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Manager Trying to cut our commission Need Help

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  • Manager Trying to cut our commission Need Help

    I work at a nice grooming salon/pet boutique and have been here for a year I work with 3 other groomers and we get about 20 dogs a day. I average about 8-10 dogs a day and make anywhere from $120-$150 a day some days are crazer or slower than others but for the most part im very happy with where i work. Our commission is 50% we have a bather and there is someone working in front as a cashier for the boutique and grooming. im an employee not a Independent contractor. Even though business is pretty good our manager wants to cut our commission rates to 40% to make more money for the business to help pay the other hourly employees wages "bather,Cashier". Is this legal? I didnt sign any contract when i started working there and to now there's never been a problem with money or hours or days as I'm willing to work whenever. Heck I even groom a few dogs here and there at no charge as the manager brings dogs in from a shelter on occasion. Im just lost at what to do as it's totally unfair as we all work hard and do a great job and have 5-25 years experience grooming on the staff.

    any advise would be helpful.

    Thank you

  • #2
    Shop can't make it

    If a shop owner has to pay %50 plus taxes AND a bather AND a office worker And the rent And the supplys with things only costing more Every one will fail. Take the drop and have her slowly raise the price of the groom. I don't know about the rest you you shop owners but 50% would kill me. This business needs to re work the pay scale.
    I been thinking alot about this since I want to open another shop. Here's what I had in mind.
    First 6 dogs ( anyone should do at least 6) get XX per hour more than 6 dogs get XX per hour plus a %. Now hourly can be $8 to $16 depending on skill and speed Percent can also range from 5% to 15% (remember this is above the hourly) Then all make money when money is to be made. (shop and groomers)
    She may be up for this idea??


    • #3
      50 percent and you get a bather? The business is probably losing money. The way I used to do it was to pay the groomers a bit less per dog if they wanted to use the bather. Some did, some didn't. Now, the bather bathes MY dogs, the groomer bathes her own.

      Stephen: Agreed, it is very typical that 50% means you do a pet start to finish. If the commission groomer doesn't do the bath and dry, the business is reimbursed from the commission on a set amount for simplicity. It's easy to figure an AVERAGE unit price to apply in all circumstances and not get complicated. If the business' typical skilled bather does an average of 12 baths in 8 hours, that's 40 minutes per pet. The bather is paid say $10 an hour gross wage, or $6.66 for 40 minutes, or for simplicity sake say $6.75. The business owner keeping it simple would pay 50% commission and then deduct $6.75 for that grooming. Remember the owner is still paying overhead, supplies and employment taxes on the bathers' work. It's fair.


      • #4

        oh and just to update the boutique part of the shop which is the size of a normal strip mall pet store gathers 60% of the business as a whole so the casher is needed to run the rest of the shop. we sell tons of dog/cat food , toys, clothes , meds, everything and anything. the cashier also books our apointments but is mainly in charge of the retail section of the store. this also isn't a little fly by night or mom and pop place as our gross is over 15k+ per month and is very profitable.

        The last grooming shop i worked for before i moved i made 50% as well and we didn't tip the bather out we had 10 groomers and we were in by 8 and done by 2 or so. I got about 7 dogs a day and our rates were lower so im happy to be getting 8-10 a day at higher end rates ( did 15 dogs the other day).

        thank you for your idea I'll have to see what others think of it, I think our manager is just being greedy esp when business and profits are going up.

        thank you for all your input on this


        • #5
          I am not sure about legal, but I would never pay that for a groomer anyway. I pay salary. They should, if they need to raise income of the shop, raise PRICES not cut pay. A 20% increase would be $2 per $10 of a groom. SO a $5 price increase per dog would likely cover what they want to do. At 10 dogs per day and an increase of $5 per dog, its $50 per groomer, and if there's 3 of you, then that makes $150 and after commission $75. That should be enough to offset the costs they are looking to offset. HOWEVER we are back to the original concept of no one can pay that and make it unless they groom too!
          <a href="" target="_blank">My Blog</a> The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. –Mark Twain


          • #6
            Sorry I am a groomer with staff and I would NEVER do that...

            Check you labor laws if it is legal or not.

            I have groomers that make 50%, I have one that makes 75% for doing cats, I have retail that does mediocre, I have rent and all the fun bills that come with the shop and I still make money.

            But I keep my overhead in check, would love a bigger place BUT we cannot afford the rent, so we stick with a smaller place.


            • #7
              Just to get a clear picture the grooming part of our shop averages around $xxx gross a day so the shop is taking in $xxx per day profit before taxes, on average. The monthly lease for our store is $xxxxx a month and from my time book keeping for the shop clears a profit of around xxxx per month after everything has been paid including saleries and commissions so it's not like they are bearly getting by it's not like we get vacation pay or benefits of any kind so what we make is what we make. Which makes this even more of a gut punch as through all of our hard work and good customer service, reviews and referals our business on our grooming has almost doubled since the start of 2009. I really love working there but it hurts to have someone reward you for doing a good job by wanting to pay you 20% less. The other shops in our city all pay 50% comm some a little higher but they may not be in as good of location. Trust me in our economy im thankful to have a job and to be able to pay my bills and my heart goes out to those who are in hard time, but that being said im at a loss of what to do.


              • #8
                What other shops in your area do has no bearing on this discussion. Payroll and expenses are going to vary from one shop to another.

                You don't indicate if the manager is also the owner of the shop. So, with that, I wonder who is really making the decisions.

