Pet Boarding & Daycare

Assessing the Value of Add-On Services

Assessing the Value of Add-On Services

By Charlotte Biggs

One of the most rewarding experiences as a pet care services provider is to have a pet owner express how happy and grateful they are with the care and service you’ve provided for their pet. It’s just as rewarding to see that a pet’s specific physical and emotional needs are met. Even more important is knowing they are checking out of your facility in as good if not better condition than when they checked in. This experience combined with the successful operation of our business is what we strive to achieve on a daily basis.

To ensure this outcome is achieved, take time to assess the relevance of your services to the needs of the pets in your care and the expectations of today’s pet owners. 

According to Veterinary Practice News, March 2018 edition, “other” services, which includes pet services outside of healthcare such as grooming, boarding, walking, training, pet sitting, yard services and more, saw one of the highest growths in the market. Our segment of the market came in at $6.16 billion in 2017, and spending in the pet services segment continues to grow. 

What does this growth in our market mean? This increased spending by pet owners reflects a priority in providing the best of care and specificity of care and services for their pets. There is a great opportunity to expand your reach, have a positive impact on the lives of the pets within your community and increase your revenue at the same time.

As we continue to grow and evolve as a pet care services industry, now is the time to consider what services you offer and the value of adding services or additional add-on services to your business.

What are Add–on Services? 

Add–on services are additional services provided to improve the pet’s care and experience while improving the pet owner’s appreciation and perceived value of your services. They provide an opportunity to increase your business brand or reputation and provide for additional revenue streams and increased profit.

Not all add–on services will work for all pet care services businesses. It will depend on your market, customer and pet needs, and your business model, mission and vision. The goal is to assess your business offerings to identify if there are opportunities for improved pet care experiences, customer demands or specific market needs that could be met with some changes from within your business. 

You can begin your analysis by looking at and doing the research on your overall market and customer makeup. Are the pets you’re caring for currently aging? Are their needs different and could you add services to make it better for them? Or are you in an area where the demographics of working double–head–of–households has grown and dog daycare could thrive if you added it? Ask your clients verbally and with surveys how you’re doing and what else you could do to be of service to them. Ask your staff if there are things they think you could be doing that would be of service to the pets you care for.

Once you’ve identified possible add-on services, do a Benefits to Risk analysis before making your decisions. The following are some factors to consider.

Benefits of add–on services are:

Risk of add–on services are: 

Creating a niche service or adding a core service will require more substantive changes to make them happen. These include identifying appropriate space and equipment or having to engage in creating the new space through remodel or construction, as well as additional staff and education and training for staff. Analysis, preparation and planning is a must. It may be that you can implement some things now and plan additional ones for later. 

Assessing the value of potential add-on services can create the opportunity to keep your business fresh, relevant and successful as you respond to the needs and demands of the pet care services market you are in. If you’re not certain where to begin, there are industry and community resources you can access to assist you. 

Charlotte Biggs, CPACO, is the Business Growth and Development Guru with The Dog Gurus. Charlotte is also co-founder of the Professional Animal Care Certification Council (PACCC), the pet care services industry’s only independent certifying body. She served as COO for four years for the International Boarding & Pet Services Association (IBPSA). Charlotte’s leadership in the pet care services industry, combined with her real-world expertise as the original owner and operator of Stay N Play Pet Ranch, Inc., which she and her partner founded in 1998 and grew to one of the most successful, full service, all natural and holistic pet care facilities in the country before successfully selling it in 2013, makes her a sought-after industry speaker and consultant.