As we approach the busy holiday season, you might find yourself thinking that if I suggest changes to your cattery right now, that I’m insane. Your facility is at maximum capacity every day, and you’ve got to ensure that your business runs smoothly. Fortunately, large changes aren’t necessary to ensure that you keep up the busy holiday momentum throughout the year. You might be surprised to learn that by making small changes to the way that you market your cat business you can attract more clients and increase your revenue. When prospective clients search for catteries, they often choose the one that has great amenities and that makes a positive first impression. So, the easiest way to make sure that your facility is seen in the best light is to optimize your website and social media. Your best cattery already exists…so let’s talk about how to market it to attract more customers and increase your revenue.
Clarity is Essential
Your cattery can benefit immensely from examining the wording on your website and other social media platforms to ensure that it conveys the right message. You want to make sure that your wording is clear and easy to understand –this can be achieved fairly easily by simply altering/changing some of the wording on your site. Go through your website objectively, pretending to be a new customer (or even enlist a friend to do this) and look for wording that might be unclear. The tone of your website should be fun and professional, but make sure that your wording is clear when it comes to your policies. Do you have a cancellation fee, require certain vaccines, or request that owners keep personal items at home? Be firm with your wording to reduce the risk of it being interpreted the wrong way. A great example would be: “We ask that all personal belongings remain at home,” as opposed to “Personal items should be left at home.” What’s the difference? Saying “we ask” conveys a firm stance on the issue, where “should” implies that leaving personal items at home is recommended but optional. Being straightforward with your wording sends the message that your business is honest-which is a great first impression to give!
Photos Speak Volumes
Your website, Facebook page, and Instagram account are some tools that you can use to help your cattery create a great first impression, as they are often a customer’s first interaction with your business. The first step is to make sure that you have an easily identifiable logo that allows your clients to differentiate your cattery from others in the local area. This reduces the chances that your business will be confused with others offering similar services. Odds are that your website already has photos of your facility, but choosing the right photos based on the things that people search for in a cattery is key to gaining more customers. Some types of photos to include:
- Your clean and spacious cat accommodations
- The ample space between your cat kennels, or the sneeze-proof partition that prevents cats from sharing sicknesses
- The toys and scratching posts that you provide for entertainment
- The area that you clean/sanitize the items that the cats come in contact with
- Any outdoor access areas or viewing areas where the cats can sit and enjoy some outdoor stimulation
- Security features that you have such as fences, double gates, a fenced in “security area” to prevent cats escaping during feedings or cleanings, etc.
- Any exciting features that make your facility different from the competition
- Cats receiving one-on-one attention and having fun
We’ve mentioned social proof in a few different blogs, but it really is essential to creating a positive first impression. When you have positive reviews listed on your Google+ Local listing, your Facebook page, and your website, prospective clients can use the reviews to help them make the decision to board their cat(s) at your facility. Positive reviews from other pet owners, veterinarians, or other local businesses shows that your business is responsible and trustworthy.
Encourage a Visit
Do you encourage first-timers to visit your cattery? Visits can help to build trust and confidence in your facility, but if you don’t advertise that you offer them on your website and social media you could be losing potential clients! Visiting your cattery gives the customer the chance to compare your facility to the photos on your website, see the other cats staying there, and ask any questions. This opportunity is reassuring to many clients because you can ease the anxiety that they might feel when leaving their pet in someone else’s care.
Health & Safety
Show potential clients that the health, happiness, and security of their pet is your highest priority. This really is the make-or-break factor for many pet owners who are trying to decide who will care for their pet while they are away. Make sure that you showcase all of the training, first-aid, and other applicable licenses that your staff members have attained on your website. Do you have a vet-in house or on call? Put that on your website too! Advertise your policy about required vaccines…when people are interested in booking with a cattery, they want to make sure that you are looking out for their pet by controlling the spread of contagious diseases. These little things might not be on your website, but they are essential to include when trying to make a positive first impression.
Your marketing efforts can be improved with only a few minor alterations to your website and social media channels, just in time for the holidays! Do you have any tips or tricks for other cattery owners? Share them in the comments below. Interested in reading more ProPet posts? Make sure to check out our ProPet Software blog and subscribe for more!