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    27 Replies Latest reply on Nov 23, 2007 10:04 PM by aqueenary

    dog care, a new market for U.S

    aqueenary Wayfarer
        • Re: dog care, a new market for U.S
          CorpCons08 Ranger
          Hey to you too. What can we do for you today?
          • Re: dog care, a new market for U.S
            Lighthouse24 Ranger

            I've had two clients in your business (both in Texas). One was a Veterinarian and we structured her plan for boarding business around her practice. The other one was probably more like you. She was an extremely outgoing and personably young lady (I'll call her "Lindy") who simply loved animals and wanted to open her own pet grooming, boarding, and supplies business.


            We focused on promoting the grooming business first, and we did it in a very "grassroots" way. For a week, Lindy spent about 14 hours a day at local parks with her own beautifully-groomed dogs, talked to other dog owners, and made friends. Her first six customers were people who complimented her dogs, and asked her where she had them groomed. She simply smiled and gave them her card, and her business was off and running.


            After a week of "getting to know" about 300 new people and dogs, Lindy began asking people who their vets were, where the dogs were boarded and groomed, and where they bought supplies (food, treats, toys, collars, etc.). She wrote down what they said (after they left) in a spiral notepad.


            Armed with the information she'd collected, we "shopped the competition" to discover where Lindy could offer something better, cheaper, or more convenient in terms of grooming, boarding, and supplies. The next week while walking her dogs, she approached the people she'd met, explained exactly how she might be able to provide something better, and gave them a discount coupon for her business. The result: 38 new customers over the next four weeks.


            Lindy also approached any vet that did not provide grooming or boarding as part of his or her operation, "dropped" the names of the people/dogs that she had met and that the vet knew, and left her business card behind. The result: 3 referrals in four weeks from vets who were treating newly adopted pets.


            Finally, Lindy visited what we considered the "best" boarding kennel in the area, and her stiffest competition for new business. She made an appointment with the owner, and when they met, Lindy said that she, too, was in the boarding business and dropped the names of the people/dogs she'd met that the kennel owner knew. She told the owner, "Those customers love you and I know I can't provide them with better care than you do. Plus, I would never dream of trying to steal customers from you. But if you're ever full on a busy weekend or holiday and have to turn someone away, I'll hope you'll consider recommending my business. I promise I'll do my best to treat them as well as you would." The result: The next three-day weekend, Lindy got 11 boarders as overflow from that kennel. 6 of them became regular customers of hers for grooming, boarding, and supplies.


            Aside from my modest fee and her free time, Lindy spent a total of less than $43 (gas included) on a "campaign" that netted her 53 new customers in a month. Not bad -- and since you're starting out with more money, a bigger market, and all this free advice, you might do even better than she did. Best wishes!