7 Steps to Growing Your Dog Training Business
Can you really make six figures running a dog training business? Yes! I’ve seen it happen over and over again. All you need to know is the right way to scale.
Dog training is a serious skill and it doesn’t come naturally to all people, or even, all dog owners. And a misbehaving dog can put a strain on relationships, add to the stress in a home, and drive a wedge between family members. I should know. A misbehaving chihuahua almost came between my girlfriend Michelle and I.
All of this means there is serious demand out there for skilled dog trainers. You can leverage that demand and grow your dog training business. But only if you’re smart about scaling.
Here my top seven tips to start and sell your dog training business:
1. Invest 10% of your earnings into marketing.
One big mistake a lot of dog trainers make is that they rely entirely on word of mouth and referrals to find new clients. But if you aren’t willing to invest in finding new clients, then you have to ask yourself, “do I really have a business?” Training dogs without a reliable system for proactively finding clients is really more of a hobby than a business.
2. Invest in personal development.
Every business owner from the one-person show to the CEO of a Fortune 500 company must invest in personal development. Self-awareness is the key to success. If you don’t work on yourself, you’re doomed to repeat the mistakes you make and that’s no way to run a business. So, ask your business buddies what books, courses, or online programs they would recommend and start investing in yourself.
3. Work on your people skills.
I know you love dogs, but dogs don’t pay bills. Who pays bills? Dog owners of course. So you must learn good communication skills. Study some of your favorite business coaches and sales people you admire. Look at what techniques they employ and start practicing.
4. Train yourself.
Scaling a business takes discipline and consistency. So train yourself in these skills. Ideally, you want everything about your business to run like the flywheel on an engine. Take the time to create the right systems and processes and you will waste less time on the stuff that doesn’t put money in your pocket.
5. Hire a salesperson.
Once you start getting more clients than you can handle on your own, you’ll start thinking about hiring others to help you out. Another big mistake dog trainers make when they’re ready to hire employees or contractors is that the first person they hire is another dog trainer. This is a rookie mistake!
You don’t need more trainers unless you have a steady stream of clients. How do you get a steady stream of clients, you hire an amazing salesperson (or become one yourself).
6. Do in-home evaluations.
Instead of trying to close clients on the phone, you want to close clients in person. So, once you hire that amazing salesperson, you want them hitting the phones to pre-qualify customers and set up in-home appointments for you. Then you hit the streets and close the sales.
This has several benefits:
- You get to see the dog in action and get a better idea of how you can help.
- You can demonstrate to the dog owner how you would work with them and their dog.
- Once the dog owner sees how amazing their pooch can behave when you’re around, there’s no way they’re letting you leave without taking their credit card information.
Pro tip: Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you’re working to close a deal. If they seem hesitant, ask them what’s holding them back. This will help you address their objections and give you critical feedback to make you better at sales.
Dog owners want to see in writing everything they’re going to get from your training program. Having a physical book to hand over is always a smart idea. This way, they can page through it and visualize the transformation you’ll be taking their dog through.
With these seven tips, you’ll be on your way to scaling your dog training business. Of course, all of this is just the beginning. The next step is figuring out how to use social media and digital marketing to up your inbound marketing game.
When you’re ready for the next step, reach out to my team and let’s talk about how to scale your dog training business to six figures!
Louie Torres, CEO of Unleashed Marketing, helps dog trainers grow their business, develop sales skills and approach their customers even during the pandemic. If you are in the pet business click here to learn more about his offer: https://www.unleashedmarketing.co/strategycall