With formalities out of the way it’s time for your business to take off.
With your licensure and insurance in place, it’s time to get down to the business of grooming animals. To do that you’re going to need customers. There are two ways to get customers: promoting your business and partnering with others.
Promoting Your Pet Grooming Business
Promoting a dog grooming business can be difficult. People are very choosy about who they let handle their pets. You need to make it clear that you not only know how to clean and groom a pet, but how to keep the animal happy while you do it. This can be hard to communicate without actually handling a pet, so you have a couple options to make that happen.
First, have your friends allow you to groom their pets. Then have them post Yelp reviews. Many people use Yelp to find everything from barbers to doctors. Establishing a reputation on Yelp can be essential at getting your business some forward momentum. When you do start getting customers who aren’t your friends, briefly and politely mention that you would like a Yelp review. This can even be incentivized through discounts for people who provide such reviews. You can do this on other social media platforms, as well. Facebook is another great place to have people tooting your horn and getting a discount.
Another way to get customers in before you have a reputation is with coupons. People love a discount. Giving someone five dollars off their first visit to your shop won’t break the bank. It can also be just what your business needs to get going. If you’re good at grooming pets, all you need to do is get a customer in the door. Once they see you in action, you can bank on them coming back for more.
Partnering With Other Businesses
Partnering with another business can be hard when you are first starting out, but there are some ways to get your foot in the door. Approach places like veterinary offices and pet supply stores. Ask them if you can hold court in there for the day. Offer to promote your presence in the store to your customer base. You can then, in turn, get traffic from the store. Saturdays and Sundays are the best days of the week to do this, as this is the time when there are the most retail sales. Customers reticent to try something new will be more inclined to give you a try when you’re at their favorite pet store working for a discount. Many times people who have forgotten that their pooch needs a trim and a manicure will seize the opportunity to combine errands.
Once your business has a critical mass of customers, you’re ready to start really taking off. Now you need to work on maintaining that customer base, as well as think about hiring others to help you run your business. That is what we will cover in the next installment of this three-part series.