Maintain Morale During the Holidaze!

grooming morale

The holidays seem to be everyone’s “busy season”, but in the grooming business, we know this is a fact. Grooming tables are filled with Pets as everyone seeks for their dogs to look their best for their family gatherings and pictures, pictures, pictures!  Grooming staff face longer days at work, and the same holiday pressures as everyone else: decorating, shopping, seeing friends and family… a healthy work-life balance is always desirable, it’s nearly impossible during the hectic holiday season.

Boosting staff morale should be on every grooming owner’s list of year-end priorities. The demands can leave many employees feeling overwhelmed, but fear not – here are several tips to boost your employees holiday cheer this year:

Take Time to Recline

While spending more time with work colleagues might seem a counterintuitive way to relax, blowing off steam together is a great way to bond as a team. Hosting a holiday party to boost employee morale provides a chance to socialize and take a break from the business.

When planning your holiday event, always set a clear budget and consider all expenses.  Choose a venue that fits the style of your team and serves to achieve the goals you have for the event. For some teams, a fancy dinner might be best, while others would be much more at home in a bowling alley.

Book your venue early – or host the event at your shop or someone’s home. Don’t ignore non-traditional venues, especially during the holidays when bookings are high. Make sure to pick a date and time that works with employee schedules to ensure your best attendance.

Recognize & Reward

Employee recognition is directly linked to employee motivation. Everyone likes to be recognized (and rewarded!) for their efforts. The frantic holiday season is the perfect time to show your staff appreciation.

Recognizing staff could be from anything from a thank you card, a holiday bonus, Christmas gift, or even an extra day off when the busy season dies down. Feel free to have fun with this – consider humorous awards that memorialize shared experiences, like giving a helmet to a staffer who endured the most problem clients that year.

Showing your appreciation, not just for their extra hours during the holidays, but for the year as a whole, instills a sense of commitment that drives employees to work harder, striving to attain team goals and to grow professionally.

Minimize Stress

The holiday season is supposed to be a relaxing time, and although most people report being happier this time of year, recent studies have shown that 35% of people are more stressed at work during this time of year. The biggest sources of stress include balancing work responsibilities with their own busy holiday schedule, heavier workloads and fewer employees on hand.

There’s a reason innovative workplaces are now offering fun office games and activities at work. It gives employees time to let off some steam and step away from work. Although most grooming salons won’t have the room for large games and activities, setting up board games for employees to play during breaks or just giving them enough time throughout the day to unwind can help reduce their stress levels and keep them motivated. You could even bring some cheer into the usual workday with ugly sweater contests or gift exchanges.

Keeping work schedules flexible and not overworking employees is hard to achieve during the holiday season. The best way to achieve this on a budget is to hire seasonal employees. You can usually find college students during the Christmas holidays that are just looking to earn a little extra money. They can assist your employees with smaller tasks to make their heavy workloads easier, such as washing pets hair, sweeping up or greeting clients.

Grooming Morale

Make it Festive

Boost employee morale and dampen stress by making your grooming salon a fun place to be during the holidays! Decorating for Christmas can be a great way to brighten employee moods and motivate them so they enjoy coming into work.

Decorating your grooming salon will not only boost employee morale and brighten the mood of clients but may encourage more walk-ins as they see fun colors and smiling staff as they walk past.

Stay Organized

Staying organized this time of year is crucial for not just your grooming salon, but for yourself and your staff. If a grooming salon is disorganized, productivity (and profit!) are compromised and only adds to the stress.

One way to stay ahead of the workload is with a good grooming software – an ideal way keep on top of employee schedules and client bookings. This enables you to easily track employee time off, ensure you have adequate staffing and allow employees to check their work schedule (and change appointments) from a mobile device. Setting up automated campaigns can help to bring in more clients and add to your profit.  An online appointment booking tool will help you track clients. Set up automatic appointment reminders to reduce no-shows and eliminate reminder phone calls, enabling your staff to spend their time more efficiently.

Maintaining morale can be tough. In the height of a busy holiday season, it creates a greater challenge and takes on a greater importance. Embrace this challenge as the perfect opportunity to reward staff for their hard work, celebrate your team as the key to continued success, and create a fun and festive environment where your team can thrive.

…and don’t forget to stay organized with a great grooming software – try 123Pet Software absolutely free!

10 Great Benefits of Enrolling in Dog Grooming Classes

dog grooming classes

Do you have little to no experience in dog grooming and want to start a career in the field? Here are 10 great benefits of enrolling in dog grooming classes.

Taking care of a dog’s coat plays a vital role in their health. That’s why inexperienced people should consider enrolling in dog grooming classes.

Grooming involves full body washes, coat drying, pest control baths and dematting. There is also eye and ear cleaning, nail trimming, de-skunking, teeth brushing, and coat styling.

Doing these things keeps diseases and infections away from your dog. Problems caused by a  lack of grooming  include:

  • skin irritations from fleas and ticks
  • dandruff and dry skin patches
  • eye and ear infection
  • dull fur coat from the insufficient flow of natural skin oils
  • hidden abnormalities and untreated wounds
  • stress on ankle joints due to long nails

Dog grooming classes give you the tools to deal with these and other problems. Read on to learn more.

Benefits Of Dog Grooming Classes

Though dog grooming classes are voluntary, they give students important information. One institution offering certification is the National Dog Grooming Association of America (NDGAA).

