7 Reasons Your Pet Business Needs Text Marketing

123Pet Text Marketing

54% of consumers want to receive marketing messages through texts. However, only 11% of businesses are using text messaging as a part of their marketing strategy!

This is your chance to get ahead of other pet businesses in your area. By sending an SMS blast to your clients, you can remain top of mind year-round. Text message marketing can help you generate word of mouth, improve engagement with your clients, and show your clients you appreciate your business.

Don’t wait around! Instead, untangle your marketing strategy by adding SMS text messaging to the mix. Here are seven reasons your pet business needs SMS blast marketing.

7 Reasons Your Pet Business Needs Text Marketing:

1. Text Marketing is Direct

Consumers are becoming more aware of when businesses are trying to sell at them, rather than communicate with them. Throughout any given day, we’re spammed with emails, flyers, and billboards. Many of us have adopted mental filters to clear away the junk.

If the recipient doesn’t know and trust you, they’re not likely to open a physical or email messages.

Meanwhile, social media is becoming increasingly competitive. If people don’t already know and love your brand, you’ll fail to stand out from the crowd. As social media algorithms change, it’s also challenging to appear in tags and feeds.

As a result, businesses need to find smarter ways to reach their customers. Unlike these other marketing channels, texts arrive directly in front of your target audience. That means you don’t have to break out of the competition. Instead, you can reach your subscribers and appear among texts from friends and family.

promotion

2. Customers are More Likely to Respond

Before you can communicate with your subscribers through email, you need them to open the message first. Otherwise, you’re headed straight for the spam box.

According to Adobe:

  • Email open rates range between 20 and 30%
  • Meanwhile, SMS text message marketing has a 98% open rate
  • 90% of texts are read within three seconds

Previously, sending an SMS blast was considered invasive. People used to pay for every message they received. Now, most smartphone owners also have unlimited texting.

As a result, you don’t have to worry about becoming an annoyance. Instead, consumers prefer texts among other communication methods. When you’re less invasive, people are more likely to read your messages and respond. That means using text message marketing can improve your clickthrough and conversion rates. As more people read and respond to your texts, you’re also boosting engagement with your target audience!

3. Anytime, Anywhere

Text messages are short, sweet, and easy to consume. Unlike an email, phone call, or long blog post, texts aren’t time-consuming. Plus, consumers constantly have their phones in hand. That means your clients can read and respond to an SMS blast anytime, anywhere!

This flexibility makes it easier for clients to respond to your texts. As a result, you’re also more likely to notice an increase in engagement, too. Emails, on the other hand, require time and energy. Instead of sending a quick response, recipients have to click a link and perform a second action on your website. That’s not always easy if your clients are balancing other tasks. Instead, text message marketing provides your clients with the flexibility and easy other marketing channels lack.

text marketing

4. It’s Convenient for Your Customers

Do you remember the last time you had to call a company’s customer support team for help? What about the last time you needed to schedule a doctor’s appointment? For consumers, interacting with employees can feel tedious.

Unhappy experiences can scare away clients forever. You’re busy helping clients who are already at your business. While someone is likely answering the phone, they can’t respond to three calls at once. An SMS blast, on the other hand, is convenient for you and your customers. Since text messages aren’t invasive, your clients can respond at any time. Texts allow customers to live their lives while communicating with your business. After all, we text while balancing other tasks every day of the week! By sending an SMS blast, you’re making it easier for clients to interact with your groomers.

They can receive appointment confirmations or hear about your newest hair care products, all while taming their locks at home. Text message marketing also makes it easy for your clients to opt-in and out of texts. If receiving texts no longer feels convenient to them, they can opt-out with a single text. Easy!

5. We Already Text (A Lot)

Text messaging is already a part of our everyday lives. In fact, texting has replaced phone calls for many consumers. Your clients are already accustomed to the speed, flexibility, and ease of texts.

By adding text messaging to your marketing plan, you can create a strategy that your target audience already loves.

6. Younger Customers Prefer Texts

68% of millennials admit to texting “a lot” every day. If you’re trying to attract a younger crowd to your pet business, marketing through an SMS blast is the way to go!

Text-based marketing allows you to respond to this preference. Many consumers prefer typing over talking. They also prefer short messages over lengthy emails and blog posts.

Text message marketing encourages you to keep your messages short and sweet. It can sometimes take a while for email images to load, too. The longer it takes for an image to properly display, the more likely your clients will move on something else. Text message marketing can help you avoid this issue.

text marketing

7. It’s Cost-Effective & Easy

Some marketing methods can become costly and time-consuming. Sending an SMS blast, on the other hand, is as easy as sending a text. Instead of wasting time creating a long email, you can type out a text in a matter of seconds! Then, you can get back to running your pet business.

By choosing text message marketing, you’re giving yourself a break. Meanwhile, you don’t have to worry about finding time for an extensive marketing plan.

Get Started With Text Marketing

Untangle your marketing plan! By adding an SMS blast to your overall marketing strategy, you can reach your clients without becoming an annoyance. Without this strategy, however, you might miss out!

