At a recent gathering of groomers, our topic of discussion found its way to how busy everyone there was. The conversation went something like this…
“I wish there were more hours in the day,” Bill said. “By the time I finish grooming, get home and have a bite to eat, it’s time to go to bed.”
“Not me,” said Sally emphatically. “I don’t want to work more hours. I just want to groom the same amount of pets I do now, but do them in less time. I’d really like to hear everyone’s best timesaving tips and tricks.”
Betty was the first to speak: “Keeping my work area organized is my best tip,” she said eagerly. “I keep my most–used, essential equipment within arm’s reach of my grooming table. I always know where everything is and never have to hunt for my favorite comb or undercoat rake. “
“I find that doing things in the same order on every pet helps keep me on schedule,” said Joan. “And, I make all my bows and bandanas ahead of time. I don’t use my precious work hours to do it.”
“I have everyone drop off their pets in the morning,” Jim states. “That works best for me. I don’t have constant interruptions after I begin working.”
“My tip is, buy the best equipment you can afford,” Joan offers. “A good force dryer can quickly pay for itself. It saves a lot of time and puts a great finish on the pet. Having quality equipment, and backups, will save you from downtime because of equipment failure.
“My adjustable table and tub are real timesavers for me. Having the pet at the correct height to work on helps me get done sooner,” Joan continues. “And, my clipper vacuum and bathing systems save me so much time. I wouldn’t groom without them. If they help me save 10 minutes on each pet, and I groom six pets per day, I can get finished an entire hour sooner!”
“Being mobile, I arrange my schedule by grouping clients who live in the same general area together. That really saves travel time,” Tara says. “Every Tuesday I go to the ‘over 55 condo center.’ I have so many clients there that I don’t move all day—the pups just keep coming!”
“You may not think of this as a timesaving tip,” shares Allie, “but it really is. I take before and after pictures of every pet, and also anything I find that is out of the ordinary. Then, if an issue ever comes up, I have proof of what the pet looked like. Oh, and I always have the owner sign a release if I feel it is necessary—whether it is for a matted pet, senior pet, or whatever. It saves a ton of conflict, stress on me, and time.”
Barb says, “While I am working, I let the phone go straight to voicemail and I return all calls at the end of the day. It weeds out a lot of people who are simply price checking, asking for donations, or trying to sell me a car warranty.”
“Me too,” adds Ronni emphatically. “And, it’s also my policy that everyone in the salon can only use their phones during breaks. Before, some of the stylists would constantly be scrolling Facebook or on Instagram. It not only wasted their time, it took their attention off the pet they were supposed to be grooming.”
As we chatted, we all got some great ideas and decided to meet again in one month and report on what worked for each of us.
After I got home, I realized that I should have mentioned something I do that shaves time off of every groom, builds my business and adds to my bank account. I pre–book the pets I groom and place them on a recurring schedule of two–, four– or six–week appointments.
Why? It saves me time in a lot of ways. When a pet comes in on a set schedule, there is no time–consuming de–matting or shaving. There is usually very little or no prep work needed before I put the pet in the tub, and the actual grooming is not hard on me, my equipment or the pet.
By pre–booking I am able to plan my schedule far in advance and arrange it for my convenience. Now that my clients are used to having their pets on a recurring schedule, my days run smoother and I have far less stress. Having clients on a consistent schedule also keeps me busy year round. And because I no longer have slow periods, my income has increased substantially.
Pets that come in regularly are a lot easier to work on and grooming them is tremendously less stressful than trying to get a #4 blade through a doodle that has not been groomed since the pandemic started. Actually, you could probably groom four well–maintained dogs in the time it takes to work on that one matted doodle.
Having their pets on a preset schedule is a big plus for the owners, too. It helps them simplify their life. They don’t have to remember to call for an appointment. They get in the routine of having their pet groomed every four weeks, or as frequently as you suggest. It enables them to book ahead for special events and to get guaranteed holiday spots. If you are not already pre–booking your clients, now is a great time to start!
Time is one of the most valuable things each of us has. Try some of these tips and see how much time they can save you. ✂️