Adding just one additional weekday booking per day in your dog field can increase your revenue by more than £2500 per year.
If you’ve done some marketing or advertising before you open your dog field, the likelihood is that you have had great sales in the first month, with fully booked weekends and busy weekdays. After the first few weeks of being open, it’s not unusual for dog fields to see a slight dip in sales, particularly during the week and that can feel a bit demoralising after such a great start. This dip is perfectly normal as many dog field users will travel a little further to try out a new field in their area, but will revert to a more convenient field for their regular use.
You might also have been affected by the opening of new field nearby and are wondering if your area can support two or more dog fields. The answer in most cases is yes.
The popularity of dog fields is growing fast with a spike in young dogs who, because of covid, haven’t had professional training and socialisation opportunities at the best time. As a result there are now considerably more dog owners looking for safe places to exercise their dogs. We’re going to run through a few of the easiest ways to boost your mid-week sales.
5 Ways to Boost Your Mid-Week Sales
- Approach professional dog walkers in your area
- Post weather updates
- Incentivise loyal customers
- Use social media
- Open days
Some people opening dog fields have falsely assumed that running a successful dog field can be an entirely passive business. If you’re investigating opening a dog field of your own, check out this article before reading on – How To Set Up A Dog Field – here you’ll find out some of the most important things you need to know before you get involved in a dog field enterprise.
Once you have established and launched your dog field, you have daily maintenance, daily customer service activities and, if you want to maximise the revenue you get from your investment, you must be marketing your dog field.
Sitting back, even when you are busy can be a huge mistake. All it takes is for a shiny new field to open nearby; for your field to become intolerably muddy; or for you to take your eye off your maintenance schedule and you’ll lose customers – sometimes, for good.
Are you looking at your weekly schedule and seeing a pattern? You’re fully booked for weekends in advance but weekdays can bit hit and miss with people more likely to book on the day, weather dependent? Here are a few very simple things you can do to boost those bookings today.
Approach Professional Dog Walkers in Your Area
You probably already have a number of professional users of your field but for a dog field to be fully booked during the week, a straight forward solution is to reach out to more dog walkers.
Many owners are now insisting that their dog walker takes their animals to a secure field and so you are a supplier in their business. Finding more local dog walkers and letting them know what kind of facility you run, how you charge professional users, and the benefits you can offer is a very easy way to increase your bookings mid-week.
Some dog walkers use fields daily and so you need to look after them.
Post Weather Updates
Whether that’s using a widget on your website or doing daily weather reports on Instagram when you do your fence checks – letting your local users know that it’s going to be a bright day ahead, or that there looks to be a break in the rain between 2pm and 4pm, might just kick someone into making a booking. It costs you nothing but you’re providing a useful service to your customers.
If you don’t believe us, try it, you might be surprised how effective this technique can be!
Incentivise Loyal customers
Contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t need to be achieved by offering a discount, although very regular users are always going to appreciate recognition of their loyalty in this way.
Asking them to help spread the world to their dog owning friends in return for a complimentary session mid-week, is a good use of a vacant session and builds good will. Something we have always found successful is offering regular users a ‘refer a friend voucher’ Limit these to your least busy times and you might generate new regular users.
Use Social Media
You would be surprised at the number of dog field owners who do not actively use social media to promote their business. At the other end of the scale there are a large number of fields that use social media to run their entire dog field business from all their customer communication to their booking system. Whilst this is not a route we would encourage (fraught with challenges and problems), we are big fans of using social media to generate new business for your field and embed yourself in the local dog owning community.
You might offer complimentary sessions mid-week to customers that regularly feature pictures from your field on Instagram, run competitions to increase your social following or simply post regular pictures on your various social platforms.
However, being a little more innovative can have a considerable impact. Enabling dog owners to tell their story – why they use the field and what they get out of it, can inspire other people to book. Sharing positive stories can give people the confidence to try a session, especially where they are unfamiliar with the concept of a secure dog field.
The most regular users of dog fields will have some sort of challenges with their dogs – whether that’s reactivity and nervousness or lack or recall and lead pulling – these owners will be actively looking for safe spaces for their dogs to exercise.
We don’t encourage any kind of open day that involves large groups of unfamiliar dogs ‘having a go’ in a field – and certainly anyone with a reactive dog wouldn’t consider attending an event like this. However, running an event for the ‘grown ups’ to come to visit, see what your field is like and ask any questions they might have, will save you a lot of customer calls, emails and messages – this also puts a face to the business as most dog fields run without you coming into contact with your customers at all.
There are a lot of marketing own goals being made by dog fields, many of which are only obvious to an outsider – if you find you are regularly getting asked the same question about your field then you have to admit that somewhere in your marketing material, you’ve made a mistake or missed a key piece of information.
If you’re looking to fill some of your mid-week vacancies, try some or all of the above approaches and you will see a difference – it takes a little time, costs nothing and will no doubt increase your dog field revenue.
Book a Marketing Reboot
Are you wondering why all the other dogs fields seem booked months in advance and yours just doesn’t seem to have the same appeal?
We run a Marketing Reboot Consultation. We take a deep dive into your entire business to give it a complete marketing overhaul and douse your field in our secret sauce. We may identify some practical issues for you to address at your field, but a lot of good work can be done by the way you present your businesses. The results you can expect with the marketing reboot are increased sales and a more robust dog field business for the future. You can find out more about our other consultancy services here.