It’s heartbreaking to see so many pet business owners in my Facebook feed talking about how the current crisis is killing their revenue.
Pet sitters are losing 75%, up to 100% of their clients because when everyone is laid off or working from home, or even cancelling their vacations, they no longer need their daily dog walks or vacation pet sitting visits.
Dog trainers are cancelling group training classes and their clients are flaking on private training sessions because they do not know if they can afford to pay for them.
I decided to come up with a list of ideas that can help you get your business online, find new streams of revenue, and come out of this crisis stronger than ever.
New Revenue Streams For Pet Sitters
Just because everyone is working from home, doesn’t mean that they can’t use help caring for their pet.
Perhaps your current clients will be able to use your services if you allow them to cut back to just a few dog walks per week. That way, they can ensure that their dogs are exercised and entertained while they take important conference calls. Point out that you can keep their dog occupied – no more stressing over their dog barking in the background!
You can also offer pet food delivery services so your quarantined clients do not have to run to the store to stock up.
Or, maybe you can offer a pet taxi service and transport their pet to the groomer or vet. If you’re concerned about possibly contracting the virus in a crowded vet waiting room, you can call reception and ask if you can wait with the pet outside in your car until the exam room is ready.
Some vets have switched to drive-thru services, only allowing pets and staff inside the building. A staff member can come outside to retrieve the pet while you wait in the car.
New Revenue Streams For Dog Trainers
Like pet sitters, you, too, may be able to offer pet food delivery services to quarantined clients.
Pet taxi services to transport pets to the vet or groomer might be a bit outside your wheelhouse, but it can be a good way to support your clients during this time.
If you have enough room, you can offer board-and-train services to give work-at-home pet parents a break from their pets, and to avoid the need for your clients to have you inside their home, or from having to visit your facility.
If you’re thinking about offering virtual dog training classes, but don’t know where to start, remember that there is no need to get fancy with new software that can take weeks to figure out.
Just offer Skype or Facebook Messenger video calls. You can also do group training over Facebook Live through a private Facebook Group.
To prepare your business for the possibility of these tough times stretching out over the next few months, you can start writing an e-book and/or course that you can sell digitally.
New Revenue Streams For Groomers
Some groomers’ salons have closed down, while others have chosen to remain open.
If you’re having trouble getting clients to come into your salon, maybe you can start to offer pet pickup and dropoff so quarantined clients do not need to come to you.
You can also offer at-home grooming classes to teach your clients how to give their pets a touch-up to help them stay free of mats between grooming appointments.
Don’t worry about your clients learning to groom at home and forgetting about you. In fact, they’ll quickly realize that grooming isn’t as easy as it looks, and they may have a better understanding of why their wiggly Westipoo’s haircut costs more than their own.
In the long run, you may want to consider selling products, whether you develop your own, white-label, or sell the shampoos and conditioners that you use at your shop. If you already do this, consider creating an online storefront.
Passive Revenue For Pet Business Owners
Passive revenue takes time to create, but it’s worth the effort, and if you’ve got more free time at your disposal, now is the time to create that e-book you’ve been wanting to write, or to start blogging on your business website.
Blogging is great for your business’s SEO, helping you attract more new customers. You can also use a blog to make money by hosting affiliate links, running ads, or selling digital products.
Ask Your Clients: How Can I Support You?
As your clients cancel on you, it’s important to be understanding, and make them feel supported by your business in this tough time.
Start a poll on your Facebook Page, Instagram, or even though text or email to learn what they’re concerned about and how you can help them continue to care for their pets.
Get In Touch For More Inspiration!
If you need help coming up with ideas for adding revenue streams to your business, send me photos of your fuzzy coworkers, or just want to vent, I’m here for you.