5 Simple Things - Work Less and Make More
Proper Prep Work
Dry coats like you want them to lay. Most sporting breeds and terrier coats should lay nice and flat down the back. If you are drying them against the lay of the coat, making them 'fluffy' you will spend far too much time trying to get that coat to lay flat and blend nicely during the finish groom.
Dry coats THOROUGHLY. Any dampness in the coat will cause waves and curls, the same waves and curls you were trying to dry out of the coat. You will spend far less time on a properly prepped coat during the finish than you will if you are fighting waves and curls.
Use Your Equipment Wisely
High Velocity dryers are wonderful, but so are your towels and fans. This is tied into the drying tip above. Rather than HV drying straight from the tub until damp, then into a kennel and under a fan to finish, try doing the opposite. After the bath, put the dog into a kennel on some towels to drip dry while you bathe or finish another dog. When the dog is about 50% dry, then use your HV dryer to dry the dog completely. You will spend about half the time using the HV and your finish will be without waves and curls. A better prepped coat, will be easier and faster to finish. If you can save 10 minutes per dog, you will have gained at least one full hour a day.
Give Discounts for 4 week Grooms
Discounts??? How does that make you money?
A $50 dog that comes in every 6 weeks will bring in approximately $450 a year. A $40 dog that comes in every 4 weeks will bring in $480 a year. A dog coming in every 4 weeks will be quicker to groom. Dogs that come every 4 weeks are rarely ever matted. If you save even 5 minutes on that 4 week dog, you could gain 30 - 60 minutes a day. That is time for a lunch break, getting home before dark, or doing an extra dog each day.
Pre Book Those Appointments
If left on their own, most clients will not remember to book Fluffy another appointment until he is over grown and likely matted. Make their appointment and give them a card for it at pick up. Some will balk, but you can work around that. "Mrs. Smith, Fluffy will be due in around the middle of next month. That is a really busy time of year for us. (Summer, Holidays, School Break, etc etc). If you wait to call in, it could be 2-3 weeks before I can get him in. I went ahead and booked him another appointment so you are not stuck waiting for an opening. If you get home and check your schedule and see if won't work for you, just give me a call in the next day or so and we can move it around."
Be sure to have a disclaimer on that appt card! " There will be a $25 charge for missed appointments or cancellations not made at least 48 hours in advance"
If it is right below their next date, they WILL see it. It's up to you whether you charge it or not. There are extenuating circumstances that can not be helped.
Charge Your Clients Fairly.
Mrs. Smith brings Princess in every 6 weeks without fail. Princess never has tangles. She is always on time and tips nicely. She takes about an hour to groom. Mrs. Jones brings Hugo in every 3 months. He is always tangled and filthy. He requires 3 shampoos, lots of detangling product and at least 30 more minutes to groom due to his tangles and behavior. They are both Shih Tzus, so they are both $40.
Mrs. Smith is being charged $40 per hour for her grooming. Mrs. Jones is being charged $26 an hour. Who is being rewarded in this situation?