There’s something I wanted to talk to you about today because I keep seeing this question being brought up amongst pet business owners.
The question: “How the heck am I supposed to stand out from all the other similar pet businesses that live in my area?”
And that’s totally a valid question. We wouldn’t be human if we weren’t just a tad worried about ALL the other pet businesses out there. That’s normal.
But, at the end of the day, it has no impact on your bottom line. You can stand out and be successful in your market no matter how many other similar businesses there are.
How do you do it??
I put together a list of some things that may help you flourish, despite the saturated and competitive nature of the pet industry.
One thing to note before we do get started is to remember this: keep community over competition. There are enough clients out there for everyone. Different clients will resonate with different businesses and that’s a good thing. You don’t want every single pet owner in your community - that’s not how it works. That’s not how you build a brand and mission and community. You build it through values and that means your clients will resonate with those values and help you live into those values. It’s a win-win all around.
1. Keep “your why” at the core of everything you do and every decision you make.
Take a minute to express into words why you started your business. What led you to start your business?
Whatever your reasoning is, you need to own it! Dig deep, because most likely, it’s not JUST because you love animals.
2. Get super specific with your target audience because “pet owner” or “dog lover” ain’t gonna cut it.
When you think about your target market, what factors are you considering? I ask because I see so many business owners remain very generic when they describe their ideal customer. My suggestion is to get as specific as possible.
Where do they live? Are they male or female? How much money do they make? Are they married or single? What kind of job do they have? Of course, you want to think about their pets too! Do they own dogs or cats? How do they prioritize animal care? What's their budget?
And also dig deeper… What are their concerns or frustrations? What are their motivations? What are their dreams? Why do they do what they do?
3. Start implementing other streams of income.
One of the biggest reasons why entrepreneurs experience burnout is because they are constantly working. Many of you are service providers, which means the bulk of your income is working with clients.
However, when shi* hits the fan, it’s best to have alternative streams of income (Hello, Covid). This can be… different services, add-on’s, passive income, products, other categories or methods of services like online trainings, online courses, ebooks, affiliate programs, etc.
Even if things are going wonderfully for you, consider alternative streams of income. This allows you to scale your business from different avenues. Yes, you can keep hiring more dog walkers to do dog walks for you. However, you’re still paying the exchange in which time = money. Imagine being able to make money without additional time. That’s a great way to grow as well as differentiate your business from other pet businesses around you.
For tips on getting started with passive income, check out my chat with Rochelle BaRoss from The Broke Dog Blog here.
4. Forget the discount offers.
Hear me out here. Sometimes when business is going slow or we’re brand new at this entrepreneur thing, we get stuck. This can lead to desperation. We may feel like the only way we can get started is by offering discounted incentives.
But I want to tell you, in general (this is not 100%), don't default to offering lots of discounts. It can easily make you become undervalued by your target audience. As a result, you’ll make less money and become more stressed.
If you’ve got your target customer figured out and there’s a need for your product or service (which there probably is), then the right clients will come.
P.S. If you need help with these more difficult client situations (when clients ask for discounts), check out our Email Template Guide for Pet Businesses here. We have a template JUST for this situation as well as many others!
5. Partner with other local pet businesses in your community.
The truth is there is an abundance of clients and customers for every business. When entrepreneurs realize this, they become much more confident in their ability to grow as a business owner.
Who better to share that with than other people who get what you’re trying to do? Get to know the other business owners in your area. Make friends, start group meet-ups, and collaborate. This is a great way to build support and a referral network!
If you need some extra guidance on how to create partnerships with other businesses, check out these posts:
Want my FREE email template on establishing partnerships with other pet businesses? Get it by clicking below!
6. Ask for testimonials and share them!
Consumers are much more likely to buy from you if they have social proof of how awesome you are. If you have customer reviews, a portfolio, or case studies on your website, consumers will look through that before they consider buying.
Consider revamping the questions you ask, too. You can create a customer survey for long-term clients and get deeper into why they enjoy working with you, why they chose you, etc. This can help you in other areas of your marketing and online presence.
Bonus tip: I don’t typically recommend having a review page on your website. I recommend having a few on each page in a slider so that when people are organically going through your website, they’ll land on testimonials. It’s unlikely people are going to manually click on the review tab to read reviews. They know they’ll all be positive words, so what’s the point?
However, when they’re already on the home page, and they scroll down and see one in the process, they’ll be more likely to read it!
7. Start a blog and establish authority in your space.
Having a blog on your website is an immeasurable way to grow your business. When you share valuable content and better yet, free, then your audience will appreciate you. Over time, they will keep coming back whenever they have a question or need help. If you’re able to give your potential clients quick wins from your blog posts, they’ll start to trust you and know that you can be of benefit to them in the future.
Blogging also has marketing benefits. If you’re a brick and mortar business or a local pet sitter/walker, you will benefit from showing up on Google. Local customers will have an easier time finding you!
If you need help with blogging, we’ve got SO many resources for you:
Our Blogging For Your Pet Biz Course - The course walks you through the entire process of how to write blog posts in less time and with more strategy
Our blog post ideas for pet businesses with explanations and tips!
Other blog posts:
8. Improve your systems and processes
This is probably my favorite tip of them all because I LOVE LOVE organization and automation and processes. By implementing an impressive client process, you will not only secure more clients because they will choose your experience but you will also create more word of mouth, more ease in your everyday tasks, and save way more time than you thought you had (while bringing in more clients). It’s really that wonderful.
This is the big game-changer here.
To assist you with this, here are some must-read resources:
Want the exact steps to make your website do all of this for you and onboard dream clients while you're sleeping or away on a weekend vacay? Check out our FREE masterclass that gives you the exact blueprint to make this happen!
9. Don’t think, even for a second, that you’re not worthy!
Know your worth. Be confident. It’s time to believe in yourself! If you don’t, then your customers certainly won’t either. You started your business for a reason. You can do this.
I hope this helps. I know it can be VERY tough out there. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be successful.
In fact, it’s the opposite effect. You should be even MORE successful. Because this means there’s a need for your product or service.
It’s more about figuring out your self-worth, owning your uniqueness, and shining because of it!