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    • April 16, 2017 1:33 PM CDT
    • I generally don't remove the tick. I usually just spray it with a flea/tick spray and let that do it's job. I tell the owners that I did not and do not remove them and that the tick is dead or dying and will fall off on it's own.  I explain that often times you can end up with an open wound where it was attached. I then smile, chuckle, and tell them that blood and open wounds never look good after a grooming.

      So far it's worked out well that way.

       

      Barb

       

    • April 16, 2017 1:04 PM CDT
    • Do any of you have/use waivers for tick removal?

      Yes we all know how to remove ticks but what if the owners come back on you for a vet bill because they think you didn't get the head or they remove one after you have and they don't get the head but cannot prove who removed the tick.

    • October 2, 2015 6:25 PM CDT
    • I have done that as well. If they cancel last minute or no show and then call, unless they are a great client or had a really good reason, I do not work them in quickly. 

       

      Barb

    • October 2, 2015 6:13 PM CDT
    • So this week I did an experiment, I pretended she would have been there on Thursday, just to see what would go on and I had THREE cancellations.  I decided that rather than give those folks the next available appointment, which would take appointments away from my new callers, I would make THOSE people wait the 2 weeks, 

      I am happy with this.  It makes it less stressful for me to worry about income, and I did call some people on the waiting list,,,so far, not going to hire anyone except some extra Christmas help.

    • September 30, 2015 4:16 PM CDT
    • I completely understand. It is hard to plan for something when you have to rely on other people -- showing up for their appointments.

       

      My only suggestion is that for 6 months, bank your share (assuming you pay commision) of every dog that your employee grooms. Then in the slow times, you will have some back up funds. You could pay her hourly out of it during real slow times and have her do book work or cleaning or something?

       

      I DO know that is easier said than done......

       

      Barb

    • September 29, 2015 4:29 PM CDT
    • thanks Barb,

      yep, I have been grooming here for 26 years, but I want to GROW and have some help so that I can sustain my lifestyle as I age.  I see lots of potential for growth and have been knocking myself out the last few years to have a bigger client base that will allow me to move up a step toward a bigger business, but I can't maintain that alone anymore, so I must either scale back to where I was a few years ago and be happy with the money that brings, or I have to hire someone, which seems to make me slide backwards in profits whenever these cancellations occur.

       

      Looking in my client files, I do have enough people to now hire someone, but then all at once, several clients move, or quit coming, or cancellations, or weather hits my schedule in the pocketbook and I am scrambling.

      sigh.

      I would like to grow the business, price increase has been implemented, and save for the older/special clients who have not been raised, I am happy with my rates and with my expenses, but I just cannot groom 5 full days a week anymore, my body won't let me.  Growing just seems impossible. Seems like this is a tipping point and I don't know how to handle it.

       

    • September 29, 2015 3:20 PM CDT
    • For me personally, I would not want to grow my business beyond what I can do. I don't want to do the work required to build it.  

       

      With no street visibility, you will need to do (and spend) a lot in advertising so that people know you exist. You would have to really market and find the niche that is missing in your area. If you have enough groomers in your area that they can easily shop hop, you will really really need to market yourself and give them plenty of reason to prebook, wait for an appointment, and not be concerned with price.

       

      Have you ever done the math to know exactly how much you need to bring in to make it a viable source of income?

       

      Barb

    • September 29, 2015 3:05 PM CDT
    • Oh I am so ABOUT done with this appointment only business!  I don't know what to do!  I hired a very nice girl who wants to learn to groom in a different manner, she's tired of shave downs, cookie cutter, assemply line grooming. So I hired her.

      She starts tomorrow.

      Then I get TWO seperate legitimate cancellations.(illness), which I do not feel I can charge for late cancellations on.  these folks are old, very sorry, don't usually do this,, 

      No one on the wait list can come. 

      This makes my profits go down the tubes.  I really don't know what to do.  If I schedule dogs for just ME, people have to wait 2 weeks, which makes the dog a grooming disaster and opens up nasty comments of dematting charges when I will hear; "Well I CALLED and YOU made me wait!"  

      eventually these people go elsewhere.  Both cancellations were prebooked.  

      I dont' know what the answer is.  I hired the girl part time, she has another job, but still I hired her.  For sure I will need her at Christmas. I am a home based groomer, my salon is on the farm here, so I do not get walk by traffic or drop ins.

      I just wonder what most other people do.  do you just continue to go it alone and not grow your business beyond what you can do?  

       

    • September 5, 2015 1:09 PM CDT
    • You are most deserving and most welcome, Barb. Sue

    • September 5, 2015 7:26 AM CDT
    • Oh Sue!  Thank you. That was exactly what I needed this morning. :)

       

      Barb

    • September 5, 2015 1:21 AM CDT
    • I don't post on here much anymore bc of personal and family issues, but the advice given, esp. by administration, is so sound. Saved my business many years ago. Still in business since taking the advice. Thanks Groomers Lounge. Thanks, Barb. I know you have made Joyce proud. You are amazing.Thanks for everything you do and keeping this site going. Sue

    • August 26, 2015 6:33 AM CDT
    • thank you!

    • August 25, 2015 8:24 PM CDT
    • Trying it out a couple days a week sounds like a great idea. It may be just the break you need.

       

      There's really no such thing as an IC groomer in a grooming salon.  According to the IRS if you are paying someone to work in your business, they are an employee.

       

      The only other option would be a table renter.  They pay you a set amount each month. They run their business in your location. It's a landlord/tenant relationship. They groom their clients, their way, their hours, their policies, etc. The only real benefit is a steady monthly income. They pay whether they work or not.  There are a lot of downfalls to it.  As you have no control, you can not control quality or customer service. While legally they are their own business, the public will likely lump everyone in the one building together and the repution  will be joint.

