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  • Overbooked

    My question is who books your appointments for you? Who decides how many dogs a day is an acceptable number to do?
    My delima is I have been at a new groom shop since January and my boss is seriously over booking me. We had an agreement(not in writing) that she not expect me to do more dogs than I can comfortably do. I am not a fast groomer because I really care how my dogs look. I have also only been grooming for about 2 years. She is now steadily taking in more dogs a day than the amount we agreed upon. She is also not a groomer so she really has no idea how to schedule the dogs like the amount of time individual dogs take and whether they are full grooms, mini-grooms or just baths. Also, I am her only groomer. She really needs to hire another groomer but a good groomer around here is hard to find. She says she doesn't mean to over schedule me but needs to money to pay her rent. I am also already working from around 8:00 or 8:30a.m. to 6:00 or 7:00 p.m. Our original hours are from 10:00 to 6:00. I refuse to sacrafice the quality of my work so she can make more money. I keep telling her that she is scheduling to many dogs and she will almost agree but says she can't afford to turn any away. Says she will help me. She just in the last week has started bathing her 4 dogs. I have been doing them for free but that 's another rant. So aside from calling people back and telling them I am over booked and need them to re-schedule I'm not sure what to do. I need suggestions

  • #2
    If she can't find another groomer, what about a bather? That may be the best of both worlds, in that she's not paying a commission to another groomer, keeping more money in the shop, and you can finish more grooms without the bathing and drying part.

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    • #3
      UH make her your bather and nail trimmer and ear cleaner etc.
      If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!

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      • #4
        Well, there's a couple things you can do. First sit her down when you're not overwhelmed and frustrated and tell her the deal. Say you're new not capapable of doing more than X dogs per day, whatever that may be for you...4 grooms, 3 baths...whatever, you have to have that figured out in the first place. Plus you're new there so still learning the routine etc etc. Tammy has a great slot system that she can describe to you.

        Next if that does not work, I would not come in til the hours you are scheduled, and I'd leave at 6 or 7 pm when you're scheduled to leave...no matter what is done or isn't. This is something I would probably do if they kept disregarding my pleas, but could potentially get you fired, so make sure this is what you want to do before you do it. Or....you could do the dogs at your own pace and just stay til they're all finished whether it be 10:30 at night or not. Eventually customers will not be happy with that and will either complain or just not come back at all. As long as you're doing a decent amount of dogs per day what can she say? You're trying your best.

        Lastly, write up a plan of what $$ you are making alone now for the shop, then write up a proposal of having a bather there who comes in at 8 to prep your dogs etc and can do bath dogs on her own, saving you just for finished grooms. You can get probably close to double the dogs out per day, and still have energy, AND she's making bath dog $$ she wasn't even getting in the door before. Fine if she wants to be the bather, but she's got to learn how to do it. Bather is better than groomer, get From Problems to Profits, it'll tell you all about that.

        Good luck! Don't kill yourself for your job, it's not worth it; I'm not saying don't work hard while you're there, but no job is worth you losing the rest of your life...IMO.
        Erin
        No Fur, No Paws, No Service.

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        • #5
          I worked for lady who also didnt groom I dont get that and she use to want me to do more than I wanted to do. She as well said she needed to pay the rent ect... welll then she should of learned how to groom. What I did was went on and opened my own salon. Since Ive been groomng for 17 years. why make someon else the money when I have the skill so now I groom how man I want to do which is usally more than what I did for her but it's my shop and I making my own money not someone else thats only in it for the money..... maybe think about getting a contract with her or get a bather. dont use the trump card and think since your her only groomer you can be demanding. Just talk to her and if it doesnt work out and she keeps doing it then move on.....

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          • #6
            BATHER. A bather will cost her less than another groomer and make her more money if she markets "bath only" dogs---labs, etc...

            The groomer (you) has NO need to be handling any labs, etc...so she pays the bather to bathe them in a short amount of time, and you can groom more dogs because your'e not bathing/drying.

