Business Slowing Down? Boost Your Revenue with Training Services!
By Laura Laaman
As we know, more pets were adopted during COVID than ever before. Many new pet parents brought a dog into their family for the first time. Whether they rescued a dog in need or purchased a new puppy, they may not have realized what they were in for when welcoming a new dog into their lives.
Now many have a cute but likely unruly furry monster running amok in their home. Pet care facilities who offer dog training are all too familiar with pet parents’ frustration: “He won’t listen! He pees everywhere! He’s chewed everything!”
Dog training can help more than just the pet parents—it benefits the pets tremendously and can even save their lives. According to a recent study conducted by the National Council on Pet Population Study & Policy, a staggering 96% of surrendered dogs had not received obedience training. While efforts to reduce pet euthanasia in shelters have improved in recent years, the ASPCA reports 1.5 million animals are still being euthanized in shelters every year.
Offering training can reduce stress in pet parents’ homes and make pet families happier. The benefits to your business are equally wonderful. Effective dog training will not only stabilize your business when core services slow down, it can actually skyrocket your revenue as well.
While dog training can be an incredible addition to your pet care facility’s offerings, it’s important to run a program that’s both effective and profitable.
Here are 10 steps to follow in order to implement a successful training program:
1 Decide what type of training you’ll provide. The vast majority of pet parents simply want pet-level training. That means they need the most important and basic obedience training as well as home manners. They’re looking for harmony in their household. The extra bells and whistles of advanced obedience, group classes, therapy training and canine sports are rarely profitable or as beneficial as basic foundations.
2 Choose who will provide training. Working with an independent trainer can be a challenge for both your revenue and brand. With training, some current, skilled employees are likely capable of providing pet-level training. Otherwise, you can hire new employees with an interest in dog training but little to no actual dog training experience for a fraction of the cost of hiring an independent trainer.
3 Decide what profit margin you feel is reasonable.
Dog training should be one of your most profitable offerings. To determine your margins, calculate your overnight fees and appropriate activities, then determine how many training sessions you’ll offer at what cost. Once you know your actual costs, you can price appropriately and ensure profitability.
4 Determine the deliverables. What training options and packages make the most sense for your company? Many pet care facilities find a “stay & train” arrangement to be the most effective and the most profitable. You already have the lodging accommodations! This type of program also gives your team plenty of time with the pets while providing training on consecutive days, which is much more effective than a once-a-week course. In general, group training classes are significantly less profitable and effective.
5 Choose how you’re going to sell it. Will it be on the phone? In person? Training program costs can sound hefty without being properly explained. An in-person meeting with the pet parent gives you valuable facetime and a chance for you to hear their challenges, display your facility and describe your training solutions in a value-oriented way that justifies the cost.
6 Determine who will sell it. Often, the employees providing the training are not the strongest salespeople on your team. Whoever is selling training must be confident, people-oriented and able to sell a high-ticket service. Ideally, they’ll be properly trained in sales techniques and prepared with the appropriate materials.
7 Gather your training materials and supplies. You’ll need the right equipment to deliver training, including your choice of collars, leashes and aids, as well as report cards and paper resources for the pet parents. Determine where in your facility the training will take place and set it up appropriately.
8 Prepare your sales tools. Since training often comes with a big price tag, you’ll benefit from having sales tools to make it clear to pet parents that your facility is the best option. Phone scripts and a well-trained phone team can help secure leads and turn them into training appointments. A well-organized binder of appealing images and important information about your business and training program is another powerful tool.
9 Develop a marketing plan. Once your training program starts to come together, how are you going to get the word out? We recommend adding training to your website, social media posts, emails, flyers and signage to help get your training program off the ground. Don’t forget to reach out to your current client base as well—it’s likely lots of them would benefit from training, and they already have a relationship with you.
10 Set a revenue goal and a profit goal. To ensure your training program is as profitable as possible, set goals and track your numbers regularly. How much do you need to bring in in training to realize a nice profit? How much should you aim to sell each month?
Training is a valuable and potentially extremely profitable service pet parents will always need. By implementing an effective training program, you’re able to reach an even bigger group of pet parents. And, chances are, if they use you for training, they’ll come back to you for your other services, too.
Laura Laaman is president of Outstanding Pet Care. If you’re interested in setting up a winning dog training program, marketing assistance, or any of our other proven and guaranteed services, schedule a consultation by calling 1-888-735-5667 or vising www.OutstandingPetCare.com/contact.