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  • No more new clients?

    Hi everyone,
    I was wondering how many of you no longer take new clients? When did you realize it was time? I am getting booked ahead by quite a few weeks and I am afraid of not being able to keep up with my returning clients. The last thing I want to happen is to wake up one morning and realized I am over worked! In this business it can really drag ya down. I want to always love what I do. I know how many dogs I can do a week to be financally happy and not "killing myself" everyday! Any thoughts?

  • #2
    I haven't taken any new clients for almost 2 yrs. Most-about 95%-of my clients pre-book, so many weeks are full. I like to keep a little wiggle room open if someone has to cancel so I have a place to put them. Not much wiggle room now, and none this month. I don't want to take on a new client and then tell them I don't have room for them at the Holidays when everyone wants to come in. I'm just a small home shop. If all of your clients pre-book, it doesn't take many to keep you busy. Congrats on your success!
    Old groomers never die, they just go at a slower clip.

    Groom on!!!

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    • #3
      We did this a couple of summers ago but now are taking new dogs again. We stopped taking in large dogs and have dismissed most of our current large dogs. Due to several medical conditions lifting heavy dogs just isn't feasable anymore so that left room to accept more smaller ones.

      We made the decision to stop taking new dogs when we were booked out over a month and our current clients were getting frustrated when they had a hard time rebooking.

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      • #4
        I stopped when I was about 4 weeks solid backed out. I'm still not taking any new groom dogs but I always take new bath only dogs...dogs my bather can do. I do keep a list of people that want to be called incase they still want to come when I take new clients and as soon as my other groomer gets faster we will probably take about 20 new people in Jan.

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        • #5
          I guess I'm a glutton for punishment............I never refuse a new client and somehow find room for them ( I know I take care of them better than anyone else would and don't want them to go thru any traumatic experience)..just my opinion

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Allan View Post
            I guess I'm a glutton for punishment............I never refuse a new client and somehow find room for them ( I know I take care of them better than anyone else would and don't want them to go thru any traumatic experience)..just my opinion
            We're the same way in our shop. Of course, we're bad about asking clients about pre-booking their next appointment. I'm sure if we started doing that, we'd be booked out several weeks in advance. It's just so hard to say no when someone calls with a sob story about their poor dog in desperate need of a hair cut. We'll squeeze them in if they don't mind waiting til super late to pick them up.

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            • #7
              I have a message that says I am only taking on new clients that have been referred.
              I will always have a little wiggle room to fit in a new clients, with the understanding that I may be booked out for a while.
              You will always have clients moving on and off your books. I lost 4 in the last 3 days due to either the dog or cat was put down or the client moved out of state.

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              • #8
                I've had a few dogs pass away, but I cannot physically take on any new dogs. If I do, I am booting out a regular. I don't know how you can take on new clients, Allen. It's physically impossible to do them all, are they not all "regulars?"

                Tammy in Utah
                Groomers Helper Affiliate

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                • #9
                  I usually am 6 to 8 weeks booked ahead. I stopped taking new clients for a couple of months and in that time lost a few due to death and moving. I try to only take 2 new clients a month and I'm very fussy what I take. This will probably have to stop this also. I'm just one groomer/bather/owner and love the idea of being out of my basement by 5:00 or 6:00 every night. There are those school teachers that need nights or that every other Sat.

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                  • #10
                    I guess I am very dedicated to what I do,that's why I make the time....even if they're not "regulars"

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                    • #11
                      If you religiously rebook your clients, you pretty much let your customers decide when you're no longer taking new clients. If I make an appointment and they say "we're booked for six weeks because of my regulars" I'm probably going to look elsewhere.

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                      • #12
                        When I was preg I stopped taking new clients when I hit 6 months along, I just didn't have the energy to have a new dog come in and be super difficult. I also let go of any crazy difficult dogs too.

                        people still called and had us put them on a list if we had any opening for new dogs. About 6 months later I started accepting new clients here and there but found myself VERY choosey. It actually was an awesome advertsing stratedgy. people knew we were VERy picky and new puppy owners wanted 'in', like we were exclusive

                        We still get people that tell their puppies to be good cause they really want us to be their groomer. One lady said she was so nervous about her puppies first groom like it was an audition! lol

                        I am thinking about cutting back MY hours come spring and the other groomer said she may stop taking new clients

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                        • #13
                          This is something that I have made myself sick over since I stopped taking new clients last spring. Too many of my good returning customers that have been with me since I opened started complaining about it taking so long to get in and you are completely right, this is a very physical job and you can get burnt out and if you get burnt out dogs can feel it and we also don't do a good job anymore, I'm very big on not rushing an animal, they weren't made to be rushed (unless of course they were in the wild and something was attacking them). As my accountant puts it, if you're that busy and feel like you have a comfortable amount of work and $ coming in it's ok to stop taking new customers.(He's also one of my favorite clients I'm very careful and polite when I tell people this and ask if they would like to be put on a waiting list, with the understanding that they may find someone they really like in the mean time. I'm glad that you are busy in this economy, I feel blessed as well. (Knock on wood) I'm certainly not rich in $ but I am making my bills.

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