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  • My Biggest Mistake

    I wanted to share the biggest mistake I made when I started my new mobile business. It was not putting an ad in the Yellow Pages. I listened to DH who thought I wouldn't need it and because I was financially in the hole, I didn't want to have one more bill to pay.

    When that Phone Book came out, I was ready to take out a gun and shot myself! Only kidding!

    Although I am doing well, I could of done better, been busier.

    So, don't do what I did. Get in that Phone Book!!
    www.gomobileandsucceed.com
    http://thesuccessfulpetgroomer.com

  • #2
    Originally posted by wet noze View Post
    I wanted to share the biggest mistake I made when I started my new mobile business. It was not putting an ad in the Yellow Pages. I listened to DH who thought I wouldn't need it and because I was financially in the hole, I didn't want to have one more bill to pay.

    When that Phone Book came out, I was ready to take out a gun and shot myself! Only kidding!

    Although I am doing well, I could of done better, been busier.

    So, don't do what I did. Get in that Phone Book!!
    Solution:

    Don't give the DH a chance here. Get a sandwich board made up with your business name on both sides and make Dh stand at buzy intersections on his off time. Give him business cards aswel, don't let him quote anything, just pass out cards!!!

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    • #3
      Not a mistake

      I never put an ad in our Yellow Pages and am glad. It did not take me long to be fully booked and I only advertised for the first nine months in the newspaper and could have stopped after six months. Not to knock advertising in the Yellow Pages, but there are better ways to spend your money. I had a lot of people pressuring me to run one, but I did not want to spend that much money!

      Get yourself on any free Internet search for pet groomers you can (Findagroomer.com, etc.)

      My best "advertisment" was an article about me that appeared about a year ago in a local paper. See if you can get something written up about yourself. Small local papers are always looking for stories. Write yourself up a little one-page press release, be sure to include a photo or two.

      Word-of-mouth gets you the best clients. Once you start getting clients that will snowball for you. I find that once I get into a neighborhood, especially in warm-weather months, I start getting a lot of phone calls from people who see me there.

      Park your van on your days off at the local strip mall. Run your local errands in your van. Be seen. Whenever I find I have some openings I drive my van to my gym, which happens to be in the same strip as a PetSomething, and by the time I finish my workout I usually have a call or more on my voicemail.

      Network with the local vets in your service area.

      You will soon be GLAD you're not locked into making expensive payments on a yellow pages ad and getting calls that you have to turn down because you are too busy.

      For what it's worth, MY biggest mistake when I started was doing a run with ValPak. VERY expensive and only attracted bargain hunters. The run didn't get me a single regular client; the ValPak callers were the only people I groomed for who did not rebook even though the coupon was only for $5 off and they all seemed happy with me. People who found me other ways almost always rebooked.

      So, there's plenty of mistakes to be made, not running in the yellow pages isn't a biggie. There's lots of ways to drum up business.

      Meesh

      Comment


      • #4
        It really depends.........

        I think it really depends on your area and demographics as to whether a YP ad is needed or not. I too, did not have one the first year and it was very slow growing for me....VERY slow. In fact, if I had depended on my income to live I would have never made it. I live in a small/medium town, older people and stay home moms. They do not use the internet, they look in the phone book. There aren't any really busy traffic areas, so sitting the van out produced virtually nothing. As soon as my ad came out in the new YP, I got really busy fast. So, there is no "for sure" method for every location. I used every other type of advertising known to man that first year, spent way more than I would have on the YP ad and had very limited results. I too, had an ad in our local paper. It produces more business than anything else I had tried during that year...but nothing close to the YP. The YP is available all year round. Now I do get a lot of word of mouth clients in the retirement districts as well. Most of my new business now is from that area.

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        • #5
          I am a home groomer right at the edge of town I thought I had to be in 3 Yellow pages........ but I an getting the most response from the little local free paper. I think I will only be in that one from now on. It is alittle pricey I pay 20 a week for a once a week paper, but it is worth it. I keep track by the phone numbers I put my cell in the yellow pages and home phone in the paper I hardly get any calls on the cell all new customers are from the aper or word of mouth.

          Comment


          • #6
            I know that at least in our area, an ad is a good idea. We always ask new customers how they heard about us. A good bit is the phone book.
            Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job. ~Franklin P. Jones

            Comment


            • #7
              [QUOTE=Meesh;38100]I never put an ad in our Yellow Pages and am glad. It did not take me long to be fully booked and I only advertised for the first nine months in the newspaper and could have stopped after six months. Not to knock advertising in the Yellow Pages, but there are better ways to spend your money. I had a lot of people pressuring me to run one, but I did not want to spend that much money!

              ***This is what I thought, but for me, looking back, it turned out to be a mistake.

              Get yourself on any free Internet search for pet groomers you can (Findagroomer.com, etc.)

              ***Did that. Many customers find me there.

              My best "advertisment" was an article about me that appeared about a year ago in a local paper. See if you can get something written up about yourself. Small local papers are always looking for stories. Write yourself up a little one-page press release, be sure to include a photo or two.

              ***Couldn't really do this. Have to keep a low profile in my town as I don't want to draw attention to the van parked in my driveway.

              Word-of-mouth gets you the best clients. Once you start getting clients that will snowball for you. I find that once I get into a neighborhood, especially in warm-weather months, I start getting a lot of phone calls from people who see me there.

              Park your van on your days off at the local strip mall. Run your local errands in your van. Be seen. Whenever I find I have some openings I drive my van to my gym, which happens to be in the same strip as a PetSomething, and by the time I finish my workout I usually have a call or more on my voicemail.

              Network with the local vets in your service area.

              ***Do all these things

              You will soon be GLAD you're not locked into making expensive payments on a yellow pages ad and getting calls that you have to turn down because you are too busy.

              ***Honestly, for me, not being in the Yellow Pages WAS my biggest mistake. It only would have cost me $60.00 a month. I would have been much better off turning people away then waiting for the phone to ring. You are lucky you were able to do so well, so quickly. I wonder if you are the exception to the rule.

              My plan is to just run the ad for one year. Then I can always take it out.

              WET NOZE
              www.gomobileandsucceed.com
              http://thesuccessfulpetgroomer.com

              Comment


              • #8
                YP ads work but it depends on your area. I really didn't want the "just anybody" calling from the YP. I went with my Web site, and brochuers. Worked better for me. I don't need the volume that a shop does, so no need to do the advertising that YP ad would generate...and for me a simple one liner is not worth it, If I'm going to do YP, then it's a big, full color ad. One that gets noticed! (most business phone-lines will have your YP one-liner for free. I don't even have a business phone...my choice. I have a cell for my new area.

                I am not targeting the person that goes to a shop because the dog "needs" to be groomed. [like OMG, it's been 3 months and I can't see Bobo's eyes]..I am targeting the dog that has to look nice 24/7, and gets done because mom or dad, is in the habit of having FiFi smell good and look good, all the time.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The Yellow Page ad (verizon) gave me a lot of business. I have a business card sized ad in black and white and I only pay $41 a month. The ad pays for itself and has since day 1. I get a good amount of business from my website. Even some of my elderly customers found me online.

                  I got zilch from the newspaper, except a lot of price shoppers who didn't book but kept me tied up on the phone. I tried another 'yellow type book' and man was that a mistake. Money down the hole to the tune of $900 for the year. I tried a placemat at a local diner and didn't get anything from it either.

                  I agree that you can get a lot of business from your van! When I needed new customers I parked in a huge strip mall that had a SuperWalmart. I always got calls when I did that, and roughly a third of the callers booked.

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