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Trying not to panic

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  • Trying not to panic

    Sooo as you all know I am very new to mobile, but not new to grooming in my area. I was booked solid every day before Thanksgiving and then took 5 days off for a family reunion trip. Well, I'm back and it is dead slow. I used Monday to get my van oil changed, change the generator oil (break in period is up), and to get my side and rear windows tinted. I was proud of myself for being productive.

    Then there was today. Today I had 3 dogs and 1 bath cat. Tomorrow I have NOTHING on the books and my phone didn't ring once, except for another mobile calling me to rant about how his phone hadn't rang all day. Thursday I have 1 bichon haircut and 1 std schn that I just do the hand stripping, the ladies that own it like to groom it themselves but are too old to do the handstripping. Then Friday nothing again. I am trying not to get discouraged, especially being that I'm so new...but I cannot afford to be slow like this.

    Then to add to my dismay today, my last dog was a yorkie who is a regular and her mom was just really rude from start to finish about everything. I went from a house with a cocker regular who was thrilled to see me, to ending my day with a nasty old woman. This lady has always been this way, I've just never been in her house before so I guess I never noticed. Then this evening my husband wasn't helping when I told him I had no dogs tomorrow, he was like "No dogs, as in NONE?!" Yes, as in NONE.

    Sorry, I just had to rant. I don't know what to think. It's December after all...

  • #2
    I am not mobile but tradionally in my area grooming sort of goes on a schedule

    Jan- 1st part of Mar - slow
    Mar-april -august- busiet(lots of OAY)(slow durring the state fair)
    aug-nov a little slower (mostly regs)
    nov and 1st part of december SLOW
    and then of course we have christmas where you can pick up lots new clients because they waited to long to get "fluffy" an appt elsewhere

    in oklahoma you can almost bank on this schdule with grooming and veterinry care

    you will pick up new clients make sure your name is out there


    • #3
      Try not to worry, the week after Thanksgiving is traditionally slow. If you do not have regulars scheduled then the rest are waiting until it gets closer to Christmas for the next groom. Enjoy a bit of a rest and make up some holiday bows!



      • #4
        Please don't panic. Since you have some down time, make up some flyers with tear aways and visit the local vets. Insist (if you can) that one of the techs come out and take a look inside. Call some of the local grooming shops and see if they can refer you if they're booked.

        Since you're not grooming, find something productive to do. Is your website finished?
        Go to the dog park if you have one. You were lucky in that you started out like gangbusters.
        That doesn't happen for most. You have to give it more time. I'm sure your phone will start ringing.

        As far as the nasty customer goes, they are out there. Don't let it ruffle your feathers.


        • #5
          Cheer up and don't panic

          Don't be discouraged. It's just the first week of December. It'll pick up, you'll see. This week is historically slow, it's not just you. You're a new business, everything takes a little time. Just do a great job on the ones you do have, and word of mouth will spread. Everybody's got a few clients that make you grit your teeth, just brush the yorkie lady's bad vibes out and think positive thoughts. The cocker lady loved your groom. You have talent to be able to get handstrip people to trust you with their dogs. Have a cup of tea, sniff a rose and pat yourself on the back for having a business of your own. The phones will ring and by christmas you'll be fine. Just believe in yourself like we believe in you. Good wishes for a prosperous holiday season!


          • #6
            It's EARLY december

            Early December was always relatively slow-to-dead in my shop years ago. Now I have a new shop - yup, slow right now.

            Then later - around the 12th or so?? - EVERYONE will call and you will not be able to keep up and if you take NEW people some of them will make you so sorry you booked them. You will work Sundays if you want to take in everyone, and you will be TIRED!

            So - a proactive management task you can do now is to MAKE SURE that all of your clients have their Christmas appointment booked if they want one. If they are not yet booked, CALL THEM to tell them that you need them to set a time before it gets too busy to fit them in. They will appreciate it, and so will you in about 2 weeks or so! Most established shops make sure that their late October and November groomings book ahead for December so that a large part of their booking is done ahead of time. Saves time as well as reduces problems for those regulars that you want to give priority time to.

            Start by calling your monthly or more frequent dogs and booking them, then your 6-weekers, then random other clients you may have done months ago IF you want to see them again, lol. Then "make hay while the sun shines", because January can be VERY SLOW again!

            This is another reason why grooming prices can not be based on, say, 6 dogs per day, 48 weeks per year. Life doesn't happen that way, and basing prices that way means that groomers are too financially strapped in the slow times. (Of course it doesn't help that we don't factor in a decent enough salary for ourselves most of the time...)

            Just my opinion and observation.


            • #7
              Don't panic, you've actually been MUCH busier than most new mobiles. In the beginning I and most new mobiles I've talked to) were lucky to have 3-5 a week. I'm sure a lot of people are either waiting until closer to xmas or just had their pet gromed before Thanksgiving and don't need it right now. I've been booked out for 3 weeks and now have nothing for next week. And for once, I'm looking forward to a break. Thanksgiving was the first day I'd had off since I recovered from the flu about 4 weeks ago. It is going to be sporadic in the beginning, it takes time. After 10 months I had to stop taking new clients until I hired another groomer. I still have some dead times, as every salon I've worked in has had. It is scary at times, especially when you have looming bills overhead and a blank appointment book, but it will even out eventually. You just need more time and may be expecting a bit much too soon. Gosh, my husband was thrilled that I had any appointments in a week and told me he thought I was doing fabulous with the business when I was worried sick how slow it was. There were weeks in the begining when I had nothing in a week. Thankfully, not many. But my groomer has had a few weeks with nothing, no calls, because having daytime hours is so new and I'm just starting to get the word out again that I'm accepting new clients and have expanded hours.
              Try to relax, it will be okay! Promise!
              What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.