            Hiring a groomer is going to be her biggest mistake.

            Tammy in Utah
            Groomers Helper Affiliate

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            • #7
              I forgot to mention we groom by appt. We don't have dogs come in at a set time in the morning and then leave in the afternoon. They come in when scheduled then leave when I'm finished. The owner doesn't want to put them in kennels. UUGH! So this in itself slows me down. I try to get her to go ahead and schedule two dogs at a time so while one is drying I can be working on the other one. Again no kennel dryers just running around. I feel this can be dangerous because I can't watch these little buggers and sometimes there are 5 or 6 running around at the same time. We've been lucky there have been no dog fights and they are mostly toy breeds. Once we had a Min. Schnauzer and Westie running around at the same time. I could believe they got along.
              I already have From Problems to Profits and would LOVE to have a bather but I don't know of one and she is making no attempt to find one. She has been having financial problems of her own and I tend to be to nice and get sucked into those kinds of thing. She just bathed her own dogs for the first time this past week and has never done nails so she's not much help. But thanks for the advice. I'm off Sunday and Monday so when I called today to see what time to come in tomorrow she told me she had booked two more dogs for tomorrow when we were already booked because they are going out of town on wednesday and the owner begged. I just needed to vent to someone who might understand before I go in tomorrow. As soon as I can I will talk to her but probably not tomorrow since I will be so behind and probably still mad.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by dawgluvr View Post
                I forgot to mention we groom by appt. We don't have dogs come in at a set time in the morning and then leave in the afternoon. They come in when scheduled then leave when I'm finished. The owner doesn't want to put them in kennels. UUGH! So this in itself slows me down. I try to get her to go ahead and schedule two dogs at a time so while one is drying I can be working on the other one. Again no kennel dryers just running around. I feel this can be dangerous because I can't watch these little buggers and sometimes there are 5 or 6 running around at the same time. We've been lucky there have been no dog fights and they are mostly toy breeds. Once we had a Min. Schnauzer and Westie running around at the same time. I could believe they got along.
                I already have From Problems to Profits and would LOVE to have a bather but I don't know of one and she is making no attempt to find one. She has been having financial problems of her own and I tend to be to nice and get sucked into those kinds of thing. She just bathed her own dogs for the first time this past week and has never done nails so she's not much help. But thanks for the advice. I'm off Sunday and Monday so when I called today to see what time to come in tomorrow she told me she had booked two more dogs for tomorrow when we were already booked because they are going out of town on wednesday and the owner begged. I just needed to vent to someone who might understand before I go in tomorrow. As soon as I can I will talk to her but probably not tomorrow since I will be so behind and probably still mad.

                Her MISmanagement is going to cost her the business she's probably put a lot of money into. Have her read From Problems to Profits, and talk about a way you can make HER more money without over-booking you: a bather!!

                Tammy in Utah
                Groomers Helper Affiliate

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                • #9
                  Oh how scary having dogs of unknown temperments running around together. She is lucky that one hasn't seriously bit another one yet. I've never heard of such a thing.

                  I hate working like you explain where you just feel overwhelmed all the time and get no relief from trying to discuss it.

                  Time to move on from there sounds like the pleas will keep falling on deaf ears.

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                  • #10
                    That is a sure way for her

                    to lose her groomer, you. I had that once, where nothing I said would get to the owner. I found out later the owner was an alcoholic. She didn't get rationalization. Last day there she took in extra a solid packed Samoyed, couldn't be shaved. I still have an awful feeling about the hours I spent trying to get through that coat.

                    Yep she'll have NO groomers and then see how she pays the rent if she keeps that up. A bather is a good idea, but I'm not sure your boss will ever have care and respect for you.
                    Money will buy you a pretty good dog but it won't buy the wag of it's tail.

