Imagine a world where there is a perfect groomer for every pet; one who understands the pet’s unique and individual needs. Each pet, when matched with their perfect groomer, has their personality needs met and their perfect style achieved safely and easily, every visit. Everyone in the relationship is happy—client, pet and groomer. Wouldn’t that be a perfect scenario?
Much like matching a pet’s needs to the perfect groomer or grooming service, there is also a need to match a groomer’s needs with the style of business they work in. The pets that groomers service come in all shapes and sizes, breed types, colors and coat types. Grooming businesses come in all shapes and sizes, too.
When determining the best fit for your workstyle—or, in other words, your perfect workplace—it’s important that a groomer look at the pros and cons associated with each of the workplace options. There are many different reasons to select a workplace (e.g., opportunity, convenience, culture, economic or social), and understanding which of these is a priority for you. Following your own road can help you feel more successful and in control of your own career in the long term.
So, how many shapes and sizes do grooming businesses come in?
Glad you asked! For starters, each of the following styles of grooming businesses can range from tiny to huge. Regardless of the style or model of the business, size or scale will also determine the fit for a groomer. Here is a quick breakdown of grooming salon sizes along with some pros and cons based on size alone.
The smallest grooming business is one in which a single owner/operator is the sole groomer. There are no employees and the groomer works alone. This solo groomer experiences complete control over all aspects of the business but also complete responsibility for its success and failure. Solo groomers often note that they must cultivate industry connections and peers in order to stay abreast of industry news and innovations, and to ensure they have proper support to ward off burnout.
A small grooming business will have between two and 10 employees. The groomers who work in small grooming businesses are likely to enjoy family-type atmospheres…and all the pros and cons that may come along with a family dynamic. The pace of change in a small salon may be unpredictable—sometimes changes may be abrupt or, in other instances, change may not be implemented for years and years.
A medium grooming business will have between 11 and 25 employees. The groomers who work in medium-sized grooming businesses often experience a wider variety of personality types in the workplace. While diversity is the key to life, finding a perfect blend for the teams within medium business systems can be a delicate balance. On the other hand, career opportunities often abound inside this size operation. The chance to distinguish yourself as a stand-out stylist or natural leader is often a valued asset.
Large grooming businesses will have more than 26 employees. The groomers who work in large grooming businesses often have access to greater personal benefits such as health, dental and vision, and additional features with easy access to continuing education opportunities. On the other side of the coin, the need for processes within the larger system can often make the employee/employer relationship feel less personal.
So, what’s your perfect size?
There may not be a perfect fit for every groomer, and many groomers may find they can adapt and fit into many different-sized businesses. Knowing the pros and cons of each will help groomers determine and maintain longer-term workplace happiness. A groomer may be accustomed to the benefits and boundaries of a larger system, but may feel lost in a small salon without direction or a larger team to rely on. Conversely, a groomer who thrives in a small setting may find that they prefer the opportunities and structure afforded in a medium setting. Then there is always the groomer who finds they prefer not to work in an environment which requires social coworker interaction at all, and finds his/her greatest career fulfillment in working solo.
One size grooming business in not superior to another; each is unique and different in its own way. Of course, there is also the human element. Once you determine your best-fit scenario, it’s important to understand that, much like matchmaking, you also have to find the right blend and recipe of people to make it all work. And, the more people in a business system, the more ingredients there are to the recipe.
Be true to thyself. Finding your best fit is the fastest way to workplace happiness. You will still experience difficult days—all groomers do—but how you want to walk through that day is your choice. You may prefer the solace of managing your experience alone, or you may prefer the support of a vibrant team. There is no correct answer.
One of the great things about a career in grooming is the ability to work in so many various ways. Finding the best workplace fit for you, your personality and your skills takes both self-reflection and knowing your abilities and limitations. Explore your options and go find your perfect career! ✂️