123Pet Software allows you to send SMS blasts to your clients with ease. Learn more by visiting this page.

Customer Spotlight – Bubble Puppy

women small business owners

123Pet customers are passionate small business owners who excel at what they do. As part of our commitment to supporting and educating entrepreneurs, we aim to showcase our customers’ expertise in growing successful businesses. Colleen Medere, owner of Bubble Puppy Pool House, Bubble Puppy Playhouse and Bubble Puppy Grooming and Self-Service Pet Wash, exemplifies this expertise and has one of the more unique entrepreneurial journeys we’ve seen.

While working as a bookkeeper, Colleen started grooming to save money as a single mother, and eventually left her job to open her small grooming salon, Bubble Puppy Grooming, in early 2013. Wanting to make her business unique, Colleen reflected on her experience as a pet owner to identify existing needs. Around the same time, she had taken the pool down at her home and her dog no longer had a place to swim. Thinking many pet owners may have the same experience, Colleen built a swimming pool for dogs at her grooming salon, and Bubble Puppy Pool House was born. The business has since become a staple in Trenton, MI.

Continue reading to learn more about how Colleen got her start in the industry and created this one-of-a-kind business that combines a grooming salon, pool house and doggy daycare.

Q: How did you transition from working in bookkeeping to pet grooming?

A: It’s quite a difference! I worked in bookkeeping for 27 years. I was a single mom and started working as a groomer to save some money. It was pretty fun. Eventually, I was ready to move on from bookkeeping and wanted to open my own pet grooming salon. The rest is history!

Bubble Puppy Grooming and Self-Service Pet Wash opened in February 2013. Our initial differentiator was that, unlike other pet salons, we offered our clients a salon experience that allowed pet owners to see the whole process of their pets being groomed. The salon also has self-wash stations for convenience and cost savings.

Bubble Puppy

Q: How did your business expand from a pet grooming salon to also a pet-friendly pool and daycare?

A: Around the same time that we opened the salon, my husband took down our pool at home. Our dog no longer had a place to swim. Luckily, we owned a decent-sized piece of land at Bubble Puppy, so we dug a hole for a pool, built around it and opened a pet pool in conjunction with the grooming salon.

While we were getting the pool up and running, the building next door was being foreclosed. We decided to purchase that as well and reopened it as a doggy daycare. Bubble Puppy Playhouse was created mostly to provide enrichment-based daycare for dogs. With a low staff-to-dog ratio, we take the dogs out on walks to explore downtown Trenton, go on runs, use agility equipment and even go swimming next door at Bubble Puppy Pool House.

Q: How do the two sides of your business, grooming and the pool, complement each other?

A: We offer a “dip and clip” special, where dogs can get groomed and swim for a discounted rate. The dual business model mutually benefits both customers and staff. A dog that’s tuckered out from swimming is easier for groomers to handle and for owners to take home at the end of the day. Plus, it’s fun for dogs to play fetch with pool toys and jump in and out of the water. Clients will even rent the pool for doggy birthday parties. There are “pupcakes” and all!

There is also a therapeutic element. For older, physically handicapped or injured pets, we have 15-minute therapy swims. This is often for dogs with arthritis or who have had ACL surgery. They still need physical activity, but they can’t walk as well. The buoyancy of the water helps them stay active without putting too much pressure on their joints.

Q: How did you choose a software to help you manage the Bubble Puppy business?

A: When I started the business, I didn’t have any software because I was the sole groomer. Toward the end of 2013, as I started to hire more groomers and expand the business, I purchased 123Pet and have used it ever since. We looked into alternatives when we expanded to the daycare, but no other programs were as comprehensive or accommodated grooming so well.

123Pet helps our business look cohesive and consistent across all its branches, as we use the software in both facilities. Customers can look at one screen to book swimming and/or grooming services all at the same time. Additionally, the reporting and marketing features have allowed us to start a loyalty program, which has helped to support the business’s good reputation.

It’s also great for employees. They can log into their phone remotely to see the calendar or confirm appointments, which has been a tremendous help for us.

Q: Do you have any advice for professionals interested in starting a pet business?

A: My biggest piece of advice would be that if you’re not passionate about grooming, then don’t bother. It’s not about the money, it’s about the dogs. For example, we offer 15-minute water therapy for the dogs and I charge $10 for that. Pet owners spend thousands on surgeries for their animals—they need a break. We also groom rescue dogs at no charge to the shelters and open our facilities multiple times during the year for shelter fundraising.

To learn how 123Pet can help grow your business and fuel company success—like it does for Colleen at Bubble Puppy—visit our product page or read another Customer Spotlight.

Customer Spotlight – Rachel Ann’s Country Clips

Rachel Ann’s Country Clips

123Pet customers are passionate small business owners who excel at what they do. As part of our commitment to supporting and educating entrepreneurs, we aim to showcase our customers’ expertise in growing successful businesses. Rachel Stalcoskie, co-owner of Rachel Ann’s Country Clips with Bruce Kolar, has a story that shows how a passion for pets can change careers.