Taking such courses provides the following benefits:

1. Teaches You The Proper Grooming Techniques

Grooming dogs well requires having the right tools, products, and proper technique. You’ll learn how to handle, restrain, and care for them. You’ll know how to brush teeth, clip nails, and use scissors or clippers.

Many dogs don’t like being groomed and may cause trouble when the process begins. Chasing a loose dog within your premises could be dangerous. It increases the risk of injury or damage to property.

2. Show You How To Deal With Dog Stress

Visits to grooming salons can be stressful for a dog. Signs of stress show up when they get their or when they get home. Notable  signs of dog stress  include digestive problems, diarrhea, isolation, lethargy, and aggression.

Dog grooming classes show you how to create a less stressful environment for the dog. You’ll learn how to deal with a stressed animal. You’ll also know what to tell the dog owner. Having the right skill helps in planning and preparing the grooming process. It ensures the visit ends in a positive way for both the dog and its owner. As you know, a stressed dog owner may agitate the dog further.

3. Learn Safety And Health Lessons

Grooming the dogs involves delicate procedures. These must uphold safety and health standards. You’ll learn how to handle the animals safely. You’ll learn to use the right equipment to prevent the spread of disease.

You’ll learn to use shampoos and flea killing products that don’t harm the animal. You’ll take care when brushing the animal to avoid hurting them when pulling tangled hair. Lastly, you’ll know how to fumigate your shop after cleaning an infested dog. This keeps the area flea and tick free.

4. Get De-Skunking Training

No matter how much you train a dog, they still approach any foreign animal in the yard. Sometimes, this curiosity makes them fall victim to skunk spray. Skunks shoot this strong smelling mixture to scare potential predators.

Unfortunately, this spray affects the dog. It causes eye irritation, nausea, vomiting, Heinz body anemia, and a lingering smell. In training, you’ll learn how to give ocular washes. Make sure you wear gloves to prevent the spray from getting on your skin.

5. Understand Breed Profiles

Each type of dog breed needs specialized care. A dog groomer has to know the many different types. Examples include Retrievers, German Shepherds, Beagles, Bulldogs, and Rottweilers. Others include Yorkshire Terriers, Jack Russell Terrier, Sheepdogs, and Chihuahuas.

Knowing the breed profiles and their bone structure makes it easier to handle the dogs.

6. Receive Excellent Apprenticeship

Dog grooming classes offer the right opportunity for apprenticeship. Learning from books is not on the same level as hands-on training. An experienced groomer will guide and advise you.

These masters know little secrets they can pass on to you. For example, how to calm a distressed dog. They are able to spot your mistakes. Moreover, they will give you confidence and encouragement in your work.

7. Gain Career-Building Tools

Nowadays, it is important to have certification of your skills for any job. Dog owners won’t want to hire you if you don’t have dog-grooming qualifications. Taking courses differentiates you as a professional. It shows you are not just doing your hobby.

It also opens up opportunities for higher positions like grooming manager. Having certification puts dog owners at ease because their dogs are in safe hands. Dogs are part of the family and no one wants an unprofessional person dealing with them.

8. Acquire Dog Grooming Wisdom

Many people only know how to do things. They don’t know why they need to do them. It is important for the groomer to know why they are doing something with the dog.

For instance, dematting can be painful for the dog. Should you still go ahead or leave it? What will be the effect of leaving it? In some cases, people avoid dematting puppies as they wait for them to grow. Should they start now and why?

A trained groomer will know why they need to provide services like dematting. Mats irritate the skin. This leaves the dog in pain and it starts biting at the problem. Grooming prevents this pain. It also shows the quality of nutrition needs improving to make the coat look healthier.

9. Use Dog Grooming Software

Dog grooming classes will show you how grooming software makes your job easier. It cuts administrative tasks that take much of your time. The right software manages your appointments, automates your reminders, and organizes customer records. It maintains client profiles, which is crucial for personalizing gifts and promotions. It helps in up-selling and cross-selling. Using software also looks professional. Clients can register online and show up to your shop for service.

10. Offers Professional Development Expertise

Enrolling for courses not only gives you dog advice but also business advice. You’ll get legal and financial advice as well. You’ll also learn industry standards and insurance options for dog businesses. These prepare you for running your own place.

Get Your Pet Grooming Software

Taking dog grooming classes  sets you up for success  before you start your job. They prepare you to care for dogs, which is your passion. Remember to use software to ensure the smooth running of your business. It will help with scheduling, booking, maintaining records, and marketing. With the technical side taken care of, you can focus on your most important clients: the dogs.

Contact us to get the best grooming software for your business.

New Mobile App Features: Flexibility on the Go!

pet grooming app

One of the greatest things about 123Pet Software, beyond its flexibility, is how fast we can release new features and functionality. We are constantly enhancing our software to make it as efficient and user-friendly as possible for our clients and have recently made some great updates and added new features to our mobile app.

We understand how important it is to always have your business software available. With our latest mobile updates, being away from your shop doesn’t mean out of the loop.

Enhancements to our mobile app include:

• Improved Mobile Performance
• Context Sensitive Appointment Cards
• Embedded Maps for Driving Directions
• Vaccination Campaigns and Notifications
• Pet Ready for Pickup? Send a Text to the Owner!

Context Sensitive Appointment Cards

It’s all about context, isn’t it? With our new appointment cards, the functions available to you and your staff all depend upon whether that appointment is in the past, present or future. Now, when editing an appointment, you are presented with an “appointment card”, which loads faster, and shows an appointment summary with several commonly used functions for that appointment, given its context.

