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What makes good business practice?

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  • What makes good business practice?

    I know there are different approaches to good business practices and I'm wondering what are yours?

    Many groomers charge for add on services like tooth brushing, oatmeal shampoo, medicated or flea shampoo, etc....

    I take a different approach, I give away as much as I can. I give away flea baths, breath freshener, oatmeal baths, nail polish, combs, waterless shampoo bottles,.... whatever seems needful at the time. Maybe that sounds stupid or crazy, but the way I look at it, I'm building goodwill... and a reputation for "above and beyond" the call. Does that sound like bad business practice? I actually love doing it. I love giving a new comb to a pet owner who needs encouragement and education on maintaining their pooch. Or a free flea bath for the poor old mastiff who's elderly owner just wants to help the poor dog.

    So what do you do that's "good business"?
    A Light exists in Spring, Not present on the Year, At any other period -- When March is scarcely here...~~ Emily Dickensen~~

  • #2
    I like giving too. But I don't think I'd go as far as giving away combs or doing free tooth brushing. I don't charge extra for special shampoos, I like having it available for those who need it and for me its more about the dog anyways and they don't cost me THAT much more. I do offer above and beyond for some clients if I see the need. I have many elderly neighbours who don't drive or can't walk too well and will offer to pick up or drop off. They always tip me well for my trouble but I don't expect them to and that isn't why I do it. I'm even helping a 72 year old client who has become a friend actually paint her kitchen in May!! I go above and beyond in making personlized bows with dog's initials or names on them, I know their favourite colours and make sure they go home with new bows that I know will excite them (the owners not the dogs lol) I keep an assortment of different styles of bandanas so I can assess their personalities and take a guess at what they'll like the most. I thankfully had some skull and cross bones after a lady asked me jokingly if I could make him look like a biker and not a wussy pants, lol. She was glad her dog didn't look "gay", her words, not mine! LOL.

    Giving is good and if that makes you feel good then do it. It might not be profitable monetarily or good business practice but it sounds like its profitable to you in other ways.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by CutiePiesBySarah View Post
      Giving is good and if that makes you feel good then do it. It might not be profitable monetarily or good business practice but it sounds like its profitable to you in other ways.
      Actually, the cost of a comb or waterless shampoo is next to nothing compared with gaining a client because people like your reputable business.
      A Light exists in Spring, Not present on the Year, At any other period -- When March is scarcely here...~~ Emily Dickensen~~

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      • #4
        I don't see anything wrong with it if that helps build up your reputation and gain more clients. It probably shows who you are and that you care so I am sure your clients will know that as well. I don't really charge any extra accept teeth brushing and sometime de shedding service.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by MydogMissy View Post
          Actually, the cost of a comb or waterless shampoo is next to nothing compared with gaining a client because people like your reputable business.
          Well I'm not hurting with gaining clients or people seeing im a reputable business so....all I can say is whatever floats your boat lady. I thought I was being nice but your reply seemed a bit how should I say it, not nice.

          Give away whatever you want, like I said. A lot of groomers make a profit off selling grooming supplies, because thats our EXACT BUSINESS. Grooming. DUH

          Lots of groomers go above and beyond, be it grooming a rescue for nothing or working yourself overtime to keep your clients happy.

          I've given things like extra bath wipes if a cat tears up a lot or qwik stop if an owner wants to try clipping their own dogs nails but I'm not gonna keep inventory on grooming equipment or supplies to keep my customers.

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          • #6
            I will give out a free comb to people after I have groomed their dog at least 3-4 times. If it someone who I know doesn't have a lot of funds but loves their dog and tries their best to care for it like lower income or elderly I will give them a comb on the first visit to help them keep the dog maintained and sometimes will pass out the free samples of detangler and shampoos I get from attending the shows.

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            • #7
              It really all boils down to the bottom line. If you're making more money from giving freebies, it's good business. If it's costing you, it's not.

              We all live in different markets. What works in one area may not work in another. You just have to try things out and see how it goes.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by CutiePiesBySarah View Post
                Well I'm not hurting with gaining clients or people seeing im a reputable business so....all I can say is whatever floats your boat lady. I thought I was being nice but your reply seemed a bit how should I say it, not nice.
                I'd say your response was not nice.

