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    Consultants can save you time and money assisting you to reach your goals more quickly, and sometimes avoiding costly trial and error. Among the most popular trend in consultation is assistance for grooming business owners interested in evolving their grooming business into a professional school. Owners also use consultation to resolve business performance problems, expansion planning and various management issues. First, here are our sponsors that make this Industry Resources section possible. Thank you for supporting our sponsors.

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    by Published on 04-06-10 09:25 AM

    This article is posted on behalf of Mitzi Hicks, Golden Paws, long-time supporter of PetGroomer.com. www.goldenpaws.com

    Hello. Have you considered adding a pet styling academy to your grooming business? Here are a few questions to ask yourself which should help determine if operating a school is right for you:

    1. Would you like to be “unchained from your grooming tables?” How about having more time to oversee your business and to move into a less physically demanding role?
    2. Are your systems and equipment, tubs, dryers, tables already in place?
    3. Is you’re grooming income paying your overhead, electric, etc? Couldn't student tuition and other school income help boost profit?
    4. Would you enjoy having potential employees well-trained to your standards?
    5. Would you feel rewarded by training people in the art of styling and instilling future stylists with respect and professionalism for the pets and the pet styling profession?
    6. Would you enjoy taking your business to another level and having more time to enjoy it?
    7. How else can adding a school benefit to my business and myself?
    8. Would you enjoy additional income year after year?

    There are a few qualifications to make you a success as a pet styling school owner. You must have:

    1. Sincere desire to teach qualified pet stylists who have respect for the profession.
    2. Experience in the pet styling field, quality pet styling skills and a successful businessperson.
    3. Clean modern facility for your students to learn in.
    4. Financial stability.

    A pet styling school is a synergistic fit to a pet styling operation and offers the highest and best use of space, time and results. As you can imagine there are many tasks to becoming a school as well as a grooming business. What if you don’t have years to develop curricula, systems and deal with state licensing to become a school? We have a solution. You may want to become a Golden Paws School Licensee as others have.

    Some of the benefits are:

    1. Our experience! We have 4 decades of successful pet styling school operations experience.
    2. We offer developed systems and support allowing seamless integration of a Golden Paws School into an existing infrastructure.
    3. Name recognition! Golden Paws Schools offer high quality and effective pet styling curricula.
    4. We give you all the tools for success just as you will equip your students for success!
    5. As a Golden Paws Licensor we provide invaluable expertise in State Licensing.
    6. Save time. There is no need to take years to "recreate the wheel."
    7. Golden Paws has a proven successful track record with several family owned and operated schools during four decades of experience.

    We're ready to assist you. Golden Paws has developed methodology, systems, marketing, logos, brochures, lesson plans, step by step school development plan with ongoing personal support! Our proven programs provide you with a great feeling about the education you can offer without worrying about what to teach today or how the to teach a complicated subject to someone who has never groomed at all! Every lesson plan is laid out and it works! These systems, materials and support are designed for ease of use and allows you to successfully integrate the school into your existing operations.

    We want to know more about you and your goals. Let us share more about our family company and goals to create the highest quality education in pet styling. As a former stylist, salon owner, business developer and owner I can share the benefits of having a pet styling school operation whether you do it on your own or are interested in more information about licensing a Golden Paws Academy. I look forward to speaking with you.

    Sincerely, Mitzi Parrish
    by Published on 03-20-10 01:06 PM

    by Mary Oquendo

    Admin has published this article on behalf of its author GroomWise Blogger Mary Oquendo, PTI, CCS.

    You have only one opportunity to make a first impression. Your reception area and how you welcome the client makes the biggest first impression.

    The size of the space doesn’t matter so much - it can range from having its very own room to the cabin of your mobile grooming truck- but presentation is key. Good presentation includes not only lack of clutter and good sanitation, but professional behavior as well. Your clients will notice upon arrival whether your facility is fresh, clean and the staff professionally attired.

    Does your phone have an answering machine? Repeated distractions by any phone give the clients the impression you’re disorganized or inattentive to their needs. Your attention is always on the client in your presence. Include on your outgoing message a time all calls are returned.