Future appointments can be rescheduled, current appointments could be marked as a ‘no show’, and past appointments can be voided. By presenting only the relevant functions, outstanding tasks can be easily accomplished from the appointment book.

Get Driving Directions with New Embedded Maps

Mobile groomers can now find their next appointment with our new embedded map feature. Right from the appointment book, you can access directions to your next appointment. Simply maintain your client addresses and 123Pet will now guide you with turn by turn directions to your next groom, along with an estimated length of journey and expected arrival time. Just another step toward keeping you on schedule and keeping your clients satisfied.

Vaccination Notifications

Keeping track of vaccination status of every pet can be a real hassle. Admitting pets with expired vaccinations can be a real liability. 123Pet now makes it easy to run campaigns that remind owners of upcoming expirations. Pets with expired vaccinations associated with their pet record will now spawn a warning when you try to book an appointment for that pet – keeping you up to date on expiration dates!

Text Notification When Pet is Ready for Pickup

Making the most of every minute is the secret to getting more done each day. It is our mission at 123Pet to make every task more efficient. When a grooming is complete, you normally go into the appointment and check that groom as complete, so groomers know which dogs are done. Within that same appointment, you can now check a box to send a text message to the client: “Your pet is ready for pickup”. Then it’s on to the next dog!

As long as the client has a valid mobile number and you have enabled the messaging service, there are no more finding phone numbers, calling clients and leaving messages. This simple but powerful feature lets your client know their pet is ready for pickup and lets you get on with doing business.

mobile app

Other Mobile App Feature Improvements include:

Account Creation Re-design – We have modified how users create new accounts in our mobile apps making it more user-friendly and added elegant background images and simplified interactions.

Onboarding Training Pop-Ups –  Using new systems can be confusing, so we have added pop-ups for new users which will provide pointers on each of the main screens.

Revamped Flow for Client Profile – By tapping ‘Book New Appointment’ you are now taken straight to the appointment book so you can quickly see your availability and add your new appointments more easily.

Pet Profile Changes– From one screen you can now see upcoming appointments for that pet, see any vaccination warnings, book any new appointment and conveniently open the corresponding client profile with one click.

Updated Date Picker– Jump out 1 to 8 weeks with the new date picker on both the appointment book and ticket screens so you can see your schedule, and rebook appointments faster.

Single Employee Improvements– New configuration options have been added for single employees, removing unnecessary options that aren’t required for smaller businesses.

Cloud Receipt Printing– Users can now wirelessly print receipts after closing tickets to printers that support AirPrint (iOS) or Google Cloud Print (Android).

CardConnect Sign up– We’ve enabled in-app signup for our newest payment processing partner, CardConnect. Users can now begin the signup process for Card Connect right through the app and begin saving on transaction fees, upgrading their credit card hardware and start securely storing credit card numbers.

Sync Improvements– We’ve changed how syncing works to better support users with very large databases and very slow Internet connections. There will be far fewer timeout problems now!

At 123Pet Software, we appreciate that our customers are operating businesses in fast-paced environments, and we are committed to adding enhancements and features that improve the performance and user experience of our software. As always, if you have any questions about our latest updates (or anything at all!) please do not hesitate to reach out to our team.

If you don’t already use 123Pet Software for your grooming business, try it out today absolutely free!

5 Pet-Friendly Instagram Photo Ideas for Groomers

instagram

Instagram is one of the best ways pet groomers can market their business. To rock your pet marketing, here are 5 pet-friendly Instagram photo ideas!

Though the internet is home to millions of different websites, we all know what people really use the internet for: looking at pictures of pets. It’s no secret that the “pet picture” market is booming — there are even pet Instagram accounts that make pretty big money doing it.

Pet marketing has gotten so big that there are now numerous how-to guides on catapulting your pet to Instagram and Facebook stardom. Naturally, pet-focused businesses like groomers, walking services, and pet stores want to get involved, but it can be tough to figure out just what kinds of Instagram photo ideas will be successful.

That’s why we’re here! We want to provide you with some great ideas for crafting fun photos with pets in your grooming business. After all, this is kind of a science at this point. Ready? Let’s get our paws dirty and dig into our 5 pet-friendly Instagram photo ideas for groomers. But First, Some General Instagram Photo Ideas

You thought it was as simple as just uploading pictures of cute animals? Not quite.

At one time on the internet, it was as easy as just uploading a picture of a cat or a dog. Now, it’s a bit more complicated. Pet celebrities have figured out the best ways to garner an audience with their photos. With that said, here are some great tips for creating really great pet Instagram photos.

  • First, make sure your captions are great. While breathtaking photography is a useful aspect of Instagram photos, it’s also important to connect to your audience with the caption. They can be funny, thought-provoking, or just plain silly. It all depends on the photo!
  • Second, creating regular and consistent content will help your pets a lot. This means that you shouldn’t post 20 photos one day and then go silent for a month. Post regularly, don’t post too much, and keep a consistent spacing between your posts.
  • Lastly, one aspect of pet Instagrams that really connects viewers is creating a pet persona. This means that you acknowledge each pet’s unique features and personality. This can extend into the caption and the photo itself.

Humans love stories — it’s a proven fact — so creating that background story makes people identify with the pet! Now let’s get into the Instagram photo ideas!

Pet Friendly Instagram

1. Take us behind-the-scenes

Who doesn’t love a good behind-the-scenes look?

In terms of Instagram photo ideas, there’s tons of golden content waiting behind the scenes. Maybe you’ve got a dog who always makes a big mess during bath time but does it in a goofy way. Or maybe you have a pet who will obediently sit there and let you make a unicorn horn out of their hair. Is there a pet who just loves to get dried off and sits there with blissfully closed eyes?

