Groomers nowadays face many challenges. They face the growing pains of a burgeoning industry mixed with the emergent need to become recognized as professionals. Many groomers are concerned about looming regulation from their city, county, and state governing bodies.
Insurance payments can represent a significant amount of our monthly business expenses. While the goal of any business owner is to keep expenses in check, this is one category that you want to be careful with when trying to save money. I have to groom five dogs monthly to cover my insurance payment so I want to make sure my coverage is adequate.
Have you been thinking of creative ways to start a new grooming business, or move into a new location, and make it a home run? Some of the most successful groomers have partnered with other businesses that have large numbers of pet–owning clients. And veterinary clinics can be a perfect match for your new venture. But what are the ways to make this a winning relationship, and what are common pitfalls to avoid?
As pet lovers and pet care professionals, we want the pets that we care for to enjoy long and healthy lives. Unfortunately, that is not always the way things turn out. Pets get hurt, develop life threatening conditions, or suddenly become ill. We have all heard horror stories from distraught pet parents about taking their pets to emergency veterinary clinics and being unprepared for the costs associated with diagnosing and treating their beloved pet.
Don’t Let Your Profit Go Down the Drain
You work hard for your money and you need every tool that you use to work just as hard for you. And that includes your ‘liquid’ tools as well. Shampoos, conditioners, and styling products are all essential elements needed to produce a great groom.
“Hello Michell. My name is Sylvia. I am a very generous person—maybe too generous—and I tend to give lots of perks and extra time to my clients and my employees. Basically they run all over me! Do you have any suggestions on how to stand up for myself without making everyone feel unappreciated? Thanks!”
When I was a fresh, new business owner almost 10 years ago, I was the only mobile groomer in the small community where I live. I was excited to get on the road with my new mobile and start serving clients. Mobile grooming was so new to the area that I had people congratulate me for inventing the concept. No lie!
Last week I groomed a very nice, well behaved dog. I complimented his owner on his excellent grooming manners and she said, “When he was a puppy, the groomer where I used to live had me bring him in every week for a while. They would put him on the table and play with him, trim his nails, give him a little brushing.
Don’t Miss an Opportunity for Growth
One of the many advantages of cat grooming is that you have more flexibility than in dog grooming. You will use less products and less equipment grooming them, too. I’d like to talk about one of those perks, which is adding a much overlooked group of clientele. Senior citizens.
In the last four decades our grooming industry has experienced a notably rapid rise from relatively undervalued to highly professionalized. The impressive industry expansion and professionalization speaks well of all of us. I give special credit to our industry leaders who have urged us all to adopt better business acumen and best practices every step of the way.
Ask the Grooming Tutor
“Hi Michell. I am struggling to get my clients to let me groom their dogs in a longer style. They all want them shaved. I am mostly speaking of Doodles, Havanese, Shih-Tzus, Poodles, and mix breeds. No one wants to pay for de-matting. They don’t bring them often enough. I am bored with my work.
I am the proud owner of a new grooming van. It was as much as a surprise for me as it was for my friends and clients as I planned on retiring from grooming soon. In anticipation of retirement, I did not replace most of my clients that passed away or moved. It was a pretty sweet schedule, as I did not have a lot of expenses that necessitated a full roster.
All groomers have something in common other than a passion for pets – they are professionals who provide a necessary service for people and pets for a fee. Grooming and pet services are a growing need and in high demand. Establishing good business practices and keeping a loyal and stable clientele is the hallmark of every good groomer and every good grooming business.
Technology can open up a whole new world in three distinct ways:
1. Customer Perception
How your customer feels before, during, and after the groom.
Check in. Can you quickly check in a client and have all notes and histories ready and up to date? Sorting through paper index cards can be slow and hard to keep track.
Adding training services specifically for the grooming experience is an extremely easy and profitable addition to grooming salons. Simple training services offer benefits for the dogs, their owners, and the grooming staff. Dog trainers and veterinarians are consistently looking to refer clients to salons that are able to offer dogs the benefit of a low-stress experience. Becoming such a salon is easier than it sounds.
“It’s All About the Money.”
Just as the styles for grooming pets has changed over the years, the way we get paid to groom has changed as well. Card readers that allow you to charge customers with a swipe through your cell phone or tablet, chip card technology to reduce theft, Paypal… it can all be a little confusing.