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  • Building up a clientele.

    Hello,

    I'm an experienced groomer who has recently moved to a new state. Finding work hasn't been as easy as I'd anticipated. Luckily I have found some work, but business is VERY slow. I need to start thinking creatively when it comes to building my name and reputation and therefore my clientele. The problem is that in my 13 years of grooming, I've always been lucky enough to work for very busy shops and have never NOT had enough work, so have never had to actively work to build a clientele.

    That's where you fine folks come in. Any ideas? Tips? Suggestions? I have to, of course, build business within the confines of the company I work for's rules, so can't offer specials or the like without their okay. But what's the best way to simply get MY name and level of skill out to the customers?

    Thank you in advance!
    Last edited by DogGeek; 01-11-10, 01:04 AM.

  • #2
    I called any vet, boarding facility, pet store in the area and asked if I could send them coupons...only had one tell me no.
    You could offer to groom one of their dogs for free or something to help get your name out there.
    Check out surrounding businesses and ask if you can leave coupons or business cards with them or again, offer to groom a dog for them.

    Hit EVERY business you can and ask away.
    ~*~*~Shawn, C.M.G.~*~*~
    Apparently common sense isn't all that common
    *~*~emipoo on egroomer*~*~*

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    • #3
      If you do not have business cards with your name on them, get them! Always have them in your pocket or on you. Maybe talk to your new employer about a referal discount or better yet a free "add on" like a facial or something like that. Always greet YOUR clients and talk to them when you release your dogs. Make sure they get to know you and your name so they can refer friends and family to you. Intorduce yourself to the local vets and take your cards. Make sure your dog looks perfect and go to a dog park or just walk in the park. Congrats on the new job! It will all fall into place.

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      • #4
        Just wanted to comment that I saw your grooming pics and you're a fabulous groomer! I just stared at your phenomenal bichon head for a minute straight. Your grooming will speak for itself!
        Bulldogs are adorable, with faces like toads that have been sat on.

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        • #5
          Moonpiepoodlz and dogspaw: Thank you for your great suggestions! I've been told I'll have business cards with my name on them by the 15th. My girlfriend's mom and aunt, who both live in the area, have already said they'd take a stack of cards to hand out and then yes, I'll pound the pavement and hit up every vet, boarding facility, and pet store I can. I'll talk to my manager tomorrow about what my limits are and aren't when it comes to offering specials/discounts to potential customers. They seem to be pretty open to promotions and the like, but I'm not sure how they'd feel about me personally offering up anything that isn't company-wide. Hmmm. We'll have to see.

          bulldogmom: Thank you so much for the great compliment! Really, I appreciate it so much. I'm quite proud of that Bichon head, I must admit.

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          • #6
            Goodness! You're worried about building up your clientele and you have that kind of talent?! I just looked at your pictures and you have nothing to worry about. Once your name's out there you'll be busy.
            ~*~*~Shawn, C.M.G.~*~*~
            Apparently common sense isn't all that common
            *~*~emipoo on egroomer*~*~*

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            • #7
              OH forgot to say I've been grooming just about 20 years and can't even get a Bichon head to look nearly that nice!
              I'm jealous......
              ~*~*~Shawn, C.M.G.~*~*~
              Apparently common sense isn't all that common
              *~*~emipoo on egroomer*~*~*

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              • #8
                *BLUSH*

                Wow. Thank you so much for the kind words!

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                • #9
                  You just told my story.. I opened in September.

                  I did all sorts of things..

                  first I put out $5 off coupons EVERYWHERE` Including door to door... I printed 3 to a page using astro bright paper. $5 off ANY service.. and I put on there that nail trims start at $5 so it was a free nail trim. Believe it or not quite a few free nail trims tipped $5 anyhow and told friends about my place.. I have gotten tons of these back.

                  I also made up 10 $25 gift certificates. and handed them out to key business'. Once I knew would give referrals.. All the vets here have a "groomer" so that was out of the question..But hair salons, realtors, flower shops etc. I told them they could use it themselves for give as a gift to a best customer..

                  I also made up some very nice brochures and business cards and posted them on bulletin boards.. I even taped a few cards to the dog food bags at the grocery store.

                  I posted on local chat boards.. topix, etc about grand opening events and new promo's

                  I put a raffle box in a local non profit thrift store that benefits animals.. it raises $ for the store and gets my name out there.

                  I posted pics of my grooming in print ads.. words get missed.. pics get attention

                  I have a website.. I also have a facebook page and pay for advertising.. you can set your prices with them and your area.. it only pops up for the locals who are not already fans and I pay about $7-10 a week.

                  Just recently I made up some cute magnets ( I am kinda crafty) using scrapbook paper etc. They are red and yellow paper and very eye catching. I leave a few here a few there.

                  I also got some small ziplock bags. just big enough for a dog bone.. slipped in a small piece of paper with my logo, phone/addy and 10% off. I made 100 of those and leave them here and there as I make my rounds.. keep a few in my coat pocket for when I bump into someone walking their dog..

                  Gosh I know I have done more.. I just cant think of it..

                  I hope this helps!

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                  • #10
                    Wow, that's impressive! You really did your legwork. You have given me sone fantastic ideas so thank you for thd reply! I really like the idea of a little treat bag with coupons inside. Also the raffle idea! I'll have to talk to my manager and see if they'd be willing to print me up some coupons. Thanks again!!

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