Planning for the Presents, part two

Planning for the “Presents” part Two!

Groomer to Groomer


By:  Joe Zuccarello


In last month’s issue I talked about the proper planning techniques you should have in place to be adequately staffed and all areas of your business prepared for the upcoming Holiday season.  Now, I will go a bit deeper into some tactics you can use to fully capitalize on the financial opportunities you will find in no other time of the year.


Some of you out there have grooming shops, pet resorts, retail stores, day cares, and even mobile grooming and some of you lucky people have all of the above and more!  There are some certain things we know will happen during the Holiday season which include jam packed grooming books, a resort full to capacity, day cares caring for pets while the pet parents are shopping or working their own obnoxiously long hours on their jobs, and the added stress of unpredictable weather. Another thing is for certain.  If you offer no additional services, hours, products, and various other “nuggets of gold” to your customers this Holiday season, you can be sure you will be just as tired and worn out and make just as much as you did last year, but probably nothing more.  For some of you, it’s the same routine, year after year.  For instance, to make more in grooming, we often fall back on the notion that we must groom more pets.  While this is one solution, what if we could make more money from each pet that visits us instead of the old faithful method of simply adding more work to our day? For you over achievers, imagine what adding more dogs to the books AND more profitable products/services could do for your income?!


What I am here to tell you is that you can, and SHOULD make more money this Holiday season than you did in years past.  If done correctly, the ideas that follow should not result in a great deal of extra work on your end, but should result in a substantial increase in revenue and reward for your hard work this Holiday season and beyond.  These “nuggets of gold” or “presents” can be planned for, prepped for, and executed during the Holidays to boost your bottom line with PROFIT dollars.


Present One:  Holiday Puppies.  Like it or not, many families will increase their household population by one or more by gifting pets to their kids or spouses during the Holidays.  Some would argue this is the absolute wrong reason to acquire a pet, making the case that this is more impulse buying and results in more pets in shelters after the “honeymoon” phase of puppy ownership wears off, but it happens so let’s make the best of it and who knows, maybe the puppy will stand a better chance of staying in that forever home.  I am definitely not recommending you sell puppies!  What I am recommending is that you make new puppy ownership EASIER for the new pet parents.  Put together some “Welcome Home Puppy” baskets for display and for sale in your retail stores.  These make great gifts for pet parents who want to buy other pet parents a gift.  After all, how cute is it when one pet “gives” a present to another?  Include To:/From: tags, bows, and maybe even gift-wrapping supplies in the purchase to make it even easier!


Present Two:  Deck the Halls.  If there is one thing that I have a hard time with at the Holidays, it’s decorating!  Just my opinion, but I cannot see the rationale of bringing clutter out of storage, sneezing through the dust it has collected over the past 11 months, displaying it in different areas of my home to make it feel the decorations are more exciting than they were last year, just to pack it all up again in a few weeks for another 11 months of storage.  However, when it comes to business, I have a completely different view!  Customers respond to festive environments!  If you are going to decorate, decorate BIG!  Glam it up.  Decorate everything from the walls, fixtures, even yourselves!  Even better, decorate products in your stores to call a renewed attention to them.  Even if these products are on display year round, a new look with a red bow, a gift tag, rope lighting or an assortment displayed as Holiday gift ideas gives new life and new appeal to everything.


Present Three:  Choose wisely.  When deciding what products may make the best gifts, choose “lifestyle” gifts.  We are treating our pets more and more like family and let’s encourage this trend by offering products in our assortments that reinforce and enhance our relationship with our pet.  Anything portable is hot right now.  We are on the move with our pets, taking them places we would have never gone before with them.  Everything from portable watering and feeding devices, shade or containment solutions, soothing paw treatments for tired running or hiking pads, car safety restraints, and even quick clean up products are great choices.


Present Four:  Added Value.  Buy one get one.  Buy two and save.  Look around…you see these, and other very creative methods being used to attract shoppers everywhere.  Learn from other retailers and emulate these efforts in your offerings.  If you just retail, then shoot for larger purchases by “partnering” two related items together and offering a slight discount of both are purchased at the same time.  For instance, don’t just sell the water and food bowl; sell the cool placemat that makes the package complete.  Sell the stain and odor product for the home and sell the travel size for their glove box or RV.  Likewise, if you retail AND have services such as grooming, boarding, day care, etc., partner a service with a retail item or other service and if they are purchased together the customer will save and you will make more money.  You can get creative and offer profit packed services such as Holiday Nail Polish, upgraded bandanas or bows, take home size Holiday spritz, free training evaluation and glittering or stenciling.


I have often said, “give a customer a reason to spend and they will”.  Create a “spending environment” and a pleasurable experience for your customers and the wallets will open and you will make more this Holiday season than any other.


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