Retailers, does an extra $1,500 a week profit sound good?
It sure does! Here’s a story how to earn it.
The other night after getting caught in a rain storm with my dog Cody, I wanted to take him to get a bath. Normally I take him to a local business called Bubbles & Biscuits because they have a self-serve dog wash. But it was around 7 pm, a little too late for Bubbles & Biscuits, so I went to a local Petco Unleashed that I knew had self-serve dog-wash stations.
After Cody’s bath was done, I chatted with the manager of the store as he cleaned the bath next to Cody’s.
I asked him how many people came in each week to wash their dogs.
His answer really surprised me. “Usually, we average about 150, and even more people when it rains.”
“Wow, 150!” I said. “I was expecting you to say like 20, tops.”
He said, “Yeah, people really seem to like it, it’s convenient.”
OK, let’s do the math. To wash your dog at Petco Unleashed, it costs $10. So 10 bucks x 150 dog washes = $1,500 extra per week in that location alone. That’s not a bad number to add to your profit line.
Groomers, boarding or retail store business owners, this is an extremely simple way to increase your bottom line without a ton of investment. (And no investment at all if you already have the bath facilities at your location.)
It’s an extra service to offer customers that adds convenience, at a price point that’s easy to sell. My dog has short hair, so he doesn’t need professional grooming. The self-serve dog wash is super easy to use for dog parents, plus I even get to escape the dreaded post-bath clean-up.
PR-wise, I see many possibilities to promote this:
- Have a fun event to let your customers know about the new service
- Host a dog wash for local animal shelters
- Host an educational event suggesting hygeine products people can use (shampoos, brushes, etc) for the cleanest, healthiest pet. After the session, have those recommended products available for purchase.
Heck, even if you only offer self-serve pet wash one or two days a week, it can still be surprisingly lucrative. Customers who come in to wash their dogs are likely to buy washing products, and possibly a reward for their dogs for behaving so well during their baths. Ka-ching!
Even if you don’t offer self-serve washing to your customers, you should always be thinking about new conveniences to offer customers and new services to bring in extra cash.
Be creative. Think outside the box. Consider questions your customers regularly ask you — “Do you know who does this?” or “Where can I get XYZ?” — and see if you can build additional services that might answer these customer needs.
At last year’s Global Pet Expo, speakers talked about the service sector being the fastest-growing area of the pet business. Here’s some thought kibble for you: imagine new extra services and add-ons to make life easier for your pet parent customers.
The possibilities are endless. Are those wheels spinning yet? I hope so – and I’d love to hear your feedback on what you have done!
NANCY E. HASSEL is founder and president of American Pet Professionals (APP), an award-winning networking and educational organization dedicated to helping pet entrepreneurs, businesses and animal rescues to grow, work together and unite the pet industry. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article originally appeared in the Jan-Feb 2017 edition of PETS+.