<![CDATA[by Nancy E. Hassel, American Pet Professionals $1,500 extra a week sounds pretty darn good right? The other night after getting caught in a rain storm with my dog Cody, I wanted to take him to get a bath. Normally I take him to APP Member Bubbles & Biscuits because they have a self-serve dog and I use APP Member ECO Dog Care shampoo, but it was around 7pm, so I went to a local Petco Unleashed that I knew had the self-serve dog was stations. After Cody's bath was done, the manager of the store was talking with me while he was cleaning up the other bath the dog next to Cody was in. I asked, "About how many people come in here a week to wash their dogs?" He said, "Usually we average about 150, and oddly enough more people come to wash their dogs when it rains." I said, "Wow, 150, I was expecting you to say like 20, tops. That's great." He said, "Yea people really seem to like it, it's convenient." To wash your dog yourself at this store, it's only $10 bucks x 150 dog washes = $1,500 extra a week in that location alone. Not a bad number to add to your profit line. Grooming/retail stores/boarding facilities owners - this seems to me like a simple way to increase your bottom line without a ton of investment (and none if you already have the baths, wash & dry towels at your store, etc.). It's an extra service you could offer your customers, (and think about the new customers that it will draw in), it's convenient, an easy price point to sell, you do the clean up so the customers don't have to, it's great if anyone has back issues so they are not bending over washing their dogs at home and so on. My dog has short hair, so he doesn't need professional grooming, so self-serve dog wash is super easy and I don't have to clean up the mess afterwards. Bonus! In my PR mind I see so many possibilities with promoting this: - Have a fun event to let your customers know about the new service - Host a dog wash for local animal shelters - Host an educational event about what products people can use during and after the bath - have these items available to purchase, shampoos, brushes, etc., can you hear your cash register? And heck, even if you can only offer this service for 1 or 2 days a week - and people come in to wash their dogs, those days, they are more likely going to buy something else for their dog being so good in the bath, I did. Many of you reading this are not groomers/retailers/boarding facilities - but you can add new services to your pet business, new conveniences to help your customers, and at a nominal charge that they don't blink at paying - could help you bring in extra cash. Be creative, think a little outside the box of what you can do. What is it that your customers regularly ask you about - "do you know who does this, that, or where I can get XYZ?" Can you answer any of their questions by adding an additional service to what you already do? This year at Global Pet Expo, they talked about the Pet Service area of the industry being the fastest growing area. It's kibble for thought for you to think of new ways to add on extras to help make things easier for your pet parent customers. The possibilities are endless in helping pet parents make their lives easier and helping your business increase revenue. Are you wheels spinning with ideas yet? I hope so - and we would love to hear your feedback on what you have done! ]]>
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