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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    154

    Default Great Problem to Have

    This month marks the first anniversary of my shop. So far I have been content to have my website, the largest sign I'm allowed (a whopping 2 square feet and only 1 sign allowed) and word of mouth to do my advertising for me as I learn my limitations and expand my abilities. Because I have not been busy, my customers have been pretty loosy-goosy about booking ahead. So I booked my boys' dogs every 4 weeks as a Christmas gift, then tell customers that I have two multiple dog clients who are booked out every 4 weeks for the year. Makes 'em think. And today I was able to honestly tell a customer I couldn't fit her in next week!
    Not sure what the hangup is with scheduling next groom before they leave here-used to think they weren't planning to come back. They always do, but are so reluctant to prebook. Guess I am going to have to have a little more difficulty booking them same week unless it's a 'cancellation'.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    SE Wash St
    Posts
    3,256

    Default

    Congrats on your first year. The clients don't pre-book because they know they can get in whenever they want now. As you get busier, that will change. With Spring coming, now is a great time to say that with the warmer weather, they should book ahead or you could be full when they want the groom. Another thing you can do is make a call at about 4 weeks saying that you're filling up, and would they like to book Fluffy's appt now. At my home shop, I have about 95% pre-book. Makes it nice because you can plan your weeks and you aren't interrupted by a lot of phone calls.
    Old groomers never die, they just go at a slower clip.

    Groom on!!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    154

    Default

    Thank you! You are right-I need to retrain my customers. Since I am home based I don't have set hours and try to accommodate their schedules with some coming as early as 8AM, although I have the labradoodle coming at 3PM now instead of 5. I think my reticence about pushing them to rebook when they hesitate is one of my major problems. Lack of confidence on my part. But I've only had two who never came back, and I was expecting that from both of them. So I guess I need to pull up my big girl panties and be more assertive. I can certainly use the phone call idea with a few of the more laid back ones, and you are right-warmer weather should help boost my bookings. Thanks for the ideas!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    3,226

    Default

    I will tell you a trick. I trained everyone to have auto prebooked appointments years ago. You make sure you tell them " if you are worried you don't know your schedule they much in advance, you will have a time slot saved so we can trade with someone else" most likely you will be able to accommodate their needs, but it will get them used to it. I used to start " holding spots" for my good regulars and call them up or if they called and " yes I saved one just for you!" . Worked for me. 14+ years later, booked year up, have pages waiting to become my client, and people take a day off work to come to their appoint.

    Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    154

    Default

    Aw Itza-you've posted your work. No wonder at all you are booked with a waiting list! Lol! But seriously, thank you. I will use these suggestions while putting on my game face. Projecting confidence is a major issue. I have been so trained by far too many years of retail that the customer is always right that I have to remind myself I am the professional in my customer relationships and assume that they WANT to rebook with me instead of being grateful when they call wanting to get in same week. Holding a spot for them due to anticipated heavier bookings due to warmer weather and big girl panties will hopefully do the trick! Thanks ladies!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Humboldt
    Posts
    1,594

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KarlaSnyder View Post
    Congrats on your first year. The clients don't pre-book because they know they can get in whenever they want now. As you get busier, that will change. With Spring coming, now is a great time to say that with the warmer weather, they should book ahead or you could be full when they want the groom. Another thing you can do is make a call at about 4 weeks saying that you're filling up, and would they like to book Fluffy's appt now. At my home shop, I have about 95% pre-book. Makes it nice because you can plan your weeks and you aren't interrupted by a lot of phone calls.
    Well said! It has nothing to do leveraging them in with a fear, OMG I won't get in. You don't want stress and fear, you know this world is full of that. Good luck on Year 2.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    1,443

    Default

    Itza you must have it easy, waiting list to get in..love your grooms. So fun.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    154

    Default

    Thanks 4them. So far it has been much better. I have been getting more new clients and am having a blast being my own boss! But just as I think things are looking up, I am now staring down the barrel of a knee replacement in a few months. P$&&-poor timing but geez it will be nice to not think of walking as torture. Odd thing though-the knee doesn't bother me at all while I am grooming! Maybe if I could get enough clients that I am grooming all day every day I could put it off for a while! Lol. But meanwhile I am working on getting my clients in on 4 week schedules to have them in the best shape possible before I am laid up. Telling my regulars that I want to make sure they are taken care of, kinda like holiday bookings.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    1,443

    Default

    Wish you best on the knees, a friend was up around in rather short time I thought but of course she wasn't grooming, lifting. Hopefully you will stabilize and get to delay.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    154

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 123Linda View Post
    Wish you best on the knees, a friend was up around in rather short time I thought but of course she wasn't grooming, lifting. Hopefully you will stabilize and get to delay.
    Thank you. Unfortunately have already done all the other options and they no longer help. Figured that end of May/beginning of June would be as good a time as can be hoped for. Daughter will be home from college. Hoping to use her as a supervised bather for the more cooperative dogs, and I am going to start practicing sitting while grooming. I've seen on other threads there are groomers here who do that, so apparently it CAN be done! Maybe I will even become more efficient with the ability to move less!

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