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Myself and a fellow French ring club member are starting a dog training business together. We're trying to figure out good marketing ideas. One of them is to take goody baskets to local pet business not in competition, like vet offices. If anyone has ideas on what to put in the baskets please help me out :) any other good marketing ideas that are fairly low cost?


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My trainer found us at the dog park, he had his dog with him and I was very impressed with his dog's behavior. Although I felt he was a little pushy, I never forgot him, and always kept the pamphlet he gave me. Later we heard this was common for him, stopping people on the streets if their dog look like it needed training.
 

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Interesting. Thank you. That's the hardest for me. I don't like to come across pushy or salesmen like. But I know there's a way to go about it, I need to suck it up and get out there.


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I don't train but I get people asking me almost daily if I do or if they can sign up. I think it's a combination of having my own dogs "out there" at all the local events, walking in public, parades, all kinds of trials and my t-shirts. I have so many t-shirts related to dog stuff. I wear these EliteK9 t-shirts because they are only $5 and last forever and every time I'm out with one on people ask me if that's my training club, lol. They should give me some kind of discount! Since I don't actually offer training I don't have my own shirts but if I was going to, that would be the first thing I'd do, get some shirts made up and wear them around.
 

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Instead of handing out business cards give them something with your business on it that they can use. A tennis ball with your business information or a Frisbee or some sort of small leash. Something someone will use will make you very successful because they could have your name and number in your hand daily.
 

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All good ideas, but don't forget social media. I have a small side business, and Facebook brings in a good portion of my business. And having a good website is important too.
 

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Social media is a huge marketing tool and all the better for small or start up businesses because it's FREE! The cost is the time that employees/owners spend updating it.

Doing a demo day in a public place might be a good idea too. Talk to the town and see if you can rent a park or something where people who are out and about might see you and do some agility/rally/obedience demos.
 

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Develop relationships with local rescues and shelters. Many of the ones around here have relationships with trainers and include their information in the "adoption" packet new owners receive with their dogs.

If it were me, I would, offer to provide a "free" evaluation or training session with the owners of a newly adopted dog. If you help the owner with their initial concerns/fears or hopes/dreams, you will probably have someone who will remember your business and seek you out once they are ready for more training!

Good luck!
 

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Everyone's pet needs some sort of training. Start a face book page. Post videos of what you can do. Invite as many people to like your page as possible. Offer free consultations. Your email in box will be full of private messages requesting help in no time.
 

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Demos at public events and in dog parks and such are great in my opinion. Also, if you could demo in schools in your area it could get you a lot of free publicity through the children and teachers. If you show any 5-10 year old "cool tricks" that you can do with your dog if it had the proper training you and I both know that child would tell their parents when they got home lol. Have a pamphlet distributed in classrooms so the kids can take it home to the parents. Children are a brilliant marketing tool if you can capture their attention and imaginations. Anything that would allow you to show off your skills to the public and allow you to mingle with them is great for a business. Word of mouth is the oldest yet most effective form of marketing for start ups.
 

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Website and SEO.

Google is a pain for small local businesses *sigh* so after creating a website make sure you 'claim' your listings in google, (local and organic searches) bing, yahoo, yelp and others. I know someone who can help with this at a reasonable price, PM me for contact info if you are interested.

Local marketing in a 'coupon clipper' type magazine that gets mailed out. Best to go with a publication that does the leg work on demographics for you as to get ROI on your ads you need to market to people who can afford to pay for a trainer.

I haven't had much luck with social media and thought it was just me not knowing how to use it but if GM drops it's advertising from social media you gotta wonder. I'm not saying don't try it but be careful with ads you've gotta pay for position. It was not a model (originally) intended for marketing so it's been making an unwieldy if not precarious move from college chat room to the business world.

Above all, with print material, less wordy is better, pictures do say 1000 words and it takes on average around 10-11 impressions (from any kind of marketing material) to stick in a consumer's mind. So you've got to keep your name out there month after month.

Marketing is truly a wacky world at times.

Good Luck!
 

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Myself and a fellow French ring club member are starting a dog training business together. We're trying to figure out good marketing ideas. One of them is to take goody baskets to local pet business not in competition, like vet offices. If anyone has ideas on what to put in the baskets please help me out :) any other good marketing ideas that are fairly low cost?
All the marketing ideas people shared were awesome
For example I've opened my own shop for dog care
 
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