The Flea Industry is a $4 Billion Business…What’s Your Take?

September 20, 2016

Mixed terrier breed ready to pounce flea industry $4 billion

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The Flea Industry is a $4 Billion Business

I was utterly shocked when I heard the numbers – the flea industry is a $4 BILLION business protecting our beloved pets against these nasty bugs.  Being a super math nerd, I started to run the numbers…how much does my salon take home in my efforts to fight fleas?  Try .000001%.  That’s about $4,000 a year in flea shampoo, flea sprays and other flea preventatives that we distribute at my salon.  It got me thinking, can groomers start charging more for fleas?  $4 Billion spent to combat the pests tell me YES.

Start by Charging More

Clients don’t want those bugs in their house, yet they never stop and think how we don’t want them in our salons.  It can be more devastating in our businesses because we can spread the infestation to other innocent clients.

Perfect example:  a really great client of mine has been fighting fleas all summer.  They brought 3 of their fur-babies in for grooms and flea baths last weekend.  The word infestation doesn’t even begin to describe what we saw.  (I know you have seen it too!)  We did our best – got them right in the tubs, soaked in flea shampoo, rinsed, soaked again, sprayed them down with Scram Natural Flea Spray, cleaned out their kennels, vacuumed the hair immediately…the whole nine yards.  That was Saturday.

Monday, we had fleas biting OUR ankles!  Now I know you are saying we should have done more to clean the shop.  We could have flea bombed that weekend.  Trust me, I wish I did now but at the time, we did the best we could and we thought we were really doing a good job.

That is how tricky and sneaky those little boogers are.

Consequently, we had to flea bomb on Monday and go over every dog with a fine-tooth comb before they went out the door.  It stunk!

I made a lousy $9 for all that hassle.  It cost me more money in buying flea bombs, paying my staff more for extra cleaning and extra time inspecting other dogs.

Therefore, I made a decision and announcing it to you today – my flea prices are going up……A LOT.  They don’t like it?  Take those pets to the shop down the street and let them deal with it!  (I’ll let you know how this strategy goes…I’m all about sharing information and if this can help others, then it’s worth it!)

Offer a Flea Fighting Package

I have one which consists of:

  • Flea Bath with Envirogroom’s Eliminator Shampoo (diluted 20:1)
  • Scram Spray for Retail Sale to send home with owner on DROP OFF to spray car, home, carpeting, bedding, etc
  • CapStar for the CLIENT TO ADMINISTER on drop off
    **Special Note: check your states guidelines – I was told I can sell it but cannot give it to the pet myself
  • A Flea & Tick Product that you believe in – either a pamphlet, link to website or the product itself carried in your spa.

We sell this to 1 out of 5 clients currently.  Thinking I might make this a mandatory package for all pets with fleas.  What are your thoughts?  I would love to hear your feedback?

Set Up Affiliate Links on Your Website for these Products

Don’t want to carry these extra flea fighting items?  If you have a website, get set up with Amazon.com as an affiliate.  When a client comes in with fleas, email them your affiliate link.  If they purchase the product by clicking through your link, you will receive a check from Amazon.  (According to the FDC, you will need to say that you are receiving money as an affiliate).  Want specific wording?  Check out my disclosures page on our blog that covers all the bases.  You can cut and paste this and put on your website too!

This Groomer is Fed Up

We really are the first line of defense for clients and their battle against fleas.  They are coming to us because of a huge need.  Most will pay anything to NOT have bugs in their homes!  So why are we charging $3, $5 and $10????  I’m not saying we should gouge these poor people.  We are here to service them and solve their problems.  But aren’t we creating a problem in our salons by doing so?  We run the risk every day of bringing in fleas and sending them home with other pets despite our best efforts and thorough cleaning.
So the flea industry is making $4 Billion……maybe I can tap into that more with some better marketing, more upselling, price increases and policy changes.  Then I can make .000002%.  <wink wink>

 

photo credit: Dog about to pounce via photopin (license)

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