Rachel has always loved animals—so much so that she started her career as a zoo animal caretaker. She began grooming pets in her basement before deciding to open her own grooming salon servicing all breeds and even hard-to-handle pets. Today, she runs Rachel Ann’s Country Clips with her family and staff, one of whom is her 10-year-old daughter, Gwendolyn, the youngest competitive groomer in the United States.

Continue reading to see how Rachel has expanded her business to offer services to the community and translated her passion for animals into her daughter’s aspirations to become a grooming icon.

Q: How did you know that you wanted to open a pet grooming salon?

A: Helping animals, interacting with people—they’re both my passions. Prior to opening my own grooming salon, I was a certified vet technician and worked in veterinary hospitals. Then, I started working in kennels and training myself to groom. Still learning, I began grooming in my basement, teaching myself and improving my skills.

Now, I’ve been grooming for about 16 or 17 years. I opened my first shop in Pocano Lake, PA, and was there for five years. Country Clips—the shop that I own and run now—has been in its current location for about 30 years. I bought the business and took it over.

Q: How did you make the transition from grooming in your basement to operating Country Clips?

A: I wanted to continue to grow and expand so I could offer more to the community. I wouldn’t be able to make the same impact grooming out of my basement on my private property. I needed a storefront to be more reachable and available, so more people could find my business. But I also wanted to work for myself—I’m very particular about the quality of services I provide, and that particularity has paid off. When you treat your clients well, they’ll spread the word about your business, and I think a lot of word-of-mouth got me to where I am today.

Rachel Ann’s Country Clips

Q: What are some of the biggest challenges you face as a small business owner, especially as a woman?

A: I run a very particular business and the hardest thing can be finding employees and keeping them. I have a specific process for everything done in the shop and it’s important that my employees stick to that. That said, we’ve always been like family here. I’ve treated employees as such and gotten great feedback from them.

And, of course, my number one priority is the safety of the pets. Animals can’t talk, so when they come in, we need to make sure they’re safe and comfortable. I need employees that are dedicated to ensuring that experience.

Q: What advice do you have for someone who wants to pursue a career in the pet business?

A: Whatever your dream is, you can absolutely make it happen. Educate yourself. Work your tail off.

Everyone should take a business course, especially women. In grooming, many of us are very artistic—which is important—but you really need to know business and management as well. This will help you handle confrontation with your employees, money, budgeting—all of it.  It’s important to stay competitive, but set prices based on your work, not other businesses. If you’re putting out great quality work, it will be worth it. Be fair to your clients, but also yourself.

My other piece of advice is that you need to be 100% honest with your clients. If you nick a dog’s pad but get it to stop bleeding, do you tell the dog’s owner? Absolutely. What if you don’t and it gets infected? You have to tell the client everything, no matter how big or small. Honesty is key for running any business, but especially in this field.

It’s important that I’m a strong, positive role model for my daughter, Gwendolyn. She’s the youngest competitive groomer in the country!  She started grooming by the age of five, and just placed “Best First Timer” in one of her competitions. She’s only 10 and will be 11 in February.

Rachel Ann’s Country Clips

Q: What made you decide to invest in business management software?

A: Working at multiple kennels and veterinary hospitals, I’ve used other software before. When I started renting my first storefront, I purchased 123Pet. I was a one-person shop at the time, but I knew I would expand and have employees in the future, so paper bookkeeping wouldn’t be sustainable. Going digital would make it easier for everyone.

The program benefited me so much as a one-woman business and has continued to help as my salon has grown to five employees. The time-saving component is amazing.

Q: Has 123Pet helped you grow your business?

A: The software has absolutely helped grow the business. For example, all of our reviews from clients—I couldn’t do that without that program. With 123Pet, we can send clients prompts to write reviews about their experience with us. The positive reviews help us gain and retain more customers, which improves business overall.

The appointment reminders are a big help, too. I don’t have to pay someone to sit there and call clients, which is a waste of time. Instead, clients get reminders automatically to ensure they will attend or reschedule their appointment accordingly. It saves me tons of money

Q: Which 123Pet features are most helpful to you and your employees?

A: I am obsessed—probably because I was a vet tech—with the ability to document everything about the animal. Lump on the dog’s back? Prefers a specific shampoo? Save it in the digital notes! The notes section is so helpful and makes it easier to ensure the safety of the animal. Through monitoring animals and building their profiles on 123Pet, I’ve been able to identify so many health issues early on that would have been deadly if I had let it go.

You can also save photos to client profiles. For example, if someone tells us that they like the haircut we gave their dog, we can save a picture of it to the client’s profile. Now, groomers know the dog owner’s favorite haircut.

