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  1. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Marysville, Ohio
    Posts
    3,195

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    [QUOTE=IrishSetterTom;730409]It's not always about the van and what's in it. The customer does not know a bare bones home built vs a pro model. I'm more particular on the outside appearance than the interior.

    Not saying my Van's are bare bones, I always keep my vans clean and shiny, armor all the tires. That's the first impression a client gets. Clean van means you take pride in your appearance and probably means your grooms will reflect that.

    You can have 2 groomers, 1 in a new pro model who is late, bad customer skills and does a terrible unskilled groom that looks unacceptable but the van is beautiful.

    Another groomer shows up in a bare built trailer on time, pleasant personality and is a master groomer and blows you away with their skill. Their dog looks fantastic and is happy. Both charge the same price.

    Who do you choose as your next groomer?

    Sent from my SM

    Here are a couple of questions I have for you........

    1). How did the super poor groomer ,who is late, with bad customer skills, able to continue to groom and afford a beautiful van?

    2). Why isn't the super great groomer, who is pleasant and a great groomer only able to afford a bare bones, home built trailer?.....I don't know a mobile groomer who doesn't make close to or over 100K a year.

    3). If you are so comfortable that groomers can get along very well with a bare bones trailer/van, then why did you "upgrade" to a professional van with some bells and whistles for your employees?

    The nice thing about an already built van is that you can start grooming the very next day............home built vans/trailers will take a lot of thought, planning, energy, supplies, and time before you make 1 dollar, meanwhile, that horrible Dolly is out there grabbing all of the clients and "making it rain".

    Happy loving my WGT Pro

    Dolly's Barking Bubbles, LLC

    www.dollysbarkingbubbles.com

  2. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    1,137

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    It's not that you can't afford a new van, the question is WHY you spend so frivolously? You recommend dealership for repairs, you recommend brand name only tires for replacement. Point being there is an alternate universe out there with groomers making it rain without being gutted like a fish just because they have the money. Not being mechanical is cause enough for a successful groomer to maybe consider your manner of spending , but I promise you, your profit margins pale in comparison to those other groomers raking it in who are more frugal and wise with their budgets. That's all.

  3. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    1,137

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    100k a year really isn't a much of rainstorm either nowadays. Dropping 80k every 5 years on a new van dries that sprinkle right up. Even with deductions, after taxes, depreciation etc, it ain't raining as hard as it is with a more frugal set up is my point.

  4. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Northern NV
    Posts
    4,580

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    "The nice thing about an already built van is that you can start grooming the very next day............home built vans/trailers will take a lot of thought, planning, energy, supplies, and time before you make 1 dollar, meanwhile, that horrible Dolly is out there grabbing all of the clients and "making it rain"."

    It took my husband four weeks start to finish four weeks to do my van. Probably would have been less had it not been winter and cold for him to work outside building it. Meanwhile I have a 500 dollar a month van payment and that wagn tails owner has about a 1400 a month payment. And that's WITH a 10K down payment. I used that 10K to pay cash for my build out. That's a lot of extra dogs to make that payment. If you're just starting out it's not always doable.

    So that's 10800 a year more they are paying vs me. No way is someone making that much in the
    (first) month it takes to build a van. Your math simply doesn't add up Dolly. I don't know why you just can't admit that your way isn't the only way.

    Tom you make an excellent point. But all other things being equal I'm going with the van that looks nicer.

  5. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Humboldt
    Posts
    2,127

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    Interesting thread and opinions. I don't think anyone is wrong. I do agree even with a shop, you don't build a luxury salon whatever that is at first, you start with a shop with good basics. It can evolve from there. If I were to go mobile I though would not build my own as I am not a builder of any sort and have no one to fill that in. But I would not buy a major new van at first but I would buy a really nice one that is some years older and needs a refurbish. It has a lot to do with how you feel down line after you are established, buy a new one who cares then, or build a modest one, but you are doing it for you. But in the beginning you get started and avoid stress not stretching the finances. In my shop I had room for 4 groomers for a few years before I hired them and equipped their workstations. I had only 1 tub, not 2 or 3 as we need now. I got a central vac when we were 7 employees. Started on a budget and grew.

  6. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Western Washington
    Posts
    1,799

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    Write a business plan, I wrote a mobile business plan. I am not yet mobile but filling in with a mobiler but writing a plan made me understand all the finances.

  7. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    2,319

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    Dolly, you take everything literally.

    There are many unpleasant groomers driving new vans. There are also unskilled self taught groomers who buy new vans. There are also groomers with no business skills running a new van and cannot manage their money. If you look at the used Wagn Tails vans listed on their site, there are many new vans even less than a year old that were traded in and bought back due to mismanagement and lack of business experience and grooming skill. It's not for everyone. So yes, there can be situations where a bad groomer shows up in a 100K van.

    On the flip side, just because a groomer has an old van or trailer making 100K or more a year doesn't require them to buy new. Just like cars, plenty of millionaires driving old cars by choice. I started with 2 brand new 70K wagn tails vans, paid them off and still use 1 to this day with 185,000 miles on it with a generator mounted externally on the back bumper. I will not buy another from them since I can build one same quality for a fraction of the cost and I feel better designed to work on easier.

    The advantage of buying a Wagn Tails is it's done right, ready to go and has a warranty and support. It may be the right way to go for groomers with no way of doing their own build. You pay more but you will earn it back over time.

    One of the biggest issues with a Wagn Tails van and I experienced it myself is a auto accident. Since these vans are fully converted, the body shop had to get access to the van wall and wanted basically the whole inside of the van removed to do the new skin or sheet metal wall. They could not work on it from the outside only. The insurance company did the math and the RV place would take a week to remove the conversion at a cost of 3000 bucks, then the body work was 12000, then another 3000 to reinstall the conversion and 60 to 80 days off the road. The insurance company totaled the van out even though the van could drive ok but the whole driver side wall was mangled.

    The new Promaster I built, I can remove my conversion myself in less than a day if needed. I know where every screw and wire is located and actually designed the van with this scenario in mind, to quickly disassemble the walls. I would not want to buy a new Wagn Tails Sprinter and have this happen. You may never get hit or you may get hit the first day you get your van. Yes, insurance will cover you, but who will cover your clients and income.

  8. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    642

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt99 View Post
    100k a year really isn't a much of rainstorm either nowadays. Dropping 80k every 5 years on a new van dries that sprinkle right up. Even with deductions, after taxes, depreciation etc, it ain't raining as hard as it is with a more frugal set up is my point.
    Well you don't really drop 80K, after 5 years a well maintained van with decent mileage can sell at least in the 30's, so the net was $40K or thereabouts. Must look at residual value.

  9. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Posts
    121

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    Great info. I talked with 3 of my other mobile groomer friends and none would do a conversion themselves. They just are not mechanical at all. The ladies groom.

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