The paradigm of “customers” and the level of contribution they make to our business is ever changing. Any entrepreneur committed to long-term success has all but erased any trace of the concept that customers are a necessary evil: people who bother us with their problems, individuals that we have to “deal with.”
To be successful in this business doesn’t just depend on your knowledge of grooming or the equipment you use. It can also depend on some very basic goals that you accomplish every day. They are simple goals, such as making money, customer perspective, and safety. These three little goals pass through our minds, but we never really think about how much they impact us every day we work.
Yes, the holidays are coming. Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas—the wonderful times of the year when we all shop, bake cookies, decorate, go to parties, and relax with our friends and family. Yeh, right… Not if you are a typical groomer. For most groomers, ‘tis the season to work, work, work with very little time for relaxing or anything else, but it doesn’t have to be all work and no play this year. It’s all in how you prepare for it.
Although there are times when I just can’t, I usually take walk-ins for nail cutting. Last Wednesday was a particularly busy day, and I was letting the answering machine pick up quite a few calls as I tried to stay on schedule with all of the appointments.
At one point, the phone rang, and I let it go to the machine. The person hung up. A split second later, it rang again, and I still didn’t answer.
With a Winning Attitude
Sally S. began grooming at a young age. She honed her craft, saved her money, and found a mentor in the grooming business. After a time, Sally opened her own grooming salon, Sally’s Soggy Dog. Business ran great for a while with just a few novice mistakes; a missed tax filing here, a disgruntled customer there, but Sally learned and Sally’s Soggy Dog prospered.
I was sitting at a client’s kitchen table after I finished grooming Misty. I was talking to Mrs. about something funny Misty did when Mr. handed me the customer survey I had given him when I first arrived. He told me that the reason they followed me from the shop I worked at was because I had the best customer service they had ever received from a groomer.
Take a moment to be brutally honest with yourself. Are you being compensated fairly for your work? Pet grooming is a task that requires a great many skills. Groomers must be endlessly patient, able to work with sharp tools and moving animals, have a strong artistic leaning in order to make pets look their best, have talent with time management to make all the magic happen on schedule, and have the business sense to bring home a decent income at the end of the week.