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Staggered appointments?

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  • Staggered appointments?

    Hi all! I have been away awhile. We moved and I am adding an afternoon grooming salon in a cute little shop at my home. Now that the house is in order I am working on my shop! My tub should arrive in a week, I am in the midst of gathering extra kennels, etc. It is just a little 12 x 20 ft. space with pretty hard wood floors, and separate half bath and even a big ol storage closet with hard wood doors to match the floors and baseboards.

    I have a nice wide, long driveway and there is room on the dirt road to park for clients. I am used to mobile so this shop thing is a new concept altogether! I am thinking that the way to book would be to stagger drop off times, so that there will be only one or two clients present at any given time. Anyone have any advice? I am also mobile and have already transformed that schedule so that I work mobile in the morning, come home for lunch and prepare for an afternoon of NOT working in the hot arizona sun. At the beginning, I think I would like to take 2 - 3 dogs in the early afternoon and another 2 - 3 in the late afternoon. Should I stagger them for every half hour so I can actually get the dog washed and waiting in towels before the next arrives? If I have a helper, I could do every 15 mins, but for the first month or so, it will just be me....oh, and of course I will call each client when the dogs are 15 mins or so from being finished so they can pick up as we go along.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated : )

    I also plan to keep a local pet sitter's cards at the desk who offers pet taxi. This will hopefully encourage clients who may not be able to get to a 1 or 2pm appt...

  • #2
    When I first started out, I staggered appts. It really messed things up though when someone would show up early or late for their appt. or pick up. Now I have all pets dropped off in the morning and call owners when they are done for pick up.
    Lisa VanVleet, RVT


    • #3
      We do a modified version of what Borzoimom does.

      We have a first group that comes in between eight and nine in the morning and go home when done, before noon . We have a second group that comes in at noon and we close when the last one goes home, usually between four and five. That limits the amount of time they spend here, albeit the time is longer than if we did a series of "express grooms", one right after the other.

      Like she said, if you stagger all your appointments neat and tidy-like, it will only work in a perfect world where everyone arrives on the button and their dogs are predictable. A couple of dogs early or late, or come in a condition or mood that warrants extra time, and your day can become a train wreck.


      • #4
        I used to do just like borzoimom used to do. Now I do what borzoimom now does...for the same reason.

        It was completely impossible get a "flow" going w/ all the traffic in and out, and.... trying to scissor or finish a dog when your next appointment walks in...well, you can forget about that. Next thing you know, you are running 2 hours late and you've only been working 1 hour, lol!

        Congrats on the new place and new sounds like it's going to work out really well for you!
        Often it's not what you say, but how you say it.


        • #5
          I stagger appointments too. I have a small space and try to keep it from over crowding but you are right about it not going smoothly most of the time. I am the only groomer- when everyone drops off in the morning they all expect to pick up by lunch. Well, I can't do a full day worth of work by lunch and nobody wants their dog to wait so I stagger. I really think I am running myself ragged to make customers happy. How long on average is a dog supposed to be at the groomers? I have some drop off and say "Should I come back in one hour or two" and I think, do you see that your dog is not the only one here?


          • #6
            Wow. I never thought of that. See? Mobile brain, here, LOL! Well, perhaps having clusters would be better for me. After reading the feedback, I think I will do a drop off at 1pm and another group at 3pm. Unless I give up my mobile, I won't have a full day anyhow, just 1pm to 5pm-ish...

            Thank you all for your responses!


            • #7
              I make appointments for every hour. I'm in small shop and can't stand for the dogs to bark and whine at each other while waiting to be groomed or picked up. I can't concentrate, so it's much better for me to only have the dog I'm working on with me in the shop. My clients understand the set up and really are great about adhering to it.

              How did things work out for you?