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Small marketing survey

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  • Small marketing survey

    What have you found to be the most effective means of advertising (other than word of mouth/referrals) for your business?

    Also, where (region) and what is the local population density in which your business located?

    Groomers outside the US are welcome to reply too!

    I am weighing my options for advertising my new business, and would like to know what others have found to be most effective.
    Thanks, Wolf
    Last edited by Wolfheart; 02-20-07, 05:01 PM. Reason: redundant "us"

  • #2
    The local gay community has their own yellow pages with 'gay friendly' businesses listed. We advertised with them and it has been a surprisingly huge business source.


    • #3
      I know that you asked for other ways, but seriously, wom is the best source of advertising available. Right now major corporations are actually employing everyday people who have lots of community connections to spread the word about thier products to aquaintances. If you do an online search you can locate info on this fact for several major detergent brands, etc.

      First method for me would be my entire business package, service, image and customer relations, etc. If you build the right business, potential clients will not want to go anywhere else and you will get noticed.

      The second best form of advertising is community involvment. Besides my business sponsoring many fun community pet oriented activities, as well as my business taking part in other local community activities, I am also active in local business organizations and have many local business friends and aquaintances. Being a valuable part of the local business community has been a great asset for my business. Having lots of other successful, local business friends is great, free advertising.

      I've owned several successful businesses using these tactics, and I've actually just recently swithched careers to grooming. Because of a planned move I chose not to start a brick and mortar business and decided to get started by doing housecall grooming. Right out of the gate I am fully booked and earning a great above average income. I beleive it is due to all of the above factors. In fact due to the success of my business, we are considering postponing our move and opening a brick and mortar grooming boutique in our current area!


      • #4
        My business is currently 70% word of mouth. Yellow pages brings in another 25%, and the rest come from advertising free online, and having my business card up on bulletin boards all over the city.


        • #5
          Interestingly, my experience with newspaper advertising is that it is not effective for dog grooming. That's my experience. At 4 separate places I've worked at (including my own business) we put $5 coupons in the newspaper and got very few, and none were new people. Can't explain that one, especially since it was different states and cities.

          Good luck!


          • #6
            I guess it depends on what your target it as to how you choose to advertise...I personally get alot of lawyers and courthouse workers, etc..because I target that comes in handy lol


            • #7

              I too have not had any luck with newspaper advertising, will NEVER spend money on it again. I don't know if you read one of my previous replies, but I have had unbelievable luck with t-shirts. I had some really cute eye catching shirts made up. My staff and I wear them, but I put them out in the community. My kids' my kids' friends, my husband, and all his construction worker buddies, the construction workers are all over town!! One day when my kids were waiting for me to pick them up from a summer camp a man called the store from his cell phone and said "I just saw two kids wearing t-shirts with this name on it, what do you there?" Then he made an appointment. I picked up the manager of Staples as a client (and his three dogs) when I went there to order some filing cabinets wearing my shirt, also the guy who owns a battery store when i went in to get batteries.
              I have had some good returns on radio advertising, and most radio stations are willing to negotiate prices, especially when you first start advertising.
              i agree that nothing beats word of mouth and the yellow pages.


              • #8
                Advertising Versus "Ad-vertorial"

                Most business owners run a traditional display ad that lists services and hours of operation along with a little clip art of a dog in a tub or other standard images. This is what we have come to accept as newspaper advertising.

                Why not try creating an "Ad-vertorial" display ad instead? Use the space you are paying for to help educate the public and present your services as though you were writing an article about your business. Surveys have shown that customers who "read" advertising articles think they [b]REALLY ARE NEWS ITEMS[/b] and retain them as such.

                For example, imagine a potential customer who has just viewed your standard ad. He or she gets home and the spouse says "Wow! Fluffies nails sure are long and she needs a nail trim right away." We - [i]as paying advertisers[/i] - are banking on the fact that the person who saw our ad is going to respond "I just saw an ad for a pet salon and they do nail clippings for $10 and they are open tomorrow and the name of the shop is and the phone number is... etc."

                Or, we are supposed to believe that the customer will respond by saying "Hold on, let me get get the newspaper or Yellow pages out and find a place to get those nails trimmed."

                And, when we get little or no response from our ad, we are supposed to believe that we haven't run our ad long enough, or that we need to pay more for better ad placement, or we need to pay more for a bigger ad, or we need to pay more for color, or we need to change the ad to include a coupon so we can give some more away while we are paying for our advertising.

