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beginning with a starter unit

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  • beginning with a starter unit

    I can only afford if I go mobile a starter van. Need some work and paint job. I suppose I am embarassed the then I see mobile groomers driving big time impressive vans. I cannot afford them. Dont customers see those beautiful vans and then my starter unit and think twice and go for the awesome vans?

  • #2
    If you spend money on a full vehicle wrap, it would hide the paint and minor dents and the vehicle would appear new. Add new tires and rims and you would have the look of a new van.

    Then you could renovate the interior salon. New floor, table etc

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    • #3
      Originally posted by IrishSetterTom View Post
      If you spend money on a full vehicle wrap, it would hide the paint and minor dents and the vehicle would appear new. Add new tires and rims and you would have the look of a new van.

      Then you could renovate the interior salon. New floor, table etc
      Ain't always easy to stand up for what is right.

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      • #4
        People don't care as long as you are a good caring groomer.

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        • #5
          I agree go for it with a starter, a reasonable one. You see those ones for $3,000 well you need several thousand more to be reliable.

          If your dream is a new unit, work toward that. You could always be mobile without a new, but I don't shame anyone's joy. If it gives you joy, get one down line 3 or 4 years when you have a booked out business and some savings.

          Wrap is a great idea. Only you will care about the vehicle like cocker says. Keep it very clean for inspection at all times. BOND with your customers and they won't go anywhere else. Then it is almost boring day and day out. But you will remember the intense times of get started and be glad of what you did and pat yourself on t he back. And don't forget you can go from starter to almost new but not. Even Wag'n Tails sells some great refurbished units, but they still cost well more than a true starter.

          Step at a time, go for it.

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          • #6
            I think wrapping is a good idea too. It will look professional.

            I think people DO care what your business vehicle looks like. I know I do. I don’t know how many times I’ve been behind a work vehicle that hasn’t been washed in ages, has hand lettered signage, etc. My first thought is “If that pulled up in my driveway to do work for me I would have to turn them away. If they can’t be bothered to look professional, how professional will they be working on my project”.

            Yes, I know. They might be the best plumber, yard guy, groomer, roofer on the planet. And a clean professional vehicle doesn’t guarantee excellence work.
            But it does show that you have pride in yourself and your business.

            You don’t need a $100,000 van. Make your used van beautiful. Tom’s idea was right on. Wrap it, new tires and rims, keep it sparkling.
            Those are the vehicles that will get people’s attention and will prompt them to give you a call because “I saw your van in the parking lot, thought I’d give you a call”.

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            • #7
              The most important thing is vehicle reliability. I cant list the number of clients we got due to their mobile groomer's van broke down and had no funds to get it fixed.

              You need something reliable mechanically first, then the salon second.

              Unfortunately anything reliable and a working salon with no broken salon equipment you will need to spend at a minimum of 10k and higher.

              I think a better idea for a groomer on a budget is getting a plain van and building a simple conversion. It could be done for about 3000 bucks. You would need like a nissan NV or Ram promaster which have a high roof.

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              • #8
                Great ideas Tom, but would that $3000 cover any assistance by a RV company or ?

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                • #9
                  No that's just equipment cost like table, tanks, tub, electricity, dryer, pump, AC.

                  The cost can go up dramatically if you do a nice floor, stainless tub, nice table, finished walls. I spent 9000 to build a conversion similar to wagn tails.

                  I would subcontract if the groomer doesn't have a family member who has skills in wood and electrical work.

                  I'd hire someone to put in a floor and sub walls then electrician to run wire and circuit board. Then have the carpenter finish up walls. Plumber can do the tub and tank, pump connections, faucet.

                  I would not have a RV center bid on a build.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by IrishSetterTom View Post
                    The most important thing is vehicle reliability. I cant list the number of clients we got due to their mobile groomer's van broke down and had no funds to get it fixed.

                    You need something reliable mechanically first, then the salon second.

                    Unfortunately anything reliable and a working salon with no broken salon equipment you will need to spend at a minimum of 10k and higher.

                    I think a better idea for a groomer on a budget is getting a plain van and building a simple conversion. It could be done for about 3000 bucks. You would need like a nissan NV or Ram promaster which have a high roof.
                    Very true. It's why I've bought brand new or almost brand new recently. I really didn't want to be breaking down and paying for repairs.

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                    • #11
                      Well that is how I started and still am, and put about $5000 into fixes and improvements and working fine. Wrap hides the blems. I don't have the skills to convert, would rather work but I do want to learn it. For me a started could even be $25K these days with a vehicle in good condition.

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                      • #12
                        Sorry, but I think that when you do a "do it yourself" conversion, you are spending just about as much money as buying a fairly new vehicle and using countless hours of your "grooming" time......When you purchase an already mobile van, it is ready for the road the day you purchase it, with no headaches. These companies put a lot of time and thought into developing a vehicle with all of the safely features and conveniences for the groomer to do their work in a timely fashion. WGT offers financing and with you "up and running on day one" you can have that van paid off in a jiffy.

                        Happy skipping the "do it yourself" van

                        Dolly's Barking Bubbles, LLC

                        www.dollysbarkingbubbles.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dolly View Post
                          Sorry, but I think that when you do a "do it yourself" conversion, you are spending just about as much money as buying a fairly new vehicle and using countless hours of your "grooming" time......When you purchase an already mobile van, it is ready for the road the day you purchase it, with no headaches. These companies put a lot of time and thought into developing a vehicle with all of the safely features and conveniences for the groomer to do their work in a timely fashion. WGT offers financing and with you "up and running on day one" you can have that van paid off in a jiffy.

                          Happy skipping the "do it yourself" van

                          Dolly's Barking Bubbles, LLC

                          www.dollysbarkingbubbles.com
                          You are very very wrong Dolly. Not if you or someone close to you is handy. My vans were done in three and four weeks respectively. I saved over 50 thousand dollars over a wagon tails, even buying a brand new van to convert. Now if you have to hire out, you might be right. But in most cases it's far cheaper to convert no matter how you do the math.

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                          • #14
                            For some of us, building your own is rewarding and tens of thousands cheaper. My conversion was close to 10k and I do not count lost time because I was adding a van, not replacing.

                            Wagn tails conversion alone is 40k. Add 35 to 40k more for the van. To buy a new unit it's something like 15k down minimum and like 1500 month x 60 payments. No thanks. My conversion is just as nice. But I had skilled people I know and did a lot myself.

                            I think an established mobile groomer would benefit from a new wagn tails not a newbie who may or may not be able to keep up a high payment and also make it as a groomer on the road.

                            I knew several groomers who thought they would like mobile and didn't and returned to a shop or they got out of the business completely. Look at the used wagn tails listings, many very new units. Not because they are trading for newer, its many cant run a business and fail. Grooming and actually running a business successfully are not a given.

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                            • #15
                              I guess I live in a bubble........I've never known a mobile groomer go out of business due to his/her failure as a groomer/businessman. I wouldn't trade my 2011 WGT Pro for anything in the world. Everything has been built with skill and integrity, with knowledge of all safety features and convenience for the groomer......as I'm sure all companies do. I don't think I would trust anyone who isn't experienced in conversions to build me one, especially when you are mixing water and electrical wiring so close together.

                              Happy buying a pre-made grooming van

                              Dolly's Barking Bubbles, LLC

                              www.dollysbarkingbubbles.com

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