There are over one million pets in New York, and 600,000 of them are dogs, so dog grooming is a service that every dog owner needs! This means that dog grooming is a stable and booming business that can provide a lot of consistent customers. However, because it is such a necessary business, that means that competitors will be common and it will be up to you to choose how you can stand out from the crowd.
If you’re looking for tips on how to improve your dog grooming business, here is what you need to know.
1. Obtain Needed Building Repairs
Customers will be turned off by run-down buildings that haven’t been maintained properly. Whether you’ve been at your location for a while or have just moved in, make sure that everything is repaired, replaced, and up to snuff.
For instance, if your current building has old worn-down flooring, you should consider installing new easy-to-clean floors. You don’t have to splurge on anything too fancy. After all, your business is grooming dogs, not serving five-star cuisine. Opt for sleek flooring options that look nice, but stand up against wear and tear from both shoes and paws. Options like sealed concrete can be a great investment that is both functional and attractive.
Similarly, because you’ll be washing and grooming dogs, you’ll want to invest in an affordable plumbing service to help maintain your pipes and plumbing. You don’t want to run the risk of being in the middle of bathing a pup only to end up with a backed-up sink.
Wondering how to improve your dog grooming business? Exterior fixes like roof leak repair, siding repair, and parking lot maintenance should also be considered if you’re curious as to how to improve your dog grooming business and make it as attractive as possible to both new and returning customers.
2. Update Your Building’s Landscaping
Another tip for how to improve your dog grooming business includes taking care of outdoor landscaping. Your landscape should also be neat, clean, and safe for both pets and people. If you have enough space on your property, you may even want to cordon an area off where people can wait with their pets or let them do their business after the car ride. An area like this can help make both your customers and their furry friends feel more comfortable and welcome.
When maintaining your landscaping, look for local arborists who can advise you on any trees on the property that could be a hazard. Dead and dying trees can pose safety risks to both pets and animals. And, if they overhang your building, they may cause damage during storms. Once these issues have been addressed, you can consider hiring a professional landscaping company to help keep your landscaping in good shape.
Additionally, if your area has problems with pests like pigeons, mice, rats, or insects, consider taking steps to mitigate the problems. For instance, an exterminator can help remove pests and secure your business both inside and out. They can even use pigeon repellent to help keep the pigeons and rats with rings at bay. All of this not only helps keep your business clean but can help make guests feel better about where they are choosing to take their dogs for grooming.
3. Hire a Digital Marketing Agency to Increase Business Traffic
Your online site is where most of your traffic is going to come from, and it’s where most people are going to learn about your business. Hire a digital marketing agency to help you improve your online accessibility and make your business easier to find. This can include making sure that your website is easy to navigate and attractive to visitors, as well as implementing local SEO tactics to help boost your search engine ranking.
Without professional input in these areas, you can risk losing out to other local competitors and not getting the attention that you deserve from potential customers.
4. Get New and Improved Business Signs
Old sun-bleached signs can make your business seem outdated and unappealing to customers. To rectify this, work with a designer to create new signage for your store so that you can attract drivers and pedestrians who might pass by your shop. When it comes to learning how to improve your dog grooming business, having a unique and eye-catching sign can make a world of difference when it comes to being noticed.
Consider the theme of your shop and the iconography you want to use to help you stand out from competitors. From pawprints to happy puppies, there are a lot of dog-related images you can include when coming up with your new sign.
You could also include some dog-themed humor in your signage, such as ‘Welcome to Barkingham Palace’ or ‘Barks and Recreation.’ Extra points if you include signage outside to help customers remember where they parked in your ‘barking lot’. Customers will enjoy the fun atmosphere of your groomer humor and your business will be more likely to stick in their minds the next time their dog needs a trim.
5. Update Your Waiting Room’s Look
Next off, when it comes to learning how to improve your dog grooming business, you need to look at your waiting room. Is it inviting? Is it pet-friendly? Consider how you can spruce it up to be welcoming and fun for both customers and their pets. Dog-themed decor, comfy seating, and even a stash of toys for dogs can help make your waiting area a nicer place to be.
You should also make sure to keep the area easy to clean because accidents can happen! If you have rugs in your waiting room, you should consider investing in area rug cleaning machines to easily clean up any messes and keep your business smelling fresh. Your office furniture should likewise be easy to maintain and clean with a quick nightly wipe-down.
