Pet Services Are A Multi-Billion-Dollar Industry

There are many of us who consider our pets as part of the family, and this is evidenced by a recent statistic that states 65% of all U.S. homes own at least one pet. Along with this increase in pet ownership comes the need for services tailored for our pet’s comfort. And, because of this trend, pet services have grown into a multi-billion-dollar industry that encompasses a wide range of services from pet supplies to recovery services aimed at returning our lost pets.

The largest industry leader is still pet supply, and companies like PetCo and PetSmart are the leading forces, providing everything from pet foods to grooming. Companies like these have evolved because their services are based on the growth of the pet population, and our need to make our pets feel like a family member. This focus has driven the industry from a single section in discount and grocery stores into a wide range of businesses that are tailored at pampering our pets.

One of the services that have grown out of this industry are pet sitting services that will, as the title implies sit for your pet like a baby sitter sits for you children. These services can range from kennels with all the amenities that will pamper your pet while your on extended absences, to small home services that sit for your pets while your at work. The cost for the services can range from a few dollars per hour for basic sitting services to a few thousand dollars for the more posh kennel services that cater to your pets’ every need.

Then there are the specialty service that have become popular by their use in movies and television commercials, and the most recognized of these is the pet walking services. Pet walking services became popular in movies of cosmopolitan life in the inner city, and this service has grown ever since. Another popular service, but not as glamorous is the poopey scooper service, that effectively keeps our streets clean. And, with the recent laws that have been enacted regarding this issue, this service is becoming ever popular.

And finally there are services that have become popular with the growth of the internet; one type of service that is growing is the pet recovery field. This service helps pet owners recover their pets by providing a place to list their pet in advance, so when the lost pet is found, the owners contact information can be retrieved. One company that also includes a free pet identification tag with registration is RecoveryPets.Com and their website is located at http://www.recoverypets.com, and this enables the finder to quickly find the lost pets’ owner by knowing exactly what site visit.

Because of these specialty services our pets are more pampered and secure, and if the pet ownership population continues to grow, we will see an increase in the number of services dedicated to our pets, and the continued growth of this multi-billion dollar industry.

Mobile Pet Services – The Answer to Our Prayers!

I love my white Alsation, Max, but he sheds enough hair to insulate an entire house! Wherever he walks a white cloud of hair follows, everywhere. Dog grooming was a nightmare for me. Max weighs 70Kg and loves water. He thinks dog grooming is playtime and quickly this became impossible, so I turned to pet grooming services and sent him to a salon. What a disaster – he came back traumatized and acting strangely which he only snapped out of days later.

Fuming, I called the pet salon only to find that they tranquillize the animals before they groom them. I was appalled, how can you drug an animal without permission? That was the last time I used that pet service and frankly I go out of my way to warn other owners against it.

Mobile Pet Services were the answer to my prayers. Not only did I no longer have to load Max into my car and take him down to the pet salon with the residue of white hair coating every inch of the car, but they brought their mobile dog grooming service to me. Even better, the groomers used Max’s own towels so I didn’t have to worry about transmitted infections from other dogs. He enjoyed the experience immensely. The groomers were friendly, efficient and professional.

Max is my child and I want him to have the best experience possible because I love him dearly. The pet care services use the best bio degradable shampoos and pet care products on the market. They gave Max a Snout to Tail examination and gave me friendly advice on how to care for him.

De-matting his undercoat was the first step, boy did I laugh – now someone else could experience the snow storm of fur. Max loved the attention and he reveled with the groomers’ attitude to him. With his coat sorted they then quickly gave him a warm water soak, shampoo and cut followed by a good old dog shake and blow dry

A wonderful experience and Max is in loving hands every two weeks. He enjoys the experience and benefits from a well cared for coat. Water now runs off and his dog coat and dries faster insulating him effectively in winter and less fur has to be trimmed in summer.

