Advertising your pet business
The one thing that any type of business needs to survive, grow and prosper is – customers. So, now that you’ve decided on starting a pet related business – where are you going to get your customers from?
A lot will depend on the exact type of pet business that you are starting, but there are some ideas that are pretty universal and will apply to most pet based businesses. Put these into practice and you should see your new pet business growing steadily.
As with almost any business, word of mouth is the best possible way to grow it: If you’re providing a good service or product related to pets, then pet owners will talk about you to other pet owners, just like they would tell their friends about any other product or service they used that they thought was good. This is the most effective way to market your business because nothing carries the same weight as a personal recommendation from a fellow pet owner. So, make sure that whatever it is you are doing for your customers – you do it in the best way possible.
Growing your business can be relatively easy in the beginning. Start with local businesses that may be related or share the same customers as you are looking for. If you’re offering a dog walking or dog sitting service for example – then design a simple promotional flyer or pamphlet that explains about your service and how you can be contacted and visit local pet stores, veterinary surgeons, dog parks, pet fairs and kennels and leave a supply of the advertising material for them to hand out to their customers. Also, talk directly to other dog owners in your neighbourhood or in the local park and explain to them what you can do for them. You only need to get a few regular customers and then they will start telling their friends about you and the word will soon spread.
If your business is designing dog clothes – offer some free samples to some dog owners you know – they’ll be happy and a bit of free advertising when they are out walking their dogs with other dog owners will soon see your product become a talking point, and should generate some interest among other owners.
Dog sitting is one of the easiest pet businesses to get started; no investment or equipment and when you want more customers you only need to talk to people who live nearby your existing customers and you should find that some of them have need of your service. Get some simple business cards or a simple flyer printed with your name, or the name of your business and your contact details and make sure you always have some with you to hand out to prospective new customers. Don’t forget to ask existing customers to recommend you if they have any friends who might be interested in your service.
If your pet business needs a wider market than just your local area, then consider setting up a website, a blog, or even just a Facebook page to promote your pet products or pet services, It’s fast, easy and free and you can include all kinds of interesting material such as photos of your customer’s pets, stories, advice, tips and even pet related news. If your business is selling a pet related product, a website can even get you mail order customers if you can arrange payment and shipping of your product. If you’re no expert in internet marketing, then consider hiring someone who has experience in this area to make it more effective for you.
Whatever your pet business is – try to find a novelty factor that people will talk about. Even if you’re just selling pet food, what about delivering it to the pet owner’s home as part of the service, or if you’re selling pet products or accessories how about personalizing them with the name of the pet and also the name of your business.
People love novelty value – and they talk about it all the time – so the more novel, different or interesting you can make your pet business, the easier it will be for people to talk about it, and recommend it to other pet owners.