Ok, so you’ve decided to take the plunge and start that pet service business. You’ve chosen to either start a:
- Pet sitting business
- Dog walking business
- Pet grooming business
- Pet waste removal business
But money and cash flow is tight. Especially in the beginning. So how can you market your new business locally as quickly and cost-effectively as possible? Well, it may sound obvious, but “Go where the pets are.”
Yes, print yourself some flyers and business cards and make yourself a list of the following places in your local area:
- Dog Groomers (assuming you’re not starting a grooming biz)
- Dog Walkers (assuming you’re not starting a dog walking biz)
- Dog parks
- Pet stores
Personally go to each and every place on your list and introduce yourself and your business. Ask if you can leave flyers, cards or brochures behind. Vets and stores like to recommend good resources to their clients so don’t feel like you’re “selling” anything, cause you’re not.
After you’ve covered each one of those places, consider posting your flyers in less-targeted places (for pets) but targeted for people. Most supermarkets have some type of bulletin board. So do banks, some pizzarias, sandwich shops, bagel shops, etc.
Most local businesses do not mind helping other local businesses, especially if you’re a customer of those establishments.
And if you want to go the extra mile, write a basic press release and send it to your local newspaper. Local papers LOVE stories about pets. Get a neighborhood kid to pose with their pet (or your own) and send it in with your press release and I doubt the paper can resist running it!
Once you get a bit of cash flow, I would take out a small ad in the services section of your local paper. Don’t do it just once, though. That’s a waste. Run it at least 6 to 10 times. To spread it out, run it three weeks on and three weeks off. Repeat impressions are key! Then repeat as often as you can afford to.
Between your flyers, your press releases and your classified ads — you’ll be everywhere in no time!