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Just starting out!!!!

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  • Just starting out!!!!

    Hey everyone....
    I'm just starting my mobile business, and was wondering if anyone had any ides about getting the word out---I've made up flyers and personally handed them out in my neighborhood, and have rec'd some call backs, to which these people actually think I should charge what they are paying when they take their pet to a shop...I won't lower my prices, but was wondering what worked for you out there who are booked 2-3 weeks out(am I just working the wrong neighborhood with my flyers)
    Thanks for your help in advance.....
    Kim

  • #2
    when people ask for a price I start out with. To bring the entire salon to you etc. You will always have people balk at your prices. you should be $15-20 over the shops. Stick to you guns and it will happen. This is a tough time of year.
    If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!

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    • #3
      Put on your "uniform" and take your brochures and cards to the local vet clinics in your service area.

      Talk to the receptionists and explain that you have just opened a mobile grooming business in the area, and since you are likely to have some of the same clients, and since you are in a position to observe lumps, problems with skin, eras, etc. and would be pointing them out to your client to see their vet, you thought it would be best to meet each other. Offer to show them the van (and impress them with your clean setup!). Doing this got me a lot of vet referals. You may even want to bring over some donuts now and again for the vet techs wqith your cards and brochures.

      Run an ad for 6-8 weeks in a local paper; mine was just under a $100 a week if I ran it for six weeks. Well worth it.

      GOod luck! Once you get out there people will see you and call, also as you oget clients they'll be happy and refer you and it starts to snow ball.

      Meesh

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      • #4
        I did the same as Meesh...the vets are super people to have on your side as far as recommendations.

        I ran ads in the small community papers that get delivered free to peoples houses. I don't think large papers would be good, your ad would just get lost.

        If you live in a warmer climate, or in the spring, there may be various dog events that you can attend, or sponser. I was a sponser for a seeing eye dog event when I first opened. I spent the day doing nail clippings.

        You can also call other mobile groomer that may be in your area, if there are any. Most are very helpful, and if busy will even refer.

        Carry business cards and put them on any community bulletin board you can.


        What I find is interesting is when I started out, I got so many calls who were price shoppers, and when I gave them a price it was too high. Now I rarely get those calls.

        Good luck and have fun!
        don't find yourself up a creek without a poodle.

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        • #5
          I just started my mobile business this month had hardly any dogs for the first week. I ran a ad in our local daily newspaper they let you add a picture for an extra charge I got 17 phone calls today.Vets really hasn't payed out for me yet.I didn't know my new answering machine off for the last 2 weeks so I'm sure I lost alot of business.Good luck you'll love it.

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          • #6
            Vets are the key

            Yes, getting the local vets as referrals was the key to my business really starting off. One thing in particular helped me...I groomed a woman's dog and she raved about me to her veterinarian, and after that they have been referring me like crazy. So if you have a client that is really happy with your services, don't be afraid to ask that client to put in a good word with their veterinarian!

            I think client education is a big part of mobile grooming. The benefits of mobile service may seem obvious to us but sometimes you really do have to explain them to people who have never tried it.

            Good luck...
            Carol

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            • #7
              Also, go to the shelters, just about everyone of them have adoption packages, offer to volunteer and do some shelter pets. All the shelters here send out my flyer w/the adoption package. I had a grand opening at one shelter along w/their half off adoption day, so I got free advertising on TV the Radio, and papers. Go to other grooming shops call other mobiles in your area. Do errands in your van, get magnectic signs for your car. Get a website, get in the yellow pages. Advertise on here. Advertise on all the search engines you can find. Did I miss anything? Good luck. You'll soon be booked 2-3 weeks in advance!!!

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              • #8
                I built my business by going to Dog Parks, and other places where dogs hang out and handed out cards. I bought a chalk board and would write different specials on it (i.e.: Today Only $20 Doggie Bath with Towel Dry or $5 Nail Trims). I would have people lined up out the vehicle. If they wanted something else, I would set up an appointment. I also offered to groom my friends dogs who lived in Upscale Neighborhoods, so that my van could be seen in that neighborhood for hours:-) Most of our neighborhoods here are gated:-( and many have guardsmen.

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                • #9
                  Drop the Flyers!

                  Those darned flyers were the WORST investment of my advertising dollars. I got not one booking from the hundreds, even maybe a thousand, flyers I put on mailboxes and handed to residents in developments. The biggest bang for my buck turned out to be my local paper where I would a 3 x 5 ad in every week for four months. Each time the ad ran, I would get at least one booking, which covered the price of the ad. Each of these clients rebooked with me. These are still some of my best clients today. They refer me all the time to their friends, which makes me shake my head now, because the friends live in the developments that I dropped my flyers in.

                  Yup - do the vet thing, do a local newspaper ad, and shelters. Eventually, word of mouth will be your best form of advertising.

                  Good Luck!

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