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When to hire another groomer

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  • When to hire another groomer

    So the shop has been open 5 1/2 mos almost and Ive been thinking I may need another groomer. I already have a bather and she is great, BUT today I got 9 calls from potential new clients for a sat. appt. I was booked so couldnt take them.....some made an appt for next week but some were going to try to get in elsewhere. I stay pretty booked during the week.......my slowest day is Tues. for some reason. However Thurs/Fri/Sat I am always feeling like I am turning dogs away.....

    I was thinking of hiring a PT groomer for Fri & Sat. but am SO scared to do so! I am so picky, and very particular about how the dogs look when they go home. I also love all the clients I have acquired, and dont want anyone who is not good w/them either. How hard is it to find a groomer who has the skills to groom, has great work ethics (on time, doesnt call in all the time, etc), Is a people person AND is great w/the dogs......LOL

    I am just REALLY nervous so I thought I would post on here! So.....at what point did you shop owners hire groomer #2?

  • #2
    Well my shop isnt even open yet and Im already plotting out how Im going to find another groomer, simply because when I was grooming at the vet clinic before I decided to go it on my own, I was booked 10 grooms a day for at least a week in advance. I was almost to the point of not taking any new clients on.
    I am, like you, very picky about who Im going to hire so I have already started contacting schools that are near by (neighboring states) that have great reputations.
    I have mapped out my requirements, good people skills, good attendance record at school, willing to learn ect... and then I put together a compensation plan (relocation assistance, commision, paid vacation based on annual salary, health insurance with a % paid by me after a certain time with the company,paid continuing education ect) that I hope will lure a great student to my great small but growing college town here in Georgia!
    Good luck with finding your next groomer!
    Tammy

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    • #3
      Have you ever thought about opening on Sun and taking 2 weekdays off? Thsi is what we do we tka e about 1 weekend a month off depeding on what we need to do. We stay open late on Fri(start later too) and Fri-Sun seem to be our busiest days anymore.

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      • #4
        Where I live Church is very important, Most of the local businesses are not open on Sundays, and I really think I would be looked down upon if I did it. I am in a rural small town in the south. Plus, I have 3 small kids, one of which is special needs - I have to work saturdays so I definitely dont want to work both weekend days. My hubby works 7 days a week most of the time unfortunately....

        I know I am going to have to hire another groomer soon......I am just SO nervous to do it. I have heard so many horror stories!!!!! Anyone on this list wanna come and enjoy warm weather? LOL How come all groomers cant be as cool as we are? And so into continuing education? <sigh>

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        • #5
          How about hiring another bather and move your current bather up to assistant groomer? Teach her to do rough-ins, and all you'd have to do is scissor, feet and faces.

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          • #6
            Petstylist, sounds like you have everything under control and very well thought out too.

            As far as hiring another groomer with all those great qualifications-good luck! They are extremely rare and impossible to find-at least that has been my experience. If you have a school near-by, maybe a good up and comer would be an idea. The newbie could start as an assistant to you and the bather-maybe do the simple strips to start-and work her way up to full groomer. Then you can show her exactly what you want and how. Good luck and congrats on your flourishing biz!
            Old groomers never die, they just go at a slower clip.

            Groom on!!!

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            • #7
              Personally--unless you are booking 4-6 weeks in advance you are not that booked up. People that want in only today or tomorrow are typically not the type of clients that will pre-book next time and pre-books are where the money is. If they are too impatient to wait for a good groomer then I don't need them. In addition--you need to be sure you will have enough dogs to keep your employee busy during the "slow" periods too. If you have to start cutting back hours every January and September you won't keep a good employee around very long. Pre-booking is the way to solve this--there won't be any slow periods if you know you're booked out 4-6 weeks every month of the year. Plus, not only would it be good to be booked out farther there are other things to consider:
              Money for workers comp insurance and taxes you have to pay in
              Training time and the fact that you will probably also groom less dogs during that time--do you feel qualified to train--I know some great groomers that just can't train people
              Extra bookkeeping for you
              Finding a decent groomer that will stick around longer that just the training period can be tricky
              Cash for extra consumables and bigger water, electrical, etc bills
              Get the books From Problems to Profits and Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey and write up a plan to help you see when the time it right to add someone. Good luck.

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              • #8
                Helly, that was my whole plan. Unfortunately I have tried everything and she is just not catching on to simple things like nail trims, etc. She does excellent at bathing, but she takes a very long time! She is on time everyday and is a pleasure to work with....my hopes were to train her how to groom. I am so bummed out that she isnt picking up on things. I go over things with her again and again. I am very positive and complimentary as to not discourage her. I havent told her about my frustrations, only y'all on the board. I know that she knows that she isnt picking up on things because she has apologized to me. I just tell her we're not givin up!

                Actually, my hubby was off the past few days and spent time at the shop. Well....he thinks he is a groomer, and asked if he could bathe & dry one of my Goldens. He did SUCH a good job! I looked over, that dog was 100% dry and sparklin clean - and he was doing her nails.........I was impressed! He has watched me groom over our years together but if he ever lost his job, I would be very tempted to train him! LOL........

                There are no schools by me, so I dont even know how much luck I will have finding a groomer that will fit my standards.....

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by CountryCanines View Post
                  Actually, my hubby was off the past few days and spent time at the shop. Well....he thinks he is a groomer, and asked if he could bathe & dry one of my Goldens. He did SUCH a good job! I looked over, that dog was 100% dry and sparklin clean - and he was doing her nails.........I was impressed! He has watched me groom over our years together but if he ever lost his job, I would be very tempted to train him! LOL........
                  That's too funny! My boss told me that in the past when we didn't have as many people working at the shop if someone called in sick she would have her husband come in an help bathe! She said it was just the funniest thing to watch!
                  Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job. ~Franklin P. Jones

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                  • #10
                    Good communication about expectations

                    Maybe you could try like you said just hiring someone part-time. Friday and Saturday and telling them that that you need someone for the busy season and it may or may not turn into a permanent situation.

                    Another option is you can do like a "real business" and draw up a contract with an application that specifies a probationary period in which the employee will monitored and either party can end the relationship no questions asked within this time.

                    I have found in the shop I just left since it was so small, I had no application or interview where we discussed expectations and such. I did two dogs, she said good we discussed what hours I could work, rate of pay and that I would help clean b4 I left end of story.

                    There was a serious lack of communication and It turned out that although she didn't want to be bothered to train anyone or groom herself anymore that she hired a rookie who had a lot to learn.

                    She became angry that I wasn't immediately self-sufficient and it was followed by a lot of tension and stress. So my point is make sure you hire someone that meets your needs and communicate with them "exactly" what you expect.

                    Tell the new employee you need to double check all dogs for X amount of time (if they've been grooming a while) to make sure they are the way you/your customers like them.

                    The first shop I worked at we all checked each others dogs for things we may have missed.

                    If it just truly isn't the right match then tell them in those words.

                    It has been my experience that a lot of what you called horror stories are people who have just failed to communicate properly.

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