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                    • #11
                      yup yup yup

                      a bather is what you need. you will make more $. she will make more $ and everybodys life will be easier. oh, and there is noone worse to work for than a person that has no clue about the difference between booking 4 beagles or 4 st. poo's.

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                      • #12
                        how about suggesting to her to raise her prices a little bit??? id suggest that she figures out HOW much money she needs to make monthly, deduct all her bills and costs from that, (ie including what she needs to pay YOU monthly...) and then go from there. either she can hire a bather or kiss her groomer goodbye, or raise the prices of the grooms themselves.
                        Hound

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                        • #13
                          It's the same way where I work but luckily there are four groomers so if someone is way behind we help each other out. The office people will just keep booking us and take every single walk in. Then the manager who assigns the dogs will make sure we each have the same amount of dogs but sometimes one of us will have 11 golden shavedowns and someone else will have 11 pugs. It's annoying and I know how you feel. Especially when one of my coworkers is done by noon because she had all bath only dogs and I'm there until after close because I had all matted messes.

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                          • #14
                            I'm mobile, but I worked one day a week at a vet clinic and when I first started they would overbook me (those were the days, I'm stopping that gig because now they aren't keeping me busy enough). Anyway, I made a sheet of how long each breed of dog took me to groom (if I said I could handle five grooms a day I was likely to get two Keeshonds, a Standard Poodle, a Cocker Spaniel and a Samoyed!). Each hour was a "groom slot" and I asked them not to exceed six slots per day. At the time a Std Poodle took me two hours, most toy breeds were about an hour ... that worked out very well with a non-groomer booking my appts. I told them if in doubt about how the day was filling in to just give me a call. If they had six little easy dogs booked for the day and a 7th owner wants a groom, to just give me a call and I'd let them know if I could handle another.

                            I very much agree with the others that hiring a bather (or a bather/cleaner) would be a good move for the owner. I also don't get why she isn't a groomer. I couldn't imagine owning a business that I could not do. If I owned a restaurant I'd be darn sure I could cook and wait tables and wash dishes -- I'd want to be able to step in and do anything that needed doing if someone was out on short notice. What happens to her day if/when you get sick?

                            BTW, you can care about your work and do careful work and still be a quick groomer. There are time saving devices and methods available (ClipperVac, systematic drying techniques).

                            Have you thought about bailing on her and working for yourself? At least if you overbook yourself you're keeping all the money for all your hard work!!

                            Consider going mobile -- it's a lower investment, you make more per groom so you can groom less dogs per day. It's super being your own boss!!

                            Meesh

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                            • #15
                              I didn't get a chance to reply yesterday because I worked from 8:30 to 8:00 last night and then fell into bed. I talked to her about a bather and she said it would be just cutting into her percentage of the commision and didn't see how she would benefit from it. We really don't have a large bath only business. We hardly have large dogs. Mostly small fru fru dogs. That's our specialty. She has a high end doggie boutique also that caters to this type of clientale. The way we are set up isn't really condusive to grooming large dogs. No large kennells. The lip of the bath tub is very high. No ramp or stairs. I have to get her to help me lift the dogs that are too big for me. Although I had a shiloh shephard today that the owner helped me with. Anyway. I tell her I'm burning out and can't continue to work 10 to 11 hour days 5 days a week for much longer. She goes on to tell me how much her rent is and she is finally getting ahead and can't go back now. Says she needs another groomer. I say ok then get us one. Later in the day she tells me she is going to hire the lady's teenage daughter who's beside us in the strip mall. Says the kid comes back from boarding school in 10 days and loves dogs and will be able to work half a day after some time around noon(is taking classes in summer school here). Owner says she's not going to be benefitting from it. That she's doing it because of my "complaining". I think she could have worded that differently. At this point I don't really care. I'm not sure why but I don't have the best feeling about this kid.

                              My question is if we don't have a large enough bath business (and she's not going to advertise for it) do you give up a percentage of your commision if a bather bathes your dog??????

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