Whatever it is, giving us a good look behind the curtain is a great way to engage people and take good photos in the process. Plus, it gives pet owners the assurance that their pets are being taken care of — two birds with one stone. Just make sure no pets shake any water onto your camera!

2. Before and after glamour shots

No, we’re not talking about showing how the pets lost weight and gained muscle. Sometimes, people bring their pets into a grooming salon after a long absence. This means their pets might look a bit “overgrown,” or maybe they just really need a bath. Well, this is that pet’s time to shine!

For Instagram photo ideas, try doing some fun before and after shots. This is great for a few reasons: first, it’s an interesting look at how the appearance of the pet changes after grooming. It’s also a testament to your grooming service, especially if that pet looks squeaky clean and beautiful afterward.

Make sure you experiment with some fun captions. Giving the pets a voice in these photos allows you to express just how much they loved their grooming experience! “I’m ready for my closeup.”

3. Show off some bling

Who doesn’t like cute pets in shiny accessories? As far as Instagram photo ideas go, this is a great opportunity to show off some of your grooming business’ pet products. This also gives you some creative opportunities to give a voice to the pets.

Dress them up in a cute bowtie, a decorative collar, or a strapping vest. Pet owners will surely appreciate the effort.

4. Quick, caption this photo!

If there’s one thing people love, it’s participating in contests. Whether it’s because of competitive spirit or plain enjoyment, one of our favorite Instagram photo ideas is having a caption contest with a fun photo of a pet.

The best part? While a lot of Instagram photo ideas require some intense creativity, this idea is pretty simple. All you need to do is snap a photo of a pet doing something quirky or interesting. The rest is up to your followers! This is also a great opportunity to promote your brand. Consider adding a giveaway for the winner — something like a free or reduced-price grooming, or maybe a choice accessory. This gives you more exposure and it also builds customer loyalty.

5. Embrace the holiday spirit

The holidays are a time to gather with family and pets are no exception to that!

Ending our list of Instagram photo ideas is creating fun holiday posts. These are fairly easy and can happen all throughout the year! For example, the grooming account Groomers on the Green makes posts for big holidays like Christmas and Halloween. Don’t be afraid to make them for smaller holidays too. This is a great way to appeal to all types of pet owners. You can even plan ahead and plot out your Instagram photo ideas on the calendar to make it easy to remember.

Conclusion

With our list of pet-friendly Instagram photo ideas, you’re sure to garner some new followers and create new pet celebrities.

Want to take your grooming business to the next level? Check out our free trial absolutely free!

3 Pet Product Marketing Tips for Dog Grooming Products

You’ve officially launched your successful pet grooming business. You’ve got a good client base built up, and what’s more, you’ve created a few homemade dog grooming products your clients just love. So what’s the next step for your well-received supplies? Great dog grooming products deserve to be seen, known, and purchased. Our clients love their pets, and they love the product you’re using on their pets- so whatever you’d created must be great!

How about selling it? Any doubts you might have been understandable. After all, the world of pet product marketing (like most types of marketing) can be very competitive but doubt your product not!  You can, and you will conquer the game of pet product marketing. Below, we’ve listed and explained three essential steps you need to take to sell your product.

Dog Grooming Products Marketing Tip #1: Patenting and Distributing

The Local Level

First, make a list of all aspects of your product. Include things such as size, shape, color, and dimension. Attach a list of instructions for the product. If possible, take pictures of any prototype or demo you’ve developed. Next, check into any industry regulations your product will need to meet. (For example, pet food will need to meet certain ingredient and labeling standards.)

After this comes the scary part: you need to get a lawyer. A lawyer who specializes in patenting products, to be exact. Be sure to ask about any documents you will need to sign or fees you need to pay to get your product on the market. Additionally, you should get a CPA who can help you project costs for creating and patenting your product.

Here’s where things start to get exciting: Your next step will be designing your product’s packaging and look. If you have an eye (and the software) for design, you can do this yourself. However, it’s advisable for you to work with a design firm to hammer down your product’s visual brand.

After this, you’re ready for production! To produce a small line of your product and distribute them to a small pool of people–friends, family, and the like. Listen to their feedback. Consider adjusting the product based on that feedback.

When your product passes small production, make a larger production that includes samples. Give these samples to local pet stores, pet magazine editors, veterinarians, and others who can help bolster your product. From them,  gather feedback and testimonials. These are key to selling nowadays.

The Regional Level

Move from the local level to the regional level. Distribute your product at big shows and events hosted by the likes of the RSPCA or the Humane Society. While at these shows and events, take the time to network with other booth runners so they’re aware of and can distribute your product.

The National Level

Now it’s time to move from the regional level to the national level. Connect with nationally known distributors and shopping networks who can easily push your product.

Pet Product Marketing, dog grooming products

Dog Grooming Products Marketing Must #2: Digital Marketing

An unwritten rule of the pet product marketing world (and, well, every marketing world) is you need to have a pronounced digital space. By the time you reach the national level, you’ll want a place where customers can check out you and your brand online. Sure, in-person appearances at shows and the like are a top priority when it comes to pet product marketing, but in this new digital age, having that online space is also a top priority.

Get a Website

First, you will need a high-quality, professional-looking website. If you don’t possess the skills to make one, then you’ll need to hire a professional web developer. Make sure the website is on-brand and matches your product’s theme, colors, and voice. Also, include high-quality photos and graphics.

