By PPG corporate partner, PocketSuite
One of the big lessons for pet professionals in the last year and a half is that even a pandemic doesn’t have to tank your business. While many other sectors suffered, pet professionals benefited from the “pandemic puppy” trend, which created even greater demand.
But with health concerns at the forefront, the most successful businesses had to innovate and streamline to take advantage of the trend. These changes leave them well poised for growth as recovery begins. Here’s how you can follow their example and improve your business today.
1. Keep Virtual Classes on the Agenda
A lot of dog trainers switched to offering classes on Zoom, and it worked surprisingly well. The virtual approach cut down on the time getting dogs settled at the start of a class, and with pet owners fully responsible for their pets, they were more engaged in the class sessions. In addition, it meant that there was much less travel, increasing the potential working hours. Keep virtual classes on offer, and you can potentially gain a new market among pet owners who still don’t want to leave home.
2. Build a Waiting List
In the past, it was a real pain if someone dropped out of a class at the last minute, and you’d also have to spend time getting that spot filled. These days, you can do it automatically. Use PocketSuite to let clients who book late add themselves to a waiting list. When a spot opens up, the first person on the waitlist is booked in automatically, cutting down on the admin load for you. This is also a great way to plan your future schedule as you can see what’s most in demand.
3. Create a Community
Some of the most successful pet professionals we’ve seen have created an online community where their clients can hang out with them. For example, if you set up a group on Facebook or elsewhere, you can really get to understand what your clients care about. At the same time, they see you as an expert who can help them solve burning pet care issues. If you’re doing this, know that it requires your active participation. However, most PocketSuite pros find that it pays off in the long term in terms of repeat and referral business.
4. Personalize, But Automate
If you’re managing your client list through PocketSuite, there are a few nifty things you can do to nurture your clients while reducing your administrative workload. For example, you can send text messages to clients to remind them of appointments and let them know what’s coming up. SMS has a 98% response rate, and most people respond quickly. Plus, the messages feel personal as they arrive in each person’s message inbox.
You can also use the smart campaigns feature to automatically send messages based on certain criteria. For example, you can send pet birthday or adoption greetings, automatically reply to missed messages, and send special offers to different customers. And you can see which messages are getting results, to tweak your campaigns for next time. When you’re able to use customer information to send the right messages to the right customers at the right times, that helps build your relationship with them.
5. Reduce App Overload
Many business owners started out with different solutions for handling client communications, bookings, invoicing, payments, client communications, contracts and managing teams. It can often be a headache trying to make everything work well together, and it’s pretty time-consuming, too. PocketSuite has a “business in a box” approach, which means you can handle all those business administration functions in a single app. You can even video call your clients and team members. This saves you time and money which you can redirect to continuing to grow your business.
Want to streamline your pet business to work more efficiently today? As a PPG member, you are invited to download the Dog Trainer Edition of PocketSuite and try if for FREE for the first 2 months!
The Dog Trainer Edition provides simple automations that go a long way – fill up your classes with a few taps and let PocketSuite handle your Open Enrollment needs while you focus on what you love.
You can find the discount code in the members’ area of the PPG website.
About the Author
PocketSuite is an all-in-one business app for Dog Trainers to get booked, paid, and message clients. We make it simpler to run your own business. Stay organized, look professional, and manage it all in one app.