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What sets you apart?

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  • What sets you apart?

    Both as a groomer and as a shop?

    I started my business last year (we just had our one year anniversary last month) and our first year went very well.

    I am really trying to amp it up in 2010. I went today and got really cute fabric to make bandannas. I can't believe I wasn't doing this before... every shop I've ever worked in did it but for some reason it just never occured to me to use them.

    I also have a table as a 'prime vendor' that gets my name on their website, in the program, a coupon in the welcome bags, and a table in a 'prime location' at a local fundraiser for our humane society. It usually has a HUGE turn out every year, so it should be a great advertising opportunity for us.

    We show up on the first page of google when you search for grooming and/or boarding.

    I network with a few local pet sitters and groomers and we refer clients to each other.

    I use extremely high quality products (Why Itch by B3, South Barks Blueberry Facial)

    I sell the shampoo and fragrance that I use.

    Every dog recieves a free blueberry facial included with every groom. Nails and teeth are also included in the price.

    My shop (which is out of my home) is calm, quiet, and clean. The colors are relaxing and it's got a very peaceful feel.

    I only take one dog at time and spend a lot of time chatting with the owners (the ones that want to chat anyway) and really get to know my clients. I always get compliments on the way I run my business, the personal service, and the quality of my work. They don't always rebook on the spot (maybe 25% do) but they always come back. I don't have a hard time keeping clients at all, it's just reaching them and getting them to give me a shot.

    So what am I missing? I feel that there is more I can be doing. What do you do that sets you apart from other groomers, and your shop apart from other shops?
    Last edited by flyinfur; 02-13-10, 09:03 PM.

  • #2
    I pride myself on being dependable

    I give very caring customer service and follow up calls to see if particular dogs skin is getting better. Example: The bull dog with the deep folds that were sore and oozie from lack of care by owner. I ask about the food they eat, many things. I sit down on the floor with some to get aquainted too. I study correct patterns, watch every dog show I can and I come here and read everything, just about. If I am going to be a bit late (15-30 mins) I always call. I return calls promptly. I even return calls out of my area to tell those I don't go there. I use good products, and I make every effort to trim the way the client invisions, if possible. I Never shave a dog down without advising the owner it is the only alternative. I also thank my clients and tell them I love their dogs and appreciate them. Am I forgetting anything?

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    • #3
      Sounds to me like you've got the right idea.

      The shop I'm in does one dog (or 2/3 from same family) at a time. I also get dogs in and out as quick as possible - I'd say about 80% of the dogs I groom get in and out in about an hour - yet still keep quality up and do a very good job. My clients are soooo happy not to have to leave their dogs long.

      I hand dry everything, no cage dryers. I worked for vets for 10 years and the knowledge from working there has helped a lot. My clients love it that I can explain things to them in laymans terms. I always ask if there is anything I need to know about medically - surgeries, knee or hip problems and so on. I think a lot of groomers (at least in my area) don't even ask.

      Communication is key so I meet every client and go over the cut instead of having a receptionist (my boss actually lol) do the check in.

      Getting the dogs squeaky clean is an issue too, I have many clients who are simply impressed because their dogs are actually clean.

      Of course, quality work is important. That said, building an actual relationship with a client helps too. When I say this realize I'm being genuine with my clients, but when you have a good relationship and they like YOU if you have a bad day and miss something (happens to all of us) they are far more forgiving.

      Reschedules are very very important. I try to get everyone to make their next appointment. Think I'm probably up to just over half do and some make a years worth at a time. When you think about it if they don't do this, then think to call, then put it off a week, wait a week to get in..you can easily gain at least 2 more grooms from one dog each year. Add that up and it's a lot.

      I also try to avoid total shave downs. A golden that comes in every 4-6 weeks for a regular groom, even with a comb clip, brings in more money over a year than one that comes in 2-3 times for a total shave down.

      whew.

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      • #4
        a g?

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        • #5
          Someone else just posted this same question a day before you did. Might want to scroll down the forum a bit and check it out.

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          • #6
            OMGarsh! I don't do any of that nice and professional stuff...and still have days where I have to beat them away with a broom.

            I think I should look inward to be able to answer the question...but that is sooo time consuming and confusing.

            I think clients only come to me because it puts their entire lives into better perspective.

            Everything here is drama, drama, drama,.... and debacle.

            Oh,.... I do feel like I know my way around a pair of clippers, so maybe that's the saving grace?
            Often it's not what you say, but how you say it.

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