Uncover Tens of Thousands of Dollars of Revenue in your Dog Boarding and Dog Daycare Facility

The cost to deliver high-quality dog daycare and dog boarding has never been so expensive. With costs across the business increasing for labor, utilities, supplies, and high-interest rates driving up the cost of borrowing; it’s never been more important to understand your numbers and not leave any money on the table.

With these challenges on every dog daycare and dog boarding business owner’s mind, many pet care business owners aren’t recognizing the revenue they need to grow or, in many cases, survive the next 6 months of operations. If you are an owner who is also not taking a paycheck and reinvesting everything back into the business, it does not have to be that way – your business can thrive even in this ever-changing pet care industry.

So where do you need to focus your time and resources to uncover tens of thousands of dollars of revenue in dog daycare and dog boarding? The simple answer is a combination of three major business strategies: customer growth, marketing, and profitable pricing. And while it’s easy to point out the simple areas that require focus, the implementation, and strategy to improve each is a challenge for the most experienced small business owners.

Customer Growth

In the pet care industry, the average dog daycare and dog boarding business will lose 20% of their customers on an annual basis due to a variety of circumstances (pet loss, clients moving, change of jobs/budgets, behavior changes, etc…). Unfortunately, this isn’t anything that is within the control of even the best-operated daycare and boarding businesses.

So, how can you grow your dog daycare and dog boarding business to combat customer loss? The simple answer is to acquire the right customers who will see value in both your core services and enrichment program weekly that exceeds your weekly loss of customers.

There are several key ways to convert pet parents who are looking for dog daycare and dog boarding services, but the thing to remember is that regardless of how they choose to express interest; it all starts with your website and online research.

Website

90% of pet parents are going to start looking for services by doing a simple Google search. The look and journey for any customer who lands on your website is key, but before they can even find your website, you need to make sure that you are showing up at the top of the search results by optimizing for your keywords. This process is called SEO (search engine optimization) and is done by ensuring your titles, headers, content, and meta-data contain the keywords that pet parents are going to plug into Google search when looking for dog daycare and dog boarding services. So, what are those keywords you want to optimize for? The most common would be “dog boarding (your town or city)” and “dog daycare (your town or city)”.

Online Booking

Once you have a potential pet parent on your website, you need to make it obvious to them how to move forward to being a customer and allow them to request an appointment for dog daycare and/or dog boarding services. Using dog daycare and dog boarding software that provides an online booking platform that is integrated into your website is critical to reducing labor, capturing accurate pet and parent information, and having new customers digitally sign waivers to reduce your liability and cover you in case of an incident or injury. The best online booking platforms will also allow you to configure custom workflows, and for dog boarding, that means being able to create custom rules that optimize your adoption of enrichment and departure grooming services.

Phone calls

For pet owners who want a more personalized experience, they will decide to reach out via phone. While it is important to make sure the phone is answered (and properly), there is no more critical component to running a good business than being available to customers and potential customers via the phone.

Do you have a well-trained and charismatic staff member who is dedicated to answering the phone every time it rings? Most dog daycares and dog boarding facilities do not, and the lack of investment in that position is an enormous lost opportunity.

To measure the success and value of this role, you will want to evaluate two key metrics:

Conversion Ratio

The conversion ratio is a simple metric to track and report on; it’s the percentage of new client calls that convert into a paid appointment. This tracking needs to be done by the reservation specialist on a notepad and entered in Excel each day. While not every single new client call can be converted into a paid appointment- some pet parents won’t know travel dates- other times the dog might not be a good fit for your dog boarding and dog daycare for several reasons; the benchmark for conversion percentage for a well-trained reservation specialist is 90%.

Average Revenue Per Pet Night

The second key metric for measuring the success of the reservation specialist is by looking at the average revenue per pet for dog daycare and dog boarding per night. To optimize this metric, your reservation specialist needs to focus on making personalized recommendations for the most profitable enrichment activities (K9 IQ puzzles, stuffed kongs, bedtime biscuits, puppuccinos, daily pupdates, etc.). One of the largest mistakes that pet business owners make is having an untrained staff member answer the phones. Carefully choosing the right staff and providing structured training can make the difference between barely making payroll and skyrocketing profits for your business.

Every single phone call can be an opportunity potentially worth tens of thousands of dollars. The best reservation specialists will capture and convert 90% of those phone calls, optimizing revenue on every appointment for your dog daycare and dog boarding facility.

Great Marketing

When your reservation specialist team is performing well and you have created a solid process and script for existing and new customer calls, that is when you are ready to start driving new customer calls to your website and business. These calls should be focused on a balance of driving all types of appointments (boarding, daycare, and grooming services). This is where your diverse marketing plan comes into play, and you need to find the most effective way to spend your marketing dollars.

Cost-effective, local marketing can provide a high volume of targeted impressions in a short amount of time.

As you start planning for your marketing efforts, the key to marketing is consistency. It is important to create marketing that is compelling and that has a strong call to action. Effective marketing efforts will highlight the pet experience and how your facility will include the pet’s parents in the pet’s experience. Great photos that highlight special enrichment activities and compelling language will go a long way in driving engagement and creating a consistent brand message and image across all platforms.

Creating special offers that new customers can claim is a great “call to action.” This can range from Free Discovery Days (daycare evaluations) to First Night Free offers for new boarding clients. To maintain a steady growth rate, you will want to drive at least 5 new customer conversions weekly, but keep in mind that the top-performing facilities are converting 10-15 new customers weekly.

Profitable Pricing

There are a few approaches to pricing appropriately, and it’s going to depend on several factors. You will need to understand what your break-even pricing is based on your fixed and variable expenses, what your dog-to-staff ratios are, and how you want your brand to be perceived in your local market. The price is too high without enough proof of value, and customers will use a competitor instead; the price is too low, and you will struggle to keep your business alive.

In this ever-changing industry, the best-performing dog boarding and dog daycare facilities routinely re-evaluate their prices.

Pet parents have proven over and over that there is a clear correlation between the price of services and their perceived value. If your services are priced too low, pet parents may believe that you do not provide the highest quality of care. It is also true that if you price your services on the higher end, pet parents will have higher expectations for what you provide.

Once you have identified the ideal services and pricing, it’s important to create an appropriate story that connects your value and services. This is critical to include in your marketing strategy, to paint a picture that highlights your unique services, the staff training you provide, and how you approach delivering the highest quality of care. And this storytelling should be consistent across your marketing efforts and how each of your employees takes phone calls. The true power of a successful marketing strategy is consistency across digital ads, social ads, direct mail flyers, and phone calls.

Streamline Pet Business Operations, Drive Profits, and Deliver Exceptional Customer Experiences

Pet business owners who have been around for a while understand the value of a system that organizes all the information and streamlines the tasks required to provide the highest quality of pet care.  When you find the right dog boarding software for your business you are going to save 20+ hours every single week by using automation for client management, scheduling, appointment reminders, billing management, financial analysis, and customer marketing. 

With Kennel Connection, you have a true partner who is invested in your success as a small business owner.  They provide free consulting with industry veterans who speak across the US about profitability, process optimization, and techniques to expand revenue.  If you are curious about how Kennel Connection can streamline your business and improve your profitability, then sign up for a demo HERE