6. Ensure Your Building Is Comfortable for Dogs and Humans
Another tip for how to improve your dog grooming business is to make sure the building is a comfortable temperature for both customers and pets. If your HVAC system is old and not doing the job anymore, make sure that it’s replaced as soon as possible.
Without the proper heating and cooling, you could put customers, staff, and pets at risk of being uncomfortable or overheating, or freezing. Customers will want to avoid places like this, even if you hit the mark in all of the other areas we’ve mentioned. No amount of groomer humor is going to make customers overlook a freezing or sweltering shop.
7. Keep a List of Local Numbers Handy for Clients
Pet owners, especially those who are new to owning a dog, will often have questions about where they should go for a variety of things. As a groomer, you can help make sure that dog owners at your business have access to a list of local services they can use. For instance, if you highly recommend a local veterinarian clinic, you can list their number on your front desk along with any other services you think your customers may need.
Other local options can include doggy daycare sites, dog training services, local pet sitters, boarding services, and stores that sell recommended at-home care products like shampoo for sensitive skin or allergies. Work with your staff to come up with a list of helpful resources that you think your customers could benefit from. This is also a great way to help you stand out from your competition, especially if you can partner with local services to provide discounts or specials at each other’s businesses.
8. Obtain Fence Installation Around Your Business So Dogs Can Go Outside
As mentioned above in landscaping, having an outdoor area for dogs to play or take care of business can be a major boon for a grooming company. While this isn’t always feasible depending on your location, if you have the resources, you should seriously consider it. A local fence company can quickly and easily put up a secure fence so that dogs can run about without fear of them getting loose.
If the dogs are okay with being off a leash, this can be a great place for them to wait and have fun with other dogs under the supervision of a staff-trained member. Even dogs that do require a leash can still be taken outside to enjoy the fresh air if you have the staff to do so. This option is much better than keeping them put up in a crate while they wait for their humans.
9. Demonstrate Your Dedication to Eco-Friendly Dog Grooming Practices
Wondering how to improve your dog grooming business? A lot of customers are concerned about businesses following eco-friendly practices, and dog grooming is no exception. To help show your customers that you’re committed to going green, invest in environmentally safe products. Products that contain things such as butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), diethanolamine (DEA), sodium laureth sulfate (SLS), and synthetic colors and fragrances should be avoided when possible. BHA, for instance, is a known skin irritant, and SLS has been known to cause organ system toxicity if inhaled. Do the environment, your staff, and your furry clients a favor and try to steer clear of these ingredients.
Similarly, when using waste disposal services, make sure that they offer a recycling program to help you cut down on the amount of waste you send out to the landfill. You can even go further by investing in eco-friendly bio-degradable disinfectants and supplies made from 100% recycled material or biodegradable material to further cut down on waste and pollution. For instance, replace plastic grooming brushes with bamboo variants.
You may also want to consider installing smart thermostats, motion-detecting lights, and water-saving faucets to help reduce the amount of energy and resources your shop uses. Smart thermostats can help reduce the amount of energy lost to heating and cooling, while smart lighting solutions can help lights turn off automatically when no one is around, and LED bulbs can further cut costs by requiring less energy to function. All of this adds up and can help make your business stand out as an eco-friendly choice for dog grooming.
Improving Your Business
When it comes to learning how to improve your dog grooming business, it’s important to look at the big picture and fill in the details as you go.
First look at the state of your building and take care of any large repairs such as roofing, plumbing, and landscaping. These are the bare bones of your image and setting those up correctly can give you a solid foundation to build upon. At this stage, you may also consider having energy-saving lighting, plumbing fixtures, and thermostats put in. However, these changes can always be made down the line as well.
Once that is complete, start filling in the details such as designing your signage, creating a comfortable waiting room, and installing outdoor amenities if you have the space.
At the same time, you should partner with a digital marketing company to help ensure that your online website is able to stand out and draw interest. Let your marketing professionals handle the details, but don’t be afraid to give input as you go along. Your webpage should be an extension of your shop and it should be set up, first and foremost, to make a good first impression.
Smaller details like creating a list of helpful local services, overhauling your products to be eco-friendly, and investing in pet-themed decor items can always be gradually implemented as your business continues to grow.
So, when it comes to learning how to improve your dog grooming business, these nine tips are something you should keep in mind. While every shop will be different, these basics are relatively universal. With all of this in mind, you can start growing your dog grooming business to be a trusted name in the Rochester, New York area.