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The Dog Gurus Share Tips on How to Eliminate Stress When Raising Rates in Your Pet Care Center

Fear is the greatest factor that holds back business owners from increasing their rates.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK — Raising rates is an inevitable part of owning a business, and oftentimes, a dreaded move to make. For those in the pet care industry, even a minor price change throws many business owners into major stress wondering if they will drive away all of their customers. As a pet care business owner, it’s crucial to increase pricing to remain profitable long-term. Robin Bennett and Susan Briggs from The Dog Gurus, the #1 in staff training and business consulting group for the pet care industry, are giving tips on how to eliminate stress while raising rates.

Regardless of what type of facility you have, cost of living goes up every year. As a business owner, it’s important to remember that people understand that pricing goes up in all areas of their life. Both Robin and Susan have worked with hundreds of pet care facilities as well as managing their own, and have found that far fewer clients ever complain over a price increase than what they envisioned.

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“Fear is the greatest factor that holds back business owners from increasing their rates,” says Robin, “Sure a facility may have one or two complaints over the change in rates, but it’s typically way less than what the owner anticipated. In fact, if no one complains it may mean you didn’t increase your prices enough!”

There’s no perfect time or month to raise rates; however, if you have not done so since pre-pandemic, then now is an ideal opportunity to do so. Businesses are ditching out more money for cleaning supplies, following different protocols, adjusting to different staffing, etc. Plus, a lot of pet care centers have used this time during the pandemic to roll out new programs or work on renovations. With all of these changes come a loss in revenue, and most clients will be understanding and supportive of this.

“Raising rates across the board can be extremely stressful for business owners, especially during this ongoing pandemic,” expresses Susan, “I always suggest setting up an organized system so that one rate is going up every year. It’s best to stay in communication with your clients and let them know why a rate is increasing. With all of the changes happening due to COVID, it will be easier as a business owner to justify the price change if your facility is doing more to help keep everyone healthy and safe.”

The key is to know your costs and profitability by the key services you offer. If your facility has daycare, training, grooming and retail, keep track of how profitable they are by service (individually). This will help you better determine where your rate increases need to be.

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If your pet care facility is priced higher than a competitor down the street, it’s important to show your clients how your business is providing a higher value. Maybe it’s a higher standard of safety for the animals, a higher ratio of staff to dogs, more interaction with the dogs, better play equipment, etc. Be vocal with your clients about your pricing and values as a company. Most clients will be willing to pay for better quality services and care for their pet.

A great time to raise rates is when you’re not covering your costs and/or not taking home a good enough paycheck for yourself. Many facilities currently have a waitlist due to COVID-19 and believe it or not, a waitlist is a great time to raise prices as well. If you happen to lose a few current clients due to the rate increase, you have the waitlist to come in and fill in those spots.

Robin says, “Overall, I think the key to raising rates is to not make it such a big deal, stay confident with your customers and try to release stress by remembering that we often let our emotions get the best us, when in reality the clients will understand. Raising rates is what needs to happen in order for a business to thrive!”

Watch Susan & Robin discuss this topic on FB Live here.

For help determining your pricing and discounts check out Pet Profits.

The Dog Gurus helps pet care businesses launch, grow, and profit. For more information visit here.

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