To learn how 123Pet can help grow your business and fuel company success – as it does for Rachel at Rachel Ann’s Country Clips—visit our product page or read another Customer Spotlight

Boarding Cats and Dogs That Are Part of the Same Family

dog and cat boarding

Owning pets that are well and truly part of the family can be a wonderful thing. But when it comes time to take a vacation or out-of-town excursion, your pets will need to be looked after. And while you may want to bundle them up and take them along with you, this is not always an option. This is where dog and cat boarding comes in as a safe, reliable, and stress-free option for pet care while you’re out-of-town. But if you’re nervous or hesitant about sending your beloved fur babies away, here’s what you should know about pet boarding to put your mind at ease…

Dog and Cat Boarding: What You Should Know

Don’t let your excitement around a long-awaited or much-needed vacation be dampened by the separation of your pets.

The idea of separating cats and dogs in the same household may be distressing. But there are plenty of boarding facilities that offer accommodation for both.

Keeping your cat and dog together while you’re away is a great way to ensure they are safe and comfortable. It will also ease your conscience, save you money, and travel time.

Dog Boarding Facilities

Traditionally, most people might think of dog boarding facilities as dog kennels kitted with small, intimidating cages. But this could not be further from the truth.

Dog kennels involve individual, designated areas for each canine, which is usually an 8-by-8-foot run. This allows enough room for your dog to move around, and sleep quite comfortably.

To add to this, your dog will be let out and walked by trained staff anywhere from 4-6 times a day. Most dog breeds are usually kept separated in case one pup is a little more meek, aggressive, smaller, or larger than another.

There are also options to sign your dog up for group play, which allows your dog to interact with other canines throughout their stay. However, this is completely optional.

When your pup is checked in for boarding, you’ll need to fill out a comprehensive questionnaire regarding their diet, allergies, mobility, and personality. You will also need to make mention of special medications or past medical history, if any.

Bear in mind that your pooch must be up-to-date on rabies, Bordatella, and DHPP vaccinations. They may need to undergo a quick temperament test if you sign them up for group play, too.   dog and cat boarding

Cat Boarding Facilities

Cat boarding amenities are very similar to that of dog boarding. Cats are either placed in their own individual area in spacious cages or allowed to roam freely in cat-friendly condos/suites.

Cage-free facilities offer individual cat bungalows for sleeping as well as a large open area for group interaction with other felines. These open areas often include a sunroom, scratching pads, toys, windows, and bird feeders for plenty of entertainment.

Cats will need to be fixed and up-to-date on rabies vaccinations before you sign them up for boarding. They will also undergo a quick snap test which tests for FIV, FeLV, and heartworm.

Cats are usually kept fairly separate from dogs in a dual-boarding facility due to the fact that dog barking can startle/upset some felines.

dog and cat boarding

What to Look For in a Boarding Facility

If you have your doubts about a boarding facility, the best thing you can do for both you and your pet is to ask the right questions. The more information you can gather beforehand, the better you’ll feel about your decision.

A good place to start is by visiting a boarding facility’s website. Look for reviews on the site, go over their FAQ section, and check Yelp for any other information.

Give the facility a call and be sure to ask them the following questions:

  • What type of background does the owner of the facility have?
  • Is the facility part of any professional/ recognized organization?
  • What type of background and certification does the staff have?
  • How large are the dog and cat playgroups?
  • How often are the dog and cat facilities cleaned?
  • What is the ratio of dog or cat to caretaker?
  • What are the noise levels like and how is this controlled?
  • How often are dogs walked and what type of interaction do they receive?

If your mind is still uneasy, it’s always wise to visit the boarding facility for a quick tour.

running a successful kennel

 

Understand Pet Boarding Requirements

A pet boarding facility takes on a lot of responsibility when they take in a cat or dog for an extended period of time. For this reason, they have to ensure all the pets that they take in are in adequate condition.

Basically, this means that the onus is on you to ensure your pet is up-to-date with all the boarding facility’s requirements. Some of these include:

  • Ensuring your cat or dog is up-to-date with all current vaccinations
  • Ensuring your pet is taking the correct heartworm, flea, and tick preventative medications
  • As a standard, your pet should have basic obedience training
  • They should have a suitable temperament when they are around unfamiliar people and environments
  • Make sure your pet is adequately potty-trained
  • Your pet must be spayed, neutered, and micro-chipped, if necessary

Before you board your pet, it’s important to be open and honest with the facility staff about the type of environment your pet thrives in. Let them know about any possible behavioral issues and situations that may trigger these episodes.

Finally, do your homework on the specific times that are best when dropping off and picking up your pets.

Find Top-Class Technology with 123Pet Software

If you’re looking to upgrade your dog and cat boarding facility software, 123Pet Software is one of the best in the business.

We are specialists in streamlining the business operations of boarding facilities, groomers, daycare facilities, and pet training. Learn more about our groundbreaking pet boarding software here…

Your Grooming Business New Year’s Resolutions for 2020

dog grooming business

The New Year presents every business with the opportunity to set new goals and kick-start fresh initiatives. The key to realizing these aspirations—and truly adding value to your dog grooming business—is making sure they are both mission-critical and attainable. Enhancements that would be “nice to have” won’t sustain your motivation all year round. As you determine your dog grooming business New Year’s resolutions for 2020, make sure these four items make the list.

