When your appointment book is totally full, how does that make you feel? For most of us, it’s a sense of security. It’s a source of pride. It’s a guarantee that you are satisfying your customers’ needs. You are doing a good job.
But how do you feel when that appointment book has empty slots? Maybe you are just starting out on your own and have an open book. Maybe you are new to the salon and need to build a fresh clientele. Or maybe you have been at your salon for a while, yet you’re just not getting traction with repeat customers.
Long-time pet stylists know this unspoken rule: a full appointment book offers job security.
So if your appointment book is lighter than what you would like, how are you going to fix it?
Are you thinking of opening a new shop where there isn’t a grooming salon or expanding into a new market area with your mobile unit? You are probably giddy with excitement over the prospect of all those new clients.
Watching that superstore getting ready for its grand opening? You are probably worried that you’ll lose clients.
Are you fretting over how much to raise your prices? You are probably agonizing over how many clients will look for other options to get their dogs groomed.
These are real worries.
Your current and prospective clients have four options.
Use your service
Use a competitors service
Do it themselves
Not do it at all
Sometimes the biggest challenge you have with building a clientele is not your competitors – it’s your prospects.
So how do you win clients over? How do you encourage them to patronize YOUR place of business? Simple. Stand out in a positive way!Read the rest of this entry »
You have a new client on the books. It’s a Lhasa/Maltese mix – or in the new world of designer dogs, it’s a “Lhatese.” The client arrives precisely 15 minutes late. She’s dressed to the nines and everything matches… even the dog.
The dog’s name?
You guessed it – Precious.
You know you’re in trouble.
If you’re a one groomer salon, you can keep the personalities of all your canine clients in your head. You know any dog named Precious is far from… precious.
But what if you start expanding your salon? What if you bring on a new bather? Maybe you have an assistant handling your appointments? Or maybe you have an inexperienced groomer joining your team?
Do you struggle to get the spindly legs smooth of that clipped #5 all trim? The body comes out nice and smooth – but the legs… ugh.
Getting smooth legs is always a pesky problem for new groomers. Maybe you’ve been grooming for a while, but still struggle with this area. You’re not alone. Legs should only take you a few minutes to get smooth. If you’re missing the mark, here’s some help.
My Golden Rule for All Clipper Work
3 passes and you’re done. Period.
Your end result should be super smooth. No rough spots. No sticky-outies.
Fast. Clean. Simple.
Legs have their own sets of challenges. One of the largest issues is simply the shape. When you set a clipper blade on one of those spindly legs, the point of contact is minimal. Look at it on your own finger, simulating a leg. You’re only making contact with one or two teeth. You’re going to have to rapidly go over those legs several times if you have any hope of getting them smooth.
I have some ideas for how to get a nice finish on those legs in no time. It’s easy when you understand the principles and the foundation skills of all good clipper work. Read the rest of this entry »
If you are a long time pet professional, you’ve probably mastered today’s topic. If you are fresh to the industry, you are probably struggling with it.
How do you handle the dog that does not want to cooperate with the grooming procedure?
You’ve heard me say this about dogs before – but let’s do a quick review.
They are hard-wired to think like a dog.
They are a predatory pack animal.
They are silent communicators.
They read body language.
They respond to energy.
The most over used word in a dog’s vocabulary is “no.” It’s a common enough word, but it means nothing to them. Why? They hear it all the time. How often is that word spoken every day? Pet owners are constantly “crying wolf” around the dog.
We work with pets because we are passionate about them. It’s simple: we love what we do. Yet it’s important to remember that every dog is an individual. Not only do they look different, they all have different physical and emotional characteristics. Different personalities.
Some dogs receive clear directions from their owners. They have rules and boundaries at home. This makes them very easy to work with in a professional setting. Other pets will not be well-mannered in a professional setting. The personality quirks we all experience working with pets will vary from dog to dog.
Many will be perfect angels
Others will be mildly annoying
Some will be potentially dangerous to work with for both the handler and the pet
Based on your level of pet interaction experience, you should be able to work through many of these personality quirks. Your commands to the pet need to be clear, concise, and consistent. Read the rest of this entry »
Our fellow pet groomers in California need our help! Join us and make a donation to the California Professional Pet Groomers Association (CPPGA). This organization will help fund those in need and distribute the funds that come from your generous donations.
We have accepted the “Groom One for California” challenge of sending the proceeds from one grooming per day and we are asking you to do the same. Any amount helps!
How and what professional groomers get paid is always a hot topic. There are so many variables:
Over the years I’ve tested just about every possible combination of scenarios to try to determine what was fair, what worked, and what didn’t.
When I started my first business, I groomed in the vans right beside my mobile groomers. My team earned 50% commission of the grooming charges. We also had an extra “house call charge” for the front door service per stop (not per dog).
My mobile fleet grew from one van to six in about five years. Plus, I added a grooming salon to the mix. We were busy all the time. However, every once in a while, cash got tight.
If you have a reasonably busy salon and have been at this for a few years, you know the holidays mean crunch time. You’ll be grooming most of your regular clients in days instead of weeks. Do you have control of your schedule?
You may find yourself racing to juggle the demands of your business and your family. Keeping your customers happy is crucial to the health of your salon, but not at the expense of those you love. Don’t let the insanity of the holiday season put a damper on your festive mood.
I learned the hard way. Grooming super long hours up to 14 days straight before Christmas left me totally exhausted and spent. I was definitely a Scrooge throughout the entire holiday season. I knew I had to make a change when one Christmas I literally slept through the entire day.
Here are a few ideas from myself and my team of seasoned grooming pros to help you make the most of the holiday rush. Read the rest of this entry »