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adding grooming dept to store...need advice

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  • adding grooming dept to store...need advice


    I am a new member here so bear with me. I know very little about grooming myself. I actually own a small chain of pet stores in the south. We currently have all of the supplies you could imagine as well as a nice selection of fish, reptiles, birds, and small critters. We are 100% RETAIL and very successful (thank goodness) at it. NOW in my newest store I am adding a "self serve pet wash" area and an adjoining room for a professional groomer. I have bought top of the line equipment for both areas. Hydraulic Petlift tables, hydro-surge systems for the 3 (Petlift; 2 regular, 1 large dog; all stainless)tubs which are located in the pet wash area. This is where the groomer will bathe too as well as the public. Each tub also has its own HV dryer built into the wall. I will provide shampoos and towels (i've contracted alinen service for 100 a week), ear cleaner, etc.

    Now I need someone to run and oversee this department as well as be my groomer, a "salon manager" (I don't care for that term) if you will. I understand I may need a bather and possibly in the future an appointment setter, these associates will be managed and trained by the "Salon Manager". I quess I am looking for feedback from you who are in the field and specificly on wages. For this Salon manager I feel a base wage of $10 hr for a 40 hr week OR 50% (which ever is greater) Comm is very fair considering I am suppling the facility, advertising and major equiptment. I will have set hours for the grooming dept from 9-6 which my salon manager will be responsible for working (with an hour lunch break of course). I will have everything computerized as far a client data for easy tracking.

    I think this will add great traffic to the store as I have had alot of request for grooming. The building process will be complete in a week or so. So now I am ready to hire my salon magr. I have some applications on file for some very experienced groomers, one having 15 years experience. I just need to figure out what to offer "pay wise". I would rather just offer an hourly rate, but again am not sure what to offer ($15 hr?).

    Thank you in advance for your feedback!

  • #2
    umm well not to be rude but most groomers would not (in my part of the south anyway) work for anything less than 50% and in the major cities a experienced well trained groomer can expect to get 50 to 60% plus benefits ( health insurance, paid vacation) and most would not work for an hourly wage.



    • #3
      new shop

      It all sounds really nice! congrats! I really can't speak of what another groomer would settle in pay,,you might be surprised at what some peeps will say..but 15 hr is cheap to me...but I've been grooming for almost 30 years..ugh that sounds like a long time lol 28 in fact. Did you say the grooming room will be in the same area the public will be in using the self-serve wash? I wouldn't like that at all. Too much distractions going on.. where is this located at ..what state?


      • #4
        TN, $15 hr Cheep? Forgive my ignorance, but how much does a groomer make? If you don't mind me asking. Even a weekly/monthly figure will help me maybe come up with a fair hourly wage. What would you (any of you) consider working for hourly?


        • #5
          Congrats on the success of the pet stores. I think it depends on the area, try talking to other shop owners in your area, and see what they do. In San Diego, that's super low end, for just a bather and groomer, much less for a manager/groomer.

          Heres a note from Stephen from another post:
          Stephen Note: Just for the record, it's not for everyone of course, but I have groomers on this board making $100K a year as an employee, and quite a few business owners making twice that after expenses.


          • #6
            The commission will make your groomer want to complete more grooms in a day, hopefully all of equally good quality, especially if you are realistic and schedule some easier bath dogs in there. I don't think I would pay a full charge groomer by the hour. What if they work REALLY slow and don't finish enough dogs to pay yourself also? (Once booking full days, that is) If you plan to offer benefits, you can pay a lower commision. If you do not, then they are going to need the opportunity to pay for their own insurance, etc. If you already provide it for your employees, you could just add the grooming department's insurance to the group plan...


            • #7

              You will find groomers who will work for cheap, but keeping them is another ballgame. Then if you have them trained...they will leave and take the business with them, as been my experience 2x now. One lasted 2 years and went under lol..anyway...have them sign a contract if its allowed in Tn...most will work for 50% plus benefits..I know a groomer that worked for a vet for the last 6 years because he offered profit sharing and 401...that would be a way to keep least longer..


              • #8
                I would also not like to bathing in the area with the public, unless you don't think it will be very busy with people coming in to do their own dogs. Otherwise it sounds like a nice set up. As for the pay, for me there is no way 10$ an hour would cut it, but I guess it depends on where you're at. As for what groomers make...take on average an experenced groomer can do anywhere from 6-10+ dogs on average (sometimes in much less than 8 hours) and dogs prices range from 35-60 a dog (more of course for big hairies), and just about every groomer that isn't an owner is on 50% to 60% commision, just go from there.


