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  • When to start

    I would like some advice on when to start my business. Should I have a Grand Opening Day and book appointments for that day and forward, or should I just start grooming as people call me. And schedule appointments around my other job. I am going back and forth. Part of me wants to give my current job a notice and quit when I open my business, but part of me thinks I shouldn't put all my eggs in one basket. But I have the weekend job of working for the show handler
    to and I plan on staying with that until my business really takes off. I have no idea how many clients I will have. My ad in the yellow pages won't be passed out until May. But I want to start in March. I am hoping some of my loyal clients will follow me as they have in the past, but I don't want to get into trouble with my current job by letting my clients know what I am doing, but many of my clients were mine before they followed me here. How have ya'll handled this when you started up?

  • #2
    When you let your current employer know what is going on chances are good that you will be let go immediately. They will not want to give you a chance to steal clients. So when you are ready to open, put an ad in the newspaper, with at least your name in it, if not your picture. The more you get your name out there the more chance your clients will see it.

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    • #3
      I agree with Misty, I think your current employer will let you go ASAP when they find out you have a business of your own and are trying to build clients. I had the local weekly newspaper do an article on me (that I wrote BTW ) and signed a one year advertising contract. I also write my own press releases that they'll print for me, too. Put your ad in the newspaper with your photo in it. DO NOT mention that you are formerly of XYZ Grooming or you'll get in deep trouble quick! IMO no one "owns" clients---they go where they wish. I think you'd be surprised how many WON'T follow you at the higher, mobile price. And then again you'd be surprised at how many will...

      I have one client who is on a fixed income. She's followed me from the day I graduated from grooming school and to the three shops I worked at before going mobile. I was hesitant to raise her price but I bit the bullet and did it. She LOVES me and is my biggest fan; refers all her friends to me, church members, family, people she sees in the grocery store-you name it. She lives at the end of a red dirt driveway that is almost impassable in the rains in a mobile home that was old 20 years ago. She loves her little Shih Tzu and swears that until one of them is gone I'll be grooming him forever. (Come to find out she owns 1700 acres of prime real estate LOL!!) She's even told me I'm named in her will.

      Bottom line? The clients who care about their pet will follow you, the ones who care about the bottom line most likely won't unless you can really sell them on your service. A good brochure is vital IMO to building clientele-if you'd like a copy of mine email me and I'll shoot a copy back to you.

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      • #4
        I agree with Misty, most owners let you go immediately, so I suggest setting a date and pre-booking for that day.

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        • #5
          Yeah I they probably would fire me but I guess I am not too worried about it or I wouldn't be publicly posting on here now would I lol. Because like I said my steady income comes from me working for the show dog handler on the weekends, My grooming job has become very unsteady, I bathed 2 labs the other day and didn't even clear $20. I can't afford to stay there that is why I have to do this. I have 2 kids to support, and hubby is in school. Oooh things will be weird for him he is the bather there, they will prob. fire him too. I am fine with that too, I would rather have him delivering pizza than doing that. I do not plan calling my clients or any thing but I will send out a bunch a postcards or brochures in my target area. I like that switchboard website it has been very helpful. I will run a special for residents of the area I want to concentrate myself in. Which is 10 miles away from where I work just as stated in the form I had to sign at work. That if I got a job elsewhere it had to be 10 miles away from them. Coorporate they think of everything.

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          • #6
            Edited.
            Last edited by pamperedpups; 02-20-07, 12:54 AM.

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            • #7
              getting a copy of local dog license list too, but I have no idea how to do that. I would like to.
              If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!

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              • #8
                Dog liscenses are sometimes sold out of your local Humane Society, Animal Control Office/Division. I would'nt know how to go about getting the list. I don't believe its public. I went to all the shelters at first, introduced myself and asked if they would put my flyer in their adoptions package. They'll be happy to do this, also offer a grand opening there. The Humane Society here does all kinds of special events and 1/2 off days, etc. If you offer a grand opening on one of these days you'll get free advertising, and make alot of shelter pets happy!

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                • #9
                  Well I guess they found my website and even though it is not searchable they still found it probably through here but both me and my husband were fired today. I was upset because I wasn't quite ready, but let go and let God it my motto. In other words everything happens for a reason. Maybe my business will be a huge hit and I will make more than anyone who works at my old job. Maybe I will get a new job that I don't dread going to every day. They fired my husband because he designed the web site. But I still have my dog show job, and she will let me work there as much as I want, I can even groom pets over there if I want to do that. So anyways my business cards should be in the mail anyday now YEAH!

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                  • #10
                    Edited.
                    Last edited by pamperedpups; 02-20-07, 01:06 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Poodlefluff View Post
                      Well I guess they found my website and even though it is not searchable they still found it probably through here but both me and my husband were fired today. I was upset because I wasn't quite ready, but let go and let God it my motto. In other words everything happens for a reason. Maybe my business will be a huge hit and I will make more than anyone who works at my old job. Maybe I will get a new job that I don't dread going to every day. They fired my husband because he designed the web site. But I still have my dog show job, and she will let me work there as much as I want, I can even groom pets over there if I want to do that. So anyways my business cards should be in the mail anyday now YEAH!
                      How can they fire him for designing a website? If you really gave a rat's butt you could fight that, but they suck. How childish. They should have talked to you and kept a good groomer and bather as long as they could.
                      If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!

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                      • #12
                        Starting Up

                        Our best and fastest growing location for Mobile Grooming is a Senior pets allowed community. We keep our flyers in the club house and our current clients have been great about spreading the word. Go to the vets that don't offer grooming and leave cards and flyers with them. Do the same with Pet Daycare as well. Good Luck! I had a similar experience years ago. I was fired the day after I gave my two weeks notice. Then they were telling anyone who asked for me that I just up and quit and left the area. GRR Anyway, like you said "Let go let God"

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                        • #13
                          Best of luck!

                          Sorry to hear about what happened to you and your husband. I really like Verna C's idea to promote your business to a local senior community if there is one near you. I am just switching careers to grooming right now and didn't plan to "officially" start for a while. I was just trying to pick up my speed by grooming several aquaintances dogs, but I'm already getting Very busy without even trying, so I think that you will have great success! Best of luck to you and your husband.

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                          • #14
                            Most non-compete contracts are NOT enforcable!!! Did they tell you that, too? I think TX is a right to work state much like my home state of South Carolina. The big box giants tried to enforce a non-compete on friend of mine and had to back off real quick once she pointed out to them that she was in a right to work state That really stinks about your DH-ah, well...what goes around comes around!

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                            • #15
                              I have already booked some appointments for next week. Yeah! And I guess this was just the push I needed to get me going. The handler I work for will let me borrow her pro bath system so I can get started until mine gets here. I have all the basics I need, but I also will have to go with out a clipper vac. I think I will get a Taxi Vac when I get all my stuff.

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