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How to change drop-off policy

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  • How to change drop-off policy

    I have a question for everyone. I have a home grooming shop with only myself working in it. I have a few clients that drop off in the morning on their way to work and pick up after work. Love those! But then there's the rest.... When I opened 5 years ago I let people drop off morning 7:30-8:30, one or two at 10:00 and then "afternoon" clients that drop off 12:00-1:00. I have clients picking up all times of afternoon, some even pick up late morning. This means I NEVER get lunch, no breaks, and hate answering the phone because I know it will slow me down.

    I could get more done if I could get everyone to drop off in a.m. and pick up at end of day. I now do 7-9 dogs a day, but am booked up 6-8 weeks ahead of time, so would like to do more dogs per day. I do offer express grooming for an extra $10, but most of the time I don't charge them for it. ( my fault, I know)

    My problem is this: clients that want to drop off or pick-up on THEIR lunch hours, clients say they have to get up so early to get here, they would rather have an afternoon appt. I am in a very small rural town, so many clients are coming 15-20 miles away, so they want to hang around here in my town and have me call them as soon as their pets are done.

    If I don't change something, I will go crazy, I am getting so burned out from working at a crazy pace with no breaks. I can't hire any help as in our town, a home-based business can only hire family members. How do I get my clients to switch to this new schedule and how do I notify them of it. What about the drop-offs and pick-ups on lunch hours?

    Advise please
    Lisa VanVleet, RVT

  • #2
    I personally would want to get them in and get them out asap. If you have dogs all day that means you have to take them out to potty, give them water etc. I would do it in shifts. so many in the morning say drop off is from 7-7:30 then pick up and drop off again at 12-12>30. Give them a shorter window. 30 minutes is pleanty of time.
    If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!


    • #3
      I get them in and out asap as well. One option is maybe you could have pick up drop off hours early morning, lunchtime, or right after, and then later afternoon. The morning time can be longer for bigger dogs, etc, and smaller dogs/baths can be dropped off at lunch and picked up a couple hours later at your later afternoon pickup time. That way you get a quiet time, and can get a break or work straight through. Change your answering machine to say you cannot take calls cause your grooming right now, but leave a message and you will call back asap.
      No Fur, No Paws, No Service.


      • #4
        How about picking a 30 minute period that is specifically your lunch break and notify everyone exactly that. You are human and can not work 8-9-10 hours straight and stay healthy. Maybe make it 1:00-1:30 so the lunch time drop off people can still do that but make them understand that a dog dropped off at 1:00 will wait until 1:30 (after your lunch break) to begin. No reasonable person will feel you are out of line. Notify the customers and post a sign that you are CLOSED from 1:00-1:30. They will work around it. You just have to be firm. And go hide somewhere they can't see you during that time. I know it's hard to squeeze in that lunch break. I rarely take one myself and even when I do it's maybe 10 minutes tops.