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How to add another groomer

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  • How to add another groomer

    I think the time has finally come to add another groomer to my home-based grooming shop. The thing is, for the past 14 years I've been the ONLY groomer and a lot of my clients are really picky. How do I tell them that I'm hiring another person? Do I just give myself certain time slots for my regulars and when they're gone the new groomer has to do them if they want to get their dogs done? Do I send out a letter introducing the new person? I'm so tired...I need help!

  • #2
    I'd hire another groomer with the understanding that it's part time, working into full time as he/she builds a clientel. You could also have the newbie handle phones, do laundery, and other non-grooming chores. Then send out a letter introducing your new groomer, and add an invitation to an open house for clients to come in and meet the new groomer.

    Keep your open house simple; coffee/tea and cookies. Gourmet doggie treats for the canines.

    Your other option would be to hire a bather/assistant groomer to take some of the load from your shoulders, but you'd still be giving your personal touch to all the grooming clients.


    • #3
      I see you're in MD, what part?

      I guess the question would be why are you adding another groomer? Is it because you have more new clients than you know what to do with? Is it to give yourself more time off? Is it simply to have someone to talk to? Is it to have someone to answer the phone while you're fighting with Kujo? Is it to increase the profitability of your salon?

      The answers will help to determine how to bring someone new into your shop.

      Do you currently have a bather? If you do, then that would make bringing in another person easier, since it's been a team effort for a while.

      But if you don't, then maybe instead of a new groomer, maybe simply a bather will do what you need. A bather would allow you to get more dogs through the door to increase profitability, but you'd still be doing all the finishing work for your picky clients. A bather can answer the phone (or free you up to be able to answer it), etc.

      Plus, bathers are cheaper to employ than groomers.

      However if you already have a bather, then a second groomer could be brought in on a part-time basis at first.. and you only give them the dogs that are new or the ones the owners aren't so picky about etc.

      But, from any potential groomer's point of view, make sure you have enough work lined up to make it worth their while.. ( I recently applied at an established salon, and it was a similar situation as yours.. 1 established groomer who the clients would request.. and I'd be the "new guy" who would get the odd dog.. but working for commission, if they couldn't guarantee full days of dogs (and they didn't want me working for myself outside of their salon), then my income wouldn't be stable enough to meet my bills).

      The other thing to check on is if your groomer is an employee then you'll have to file special licences and pay taxes for him/her. There might be ways around that, but you'll have to consult your tax advisor.

      Good luck!


      • #4
        Wow Helly, great minds must think alike! I was typing at the same time as you, but I admit I'm a bit more long-winded


        • #5
          Someone already mentioned this but my first thought was a bather. This will take away a lot of the heavy work, and leave the fun stuff to you. But if you already have a bather then yes, I think adding a groomer would be a good step...

          How to add one...that is hard. I don't think you, as a business owner, need "permission" to add employees to your business, but at the same time, I would be bothered if I went to go see Katie for a haircut and Jenny cuts it instead. But these are dogs, not people, so maybe you can make it clear to the new groomer, in a kind way, that you run your business a certain way, and that it is important to you that you both groom similarly, and show her how you do you basic patterns, shih tzu faces, etc...Oh, and I'd say part time at first as well.

          Tammy in Utah
          Last edited by SpikeyTheYorkie; 04-21-07, 08:12 PM.
          Groomers Helper Affiliate


          • #6
            One thing that I don't think has been mentioned. I'm a home base groomer and I'm not allowed to hire anyone to work out of my home except a family member. Have you checked into this to be sure you are allowed to hire another groomer or any employee?
            "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."


            • #7
              Spikey hit it right on the nose! I think I do feel like I have to get permission from my clients to hire another groomer!!! My reason for wanting to hire a groomer is that my hubby and I are planning on opening a different type of business together and eventually stop the grooming. I have serious neck/back issues that really limit what I can do physically...and it won't get better, only worse.

              What I would really like to do, starting this summer, is groom maybe 25 dogs a week myself (with the help of my part time bather) and give the other 25 dogs per week to another groomer (who could choose to use the bather or not). That would allow me the time needed to help at the other business while slowly getting out doing so many dogs. I currently do at least 40 a week in the slow times and have done up to 55 during the busy times. I turn away quite a bit of business as well.

              I was thinking about sending out a letter (after I hire someone) introducing them and telling a bit about their experience. Thing is, this would mean that at least half my current clients would see the new groomer. I can possible see at some time moving the shop out of my home and selling it or just closing the doors. I really feel overwhelmed and tired. I don't want to upset my clients, but I have to make some changes. Any ideas?


              • #8
                I've recently added another groomer. In my salon, all my regulars are groomed by me. She gets the new ones and she had a few followings. Some of my regulars that are big dogs, she gets too lol but she loves the biggies and my elbows don't! She is doing fine and my customers have said,"oh you finally got some help for yourself huh, good for you!" so its been positive so far. You just need to supervise somewhat as every groomer has their own way of doing things. just a note! have fun!
                ps. I also have a full time bather!


                • #9
                  the customer need to get use to the idea of a new groomer what are they going to do leave??? how would that be diffrent. I tell my customers that I am full but the other groomer has an opening . they have the choice to wait or take the opening. also make sure that you tell the new groomer that you will look over the dogs to make sure they look good even if the groomer has been grooming for years. just tell her or him that it to make sure the client dont have a reason to complain. and then tell your customers that you still will be making sure there babies are treated the same and look good. Good Luck hope this help a bit


                  • #10
                    My boss is very respected by our customers. There are many dogs that only she trims. Some customers are very picky about who grooms their dog. We live in a high income smallish area. We don't advertise and most clients saw a dog on the beach or in the park and asked where it was groomed and were told "you need to see *** (my boss) at ***. So, as a result, they specifically request her. Other than those who specifically request her most of the new dogs get me (baring some specific breeds that she is much better at then standards, bichons...) When I started grooming for her I generally got (and still get) the big hairys, mutts, cockers (apparently she doesn't like doing cockers, LOL), and any dog she doesn't like doing. Over time some of her regulars have become mine just due to convenience (wanted an appointment with her but she was booked out two weeks and I had an opening in one week...). She just took three weeks off and many of her clients that called had no problem letting me groom their dog when they found out she was unavailable. So anyway, my point is, if you hire a groomer you can give her the new clients that don't specifically request you. Then over time lots of your regulars can be switched to her. I think you will find that if you are confident in her work your clients will trust your judgement.


                    • #11
                      My thought exactly

                      I am home based and can never hire an employee, do retail,
                      or have signage out by my road. (stinks)
                      Make sure you check your zoneing.
                      I know if I get caught doing that, its 1500. a day for each day
                      I operate illegally.
                      Sounds like you have been doing this awhile. It does not seem
                      like they would care, but you never know.
                      You just hate to risk all you have on a technicality.


                      • #12
                        Hiring help

                        When I hired my first groomer, I did it... I didn't ask anyone. I hired her and groomed right next to her and coached her on ways that clients liked certain things. All new clients went to her without my imput. Clients that came in I told them "I hired another groomer to help and she would be helping me to groom your pet". My clients were okay because they trusted me to carry out their wants.