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I think I "sabotaged" my own business--long

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  • I think I "sabotaged" my own business--long

    I'm now into my third week of grooming out of my home and doing okay.
    Monday I had 2 american eskimos come in for grooming; regular clients in every 7 weeks for the last 5 years. I had sent her a relocation notice letting her know my new location with her next grooming date on it.
    Well, when I called to confirm the appt. she told me that she was actually in the process of looking for a new groomer when she got my notice that I had relocated and my ex was no longer grooming with me. Why? My ex has been grooming the dogs the last year and she said the last two times they came in, she got them back not looking much better than when she brought them in (I wasn't there on those days). I always prepare myself for things to not be as bad as what I've been told but this time I was simply appalled at what I found.
    Both dogs had only been "top layer" brushed with undercoat pretty packed in. Now I know we're getting into some seasonal coat changes but this was no seasonal undercoat! The pads weren't scooped out, we have always trimmed up the rear end, and the male had mats in front of his penis that were tight onto the skin. It took me over an hour to get him all brushed out: 90 minutes total to get him finished. I didn't charge her any extra for the extra work and thanked her profusely for giving me another chance. I managed to save this client to the list
    Yesterday I had a westie come in for grooming: another dog my ex has always groomed since day one. They never complained so I assumed everything was fine. I get a call this morning from the owners (me thinking "Aww ****" what happened? as I always worry). She was calling to ask if I had ever groomed Darby before: I told her NO...Darby has been on the ex's list of dogs only he groomed.
    Well, she was calling to tell me she was THRILLED with how Darby looked and couldn't have been happier with how the dog looked and she proceeded to make an appt. on Monday for her Golden.
    So what this leads me to wonder is have I sabatoged my own business without realizing it? Was my ex doing work that was unacceptable and me thinking I shouldn't have to check because he was my spouse? We all lose clients for one reason or another but it seems that in the last year I've lost quite a few long standing clients as these would be the last minute appt's and I was booked so they'd use him. I'm now wondering if I should send ALL my clients a relocation notice in chance that I get some of those that I lost back.
    I'm upset and mad with myself.....
    ~*~*~Shawn, C.M.G.~*~*~
    Apparently common sense isn't all that common
    *~*~emipoo on egroomer*~*~*

  • #2
    Aww, like you have not had enough heartbreak. I would post an ad in the newspaper. I know funds are tight, and it is expensive, but send the relocation letters, and put a big happy smile on your face and announce your grand solo re-opening.
    I am sorry about your reputation. Maybe it was a reflection of your marital problems. Or he could just be being a guy. I fired my spouse from being my assistant when he went and watched the client's tv with them and ruffled the shih I had just spent an hour dematting, washing and fluffing.

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    • #3
      Awww...I'm sorry. Even if it was your decision it's still really hard to go through.

      I don't know your ex and don't know his level of work prior to these probs, but if things weren't perfect around the house and he had a lot on his mind it's possible his heart/mind just wasn't in it. I know if there's something going on for me, I internalize a lot and over analyze. He might not have been paying as much attention, sort of "going through the motions" if you will.

      Again, don't personally know you both but I like to believe the best in people, and I'd hope that someone you shared your life, home, and business for x amount of years wouldn't purposefully try to sabotage you. (Did he know he was getting booted? Cuz it doesn't make much sense for him to try and sabotage his own partner/business. Kind of cutting-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-faceish.)
      There are 3 different kinds of people in this world: Dog people, cat people, and rational people who don't have a problem liking two things at the same time.

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      • #4
        Sounds to me like he was just lazy.
        "We are all ignorant--we merely have different areas of specialization."~Anonymous
        People, PLEASE..It's ONLY a website!~Me

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        • #5
          Its always easier to look back, what if ?
          It sounds like people really like your grooming !
          People talk, word of mouth will get so much business
          you will be posting next year your not taking on new customers.

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          • #6
            I agree with Lucy, you need to do a big promotion campaign for your grand re-opening.

            It sucks that your ex was doing ****** grooms and casting a poor reflection on your business, but at least now you know it and can take steps to let people know that you have re-opened and re-organized your business and they will get the quality service that they deserve & expect.

            Can you look back at the records and tell which "lost clients" were groomed by your ex? If so, I'd go thru the list and the people who dropped out for unknown reasons & were groomed by the ex would get a postcard about the re-org & re-opening and maybe offer a free hot oil treatment, free toothbrushing, or other add on service to invite them back.

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            • #7
              I have don e it with help in here, though not a spouse. You KNOW they CAN and DO good work, so you don't follow behind and what they are sending out is not good work.

