When you own a business that caters to critters of the four-legged variety, the holiday season is likely to be one of your busiest times of the year. For example, people who are traveling for the holidays may need to board their pets or hire pet sitters. Meanwhile, those who are sticking closer to home may be buying gifts for their furry (or sometimes no-so-furry) friends. Pet-sitters, groomers, pet boarders, and pet supply retailers alike are all poised to reap the benefits when their services are more in demand.
If you’re hoping to capitalize on the holiday cheer this year, making some adjustments to your marketing plan could help you to stand out from the crowd. Here are four ways to build some positive buzz for your pet care business.
1. Make marketing a team effort
Running a cross-promotion with other pet-based businesses can be a great way to increase your visibility. These partnerships can also give you an opportunity to tap into a new customer base. By joining forces with another business, you create a strategic partnership that can benefit both of you.
For example, if you run a pet daycare you could team with a pet photographer and run a joint promotion. When someone makes a purchase with the photographer, they could receive a 10% off coupon good at your business and vice versa. That’s a very simple cross-promotion option, but it can be effective in driving traffic your way.
As you look for potential partners, focus on businesses whose clientele reflects the kind of patrons you’d like to cultivate. Most importantly, when crafting a promotion be sure the incentive you’re offering is something new customers will be eager to use.
2. Get active in the community
During the holidays, many pet-based charities step up their fundraising efforts and encourage people to give for a good cause. Getting involved with one or more of these organizations open up a new path to promoting your business.
Organizing a fundraiser for your neighborhood animal shelter or another charitable group that’s dedicated to the needs of animals, is one option. For example, reach out to local pet advocates to see if they’d be interested in doing a charity auction.
If you don’t think you can organize a large-scale event of your own, you can still give back and market your business at the same time. Groomers, for instance, could visit animal shelters on adoption day and give free holiday makeovers to all the pets waiting for homes. Their new humans may be so pleased with the results they make you their go-to groomer going.
3. Host a pet-themed event
Another way to appeal to pet lovers is to hold a special pet-focused event that showcases your business. A prime opportunity for pet-based business owners to connect with new customers is Small Business Saturday. But any time during the winter holiday season has potential for success.
Throwing a holiday-themed pet party, for example, can help you grab attention for your pet supply store. To set a festive tone, you could hold an ugly holiday sweater contest for both pets and their owners. You could also set up a photo booth with Santa or a friendly elf. Other festive ideas include offer door prizes, providing stocking stuffers, and serving pet- and human-friendly holiday treats.
4. Offer a referral discount for current customers
A simple way to expand your customer base during the holidays is to offer a timely referral discount. Offer your existing clients a discount redeemable during their next visit if they refer a friend or family member who utilizes your business.
You can then extend the same referral discount to the person they referred in order to encourage them to become a regular customer. Referrals can be an exceptionally powerful way to attract attention to your business. If you’re not using them to your advantage already, the holiday season is an ideal time to incorporate this kind of promotion into your marketing plans so you can benefit well into the new year.
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