Add-On Services: (And Getting Your Employees to Sell Them)

Ask The Grooming Tutor

By Michell Evans

“Dear Michell, I feel like my employees are missing opportunities for add-on services that could add up to good income for both me and my employees.  Do you have any ideas of areas to focus on?” –Sarah

Hi Sarah. Here are five common areas where salons lose the opportunity to profit from their labor and products.

1. Flea baths are one of the worst culprits. You put the dog or cat in the bathtub and give it a complete bath only to discover that dog or cat has fleas during the drying process. Now you must go back to the tub and start over with additional time and more products, and let’s not forget the treatment of the salon at the end of the day to be sure no fleas escaped their deaths. In some instances, you are fortunate enough to know before the bath if the dog has fleas and these factors do not come into play. Create a price that covers all these instances and your staff will be more interested in selling and performing the service.

2. Do you include the additional labor and clean up time for large double coated breeds in their price? When implementing a price increase for these services, don’t overlook the wear and tear, filth and additional labor involved in grooming these breeds. Consider charging 20% more and your staff might actually start enjoying the work it takes to make one of these beasts look its best instead of dreading it. This applies to large and extra–large breeds that are not double coated as well.

3. After hours pick–up fees are an important policy to enforce. When a customer requires a member of your staff to stay late and wait for them—that costs money. This is a case where it is important to remember that this is business. It is not personal. If you, the business owner, are required to pay an employee to stay late for a customer to pick up late, the customer surely understands that there is a charge for that. Any good customer would offer to pay you for your time even if you don’t have that policy. This is a must—especially for repeat offenders. You might find that you have employees volunteering to be the one that stays and looks at Facebook on their phone while they wait, just to make a few easy bucks. 

4. Some salons keep pets all or half the day. Some salons groom one pet at a time. If you keep pets all day, charge for an expedited grooming service. If you groom each pet one at a time, charge a daycare fee for keeping their pet longer. You are providing a service that is in addition to your normal service therefore it has value and should be charged accordingly.

5. Lastly, de–matting is a big one. So many groomers are simply not skilled for de–matting. It can be a simple, humane and lucrative service to provide in your salon, if you learn the skill. It creates income two-fold. First you create income on a client who would otherwise be a shave-down. Second, you have created a style that requires that the client return in six weeks rather than six months. Nice!

I hope these ideas are helpful! ✂

I am a multi–Best–In–Show and Best–All–Around groomer. I am the recipient of many Barkleigh Honors Awards including journalist of the year. I am a Silver and Gold medalist for GroomTeam USA. I am the winner of Show Dog Groomer of the Year 2015. I am a (VIG) Very Important Groomer-Ambassador for Purina and I have been teaching as The Grooming Tutor since 2000. And I groom to make a living, just like you. Please send questions to [email protected]

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