                I didn't say anything was wrong about how you do business. I only pointed out a $5 comb isn't a huge advertising investment.
                A Light exists in Spring, Not present on the Year, At any other period -- When March is scarcely here...~~ Emily Dickensen~~

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Helly View Post
                  We all live in different markets. What works in one area may not work in another. You just have to try things out and see how it goes.
                  True. In my area special shampoos, tooth brushing (which seems pointless anyway) don't really sell as an add on. In fact, my clients are interested in the convenience factor more than add ons. I guess for me, it came down to providing great service and education for my clients as an "add on". It would be a waste of my time ~to spend the time~ selling add ons... not enough money in it per client. I guess because I'm mobile mine isn't a volume business.
                  A Light exists in Spring, Not present on the Year, At any other period -- When March is scarcely here...~~ Emily Dickensen~~

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                  • #10
                    I'm going to change directions a bit here, but I'd like to discuss the different approaches of pricing piece meal vs all inclusive. The salons I've worked at, all would charge extra for nail filing, tooth brushing and specialty shampoos. Some charged extra for anal glands. I like the freedom I have with all inclusive pricing. If I want to use a special shampoo that I think will work better than my general purpose, I don't have to ask the owner if they want to pay extra. I don't have to worry about clients complaining about sharp nails because everyone gets nail grinding and I worry less about a dog with sensitive skin possibly scratching themselves open with freshly cut nails. I don't charge extra for anals but I tell my clients they have to ask for it as I don't do it automatically. It's also easier on me and I think makes people feel they are getting more for their money, even though I am not cheap by any means. And after every groom most dogs get a bandana or bow and then pick a toy from my toy bin. That is a huge hit. Costs me about $1 per dog but it's VERY much remembered! I have given some samples of things away or asked some clients to be my guinea pigs and given them free products to try for me so they can report back. For the grooming tools, no I don't give those away because, well, I don't want to sound all snobby and pretentious, but I only recommend high end combs and brushes to my clients and I can't afford to be giving away $35 combs and $40 brushes.
                    I DO tend to give away grooming equipment to other groomers though LOL. At least when I worked in a salon, especially if I was trianing someone. I have very few shears because I give them away. I find my favorites and stick with those. I tend to buy new things and try it out, and if it doesn't replace a favorite shear it gets given to someone. That's why I have perhaps three curves, two straights and 3 thinners and then my new chunkers. I've given away or even traded C-mons, gators, Osters, Wolffs, Anvils, and Airius Eickert.
                    What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

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                    • #11
                      [QUOTE=mylady;407738] For the grooming tools, no I don't give those away because, well, I don't want to sound all snobby and pretentious, but I only recommend high end combs and brushes to my clients and I can't afford to be giving away $35 combs and $40 brushes.
                      IQUOTE]

                      I recommend the high end combs but there aren't tons of people who can afford them or are willing to pay for them most people I ask don't even know the tools they or "thier kids whose job it is to brush the dog" are using so I figure a $5 greyhound is better than no greyhound comb to get the tangles out.
                      Last edited by Dog Daze; 04-20-10, 02:54 PM.

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                      • #12
                        CutiepiesbySarah, tell them that "gay" look is $20 extra!
                        "We are all ignorant--we merely have different areas of specialization."~Anonymous
                        People, PLEASE..It's ONLY a website!~Me

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                        • #13
                          [QUOTE=Dog Daze;407768]
                          Originally posted by mylady View Post
                          For the grooming tools, no I don't give those away because, well, I don't want to sound all snobby and pretentious, but I only recommend high end combs and brushes to my clients and I can't afford to be giving away $35 combs and $40 brushes.
                          IQUOTE]

                          I recommend the high end combs but there aren't tons of people who can afford them or are willing to pay for them most people I ask don't even know the tools they or "thier kids whose job it is to brush the dog" are using so I figure a $5 greyhound is better than no greyhound comb to get the tangles out.
                          I don't know if you are mobile as well, and I totally understand where you are coming from. I just find with my mobile clients most only want the best for their pets. If money is a concern I will try to find them a middle of the road kind of thing. I do find that the clients in my mobile are different from the clients I serviced in the salon.
                          What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

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                          • #14
                            [QUOTE=mylady;407778]
                            Originally posted by Dog Daze View Post

                            I don't know if you are mobile as well, and I totally understand where you are coming from. I just find with my mobile clients most only want the best for their pets. If money is a concern I will try to find them a middle of the road kind of thing. I do find that the clients in my mobile are different from the clients I serviced in the salon.
                            I do housecall so fpr some it's not cheap but they still look like How Much when I try to tell them of the les poochs or mars flexi brushes that I love and how much they cost.


                            I do some lower priced housecalls for some elderly/low income people on a case by case basis who cant afford to spend lots on thier pets but love them dearly. These are the ones I give combs and detangler and such too as I know they wont go out and buy it. But as I don't have a tax certificate cant sell retail as of yet for the ones that can afford it I'll give them a catalog and circle or show them what they can order.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mylady View Post
                              And after every groom most dogs get a bandana or bow and then pick a toy from my toy bin. That is a huge hit. Costs me about $1 per dog but it's VERY much remembered!
                              Would you be willing to share what sorts of things you keep in your toy bin? I love that idea - its like after the kids go to the dentist - they love getting to pick a little prize for being good. I bet owners keep coming back because you're so thoughtful! Thanks!

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