3 Post-Pandemic Revenue Mistakes
By Laura Laaman
The pet care industry is supposedly recession-proof—but COVID-19 showed us it’s not pandemic-proof.
For some business owners, this was the first major crisis they’d encountered. Others faced the 2008 economic financial recession and September 11th. COVID-19 was unique, however, as it brought work and travel to a screeching halt.
Pet care facility owners across the industry were shocked into a very defensive position. Even the most optimistic pet care facility owners naturally went into fear-induced confusion. In that reactionary mode, they made disruptive and difficult decisions for the goal of survival.
As the country starts moving into the next phase, it’s time to not just survive, but also position ourselves to thrive. After all, most business owners didn’t get into business just to squeak by—they want to be successful. These are certainly complicated, confusing and challenging times; however, if you’re committed to overcoming this pandemic, it’s time to ensure you’re making the best decisions possible and avoid or undo any poor knee-jerk decisions.
We’ve identified three major mistakes pet care facility owners innocently made that should be remedied as soon as possible:
1 Ceasing Phone Procedure Quality Control: As you hopefully already agree, the pet care industry is uniquely tied to the phone—even in this internet age. The most profitable pet care facilities realized this and ensured phones were only answered by adept, highly-trained professionals. But when people stopped traveling and the well of phone calls suddenly dried up, pet care facilities were forced to allocate their resources to other places. Profitable phone procedures may have fallen by the wayside, and the few incoming calls were haphazardly handled by whoever was around to answer the phone.
The good news is, the phones are starting to ring again. So as your phone lines start to light back up, it’s critical to restore quality control measures. When your most skilled and highly-trained phone experts are answering every call, phone inquiries are being treated like the golden opportunities they truly are. This means that you are realizing high conversion (turning inquiries into bookings).
Smart business owners realize that just one client has the potential to spend tens of thousands of dollars with you over the lifetime of their pet. Therefore, they are set to convert as many prospects as possible. The reverse is also true. If you’re not confident every call is being handled with expert care, you’re forfeiting tremendous revenue you likely can’t afford to lose.
2 Slamming the Brakes on Marketing:When the pandemic first hit, most pet care business owners felt forced to reduce or totally halt their advertising efforts. They felt the need to reserve cash. Now, however, is perhaps the most important time to resume advertising.
If they haven’t already, your primary competitors will soon be stirring up an advertising storm. Like with the phones, web searches for pet care are increasing. If a pet parent doesn’t see your facility’s name, they will see someone else’s. Both existing clients and prospective new clients are at risk of being scooped up by your competition if you don’t resume marketing sooner rather than later.
However, it’s important to get the most out of your marketing dollars. If you’re making the right marketing decisions and targeting the right places, you can start to dig back out of the pandemic’s crater.
Digital advertising effectively managed by a skilled provider allows for the most control and highest return. Cross marketing to your database provides wonderful, highly effective and inexpensive opportunities for your existing clients to use more of your services.
3 Painful Pricing Mistakes: This third pitfall has been a trap for pet care business owners long before COVID-19, but the threat is now highly exacerbated. An all-inclusive pricing model means you include playtime in the overnight boarding price. All-inclusive pricing comes with a host of problematic side effects most business owners aren’t aware of. The inherent dangers of an all-inclusive pricing system include:
- Reduced occupancy and frequency of visits due to a high, inflexible price point
- Lower revenue overall due to a lack of logical choices by the pet parent
- Lower return on marketing investment due to intimidatingly high prices
- Limited available market (a high percentage of dogs isn’t best suited in a group play environment).
By separating activities from boarding, you can give pet parents meaningful choices on how much and what kind of activity they’d like for their pet. This model is proven to engage more customers—and it’s better for the pets, too. If you haven’t made the switch yet, now is the time to consider it.
Now that we can see light at the end of the tunnel, it’s time to forge ahead toward a strong future. This means working even harder at maximizing each client’s engagement and spending with your company. Prior to COVID-9, when business was booming, it was easy to become complacent and simply assume another prospect was going to call. That was dangerous thinking then—and now it’s deadly for your business.
The world is beginning to return to some level of normalcy at last, but fierce competition still looms. Avoid these mistakes and remain committed to make your business strong.
Laura Laaman is president of Outstanding Pet Care. Outstanding Pet Care guarantees to substantially increase the revenues of its clients with its proven services. If you’re interested in growing your revenues, schedule an individual consultation with Laura Laaman or one of her team members. Call Outstanding Pet Care at 1-888-735-5667 or go to www.OutstandingPetCare.com.