Now that you have established a new doggie day care or pet boarding business, have you considered a plan to grow your customer base and get them excited about your brand? How do you go beyond one dog at a time to build a great reputation for your facility? Establishing a unique image and offering specialized services – without cookie-cutter style operations – can be a challenge in this competitive market. In addition to traditional small business marketing strategies there are many approaches to take in marketing your pet boarding business that will create customer loyalty, community recognition, and high demand for your services. Here are some tips:
Make Your Facility an Enriching, Engaging Environment for Pets
• Hire loving and compassionate individuals who genuinely care about the welfare of animals and have training.
• Earn credentials and expertise in the training and management of animals. Become a certified dog trainer and hire or certify those who work with animals in your facility. Post these credentials where customers can see them.
• Establish a basic training method or dog management program to use in your facility so clients can expect consistent and routine structures for their pets regardless of the employee schedule. Your customers will be happy to pick up a calm submissive dog at the end of the day!
• Include a variety of structured playtime that includes mentally and physically stimulating games, and write progress reports for each animal.
Add Convenience Retail and Services: Working pet owners will appreciate one-stop shopping for pet supplies and services
• Offer grooming and pet training services.
• Add a retail section where customers can purchase necessities, such as food, treats and toys, while they are picking up or dropping off their pets.
• Partner with a vet to be on site once a week or month for vaccinations and general health exams.
Actively Participate in Community Outreach for Animals in Your Community
• Sponsor pet adoptions and hold fundraisers for local shelters.
• Donate resources to first time pet owners who rescue animals.
• Donate to pet shelters.
• Publicize your community outreach on your website or write press releases to local media. Charity and compassion relieves the suffering of animals and generates public interest for your small business!
Treat each dog as part of the family
• Create a family atmosphere in your lobby by including photographs and videos of regular customers, their owners and staff.
• Celebrate a pet’s birthday.
• When possible, accommodate special requests that make pets more comfortable in your facility.
Employ Social Networking: Use networks to expand your business marketing and generate valuable word of mouth marketing
• Create a Facebook page and build a network with clients.
• Tap into pet-friendly social networks online to gain exposure for your pet boarding business.
• Fresh and current social networks sites will keep your clients and their networks engaged. Your message will reach a gazillion people!
• Become a member of pet associations and participate in expos and tradeshows. Look for speaking opportunities at these events to share your expertise and be a leader in the industry.
Internet Marketing: Use the Internet to advertise and grow your pet boarding business
• Create a website that is an extension of all the elements of your business.
• Advertise your business on websites that attract your targeted customer.
• Enlist the services of online marketing suites, such as demandmart.com, that offer online marketing suites for small businesses that facilitate coupon promotions, customer loyalty programs, virtual storefronts and other SEO marketing tools, all in one in place, to bring you more customers from the Internet.