                Or, imagine this same scenario and NOW our customer has "read" our advertorial about the importance of keeping a dog's nails trim and maybe even how dogs are actually getting their nails painted these days in a spa like setting.

                Do you think the odds of your getting a customer can increase when the reader says "You're right! Fluffy DOES need her nails trimmed. In fact, I just read an article about how important it is to keep her nails trimmed and [i]DID YOU KNOW THEY EVEN PAINT THEIR NAILS THESE DAYS?![/i]"

                It is just a theory, and it does take a lot more effort and creativity to create this kind of ad campaign, but if a newspaper wants your money then they will be willing to help you.

                Meanwhile, if you continue to pay for display advertising, you can still take advantage of editorial space by regularly submitting news about your shop, it's activities and services and other news worthy commentary so the surrounding community begins to revere you as an authority. Newspapers are often desperate for editorial content and more then willing to help their paying customers get their news in print.

                AND NEVER FORGET that if you are a paying advertiser in a local paper, they can often provide you with complimentary tickets to sporting events, promotional materials and other perks. Don't be afraid to ask and offset the cost of your advertising.

                Maybe there will come a day when a newspaper says "You don't pay for your ad unless you get business because our product is just that good" instead of just taking your money and hoping for the best.


                • #9
                  Business Cards

                  I put my business cards every where! The pet shops (2) hand them out to the customers who inquire about grooming. I put them in the Gas stations on the counter, so when people are waiting for their transaction to process and look around they see my card and think, "Oh, yea! Scruffy needs a hair cut!" I've put a stacks in a little sandwich baggies and pinned them up on every bullitin in town. Plus I've taken them to the hospital and retirement home to have put up in the staff rooms. From that, six months ago when I first decided to groom from home, the rest has been word of mouth. I have over 150 clients now. Many of those are now "regulars." I know that doesn't sound like a lot but when I think I spent less than $100 on 1000 business cards, I'm pretty happy with the result!

                  I have been grooming from home part time to build up clientel and buy more equipment for my future salon...


                  • #10
                    I run an ad about once a month. I have the name of my salon at the top, on the left side is a dog in a tub on the right side my ad reads as:

                    Full Service Salon Offering:

                    Moisturizing bath, Brush,
                    Style/Cut, De-Shed, Paw-Dicure
                    Blueberry Facial, Hot Oil Treatment

                    Then the rest of the information at the bottom, usually every time I run its about $70, I usually get 1-3 clients which in a year turns out to be $720, so as long as I get 1 regular client off a ad I will keep running and they usually tell 1-5 more people. Hope this helps.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by syphol View Post
                      The local gay community has their own yellow pages with 'gay friendly' businesses listed. We advertised with them and it has been a surprisingly huge business source.
                      I find that to be true as well.

                      I am mobile in a very populated area with lots of competition, and I have found that client referrals, vet referrals and pet related business referrals work the best. Basically I beleive in business to business networking, not spending hard earned $$$ on colorful advertisements.

                      The mobile grooming vehicle is also a rolling billboard and people see it on the road and working 7 days a week.
                      Making Central Florida Pawsitively Purrfect since 2005.


                      • #12
                        1. word of mouth
                        2. Classifed section of the paper. I put it in the "dogs for sale" section.
                        3. Internet

                        We are really remote here in Juneau Alaska so we are a big internet town. Everyone orders stuff online here so when searching for a groomer, they look online.

                        I have 30,000 people as of the last census, 5,000 to 8,500 dogs. 3 other groomers. Only one of those groomers is a full time groomer.

                        High cost of living here. Can't drive out of town, we are land locked with ocean on one side and ice fields on the other. Fly or boat out only. Takes like 6 days on the ferry to get to Seattle. 3 hours on a plane to get to Seattle or Anchorage, the two nearest larger cities.


                        • #13
                          I'm mobile and I'd say about 95% of my clients found me online. I have a great website that a friend made for me. I also typed in "mobile grooming maryland" into google and put my name out on every site that offered free listings.


                          • #14
                            I have put coupons at several different vet offices, there's a cafe right behind us that I groom the owner's dog that I put coupons. We found that a coupon in the paper DID NOT work, we are listed in the yellow pages. Alot of my clients come from the first two outside of the word of mouth referrals.
                            ~*~*~Shawn, C.M.G.~*~*~
                            Apparently common sense isn't all that common
                            *~*~emipoo on egroomer*~*~*