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Why you need to ‘niche’ down and ‘specialise’ in your pet business

Discover why there is ‘Riches in Niches’ and why being a ‘generalist’ pet professional is costing you a fortune….

Here’s a controversial statement ‘Starting a business and getting new clients ISN’T very difficult…’ .

*Dom hides behind the sofa, and waits for you to stop swearing at him*.

Seriously, though, almost anyone can set up a business and get busy quickly IF their pricing is piss poor.

All low prices do is position you as the ‘everyman’ option.  A commodity.  The undervalued and underpaid hired help. Your too easily comparable, and potentially easily replaceable by your fellow ‘cheapo’ competitors.

I appreciate that charging higher prices is hard to do when you are first starting out in business. This makes it all the more important that you embrace what I’m teaching in this blog, and make sure you position YOUR BUSINESS as the premium option in your town.

Since I started my business, and in the last 18 month in much closer detail, I’ve seen many great people fail at running a business, simply because they didn’t have the cajones to charge a living wage for their services.

Think about that for a second.

I sure you would laugh in the face of someone who offered you a regular JOB that paid you £4 an hour, but many happily pimp out their time to do a cat sit, dog walk, groom or training session, where once you’ve added in the travelling time, delivery time and aftersales care the ‘hourly rate’ is little more than the aforementioned £4. (In the case of dog trainers one of the biggest ‘hidden’ income destroyers, and time wasters, is report writing and unlimited email follow-up with a training client)

So the first step is pricing, and the chances are you aren’t charging enough at the moment so increase your prices NOW (or in the very near future).

Don’t listen to the knockers and the naysayers who tell you it can’t be done, and do whatever you need to do to give you the confidence to put them up, book a call with me OR take part in one of the PBIC Gold calls we do monthly.

There are too many examples for me to mention but the general feedback I’m getting from PBIC (and especially my Diamond and Platinum Coaching clients) is ‘I’m getting much better clients now I’ve increased my prices’.

No shit Sherlock.

And guess what happens when you increase them again, and again and again.

Yup. You get even better clients!

Of which you need a lot less of them too, this means you can offer a better, more tailored service, with more bells and whistles that make them feel special, valued AND more likely to refer your business, if you are smart enough to ask for a referral.

I’m seriously looking forward to next year when I will be pushing my own dog adventure business into the super-premium sector. Affluent dog owners beware…

Pricing objections.

‘I don’t feel like I am offering anything different or better than my competition to warrant me charging more for my services’.

This is a very common and honest objection I hear from some newer members. And the simple answer is to offer something different and better than your competition.

Could you offer ‘Sniffing Session’ instead of boring old walks?

This doesn’t mean signing up to a Canine Correspondence or series of courses with some dog training association your friend recommends. That’s the fastest way to clog up your diary and add more ‘skills’ that will hamper your business growth, and repel your money making opportunities. 

Don’t get me wrong, learning new skills is to be commended. I myself spend a couple of hours each day reading and researching. But, to think you can’t charge more until you have more skills is a just plain bullshit.

If that was the case, then what happens if your competitors also upskill themselves? Should they raise their prices commensurately higher than you?

Of course not! The ability to charge higher prices comes first and foremost from having the ‘INNER GAME’ belief that you are worth what you charge. Everything else is just what’s going on in your own head.

Could you offer ‘Pug’ only adventures? Yes, you could!

If you want to be special “specialise”.

After raising your prices the easiest way to differentiate yourself from the competition is to specialise.

I dedicated a whole chapter of Walk Yourself Wealthy to the subject of ‘Being Specialised’ and you can grab a copy of that here, but here’s the up to date bullet points I covered my recent bootcamp.

  1. If you aren’t a specialist then you are a generalist.

Being a generalist means you don’t have any special skills, and who wants to be thought of as not being special. When choosing  a carer, walker, groomer or trainer for their dog, your prospects are looking for ‘the best’ option available. 

Note: NOT the best option they can afford, and besides it’s not your job to provide a service for everyone.

2) By declaring yourself a specialist ‘gun dog trainer’ ‘Shi-tzu Stylist’ or ‘Small paws dog walker’ you immediately align yourself with that group and make yourself a ‘bigger fish in a small pond’.

Think about it, Sally’s Dog Grooming just looks like one of many dog groomers out there, even if she’s the most talented groomer in the world she’s still just ‘a groomer’. But, ‘Sally’s ‘Shi-tzu’ specialist styling salon’ makes her the de-facto leader and go-to person for anyone with a Shi-tzu.

3) Once you specialise it becomes easier for you to be noticed by a certain section of the market, and you can become that specialist quicker because the learning curve is much shorter.

4) When you specialise you can quickly become an expert and keep up with industry trends. Before I started the PBIC I obviously had a background in the pet industry, and because of that it’s been infinitely easier for me to position myself as the go-to pet business coach.

I know the industry. I know where the people in it hang out. I know the language they use to describe their problems which means I can connect with them, AND help them in much better way than a marketing gooroo who just has a passing interest in dogs.

Don’t think you can’t do a similar thing with your niche? You can!

To find out more about niching your should grab a ticket to my next event or check out the recordings from the Poodle to Pitbull Pet Business Bootcamp. Click here to find your niche!

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.

To get a FREE copy of Walk Yourself Wealthy (and a special bonus gift from Dom) click here now.

You can get a kindle or paperback copy of Dom’s pet business bible ‘Walk Yourself Wealthy’ from Amazon by clicking here.

Uk pet business owners can get the audio version and start a free trail with Audible here

USA pet business owners can can get the audio version and start a free Audible trail by clicking here.

Get the audio version of Walk Yourself Wealthy

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 find out more about Dom and the Pet Business Inner Circle by clicking here.