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A Lesson Learned (article)

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  • A Lesson Learned (article)

    Here is a recent article I picked up in the news. It is a classic example of a couple that is likely to go very very far with their business. My key point is all pet business people they love the pets and treat them like their own...that's great. How many groomers say they like pets better than people and prefer to work with them instead. A lot. It is however a limitation, which doesn't mean you cannot have a successful small business, but for THOUSANDS that are growing a business, it is truly a limitation, and I am so happy here we have an article that made that point briefly. Read down and near the end they were asked what lesson did they learn. Right to the point, adapt to the needs of customers. That's what From Problems to Profits said Maddie did, and all the major successful businesses do. Of course you provide good pet care, but what about client care. I have had so many stylists tell me, "The customers are lucky to have me." Well, that's the stylist ego syndrome, so many play the star, not the businessperson, and if that's how they want to play it, I have no objections. But when they come to me as a consultant and say they want a better financial performance, what can I say but change your attitude, like this couple in the article below. The clients pay you, not the pets, and they have needs too. That's what The Madson Management System was all about, client relations that bring them back again and again and send you so MANY referrals, who needs to advertise except a road sign and a modest yellow pages ad. That's all my mother did to get 6,000 regulars. Excellent to see a couple learning and growing into businesspeople that groom and care for pets, and not just groom or provide pet care. They are ASKING their clients what THEY need and providing it, all within reason of course. That's it for any service trade.

    Priority is put on pets
    Happy Tails Ranch

    Who: Steve and Christy Hall

    What it does: Provides full-service dog boarding, grooming and day care, along with a bakery

    Employees: Three. A groomer "gives our guests their fancy 'do's," Steve Hall said. A pet attendant maintains kennels and confirms proper care for the animals "to keep their tails waggin'." An attendant/ trainer oversees guest care and training services.

    Company history: Opened in November after finding a good location. Using experience in the field, Hall "made the decision to take the risk and go forward." He believed that many people wanted more "comfortable accommodations" for boarding their pets. For 10 years, he had worked "just down the road. I already know many customers that come through these doors."

    With positive feedback, Hall is "making changes as we go to better serve our customers and their guests. The business has really turned out great."

    Motivation: Trip, Hall's dog, unsettled by noisy surroundings such as normal boarding facilities

    For the future: Pickup and delivery, training and hosting events for animals

    Secret of success: "Our sincere love for all animals. We treat our customers' pets just like we would want our own to be treated."

    Lesson learned: Quickly change strategy to adapt to customer needs.

  • #2
    Thanks for sharing Stephen. It's kind of a no brainer when it comes to pleasing the customer, meaning the owner. As you said, they pay the bill and they want what they want. Of course, everything is within reason. I don't think I've received too many unreasonable requests of pet owners.

    When it comes to aesthetics, amenities, etc...the dogs aren't going to notice the pride you take in the attention to detail, customers will.

    I hope to have my own successful business modeled similarly. I'm in the research phase and every story helps so thanks again.


    • #3
      It really should be a no brainer and it is to you. But this is my 17th (OMG) year as a consultant to grooming business owners, and I would roughly estimate 75% of the clients already in business when we consulted with them, had little or no customer relations to speak of once you put aside the, "I care very well for their pet." Good, I would expect that. Now on the menu of client services, what do you offer? Usually it is very very skimpy in the grooming industry and that is mostly because so few hire a truly professional trained receptionist who can invest A LOT of time or A LITTLE time with each and every client, and The Madson Management System clearly proves that for the most part, if you set the system in order, the receptionist actually pays their way. Eyes light up at many consultations when we work on this topic 2 to 3 hours and the numbers prove...we will cover this in significant detail in the Mastering Client Relations book in the Grooming Business in a Box series in late Spring. Done right, it lets the stylists and bathers also concentrate on their work, with few distractions having to intake, outtake, answer phone, a zillion little distractions, less problems, more profit, less stress.
      Most questions regarding GroomerTALK are answered in the Board Help Talk Forum. Thanks for coming to our community a part of


      • #4
        Thank You

        I have to agree and thank you (as well as Madeline) for sharing such accurate and useful business knowledge with the grooming profession. I puchased Problems To Profits many years ago because I had wanted to switch careers and start a grooming business back then. I must admit that I have used the advice from Problems To Profits in my non-grooming businesses over the years and been quite successful thanks to much of your advice. I believe that the grooming industry is changing and beginning to realize the importance of sound business principles as well as the importance of customer service, no doubt thanks to much of the work that you have accomplised. I look forward to purchasing your new publications and implementing the strategies that you teach in my new grooming venture. BTW I will also need to purchase another Problems To Profits as well because I tend to loan them out to my business friends and never get them back. (I believe that the next one may be my fourth Problems To Profits purchased. Ha Ha) Thank you very much for sharing your grooming and business expertise. It is greatly appreciated.


        • #5
          If that check clears tomorow

          I'm going straight to barnes and Noble for that book! does it work for 1 gal business mobile? I don't need to be big, just steady fithful clients. I do bend over backwards..and bite tonge a lot. i don't want to be a slave..or pushover..just successful good groomer mobile.til retire in year or two.I have to schedule..noone else knows dogs or area to my satsifaction. Don't need receptionist. Message mach does that for me.