We are proud to announce our NEW community destination. Engage with resident experts and fellow entrepreneurs, and learn everything you need to start your business. Check out the new home of StartupNation Community at startupnation.mn.co

How to Find Stay-at-Home-Moms

smartdoguniversitysmartdoguniversity subscriber Posts: 1
edited January 2007 in Marketing
A relative newcomer, I`ve found this community very helpful for the few questions I`ve asked thus far, and I`m hoping to get some help with this post.
I offer a service I think moms (specifically stay-at-home-moms) would find useful. I don`t have children, however, so I`m not "in the mix" with Mom`s or where or how to reach them.
I provide small group in-home dog training, perfect for two or three neighbors or friends who live in the same neighborhood and would like to get together during the day to train their dogs.
This would be useful for a couple of different reasons:

Convenient -- I come to them
Social -- Their friends and neighbors are involved
Effective -- Their dog will be better behaved
Flexible -- I work around school schedules or naptimes.
Now, how to find the moms? Any help would be appreciated!
Thanks,Laurie LuckSmart Dog University


  • Options
    RichRich administrator Posts: 582 Site Admin
    here are a few immediate recommendations:offer the service for free for the first sessionprovide an invitation email or flyer that one "stay at home mom" could use to invite a few friends over for the sessionadd to your website video of you working with happy dogs and happy owners so people can see how cool/fun/useful your service is. if you don`t have that kind of functionality at your site, put the video on youtube.com and send your prospects to that website.send a press release to the smallest local (community) papers introducing your service - but include in that press release testimonials from your first few customers (even if they were provided the service for free).have business cards on hand at ALL times and keep passing multiple cards out to individuals.create an opt-in email service where you let people sign up to stay abreast of your latest advice and demonstrations.drop off promotional materials at local offices (like law offices, for example) where you know there are busy people whose spouses may spend the days at home and would benefit from the service. (and with a law office, a fair assumption could be made that there`s some disposable income available).approach the local morning news station and offer to do on-air quick demonstrations of dog training ideas. this gets you branded locally and could drive a TON of traffic to you.of course, get a website!love the idea. good luck!
  • Options
    smartdoguniversitysmartdoguniversity subscriber Posts: 1
    Excellent ideas, thanks for those. I admit, I cringed when I read "for free," but I can see the value in it after reading your whole post.
    I do have a website, but am clueless as to how to post videos, so I like the youtube idea -- excellent idea. I`ve been meaning to catch the utube wave, but just haven`t done it yet. This is an excellent way to do just that...
    I think the idea of adding video to the website is the best idea, in the long run. I`m getting ready to have my website redesigned, by a professional this time (!)  and will put that feature on the table when we`re discussing the redesign.
    Local news and newspapers are another terrific idea. Will get to work this week on planning both of those.
    My favorite idea, or the idea that provided the biggest "Aha!" was to create an invitation that the moms can send out. Wonderful! I love this idea!
  • Options
    RichRich administrator Posts: 582 Site Admin
    i know, the `free` thing is scarey. being in your business, there will be certain fundamental commands, such as "sit," "stay," and of course, "pay." but giving people a sampling of what you can do for them (and assuming it`s a multi-appointment kind of service you provide) it could really help get things rolling... er, "rolling over".
  • Options
    smartdoguniversitysmartdoguniversity subscriber Posts: 1
    I think I mis-read your message the first time. I thought you were saying to give a couple of groups of people free sessions. To get the buzz going, to get some good testimonials, to get out there.
    But in re-reading your post, I think what you`re saying is offer the first session for free, not the whole shebang.
    In doing that, offering that first session for free, I`m reducing the risk for my potential customers, right? I`m letting them test-drive me, my service, my company for free.
    I sell packages of 4, 6, and 8 sessions. If, after that first free session where I show them how much their dog can learn, they decide to buy, I would then count that first session as one of the 4, 6, or 8 sessions.
    Does that sound fair?
    Thanks again for this help. It`s invaluable. I`m still working my "pay the bills" full-time job and doing this part-time until I build up enough business to make this, my passion my full-time job.
    LaurieP.S. Any idea how I can fix the hyperlink to the URL in my sig below?
  • Options
    MeitziMeitzi subscriber Posts: 4
    a few other places I can think of are:

