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How far is too far???

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  • How far is too far???

    I am a new salon owner, and I am doing everything myself. By the grace of God I am starting to be consistantly booked out 3 weeks and thats doing 10 -12 dogs a day. My question is "How long do I let this go on before I hire a bather"? I am half way to the goal on the cash reserve, and I'm just getting a little tired and would like some help. Today I did 13 from 7am to 6pm and only 2 bath dogs out of the 13. Is this good or bad, or am I just being a wimp?

  • #2
    I think the amount of dogs you are doing alone is amazing. 3 of us (1 groomer, 1 bather and me -I groom a couple of dogs and play receptionist) do about 12-14 dogs per day and we are whipped by the end of the day. I would definately would hire someone asap before you burn out. You could even go part time at first to see how you like it. I personally don't see how anyone working alone gets anything done, I'm constantly taking phone calls talking to walk-ins.

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    • #3
      Personally, I would hire a part time bather at this point. I'm sure you can handle it on your own for a while but why kill yourself when you could probably do a few more with the help of a bather? Alone I usually do 10 a day in about 8-9 hours but with a bather I can pretty easily do 16-17 and am much less exhausted. Worth every penny!

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      • #4
        sounds like you are seriously overworking yourself!! slow down or you will burn out!! I would hire a bather , but thats just me...its a personal decision. My back is much relieved when I have a bather and I have more energy left at the end of the day to do all the paperwork...without a bather, I come home and crash! lol

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        • #5
          i thought i was done posting for the night and then i saw this. sounds to me like it is time for you to hire help. it is really hard for 1 person alone to run a shop successfully by yourself. if you have 12 dogs to groom and bathe yourself, then you are probably missing some phone calls. most people will leave a message, but not all. let's see. then you have to clean the whole place. file everything at the end of the day.do the books. do the laundry. that's alot of work for 1 person. you will burn yourself out really fast. i can't live without my bather. and i know i make alot more money because of having a bather. it doesn't matter if you don't get many bath dogs. you can still do a few more hc's a day w/ bather and your job will be sooo much easier. just to have another hand there. if you have a big dog that won't stay on the table...help with a difficult dog....etc.

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          • #6
            I would get some help unless you like working 11 hours a day. Your going to burn yourself out and ruin your health. A bather would help out alot if you don't want to hire another groomer.

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            • #7
              How long have you been in business? Is it your goal to have a well-staffed salon (and all the headaches that go with it), or do you want to stay smaller? (Not that there aren't headaches with that, just different ones!lol) Everyone is different, there is no right or wrong. Before you run a help-wanted ad, you have to consider whether or not it would truly be a financial advantage at this point to hire a bather. Figure out how much you would be paying out a week in payroll, matching their taxes, and workman's comp insurance. Only then will you know if it would help or hinder you at this point.

              You're not a wimp- I've been doing the same thing for almost six months, but my light at the end of the tunnel comes at the end of June when I take my shop mobile. If that weren't the case, I would be raising prices in the shop so I could do a reasonable number of dogs and make the same money. Soooo, answer the above questions for yourself, and you'll know what you need to do. :-)

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              • #8
                Wow, you're doing well, very well. Don't kill yourself. If it were me, I'd hire a bather. It might push your "deadline" out a bit, but at this rate, by the time you make your cash reserve deadline, I'll be saying the prayer at your funeral.

                I waited until I was 2.5 weeks booked out until I hired a bather. It was consistent for quite a while. Now I'm booked out for over a week with a bather.

                It's ONLY GOING TO GET WORSE AS SUMMER APPROACHES. With a bather you can do more dogs, not get exhausted, and if you can do more dogs, you can meet that cash reserve without killing yourself. If you can market just a little heavier to the bath only dogs (remember, that includes PUGS!!!), your bather will be partially paid for. Focus on DESHEDDING. People's ears go up, and I mean UP when they hear that!

                Tammy in Utah
                PS: Don't forget to ask each client if they'd like to pre-book their next appt. as they are about to leave. CONGRATS!!!! You're doing well!
                Groomers Helper Affiliate

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Boxerfan View Post
                  I think the amount of dogs you are doing alone is amazing. 3 of us (1 groomer, 1 bather and me -I groom a couple of dogs and play receptionist) do about 12-14 dogs per day and we are whipped by the end of the day. I would definately would hire someone asap before you burn out. You could even go part time at first to see how you like it. I personally don't see how anyone working alone gets anything done, I'm constantly taking phone calls talking to walk-ins.
                  I'm right there with you. I work 10 or 11 hours a day, have to talk to people that come in to talk about their dog and possibly grooming it, cleaning up after myself, bathing the dogs... sometimes I even get behind on my cards and have to say "oh, you were here before? I don't have a card for you. I get so busy sometimes, you know."
                  Okay, so I'm still fairly new to grooming ( 1 1/2 years out from grooming school ) but i've been doing this day in, day out without having consecutive days off and it's the second time i've been burnt out.
                  I groom in the back of a pet supply store and my boss and his employees are out front, which only frustrates me more when I just need someone to sweep up the area or clean out my tub for me. Nine months now and counting.
                  No bather. Just little old me.
                  All this and we're trying to get pregnant ! My God... talk about a non-conductive situation !!

                  Oh, and I can only do six dogs at most a day. 99% of my dogs are groom dogs. About 50% are in rough shape when they come in.

                  MAN oh MAN... I just want to STOP complaining !
                  Ever go to sleep, get your seven or eight hours, then wake up
                  and still feel really wound up tight? That's me.
                  Keep asking myself "when's it going to end?"
                  Taking a mini vacation in a few weeks... can't wait.

                  Michelle

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                  • #10
                    Our new salon that turned 1 year in May had a goal that when we had 5 dogs a day we would hire a bather. Since we also do DIY dog wash its necessary! Too many interruptions. Customer service is a huge plus these days and you can't let that or your quality of work go to dog doo. A part time bather won't set you back but maybe one or 2 of the dogs you do now and you won't be so spent or reach burn out so quickly. Start looking!Congrats on your success as well!!!!

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                    • #11
                      I was in the same position when I first started and two things that helped me a lot was hiring staff and raising prices. Once your confident in your skills, you should raise prices regularly anytime you are not able to get people in within a week. The first year I was in business I raised all my regulars $5 within 6 months and all new clients I took in were $10 more than my opening price. Heck if I'm that in demand I should make more! Hiring a bather basically did not cut into my take home at all, as the business was growing at the time.

                      Audrey

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                      • #12
                        Currently I'm at 8-9 per day and consistant. I've thought about a bather but it's worth it to me to do it all. If I did more than that,I would hire some sort of helper. Just my opinion.

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                        • #13
                          save your back!

                          as a 17 year veteran who "did it all" for a long time, i say you needed a bather 2-3 dogs ago. find an apprentice, pay a reasonable wage, teach her what you know-its worth alot to the right person. raise customer prices to offset the new labor cost. two to five dollars more per dog is usually all you need to cover a part time bather

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                          • #14
                            you are past the point. HIRE!

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                            • #15
                              My biz has been open since sept and I hired a PT bather about 3 mos after opening. WHAT A HELP! Answering phones, helping me hold, ohhhhhh its endless LOL. You wont be disappointed!

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