Forums General Mobile Grooming House call and Non-Traditional Mobile Grooming Practices
  • Topic: From House Call to Trailer Grooming

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    • June 20, 2014 10:11 AM CDT
    • From House Call to Trailer Grooming

      Hi Groomers, I'm going on my 12th year house call anniversary @ the end of October this year and now I'm seriously looking at small grooming trailers. However, I'm on a see saw of decision making. Outside of some known parking issues (places I go to & know that trailer will not work), I think it would suit me better then the other options. I'm way to frugal to go a van route. Won't touch it with a ten foot pole, but think the trailer is priced well enough to still be able to put money in my pocket, while adding those payments, extra insurance and etc., to all else that goes out.

      After over a decade of running a full time house call grooming service, I'm timid of the change, because I've got house call down to a science and that trailer is whole new thing. Every other year, I've attended the Atlanta Pet Fair, taking seminars all weekend long. So I've kept up on education and I read our grooming mags consistantly. Change is always a big step for me & I'd greatly appreciate any experienced groomer feed back on venturing into this route. My worries are the economy, fuel prices are rising now and we seem to be going back to Iraq war. My clients are faithful, wonderful and I'm blessed to have them, however, alot of folks are struggling because things have changed. However, I've worked really hard all these years and really would love to reward myself with the idea of having my very own grooming space to take with me, at least most of the time. House call is not the easiest way to make a living as a groomer, but the pay off has been the least in overhead and has enabled my other financial goals to happen. Plus, I never had to pay for a gym membership, (lol, making light of all that hard work). Competition has grown in my area, but I'm at the point where that trailer will be my only financed ordeal. 

      I'm so on the fence, Any Toughts, Please?
      Thank You

    • June 20, 2014 4:07 PM CDT
    • From House Call to Trailer Grooming

      I think you are right in that you deserve to make things easier on yourself.

      I'm guessing that there's a decent amount of time spent in hauling everything inside, setting up, breaking it down, then cleaning up?

      Without that extra time you will save there, could you groom another dog each day? If so, it could probably cover that trailer payment.

      I like to consider the absolute worst case scenerio. Worst thing would be the economy tanks, you lose lots of clients, and can't make the trailer payment. The worst that happens there is you have to sell it or it gets repossessed. Now both of those things are bad and surely not something I would want to happen, but in the grand scheme of things, it wouldn't be the end of the world.

      It sounds like you have thought this through and can afford the payment with your current clients. It does not sound like you are just jumping into an wishy washy investment, but instead have really worked the numbers and a way to improve your business.

      I say go for it :)

       

      Barb

      ____________________________________

      If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.

    • June 21, 2014 5:49 PM CDT
    • From House Call to Trailer Grooming

      Yes Barbara, thank you and house call is a lot of lifting/loading. Honestly, after my over 35 yrs. previous career of breaking thoroughbreds, working 12 - 17 hr. horse sale days and most times without a day off for over month and a half....the house call work was no challenge for me, other then introducing something different to the public. I was about broke after pet grooming school and when I worked in two shops during that following year, I still was not in the position to finance something mobile, but knew that is where I wanted to be. I started house call as something temporary, but....about 12 yrs later, lol. Now, I'm interested in the trailer, so that I may expand my grooming abilitys to certain type of other breeds that are simply to hairy for house call clean up. Also, I am getting older and thinking about years down the road for my body to endure.

      I just don't want to make the wrong move in my business and end up thowing a wrench in the smoothness. Just wondering how many other groomers are really happy with trailer grooming and who is the best to buy from would be good to know also. I am networking with a company now, Hitch on Pet Salon.

       

    • June 23, 2014 1:10 PM CDT
    • From House Call to Trailer Grooming

      I once spoke with a guy you did trailer grooming and he was really pleased with it. He said the trailer was actually roomier than a van. It was funny because the trailer looked so tiny from the outside, but he said he had plenty of room on the inside.

    • April 18, 2018 10:31 AM CDT
    • From House Call to Trailer Grooming

      I actually started out as a housecall groomer many years ago. It worked wonders and I was able to save up to buy a van. Then, I eventually opened by own shop and now I have expanded into boarding, daycare, and grooming with mobile vans and a trailer.

      I really like the trailer because if something happens to the vehicle towing the trailer, I can always connect it to another vehicle and continue running. With vans, if they need maintance they are out for the entire day. I think moving to a trailer would definitely be a great idea. Setting up and breaking down as a housecall groomer takes time and moving to a trailer will help you save time and be able to add another appointment or two in the day. Also, as much as I loved the seeing the clients and talking to them while I was grooming, the dogs seemed much calmer once I moved to a trailer.

      The only large downside is trailers are hard to learn how to drive if you don't already know how to. It took me a few months to get comfortable enough to drive on the road. It's weird because you have to turn the opposite way then you normally would with a car. I learned in a parking lot and I was all kinds of backwards when I started haha!

      Whatever you choose, be sure you have a window! That was the only thing I didn't realize at the beginning and I was quite lonely in the trailer with no real window. I did a build your own trailer and I bought the trailer from a company in Georgia I believe (it's been many years, so I can't really remember). The build of the trailer was tons of fun, so if you have the time and resources for that I highly recommend going that route!

       

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