My Stuff: Deidre Howard
The talented dog groomer unleashes her must-have tech tools
Tailspin Dog Spa owner Deidre Howard has been grooming pooches professionally for more than 15 years. After graduating from Toronto’s Pampered Paws Grooming Academy in 1997, she moved to Vancouver, where she ran a succession of award-winning doggie salons for 12 years. In 2011, Howard returned to Toronto to launch Tailspin. Here are some of the top tech tools that give her a leg up on the business.
Howard says her iPhone 6 is her lifeline. “It affords me the flexibility to answer calls, of course, but also to text, update Tailspin’s social-media platforms, access email and connect directly with clients through Facebook Messenger in real time,” she says.
To keep track of sales (via accounting software QuickBooks), Howard relies on her Lenovo laptop. “[It’s] my sidekick, and has been for years,” she says. When work gets busy and the fur starts flying, “It makes day-to-day business activities simple, easy and convenient.”
My social media
Howard uses both Facebook and Twitter to announce upcoming promotions, to demonstrate the latest grooming techniques and to showcase the pet products she endorses at her shop. “Social media is a great way to target a large audience, not to mention facilitate connections, increase brand awareness and continue building relationships, which is crucial for our business,” she says.
My booking software
Howard uses KennelSuite, software designed specifically for pet-care professionals, to keep track of bookings, check clients in and out, make note of her pampered pooches’ special needs, store their histories, and document the company’s earnings and inventory.
Howard uses email-marketing-automation platform MailChimp to communicate directly with her clients. “[We don’t] feel like we’re pestering them because anything we blast off gets delivered to their inboxes and can be viewed at their leisure,” she explains. “Perfect way to offer seasonal deals!”
Tailspin’s website is built and powered by SaaS Squarespace, which the company also uses to gather and monitor data. “Aside from providing textual and factual information about our business, the site is our main marketing hub,” Howard says. “We can also track traffic through viewing the analytics component, which is helpful in terms of future optimizations.”
In an age when many people communicate via text, Howard says email remains her loyal companion. “Aside from booking appointments, email allows us to contact our clients directly, provide follow-ups and receive feedback,” she says.