1. Commit To Eco-Friendliness At Your Dog Grooming Business

Going green is easier than ever, and what was once an eco-differentiator for your shop is now becoming an expectation from consumers. Eco-friendly products are increasingly available, affordable and as effective as traditional brands. Not only will your dog grooming business help the environment, but a commitment to doing so will impress your customers.

In Nielson’s 2015 Global Corporate Sustainability Report, 66 percent of consumers said they are willing to spend more on a product if it comes from a sustainable brand. Additionally, 81 percent of millennials expect their favorite brands to make public commitments to corporate responsibility. While this may seem like a big ask for a dog grooming business, showing an investment in community and citizenship will go a long way with customer loyalty.

dog grooming business

2. Track Social Media Success.

Starting to share campaigns on social media is important, but do you understand how those campaigns directly or indirectly impact your dog grooming business? Right now, you may be pushing out social media content with little insight into what types of posts are working or why. In 2020, you should analyze your social campaign effectiveness with these focuses:

  • Record your digital footprint—use a spreadsheet to keep track of 1) post engagement to see the success of the social campaign and 2) followers and likes to see how campaigns affect your overall social presence
  • Analyze web traffic—understand how your campaigns lead to web visitors by tracking 1) total traffic, 2) traffic by channel and 3) visitor location (where are your visitors coming from?)
  • Establish campaign objectives—are your efforts focused on finding new prospects? Promoting a new offering? Creating brand awareness?

3. Step Up Customer Satisfaction.

Focusing on customer service seems like a no-brainer, but 2020 is the year to start going beyond just asking, “are you happy with today’s service?” Take the time to learn what you can do to make customer service your business’s differentiator.

Consider adding services your customers want, and make sure the services you already deliver are catered to the people paying for them. Whether it’s soliciting customer suggestions, making the online booking experience more convenient or simplifying checkout, there is always more you can do to enhance customer retention.

dog grooming business

4. Boost Productivity At Your Dog Grooming Business

With your busy schedule, work/life balance can seem like a luxury not afforded to a small grooming business owner. Yet by enhancing productivity, you can make it possible for you and your employees.

Set expectations with your staff from the onset, delegate where possible and, most importantly, use technology to lighten your load. There are so many mundane, daily tasks that grooming software can streamline or absorb (think: scheduling, sending appointment confirmations, tracking inventory). 2020 could look a lot different if you start the year by implementing the right technology.

New Year’s resolutions should not be limited to buying a gym membership or traveling more. Your grooming business will benefit from you mapping out your annual objectives now. Learn how 123Pet Software can help put these plans into action.

New Years Goal Setting for Grooming Salon Owners

grooming salon

As a pet grooming salon owner, how do you identify success? Is your success in your grooming techniques and using the best equipment? Or do you set regular goals for yourself to become the best groomer in the business?

2020 has officially come, and this is the best opportunity to start setting new goals for your grooming business. Some of these goals may have to do with improving your grooming techniques or renovating your business. Other goals include ways to boost sales and improve your marketing.

With every New Year, there is always room for improvement. Work into 2020 with these New Year’s resolutions for a grooming salon.

Boost Grooming Salon Sales

You chose to own a grooming salon because you love working with animals. But face it, making money and getting sales is also extremely important. A goal you should make each year is to find ways to boost sales. If you haven’t started this goal yet, 2020 is the perfect first year to get into that New Year habit of making more money.

What are some ways to boost sales? You can start by advertising and release special offers. These include a free product for a basic grooming service and monthly or weekly grooming discounts.

You can also improve your marketing strategies. Try a new marketing approach, such as running a blog or making some promotional videos. You can also revamp your website and monitor your Google local search results closely. All of these factors contribute to increasing brand awareness and boosting your sales performance.

Improve Customer Service

Your customers are the most important aspect of your business. If a pet owner isn’t satisfied with the service they receive at your grooming salon, they will easily do business with another groomer.

Treat each customer with respect, show compassion, and don’t be afraid to be a little personable with them. Customer service doesn’t only include offering a great service. Pet owners often need help washing their dogs.

You also may get clients who are new dog owners and may have questions. Listen to their questions and give your customers honest advice. Humans aren’t the only important customers. As a groomer, you’re also working with some furry friends.

Improve the way you treat your animals. Maybe you notice some dog breeds are more aggressive or some dogs are skeptical about getting washed. Do what you can to research and improve the treatment of animals.

Your store’s upkeep and cleanliness is also an important customer service factor. If your salon is dirty, your customers won’t want to do business with you. Grooming is a selfless business. Get the dogs clean and make your human customers as happy as you can.

Grooming Salon

Improve Your Grooming Salon Location

The first thing a customer looks at is your shop. They want to see what equipment you use, what services you offer, and the cleanliness of the shop. They’re trusting you with their dog, and they want what’s best for doggo.

