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  • Where do I start?

    I have been a groomer in a shop for five years and now the manager for about a year. I want to go mobile and on my own. I am a single mom with not so great credit. I would have to purchase a truck to pull the trailer. I don't even know if I could qualify for a loan. HELP!

  • #2
    I believe you would either have to work on strenghtening your credit and checking on your credit score through equifax ( their supposed to have the accurate score) and/or find a co-signer. Good luck.

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    • #3
      You are in a pickle if you can't qualify for a loan. Maybe work for someone else mobile.
      If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!

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      • #4
        I agree with the others, take your time to get your credit right and use that time to also really study up on a business plan and everything you will need. Heck, start researching how you want to market! You may need this all in writing when you are actually ready to apply for a loan, plus, it will be all ready to use. You could invest in the bare bones equipment and start as a housecall groomer to save $$ for a down payment, or to pay off any outstanding debt you may have now....it CAN be done, you just have to want it and work for it. Check out the SBA site for women/minorities loans...that helped me with a chunck of $.

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        • #5
          I understand

          You have good experience. I am truly a beginner in the grooming biz. I believe that it would be a good idea to get all three credit reports, Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. Also get all three scores, which you will have to pay about $5 each - from each agency for the score. Once you have this information you can begin to plan to bring up your credit score. I am in the process of paying down some credit cards. I applied for a loan for a mobile unit and I qualified for only half of what it will cost to begin a mobile service. I will be spending the next 6 - 8 months bringing up my score. I am also taking a class from a local agency, Women's Economic Ventures learning to write the biz plan, etc. At the end of this workshop I will be able to apply for an SBA loan. It will take time but gotta start somewhere. Good luck to you.

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          • #6
            When I first started my kids were young and we were struggling to make ends meet. We had been paying my mothers mortgage along with our own and I had my father in a nursing home and was paying towards his keep also. We had our credit totally maxed out and screwed up from borrowing peter to pay paul. I bought a cheap used van and borrowed the money from a high interest company, HFC. The van only lasted 3 years but I built a great business with that van. I have been mobile now for 11 years, I am on my third van. This time I have a newer shuttle bus that my DH and I converted with Doug's help. We have good credit now but still owe more than I like. I have 2 kids in college, and we go on vacation twice a year. I have no trouble paying my bills and work just as much as I want to. My van insurance bill just came for this year so I will have to work a little more now.
            I should also say that when I bought my first van I had never even heard of mobile grooming, I had no business plan and no idea if I would succeed.
            If I were you I would do what ever I had to do to get a van or trailer. I have a lot of customers with multi-million dollar homes. None of them ever complained when I pulled up in my junky little chevy van. It was always the senior citizens or the lower middle class people that would complain about the oil spots that I would leave in their driveway.
            Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

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            • #7
              I agree with Misty. Our first two vans were dragged out from behind car repair places, towed to our house and made into grooming trucks with whatever we could find. Each van cost less than a thousand dollars to put on the road. That includes the van purchase. The first van didn't have a tub. Doug built a kind of semi enclosed raised area across the back of the van and then we sealed it with shower curtains and floor tiles and paint. We bought every can of white paint available from every nearby PepBoys to paint the outside of the van. Until the day came to go to our first client we had never started this van. It had a major fuel line leak. We were in a remote rural area so parts stores are not part of the landscape. If you don't think you can put your own together, just keep looking on this site. Some of the vans are a lot but sometimes a good, cheap, used van will pop up.
              Good luck.
              lauri

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              • #8
                Yep, listen to Misty and Lauri. If you know someone in the car business, ask them to check real-life car auctions for raised roof fleet vans to get a feel for the prices. Or insurance adjusters oftentimes have access to company selloffs of really, REALLY nice recent model raised roof disaster center vans for cheap. You definitely can go mobile without going into mondo debt.

                We've not paid over 10K for any of our grooming vans. The cute very low mileage van I'm driving now was bought off this site for under 10K and my husband drives a pretty-pretty self-convert fleet van that cost under 5.

