Dog Daycare Business Think Tank: Attracting New Clients
By Dog Daycare Business Think Tank
A Member of the Dog Daycare Business Think Tank asked:
Where can I get the most bang for my buck (or, more realistically, my time!) in attracting new clients?
There are many ways that you can and should get in front of new potential clients, but there are two that I’ve used with my own businesses as well the dog daycares I work with that stand out. One is more of a long-term strategy, while the other can bring an immediate stream of new customers into your business. I recommend implementing both of these if you’re serious about growing your business now and well into the future.
Let’s start with the way you can get new customers through your doors right away. To get new people interested in your business, you need to do two main things: one, let them know you exist (or remind them that you’re there) and what it is that you do; and two, give them an irresistible offer to try you out. The easiest way to do that is to use paid advertising, specifically on Facebook and Instagram. (Instagram is owned by Facebook and you can advertise on both platforms at the same time.) You will need to invest a little money into it; however, if you’re doing it right, you will be getting back much more than you’re putting in.
With ads, we’re always thinking about the lifetime value of your average customer—how much your average customer is worth to you over the years of using your business. Smart companies understand that the value of a customer is worth much more than their first purchase, so are often willing to break even or take a loss to acquire a new customer.
On Facebook/Instagram you can make sure you only target those people who are your ideal customers—thanks to their super-detailed targeting capabilities—so you will only pay to show your ads to the people most likely to convert. This means you don’t waste money showing your ads to people who are irrelevant (like in print media), allowing you to maximize your ad spend.
To make this work, you want to come up with a deal that people will see in their Facebook/Instagram feed that is hard for them to resist. This will get you a whole bunch of new customers that you can dazzle with your awesome service and turn them into long-term patrons.
That brings us to the second way to bring in more customers which has more long-lasting results but takes more time to see the fruits of your efforts. You want to create relationships with other dog businesses in your area so that they will send you a constant stream of referrals. You’re probably nodding your head thinking that this is nothing new and that you already knew that, BUT I rarely find people doing it right.
The key thing about building a strong relationship is that you want to go into it seeing how much you can help out the other business without asking them to help out your business. You want to make as many large deposits in the relationship bank of this other business as you can before you are able to make a withdrawal. You want to help out the other business so much that they feel compelled to reciprocate.
This takes time and patience and typically doesn’t cost you any money; however, once you have cultivated it, it can be invaluable to your business. Get to know the people in the other businesses and find creative ways to help them out in any areas where they may be struggling. Send them as many customers as you can, but don’t ever ask for anything in return. Over time you’ll earn so much goodwill that soon the other business will go out of their way for you in return and start sending new customers your way as well.
There are a number of other ways you can get new customers into your business, but these two will have the biggest impact and, when used together, create an engine that will continually drive new business to your daycare or boarding facility and help you grow.
Questions for this column come from the Facebook group The Dog Daycare Business Think Tank and are answered by Fernando Camacho (Fern). Fern runs Overdog Digital, a digital marketing agency specializing in working with dog daycare and boarding facilities. He does private business consulting, staff training and helps pet businesses utilize modern resources to expand their customer base and grow their businesses. Fern is also the author of six books and is a speaker at national conferences and private events. To join the group or ask a question, go to: www.facebook.com/groups/dogdaycarethinktank