If at all possible, include a purchasing platform so potential customers can buy your product right off the website. Reviews, videos of your product in use, links to retailers who sell your product, and links to affiliates should also be featured on your website.

Adding a blog and/or your personal story of what inspired you to develop the product makes for a nice, human touch. It makes your customers connect with you personally, and by extension, your product.

While creating your website’s content, don’t forget to optimize it for high search engine rankings. Search engine optimization (or SEO) entails utilizing a set of keywords that enables search engines (and in turn, your customers) to find your site more easily. But be careful with how many of certain keywords you use. Using too many of one will make your content sound robotic and cause search engines to read it as spam, thus skipping over it. While optimizing your content, don’t forget to hit on not just the content’s body, but also its subject, headers, metadata, and alternative image text.

Pet Product Marketing, dog grooming products

Open Social Media Accounts

Another area to hit on is social media. On the digital landscape, the importance of establishing and maintaining a presence on social media cannot be overstated. Many potential consumers will check Facebook or Twitter to find out about a business before visiting that business’s website. Plus, social media is a free platform–one that allows you to interact with your customer base, no less. So you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by actively participating in it.

Dog Grooming Products Marketing Must #3: Establishing Relationships With Clients

Remember what we said about making potential customers feel connected to you, and therefore, connected to your product? Above everything else, making your customers feel connected to you personally is the most important step you can take to make your product a success.

Customers buy your product, which means they fuel your wallet and business. More so than money, they are your blood. Your business will not succeed without a loyal customer base. The best way you can give back to them (and guarantee they’ll stay) is by being human. That means taking the time to get to know them and their needs. Regardless of how they feel about you, they won’t buy your product if they don’t want or need it.

It also entails keeping an open line of communication with them so, respond to their e-mails. Reply to their comments on social media. Get to know them when you meet them in person.

Still unsure? We’re here to help! Feel free to contact us or download a free trial of 123Pet Software and we’ll set you on your way to conquering the volatile world of pet product marketing!

How to Set up a Marketing Campaign with Yelp

marketing

Help With Yelp

As a business owner, there is an ever-increasing number of social media channels that you need to monitor and manage. While there are others, with more than 125 million reviews posted since it’s 2004 inception, Yelp is just too big to ignore.

While advertising on Yelp may be beyond the means of many small businesses, there are some simple ways you can encourage your current customers to post a review and thereby raise your social media profile and bolster your business reputation online.

Think Links

With the flexible email marketing tools within 123Pet it is easy to include a link to your Yelp listing, just edit one of the email templates within the Messaging and Marketing module.  Once inside the template, it is easy to add a hyperlink and edit the display label and the ‘mouse over text’ to really get your point across.

 help with yelp

 

Encouraging clients with an embedded link is a great way to grow your reputation. If you’re confident about your quality you might consider including a Yelp button on your emailed receipts. Adding similar links to your email signature, marketing communications, and appointment reminders lets your customers know you want their help getting the word out. You might also mention Yelp on any appointment reminder cards you hand out during re-booking, on your business voice mail system, or you could include a prominent QR code which links to your Yelp listing within your waiting or checkout areas, so that customers can use their phones to get started on your next review while they are still on site!

help on yelp

Cuts Both Ways

One word of caution: if a customer is unhappy, providing links to Yelp can prompt someone who is angry to make their displeasure public. It’s obviously best to try to resolve any customer satisfaction issues before they reach a boiling point (and before they reach for their phone). If you do receive a “less than glowing” review, it’s best to do a few things:

Cool Off – if you’re upset, don’t fight fire with fire (the pros use water!)

Be Responsive – you should post a professional, polite and specific response

Look down the road – assume this review and your response will live forever; you’re not just writing to the person who posted it, but to the hundreds (thousands?) of others who will read this in the future. You want it to be reflective of your business and indicative of your approach to customers.

That said, not all customers are always right, some are just plain wrong (you may be thinking of one right now). Some restaurant chefs have become “internet famous” with their pithy retorts to outrageous reviews. If it is in keeping with your brand, it is probably in bounds. But beware of trying to be too smart, too funny or too dismissive. Yelp and others are clearly here to stay, it’s a game you need to learn to play.

Want to learn more about 123Pet software features and marketing campaigns with Yelp. Request more info or try it out for yourself absolutely free for 14 days!

Top 7 Advantages of Pet Grooming Software

pet grooming software

You work in a great industry where you get to combine your passion for animals with your career. This year, it’s estimated that US pet parents will spend over $7 billion on their pets, about $5 billion of which will be spent on grooming and boarding. The Department of Labor expects the industry to see a very healthy  11% growth  through 2023.

But for pet grooming companies big and small not having the right systems in place can mean lost opportunities, lost revenues and lost clients. Pet grooming software can help a pet grooming business compete in a  highly competitive  and increasingly complex industry.

As your grooming business expands, so do your management responsibilities. Let’s look at the advantages of incorporating pet grooming software into your business structure.

More Time Doing What You Love

No one goes into pet grooming thinking: I hope I spend all my time behind a desk doing “paperwork”. You went into pet grooming because you love dogs — and maybe cats too. You enjoy making that connection with our 4-legged friends and seeing the pleased look on pet parent faces when you reveal your work. You love working with the others in the shop to deliver outstanding care.

great pet grooming software  is designed specifically for the pet grooming industry. It’s intuitive. It “understands” what you’re trying to manage and what you need to get the most out of your day. With the right software, you can book and cancel multiple appointments at once. Automatically update your website regarding your availability. And have all of the information you need at your fingertips to provide exceptional service.

