Thursday, June 25, 2009

Who Knew Color DOES matter...

Now you may be wondering color for what? Well I'm talking in terms of Your color scheme for your business. You know the colors that will define your business, your image, your perception to your pet parents and what will help them to remember you better.

So what color scheme are you using? What colors have you chosen to represent your pet business? You didn't just choose random colors off of a color wheel did you? Ok let's just break it down a bit and see why colors could mean more than you might think.

It's been said that IBM has such great early success because of the soothing yet comanding color of the 'blue' that has now become know as IBM blue. Could this really be true? Well let's look a few quick examples and you tell me what's your first impression about these make-believe companies.

EXAMPLE A: Solei Pet Spoiling - This company provides high end pet sitting, spa'ing, and spoiling when you cannot. You hear about this company while eavesdropping on some chatty pet parents at the dog park. You think 'hmm maybe Spudd would enjoy something like this when I have to put in extra hours at work. You get a visual in your head of their website and are excited to see what they offer and their pricing. You go and Google or Bing them and are greeted with a pleasant and soothing website that is adorned with simple yet elegant backgrounds. The color scheme is a muted eggplant, with grey and white and you immediately feel ( fill in the blank)

EXAMPLE B: Dawgsome - Similar in services you find out about them at your recent trip to the vet. You once again go home and Bing or Google them, when you're greeted with a ultraviolet color scheme of lime green, magenta, and royal blue. You're finding it hard to navigate, not to mention it makes you eyes pant from over exertion! It's enough to make you totally forget why you sought them out and then proceed to click the little red box with the white 'x' in it! Gone, never to be visited again.

So briefly you can sort of understand why colors do matter. When you start on your petpreneur adventures there are so many details you have to consider that could make just the difference you're looking for. When you pick your colors, seek out a color wheel. Study which colors compliment each other and play around with them. Play with the for real too. If you can get paint sample strips in those colors look at them in front of you. Do they make you feel warm and fuzzy or antsy and anxious.

Now how do you want your pet parents to feel when they see your marketing materials, your website and your promotional handouts? Of course you want them to feel at ease, comfortable and warm/fuzzy. The exceptions are (they're always are) if you're in business to make your customers feel antsy, anxious or jitty than by all means choose colors that envoke those urgency and fun feelings, but still choose wisely.

Try this little exercise: Browse around the net a bit and pay close attention to color schemes. Notice what colors companies are using, it doesn't even have to be pet related. See how the good ones make use of color and make a note of that. If they're doing it right see 'what' they're doing right.

Choosing your colors is actually a fun aspect of your business that you should enjoy. I take that time to kind of go out there a bit and seek colors I wouldn't have thought of and see how they work, you never know what you may find.

And remember it never hurts to get opinions...don't live by 'em, but you know grain of salt 'em.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Kookin' up for K9's...Niche Idea #1

So you like to bake cookies, cakes and pies huh? Well there's a niche for that if you happen to be a pet parent or enthusiast and a whiz in the kitchen. Why not start a specialty diet bakery? You could offer yummy treats for sensitive stomachs, or diabetic pets.

Pet bakeries are another hot trend that you can start farely quickly with the right startup know how and informations. There maybe some bakeries already in your area why not offer your your specialty treats to them. It's a great way to get started with limited startup costs, and see if this pet business niche is a good fit for you.

You can start out with sample batches to share with friends and of course your furry member and see how well they go over. It's best to try it out first and get honest feedback, not the yeah my dog loved them from your friends - but honest feedback. There's no sense in getting that feedback if it's not genuine, you need the real deal. If Fido spit out every nasty bite ya need to know that. So encourage honesty with your samples.

----> Don't Chase Your Tail Action Point:
It's a good idea to get some proven techniques on this one, because you may think oh I bet chocolate cupcakes would be divine only to find out that it's not such a great idea to a doggies palate. Now this may not be true but you wanna be sure before you divulge your funds here.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

And why is YOUR pet business soo special??

