There’s an app for everything nowadays and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to compete with apps as a pet sitter, dog trainer or even pet boarding facility. With reduced prices, the comfort of keeping a pet in their own environment, and being able to “privately” board a pet through an app, it’s no surprise why these apps are beating out traditional brick-and-mortar facilities of the past.
However, there are still downsides to using the apps.
As a pet business owner, you already know the ins and outs of owning a pet care industry business, like having insurance. Many of the individuals on these apps do not have pet care insurance.
When people use these pet-sitting apps, they often only get to know a profile picture and not the person. As a result, many pet parents are trusting their four-legged familiar members with unfamiliar faces for the sake of convenience.
Limited Background Checks
While these apps claim to do background checks and allow reviews, pet parents are still risking their homes and pets when they allow essentially a stranger in their home to watch their pets.
Yet, even so, despite these downsides, many people are still opting to use these apps because they’re convenient, popular, and easy to use. So, how can you compete against convenience and ease in an era where those two attributes are so highly sought after?
Everybody wants to be famous and social media allows us to do so… even if it is for less than 15 minutes. Pet parents want their pet to feel special and showcasing them on your social media pages helps pet parents stay connected with their pets, even while they’re away. Being active on social media isn’t just a great way to showcase your pawsome guests but it’s also a wonderful way to stay connected with your community.
Social media allows you to market your facility and services for free, while also having some fun online and allowing users to get to know you before they come in. Many people will develop a relationship with a business online before they ever even step foot inside their storefront. With this in mind, it is wise to get online and get social!
Show off Your Knowledge
You didn’t start a pet care business simply because you love hanging out with pets. You love learning about all aspects of pet care, maintenance, and health. This means that you hold a wealth of pet care knowledge that can instill confidence in your clients and guests. Use this wealth of knowledge to your advantage to stay competitive against pet care apps by positioning yourself online and off as an industry thought leader. Here are some ways to share your industry knowledge
- Weekly/Monthly Blog Posts
- Social Media
- Videos Answering FAQs
Develop Your Team
Having a team backing you already puts you at a greater advantage than any individual on an app. Unfortunately, many business owners equate hiring a team with developing a team. A well-developed team is one that has been provided opportunities for advancement and is treated like people and not just employees. Want to learn more about attracting and developing better talent? Check out this post on How to Attract, Develop, and Retain Great Staff.
Staying connected involves more than just getting on Facebook or Instagram and liking a few photos. Staying connected involves both on and offline efforts. Getting involved in local community programs, sponsoring events or participating as a vendor can help you establish a personal connection with pets and pet parents that an app could never allow.
Another way to stay connected is to handwrite cards to pets and pet parents. Thank you notes, birthday cards, and “just because” cards are a sweet, heartfelt way to stay connected with your current clients, potential clients, and your community.
Maintaining the Competitive Advantage
As you begin to adjust your competitive strategy to compete with the convenience of the new pet care apps, you’ll need to consider beyond ways that just initially give you a competitive advantage. As a suggestion, consider implementing Kinn Kleanbowls into your service or product offerings. Being able to provide a unique and healthy alternative to traditional food and water bowls can help set you apart from the rest. Learn more about Kleanbowls and how to purchase your first test kit here.