    mother`s club
    recreational center
    there are a few `dog park` (parks designed for dogs) around the neighborhood here, not sure if you have that where you at. 
    Maybe at the local pet store, too?
  • Options
    JessicaJessica subscriber Posts: 1
    Couple of other promotional suggestions for you, just in general.
    See if you can leave behind or post information in local vet offices.  While this doesn`t specifically target stay-at-home moms, it does target dog owners (and I`m not a stay-at-home mom, but I love what you`re offering).  And when I was desperately searching for a reputable dog trainer a year ago, the first person I asked was my vet.  I also checked out the bulletin board he keeps in his waiting room.  I always pay attention to what`s up there even now.  A dog walker I used extensively keeps a basket of magnets in my vet`s waiting room - that`s a great idea too.  Not all vets will let you clutter their waiting room, of course, but it`s worth asking. 
    Might also consider asking doggy daycares or kennels that don`t already offer training themselves if you can hang flyers in their lobbies.  Maybe you could even pay them a small referral fee if they get their staff to talk you up to customers seeking dog training.
    Contacting or becoming active with local dog rescue groups might also be useful - I have asked my local basset hound rescue group for referrals for such services before.  You could even offer to give a demonstration at a  monthly rescue group meeting, which would be a great way to inspire confidence in your abilities, and get people to spread the word.  People involved in rescue groups are SO passionate about dogs and rehabilitating dogs with behavioral problems in particular - and they tend to run in packs with other dog lovers.  It`s a great way to spread the word.
  • Options
    keyconkeycon subscriber Posts: 34
    You got me with the Lab photos on your profile page - love the Labs. See Old Man Boogie here (13 this coming May).
    The suggestions already made are great ones. They covered just about everything I had on my mind. I do have a few more.