You have no doubtedly seen many other petpreneurs doing what you want to do or something quite similar.  And maybe you've nit picked out the things that you can do better, cheaper or quicker for Your clients/customers and that's what you're going for.  

But when it comes right down to it you need to, let me refrain, you Have to know what makes your service or products special and how to deliver this message clearly, concisely and with enthusiasm to attract your market. 

Everyone knows that is a new pet sitter, daycare and sweet shop opening up almost every week and chances are that if they don't:

1#  already have loyal customers

2# offer something unique, different, or special 

3# or have a budget the size of Utah 

they're gonna be hard-pressed to truly make a profit, or make enough to quit their day jobs. This is just one of those start-up facts. Yes it's true that there are exceptions to everything and if you are that exception: Congrats are in order. 

But most of us entrepreneurs need to work at being special, unique, and out sparkle our competition so that we can accomplish our goals and dreams for our business and ourselves.  

So let's take a look: What makes your pet business or service soo special anyway?  

Here are a few ways to figure this one out and then run with them!

1--> BENEFITS: Think about or write down your benefits to your customers.  Not that you've been doing this since you were 12, but that you can assure honest peace of mind when you're clients are away and have to leave their furry one with you. 

Or that you can give them picture text messages of their Bowser while they're on that trip to show them, yup he's ok while staying with "XYZ Petcare" 

2--> COMMUNITY: When your market 'sees' you in the community and sees that you're actively a part of where they live and with their community life they're more likely to remember you and look to you for their pet needs.  This could mean donating doggy treats to your local SPCA, or volunteering at your dog park once a month.  It's little things that you consistently do that will bring you more awareness and then more customers.

3-->LOYALTY:  Encourage your customers to become Loyal customers by providing a loyalty program, or encourage referrals with discounts.  Everyone loves to feel appreciated and loved so the best way to do this is by saving them money.  Offer discounts for new customers, and try a loyalty program that let's your customers earn points for certain products or services.  They can then use those points towards other products and services.  Showing the love and not just talking about it!

These are just a few but I know you can think of other creative and fun ways to give your pet-inspired business that Glow it needs to outshine your competition!  --No go SHine!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Launch Your Pet Business Succesfully -- GUARANTEED!

It's a pretty tall order huh? Guarantee your pet business launch success...well pet parents  it's pretty easily attainable, even in this economy and I'll share with you proven strategies that have already worked marvelously for me. I call it the GYCF Tactic. What does GYCF stand for? 

Get Your Customers First! Told you it was simple, but you would be surprised how many would-be successful entrepreneurs get this wrong, very wrong.  They don't seek out their customers, or even connect with them on a real, organic level.  They assume that what they have they will want and find it by a magic genie, or some other crazy notion.  Let's stop right here before you make this mistake. 
--> If you have a pet product or service that you think would be something that the community would want or need. Go Find Out First!  Start chatting up our friends, pet neighbors, family anyone who will talk to you about your brilliant idea.  Ask them key details like

*would you find this product or service useful?
*if it was available tomorrow would you buy it?
*how much would you pay for 'xyz'. (I like to start on a higher end and then work my way down if necessary for this part.)
*listen to them, really listen and read excitement cues, and body language this can tell you alot. 

Particularly people who love you, I say this because you don't want those close to you just telling you what you want to hear. If they light up with excitement or if they offer something like, 'yeah if I could buy something like that I would' that's the kind of feedback you're looking for. 

If you don't get these kind of results, it doesn't mean your idea is a dud, it could just mean you may need to tweek it before you move forward or put up any money.  It's been my proven success with finding my customers first that I can honestly say that this has proved invaluable for me.  

In fact I had customers before I even had an acual product! All I had was a handmade sample, and they wanted to buy that. It was then that I was confident to move forward.  

So GYCF my friends and prosper!