              At least now you know and you ca fix it! Funny story. I had a person come in here recently saying, "I switched to XXX to get away from someone you had in here, and DA$#ED if they weren't at XXX when I got there!". SO she's back now. It happens. Be grateful they figured out you were not the one that was not giving them what they wanted!
              <a href="http://www.groomwise.typepad.com/grooming_smarter" 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

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              • #8
                YES send them out, I do not want to get involved in 'relationship' issues but only as a professional pet groomer. If one looks at things from just a business perspective... it is a sad reality, human nature is human nature, it is not about much else if there is tension within any partnership.
                I had posted on another line... a business where one gal wanted to open her own shop actually was 'botching' grooms (she planned on leaving to start her own place) she then planned on seeing the owners... she would see them in the grocery store, post office etc... begin a very friendly conversation telling them how she was planning on leaving because her 'partner' was not meeting 'her' standards... IT was quite a ruse to say the least, once people came to her new place, she did good work, played it off with sympathy for them being 'taken advantage of' etc... all in all, even though some feel it better to see only the good in others, some people are down right sneeky.. devious... and damaging.

                enough said...

                you have a fresh start! do not let your past affect you, if you feel comfortable enough, send out whatever notices you feel comfortable with.

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                • #9
                  Dont be upset with yourself, nothing you can do about it now. Send cards out to all past clients, I would have done this no matter what, even if they had not come to you in a long time. It is possible that they stopped coming to you for other reasons, so don't beat yourself up over it.
                  What does a dog do on it's day off?

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                  • #10
                    Turn lemons into lemonade

                    Dear Moonie,

                    Send a postcard to every client that he did and yours too that you have not seen and let them know that there may have been a situation that you would like to have the chance to correct.

                    "Due to circumstances beyond my control you may have experienced a grooming that was not up to your/my standards because my ex groomed your pet. If I would have known there was a problem I would have corrected this situation immediately. Please give me another chance to please you and flufferbutt. I guarantee "My Work" and your satisfaction or there is no charge."

                    Please call as soon as possible and I will give you a 10% discount to re-establish our relationship and your total satisfaction. In this sentence the 10% discount is optional.

                    You may get a good percentage of the customers lost. Always keep in touch with your clients.

                    Good Luck and Godspeed,

                    Chuck

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                    • #11
                      Awww, Shawn. I am so sorry. I think doing what Chuck said is a perfect solution. Give it a try......
                      Mandy, Birdie, Evie, Willie and The Woo
                      Check out my Blog at doggydivasdish.com

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                      • #12
                        I like CHucks Idea, but not his wording. Maybe, leave out the ex part and work it so taht you kow there was a problem and are willing to addre sit. Something like "grooming done by someone other than myself".....
                        <a href="http://www.groomwise.typepad.com/grooming_smarter" 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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Particentral View Post
                          I like CHucks Idea, but not his wording. Maybe, leave out the ex part and work it so taht you kow there was a problem and are willing to addre sit. Something like "grooming done by someone other than myself".....
                          Ditto. If I were a customer, I would only want to know about the effort to correct a substandard groom, not the soap opera of a marital relationship. If you want that kind of drama, you can find in on TV.

                          I would never have to worry about that situation from my hubby. He couldn't groom a dog to save his life, but he does the business stuff and maintains the van. He's part owner and has a chunk of money invested, and he treats the van like his own, since he built most of it.

                          Just as I heard in one of the grooming seminars I attended last year "some are artists, some are business people, rarely are they both". Having my husband handle the back office stuff allows me to do what I like, meet with the customers and their pets and do a great job in grooming.
                          "With God's help, all things are possible!"
                          Laura Lee Ray
                          I am kats_melody on eGroomer. Follow my Twitter tweets - @ZOOMGROOM on Twitter.com

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                          • #14
                            The ex had NO IDEA what was coming over the holiday season when I asked him to leave..I will be putting an ad in the paper this weekend and will be taking everybody's advice and espcially Chucks and send everybody postcards and offering a discount to those I haven't seen in at least the last 6 months to come and see the new location.

                            I think the ex was being more lazy than anything but it bugs me since it was a business that I've built up from nothing and work hard everyday to keep my clients coming back...

                            Shammu: with being in a location where the closest other shop is 1 1/2 miles away (instead of 2 blocks) I really do think that by the end of this year I'll be booked and NOT accepting new clients.
                            ~*~*~Shawn, C.M.G.~*~*~
                            Apparently common sense isn't all that common
                            *~*~emipoo on egroomer*~*~*

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It has been my experience that people would rather just switch groomers than to ever tell you they didn't like something and give you another chance. It's sad really because we have no opportunity to learn from ours or others mistakes.

                              Good luck getting them back to you

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