Growth Strategies To Increase Revenue
Optimize Profits With Add-On Services
How Dog Groomers Can Optimize Their Profits with Add On Services
From painted nails to pawdicures, there’s no shortage of ways groomers can add additional value to their customers with pet grooming services. When you add value, you make your customers happy and goodwill strengthens relationships. It’s just more fun.
From the analytical business perspective, it makes sense too. After all, there are three primary ways for most dog groomers to optimize profits.
1. Groom more dogs. (There’s a cap on this from a time/energy/space perspective.)
2, Charge more. (Yet, there’s a cap here too, based on your area.)
3. Add more pet grooming services. (Start with what you know people want.)
In this post, we’ll focus on add on services. Which add-on’s make sense for your clients and which ones are you excited to handle? Plus, simple ways you can introduce them.
One very practical add on is de-shedding. As you know, dogs naturally start shedding more at certain times of the year and a good de-shedding service removes all that excess fur. This is especially helpful for long-haired and double-coated dogs. It helps prevent matted fur and reduces the amount of hair that otherwise would be left all over the floors and furniture.
In fact, most people are surprised when they see how much loose fur comes off their dog during a de-shedding treatment. I had an American Eskimo and was amazed when I picked him up after his first de-shedding experience. He seemed smaller and lighter. Judging by his enthusiasm and heightened energy level, he was thrilled to have less fur. Once I knew about the treatment, I wanted the service every time he was groomed.
As a dog grooming professional, you probably attend the grooming shows, read the publications, and see all the add-on services that are possible. Some salons offer feathers and rhinestones. Others offer dye on the tails or ears and some might even arrange a party day with a pet photographer. These are fun add-on’s. Though they may be best suited for certain times of the year or areas of the country.
Others, like de-shedding, are more practical. As a pet professional, your customers look to you for pet advice. When you offer additional pet grooming services, you’re bringing value to their lives.
Of course, the best pet grooming services for your salon are the ones that your customer wants. Abbey Trope of Calling All Paws serving Northeastern Illinois says, “When I started I didn’t know what kind of add on services people would want. So I kept trying things out and talking with my customers. My top two adds-on are teeth brushing and nail grinding.”
Abbey Trope runs a 3 van mobile grooming service. Much of her client base comprises senior citizens and busy families so it makes sense they want more practical services. “We cater to what clients ask for. We’ve tried the nail polish and similar, but they weren’t that interested. They’ll often ask for things. For example, if the dog’s nose is really dry they’ll ask if we have something for it.
Calling all Paws offers seasonal treatments like a winter paw pad treatment. The Illinois winters are harsh and chemical de-icers and salt dry out sensitive paws. Trope says, “In the winter, we do a paw pad treatment. We have a scrub for the paw pads we use in the bathtub, followed by a conditioning oil on the paws and then a soothing balm to protect against the salt.”
They also offer a mobility mud mask and blueberry facials. Trope says, “The mobility mud mask is like icy hot for dogs. We do a lot of senior pets and we’re already giving them a massage in the bath. The mud mask has menthol in it and it’s good for the joints. It seems to relax the dogs.”
She says the blueberry facial is good for brightening white coats and reducing tear stains. “It smells like candy. Which I love.” Trope’s approach to introducing new add-on services starts with seeing things at grooming shows.
A Natural Approach to Incorporating Add-On Pet Grooming Services
Trope says, “When you go to a groom show there will be 100 new products out for add-ons.” She has a staff of 5 groomers so they’ll talk about the products and choose what to try out based on what they think their clients would like. Then, they try them out on their own pets and introduce it in a conversational way at grooms.
Trope said with the blueberry facials she showed her customers the product, told them it was new, and that she wanted to try it on their dog. She said, “I’m going to do this for your dog at no cost and let’s see how you like it. People are excited to be apart of it.”
She always keeps in mind her market. For example, they tried nail polish but it wasn’t a big seller. “We’ve had some therapy dogs do nail polish because they’re going to a children’s hospital and it makes them more approachable.” Otherwise, there hasn’t been a big demand.
She also uses the email blast capability within 123Pet. “When we introduce a new product, we send an email letting everyone know about it.”
What Are the Risks and Rewards?
Even something as simple as adding a new product comes with concerns. How will the animals like it? Will it sell? Fortunately, when you’re considering grooming add on’s your risks are relatively low compared to expanding your location or other major endeavors.
Add-on’s like nail polish are low-risk. But teeth cleaning requires more education and awareness. Some groomers like Calling all Paws offer teeth brushing. As a former veterinary technician, Trope has specific education on doggie dental. “I used to do dog dentals all the time and we would see dogs come in that had groomers do scaling on the teeth and it created grooves for the plaque to grow. We also teach and encourage owners on how to brush the teeth at home, even with cats! I promise it’s not as hard as people think.”
Others partner with specialists to offer a deeper clean. Your clients will love the convenience of having you do things that can improve their pet’s health though it makes sense to add things gradually to accommodate any learning curve.
As you may have guessed, add-on treatments also have big profit potential too. Consider an add-on treatment for which you charge an additional $10.00. You’ve covered your costs including education and can see a profit. If you sell it 5x a day and you’re open 6 days a week, that’s a potential of an additional $300 in revenue per week or more if you multiply this by multiple groomers and locations. And that’s only one add-on.
Software Helps You Track These Pet Grooming Services
Abbey Trope has three vans and five groomers. Each groomer can easily add any additional services right from a mobile device using 123 Pet. “It’s very intuitive and helps everyone stay on track,” she says. “I can’t imagine trying to do this with a paper calendar.”
Plus, then you have a virtual record of every customer and their preferences. That makes it easy to ask if they want a specific treatment when they book their appointment.
There are so many add on options available. From different types of masks to special breed cuts, that it can be tough to choose. What do you want to try next in your dog grooming salon?
Author: Jennifer Phillips April
Jen is a confirmed marketing geek and animal lover. She started her online writing career with a dog treat website back in 2005 and grew it to 87,500 visitors a month by writing useful content. Now she writes for technology and pet clients around the globe. When not writing, she’s likely devouring a novel or dreaming of the beach.