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Who's Gonna Fill My Shoes?

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  • Who's Gonna Fill My Shoes?

    What do you do when you need time off (4-6 wks) to recoup from surgery? As most home groomers are, I'm a one person operation. My client list is full and everyone is automatically booked for their next appointment; I auto-book 8 weeks or less, no walk-ins, no semi-annuals. I'll be able to oversee, but just not physically groom. I was thinking about contacting one of the groomer schools to see if they have a student looking for a little practical shop experience toward the end of their training. Is this a bad idea? What should I be willing to pay a student? Any suggestions?

  • #2
    This is where it is always good to network with your fellow groomer in your community. I am aquainted with most of the groomers in my area and some are dear friends of mine. We refer clients to eachother when needed always knowing the client will return. One groomer I know, Jen, our husbands use to work together. She threw her back out once so I did a couple of her larger clients while she recouped. She's was also on maternaty leave recently and neede some help. There's another groomer I know, Amanda, who grooms for my old veternarian. I refer clients to her that I feel need to be sedated for grooming. Another groomer, Liz, came to our shop for Pet Tech training. I jad a new client come in saying they went to her and said some side comments that didn't make sense to mean. I called Liz up and got the true story (client was a bit of a nut).

    It's always good to know the other groomers in our area. I would go to some other shops, introduce yourself and see if there is anyone you would feel comfortable refering your clients to temperaroly while you recover.
    It's not what you look at that matters; it's what you see.
    Henry David Thoreau

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    • #3
      I think Naturally summed it up well. It reminds me of a mobile groomer I knew and her van was nearly totaled but not. It took 4 weeks to get back into service. She turned housecall. But you got it worst. You simply have to rely on other groomers but you cannot groom at all. I won't say it was the main reason I hired other groomers to work for me, but it is a comfort zone knowing that. Do as NF suggests it is your best bet. Hope it goes well.

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      • #4
        This is the dilemma we face as home groomers.......last year I had surgery on my wrist and was out 4 weeks. My customers could clearly see I was having problems and were all sympathetic. At the time I didn't have anyone I truly trusted to send them too on my side of town. That makes it even worse. They were all champs and made do until I was back to work. I groomed them out of sequence right before surgery .....some had been in 2 weeks earlier. I worked 4 days a weeks also so it gave me some play room on off days to do grooms. My long hairies just sucked it up til I was back. I realize you may not be able to do this if you work a 5 day week already and are in pain. Having groomer friends in the area is such a blessing but where I am I have referred people to other groomers a couple of times and had very bad feed back so now I don't do it.

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        • #5
          We helped a mobile groomer whose vehicle was wrecked and we did her grooms if the customer was willing to come to our shop. We let her use her car to bring them to our place and use our facilities. So like they say having groomer friends is the best solution, and maybe you will have to make a new friend that as a shop or mobile that can fill in.

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          • #6
            Thanks everyone for your wisdom. It's a challenge when you're a "one wo"man" band"! I tried having a bather for the first time this summer to see if I wanted a permanent sidekick; I found out I like working by myself. I'm definitely out of the loop in my groomer community and just don't personally know anyone (looks like I need to make some friends). My biggest worry is if my clients aren't happy with who I recommend - then I have egg on my face and will have to listen to the complaining - or, I guess then they'll just appreciate me all the more! Lol

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            • #7
              I would just explain to my customers what was going on. They will either wait for you or go somewhere else in the meantime. I too am HB and wouldn't want to refer but to one other groomer in my area (she stays booked too) so I wouldn't refer so I didn't wind up with egg on my face as you said. Clients are very understanding for the most part and if not...you just weeded out those you didn't need.
              Ain't always easy to stand up for what is right.

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              • #8
                I went through this two years ago with knee replacement surgery. Had a groomer who offered to fill in but my clients weren’t interested. One client with hairies went elsewhere for one groom, others asked me to take them short enough to get by until I could come back. The other hairy dog owners just swept it up until I returned. I love my clients and their loyalty, but it really put pressure on me to get back as quickly as possible. Just make sure you ARE ready before you start back up so you don’t have a setback. Good luck!

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