Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pet Niche Business Idea #4 - Massage Therapy and Accupressure

Sharing the gift of touch with your furry loved one seems like a no-brainer right? Of course it does, loving on and touching your pet has always been a source of gratification and feel goodies. But did you know that there is a whole industry out there dedicated to the art of healing and massage for your pets?

If you've ever thought, "I would love giving the gift of healing to other pets" than pet massage, or massage therapy could be your petpreneur avenue.

If you're living a healthy and balanced lifestyle ( or are trying :] ) how fabulous do you feel? Very fabulous right just think about how wonderful it would be to give this same life to aging animals, arthritic dogs, dogs recovering from injury and a host of other ailments. The business of touch is an open-wide boulevard that you can surely explore if your interests, talents and skills match up.

Here I quickly list some schools, expecting fee range, and getting certified.

Classes & Schools:

-->Tallgrass Certified Animal Acupressurists



-->Northwest School of Animal Massage

Expecting Fee/Hour:

Just from my research I've found that certified pet massage therapists and accupressure therapists can charge anywhere from $30-$100 per hour. Your fee schedule will vary depending on your location, your experience and what services you provide. And should you venture in this service, you should also consider offering 'tag along' services and products. Such as aromatherapy goodies, special holistic treats and products.

Getting Certified:

International Association of Animal Massage & Bodywork

Make sure that if you choose this field to pursue, you double check with your state's guidelines on who may practice massage on animals, as some states only allow Veterinarians to practice massage.

Also be sure to get the appropriate insurance and bonding if necessary...and most importantly enjoy yourself and you'll find your path to petpreneur success.

Got a question or need some assistance to get started? I'm here to's what I do!

(image courtesy of

Monday, January 18, 2010

Keep your biggest fans...Ecstatic!

You know how alot of articles are always telling you as a business person to 'get more customers' 'get more clients' 'get more traffic' and blah blah blah?

Well those things are true sortof but a bigger point that you should consider is keeping those devoted fans, your bread and butter happy, happy, happy! They already love you, blog about you, and ooze word of mouth joys so why not keep them that way.

And you know something else pet parents are some of the happiest, lovable folks around, so keeping them happy because of your goodies should be a no-brainer.
Let's go over some ideas
to keep those doggy lovers, cat meow-ers, and animal high-fivers coming back for more.

1) Loyalty programs: Start a loyalty program that rewards your regulars. Give them a discount every time they shop with you. This gives the 'hey I'm part of the cool club vibe' and who doesn't like to feel appreciated.

2) Keep in Touch: Letting your pet parents know of news, happenings, and special events and programs you're sponsoring or participating in. This is a nice way to keep you fresh in their mind. Word of Caution: I don't know about you, but I don't like to be bombarded with tons of stuff every day. Some people may find this ok, but I don't. Find that comfortable balance and go from there. Also do not assume if someone emails you to ask a question or get more information that they're now interested in getting your updates...because that's spam-like...and feels just forced when it happens. I've had this happen a couple of times
and just felt cheap! Ick!

3) Follow Up: Tell me, how do you feel when you buy something and then a week later you get an email from them asking you how you're doing and how your new 'wxz callit' is doing? You feel pretty darn swell huh? Yeah it feels like you're important and you're now
almost a customer for life. Well this is a good thing because you can do this for your pet parents and it's easy!

Those are just a few little things you can start doing today to help keep the customers you have, and that alone will bring in more customers, or
increase repeat sales...all good things again!

And remember if you take anything from this or any other post is: don't expect overnight results...expect results yes, but be consistent to get the most from any of your efforts!

If you have other ways you keep your customers clamoring for me, go ahead and share them...there's always creative ways to keep them ecstatic!

And if you need any help, just ask's what I do!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Marketing 1...2...Punch!

What do you think of when you hear the word 'marketing'? Do you think that maybe it's something that big box companies have the budget to do, but you don't? Or maybe you think you're doing it because you have a twitter account or are on facebook. Or maybe you think you don't have to do it because you're tweeting or facebooking.

Well you'd be right and wrong if you thought this, and as an nearly graduated(4 classes left)Marketing major :) I'm gonna tell you why.

First let's make it clear that if you are in any type of business, that you should have a strategy for marketing. It's not optional it's mandatory, and if you don't have the '1...2 punch' as I like to
call it your level of success may not reach its full potential.

