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Here I am explaining it JUST AS this idea came to mind:
I am writing this post out of the norm. I am not putting it into my publishing schedule, I am not going to make a long list. I am just going to tell you this very brilliant idea I just had as I was just out yard sailing. You see, you get the pleasure of all these marketing ideas I now have, that I can no longer do anything with, because I sold my pet sitting business.
Twice a year, a local planned community of 4400 homes has a yard sale twice a year. Once in the Spring and the other in the Fall. They do this to drum up shoppers and because it is against Home Association rules to put YARD SALE signs up everywhere in the community.
I always love these mornings because like Forrest Gump said, “You never know what you’re going to get!”
How This Amazing Idea Came About:
So I was chatting with an older gentleman telling me that he had just remodeled and trying to sell me on his stove and microwave. “Look!,” he said, “It’s like new. You can see yourself in it still!” I wasn’t even in the market, but he was trying to hard sell me on the idea of getting rid of his “problem” which was this stove he no longer wanted. His wife was even mumbling about dragging it back in the garage and taking up space.
Can you picture it? 🙂
Recently, I learned that Habitat for Humanity would come out and pick up items you didn’t need, especially things like stoves, windows, doors, etc. so I mentioned it to him.
As I walked back in the car, the lightbulb over my head came on!
How To Help Saturate Your Pet Sitting Market Area
As pet sitters and dog walkers we are always driving around and passing by yard sales and garage sales, right? What if you had a one page flier in your car that was a list of valuable resources? Something like:
What You Need To Know After Your Garage Sale Is Over
How To Avoid Lugging Everything Back In Your Home After Your Garage Sale
The Feel Good and Monetary Benefits Available After Your Yard Sale
On this flyer, you would list out places to drop off items in a 5 miles radius and places that you can call to schedule a pick up. The key to this is leaving the companies name and phone number.
Further, if you have a pet shelter in the area, many of them would love to receive the endless dog cages and cat carriers that almost every yard sale has. Why not be a resource to your community by helping give them ways to take care of their “problem” and give back?
How Does This Come Back To Your Business?
At the bottom of the flier, you can have your business name, info, and a special offer. Even if they don’t become a client, it just gave you a reason to break the ice, talk to these people, tell them about your company and that you are a community leader helping to solve problems.
Great conversation starters, “If you don’t sell this (dog crate, cat carrier, dog carriage, pet steps to the bed) what are you going to do with it?”
Another way you can get even more creative is thinking of specific things… like:
Baby clothes to a shelter.
Scrap book pages to a local NICU.
Quilting or sewing materials to the local charity who makes baby blankets?
There are so many charities other than just “Goodwill” Get creative and make an interesting list!
Side note – The Community Yard Sale I went to hands out maps and a list of all the homes that are selling something. If I still had my company, I would totally contact the community director and find out if I could help “sponsor” the day by adding donuts at the checkin stand (where sellers get their balloon to mark their sales) *AND* including this one page sheet to the end of the list of homes selling goods!
Getting excited yet?
You Can Take It Online Too!
This list, could also be a blog online. There are so many Swip Swap CITY sites, where it is like a virtual online yard sale. How about any pet products being sold, you post a link saying, “I know what you can do with this here.” Inside would be an article about how the local shelter takes donations or (maybe?) they have a resell shop where they resell things to make money to keep the rescue open? We always see people selling things online. Just make sure the Title is good click-bate! 🙂
Spread The Word
This is good-will, solving problems, and getting your brand out in the community. You can easily give them to your staff to hand out and offer incentives if the people call. Over half the yard sales I just went to either had a pet sitting next to the seller or the seller had pet items. Let’s use our incredibly warm and fuzzy industry to break the ice, build relationships, and be a solution to people’s problems!
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