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Fun Pet Business Promotions that Cost Little or Nothing

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Pet store operators have any number of fun, creative promotional ideas for their businesses at their disposal. Best of all, these ideas can cost little or no money.

Here are some neat ones.

Host a doggie fashion show. Or, if Halloween is near, stage a pet costume contest. You could invite people to bring their decked out pets to your store, then ask customers to vote for the best costume, for which the pet could receive a prize from your store (such as treats or a toy). Then post the photos on your business blog or in your e-newsletter.

Feature a Pet of the Week/Month on your blog or in your newsletter. Whenever a customer comes into your store with their pet(s), take a photo and post it on your blog or in your e-newsletter. You could also invite customers to send their favorite pet photos for you to post on your business's blog.

Offer coupons and/or contests. Although this example has nothing to do with pets, it's a great idea for pet businesses. There's a beauty supply store in my area that sends out newsletters every few weeks, with discount coupons for new products they want to promote.

When they decided to install a small hair care station and hire a part-time stylist (those who wish to expand into pet grooming, take note) to offer in-store hair services, not only did they announce this in their newsletter, they offered customers discount coupons for styling services. In addition, they invited people to enter a contest to vie for a free haircut.

Promotional Idea Tip: If you offer coupons, make sure they have a specific expiration date, and the terms are clearly stated.

Give out free samples. When the pet store I frequent decided to sell a new line of cat food, they offered freebies. They placed samples in small storage bags, each with an inexpensive but colorful label containing the store's logo and name of the product. My cat loved it, and he's now a loyal customer.

Partner with an animal shelter or rescue organization to hold pet adoption days. This is a great way to promote your business, plus perform a valuable service to the community.

Write articles for a local publication. There is a veterinarian in my region who incorporates holistic pet care services into his practice. He writes a monthly column for a respected local newspaper, in which he explores topics pet owners write in and ask him about. The newspaper gives the vet a free ad in return. So this is mutually beneficial for all parties involved.

Find a nice Pet Shops Guide on About.com to help promote your products or services. That's me, folks! I am always on the lookout for interesting pet stores, products, services and photos to showcase on this site. So don't be shy. Give me a holler!

These are just some of the many great ways to promote your store that cost little or nothing. Plus, you can get your customers and others in the community involved. So it's fun for everyone!
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