Sooner or later you are going to need some marketing materials to hand out to people to let them know about your business. Business cards are a must, and I also created a 3-folded brochure, postcards and flyers for my business. Below is an image of some of them. I used Illustrator for mine, but there are easy ways to get great-looking materials printed without having to get a degree in graphic design.
Once you’ve come up with a name for your business, it’s time to get business cards printed. Many online companies offer business cards especially for animal-related businesses, and all you have to do is add your company name and contact info. Or if you prefer to design your card yourself, you can upload your design. I used VistaPrint for my materials, and if you want to give them a try, they usually offer free business cards as well as other products such as logo designs, car door magnets, sticky notes, pens etc. (not necessarily animal related, but nice designs nevertheless). They have card designs (and everything else) especially for pet/animal professionals too, and their prices are very reasonable.
I created my 3-fold brochure because I couldn’t fit everything I wanted to say on anything smaller. And it turned out to be a great marketing tool. I went to all pet-related businesses (and a few “human massage” and chiropractic places as well) in my area and asked if I could display my brochures, and most said yes. I bought very inexpensive plastic display stands and left a stack of brochures in each place (I also stapled my business card on the inside of the brochure, just in case). Again, at VistaPrint, you can use any of their pre-designed templates and just fill in your text online, or you can design your own brochure and upload.
I used my postcards to send to people, to leave behind at different places, and as part of my display at events. I put information about my business on the front and usually a special offer on the back (“get 10% off a massage when you mention this postcard”, for example). If you want to keep track of where your marketing efforts are paying off, it’s a good idea to put some sort of serial number on the cards and ask people for it when they book the massage. As an example, let’s say you put a number like DDC001, 002, etc. on all the cards you leave with a dog daycare center and PS001, 002 etc. on the ones you leave at a pet store. 2 weeks later, 5 people with a DDC number have booked massages for their pets, but only 1 with a PS number. This means the daycare center is a good place to continue, or even increase, your marketing efforts since it’s obviously paying off.
One way I marketed my business was to do special events, “massage days”, at some local businesses (such as an alternative health store, a pet store, and a self-service dog wash). I would leave a sheet in the store where people could sign up for “trial massages”, shorter massages so that their pet could try a massage and they could see how it works. I printed up flyers and put up in the shop’s window, and in other places. I used Illustrator and printed them myself, and you can certainly use word or publisher as well. Or VistaPrint.
These are just some ideas for marketing materials, and I am sure you can think of many other creative ways to get the word out about your business. Please feel free to share your ideas with us!