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  • starting out

    I have decided to open my shop up town, I posted something in the business
    section, but haven't gotten any response, so I hope I can get some opinions here. My sister offered to pay my rent for a year if I opened up in a commercial space up town, so thats what I'm am going to do, I have a few clients ,I have been training with a salon for about 7 months now. I am sure I still have a lot to learn, I've got notes from the grooming table, problems to profits, and muddy creek grooming videos. I study, watch the videos, and practice on dogs every chance I get. I have built alot of my clients through the local shelter (I give a free groom for any adopted pet) and that has been a big hit with customers and I have gotten some through referrals, I am booked every saturday into the 2nd week in july, I also work at the school full time and they have let me go to part time next fall from 7:30 to 11:30 so I can open my shop 12:00 to 6:00 m-f and 8:00 to 3:00 on sat. share your opinions please if you have any good ideas for me thanks!

  • #2
    What has been a big hit for me is putting fliers at peoples front doors. Pretty much every call is, Hi I recieved a flier yesterday on my front door... then they book an appointment. Try that!

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    • #3
      First, good luck to you.

      Second, read read read. There is so much great information out there. This message board, others, grooming websites, books, video's, seminars, dog shows... Never stop learning. Listen to your customers, they will tell you how you are doing if you just take the time to listen to them.

      Start your advertising as soon as you have some concreate information as far as location, phone, ect. NETWORK with as many small business associations, chamber of commerce's, go to dog parks, take cards with you everywhere and START CONVERSATIONS! You are the best salesperson for your services.

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      • #4
        Customer service customer service customer service! A bad haircut will grow back, bad customer service will chase them out the door, no matter how good the haircut was.

        I have never had a client be openly rude to me, never had them act offended, never had any call and complain about the dog's haircut, never had anything negative whatsoever. I have no doubt there are clients that have chosen to go elsewhere, ("she shaved down my dog even though he wasn't matted!!" type of clients), but I think they would more than likely say that they went elsewhere for the reason I just mentioned, but didn't want to say anything to my face because I was nice to them.

        Let them know you WANT them to be happy. I often tell them that I will write down whatever I do to their dog, so that next time if they want it longer or shorter, they can let me know. I also tell them "The first time is our trial run, let me know next time if you'd like anything done differently."

        It opens the door for them to say they want it longer or shorter, rather than running to the shop down the road and saying, "She cut my dog's hair too short!" Hope this helps. Congrats on your new adventure, I think you're headed down the right road!

        Tammy in Utah
        Groomers Helper Affiliate

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        • #5
          Congratulations on your new business!!

          This is just a thought - not a recomendation, since I don't know you or your preferences: I prefer working alone (though I do get help from husb. aka 'shampoo boy', when I ask). I no longer take big dogs, I don't want to work with difficult dogs and will not take on a client that won't stick to a regular schedule. It took me awhile to figure it all out and adjust accordingly. If I were just opening a new shop, I'd have those restrictions built right in. Such as: "XYZ Pet Grooming - Catering to small breed dogs" or something along those lines.

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          • #6
            Congrats on your new business.

            One thing that I did when I first started on my own was price toooooo low, and I'm still paying for it. My pricing went along the same lines as where I had been working, didn't think to check around at different shops to see what they were charging. If I had to do it over again I would check the different shops to see what they are charging and then adjust to what you think is good and right for you.
            "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."
            Diane

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            • #7
              First, What a sister...wow!

              Next, start talking about your new shop BUT don't start passing out flyers as of yet. You want to wait on the flyers until about 1 week prior, if you pass out flyers and they say "OPENING JULY 1" most people will toss it out and then forget you ever opened.

              One week before you need to ADVERTISE, ADVERTISE, ADVERTISE, blanket the entire area with flyers.

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              • #8
                Yeah she is a good sister, she has been one of my biggest supporters and she kept pushing me to open up a shop, because I didn't think I had enough courage to do it. I have already talked to the shelter and let them know I am opening my own shop, they said they will send people my way, plus I give 1 free grooming for adoptive pets. thanks for all the support I will keep you posted how things are going. This board is awesome.

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                • #9
                  Sisters can make dreams come true!

                  My sister had financial difficulties getting a loan for a mobile grooming trailer. I lended her the money (only sister I have and love DEARLY)

                  She became very successfull within her 1st year. Her husband hates me for what I did (lending the cash) LOL... Needleless to say, I am VERY happy for her.

                  Your sister eventually beleives in you, she knows you can do it and be successfull...go for it!
                  Last edited by Minou; 05-21-07, 07:38 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Go for it, and price yourself right from the beginning. It is great to give one free groom to a newly adopted pet, but clients looking for "free" are not necessarily what you want. I think I would be tempted to give an "adoption gift" rather than a free groom.


                    Pricing is indeed an interesting subject. I watched a TV program the other day called "Shear Genius", and yes it is about people hair cutting, but the competition they had made you think a little. There were three teams in the competition. The three teams were set up at a mall where their challenge was to make as much money as they could in a short period of time. One team of two guys charged a minimal amount per head, cut 17 heads of hair and made less than $300. The second team priced a bit higher, cut the same number of heads and made a little bit more. The third team priced high, and though the two other teams thought they were pricing themselves out of work, the third team actually cut only two less heads and made almost $800. Not bad for a morning of work.

                    Moral is put out a high class image, price yourself accordingly, go out of your way with customer service and you will create a nice little business that will soon be hiring employees.

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