Now that you have established a new doggie day care or pet boarding business, have you considered a plan to grow your customer base and get them excited about your brand? How do you go beyond one dog at a time to build a great reputation for your facility?     It is important to establish a unique image that will differentiate you from cookie-cutter operations. In addition to traditional small business marketing strategies there are many approaches to take in marketing your pet boarding business that will create customer loyalty, community recognition, and high demand for your services.  Here are some tips:

Make Your Facility an Enriching, Engaging Environment for Pets

•    Your employees represent you – make sure to hire animal lovers! 
•      Earn credentials and expertise in the training and management of animals. Become a certified dog trainer and hire or certify those who work with animals in your facility. Post these credentials where customers can see them. 
•      Establish a basic training method or dog management program to use in your facility so clients can expect consistent and routine structures for their pets regardless of the employee schedule. Your customers will be happy to pick up a calm submissive dog at the end of the day! 
•   Include a variety of structured playtime that includes mentally and physically stimulating games, and write progress reports for each animal.

Add Convenient Retail and Services:

•    Working pet owners will appreciate one-stop shopping for pet supplies and services

•    Offer grooming and pet training services. 
•    Add a retail section where customers can purchase necessities, such as food, treats and toys, while they are picking up or dropping off their pets.
•    Partner with a vet to be on site once a week or month for vaccinations and general health exams.

Actively Participate in Community Outreach for Animals in Your Community:

•    Sponsor pet adoptions and hold fundraisers for local shelters.
•    Donate resources to first time pet owners who rescue animals.
•    Donate to pet shelters.
•      Don’t be shy about telling people of your community outreach!  Your customers love animals and so do you – get the word out about your work by posting it on your website or writing a press release to the local media    Charity and compassion relieves the suffering of animals and generates public interest for your pet care business!

Treat each dog as part of the family:

•    Create a family atmosphere in your lobby by including photographs and videos of regular customers, their owners and staff.
•    Celebrate a pet’s birthday.
•    When possible, accommodate special requests that make pets more comfortable in your facility.

Employ Social Networking:

•    Use networks to expand your business marketing and generate valuable word of mouth marketing

•    Create a Facebook page and build a network with clients.
•    Tap into pet-friendly social networks online to gain exposure for your pet boarding business.
•    Fresh and current social networks sites will keep your clients and their networks engaged. Your message will reach a gazillion people!
•    Become a member of pet associations and participate in expos and tradeshows. Look for speaking opportunities at these events to share your expertise and be a leader in the industry.