Do what you can to make the best grooming salon. These improvements can be simple. Research ways to sanitize and clean your equipment. Or,  buy new supplies and equipment for the new year.

You could even go a step further and completely renovate your salon. Get new wallpaper, flooring, and do a deep cleaning to make sure your salon is fully hygienic.

Hire Better Staff

It’s easy to hire those who are new to grooming and aren’t asking for a high wage. You must also understand experienced groomers will deliver the best service, but they may cost more. This extra money for an experienced worker will help improve your salon in many ways.

This doesn’t mean you should let go of the staff you already have unless it will truly benefit your business. Just have more standards set when you hire. You can even create a new position in management and hire a more experienced groomer or even promote one of your groomers.

Generate More Revenue

There’s a lot of flexibility in the dog grooming business, but most groomers stick with what they know best: cleaning dogs.

Make your grooming salon a step above the rest. Start a retail shop. Partner with shampoo and soap brands and sell them. Add additional styling options and other services, and sell them as ‘add-ons’ to a normal grooming service.

You can even expand further, such as offering a school or a program where dog owners wash their dogs in the shop. If you can’t get enough of these furry friends and want to spend more time with them, consider offering a boarding service.

credit card transactions

Renew and Understand Your Menu

Re-do your services menu. Decrease the prices of one service and increase the price of others. Or, combine two services and help your customers save some money.

Start offering extras and perks such as teeth brushing and consider opening up your services to cats as well. Do more to understand your own prices, too. What if your prices are different than a competitor? Explain why. What if a longtime customer is inquiring about a price change? Explain why you altered the price of that service.

Put Emphasis on Your Image

Your online presence can make or break the success of your grooming salon. Make sure you have a great logo with a legible font, you’re active on all social media pages, and you regularly update your website and Google listing.

Your physical image also matters. Make sure your business has great curb appeal. You can go all out with fun decorations of dogs and other animals, or you can make your shop clean and welcoming.

Make sure your shop smells great. You don’t want your customers smelling any foul dog odor when they first walk in. Your salon shouldn’t be any different than a human one. Nice decor, sanitation, and a welcoming aura will benefit your human and dog customers alike.

Be the Best Grooming Salon in 2020

Are your goals financial or are you finding general ways to improve your salon? Whether you notice any specific problems or want to make small improvements, 2020 is as good a year as any to start finally achieving these goals!

Don’t forget to always improve customer service, your treatment of pets, and add new services. All of these goals will contribute to a better salon in 2020.

Are you looking for new software in 2020?  Our grooming software helps with essential functions such as scheduling and keeping track of client records. Start 2020 the right way with 123Pet Software!

Decorating Your Grooming Salon For The Holiday Season

Christmas is coming around quickly and your stations will be fully booked, but is your grooming salon in the holiday spirit?

 

Decorating for Christmas is the perfect way to attract new customers, create a better client experience and keep stressed-out employees in the holiday spirit.

Set yourself up for a great customer experience by creating an inviting storefront during these peak holiday months with these top grooming salon decorating tips:

Deck the Windows

Attract the attention of passers-by; transform your windows with eye-catching Christmas displays such as a small tree with colored ornaments that align with your brand’s colors. Don’t underestimate the power of what people see from the street. You’ll be surprised at how many clients you can engage with a festive display that creates a fun and welcoming environment.

Sparkling Stations

With clients pets spending the majority of their time at the grooming station, this is a great place to add some decoration! Drape garland around the legs at each station or add some sparkling lights for an extra touch of magic. Remember, don’t go ‘over festive’ with your station decorations – their needs to be room for pet grooming around your decor!

Spruce Up Your Merch

Don’t forget about your retail products – spruce up your displayed merchandise with colored or burlap bows to create a gift-inspiring holiday feel for your product displays. This is a great opportunity to draw attention to your products and upsell with special holiday gift wrapping for the perfect Christmas surprise.

Light It Up

Lights are a classic Christmas decoration, and that’s no surprise seeing as it is scientifically proven to make you happier! Spread the Christmas joy by adding twinkling lights throughout your grooming salon.

Try wrapping them around the front desk, windows, stations or even outside to add a holiday glow and make certain areas brighter. Extra lighting is especially great in your grooming salon, especially for that freshly scrubbed dog photo!

Creative Christmas Tree

The classic Christmas tree is a must-have to complete the festive look! You don’t have to be boring, though – get creative by decorating your tree with handmade pet ornaments or decorate it with accessories from around your grooming salon.

Decorating Grooming Salon

You could also make this into a fun bonding activity or competition for employees to decorate and make ornaments for the tree, boosting employee morale and team collaboration. Remember- you may want to consider making your tree as pet-friendly as possible, just in case a roaming dog gets free!

decorating christmas tree

Consistency is Key

When decorating, wild isn’t always wonderful. Too many decorations will make your grooming salon look cluttered and disorganized. Try to keep your decorations consistent to your branding by choosing a theme that suits your brand. Stick to one-holiday decor style for a classy look and feel. For trendy groomers, try a rustic Christmas style. Looking to show off your fun, lively brand? Try a colorful theme!

