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sometimes I wonder...( vent)

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  • sometimes I wonder...( vent)

    why I stay in this business! I absolutely LOVE working with dogs, but the economy has thoroughly kicked my butt and I can no longer support my family anymore. My kids and I had to move in with my parents about a year ago after my great paying grooming job was basically taken away from me by the other groomer who had been there longer. (her 6 years, me only 1) Long story short, after she came back from having a baby, she wanted to be totally booked up before they gave me any to groom. Then, it took me 6 months to find another grooming job. I'm currently their only groomer, (at a vet) but business is still slow compared to what I was used to getting. One day I'm booked solid, the next day I may only have 2 dogs. I just don't know what to do and I need to just vent! Are there others who have been hit really hard by the economy to the point where they can't even pay basic living expenses? I've groomed for over 16 years, but now that I'm a single mom, I just can't make enough money *sigh*

  • #2
    your appoinment books sound like mine
    One day 2 dogs the next day totally booked and saying yes to any calls,and walk ins because you dont know how many youll have the next day. I like it for me because im new in the biz but I share expensies With my husband so I dont have to do it alone.maybe you could work somewhere bussier 2 days a week till things pick up where yo uare?


    • #3
      Look for a second job to help pay expenses until the one you have picks up.

      And if you are that broke, I wouldn't be horribly fussy that the second job be grooming. One time when I was caught between jobs I worked at a place that made onion rings.

      It was a tough way to make a buck, but I did it until something else came along.


      • #4
        not sure where you live but is commuting an option?
        I worked a couple days at one vet clinic in one town and a couple at another 10 miles away for several years. Then I started my own business, stayed at one of the clinics 1 or 2 days a week until my home biz built up, that was 20 miles away. I am in a small town surrounded by small towns and 4 cities all within 30 miles, there is a lot to choose from in a 30 mile radius. I pounded the pavement, just stopped in at each clinic and asked if they were interested in adding grooming. As always, if you do go to vet clinics make sure you get to dictate your prices and such, you are the groomer, they are not, tell em 'trust me!' lol MIght have a business plan ready. You may even run across a clinic that needs other help...gets your foot in the door.


        • #5
          Keep your head up. One thing to that there are always other people in worse shape than you. I tell myself that every time I start to complain about my full time job in the medical field. I don't do grooming full time (YET) because I need the income of my other job, but I hope to make the transition in the future. You can still do what you love (grooming) and work another job until you can build up your client base again. I know this is the worst time for job hunting in this country, but there are jobs available. People have to be a lot more proactive to get those jobs. For instance....our classified ads show very few jobs available, but I know for a fact that the hospital I work for has tons of various openings. Go to company websites to see if they have job listings...and start putting out resumes (in person). Good Luck!!


          • #6
            Not the only one

            Don't hesitate to get Public Assistance if you need it and nail Dad for Child Support do not give up and don't be ashamed to get services, you did not make the little ones alone and you are trying hard...good luck.


            • #7
              Some suggestions might be...

              1...Take control of your bookings! Pre-book! How many dogs do you pre-book BEFORE they leave the clinic after grooming? Do you pre-book any of your clients, or do you let them just call in when the dog looks really bad? Or do you allow the receptionist do it for you? (note: she doesn't have to pay your bills, so the incentive isn't there for HER to pre-book appointments for you)

              2... Maybe offer an incentive for dogs/clients that book every 4 weeks or 30 days. I did this 20 years ago in an area where I was lucky to see pets every 3 to 4 months. The economy was almost as bad as it is now. Pre-booking was unheard of in my ver rural area!

              What I did was to offer a special program/rate for clients that came in every 4 weeks or 30 days. (now you have to remember that this was 20 years ago...if their regular price was $25 for grooming the program price was just $15) If they missed that appointment by even a couple of days (w/o a valid excuse) the grooming was back to full price and I was ruthless about that. I seldom had any one fall off their schedule. With in months I could tell you every month how much income I'd have the following month on my "program" dogs. I also color coded their cards with a special pink card over the original white index cards. After a year or so, almost every card in my file was pink! So what it boiled down to was that in the course of 3 months I'd see that dog 3x's for $15 = $45 rather than the $25. Seeing that dog every month shortend my groom/table time by better then half! My shop got nicknamed the "yuppy shop" around town. This worked for me, and it got people in the mode of always having a clean pet, and in the habit of having that next appointment in hand before they left the shop.

              Now as a mobile groomer, 90% of my clients are booked before I boogie. the 5% that don't prebook, know that when they call, they take their chances of how soon I'll be in their area and can get a pet in. Some still like to pre-book out several months (some cats and terriers are common for this), but if they are on my book they have priority over someone that just calls me.

              Since you are the only groomer at the vet, have a chat with him and see what you can do to manage your bookings and clients better. It will work out better for him and for you. Also, something you should be doing is checking in , and sending home the pets on a "personal" basis, rather then letting the "staff" do that. Clients like to have that personal touch and thank you for taking care of thier pet. Get more personal with your clients, you will see a dependance grow that will benifit you in the long run (better referals).

              3... offer an incentive for referals. We did this with our clients, they got $2 off and so did the new referal. Every established client got a referal slip to give to their person they refered, can't give the existing client the $2 if I don't know who it was that refered them LOL. Put your clients to work FOR you. Each of my groomers had a different color slip, so we'd know who's client had refered them. (this at my big shop in AZ I had 4-5 groomers)


              • #8
                Happening all over

                You are not the only one, which doesn't really help you, but this economy IS bad in many places, and worse in others!! Any who haven't felt the effects of the downturn are EXTREMELY lucky!!

                It sounds like you are not in an area with a large population, or else you would have more job opportunities, probably.

                I wish you the best in hanging in until things get better.


                • #9
                  I finally found a friend who needs some part time help at his shop to help me out of the same situation. The job is 2 hours away, I'll be staying there for those 2 days, and I'll be working 7 days a week but by the end of summer I should be all caught up on my bills and my clientele base here at home should be much better to keep my bills paid.

                  All I can say is that you're not alone and while it's easy to feel sorry for yourself be grateful that you have a roof over your kids' head, food to feed them, and a little money is better than no money. How many people out there have none of that???
                  See is you can get some state assistance and see if you can't find a job farther out and away from your immediate area to at least help a little.
                  ~*~*~Shawn, C.M.G.~*~*~
                  Apparently common sense isn't all that common
                  *~*~emipoo on egroomer*~*~*


                  • #10
                    Thanks for all of the responses. I've looked into a 2nd job, but I don't have the time! I already work 5 days a week and I'm not taking anymore time away from my kids so that isn't an option unless I cut my days. However, if I do that, then he will hire a 2nd groomer to work on those days and I'll still be in the same position. Public assistance is so time consuming, I would have to take a day or 2 off to get that and I can't afford to do that! Isn't that crazy? I guess I'll just have to get looking for solutions, I mainly just needed to get things off my chest.