Pet grooming software can cut your time spent managing administrative tasks in half. It’s like having a personal assistant who’s on top of the game and does everything before you even realize that it needs to be done.

Fewer Missed Appointments

You hate having to have a “missed appointment policy” that costs your clients money. You know that things come up and sometimes people just forget. You want to do what’s right for the client, but missed appointments cost you money. You try to set up a schedule for yourself to call and remind people. But the task can be time-consuming and often it doesn’t work.

Fortunately, pet grooming software solves this problem by allowing you to customize and automate appointment reminders. Clients can choose text or email. They can be sent a friendly reminders several days before and the day before.

They scheduled that appointment for a reason. They don’t want the trouble of having to reschedule. A software that includes automated appointment reminders is a win-win for you and your clients.

Pet Grooming Software

Greater Mobility

Being stuck behind a desk taking calls and booking appointments is a thing of the past. Pet grooming software offers you the flexibility to book, review and manage your appointments anywhere — on your phone or device.

Need to stay on the grooming floor? Have to run out for coffee? No more trying to remember to change something because you’re not at your desk. And stop writing reminders on your palm with a Sharpie. You’re connected virtually anywhere. Spend more time moving around. It’s  better for your health  and your productivity.

Organized Customer Data

You can keep customer data organized and at your fingertips. If you read through Yelp reviews of dog grooming services, you may notice that a very  common complaint  is that the groomer lost a dog’s file or doesn’t remember services offered the last time.

This just doesn’t happen with pet grooming software. All of your customer information is in one place. You can see every appointment and what services and products were requested or offered. You can create professional, seamless, enjoyable experience every single time.

Upselling & Cross-selling

Every business owner knows that upselling is one of the keys to a successful service business. Randomly offering your client services and products doesn’t work. Timing and personalization are critical. This is only possible when you track the  right data.

With random upselling or cross-selling,  they either:

  • Don’t need it because they just bought that last visit
  • Don’t want it and you keep asking, annoying the client Or
  • It’s just not right for that client

But with software, because all of your customer information is in one place, each time they come in, you get a complete overview of their activity. You know when they last bought an item or how often they’re bringing Fluffy in to see you. You can see if they’ve splurged on certain add-ons in the past. You’ll know exactly which upsold services will most appeal to this client. From this, you’ll know how to offer the right additional products and services at the right time.

Better Client Care

Incorporating pet grooming software into your daily routines is better for customer care. Clients today want a seamless experience driven by not only great people but the right technology. The software helps you appear to have it all together and the client’s best interest in mind. It supports you in your efforts to wow your clients while offering them consistent, friendly and appropriate care.

Clients today prefer to help themselves. They want to be able to enter their information and easily schedule online. They want to be able to refer back to it and update it as needed. This is just one of the many things that software does to create the right experience. When you create the right experience, you generate more referrals and loyalty to grow your business.

Pet Grooming Software

Reporting

Tracking your performance  is important to your continued growth as a company. Pet grooming software helps you track key indicators of success like:

  • New customers per month
  • Returning guests
  • Loyal client retention
  • Frequency
  • Retail merchandise sales
  • Productivity

You’ll be able to use this data to make improvements and streamline processes to provide even better service to your community.

Pet Grooming Software Helps You Grow Your Business

123Pet Software does all of this and more. We help you grow your business by saving you time, decreasing cancellations, making everything mobile and providing you with data and resources to provide exceptional care.

Contact us today to learn more about how our software can help you grow your pet grooming business.

How to Become a Dog Groomer in One Year

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Become a Dog Groomer

Can’t wait to finally fulfill your dream of becoming a dog groomer? Fortunately, you don’t have to wait long! This articles gives you all the insight into becoming a dog groomer in one year.

The outlook for the dog grooming industry shows a study rise (around 11% growth between now and the mid-2020’s). It’s fueled by our love for these types of pets. In fact, there are over 78 million dogs owned in the United States.

This is a prime business opportunity!

The median income of a dog groomer is over $22,710 but things are changing. Boutique services are becoming the rage. Doggie massages, pedicures, hair dying, and aromatherapy has sprung up as part of dog grooming services. There are also no requirements (or degrees) needed to get a start in dog grooming. It’s something to consider if there’s a love for pets and a new, exciting career path is in order.

Is “how to become a dog groomer” on the mind? The following will share the process of entering this fun and rewarding industry, what one can expect, and how to launch the business.

How to Become a Dog Groomer – Complete Guide

A professional groomer will work with a wide range of dog breeds. The majority of this grooming work includes bathing, cutting, styling, trimming nails, and other related activities to give the dog a fresh look. Patience and a love for the animals are the first essentials. Other considerations on how to become a dog groomer may also include:

What the market demand is like in the area

Whether the physical strength is there to handle the job

Will there be enough finances to buy the necessary grooming supplies?

If these are answered with little hesitation, then it sounds like dog grooming is a good fit for you.

Congrats! Now let’s break down the process on how to get it all started…

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Months: 1 – 3

The first few months is learning the basics of how to become a dog groomer. These months give an idea of what’s expected, its potential, and getting dirty with hands-on experience.

