Let’s face it. The COVID-19 pandemic has turned the whole world upside down. Almost all industries took a hit, and the pet one isn’t an exception. Like everyone else, owners had to adapt their businesses and find ways to make ends meet.
Everyone in the pet industry had Covid related business challenges from having to close the doors for a while (groomers and vets) to seeing sales decline due to customers whose budgets have changed (dog walkers and gourmet treat makers). Even the pet food industry has seen changes in consumer behavior from shifting brands (for budget or availability demands) to disrupting supply chains.
Some experienced entrepreneur, there are some positive steps to help manage and maintain pet-related businesses perfectly – despite all challenges we have been facing this year.
Take health and safety measures
The pandemic has definitely marked 2020. Up to now, it is likely you were mandated to close or change your normal operations and your pet business had to follow certain preventative measures imposed by the government in order to re-open or resume safely.
Since it’s unknown when the coronavirus will stop spreading, you must continue implementing health and safety measures to keep yourself, your staff and your clients and customers safe.
For example, install dispensers everywhere in your facilities, so employees and clients have quick access to hand sanitizer. They are an excellent choice whenever soap and water aren’t accessible or available.
Similarly, you could consider adjusting your working hours, so you and the members of your staff have plenty of time to clean and disinfect all rooms and surfaces in between appointments.
By taking all preventative measures, and going above and beyond to remain as safe as possible, you’re making your business a much safer place both for the staff and the pet owners.
Give first-class service
Like all other customers and clients, pet owners want what’s best for their furry friends and they want to have a positive experience. Some are still willing and able to pay extra, and even travel long distances, if it means their pets get only the best care and treatment possible.
Providing quality and round the clock service to animals isn’t only great for your business from a financial perspective, but also a marketing one. Namely, word of mouth is still one of the most effective marketing strategies. Pet owners talk and share opinions and recommendations. For this reason, you should always strive to give first-class service, especially now when you’re trying to keep the business afloat. Also, asking pet owners for feedback after the provided service sounds like a good idea. This way, you’ll improve the quality of your services and meet their needs perfectly next time around.
Stay in touch with pet owners
The pandemic might be spreading globally, but that doesn’t mean pet owners won’t require some of your services. Their pets can feel the tension around them. They, too, can become stressed or depressed, especially if they can’t be taken out for a walk during the lockdown. Anyways, pets need regular care, medication, vitamins, supplements, vaccines, or some urgent medical procedures.
Pet owners have to know whether or not they can count on your services during the pandemic. That is why you have to stay in touch with them and keep them informed on the latest changes regarding working hours, drop-offs and pick-ups, etc. One of the best choices for connecting and communicating with pet owners is through internal communication software. It’s the best way for them to find out everything about services, work schedules, contact info, appointment scheduling, and preventative measures you implement in the practice.
This global pandemic has also afforded business owners with some time to hit pause, reflect, and think about the future. Sure, the future might be uncertain since the consequences of Covid-19 yet to be determined, but thinking about the new normal can’t hurt your business – it can only help you figure things out. Concentrate on preparing and strengthening for whatever challenges you’ll have to face when the pandemic is finally over.
One of the best things you can do during any “down” time is prepare by growing professionally. This means you and your staff should improve your skills and discover new and more efficient ways to take care of different animals.
For example, learn about dog training, separation anxiety, or pet sitting. Who knows, maybe by expanding your knowledge you come up with brilliant ideas and new services to add to the ones your business already provides.
Improve your pet business’ social media content
Most small business owners struggle with managing an online presence and marketing initiatives while still maintaining the day-to-day operations required to keep the business in business.
Do you have a well-rounded social media marketing strategy you always wanted to implement but never really got to it? Now is the time to finally follow it (or create one, or make some overdue updates to your website).
Chances are it has to do with the content you create and post across social media platforms. You might want to go through it once again and make adjustments, so the content remains relevant to pet owners throughout the pandemic.
For instance, you can offer tips on how to train their dog at home or kittens to use a litter box. Such content will help your clients tackle smaller issues with their pets by themselves without having to come down to the practice and request your services in person. This way, you get to keep your clients and reduce physical contact around the practice.
Who says you can’t run a successful pet business during the COVID-19 pandemic? We’re hoping you find some of these thoughts helpful and that you’ll be able to finish this dreadful year on a high note.