According to Keith Caldwell, vice president of All Paws Pet Wash, a pet wash is a prolific way to expand a wash’s demographic by drawing in a new clientele to the carwash. Customers will see a location’s pet wash as a convenient, often affordable and quick way to wash their pets; and, while they tend to their furry friends, they most likely will tend to the cleaning needs of their vehicles as well. This opportune, one-stop shop essentially holds true to the common cliché: killing two birds with one stone — or better yet, meeting two wash needs for your clients in one, convenient location. “The one-stop-shop mentality draws new customers in, and the added value keeps them coming,” notes Caldwell.
According to Gary Frey, national sales manager for Kleen-Rite Corp., “[A pet wash] is an opportunity to give customers within a geographical region another reason to stop in and visit your location,” adding, “It’s [a] minimum investment to offer a high return on investment.”
However, many carwashes undervalue their pet wash centers, reports Frey. Washes will offer their pet services at such low costs that true ROI potential is often overlooked. Carwashes interested in adding additional profit centers, like pet washes, should study the local pricing for stand-alone and add-on pet washes offered around the area, and create a price that profitably competes with these other facilities.
In addition to taking note of local pricing for pet wash services, carwashes must keep in mind a few other significant factors when launching a pet wash, such as location. Frey encourages those interested in establishing a pet wash to find out if their local municipalities provide the region’s dog licensing. This will allow a carwash to discover how many dogs are located nearby.
To help upsell a pet wash, Frey also advises carwashes to work in coordination with different pet shelters, local veterinarians, pet stores, etc., to help washes get the word out about their pet washing service and reach a larger customer base that otherwise might not come to their facilities. “Customers come in and wash their dog, and the next thing you know, you have the opportunity to perhaps [gain a new] carwash customer as well,” says Frey.
Frey also explains that carwashes can directly market, cross-market and/or add the pet wash as part of a wash package to increase the overall revenue potential, and Caldwell adds that a simple banner marketing the pet wash can “do wonders.”
Additionally, with the spike in popularity for additional profit centers, such as pet washes, carwashes must learn to be a little more creative to distinguish their extra services and pet washes from other similar carwashes. Caldwell recommends adding extras, such as vending, within the pet wash. “Vending items might include things like mess bags and treats,” states Caldwell. “These types of add-ons seem small, but compounded, they can be big business.”
Read more on targeting more customers with a pet wash here.