There are a few ways to go about getting the basics down:

  1. Start Researching and Practicing
    Spend some time mulling over articles, videos, and talking with other professionals in the dog grooming business. This will help get an idea of the industry, its requirements, and expectations. Start practicing the bathing, brushing, and drying process with the furry friend that’s in the home or asking to do so for a friend. This will also be the time to start learning and trying different haircuts and styles.
  2. Volunteer
    Once comfortable, work with veterinarians or a pet shelter offering free services for dog grooming to get real-world experience. This will introduce oneself to different breeds of dogs and learn new techniques.
  3. Put in the Time
    Learn the basics by putting in a few hours each day (grooming a handful of dogs throughout the week). This will provide 50% of what’s to be known about how to be a dog groomer.

Months: 4 – 6

The next phase is learning the intermediate and advanced dog grooming techniques. These techniques are learned much in the same way as the basics but with two exceptions to the process:4.

  1. Mentorship Courses
    A mentorship provides a fast-tracked way to pick up the difficult parts of dog grooming. It will provide the first trickle of money while testing the abilities to handle different breeds, customer requests, and styles. Learn as much as possible to benefit from the mentor!
  2. Grooming School or Online Courses
    The other smart move is to attend a grooming school or pursue online courses. In-person training at a grooming school is a couple thousand dollars. Yet, they are streamlined and effective for learning everything there is to know about the process through hands-on experience. Online courses go at one’s pace and cover the same topics found in local classes but at a steep discount. The only setback with online courses is that one needs to find dog owners willing to allow one to practice the techniques learned. Though, this shouldn’t be too hard if friends and family are willing.

Months: 7 – 9

These are the months where it’s likely that paid positions are found, although aren’t that great in pay. That’s okay! Learning is still going on so any new experience working with different breeds, cuts, and styles is a bonus.

This is a time to also consider:

6. Attending local meetups or workshops

7. Working toward certifications (see: NDGAA)

8. Getting all the professional supplies

9. It’s also important to begin sowing the seeds of the business. This is the time to create a professional website and social media presence to begin collecting interested parties and getting the         word out. The online stuff is inexpensive and easy to setup. It’s good to get things rolling in this regard so there are followers ready to jump on board and that Google will see and show the             site in listings.

Put down money on the professional dog grooming supplies now that it looks like the industry is a good fit. These items will include a great set of clippers, dryer, muzzles, scissors, brushes, vacuum, storage, and others.

Months: 10 – 12

It’s time to get things going!

By now there has been quite a monumental set of goals reached in learning how to become a dog groomer: A wealth of experience doing grooming, good information learned from mentors and classes, networking with professionals, and building a foundation for business. Here is where the skills can be shopped around. Perhaps a local dog grooming business has an opening or maybe you choose to go solo. Check the local chamber of commerce to learn about business licensing or use online legal services to speed up the process getting everything in order.

It’s here! One year has passed, much was learned, and now’s the time to take all that work and turn it into a new career path. Woo!

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Becoming a Pro (and Beyond)

The dog grooming industry will continue to grow. It’s not the only opportunity once the basics of grooming are established. The potential for growth is only held back by a lack of creativity. Just think: One year and a new career path was unlocked. People want their dogs looking good, feeling good, and in good health. Perhaps it’ll be you that provides this service!

Let us help you on that journey — see how our app can improve pet & client management to make your foray into the dog grooming business a booming success. Download 123 Pet Software absolutely free today or give us a call at 800-376-0123.

Track Performance Statistics to Strengthen Your Business

Dog reports

Many shop owners who excel at creativity are less confident when handling mathematical duties. That can make monitoring key business data contributing to your shop’s progress challenging. Tracking your team’s performance may seem daunting and time-consuming, but examining guest and staffer statistics is vital to setting and reaching achievable goals. Basing your targets on the following growth indicators instead of revenue figures ensures that you’ve structured your operation properly for long-range success.

Focus on Key Growth Indicators

New customers per month: Assessing referrals by different categories will help you determine which marketing and advertising efforts are the most lucrative. Emails and social media may outshine newspaper and Yellow Page ads, for example. Capitalize on the most effective vehicles strategically to lure and engage prospects.

Returning new guests: Although the industry average is 35 percent, aim for a 50-percent or higher retention rate of new clients. When they enter your shop initially, making introductory experiences fabulous and monitoring their satisfaction will increase their recurring possibilities. Offering welcome specials for their next pre-booked appointments will help convert first-time customers into returning guests.

Loyal patron retention: The industry median for retaining repeat visitors is roughly 75 percent. Oversee records to discover which staffers are keeping clients, and which are losing clients. Check all employees’ statistics routinely. Investigate any variations within your team. Since the cost of landing a new customer is five times higher than hanging onto a current one, rewarding your regulars is key. 123Pet will streamline your guest loyalty program with prizes like free and discounted services and products. Successful retention efforts will heighten your growth and profit potentials.

Visit frequency: This metric represents how often each customer does on-site business in your shop. Track visit frequency by individual departments, since customers might return more often for retail shopping than for grooming services. Prebooking sessions with 123Pet’s online appointment booking simplifies the scheduling process for busy clientele. This easy add-on feature lets patrons book open slots on your website at their convenience, no matter the time of day.

Retail merchandise: Examining product purchases goes beyond noting which workers sell the most take-home items to revealing other valuable insights. Do certain bathers or groomers have much higher sales for some merchandise? While profitable, that pattern could mask a problem. Have personnel settled into stale routines of using and recommending the same preparations repeatedly? Will their limited choices suit all clients? Are employees uneasy about using other options? The answers to these questions will help you decide who needs training in which specific areas.

Average ticket: To increase the average dollar amount each guest spends per visit, maximize up-selling situations, cross-selling menu items, add-on ticket enhancers, and retail product sales.

