The pet industry continues to grow every year. People love their pets, and many times are willing to pamper them more than they are their vehicle.

Keith Caldwell, vice president of All Paws Pet Wash, a manufacturer of pet washes, said one of the biggest challenges that pet washes face is unfamiliarity on exactly what the product is. And once you get customers in your wash, you may only have one chance to impress them, so “assuring customers have a great first time experience has proven to be worth the effort in repeat business,” said Caldwell.

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Pets are part of the family, and when you treat a member of the family well, you’re going to earn repeat customers, said Gary Sherman, president of Evolution Dog Wash Company. Sherman said washes need to be “focused on the animals and their owners … The mistake is not to recognize that dogs are family members, and not to recognize and appeal to that sense.”

Partnering up with other local businesses, especially ones that have a pet component to them, is another great way to get the message out that you clean pets, Caldwell said.  

Make your washes fun, so that customers tell their friends about what they saw at the pet wash, Sherman said. “We have installed [our machines] with picket fences around them and Astroturf on the ground, to make it feel like you’re washing the family pet in your own yard.”