    Do the exterior doors close securely and all pets under control? You do not want any unplanned escapes of the pets in your care.

    A clearly posted sign stating your shop policies will save time during the check-in. It could cover anything from drop-off to pick-up times, late or missed appointments, payment, right of refusal and so on.

    The check-in process is the time for clear communication with the pet owner. Neither you nor the client wants to spend 20-30 minutes checking in. Well thought out, organized forms ready to go will streamline the process while showing professionalism.

    Let’s start with the Client Information Card. You, not the owner, fill out a card for each pet because your own handwriting is easier to read. Allow for five means of contact: address, email, phone number, cell number and work number. Important pet information on the card includes vaccination history-Getting bit is not time to find out the status of rabies protection!-and any personality or medical issues. If the owner states no medical issues, offer a few possible suggestions. It may jar their memory. The back of the Client Information Card details the grooming. What products did you use? This is very important should an allergic reaction occur. Did you note which blades you used and the type of haircut received clearly printed on the card? The client signs and dates the card at each visit and notified of any changes to shop polices. You can add a client agent line for drop-offs by friends, children etc.

    Another form is the Veterinarian Consent Form. If an emergency arises, it allows you to bring the pet to a veterinarian for treatment. It would include the name of the vet, under what circumstances you would bring a pet in, who pays for what and credit card information with an authorized amount.

    Click here for information on how to download this form at no charge.

    In my opinion, the Pet Tech's "Snout to Tail Assessment" is the most important part of the check-in. You are going from snout to tail with deliberate intent and purpose to determine the overall health of the pet. You want all pre-existing conditions noted before the groom with the owner present. As a bonus, the time spent on this activity presents a good opportunity to educate your client on proper pet care. An educated client is a good client. This investment of time will reduce “misunderstandings” and give your clients the tools they need to make educated choices for their pets. Before you begin the assessment, have a muzzle ready. Always remember, “Any pet in pain or moved into pain, can and will bite.” This is part of my greeting with every pet. As I am saying hello to them, I move my hands over their bodies and check their eyes, ears and mouth. It takes but a moment.

    Thom Somes of Pet Tech has graciously allowed use of his copyrighted form. You must leave the Pet Tech logo intact. You can download the actual form shown above. When done reading this article click the "Downloads" button on the navigation bar near top of this page to access a copy.

    The assessment should include the following:

    A. Teeth

    Teeth in poor shape will cause mouth pain, and smaller dogs tend to have more problems than larger dogs. Mouth pain is one explanation on why a dog will be snappy when grooming the face-It hurts! Educate your clients on proper dental care.

    B. Eyes

    Hardened discharge may have irritated and raw skin under the scabs.

    C. Ears
    Foul odor, redness and/or discharge can be an indicator of ear infections. Very thick ears may be a hematoma or contain severe matting.

    D. Legs

    Arthritis or a prior injury will cause pain when touched or moved.

    E. Spine

    Pain in the area may be arthritic or neurological in origin. It may also be a prior injury.

    F. Nails and Pads

    The area should be checked for injuries and overgrown nails.

    G. Undercarriage

    If there is distension or hardness, you should refer immediately to the vet.

    H. Anal area

    Is there a foul discharge or any cysts apparent?

    I. Skin and Coat

    Look for lumps, bumps and warts and note their location. Are there any injuries that need immediate attention? Can you even see the skin? The coat may be matted and you don’t know what you will uncover.

    J. Temperament

    This is a good time to assess the pets’ reaction to being handled.

    Encourage your clients to continue this assessment at home to track their pet’s overall health. Problems found early stand a better chance of successful treatment. Recommend any concerns found during the assessment checked by a veterinarian and make sure any changes are noted at future grooming appointments.

    If you find any significant matting, then The Matted Pet Release comes out. It details the risks associated with the stripping process and any additional costs.

    Before they leave, have your clients initial an estimate of the groom on the Client Information Card. For any reason if the style or cost needs to change, notify your clients first. Remember, you have five means of contact on the Client Information Card.

    Your Reception Area is the heart of your business, where you get to know your two and four-legged clients. More importantly, it’s where they get to know you.