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Is the boutique owner that I am grooming in ripping me off?

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  • Is the boutique owner that I am grooming in ripping me off?

    Hello. I am a groomer who works in a grooming area inside of an upscale pet boutique. The owner takes half of everything that I make and I am really beginning to think that she is getting a much better deal than I am. My business creates a lot of foot traffic for her. A lot! Would it be fair for me to ask to re-negotiate? What are your experiences with this? The owner has most of the equipment that I need, although I have been asking for something like a groomer's helper for a long time and she doesn't see a need for it (Probably because she is not grooming). Besides that she will sharpen the blades, buy new towels etc... any suggestions or input would be much appreciated!

  • #2
    Is she paying your payroll taxes?

    I believe 50% is pretty standard when you are working for someone else who is supplying most everything you NEED. It's not cheap paying all the expenses that come with grooming (ie:water, electric, phone, insurance, supplies, taxes, etc etc etc) and if you were working for yourself, you'd probably make less than that after all your expenses are paid.

    Just my 2 pennies

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    • #3
      It sounds to me like you are the one getting the better deal. She pays you 50% and buys your supplies and even sharpens your blades. I pay 50% but I don't sharpen my IC's blades. I dont know if your IC or employee but either way 50% is standard if she's bringing in your customers through her business and her advertising. If you brought the customers there yourself when you started then you might have some room for negotiation. If that's the case you'd do better paying space rent probably.

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      • #4
        This is typed with the idea that you are an employee of the boutique owner, not an IC,...and I warn you, it is always difficult for employees to digest what I am going to say.
        I managed a boarding/grooming kennel for an owner, yet I hired the employees, so over the years this type of question came up time and time again.

        As an employee (and/or a groomer) you are hired with the expectation that you are going to make the owner money. That is "part" of your job...in whatever capacity you work for them.
        Now, I'm not saying that trying to renegotiate your original agreement should not be attempted, but I am saying think hard and know your numbers before you do.

        It is not the boutique owner's "job" to make you money, ...that is not why they jump out of bed in the morning.

        However, if you feel like you have outgrown the current arrangement, and as long as your approach the owner with what you feel is fair to both parties...hopefully they would be open minded. Particularly if they feel you are tough to replace.
        If you are not tough to replace, or even if the owner thinks that,....you could have a rough go of it, so have a back-up plan.

        Good luck. I often saw employees feel that they were "entitled" because the owner was doing well, but the employee wasn't equipped with the necessary information to make a wise proposal.
        Last edited by 4Sibes; 03-30-10, 07:30 PM.
        Often it's not what you say, but how you say it.

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        • #5
          50% is standard rate. If owners pays for your taxes, bills, shampoos, etc, after all expenses that owners pay most are left with 10-30%.

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          • #6
            I am assuming you did not sign a contract in blood when you took the job.

            If you think you are worth more than you are getting, find another job where you will be happier and better compensated than you currently are.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 4Sibes View Post

              Good luck. I often saw employees feel that they were "entitled" because the owner was doing well, but the employee wasn't equipped with the necessary information to make a wise proposal.
              ditto...........

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              • #8
                50% is standard... I know groomers around here who work for others and only get 30-40% depending on their current clientele they bring to the business!

                She's supplying you with a space to groom in, equipment, and blade sharpening? I doubt you'll find a better situation.

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                • #9
                  I am the only groomer in a boutique/bakery/naturaly store (my name for it)

                  I get 50% also, I am an employee (she takes out taxes) she provides shampoo (pick it out), and dryers, table, cages. I am resposible for all my clippers, and sharpening, scissors etc....

                  I know for a fact I get more out of the 50% than she does. In our state she matches my taxes, on top of the shampoos conditioners (consumables) she pays the utilities, phone, she does adverising (although it is for the whole store), and the size of my grooming room is very generous she could probably get away with useing half of it for retail, so she pays the rent on my room. I don't question it infact we tried to figure it out once and we decided she makes about 15-20% off each dog.

                  If you are getting your blades sharpened on top of all this SMILE you are doing good
                  If you sweat the small stuff, all you have is small soggy stuff.....

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                  • #10
                    Like everyone said, 50% is pretty standard. I think you are underestimating how much it costs her to keep you up and running. Between rent, electric (those dryers use tons of electricity) water shampoo, taxes her profit on grooming is probably not all that substantial unless you are doing TONS of dogs.

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                    • #11
                      I have to agree with everyone else on this, sorry I know you were loking for a different answer. There is no reason that you can't ask for a "raise", but be prepared to explain why you feel you deserve one; additional clients brought into the shop, additional training you can offer to varied clients ( cats, hand stripping, etc.)

                      If you want a G.H go ahead and buy one, only you will ever see the value in it. If and when you leave this business for another job you will own the G.H. and it goes with you!

                      Figure out how much you would have to spend on sharpening, shampoos and conditioners, towels, etc. every month, then subtract that amount from your monthly income. Does this help to explain the extra costs your boss has?

                      Be greatful you have a decent job and are busy (in this economy).

                      sittingpretty

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                      • #12
                        Well said 4Sibes. I think, that some groomers think they are "entitled" to more because of the way they are paid, say 50% for example. They think that they are "only" making half of the cost of grooming, and doing "all" the work. What if one was paid a good salary or hourly, would they feel the same? Most never think about the costs involved with running the business. I have never had employees, but boy I sure know what it costs to run a business. Sheltielove, go do a search on older posts, there are some good ones that really explain about salary, hourly, commission, taxes, overhead etc....I think Chuck has put a few out there. You are getting a fair deal, unless you are an Independent Contractor, paying for your own things, like phone line, insurance, advertising, credit card machine, etc...making the grooming side "your" business.
                        What does a dog do on it's day off?

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                        • #13
                          Count your blessings that you've got a boss who goes above what most do! Once all the insurance/taxes, all the expenses are paid for she's not getting that much. The fact that you're bringing in a lot of foot traffic allows her to stay in business and give you a job!

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                          • #14
                            If she is supplying everything as far as equipment goes and she books the clients, does the advertising, provides the phone line and collects all the monies from the grooming clients it is not your business it is hers and you are an employee.

                            If it were your business and you were a true independent contractor you would do all the advertising, answer your own phone line that you pay for, collect monies from the clients and provide ALL your own equipment and blade sharpening and you would be paying her for space, water and heat.

                            Sounds like you are stuck somewhere between employee and IC that can get you in trouble at tax time if she is not taking taxes out and if you haven't made any allowances for taxes.

                            Either way 50% with all the goodies she is providing is more than fair.

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                            • #15
                              Yep. 50% is pretty standard. But I'm going to offer you a different solution. If you want a raise, don't ask for a higher percent. Ask her to raise her prices!

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