                • #9
                  The pay does seem really low, but I'm up north here. Especially for a salon manager, I was offered that kind of money just as a bather. I know there's commission but with it just starting out it might be slow. I could never live on $10 an hour. Again though I'm in Jersey.


                  • #10
                    Dude For $10/hour I might, maybe, if I felt like it and was having a very good day, answer every other or every third grooming phone call. $15/hr. would get you the phones answered and a few bath dogs done & some cleaning. I'd better find a spouse to take up my slack in the wage department, too. I don't see how a Skilled Trade would accept that low a wage.

                    You want a full-charge Pet Stylist and someone who can manage at the same time. That, IMO, is worth at least $30/hr! (I can easily make that *just* grooming pets without the hassle of management.) And I assume that you want to keep this person after hire? IMO your price won't keep them for very long. A good Pet Stylist will bring in business, familarize themselves with your product lines to be able to recommend the products in your store and turn out first-rate work. Work that is a representation of your store-a walking advertisment. If it were me I'd want the best person I could find/afford and I wouldn't skimp in that department even if it meant loosing money for 3 months while waiting for the grooming department to pay it's own way. I would also respectfully suggest that you at least learn how to do bathe so you have some basic knowledge of the process and a better idea why what we do is so demanding and why we like to get paid for our hard work Good luck to your new store!!!


                    • #11
                      consider renting

                      The best groomers are entrepreneurial spirits who long to own their own businesses so if you want a good groomer I suggest renting out the space and letting the groomer design and purchase the equipment and pretty much run the entire grooming area.

                      You'll have a happy groomer who will bring in loyal clients who will in turn regularly purchase from your retail section. Don't be greedy.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by vivilee View Post
                        The best groomers are entrepreneurial spirits who long to own their own businesses so if you want a good groomer I suggest renting out the space and letting the groomer design and purchase the equipment and pretty much run the entire grooming area.
                        I couldn't disagree with you more. I think I'm a darned good groomer, I've also been a grooming manager at a major chain, and I'm not the least bit interested in owning my own business or renting space for a business. I want to groom, and I don't want the headaches that owning a business brings. I come to work each day and do my job. The owner hands me my paycheck, and I'm a happy camper. Let her worry about paying the mortgage, utility bills, building upkeep, propery taxes and the IRS.

                        I also do agree with others who have said that $10 an hour is waaaaay too low. A good grooming manager is worth his/her weight in gold! Your groomer will make or break your grooming business. At my last job, as grooming manager, I took a salon that was grossing $600 a week and in less than a year we were grossing $3,000 a week, 55% of that was my commission. So be prepared to pay a premium price for a premium groomer.

                        You should also allow your grooming manager to manage. There's nothing worse than a store owner or manager that won't back you up.


                        • #13
                          I don't know any groomers who work for hourly wages; it's all commission. And in my experience, even paying bathers hourly is problematic as everyone then works ever so sloooooowly.

                          Consider paying your groomer 50% commission and then an hourly wage on top of that to manage the salon. In my opinion, you are not going to get a decent, much less GOOD groomer to work as a manager & groomer for just 50%, and never ever ever for $10-15/hr.

                          As just a bather, I made well over $15/hr. I worked my butt off, but I brought home $600-800/week just as a bather working part time. Again though, I was not some high school kid slacking off, I was darn good, lol.


                          • #14

                            I know this probably isn't going to go over well but...I have a real problem paying commission based wages. I came from a salon that did that and it was a NIGHTMARE. You have constant arguing about who is doing the "more expensive" grooms (even if they were divided equally)and it fosters a real cut throat environment. If a groomer needed a hand nobody cared because they were busy with their dog making their money.
                            I pay people what they are worth. Start out reasonable and as they prove themselves up their pay. Hourly wages keep the shop working as a team and harmonious. If they slow down, speed them up. If someone is constantly slacking then stay on top of them and maybe they don't deserve a pay increase. I've also seen commissioned groomers only want to groom 2 dogs a day. Perhaps it was the salon I was working in, but commission based wages do nothing for me personally.


                            • #15
                              hourly pay???

                              As far as hourly pay goes I haven't made that little in quite a while, but as for commission our salon manager gets 60%, groomers get 50% and bathers get 40% of the base price, any add-ons get 50%. If I made hourly as a bather I wouldn't work my butt off to make more $$.