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  • In need of some advice

    Hey everyone, I work for someone at a kennel the owner is not a groomer and has never had any grooming training. Can someone give me some advice on how to approach her about how this business works. I love my job and where I work and dont want to offend her or lose my job. Specifically she currently makes my appointments and i would like to start doing this myself. She doesnt completely understand time frames and how some dogs require more work and that usually leaves me screwed. Secondly I need to set my own prices I have approached this topic with her before and she said that some of my prices were to high. All the prices i set are regional to my area and since I have been grooming for five years and worked under alot of groomers I feel I have a better understanding of correct pricing. I just dont want to offend her and I want to be taken seriuosly. Oh yeah and does anyone have any info on what an independent contractor means and how you go about becoming one. Plus I would really like to open my own shop within the next year because I know where the need is but dont have one clue as to how to begin. Thank you in advance you guys always have good info

  • #2
    It's hard for me to give good advice, since you surely know more about this industry than I do! However, it looks like you have two options:

    1. You really need/want to keep this particular job as you aren't ready to go work on your own yet.. so whatever you bring up needs to be suggestions only and if your boss doesn't want to take them, you're still stuck.

    2. You really don't need the job, so you can be more firm in having your needs met, otherwise you can say "see-ya", and go open your own shop

    As for how to bring it up.. if you're currently getting a percentage.. then you could remind the owner that if the prices are higher that her percentage will also be a higher $ figure.

    As for the scheduling, maybe you could put a chart up with the breed of dog and the time it takes to groom each one.. and tell them double the time if the dog is in matted condition or hard to handle (and that's why those dogs cost more than usual as well).

    Once your boss understands the relationship between the size of the dog, coat type/condition, temperament, and price.. maybe things will smooth out for you.

    It'll take some time on your part to create a chart, but it should look something like this:

    Bichon Frise: (>20lbs, 4 week schedule) 1 cup shampoo ($3.00), 1.5 hours grooming time ($60), Water (1.00) Total: $64

    Siberian Husky: (70lbs, OAY, Matted) 3 cups shampoo ($9.00), 3 hours grooming time ($120), Water (3.00) Total: $132

    After doing 5-10 of them, a pattern should be obvious

    Good luck!

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    • #3
      I really wish I could help you but I have the same problem right now. I'm looking forward to what others have to say.

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      • #4
        Search for an IC thread here as I remember one.

        I'd just explain to the owner exactly like you explained it in your post. You may also want to do alittle price shopping of the local competion and have those figures with you when you talk to the owner. Unless the owner is real insecure I don't see how your position will be at stake.

        Chris

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        • #5
          Doing the research and going to a boss/owner with everything in writing with as much to back it up as possible is always the way to go with a business person. Ask Tammy!!!!!

          To start.. the prices. On your own time, call all the businesses in your area. Get all their prices on a few different breeds. Have your family help if you are afraid they will recognize your voice. hehe. Put it all down on paper in sort of a spread sheet format, with your price beside it. Highlight the ones that are much higher then yours or the ones closest to you. Once you get the list made, show her how much more she could make per day by raising the prices to competitive lvls. Make it professional.

          Now as for making your own appts, I would probably demonstrate the complexity by making a list of certain breeds with the amount of time it takes to do each breed. I would then make 2 lists of 8 dogs. One list which keeps you there till 8 at night (lol ok exaggerating) and one that gets you out at noon. This will demonstrate to her the huge difference and the importance of scheduling the dogs just right.

          You want it all in writing for a few reasons. One, it demonstrates your professionalism and also shows her that the issue was important enough to you that you were willing to do the work. Two, it puts it down in front of her in a logical thought out manner. When talking to someone its easy to leave parts out or confuse them with the details. and Three and most importantly, it allows her to sit down with it at her leisures, read it, think about it, absorb it and refer back to any parts she forgets or doesnt understand.

          Anyway, that is my best advice. Thorough and professional. Show her how it benefits her.

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          • #6
            I have a general idea for you. Before you approach your boss get together some solid research information in writing as to costs and where your prices should be give her all the information you can find on the grooming industry. There's some research threads on the pet goomer site.

            Look to see if there's other website's and/or competitors whose brochures list prices where you can print out or can walk in and take one and show her the competive pricing for your area.

            Maybe she will be more likely to listen if you have the information and documentation in writing to back yourself up.

            If she still doesn't want to listen then it would be time to move on , especially if she is booking your dogs for you without having a clue about how long anything takes, I know how frustrating that is.

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            • #7
              I think I am the "Tammy" that Jadenlea was telling you to ask.

              I can say a couple of things on this:

              1. Use a "slot" system. Each dog has a slot value, rather than:

              A shih tzu = a dog

              A great pyrenese = a dog

              Because we all know that a shih tzu and a great pyranese are not equal in TIME when it comes to grooming!

              So, in the slot system, it works like this:

              A shih tzu = 1 slot

              A great pyrenese not groomed in 9 months = 3 slots

              A pug = 1/2 a slot.

              If you want a copy of my...oops, never mind. I don't have my pricelist on this computer, dang it. So sorry, but I was going to offer my price list which also has a "slot" value next to each breed.

              Ok, now for approaching the boss. You have to be ahead of the game with her and be able to answer her questions logically. For example, in order for me to get a bather recently, I had to go to my boss with the numbers already crunched to show him hiring a bather would benefit both him and me, and that we would both have to "give a little" to make more. So I gave up 5% of my 50% commission, and he will pay the bather the difference, and then we both make more money. I told him he could hire another groomer if he wanted but then he'd have to A) Deal with another groomer and a good groomer (character, not skills) is hard to find around here. And B) he'd have to pay her taxes, and we'd have to fight over the tub space, etc etc...

              He was really impressed that I was sort of "ahead of my game," and told him how if we marketed bath-only dogs, that he could KEEP the money for THOSE dogs, and he'd come out ahead if we have enough of them.

              The thing is, I knew better than he did that it all made sense, he just didn't have time to sit around and decide if Tammy needed a bather or not, nor did he care that much about it, it's the last thing on his mind. He's a successful DVM, I bring in very little money for him, I am just a service, but nevertheless, I showed him how I could make a few bucks and he was happy with it. Hope this helps.

              Tammy in Utah
              Groomers Helper Affiliate

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              • #8
                Well My new boss at the vet is wonderful. At first I went a day on there terms and prices and schedule then I showed them how they and I could make more money, and the vet agreed I should get paid for my time. They were charging the same bath price for a Long haired chihuahua as they charged for a GSD. I showed them how much it SNOWED in Texas while blow drying the GSD and they were quick to get my point lol. And agreed that different breeds deserved different prices. You should average the same amount of money per hour all the time. So adjust your groom prices accordingly. So If your prices seem high to her ask her if the customers are complaining about the price. If they are not complaining, and they are coming back, then who really looses by lowering the price. If the business is new you may want to be priced $2.00 under the average to draw in new customers and get them as regulars. Once they are hooked then one yr later announce a $3.00 price increase. Just my opinion. Not worth much...

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                • #9
                  I am about to open a SSDW and grooming shop and I have never had any grooming experience. Until I found this board I was completely oblivious. I hope my groomer will come to me and let me know what to do. As long as its fair for both of you, I wouldn't see a problem. And having statistics behind you will help so much more.

                  In my past life I was a dental hygienist and I wanted to incorporate a whole new dental hygiene program. I took all the needed information to my doctor, convinced him and got what I wanted. It was a big investment for him but it is paying off big time for the office.

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                  • #10
                    You said your own answer: tell her you LOVE your job and because of that you want to help. Then be prepared with your ideas and WHY and HOW it wil benefit the company.

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