As the world is beginning to shut down to contain the rapid spread of Covid-19, this leaves pet businesses in a vulnerable position. With cancelations pouring in and depleting bank accounts, stress levels are bound to increase. But, there are ways you can embrace the chaos as governments around the world are recommending social distancing. We have compiled a list of some ways pet businesses can generate revenue during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Add a Concierge Service
If you are healthy and able, the vulnerable in your community can use your help. Adding a temporary concierge service, as JenLovesPets has, is not only a great way to help, but it can also help you generate extra revenue. The elderly, high-risk, and quarantined will still need groceries, pet products, medication, and supplies. Offering a service where payment is made online, and you drop off orders on the front porch to avoid human contact is a great way to supplement your income during the outbreak.
If any Barketing clients need helping to build an order form for this type of service, get in touch! We are here to help during this difficult time and will get this set up for you so you can start helping your community. Please take all precautions and stay safe out there!
Here is an example of a Concierge Order Form that we have set up for a client to give you an idea or you can download the Gravity Forms JSON file of the form for free here.
Promote Services for those who are Working From Home
Some people have a hard time working from home, especially if the kids are home, and dogs are rambunctious. Promote your dog walking services to keep the dog on routine and house less hectic. Boarding and daycare facilities can offer secure drop-off for services at their location to give clients a break. Software companies like ProPet Software have added features to help keep clients informed on current policies and facilities safe and clean. If clients are not losing income during this time, they may appreciate one less thing to do!
If you are worried about entering a house, you can ask the client to perhaps tie the dog securely to a tree or post as you arrive. You can then walk the dogs, with gloves for added protection, then tie the dog back up and wait for the client to bring the dog back in the house for the dog’s safety. If you can offer a mobile grooming service, this may also be an excellent service to promote during this time. We asked Liz Illg, owner of Fluff and Puff, how she is managing 5 grooming locations during this pandemic and she said,
“For me personally, with grooming we are discounting services so it’s more affordable for people and doing curbside drop off and pick up. Adjusting the services, as we are trying to stay open! Making it safer! 🙂”
These types of services with low human interaction can help reduce the spread in your community and help you generate revenue.
Offer Online Dog Training
People may be stuck at home, but their dog still requires training. If you are a dog trainer and your lessons and classes have been canceled, try offering online dog training options for now. You can use a product like Zoom to conduct your training virtually for the time being.
Sell Gift Certificates & Pre-Paid Packages
You are running a business. You need some cash flow! Consider selling gift certificates so your client and community can help support your business during a time they may not need your services. Bella Vasta, from Jump Consulting. also had a great idea of selling pre-packaged dog walks, for example, 10 walks for 2 dollars off each if you have that in your profit margins. This can help spike cash flow by offering a limited time discount on each when pre-purchased in a package. This is a great opportunity to give your clients a way to support you during this tough time.
Offer Discounted Services for Essential Service Employees
Are you located near a hospital or other essential service employers? These front-line workers are probably overworked and exhausted, trying to keep their community safe.
Offering a discounted service to help healthcare employees is a great way to help supplement your income, so you can pay your bills, and also help those that are putting their life on hold for your community. These individuals may be too exhausted mentally and physically to care for their pets during this time.
Sell Products Online and/or Partner with Local Retailers
You may have a large client base, and pets still need supplies. Adding an online store to your website and partnering with a local retailer is a great way to generate additional revenue for your business and the local pet store in your community. Many pet product companies offer reseller programs. Do some research in your community to see what opportunities are available.
Clients and potential clients may still be searching for pet care for future travel plans. Instead of canceling meet and greets, offer video consultation meet and greets. Offering virtual Meet and Greets can help set you up for success once your business is back to normal.
Government Support Programs for Small Business
We hope many of you have contingency plans in place to mitigate potential financial risks, but sometimes with small business, this isn’t very easy. Contact your government to see what options they have for small businesses, and if you qualify.
The Canadian government is establishing a Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to support businesses during this time. This will allow the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) to provide more than $10 billion of additional support to businesses.
“The government is preparing a significant stimulus program, to stabilize our economy, support businesses and protect Canadians. We are ready and nimble in our responses to protect Canadians. To all Canadians, our government wants you to know that we have your back. We will take every necessary step to give you confidence.”
– Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance
The U.S Small Business Administration announced they will be providing disaster assistance loans for small businesses impacted by the Coronavirus (Covid-19). For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org (link sends e-mail).
In addition to generating revenue during this time, reviewing your financials and identifying opportunities for cost savings in your business may be a good way to save money during this time. Focus on the services that are relevant and needed during this time and focus on those.
Erika Godwin is the President of Barketing Solutions and the Co-Founder and CMO of ProPet Software, an industry-leading kennel management software. Erika has over 8 years of experience with WordPress and graduated from Elmira College in 2009 with a BS, Business Administration- Marketing and Management.