       

      An employee is a much better way to go because you have control.  You control their hours, their pay, their procedures, the dogs they do or don't do, how they work and where.

       

      Barb

    • August 25, 2015 8:01 PM CDT
    • lots of great info here Barb!  in addition I picked up some ideas from what you said, like trying it for only a day or two a week, and see how it goes.

      can you tell me what constitutes an independent contractor?  is that what a groomer would do if they only groomed, did not answer phone or work with clients at all?  

       

      I am kind of excited about this idea, after 25 years of grooming, I might be ready for a change!

    • August 25, 2015 4:35 PM CDT
    • It can be a great idea. I work Saturdays at a shop that runs that way. The owner is a groomer, and originally did all the grooming. Now, she does much more customer service, the bathing and prep work, and retail rather than grooming. She can and still does in a pinch, but the rest keeps her busy enough.

       

      As for finding an employee that is loyal? There's no guarantee, in any business really.  There are things you can protect, like client records. An employee really does not need access to addresses and phone numbers. Those are easily found in the phone book if they really want them though. If you are doing the prep work, you can choose to keep your prep products sort of secret. The prep is the key to a great groom.

       

      The reality of having employees is that rarely do they stay forever. At some point, in everyone's life, you switch jobs. It could be because of a move, a better offer, any number of reasons. I have worked in 6 salons in my career. I am currently still working in 3 of them. While I never copied client records, many clients followed me. I didn't seek them out, it just happens. At this point I can not imagine ever leaving the clinic, but I can't see the future. Who knows, maybe someone offers me a deal I can't pass up? Maybe the practice gets sold to someone and I no longer care for how it's managed?  

       

      As hard as it is, as a business owner, you always have to be prepared that employees do not have the personal attachment to the business that you do. Clients are only as loyal as what is convenient for them. They do not have that same attachment. They drop their dog off to us every 6 weeks, and pick them back up a few hours later.  While WE spend time caring for and getting attached to their dog, they only see us for a few minutes at drop off and pick up. It's not the same relationship.  Personally, I am not with the same hair dresser I was 10 years ago. People move on, find other businesses that for whatever reason suit them better.

       

      Barb

    • August 25, 2015 8:14 AM CDT
    • My assistant quit.  She bathed, cleaned, made shampoo, appointments, gave dogs back and cleaned.

      I was thinking I might like her job!  I wondered about hiring a groomer,, advice needed.

      I have a groomer here now, but I do 1/2 the dogs that come each day.  I am thinking since I can do the nails, sanitary, tidy up the topknots, tails, etc., the groomer may be able to do more dogs per day, and I could do the fun stuff, talk to the people, etc.

      thoughts?  how do I find a groomer without someone who may come in and be a pain, steal client info and trade secrets?  Is this even a good idea?

    • May 6, 2015 10:35 PM CDT
    • We've lost a couple of groomers in the last few months as well as had a horrible injury resulting in a death at another place. The phone is ringing off the hook. I can only guess that at least one of the groomers had dirt cheap pricing and would get dogs in within a day or two. I totally understand how quickly the arguing gets old. I let the machine pick up 90% of the calls. It says there is a 2-4 week wait for appointments. It weeds out a good  portion of the calls. Those that do leave a message usually have listened and are prepared for the wait.

       

      Barb

    • May 6, 2015 9:48 PM CDT
    • Yes! I like that second one alot I've tried to word it a few times and I just feel like it flows well. We do spend alot of time on the phone arguing with people about the next grooming date it gets old real quick.

    • May 6, 2015 3:22 PM CDT
    • I like that second one, Barb.  It would cut her work load down a lot.  It would keep her from having to spend lots of time on the phone.   And she's still be getting big bucks on the regulars.

    • May 6, 2015 3:05 PM CDT
    • Could you just stop working them in to the schedule? Most people who only get their dog done every 4 or 5 months or once a year, are not going to wait 5 or 6 weeks for an appointment.

       

      When I am sitting super full, but not quite wanting to say I'm not accepting new appointments, I'll often put my next available date on my answering machine message.

       

      "Thank you for calling XXX. I'm unable to make it to the phone right now. My next available appointment is XXXX. If you would like to book for that day, please leave your name and number and I will return your call to confirm as soon as possible."

      Or maybe

      "Thank you for calling XXX. At this time I am only accepting clients that are groomed every 4-8 weeks. If your dog has not been groomed within the last 3 months, I will not be able to accomodate you at this time."

       

      This can save time. The time it takes to give tons of information only to have them not want to wait until your next available appointment. The time it takes to say, "No, I do not have anything before that date." "No, I'm sorry, I can not just squeeze one more little dog in on Friday."

       

       

      Barb

       

       

    • May 6, 2015 2:27 PM CDT
    • Yes. Do any of you stop taking clients that have been to you before but not consistently making appointments?  I've tried to figure out how to word that to people before. So at the moment anyone that hasn't been in a year would be considered a new client.

    • May 6, 2015 1:39 PM CDT
    • Go you!  :)

      That does make it harder though.

       

      Barb

    • May 6, 2015 1:14 PM CDT
    • By no means am I really complaining. I love my job, my clients and I'm very happy I'm busy but it can be stressful. I'm just trying to figure out a good solution 

    • May 6, 2015 1:08 PM CDT
    • That's the thing I've raised them over $15 dollars in the last 2 years. I know we aren't really suppose to talk about prices but honestly I wouldn't pay what some of these people pay. Alot of my clients spend well over $200 a month on one little dog. So I suppose I could but I'd feel bad...

    • May 5, 2015 11:30 PM CDT
    • I agree with Barb.  Raise those prices!