Attracting new clients can be overwhelming and tricky. Often we spend money running social media campaigns or advertisements in local publications hoping our ideal client will see and respond to our advertising. While social media can help us narrow down who sees our advertisements, we are often paying to market to people who will not need our services. Directly targeting new, local cat owners is often a better strategy and a more effective use of our time and money.
Before we announce or promote our business, we need to develop something to specifically offer new clients. When targeting new clients, a free nail trim is often a successful strategy. Long nails are an irritant for most cat owners. Family members get scratched and home décor tends to get ruined when a cat’s nails are too long. Advertising that focuses on keeping the family safe from long nails typically draws in new clients.
A free nail trim appointment gives us the opportunity to meet the cat and the owners while doing something beneficial for the cat. During this appointment, you can find out what bothers the family about the coat condition or point out other issues that you observe. Many times, you will discover matting during the free nail trim visit which can be used as an opportunity to educate clients on how and why matting occurs. In addition, you can discuss shedding which can be used to encourage the family to schedule a full groom.
A “Welcome to Your New Home” package can also be successful. These offers can be directed towards kittens with a disclaimer that older cats are welcome, too. When I run these types of offers, I like to give them something free and also a percentage off of a full groom.
When advertising the offer, it is important you make the terms clear, especially if you are going to offer a deep discount. I usually make the offer good for the first three months of the kitty being in the new home. Many people get multiple cats at a time, so you need to carefully consider if the offer is one per home or one per cat. If you accept one per cat and an owner walks in with their three recently adopted cats, can your business absorb those costs?
Choosing a promotion that fits your unique business and local population is something that takes careful consideration. After you have your promotion established, it is time to design and print a flyer or brochure to distribute. There are many online platforms that can help you design and then print material for your business. I have found that the best investment is to hire a graphic designer. A graphic designer keeps your colors and logos true to your branding and does quality control for your printed material. My biggest tip is to choose a high-quality paper as it will stick out in a pile of papers in the home or on a table full of flyers.
After you have your promotions established and printed up, it is time to plan to whom and where you will distribute the information. I like to choose about five organizations or establishments. A new-cat advertisement should go to your local animal control plus any other organization that adopts out cats. This can be a little tricky as a lot of rescues do not have a physical location or a set adoption schedule. Research is important to help you plan your delivery schedule and to get a sense of how specific adoptive organizations operate. Obviously you want to be sure you are attracting cats that have gotten the medical care they needed and are free of ringworm prior to being adopted out.
Once you have chosen where to deliver the flyers, you must carefully plan your distribution day. I like to arrive about an hour or two into the start of operations. This seems to give the organization time to work through any opening crowds and kinks. I also like to plan the delivery in an order that makes sense as far as driving.
In addition, you want to make a good impression when you drop off the flyers. Taking time to look your best and dressing business casual will make a notable first impression. Making eye contact and introducing yourself is always important. Arriving with treats (edible or not) for the organization staff or volunteers helps get your company talked about. Remember, the key here is getting attention for your business. If you can get the volunteers or staff talking about your business, the buzz should attract new clients.
While you are making face-to-face contact with the local shelters and rescues, it is always nice to have a special offer for them so they can see your work. My favorite rescue-organization offer is one free groom a month. I am willing to offer paid grooms at my operating expense. This is where doing your homework ahead of time pays off. Knowing you are interacting with organizations with integrity and that place healthy cats will help prevent you from offering free grooms to questionable organizations that do not place their cats or have rampant health concerns that could harm your business.
Getting a new cat is an exciting time for a family and a great opportunity to attract new clients. Investing the time to create and distribute “Welcome to Your New Home” offers to local rescues and shelters will get new cats through the door, presenting you the opportunity to sell your business and services. ✂️