    Become a speaker on the subject of dog training. Benefits to the owners, family and dog, etc. You may not be a "great" speaker at the moment, but the more you do it the better you get. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, check out Toastmaster International - great organization that offers a proven plan to help you become a great speaker and get over any fears you may have. You will find a club near you on their website. I highly recommend them. Many, many organizations are seeking speakers on a weekly and monthly basis. There really are not enough speakers to go around - especially good ones. I recommend to all of my clients to learn to speak better and then speak more often - whether you run a collision repair shop or a dry cleaners or a dog-training business. The exposure you get is unbelievable and you have the opportunity to connect with potential customers on a closer and more intimate level. From Girl/Boy Scout groups, PTAs, neighborhood associations, Social organizations like Rotary, Kiwanas (check spelling ???), Lions, etc. There are just so many groups out there seeking speakers. Give it a shot. Become the "expert" in your area.
    House sitters/pet sitters - most house sitters are hired because of pets. Market to these people for referrals. If you get a client from this referral, reward them (good sitter) with a "treat" - maybe a gift certificate to the local theater or a $25 gift certificate to a local diner - just anything to let them know you appreciate the referral.
    Start a referral program for existing and previous customers. In your business, WOMM is a great an awesome tool ... and I would rather spend on WOMM than any other kind of marketing ... it gets results. Reward customers who get you more business. Get creative with the rewards.
    Make a habit of sending Thank You cards to everyone and all the time. Capture customer info and birth dates - including spouse and children and the dog`s birthday. Send them birthday cards. It will blow them away. Make a difference, one card at a time. Be remembered as one who remembers.
    Great suggestions everyone. Best wishes Laurie.
  • Options
    smartdoguniversitysmartdoguniversity subscriber Posts: 1
    Great ideas, everyone, thanks! Jessica, your puppy is absolutely adorable. Way too cute!   Meitzi, I`ll keep my eyes open for mother`s clubs.
    Richard, I love to talk, especially if the topic is dogs!  I joined Toastmasters last year to help me develop my speaking skills and have found it immensely helpful, just like you said.
    All your ideas are good ones, and I`m implementing some of them already. The most valuable idea was about speaking -- I know that`s a good thing, but I couldn`t figure out who the heck I could/should be talking to. Once you gave your examples, it was (painfully) clear that these are exactly the people I need to get in front of. Thanks for those! I`ll be getting contact info for those folks first thing in the morning!
    I find it hard to get into the life of a parent, not having kids myself. I`m an only child, to boot, so I don`t even have brothers or sisters who have kids!! I have no idea where to begin, getting in front of moms and dads!!
    Great suggestions, thanks,Laurie
  • Options
    kbphotokbphoto subscriber Posts: 0
    Hi, Laurie.
    I was, and technically still am, a stay-at-home mom (I work out of my home). I think your idea is a really good one. I wish I had known of such a service when we first brought home our Boston Terrier (he`s the one in the picture with me). He`s a bundle of energy!
    I liked all the other ideas posted here. I thought of a couple more that might work out well for you, too. A lot of other stay-at-home moms I know volunteer at the local schools. You might consider talking to the administrators at the schools in your area and asking permission to post your flyers on the office bulletin boards or even hand them out to kids as they leave the school building after school. I think you will reach a good number of moms that way.
    Also, my daughter used to volunteer at the local animal shelter after school. You might want to call one in your area and ask if you can post a flyer there. Other kids, and even adults (some of whom may be stay-at-home moms) who volunteer there may be very interested in your services. Plus, you already know they love animals because they volunteer their time to help them.
    Just a few suggestions. Best of luck to you!
  • Options
    PatriciaAnnePatriciaAnne subscriber Posts: 0
    I would check out meetup.com. Hopefully you can find a couple groups near you for entrepreneurs and dog owners. After you attend a few events, you could email some of the organizers for the moms groups. Explain you are launching a business and have attended some other events. Some of the moms groups are "private" for obvious reasons...but there is likely to be crossover to other groups and you won`t be an unknown. Just be upfront about your interest...don`t pretend to have a kid when you don`t. If you have a picture posted, etc. you will look more safe.
    Then you can offer a demonstration, free class whatever.
  • Options
    smartdoguniversitysmartdoguniversity subscriber Posts: 1
    Excellent ideas, especially the walking group one. I`ve been turning that idea around in my head for the past six months now.
    I don`t have kids myself, so I don`t know if naptimes are on a regular schedule for a one-year old or not. If they are, that`s where my flexibility comes in. If you put your daughter down at 1:45p every day and she sleeps for 1.5 hours, there`s your training time. And I can be flexible with my times so I can be sure to be at your house by 2:00p so we can work for an hour while your little girl sleeps.
    Again, naptimes may not be on a regular schedule and they may not last 1.5 hours. That`s where I`m at a disadvantage -- I don`t know these things!! 
    Thanks for your help, I`m keeping all these ideas and will use quite a few!
  • Options
    ethosethos subscriber Posts: 1
    Why are you targeting stay at home moms?  It seems there are many dog owners out there besides just stay at home moms who could use your service.  Two wage earner families also have dogs...and they have less time to train the dog, but no less annoyance at bad doggie behavior.  Plus, they probably have more income to afford your services (a lot of the stay-at-home moms I know have cut back on costs to afford to stay at home...older cars, fewer dinners out, etc.).
    I`m not saying that stay-at-homes don`t want your service, perhaps they do, but I don`t see the need to directly target that segment.  Why not target dog owners as a whole?
  • Options
    smartdoguniversitysmartdoguniversity subscriber Posts: 1
    Stay-at-home-mom`s are part of my target demographic. The StartupNation book has helped me determine what`s important to my life. I`ve decided that I want a regular 9 - 5 job (for the most part) and if I target the entire population of dog owners, I`ll most likely be working only in the evenings.
    I don`t want to work more than two evenings per week and no weekends.
    To accomplish my goal of a 9-5 job, I need to find folks who are either (1) around during the day or (2) are willing to let me into their house when they`re gone to train their dog while they are at work. My area has quite a few stay-at-home-moms in affluent neighborhoods. They aren`t cutting back their budgets, many of them have already made their mark on the world and now want to focus on their kids and have the means ($$) to do so.
    I can`t target all dog owners, that`s not a niche. I can`t be all things to all dog owners. I want to work with folks whose dogs are part of their family. Not dogs who live outdoors, not dogs who are merely pets, but dogs who are integrated members of the family.
    I`ve chosen my target demographic, now I need to get in front of them to help them with their dogs.
  • Options
    ethosethos subscriber Posts: 1
    Okay, that makes sense.  I wasn`t suggesting you be all things to all dog owners, sorry if I came off that way.  I just didn`t see the linkage there. 
    I hope it works out well for you.
  • Options
    ModJulieModJulie subscriber Posts: 1
    You may consider local coffee shops near schools, to post flyers and leave brochures or business cards.  I know my local Starbucks (literally next-door to the elementary school) is teeming with stay-at-home moms after morning drop-off.  There are lots of stay-at-home moms in my community whose children are in school full-time.
    Have you also considered targeting retired people?  This is a huge and growing segment.  Local senior centers are always looking for speakers, etc. and you could do a presentation and possibly offer training at their locations. 
     ModJulie2007-1-30 19:28:8
Sign In or Register to comment.