By Joey Villani, CEO of Intergroom International & VP of World Dog Expo
One of the biggest challenges we groomers must deal with is taking the time to market our grooming business successfully. Oh sure, there are the other challenges such as calming the stressed out dog (or pet parent), mitigating biting risks (by the dogs, not the pet parents), and dealing with the physical wear and tear a body experiences from lifting dogs and operating the tools of the trade – but I’m talking about the challenge of running a grooming business.
Groomers are great at talking about pets to pet parents or discussing tips with another colleague. However, we tend to run out of time when it comes to spending time talking about our business (i.e., marketing the business). Marketing points to tackle are:
- Consistently scheduling repeat booking (it can raise revenue by up to 50%)
- Collecting information when the client is engaging the groomer in the salon
- Reminding pet parents of upcoming appointments
- Drawing customer traffic through new methods of connecting with pet parents
- Understanding who/what is the local competition
- Differentiating the salon from the others
- Promoting the business on websites and social media
The list is a tall order to fill when we’re busy working IN the business. Compounding the drain on any remaining time is the effort needed to obtain more knowledge about our craft and pet care, as well as having a healthy balance between work and family. Groomers strive to stay abreast on everything from styles to equipment to pet health. Not only will pet parents show cuts and styles discovered on a Google search, but they will also ask us for advice about caring for their pets. Now, I am not advocating that groomers are veterinarians, but there is a need to have a good knowledge of pet first-aid and to establish a rapport with veterinarians in the community.
All of these challenges can eat up a lot of time — time that we don’t have. Wouldn’t it be nice to have one tool to cover all these areas? A tool that is easy to use, can be accessed anywhere, anytime, and can enable us to work ON the business with minimal disruption? This is what the BizBark system from BabelBark can do. Through this platform for groomers and the BabelBark mobile app for clients, BizBark makes it easy to connect with pet parents and other pet professionals in the community.
BizBark allows for sharing pet care, scheduling, and blasting deals. Pet parents load the BabelBark app onto their phones and can immediately receive information from groomers who are using BizBark. The connection allows us to draw customer traffic. It helps to differentiate our salon from the other businesses competing for our customers. It helps us stay in touch with pet parents without tying up the phone or standing at the front desk (both of which can get rather lengthy and take us away from pets waiting to be groomed).
A huge opportunity for groomers is repeat-booking appointments. Before the pet parent leaves the salon with his/her freshly groomed pet, book that next appointment. Using the scheduling feature on the BizBark platform, we can push our schedule as far out as needed – there are no date limits on how far the schedule can go. Also, automatic reminders play an important part in making repeat booking a success. The BizBark platform automatically sends a reminder to the pet parent (no more reminder calls from us). We can “book it and forget it” – saving more time to focus on the pets in the salon.
BizBark can even make the connection with the pet’s veterinarian easier – wouldn’t it be nice to see any medical conditions and medications the pet has, or request vaccination records electronically? Wouldn’t it be nice to snap pictures and share them with the pet parent and veterinarian to discuss the immediate needs of the pet while it is the salon? Of course, it would, and it would reduce the time spent doing the phone-tag game of calls and messages.
Need to differentiate the salon from other grooming businesses? Utilize the deal blast feature on BizBark. Quickly and easily get those deals into the hands…I mean phones…of the pet parents in your area who have the BabelBark app.
BizBark is a tool that will help groomers conduct business on our terms. It works for any type of grooming business (home-based, mobile, and store-front), and it can be accessed from anywhere since it is web-based. Marketing a grooming business is both a challenge and an opportunity. BizBark removes the “challenge” and allows groomers to expand their “opportunities.”