BARKS from the Guild January 2020

Page 50

business

Ask the Experts: To Discount or Not to Discount? Veronica Boutelle of PPG corporate partner dog*biz discusses the parameters for training more than one dog in the same home

Q

: What’s the best way to handle training more than one dog in a household? I’ve had this come up a couple of times recently, and I wasn’t sure how to charge for it, especially when both families asked for a discount for the second dog. Thanks for any insights! A: Let’s say you’ve been called in by a family with two dogs. One is leash reactive and the other needs some general basic manners. In this case where the training goals are specific to each dog, I’d be inclined to train the dogs separately, necessitating a training package for each. You’d charge whatever you normally would for each dog. Avoid the tempta­ tion to discount, as you should be fully compensated for all of your training hours. Now let’s say you’ve been called in by a family who have two dogs who both need basic manners. Goals and desired cues for both dogs are the same, and there are no additional complications. You could still choose to sell a package for each dog. Your other alternative would be to sell one longer training package for the two dogs, giving yourself time to work with the dogs individually as well as together, and proof for both situations.

Compensation Whatever you decide to do in such situations, keep these two parame­ ters in mind: Make sure you give yourself an appropriate amount of time based on the clients’ goals, and that you’re fully compensated for that time. Remember that you have a finite number of potential paid hours as a trainer and that it’s important to protect your income for the longevity of your business and your ability to help as many dogs as pos­ sible over your career. Stand your ground when clients ask for multidog discounts. If it helps, consider the discount request in any other field or context. For example, no one would dream of asking for half off their second child’s college tuition, or dental exams. Most vets don’t give clients discounts on treatment for second and third animals, and pet supply stores don’t offer half off your second dog’s food. Treat your services with the pro­ fessional regard they deserve, and clients will follow. n

Stand your ground when clients ask for multidog discounts. If it helps, consider the discount request in any other field or context. For example, no one would dream of asking for half off their second child’s college tuition, or dental exams. Most vets don’t give clients discounts on treatment for second and third animals, and pet supply stores don’t offer half off your second dog’s food. Treat your services with the professional regard they deserve.

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BARKS from the Guild/January 2020

© Can Stock Photo/DragoNika

In some cases two dogs in the same home have similar training needs, whereas in others, each dog might have specific issues that need to be worked on

Veronica Boutelle MA Ed CTC is founder and co-president of dog*biz (dogbizsuccess.com), and author of How to Run Your Dog Business and co-author of Minding Your Dog Business. dog*biz offers professionally designed positive reinforcement dog training class curricula, including Open-Enrollment Puppy, Open-Enrollment Basic Manners, and short Topics classes built for retention.

Do you have a question for the business experts at dog*biz? Submit your question for consideration to: barkseditor@petprofessionalguild.com

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