Remember, decorating your grooming salon doesn’t have to be a boring yearly task. Make it fun and get creative! Get all employees involved with the decorating to help them bond and accomplish something as a team.

If you don’t have a lot of space or a large budget for decorating, even some lights and tinsel or a small tree in the window sill will add that little extra Christmas magic to your grooming salon. Before you know it, pets will be flooding through your doors!

Spend less time on paperwork and spend MORE time on decorating! Download 123Pet absolutely free!

Customer Spotlight: Haute Dogge

Haute Dog

123Pet customers are passionate small business owners who excel at what they do. As part of our commitment to supporting and educating entrepreneurs, we aim to showcase our customers’ expertise in growing a successful business. Mike Conners and his Daughter Jennifer Bartman, the owners of Haute Dogge, a pet grooming salon with locations in Franklin, Spring Hill and Nolensville, TN, are not only dedicated to grooming pets, but also to help the community. We are especially proud to recognize Mike for Veteran’s Day given he served in the United States Air Force for almost 20 years, and his wife Eileen for 24 years.  

Read on to learn about Mike and Haute Dogge’s journey—and how he’s made it his mission to give back to veteran’s not only on November 11, but all year long.

Huate Dogge

Q: How did you come to own a dog grooming salon?

A: I purchased the business in January 2015, almost six years ago. I’m not a pet groomer, but my daughter Jennifer is. So, she told me about this great opportunity. We started out with one location and three employees. I mostly run the behind-the-scenes of the business, like accounting, while she runs the operations side.

I never expected to own a grooming salon. I was in the Air Force for almost 20 years and then worked for a Wall Street Bank, before moving back to Nashville. After working in technical roles, I eventually bought the business because it gave me the flexibility to take care of my wife, who had fallen ill.

Now we’ve expanded to three brick-and-mortar locations, one mobile unit, and 24 employees! We expect to keep growing, and our goal is to eventually have 10 shops and at least four mobile units.

mobile grooming

Q: What is your favorite part about running a pet services business?

A: My favorite part is to watch the groomers take their creativity to the next level. A dog will come in that hasn’t been taken care of—perhaps he has matted fur. The groomer will take the dog to be washed and cut, and they come back looking adorable! It’s artistic. I think it’s very creative the way that the groomers can work with any dog in any condition.

My other favorite part is the love that’s given to the pets during their grooming. Seeing the animals enjoy being pet, washed and catered to is really sweet.

haute employees

Q: What was one of the biggest challenges when taking over the business?

A: One of the biggest challenges was that the previous owners documented everything—calendars, contacts and transactions—on paper. About two months before I took over the business, I knew it all had to be digitalized. In my search for business software, I found 123Pet.

123Pet’s features stood out among all the other business software that I was comparing it to. It’s very simple, user-friendly and allows us to store useful information on both clients and their pets. Being able to text or email to confirm appointments has been a life saver for us, especially with the mobile unit. 

To top it all off, their customer service is fantastic. We’ve had some pretty silly questions along the way, and they’re the nicest, most patient people. They help me run my business successfully.

haute location

Q: How do you and your business give back to the community?

A: I’m proud to say that we give back in a lot of ways. Being a veteran, it’s very important to me to give back to those who have served. We offer a 10% discount to all current and former members of the United States Armed Forces and all first responders year-round. To celebrate Veteran’s Day this year, we’re offering a 50% discount off all services and products to veterans on the holiday.

Our team also does charity work for nearby shelters. We’ll take dogs who have been there for a while and groom them for free so they look nice, which hopefully speeds up their adoption process. Additionally, we do our best to sponsor the local schools’ sports teams as well as academic and theoretical events. Whenever a school is having a charity auction, we always donate items for their fundraisers. We also allow schools and other local organizations to place flyers in our shop or in our store windows. We try to help any way we can.  

We are also invested in the pet business community. We try to share information because there are not any “big secrets” in pet grooming. It’s mostly all about the talent and attitude of your staff. That said, we’re big on sharing advice on Facebook.

Lastly, we open our shop up to other groomers. The National Grooming Association used our space to do a certification training last year, and they’re coming to do it again in 2020. We’ve also hosted a class for creative grooming and poodle cuts.

Haute Dogge

Q: What is your advice to those who want to start or own their own business?

A: Figure out how much money you think you will need, and then triple it. You’re always going to run out.

Specific to a grooming business, you need to find people who don’t just want a job, but who want to take care of pets. We go through a lot of bathers, for example, because it’s not an easy position. Hiring people who are truly dedicated to the role is key. We give new employees a “trial day” to give them a chance to see if they will enjoy it or not.

To learn how 123Pet can help grow your business and fuel company success—like it does for Mike at Haute Dogge—visit our product page or read another Customer Spotlight

Dog Boarding Requirements: 7 Key Things You Should Know

dog boarding requirements

If you’re traveling for the holidays, chances are you’re going to have to leave your precious pup behind. Although you can take them along, this doesn’t provide the convenience of boarding kennels. Making the decision to board your pet for the first time can be overwhelming — but it doesn’t have to be. Luckily for you, we’ve outlined everything you need to know about dog boarding requirements.