To sum up their pet grooming services would be the word P.E.T:

P – Professionalism
E – Experience
T – Training

Always check or visit the pet services before letting your “child” into their care. Don’t make the same mistake I did. You pets are your children.

How To Use Business to Business Networking To Grow Your Pet Business

Pursuing relationships with your local pet business owners can bring you opportunities for cross referrals and allow you to offer your customers extra convenience.

When I interviewed Joseph Giannini from Chicago based Urban Outsitters last week I discovered that his goal is to fulfill the full range of his customers pet care needs. In the last 4 years he has grown his business from a pet sitting and dog walking service to a business that offers grooming, boarding, and day care. At his boarding and day care locations he also has retail outlets that sell pet foods and accessories. In the next year he also plans to add veterinary services. However, in the pet industry Joseph’s business model is fairly unique. Most pet care businesses focus on providing customers one service, or at most two to three complimentary services. These businesses can give customers more value and convenience creating partnerships with other local pet care providers.

Here are a few ideas that you can use to make the most of partnering with non-competitive pet businesses:

Create win-win opportunities for cross-promotion. Organize an exchange of discount coupons for each of your services that can be distributed to your existing customers as appreciation gifts. Make customers feel special by printing “Exclusive offer for clients of XYZ pet services” on the bottom of each of your coupons.

Team up to organize community events. Organizing local events is a great way to get media publicity and give back to local charities. However, they require a large amount of work to organize and run. Why not team up with other local pet business and share the work and publicity.
Co-op Advertising. Advertising in magazines and coupon direct mailings is typically expensive. If you want access to reach these markets but can’t justify the price why not split the ad size and share an ad with another local pet business. You can split the cost of the ad and both reach the market you want to target.

Offer a combined service. Your clients need to take their pets to other local businesses to ensure that their dietary, training, and maintenance needs are met. To offer them more convenience why not combine your services with the services of other businesses to create service packages. A few examples are:

Pet sitting visit with grooming service

Pet sitting visit with food and treat delivery from local dog bakery

Dog day care visit with annual vaccinations

Dog walking service with training session

Dog birthday party at doggy day care with pampering by groomer and treats from local dog bakery

You will be able to charge a premium price for this service because of the time savings you offer your clients.

Emergency Planning. Your pet business should have an action plan that you will follow if a natural or human caused disaster occurs. A pet business with a large facility such as a dog day care may offer a good central shelter to bring your clients pets if you are no longer able to care for them in their home. Work with other pet business owners to make sure that you can pool resources in an emergency to ensure the safety of the pets in your care.

Don’t be afraid to contact local pet business owners and offer to meet for lunch or organize a meeting at their location.

Many business owners shy away from networking with other businesses that provide similar services in the same geographic area. This attitude is often based on scarcity thinking. In reality if you live in a highly populated area there are plenty of pet owners to serve and the advantages of getting to know your competitors can be many.

Advantages of networking with same service businesses include:

Opportunity to share best practices and learn from the experience of others

Have a backup for emergencies and vacation periods

A new source of referrals

Knowing others gives you the confidence to recommend other businesses if you cannot accommodate customer needs

Look for a networking group in your area by contacting business associations or asking other pet business owners. If you can find an existing network why not start your own. Associations typically can offer best practices and recommendations for forming networking groups.

Become A Pet Service Provider For Fun, And Profit

This business can provide you with a good income. You can charge $10-to-$30 an hour for your pet services. You also have the option of offering your clients weekly or monthly rates. Offering these lengthier packages helps your clients save money, and allows you to secure future income. Different pet services you provide will vary in prices you charge; they are all worth your time. You can increase your prices for new clients as you gain more experience, and a longer client list. People gladly pay more for service providers that are in demand, and are experienced in their field of work.

