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Is there anything else I can do?

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  • Is there anything else I can do?

    I'm looking for additional suggestions for bringing in business. My salon is home based (legal too lol I have permit, license, taxes, etc) I have been open about 8 months. The salon is in a town with a 1600 population, there is a vet clinic in town that has grooming 2 days a week. and a pet store that offers shave downs but not clip and styles she refers people to me for that. There isn't another grooming salon within 30 miles (30-45 minute drive). So far I have had clients through word of mouth and referrels. I only have 50 clients right now and I am trying to get more. Ideally I want to work part time but 50 just isn't enough. I want to advertise to my town and 3 surrounding towns that don't have groomers.
    What I have done:
    * I have a website
    * Advertise in newspapers
    * hang signs in stores
    * Tried leaving dog treats with card for banks to pass out at drive through window but all 7! banks I tried said no.
    * post on craigslist
    * post on search engines
    * I have a freqent pedicure program of buy 5 nail trims get one free to get the non clipping and scissoring dogs in (then they usually start wanting baths and de-shedding treatments.)
    * 4 foot by 2.5 foot sign in front yard
    * I can't put a phone book ad in until March when the new ones come out
    * send business cards to vet clinics

    My next step is to obtain the pet license list from city hall and mail postcards. Any tips or suggestions for what else I could do would be very helpful. My salon is not on a super busy road so I don't have traffic. There are no dog parks in the area so I can't leave information there Every client I have ever groomed has returned and most have sent referrals so I know people love my work. They also appreciate not having to drive 45 minutes to the groomer they used to go to. Thanks

  • #2
    Some thoughts

    Ball games,kids sports, dance or karate and daycare places
    Offer $10 off when they refer afriend. Make cards that when it is shared, both get a one time discount.
    Keep it up, if you are good , they will come

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    • #3
      For the treats with cards try any of your local coffee shops with drive thrus. My local Starbucks was very interested in that for me.
      My Blog: <a href="http://groomwise.typepad.com/in_the_dogs_house/">In the Dogs' House Groomwise Blog</a>

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      • #4
        Take cookie trays and business cards and leave them in the teachers lounges at the schools. Also do the same for break rooms at law offices, real estate offices, police station, fire stations, and if you need some exercise put up door hangers. I did and got a ton of clients off of those. PM me and I can send you a link where you can get them made cheap. Then even include 1 hour of design time for free and ship them to you for free. The same place also does the stick-on coupons that are Dominoes, papa johns and others stick on their delievery boxes. Its a long shot, but you could talk to the owner/manager and tell him you will give him a dollar for every pizza he delivers and is willing stick one of your flyers on the pizza box.

        You could also put up yard signs at busy intersections. Give the signs to your 50 clients and have them put one in their yard. It can say something like. Pet Grooming By "Business Name" Phone number. Get big ones if you can afford them.

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        • #5
          It sounds like your on the right track. See what is available through your school. Our school district does a fundraising event in the spring where they raffle. Maybe you could donate a free groom (with a limited value) or create a gift basket of pet related products with your business name stuck all over it. Any local shelters you can create a relationship with?

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          • #6
            Are you new? Have you been doing this for over 2 years? if no then I think you then need to keep it up and just wait and let the word of mouth grow your business. Yes, it is slow but brings you the best quality of clients.

            Also try advertising within 1 hour of driving distance, even if they have groomers.

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            • #7
              new clients

              You have done great! You have also received some good ideas from these generous people! I was also going to suggest the local shelter, I give them free bandanas. I do $5.00 nail trims at community events & donate the $ collected to them. I have also contacted local schools. Most familes have pets. Also sent coupon to their teachers. Group your clients into groups: ex) young single professionals, retired, empty nesters, families, etc. Then target their hot spots. Most schools and even churches have silent auctions. I have put donated Free Full-Service grooming, valued up to $100.00, valid next 60 days and non-transferrable. Get creative with these different groups. Get local activities section of newspaper, clubs. Go participate, every where you go have cards with you. I have driven up and down roads and stopped in and introduced myself with what sets me apart and had cookies or some kind of give away to every business, doctor office, etc. I have even on two different occasions offered a free groom just to get some big potential refurral person in. I am trying to be tactful. (People who are the who's who and active in the community) And offered them a specific $ doggie dollar discount for every new client they send my way! Be creative & have fun!

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