Dog Boarding Types

Before getting into the dog boarding requirements, let’s talk about the types of boarding facilities.

Modern Boarding Homes. Think of modern boarding homes as a doggy day camp. Unlike more traditional boarding kennels, these come with an array of amenities. Some of them include an area designation for playtime and socialization, grooming, and 24/7 live stream updates for owners.

The primary bonus to modern boarding homes is that they offer a more homey vibe than traditional kennels. However, these types of facilities are usually more expensive depending on the amenities. Also, the staff at these boarding homes often aren’t able to give special medical assistance like animal clinic kennels. 

Animal Clinic Boarding Shelters. These types of kennels are offered by veterinarian facilities and are most ideal for dogs with special medical needs. Unlike more modern kennels, these are old-fashioned and sterile — no live streams, text updates, or doggy spas. Also, animal clinic boarding facilities are more cost-effective than other kennels. 

dog boarding requirements

Dog Boarding Requirements

Before you drop your furry pal off at the kennel, there are a few things to take care of. Here’s what you need to do to be prepared for your dog’s boarding stay:

1. Do a Temperament Assessment

Not all dogs thrive in a new environment, some can even become irritable and turn violent. To ensure the safety of yourself and the dog handlers, ask the boarding facility for a temperament assessment.

A temperament assessment is a trial run to see if your dog meshes well with the staff and other dogs. Most importantly, it lets you know if the kennel is the right fit.

2. Consider Your Dog’s Needs and Safety

In addition to a temperament assessment, there are other factors to take into consideration:

Sanitation. Proper sanitation prevents disease outbreaks and keeps pets healthy. Find out how often the facility is sanitized. Find out if the air is purified for kennel cough or other airborne illnesses.

Staffing. Consider if there will be staff around 24/7. You want to ensure that your dog gets around the clock care. If your dog has medical needs, is the staff able to administer assistance?

Reviews. When researching boarding facilities, look at their reviews. Is the general consensus positive? 

Check-ins. If it’s your first time boarding your dog, chances are you will want up to the minute updates. So, consider if the boarding option can supply you with constant updates.

dog boarding requirements

3. Schedule in Advance

If leaving your furry friend at a boarding facility, it’s best to schedule their stay ahead of time — usually two to three weeks in advance.

Traveling for the holidays? Make the reservation 2 months ahead of time.

4. Update Medical Records and Vaccinations

After you’ve scheduled your dog’s boarding stay, your next step should be updating their medical records. State laws and kennel requirements will vary, but it’s best to make sure your pooch is on schedule for the necessary vaccinations.

It’s recommended that vaccinations are administered 10 to 14 days before dropping them off at a kennel — this is, so the vaccine has ample time to take effect. However, if you’re a little pressed for time, it’s acceptable to have them given at least 48 hours before their stay.

Vaccinations required for dogs:

  • DPP (Distemper, Parvovirus & Parainfluenza
  • Bordetella
  • Canine Influenza 
  • Rabies
  • Leptospirosis
  • Fleas & Ticks

5. Bring Identification

Identification is probably the most critical dog boarding requirement. Ensure that the information on your dog’s collar and microchip are updated and accurate. You also want to leave your name, your dog’s name, phone number, and address. It doesn’t hurt to add emergency contacts, too — which brings us to the next crucial dog boarding requirement.

collar

6. Provide More Than Enough Information

In this case, there’s no such thing as giving too much information — the more you provide, the better.

One of the things you should leave with the boarding place is your dog’s updated medical records. Like previously mentioned, the kennel must have proof that your dog is vaccinated.

For an added level of assurance, you may want to provide emergency contact information just in case you can’t be reached.

An emergency contact could be a trusted family member, friend, or your dog’s veterinarian. You can even list a few emergency animal clinics as well — in the event your vet is unable to help.

7. Pack the Essentials

You want your dog to make a smooth transition from their home environment to completely new surroundings. To do this, you may want to pack things that help ease their stress. Check out this list of things to send with your dog to make them feel at home:

Something From Home. Pack something that reminds them of you— hint: something with your scent on it. This is typically a blanket, t-shirt, and or toy. These items are not only emotionally soothing but physically comforting too!

Extra Food and Snacks. Another thing you may want to pack is food. Some kennels offer their own food, but the change in diet may intensify your dog’s stress or cause digestive issues. So, it’s a wise idea to pack their usual food. Be sure to pack extra just in case their boarding stay needs to be extended. 

Medication. Don’t forget to pack your dog’s medicines along with dosage sizes and instructions. 

Dog Boarding Requirements Overview

No one wants to leave their furry little companion behind, by following these dog boarding requirements, you can rest assured that your dog is safe, healthy, and cared for. 

Want to know more about how you can better take care of your dog? Follow our blog.

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!