                I haven't done the books for that shop, but I am just not buying your numbers. It isn't the monthly gross that matters. It's the net. How much is made after all of the expenses, insurance, rent, taxes, payroll, etc. You indicate $xxx gross a day with an average of 20 dogs a day. So, that makes for an average groom price of $35. Surely that does not also include the tons of food/retail you mention. You say that with that $xxx gross, the shop is making $xxx profit. That doesn't even make sense that they could even possibly be making that much profit on only $xxx gross a day while paying their groomers 50% plus bathers, cashier, retail, food, and expenses out of their half.

                I look at your initial figures of 4 groomers for an average of 20 dogs a day, plus bather and a cashier, and that is a business with too many employees. If you are averaging 8-10 dogs a day, why do they then have 3 groomers to do the other 10-12 dogs?

                At one point you mention beign reduced from 50% to 40%, and at another you indicate a 20% pay cut. Now, regardless of the numbers, I would seriously be upset about a 10-20% pay cut after working hard for a company. If they are lowering your percentage but also increasing prices to the point that you come out the same, then that may be fair, but that doesn't sound like that is what they are doing. I would seriously be looking for a new job as this action would indicate to me a business that is having some serious difficulties maintaining the staff they currently have employed. You may be the lucky one that gets to stay, and if you are doing 8-10 dogs a day, you are sound like you are their most productive employee. That may make you a keeper, or that may make you a target because they pay you the most. Hard to say, but it just doesn't sound like a healthy business.


                • #9
                  I'm suprised at the # of people who think 50% is too much to pay. When I owned my salon I paid that and one other groomer made 60%. They paid the bathers. We had no trouble running a profitable business. I would not work for salary, just me and not knocking anyone who does that... but I have earned a lot of money over the years grooming... for myself and for employers. I definatly would not be turning out that many dogs a day and then take a pay cut. Sounds like they need to adjust their prices. JMO


                  • #10
                    It is the with the bather part that kills the shop. I didn't realize it, but when I finally figured out I could work 12-14 hour days 6 months prego 5-7 days a week and still possibly not pay the bills as an owner if I bought a cheeseburger (talk about hungry tired prego gal), I kind of figured it out. I was more than fair, offered hourly or commission minus 5.00 a dog who was bathed and fluffed. A few groomers tried the bathing their own dog thing, but went back to the bather. Our bathers rocked. I was awful generous with the 5.00 thing, but in reality it did help offset alot.


                    • #11
                      Salary plus bonuses PLUS a receptionist PLUS a bather is a great deal for everyone IMO. If the salary is good, then there is never any worry about slow times or weeks. You always know what you are getting paid and the boss knows what their expenses are.

                      Always has worked well for me.

                      IF you are taking taxes out and paying in your half, AND paying a bather and paying a receptionist, and not grooming yourself 50% is NOT doable. Well, not unless you have a ridiculously low overhead. You end up with less than 20% after other expenses.

                      NOW if you have 3 or 4 groomers doing that you might be ok, but one or two, no way. Do the math.

                      $xxx day minus 50% is $xx. Then deduct expenses, which in my case are $75 a day. Then deduct the pay for the other two employees at $10 an hour and you are at $115 and that does not include taxes! then add in the payroll taxes owners pay on employees and taxes oon their own personal income, and unless the owner grooms they are making MAYBE $xx a day, if that. How is that workable?

                      ALso, you cannot base the profitability of a business on gross, you have to look at net, and even with a lot of income from retail, the profit margin is lower than you think.

                      If you truly think they are trying to rip you off, open your own shop. You will be surpised. It is not all "for the taking of the owner".

                      The new tax laws coming up on the docket at the senate and house will make it harder to afford to pay people a fair living wage if they are approved. You will see more and more shops go under and more and more people cutting pay cuts to offset the costs of the taxes. Be prepared.
                      <a href="" target="_blank">My Blog</a> The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. –Mark Twain


                      • #12
                        So you are the groomer and used to be the bookkeeper? The bottom line is you have a here..or not. The shop owner can keep as much money as they want. I agree that they employ too many groomers for the number of dogs groomed. If you average 8-10 daily..the other groomers are splitting 10 or less? Are they planning on doing a price increase? Their prices are really low, so maybe that is the plan.

                        Since you have been privy to the owners financial situation as their bookkeeper, I hope you haven't been sharing any of this information with your co-workers.


                        • #13
                          I think that if you are an IC 50% is fair. But I don't believe most hired as IC'S are true IC. This leaves the door open for some real problems with the lovely people at the IRS. I have paid high commissions and have had as many as 4 groomers and two bathers at one time. I have since started to rethink my employee situation cause my accountant is SCREAMING AT ME! haha, so back to square one. I do not hire IC'S so I pay employee taxes, W/C, rent, supplies, maintence, utilities and even buy the pizza on the weekends. I know I didn't know all that went into running a shop when I opened mine but I am finding out the hard way. Oh, and btw, dog food has very little profit if it's worth feeding your dog.


                          • #14
                            Guys, I can understand what you are saying about 50% not being profitable for a business owner...but to all of a sudden cut commission by 10%? I would be pretty upset too. If that wasn't affordable the owner should have hired at 40% in the first place...not hire someone and then cut their pay that drastically. It seems like it would make more sense to increase prices.
                            Ninja, I know you may have no choice other than to accept that or go somewhere else...but it still really sucks. Good luck in whatever you decide to do!
                            Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job. ~Franklin P. Jones


                            • #15
                              50% with a bather and receptionist is a great deal. You are probably lucky you got that in the first place. I can understand why you would not like to get cut to 40%, or is it 30% like you stated in the other part of your post? The owner of the business is entitled to make however much they want. They are the ones with all he risk, overhead, and the reputation on the line. I don't really understand the why how much an owner "makes, or how much you THINK they make" has anything to do with you. Where is Chuck on this one, he is really good at responding to these posts. Better yet, go look at some other threads on this matter and you will find it.
                              What does a dog do on it's day off?