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April 21, 2014

2014 Calgary Pet Expo

It’s hard to believe another Calgary Pet Expo is quickly approaching.

Poooh Busters first attended this event as a vendor in 2006. I remember it was at the BMO Centre and we had a little, tiny booth with a single banner, a table with our first draw box and some brochures for handing out.

Poooh Busters Calgary Pet Expo Booth 2006
Our first booth at the 2006 Pet Expo
Roland had a couple of friends stand at the booth to invite passers-by to fill out a ballot for our contest. It was an impressive thing to watch Roland do what he does best, talk to people and sell his service! He certainly is a master at this craft and I know to this day, it’s one of the biggest reasons for Poooh Busters’ success.

I always did (and still do) my best to expose Poooh Busters to the world and get those phones ringing but without Roland closing the deal with each phone call, we just wouldn't have the customer base we have today.

So here we are, about to attend our 8th pet expo event and it’s shaping up to be our biggest and best year ever!

As always, all three members of the management team will be there, Roland, Erin and me. We've got some new banners to display, a poster sized picture of our team (courtesy of BrindleBerry) and like every year before, we have our infamous draw box so people can enter our contest to win 52 free weeks of pet waste removal service!

Not only do we have our annual draw, we also are offering an incredible show special designated for anyone who comes down to the show in person.

New clients can sign up for any of our weekly packages and get an additional 4 weeks of free service added on. Not only do new clients signing up for the first time receive this deal, but any of our existing clients can come down and renew or purchase their usual package to get their 4 free weeks as well!

We've offered a show special now for three years straight and it’s always a big hit with those who are able to take advantage of this fantastic deal.

Unfortunately there is always a down side to our show special. The whole idea of offering this deal is to draw visitors down to the show. We want people to come down and support this wonderful pet expo event and see all the great services, products and pet rescues Calgary and the surrounding areas has to offer its pet loving residents.

But inevitably, a few of our existing clients ask if they can take advantage of the show special if they just simply renew their weekly service package during this time without actually having to come down to the show. Poor Erin has to give them the bad news that it is only for people visiting the show in person who renew their packages at our booth.

They either get mad or make her feel guilty for not honouring the deal.

When I send out my email campaign to announce the show special or advertise it on Facebook and Twitter, I always try my best to make it very, very clear that persons wanting to take advantage of the offer MUST come to the show and renew their package at the booth in person.

So every year we feel bad that some folks are disappointed because they are not simply able to visit us at the pet expo and get the additional 4 weeks free.

In the end, these incentives we offer for the pet expo are for the purpose of enticing people to come down to the show.

The good news is we always offer 4 free weeks of service to anyone who refers us to another family that signs up and buys a weekly package. It's a pretty awesome referral bonus! So even if you can’t make it down to this event, you can always get some free weeks by simply spreading the woof!

We truly hope to see you this coming weekend at Spruce Meadows on April 27 (10am - 6pm) or April 28 (11am - 5pm).

April 1, 2014

10 years! Where Did the Time Go?

Poooh Busters celebrates 10 successful years of scooping dog poop!

It’s incredibly hard to believe that 10 years ago today, Roland Pearson, founder of Poooh Busters entered his very first client in the customer database on April 1, 2004!

I think back to where it all started and I can’t believe how far we’ve come since that infamous day.

Owner/Operator and founder of Poooh Busters
Roland Pearson - 2013
I have to admit I was one of the many people that thought Roland was a bit crazy for quitting his job and endeavoured to pursue this business. I just said to myself, “Good luck buddy” and wondered how long it would be until he was back working another day job like the rest of us schmucks.

10 years later, I couldn't be happier and I myself am a whole lot better off for being a part of it all this time. I’ll get more into that later.

We had our good times and our bad times. We made plenty of mistakes and we learned a ton of stuff about so many different things.

Roland learned pretty much everything there is to know about pet waste removal. You’d think scooping poop would be a basic job but there is ton of things to consider and many challenges that come with this seemingly simple task. There are so many variables to consider that can affect how well each day goes out there in the field. Weather, yards with long grass, yards with no grass, good gates, bad gates, locked gates, gates that won’t open, gates that won’t close, dog runs with big rocks and little rocks, every kind of dog barking and growling at him, truck maintenance, and disposal methods. On and on I could go.

Our first booth at the 2006 Calgary Pet Expo
Our first booth at the 2006 Calgary Pet Expo
Besides all that Roland had to learn all about running a business. It was not a big deal at first but once things got going after the first three or four years, all of a sudden he had to deal with collecting GST, hiring and firing staff, dealing with all kinds of different customers, the tax man and accountants!
Thank goodness Erin finally came along and took a lot of that pressure off Roland. She started handling all the customer service and office operations. Roland could again concentrate on the thing he was a master at, sales.

Poooh Busters Team at the 2011 CHS Dog Jog. Nate, Roland, Erin.
Calgary Humane Society's Dog Jog 2011
We became the dream team of the pet waste removal industry. I got the phones ringing with my constant efforts online learning Google SEO, writing blogs and growing our social media. Roland would take those incoming calls and sell the service even more to the caller; he would get them to sign up almost every time. Erin would then take excellent care of our clients with her superior customer service. Not to mention, our staff was top notch too in how they approached the job with enthusiasm and care.

For me, what did I get out of the last 10 years with Poooh Busters? In a nutshell, I learned so many skills that I would have never normally learned without this company forcing me to figure things out. I was challenged to build our very first website without any prior knowledge. I was completely self-taught! I had to find ways to ensure our website could be found through a basic Google search, I had come up with ways to make it easier for our clients to pay, I had to figure this whole new Facebook and Twitter thing, and I had to constantly come up with fresh material for our blog and newsletters.

But for all three of us, I think the best part of working and growing Poooh Busters has been all the wonderful friends we have made along the way. We have exposed ourselves to Calgary’s pet industry and met so many incredibly wonderful people.

All the dedicated folks that run the animal rescues have been an inspiration to each and every one of us and make us proud to be part of such an awesome, caring and loving industry.

The last 10 years truly have been a blessing and I can’t wait to see what the next 10 bring!