Side Services Dog Trainers Can Offer To Boost Profits
If you are looking for a way to earn some extra income, adding some new services to your current offerings can increase your clientele, increase your profitability and ward off monotony. These are three potential side services dog trainers can offer and some suggestions about how you might market them. Each of these ideas easily deserves its own article — or even its own book — but the following information will help you see some of the possibilities available to you.
Lectures & Workshops
If you’ve been training dogs for a while, you probably have developed your own way of talking about various issues. Perhaps you have come up with unique analogies to describe dog training tasks or developed effective methods for solving tricky problems. Not only is your wisdom useful to the average dog owner, but even seasoned trainers can benefit from fresh perspectives on old problems. Alternatively, if you are shy about sharing your own wisdom, you can host a speaker from elsewhere to provide knowledge to your community. Either way, you position yourself as someone striving towards the cutting edge of dog training – and you can earn some extra money, too.
There are some easy ways to advertise local lectures and workshops. Your own social network can be very useful for posting announcements (the more locally you can filter your announcement, the better). If you are already advertising your website, your advertising dollars will be more useful if your website has some interesting lectures listed on it. Also, local bulletin boards – particularly if they are in pet-industry establishments – can be a great way to make your community aware of your offerings.
Since lectures and workshops are meant for multiple attendees, it is a good idea to keep the price affordable for individuals and derive your profit from drawing a large audience. To provide some extra information on how a lecture could be set up, here is how one company describes its lectures to augment its dog training in Denver.
Dog Selection Assistance
Potential clients sometimes call to scope out dog training services before ever purchasing or adopting a dog. As a dog trainer, you already have a good feel for the factors that influence compatibility between dogs and families. Instead of just competing for their dog training business, become their advocate and help them find the right dog. This is a great way to earn extra money while practically guaranteeing yourself their dog training business once they finally acquire their new dog.
Of course, calls like those mentioned above are good opportunities, but there are other ways to make your community aware of your dog-matching service. In addition to making services known on your website and in your social networks (see above), you can capitalize on relationships you have with animal rescues and shelters. They typically are interested in placing animals in compatible homes and may be willing to let you offer your services through them. Additionally, well-networked dog trainers often receive news of available litters of puppies through breeders in their communities. Serious breeders are always concerned about their pups ending up in the right home, and they may be interested in using you to match up prospective owners with suitable puppies.
If you are a good photographer and have access to a good camera, you can use your own skills and equipment to augment your income. After all, everyone loves a creative picture or an action shot of their dog. But if you don’t have the skills or equipment to close the deal, you can always partner with someone who does. Many up and coming photographers can be found on Craigslist and through local photography programs. They are often happy for an opportunity to build their portfolio and make a few bucks in the process.
Pet photography can be a great up-sell opportunity for your current and past clients, and great photos can end up in great referrals to your clients’ friends and family. In addition to offering it for the dogs you are currently training, consider scheduling a photo shoot at a local park through your social network and newsletter to bring in some extra money.
Another fantastic way to generate money through pet photography is by attending dog-related events with your camera. Make sure you have the technological capability and know-how to shoot great action shots if you attend agility, hunting, or other sporting events. You may have to peddle your pictures at these events when you first get started, but once your work becomes known, you can gain invitations to these events as their official photographer. This will generate great word of mouth advertising among the participants and increase your sales.
Photography prices vary wildly and they can get too expensive for your clientele pretty easily. Consider taking your – or your photography partner’s – skill level into account, along with the disposable income of the demographic you serve.
Hopefully these ideas will help you improve your offerings, your bottom line, and keep business exciting for you. At a minimum, it should provide food for thought and help you consider how you may better serve your own community of clients.
Please tell us what other services you think might be a good augmentation to dog training businesses in the comments below.