              • #8
                Re-book, re-book

                don't give an option of call you to schedule. You as a mobile groomer have to get in the habit of re-booking your clients on a 4 week schedule (if possible). With a shop, you can afford a little leway in this, but with mobile you need to get next month filled with regular clients.

                The week after a holiday can be a little slow for anyone. But usually with mobile it isn't if you are pre-booking. My December is about 60% booked, and that is my average right now, since I am still building business, and it gives me areas to reschedule if the weather turns nasty. I'm still taking new clients, and I do have room for the few that I know will call me to get in before the holiday that do not pre-book.


                • #9
                  You guys are the best

                  I knew I should vent my feelings on here because your responses are great and encouraging and I'm trying to focus my energy on my day off on remaining productive. Flyering, visiting dog parks, driving my van everywhere on errands, etc.

                  It's hard for me I guess because in the shop (and I know it's different, my clients are all yet to find me) I was at a point where I was booked up every week, even slow weeks for example I'd do 35 instead of 40. They were all regulars, sometimes I'd even note in the book "requests & cats only" as I was one of only 2 cat groomers at the time. I am pretty booked the week before Christmas but I'm hoping my clients who I've yet to see have the good sense to call and book before that last minute rush. I have been prebooking all that I can I have 4 appts in the first 2 weeks of January. Many of my Dec appts are prebook.

                  I guess I need to roll with it and remember what it was like in the shop before I got a regular book of clients. My old clients are finding me, in slow trickles. I get the funniest voicemail messages, for example a cat owner "Hi, I don't know if you remember my cat Gus but you always groomed him at ________. I'm not allowed to tell you how I got your number but please call me back." LOL.

                  Funny how the seasons in grooming are similar all over the country. When I read Janelle's post about the busy times it's almost identical in CA, except our Jan starts to get busy around mid month and continues through end of July. We have the same slow time during state fair/back to school time too!

                  Anyhow, I am off to promote my business and try to make this a productive day. Wish me luck!


                  • #10

                    would be normally a slow week. People are waiting for Fluffy's grooming so that Fluffy will look great for Grandma's visit. Sometimes they just forget about Fluffy till the week before Christmas and are in a panic because Uncle Ned coming for the holidays would not approve of Fluffy's messiness.

                    I'm 3 1/2 years out with Housecall. Most of my customers are prebooked so no real slow down. Also they've been taught that they will not get in just before Christmas so I'm busy with the non-prebooked now. I have a few clients hoping for a space. It takes a while to build up like that but it happens. I'm looking forward to any slowdown I can get in January.
                    Money will buy you a pretty good dog but it won't buy the wag of it's tail.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by cattledogz View Post

                      post about the busy times it's almost identical in CA, except our Jan starts to get busy around mid month and continues through end of July. We have the same slow time during state fair/back to school time too!
                      Hey. I didn't know you're in CA. Me too! Where are you? I'm in the inland Empire. Between Redlands and Palm Springs.


                      • #12
                        Don't worry, relax... I am not mobile, but have worked in shops for 17yrs, this is perfectly normal. Take this time to rest up for all the people that wait last minute right before christmas. Everyone just got the doggies done for thanksgiving company, and now they don't need it till christmas
                        If you sweat the small stuff, all you have is small soggy stuff.....


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mamabearwith2 View Post
                          Hey. I didn't know you're in CA. Me too! Where are you? I'm in the inland Empire. Between Redlands and Palm Springs.
                          Hey mamabear! I'm in the Roseville area, northeast of Sacramento.



                          • #14
                            My schedule WAS fairly full for this week. Not overly full, but a good regular schedule. But Monday it went to hell in a handbasket. Monday I had an every 2 weeker that wanted to skip this week- OK, I can handle that. Then Monday night at 8:35 PM a client L/V/M for their Tuesday AM 3 DOGS appt and wanted to cancel and move 2 weeks closer to Christmas!! Get real people, that aint gonna happen, maybe a very good client with 1 dog, but not 3 dogs!! Told her there was absolutely no room closer to Christmas and she said she was sick and would not be able to keep the appt anyways. (???? I'm mobile, I go to her) Told her about the last minute cancellation fee and gave her the address to mail it to and she said OK - dont know if I will ever see it or not.... I'm just about done with her anyways. She is a chronic canceller...she calls to re-schedule (after her reminder call)about every other appt and she is only an every 8-10 week appt anyways, so that puts her every 12-14 weeks. Dirty, matted ears & tails and never a tip! They all get a 5F so its no big trouble, but still....
                            Then today a client called that has an appt next week and wanted to put it off a week to get closer to Christmas. Told her that there was no room to do that so she decided to keep her appt for next week.

                            What is it with people this week!! ?? Did they not realize when they made their appts 6-8 weeks ago when Christmas was?

                            Sorry, just needed to vent..... it has been raining like crazy all day on top of everything else-I hate grooming in the rain. Feeling kinda bitchy...need a Mikes thingy and go to bed. Tomorrow will be better (I hope)


                            • #15
                              Ugh! I know the feeling, people are so strange. I guess maybe I shouldnt wish for my phone to ring because this evening I had a woman with a 15 yr old Newfie that hasn't been groomed in well over a year and is "hairy" according to her flip out on me when I quoted her a price. Umm, I felt that my starting estimate was generous considering her description of the dog.

                              Good news, I booked 2 dogs for Sat, and 1 more for tomorrow. I also planted a couple of seeds with people calling for prices so at least the phone rang. Oh, and I had a lady who had her dogs groomed this week book with me her next appt for Jan 6. She was referred to me.

                              I went to the local senior community to get info on advertising in their newsletter and visited 2 dog parks and handed out cards, answered questions. My dog Jessie enjoyed the day trip with mom, she made lots of friends at the parks.