Productivity: What portion of your business hours is your staff serving customers and contributing to your revenue? How hard is securing open slots for clients? Ideally, your productivity should be 75 to 80 percent to leave room for last-minute appointments.

Run Powerful Software Reports

123Pet expedites setting benchmarks and measuring progress. It tracks facility and employee accomplishments, creating reports full of insights to guide internal improvements. Check each team member’s performance by comparing ticket, sales, service, and retail product figures, percentages, and differences for various intervals like quarterly and short-term promotional periods.

reports

Address Results for Greater Success

Valuable 123Pet data will enable you to identify individual employee behavior patterns quickly so you can base constructive feedback on documented facts. Formulate personalized goals and action plans to tackle any areas requiring immediate upgrades so everyone can help optimize your team’s performance.

Personnel will work harder at getting better if you provide occupational advice in positive ways. Avoid negative reprimands like, “Your last quarter was awful, and your performance was terrible.” Instead, take an encouraging approach as a motivational coach. Word statements carefully, empowering staffers to move toward progress. Your inspirational attitude will nurture necessary adjustments without causing overwhelmed feelings among those needing improvement.

Organize fun competitions as enthusiastic stimulators. Acknowledging and honoring winners will strengthen your entire crew. Implement initiatives with top performers mentoring and training other team players. A happy, motivated staff serves guests best, boosting everyone’s satisfaction. Together, those two groups can expand your business size, profits, and success.

How to Use Email Marketing to Boost Client Retention & Sales

Email Marketing

How can you cultivate lasting connections with guests between appointments? Social media may be a go-to pick for speedy communications, but some will miss your efforts. Email newsletters and marketing messages are direct, reliable, and affordable ways to stay in touch. Retaining customers is the fastest revenue-raising strategy. A mere 5% client retention increase can boost profits by up to 75%! Learn to use all the tools available in 123Pet to maximize client retention and growth by optimizing your email marketing efforts.

Develop Your Customer Contact List

Collect all your clients’ email addresses, but make sure you offer them an opt-in to receive marketing material from you. The first thing to avoid is spamming your clients. Assure customers that you don’t sell their personal details. Balance resistance with monthly or weekly drawings for those signing up for your marketing emails. Reward winners with incentives like free services.

123Pet automatically links client email addresses not only with online booking and reminders but with marketing features as well. Some news may be appropriate for all active clients, but email marketing shines as a retention tool to bring back certain guests. So create targeted lists by selecting customized filter criteria. In just a few clicks, 123Pet will create a campaign that matches exactly the clients you want to reach.

Common options include unique subsets like those who haven’t been in recently to remind them that they’re due for cuts, colors, and other routine services. Also, sort by guests who’ve been absent longer than normal intervals. Money-saving promotions will lure infrequent visitors into returning, and another popular approach involves presenting birthday bargains 30 days before (or after) annual celebrations.

Loyalty

Choose Templates

All email messages need attention-grabbing looks to stand out from inbox clutter. 123Pet supplies more than 50 fully customizable templates to inspire and enhance the artistic appeal of your pet marketing ideas. Pick from seasonal, holiday, birthday, and general designs with vivid, pastel, or black-and-white graphics. Each impressive theme offers additional versatility through multiple layouts.

 

Cover Popular Topics

Be a credible resource so customers will wait and read your messages eagerly. Engaging clients beyond your shop extend your valuable services. So have fun exploring subjects that interest you and your guests. Inform while encouraging patrons to return.

Your topic scope is as broad as your business. Share the scoop on trends, care, before-and-after makeovers, top stylist tricks, product benefits, and promotions. Feature timely news including appointment openings, vacation schedules, and salon milestones like anniversaries and celebrations. Upgrade any slacking service’s sales with bargains such as nail and eyebrow deals.

Make sure to include a link to your Online Booking site as well. Extend your engagement further by providing active social media links and invite your audience to interact with your shop on Facebook and Instagram.

Select Photos

Today’s busy clientele can’t spare time to peruse text-heavy presentations. So minimize descriptions and increase eye-catching visuals. Offering content that’s beautiful yet informative will snag greater readership. Showcase stylists’ talents via stunning Instagram images to motivate instantaneous appointment bookings for new looks.

pet business ideas

Create Catchy Subject Lines

Intriguing content is an epic fail if recipients overlook it in their inboxes. To boost click-throughs, work enticing hooks into catchy subject lines. Persuading customers to open your emails promptly is key. Envision your ideal reader glancing at your brief summary. A “So what?” response demands a do-over.

Distribute Messages

Consistent delivery helps digital content like e-newsletters build strong followings. Start with a short message on a monthly basis to avoid an unsustainable obligation. Pick a date like the 1st or the first Monday of each month. Supplement that regular schedule with special notices about seasonal and holiday promotions. Highlight retail products and gift cards as welcome presents.

Up your length and frequency gradually over time as your speed and confidence grow. Programming your run dates and recipients is simple with 123Pet. If announcements are ready early, great! Select the date to send and 123Pet will queue it up and send automatically on time! Set it up to resend recurring saved messages on later dates with automated ease.

Measure Success

Tracking and reporting tools make 123Pet a game-changing dynamo. Enlightening analysis reports reveal how well customers respond to each campaign. So just tweak your next message according to what succeeded and flopped last time.

Questions about mastering marketing features in 123Pet? See the email marketing category of the 123Pet support center or give us a call at (800) 604-2040 to learn more.