What the 1...2 punch does is quite simple. It couples old-fashioned human connection with the
blazing technology of web 2.0. It's a false understanding to believe that just diving head first into social media and marketing will bring you ultimate success. You still need to be that face behind your product, service or company. Your pet parents want to trust you and get to know you, and what your motives and mission is. But they'll never know if you're just a twitter account or a facebook fan page.

So what I'd like to start seeing more of is, the integration of viral video marketing, social media and engaging conversation with your audience. Find out what you can give them that no one else is or is willing to give. The idea of under-promise and over-deliver holds true here. It's the connection that you build that will foster lasting relationships and naturally more customers for you. Good word spreads fast and if you have the media and outlets in place this occurs naturally, and this is good news for you.

So what do you do if you do not have any of the 1...2 punch platform in place. Well let's talk about it briefly:

1) Make sure you know who your customers are. Where will they find you best? Online, offline, or at the dog park. :)

2) What's the best way to influence them? Through community efforts, giveaways (always a winner), contests, co-ops, video showcases. Find out what makes them wanna say: 'hey that looks neat..I wanna buy that, or check that out'. Ok maybe not in those words but you get the idea.

3)Act on what you find with a step by step plan, and don't just give it 1..2 gotta give it a 1...2 punch. You cannot expect results after just one 1 video, a few blog posts, a contest or two, or a giveaway.

If you take a peek into the success of some of pet industry big hitters, they've all got a thing or two in common. They're constantly plugging away at keeping their audience engaged, interested, informed and most importantly wanting more!

So now you've got the inside know how! Go make it happen!!

Got any questions I'm here to's what I do!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Are you doing what you love, love, love?

I'm convinced that finding the exact thing or two that I'm destined to do that life will be pure bliss, or at least close to it. I'll be defining my life purpose, and harnessing the power that was ever so graciously bestowed upon me.

Well if only it were that simple and easy right? For some of us the journey to bliss-dom is one that is taking years and years. While I truly believe it doesn't matter when you get there, but that you just get there, the time in between can seem like eternity.

Not to fear because I think I may have a few suggestions to really do what you love. Ready? Let's Begin:

1) Grab some paper and a pen, jot down things that when you do them you're truly, honestly happy. You know that thing you do...and when you think of it smile widely? Yeah that thing, and when you think of it again and again you think...I'd even do that if I wasn't being paid for it. There may be several 'things' so write them all down.

2) Now think of things that friends, family and people who you're around say 'hey you know you're good at that'. Now be aware that you may be good at some of these things but you may not enjoy doing them often, or at all, but they're important so make notes.

3) Go and look around you. Are there people doing something that you'd like to do or something similar? Find out more about them and what they do, find out if you can do something like they are or even volunteer to work with them to get some knowledge or a foot in.

These are just a few things you can do to be on your way to doing something that you truly love! And if you're here, most likely it's pet related, or animal related.

Which is fabulous because you're in great company. The pet industry is a great place to set up shop, because the 'customers' are some of the best people on the planet.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Lights, Camera, Woof!

By now you may have either fallen into one of a few different categories when it comes to video and marketing:

You've either

A: watched a few YouTube videos and thought hmm pretty cool

B: watched a few YouTube videos and thought, this could work for me to increase website traffic

or maybe C: made a few YouTube videos, uploaded some, and sat back and waited for traffic to come parading in....

Well if you've found yourself in any one of those categories you my pet friendly friends are on the right track. According to the Web Video Marketing Council, video marketing will increase in popularity, and demand has skyrocketed for professional yet cost-effective video to maximize engagement.

It's the next wave of social involvement and interaction, it's what you should be doing, thinking of doing, or hiring someone to assist you with in 2010. And good news it's not gonna cost you thousands of dollars if you're looking for help here.

Heck if you do a viral one yourself, it'll only cost you time and energy to make, edit and upload that baby. And of course the cost of a camcorder if you don't already own one, but you're once again in luck because quality video recorders can be found for under $100!

When done right a well-done viral pet business video can do many things, very well for you.

It can showcase who you are
It can announce new products, services, or sales
It can potentially increase your website traffic, and active links
It can increase sales
It can increase your subscriber list

And the list could go on and on...if...done right!

But let's not get hung up on spending tons of cash to get a video out there and working for you, because in all honesty some of the best videos with the most views are the grainiest, craziest, non-pro looking videos around.

So what should you do now? Well assess what you'd like to get out of starting a video marketing campaign. Jot down your goals and the outcomes, and how you plan to achieve them with videos.

Have Fun and let who you are shine, while spotlighting yourself with your furry campanions! :)