You will benefit by offering both standard and creative pet services. You should offer standard dog walking, pet sitting, and pet feeding services, but don’t stop there. You can offer pet medication administering service. Obviously, you will need to get detailed instructions from the owner, or directly from the owner’s veterinarian. You can also offer to rollerblade with their dog, so that he can run full-bore for a while. Most pet owners are incapable of running their dogs at full speed, and know that there little buddies need it. A lot of pet owners cannot bend over to pick up their dogs droppings, their cats litter box, or cannot clean their pet’s cage; you can offer this cleaning to the services you provide. Offer basic obedience train for dogs as part of your service. You can train your canine clients on basic commands such as sit, stay, lay down. These are simple repetitive commands that most dogs will begin to obey once you have gained their trust and respect. Many owners who lack physical strength may want to hire you to properly leash train their dogs. There are a multitude of beneficial services that you can offer to your future clients to enhance your value and profit.

Increase your value to your customers by knowing their pet better than your competition does. Your reputation, your referral business, and your income will be enhanced as your knowledge grows. Pet owners are willing to pay more for expert pet service providers. Use the internet to learn about the individual needs, tendencies, pluses, and minuses of different breeds of dog and cats. Begin studying the primary breeds of dogs and cats, and then get to the more unique breeds. Next, you can begin studying the care needs of unique pets such as small mammals (hamsters, guinea pigs, ferrets, etc.), birds, reptiles, and other pets. Show off your knowledge when you are conversing with your clients. They will be impressed, and will be quick to refer you to their friends. Pet owners are extremely interested in their pets, and they want to think that you are as well.

As a pet service provider, you set your work schedule and hours. Granted, you will earn more if you work more, but the choice is yours to make. You can easily work as a pet service provider, while keeping up with your personal responsibilities. Regardless if you are a student, a stay-at-home mom, starting this business part-time, or have nothing but time on your hands, your schedule is of your own choosing. It is a good idea to write out your work schedule a few weeks in advance, so that you can communicate your upcoming availability to your perspective clients. You should be realistic in your scheduling; don’t set a goal of earning maximum income, but working minimal hours.

As long as you love animals, you will have a lot of fun as a pet service provider. Don’t start this business if you don’t love animals. Animals are much smarter than most people give them credit for. If you don’t like being around an animal, then he probably doesn’t like being around you either. A person who does not like animals will have a tough time in the pet service provider industry. Animals have minimal options available to them to get away from a person that they don’t like; a person in this scenario would likely be bitten, clawed, or attacked a lot more often than someone who loves animals. Assuming you do love animals, you will have a lot of fun earning your income in this business. You get to help, meet, and work with a variety of animals while you are helping people who need you. It’s always good to know that someone is happy to see you, and animals are very upfront about showing how happy there are to see you. This is a fun and rewarding business to be in whether you are rollerblading with a dog, sitting and petting a purring cat, keeping a lonely animal company as its owners are away, or helping an owner with their dog’s behavior problems.

This is a very easy, and inexpensive, business to operate and advertise. There is very little overhead involved in operating a pet service business. As your business grows you may want to pick up a few items like dog harnesses, training collars, cat toys, or other items, but none of this is required. It is strongly recommended that you get business cards printed for your business. You can start advertising your business by talking to random people in public about your services, and handing out your business cards. You can begin advertising your services on Craigslist, your local newspaper classified, or eBay classified to start with. Building a website could be an incredibly good way to build your business, and increase your client list. Building a website is probably easier, and less expensive, than you might think it is. Look into buying a domain name, and subscribing to a web-hosting service; this will cost you about $10 for your domain name, and about $10 per month for the hosting. Most web hosting companies have CSR’s that will help you get your site operable.

As you’ve learned, pet service providing can be a very gratifying and rewarding business to get into. If you don’t love animals, find a different kind of business to start. But if you love animals you can make very good money in this business, and help pet owners in need of your help. You will be rewarded for taking the time to learn about different animal’s tendencies, habits, and care needs. So what are you waiting for? Getting started as a pet service provider is easy, and inexpensive to start and operate