\Are you looking for ways to increase the reach of your marketing? Partnering with pet service providers can help you reach new customers in ways that direct marketing can’t. Here’s how you can build these relationships and use them in a way that increases your business and makes you more accessible to potential clients.
Finding the Right Type of Partnership with Care Providers
Creating a partnership is a matter of balancing three factors: business relationship, business culture and location.
Choosing the right relationship is a matter of balancing involvement and control. Let’s say you want to partner with a pet groomer. If the groomer is an independent contractor, your business has no control over what they do. If they’re an employee, you have the same control as any other employee. There are also “freedom of action” laws that vary state to state that influence the independence of those involved in a partnership.
No matter your relationship, you need to find someone who represents the values of your clinic. They need to offer work you can be proud of associating yourself with, while also being on the same page when it comes to pet care. For example, it doesn’t make sense to partner with a high end boutique groomer when you offer value-focused services.
Location has a major bearing on the success of the partnership. Are service areas for grooming and kennels separate from your practice to prevent healthy pets contacting sick pets? If you add medical services, are you still able to serve everyone from the same entrance point and waiting area? Are outside providers in a location that’s convenient to your clientele? A good fit will create easy access for clients without interrupting work flow.
Utilizing Business Partnerships for the Benefits Beyond Marketing
Expanding services makes care easier all around. The more a pet visits your office, the more comfortable it is with medical visits. The groomer will see the pet more frequently than your office, so they may identify bumps, flea infestations and other causes of concern that would go unnoticed until the pet’s next checkup. Likewise, your clinic can serve as a transitional space for less common medical services. Clients and pets will have an easier time dealing with dentistry or advanced diagnostics if they don’t have to go to a separate clinic.
Partnerships are also good for reducing costs. Veterinary suppliers usually cover equipment for all aspects of pet care, including grooming, boarding and health services. By buying equipment together, you and your partners may be able to get better prices from these vendors.
Partnering with Organizations
Most practices choose to work with adoption shelters and rescue groups to build goodwill and show that they’re part of the community. However, when done right, these partnerships can increase your client base and improve your bottom line.
Shelters are a reliable source of business, bringing in steady cash flow. However, these relationships can cause a lot of friction if you don’t go into them with a clear agreement. Ask yourself if the discounts you offer are encouraging business inside and outside the shelter. Establish a clear payment schedule. If you’re handling a high volume of care services, it may make sense to use a bi-monthly rather than a monthly payment system.
Working with rescue groups extends the reach of your marketing to people who wouldn’t normally encounter your efforts. New pet owners are more likely to stick with the veterinary services used and recommended by the foster services and breed clubs. Likewise, by providing services for new adoptions, you have an easy way to build new client relationships.
Look at ways you can encourage clients to establish a relationship with your clinic after the first meeting. Try to target discounts towards clients and pets with special needs, including low income homes, hard-to-adopt animals, or services that cater to specific breeds. Offering discounts for new pet services including microchip implanting and initial evaluations are a great way to get these clients in the door.
Supporting Your Partnership Efforts with Promotional Items
Getting promotional items into the hands of prospective clients makes it easier for them to act when they need your services. These items also show your partners that you appreciate their work. Here are some ways you can use them to encourage business:
- Supply partners with business cards they can hand out to prospective customers.
- Send a thank you card when a business refers someone to your clinic.
- Offer promotional items for use in welcome kits given to new members and adopters. Pens, leashes, and bandannas are great ways to get your business information into the hands of potential clients.
We Can Help You Connect With Clients
Positive Impressions, LLC has helped veterinarians build relationships with clients for over a decade. We have the products you need to encourage businesses and clients to work with you, including thank you cards, business cards, pens and more. We offer custom printing for most of the products we offer, letting you add your clinic information or your own graphics. You can get started by visiting our website to see what we offer, or you can check out our latest specials on our Facebook page.