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                • #9
                  I found my bus in the auto trader, it was a college bus, hardly ever used. Low mileage. Ebay also has autos.

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                  • #10
                    hmmm too bad you dont have good credit..but mine wasnt spotless either..i saved for 3 years and bought my truck and trailer out right..no payments....
                    being a manager where you work..you probably make good money? save it up....it's easier to save if you have a goal..(for me anyway)..Good Luck..and dont' worry..if you want it bad enough you'll obtain it..someway....

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                    • #11
                      credit schmedit

                      Where there's a will there is a better way.
                      (Can you tell I'm probably in the 500s)

                      Some suggestions might be
                      1) Ask friends or family for the money- loans or gifts
                      2) Use credit cards
                      3) Put an ad in the paper for a private investor
                      4) Sell gift certificates to be used at your future business
                      5) Ask!

                      Credit is a huge business for the big guys.
                      It's funny to me how some people who have never had a run of money problems say "Oh you have to have good credit."

                      I have filed for bankruptcy. Not something I'm proud of, but at the same time I didn't do it cause I squandered all my money on a huge house or a trip to Tahiti.
                      I did it because my creditors wanted their money now not later & I couldn't pay. People on government assistance were treated with more respect.
                      My house was repo'ed & I lived in a 14 x 60 junky trailer on a dirt road until I dug myself out. And even today I would not be considered a financial success living in a 1000 sq ft house & driving a 19 year old car.
                      Stuff happens.

                      It is possible to have a great life with bad credit.
                      You just have to want to bad enough.

                      (This post is not directed at any particular person(s). And I'm not a financial advisor. None of these ideas may be worth the space they are written on.)

                      Erica

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                      • #12
                        Credit Schmedit

                        You Go Girl...... Here's to Scucess!!

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                        • #13
                          Before doing anything else read the book "Financial Peace" by Dave Ramsey. It's short and easy to read. It will help put the financial issues into perspective for you. Then, sit back and think about groom times. You want to be able to get your average grooms(yorkie, shih, lab, thin/med golden) done in 1 hour--bath, dry and groom. 1.5 on cocker or thicker golden. If your speed isn't up yet--hold off on mobile. Work for someone else to perfect your technique, finish and speed until you're able to do this. By then, maybe you won't have the financial issues holding you back. If you jump into mobile before your grooming skills can handle it you may not be able to keep up.

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                          • #14
                            Just a thought.......

                            After I worked in a shop, before I bought my van, I would pack up my equipment and groom small dogs right in their homes. Word spread quickly and I had a small business going. All you need is the basic equipment, a hair drier on a stand and a clamp-on 'arm' to restrain the dog on the table. Tell the owner to stay out of the room. Wash them in the kitchen sink. Sweep up and vacuum the floor when you're done. It's really not that difficult and you can build up your business while you save for the van.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Doggiestyles View Post
                              After I worked in a shop, before I bought my van, I would pack up my equipment and groom small dogs right in their homes. Word spread quickly and I had a small business going. All you need is the basic equipment, a hair drier on a stand and a clamp-on 'arm' to restrain the dog on the table. Tell the owner to stay out of the room. Wash them in the kitchen sink. Sweep up and vacuum the floor when you're done. It's really not that difficult and you can build up your business while you save for the van.
                              This is what I am starting to do. I have all my own tools even a table that my shop was going to through away. I ordered a dryer and some other stuff. My concern is the logisitcs of the whole thing. I live in an apartment complex should I put up a flyer for local people? Limit it to small dogs? Should I do it in their home or mine? I am a little nervous about having something happen and getting sued or something.

                              I have done more research since my last post and I think I am going to do whatever it takes to get a van. Seems like a good place to start.

                              I feel my grooming is up to speed.

                              The main reason I have bad credit is the previosly mentioned lack of funds. I had to file bankruptcy when I divorced.

                              If I get a loan for a van should I just apply for an auto loan? My brother could help me convert the van I think but would that entail? I could put my table in it, mount a dryer, how would the whole tub water thing work? My brother seemed to know a bit about the generator part.

                              Thanks everyone for all of your input!

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