Are You Bringing In Enough Revenue?

By Laura Laaman

As you well know, delivering quality pet care has never been so expensive. Rampant inflation, dizzying costs and relentless competition continue to batter pet care businesses on all sides. And let’s not forget the ongoing staffing crises and “mystery” canine illness national news stories.

As this towering mountain of challenges looms, many pet care facilities aren’t realizing the revenues they need in order to grow or, in some cases, simply survive. In addition, many facility owners aren’t taking a paycheck for themselves because the staff and facility bills need to get paid first. But here’s the good news—your business can (and should!) be thriving, even in this arduous environment.

So, what do you need to implement in order for your business to thrive? The powerful combination of three major strategies: strong client acquisition, effective marketing and profitable, yet appropriate pricing.

Exceptional Client Acquisition
In pet care, your active client base constantly shrinks due to circumstances outside your control—families move, pets age out or pass away, or a client may no longer need your services for one reason or another. In fact, it’s estimated that even the best-performing pet care company naturally loses about one third of its active clients every year. So how do pet care businesses continue to grow and thrive? They attract enough new lucrative prospective customers to bridge (and exceed!) this gap, every year.

Some pet care business owners are surprised to hear this, but almost all of your company’s business comes through your telephone. Choosing a pet care provider is a highly emotional decision involving significant trust. For this reason, most pet parents still choose to speak with an actual human rather than book pet care online. This means that the way your company handles phone calls is incredibly important. Do you have a well-trained, dedicated phone person or team (depending on your size)? Most pet care businesses don’t, and therefore lose a huge opportunity.

How do you measure your phone person or team’s success? There are two major ways. First is the conversion ratio, which is the percentage of inquiries turned to paid bookings. Of course, not every call can be converted into a booking—sometimes pet parents call without knowing their travel dates, and other times their pet isn’t a good fit for your facility for any number of reasons. There are countless possible blockades that make a prospective client non-viable. Even so, a well-trained phone person should book two out of three new prospective pet parent calls. The second way to measure your phone person’s success is their revenue per pet, per night. That means your phone person should be booking all the important and profitable add-on services like playtimes, cuddle sessions, special treats, etc.

Having an untrained employee answering phones is one of the biggest mistakes you can make in relation to your revenues. But a carefully chosen, highly trained and regularly monitored professional phone person or team can be the difference between skyrocketing revenues and simply scraping by. Every prospective client phone call is a golden opportunity potentially worth thousands (or tens of thousands) of dollars throughout that client’s lifetime relationship with you. A competent phone person or team will capture and convert as many of those phone calls as possible, and in the most profitable ways.

Great Marketing
Once you have your phone person or team performing well, you need to drive lots of new prospective customer phone calls to your business. And let’s not forget that’s for each profit center, be it boarding, daycare, grooming or training. That’s where marketing comes in. But as you know, it can be confusing and challenging to determine the most effective ways to spend your marketing dollars.
cartoon green and orange houses with yellow accents
Low-cost, community-driven marketing can help make a lot of targeted impressions in a short time.
However you choose to focus your marketing efforts, it’s important to be consistent and concise while promoting the most compelling information. The best marketing materials highlight the wonderful experience at your facility—what can the pet parents expect their pets to gain, participate in and enjoy while with you? Lots of vibrant, fun, and active photos and language go a long way. Do you have special amenities worth promoting? Advanced facility features? Whatever your best-selling points may be, it’s important to promote the same messages through your efforts to establish a whole and appealing impression, or brand message.

Low-cost, community-driven marketing can help make a lot of targeted impressions in a short time. Ultimately, the goal is to attract prospective customers and guide them to your phones. Encourage prospects to call you to learn more, claim a special offer and hopefully make their reservations.

Appropriate, Profitable Pricing
Pricing is a delicate subject with many moving parts. It can be difficult for any pet care business owner to identify the ideal prices to charge for each of their services—price too high without justification and prospects will go elsewhere; price too low and your business can’t survive. You can’t possibly compete with the same prices as corporate giants or deep-pocketed online apps. And even if you could, that’s a quick road to commoditization and deteriorated brand recognition among the sea of competition.
cartoon woman with a stack of coins and dollar bills inside thought bubbles above her head
As you well know, the economy fluctuates all the time, and the best-performing pet care companies routinely re-evaluate their prices to ensure they’re where they need to be.
Instead, it’s important to price your services at the value they’re worth. If you provide premium pet care, you should charge appropriately. In fact, there’s a clear correlation between price tag and perceived value. If your services are priced too low, pet parents may not see or appreciate the true quality of the care you provide.

Once you’ve identified the most appropriate and profitable prices for your services, it’s critical to justify that cost to the pet parent prospect. This ties back to promoting the incredible experience and unique selling points at your facility, both over the phone and in marketing. And it’s important not to get complacent, either. As you well know, the economy fluctuates all the time, and the best-performing pet care companies routinely re-evaluate their prices to ensure they’re where they need to be.

While each of these strategies is powerful, they don’t shine to their truest potential until they’re used in tandem. Even today, up against soaring inflation and costs, your business should be generating the revenue you need and deserve.

Laura Laaman is president of Outstanding Pet Care. If you’re interested in growing your revenues, any of the strategies in this article, or any of our other proven and guaranteed services, schedule a consultation by calling 1-888-735-5667 or visiting