesn’t slip their minds. Everyone is busy these days, so a friendly reminder can go a long way.
Improve customer experience.
The best way to ensure that your customers stick around is to make their experience as positive as possible. Earlier, we mentioned the value of centering your customer’s interactions with your business in every improvement you make, and client experience is no exception.
Improving your customer experience can range from major changes in how you organize your day-to-day tasks to minor fixes, like adjusting prices or hiring a friendly staff. Some investments, like pet-care business software or redecorating your facility, can go a long way to draw in more customers and to keep your current ones coming back. You could also:
- Facilitate an easy check-in and check-out process: No one wants to spend time waiting in line. Your customers will appreciate being able to check-in and out quickly and easily. Plus, it will save you time as well!
- Charge reasonable prices: Although you don't want to sell yourself short, make sure that your prices are on par with your competitors. This way, your customers won’t abandon your business just because someone else has a better price.
- Have a welcoming attitude: A friendly face and welcoming attitude is always going to be more appealing to customers than a sour one. Hire staff who value customer service and will do what they can to ensure that your clients have positive interactions with your employees.
You should think of a fantastic customer experience as a major part of each of the services that you offer. Being consistent with your customer experience will also a great way to show customers that they will have a great interaction every time.
Increasing your profits doesn’t have to require major changes to your business. With a couple of minor enhancements, you can improve your customer’s experience, generate more interest in your company, and streamline your business processes. Each of these improvements can help you create more revenue, all while making your business a better place for your customers and their furry friends.
Want to learn more about growing your pet-care business? Check out these additional resources:
- Dog Daycare Software Essentials: Are you interested in investing in software for your business? We’ve picked our top software essentials for pet-care business owners.
- Engage Customers with Gingr’s Report Card Feature: Have you been looking for a way to note pet behavior throughout the day? Gingr’s report card feature has you covered.
- Starting a Dog Daycare: Everything You Need to Know: Brand new to the dog daycare business world? We’ve put together a guide to help you get started.