The Secrets to a Super Successful and Profitable Pet Business
“There is too much competition in my town!” is a common complaint I hear from pet professionals.
This is the same complaint that most businesses have been having since business was invented back in…well, a long time ago!
I bet Ugg the caveman was well pleased with his newly opened ‘rock shop’, until his Neanderthal neighbour Ergg copied the exact same idea. The only point of difference being Ergg was charging a few pebbles less for his rocks. ..
See, where business is being conducted there will always be competition. This is to be expected of of course, a successful business is a sign there are clients willing to pay for certain services, and once a market has been established then different variations of the service at varying price points usually develop.
This is has happened in the pet industry over the last few years, and I see no reason why this won’t continue over the next few years.
One of my coaching clients has reported there are 45 dog walkers (that she knows of) in her 7 X15 mile peninsula, and two of my Edinburgh coaching clients say there are 400 dog walkers operating in and around Edinburgh.
So, with a market crowded with competition, is this still a good business to be in?
I think yes, but there are some caveats to add.
I used to say there were enough dogs to go around, but now I’m not so sure.
One of the reasons for this saturation of service providers is that most professions in the pet service have very little barriers to entry.;
[*] You can start a dog walking business with a Facebook page and some poo bags, and many people do just that.
[*] You can gain the relevant dog grooming qualifications within 10 weeks, although you may be only able to offer canine crew cuts until you gain some proper ‘on the job’ experience.
[*] In theory, it should take a lot longer to become a dog trainer, but the industry is unregulated, and whilst many trainers are well qualified (and the seminar junkies are probably over qualified) there are many dog trainers actively teaching today who have done all their learning ‘online’ or via correspondence courses. Incredibly, some of those end up teaching other dog trainers and so you have dog trainers charging money to ‘help’ dog owners fix their doggy problems despite having very little ‘hands on’ practical dog training knowledge. Truly the blind leading the blind.
So, this is not a difficult industry to get into, and it’s not even that difficult to get clients, even when you are brand new. However, it is a very difficult business to make a really good, or even an excellent living and only the fortunate few do that.
For each new pet business that opens up there will be another one closing down because they couldn’t make ends meet. Within the mix of existing pet business there will be a 5% making a great living, 15% doing pretty well, with the other 80% struggling to get by, surviving week to week, many of them taking second jobs to keep their business dream alive, and some just running hobby type businesses that barley turn a profit and only make enough money to feed the cat (and their seminar habit if they are a dog trainer…)
So, how do you ensure you become one of the elite pet businesses who makes money AND has an IMPACT with your amazing services.
Well, from my experience of running a successful premium dog adventure business since 2011, and helping dozens of dog trainers and walkers to transform their businesses over the last two years, I can state unequivocally that you won’t become one of the top performers by doing the same activities as the majority of average business owners.
I’ve identified five key traits of highly successful pet business owners which I’m going to share with you now.
Success Trait Number 1 – Be Niched. Most pet professionals try to be a ‘jack of all trades’ and offer every available service under the sun. All this does is make you look like a generalist, instead of a specialist. And as you should know ‘specialists’ make more money. Think about what your local GP doctor gets paid and then think about the high fees charged by ‘expert’ plastic sugeons. Finding your ‘niche’ makes you easier to find, and will help you laser-target your marketing so you can attract more affluent clients.
Success Trait Number 2 – Be Premium. Most pet businesses go out of business because they don’t make enough money. As I said previously, it’s actually pretty easy to get clients, you just charge low prices and bargain hunting dog owners will find you. Sadly, these ‘bottom feeders’ tend to be the worst kind of clients. Mastering premium pricing and carging higher prices gets you better clients and will instantly position you as the ‘Harrods’pet business in your town. (Check out this short video below to see how it’s your choice whether you are premium or not)
Success Trait Number 3 – Be The Expert – Affluent dog owners want to know that they are getting ‘the best’ service possible, and they will willingly pay handsomely if they know they are dealing with an expert. Sadly, you won’t be seen as an expert by just attending seminars and collecting letters after your name. You would be better off writing your book or doing something newsworthy to get yourself in the paper. Doing this will sprinkle some X factor over your business so you can stand out from the crowd and cement your status as the trusted dog walking authority in your town.
Success Trait Number 4 – Be Polarising . This is a more advanced positioning tactic, but it essentially requires you to be yourself in your marketing. If there are issues you are passionate about then you should speak about them in your marketing communications. Don’t fall into the trap of ‘being professional’ (something your dog training association will probably insist on). Most pet business owners confuse ‘being professional’ with being BORING. Start sharing your opinions and use your personality to push away chav customers and pull the premium prospects towards you. ‘.
Success Trait Number 5 – Be Inaccessible. If you’ve ever flown first class you will remember how smug you felt to be sitting in a superior seat to those sitting further back in cattle class. Similarly, if you ever been to a concert and felt insanely jealous at those who were located in the V.I.P ‘Golden Circle, then you have experienced what it’s like to feel on the ‘outside’. Learning how to be more inaccessible is like throwing a cloak of exclusivity around your business that will have dog owners begging to use your services.
I go into much more detail about these five traits in my pet business bible Walk Yourself Wealthy which you can get a FREE copy of by clicking here now.
The more you embrace those five success traits the more successful your pet business will be. It happened with my own business and I’ve seen it happen time and time again with my private coaching clients.
If you are ready to start implementing the five success traits of highly successful pet businesses and you want my help to get started then there are a number of ways I can help you.
The first is to sign up to my 33 ideas that will help you Grow Your Pet Business FAST! You will get one idea emailed to you every single day. Click here for the emails.
Next you can grab a FREE copy of the pet business bible ‘Walk Yourself Wealthy’ from me by clicking here.
Or if you are a super serious pet business owner, with a more established business that you are struggling to make profitable, and you want to move forward faster, then you can apply to work with me directly inside the PBIC or in of my pet business coaching programs. Click here to find out how to work with me personally to help you grow your pet business.
Take that leap today. You won’t regret it.
In 2011 Dom Hodgson revolutionised the pet service industry with his first business Pack Leader Dog Adventures, the UK’s first, award winning ‘dog adventure’ company. Now a respected dog trainer, author, speaker and mentor to pet business owners, Doms calling is to help dog walkers, trainers and groomers to excel with their marketing, so they can help change the lives of more dog owners with their amazing skills. You can join the elite, ambitious pet business owners inside the Pet Business Inner Circle, or apply to work with Dom personally by clicking here now.
You can get the kindle version of Walk Yourself Wealthy or the paperback from from Amazon by clicking here