Evergreen Grooming Adapts to Ever-Changing ConditionsStory by Nancy Saunders
Elaura Green owns and operates Evergreen Grooming, a small local shop that offers a variety of pet grooming services as well as a number of products and tools for pet owners to use for home maintenance of their furry friends.
Green explains that her plans for Evergreen Grooming were fast-tracked as a result of COVID-19. “My long-term plan was always to expand my products and services, but I was not forecasting it would happen this quickly and under these circumstances. COVID-19 made me speed up my overall plan in order to protect my business.”
Through the Digital Main Street grant, Green will be purchasing a tablet and tripod and will be launching a website. These tools will allow her to create videos to share with her clients and the public. “The videos will be for anyone who needs educational content related to grooming and general pet health at home. Especially right now after lockdowns and backlogged appointments, it is such a long wait for everyone to get their pets in for grooming. (Videos) might be one way to help as many as possible, at one time.” The addition of a website will allow Green to further connect with customers by providing information about the products she carries, and allowing them to purchase items for curbside pickup.
“Digital initiatives are extremely important right now. Not being able to see my clients and communicate with them the same way has been challenging, to say the least. I have had to lean on technology to complete my job and with that comes a whole new set of challenges to face. Without it, though, it would be impossible,” says Green.
Green describes how business has been slow since the pandemic. “The whole world slowed down and that has been felt across the board.” She has worked to make use of this time to plan and to put new ideas in place. “I think sometimes we get so busy with running the business, it’s hard to carve out the time to sit down and really think about what we could be doing to benefit clients and the business on another level—especially when it comes to technology. There are constantly new apps being created and the market is always developing into other areas. The DMS training reminded me of just how many opportunities are out there to connect with our clients and build the business,” says Green.
Since losing her employee at the beginning of COVID-19, Green has been responsible for all aspects of the business. She describes working alone as being easier at times, while also coming with significant challenges. Despite having graduated from the Business Marketing program at Confederation College, the daily demands of business operations, playing catch up with client appointments due to closures and balancing work and family meant that marketing was one area that Green wasn’t able to focus on as much as she wanted to. “I have small kiddos at home ... and wanting to make sure they get the care and one-on-one attention after work is really important to me. At the end of the day, there just wasn't enough time to do it all.” When Green did use social media to promote her business, it was difficult to stay on top of responding. “Every time I made a post, the amount of phone calls and messages was unmanageable and I knew I wasn't able to put my all into it—so it was better to take a step back until I knew I could take it on properly.”
Green looks forward to once again putting herself and Evergreen Grooming out there by developing creative new strategies. “I really enjoy marketing strategies but I was missing the team meetings aspect. I have recently found a network of women to help me bounce ideas off of, which has been critical for planning and keeping things moving forward,” Green says. She is particularly enthusiastic about having a tablet available in the shop. “This will allow me to capture the best moments I get to experience at work, and be able to easily share them!”
Green credits leaning on productivity apps and shifting her focus to website traffic and video content with helping her run things effectively. “I can multitask better and explain complex information in less time. It will allow me to connect with my clients and the public in a way that benefits both of us—especially with COVID-19 restrictions.”
Green will soon be building a team and expanding into new areas, including raw pet food and treats, and teaching grooming classes. She looks forward to integrating social media to help roll out these new products and services. “Looking back now, it happened fast and I am excited to see what the near future will bring,” says Green.