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  • Checking on speed

    Guess I want to see if I've improved my time at all yet. I had 4 dogs today all at one house. 3 Cavs and 1 Goldendoodle. I got there at 1pm, probably got the first dog out to the rig at 1:20. Had tp plug in first and then chatted with the owners. Mom owns the goldendoodle and her daughter owns the Cavs and is expecting in February. 2 things I will talk about endlessly are Cavs (or any dog really) and babies, so not a good combo. But the weather was starting to get ****** so they didn't want to hold me up too long. Took out the first Cav, a matted mess. A little black and tan female. Wow, so many matts. Then the Ruby boy who ADORES me, at least he pretends to before we get out there, then he snubs me during the groom, then it's back to total adoration when I bring him back inside LOL. I tell mom he likes to "keep it all business" when I'm working on him. he was also matted, but not as badly as the first. mostly his ears and the softball size matt on his tail. then the last was a Blenhem, TEENY little thing, hardly any coat and still had some matts. Had all three done by 4pm. Then went to get Cooper. Mom offered to let me come back another day since she didn't want me to be overly tired LOL. Told her it was today or not until after the new year, so Cooper and I headed to the van. He's taken me over 3 hours before because he likes to sleep through the groom. And he's usually matted so I usually have to wet shave him etc. But anyway, hardly any matts at all and mom wanted a bit shorter since the snow sticks to him. So I finished all the dogs, cleaned up and was on my way home by 6:20. I did spend more time chatting when all the dogs were finished. When i gave them their ornaments the mom told me about all the hand made ornaments she had made with her kids etc etc. Soo, I made this MUCH longer than it had to be. Do you think my time for grooming is at least where it should be for mobile or should I look for more ways to increase my speed (besides shutting my big fat trap LOL). I also have to say I thought it was funny the mom felt so badly for me because I had "such a long day". Gosh, wish we all could have a 5 hour work day!
    I'm getting much better at scheduling MOST of the time, though on Dec 20th I really screwed up trying to accomodate as many as I could before the holiday and will be spending WAY too much time on the road. But I'm learning. I actually had a day where ALL of my appointments were within a mile if not closer to one another. THAT was a nice day. Covering 3 counties doesn't help in the scheduling, but I'm getting it.
    What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

  • #2
    Please stop playing this mind game with yourself, you will drive yourself crazy, and many others, when you try to compare apples to oranges. It doesn’t matter if someone in California grooms faster, or if someone in TX grooms slower. You work at the speed and ability that you feel comfortable with. No one can know the condition of the dog’s coats, their temperament, your style to achieve the proper cut, or the speed that is safe for the animal. Groom at the speed you are most comfortable with to give the best custom groom you can achieve, and forget about the groomers in Iowa. If you are not happy with your speed, then figure out what takes up your time (ie: talking to clients), however, I find that the most enjoyable part of being mobile !

    Happy Looking over your shoulder at the clock

    Dolly’s Barking Bubbles, LLC

    www.dollysbarkingbubbles.com

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    • #3
      When I read the thread title I thought maybe you were working undercover for Jmarti, too.
      "We are all ignorant--we merely have different areas of specialization."~Anonymous
      People, PLEASE..It's ONLY a website!~Me

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      • #4
        saw the ornament comment, what kind of ornament did you do? I use my pogo and put the pic inside the ornament and write the dogs name and year 2009 in gold. My clients love them, but it is so time consuming I'm wondering if I should do it next year!!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by schnlove View Post
          saw the ornament comment, what kind of ornament did you do? I use my pogo and put the pic inside the ornament and write the dogs name and year 2009 in gold. My clients love them, but it is so time consuming I'm wondering if I should do it next year!!
          I have a thread with pics of the ornaments I make them. I hand paint pics, well, as close as I can get, of the pets on the ornaments, names, year, a few painted bones, paw prints etc, put some fur inside, a bow ontop and viola!
          What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by mylady View Post
            I have a thread with pics of the ornaments I make them. I hand paint pics, well, as close as I can get, of the pets on the ornaments, names, year, a few painted bones, paw prints etc, put some fur inside, a bow ontop and viola!
            I did that last year. Can't figure out what to do this year, ha! I guess I will be hand delivering some little doggie gifts when I finally figure it out, ha!

            Also on time, I am the slowest of the slow. It takes me over 30 minutes to bath and blow dry a dog. Probably closer to 45 minutes. Not yorkies of course, but like poodles, shih's and furry things take me that long just to get to the fluffy clean and dry cycle, ha!

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            • #7
              I should clarify why I am asking I guess. I used to do 11 dogs a day at a salon. I was required to by my boss. When I moved I went to a salon where my boss was happy for me to do 6-8 and they were always haircuts, usually lots of handscissoring. Then I got pregnant and went on maternity leave for 4 weeks and came back one day a week for a few years. My speed never had the chance to rebuild itself after being out only working that one day a week. Then I had my son and took 18 weeks off because of my C-section and I was on bed rest before I had him due to some issues. when I went back to work at one day a week I seemed to have slowed right back down. I added a couple nights evenutally where I did a few dogs, but I never went back to that full day of grooming 5-6 days a week like I had been and when I started the mobile I was SOOOO slow. Not only because of my time off but because I was so nervous, wanted every pet to be absolutely perfect, was afraid of disappointing clients etc. As I gained confidence in my new business and was back to grooming everyday (since when I started I was grooming 7 days a week) I thought my speed was improving. But I still usually only do 1-2 pets a day since I only do evenings during the week. Well I charge based on time it takes to do a groom, but because I knew I was so slow in the beginning I was charging what I felt the dog SHOULD have taken me vs what they actually were. I'm trying to figure out if I am back to where, on average, most groomers are time wise. It's hard for me to evaluate myself time wise since I have no one else in the van with me. I've worked with lots of groomers who could bang out twice the amount of dogs I could and be done before me, and I know that's just not me. I'm not trying to be competitive or worry about what every other groomer is doing, I just want to know if my times are reasonable since that is what I am charging for.
              What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

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              • #8
                It is different for everyone, but I average 45 minutes on a clip down to an hour for a scissored dog; including bath and blow dry. I only do small breeds; cockers will take me more like 1 and 1/2 hours.

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                • #9
                  It definitely depends on the dog. The 2 westies today take me 1 hr each, they are every 6wks except in the holiday's then its 4wks. Most haircuts take me 1.5hrs, bath & brush take me 1hr with the exception of the boston that is 20mins. 2 doodles with straighter coat take me 2hrs each. The doodle with curlier, wavy coat takes me 2.5 - 3hrs depending on how long they went. Normally they are 7wks but they skipped last month to stretch it out so we'll see what they are like. Cockers & poodles take me longer, dry time & clean feet really slow me down.

                  Shannon
                  The Soapy Puppy

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                  • #10
                    Mylady, I totally agree with Dolly. Stop trying to compare. You are probably where you should be, but are we really ever happy with what we are doing. Always trying to do more and better. I'm not saying that's a bad thing. I will tell you I like to do 8 dogs in a day. I can do more, I choose not to. During the holidays or when we are extremely busy I will do more, but I am very comfortable with the work and pay doing 8. However, there are days when we can be really slow at the shop I work at and do way less. Sometimes it takes just as long to do a few because I waste too much time knowing I don't have to hurry. When I read your threads, I think you must be a very caring groomer, so just be okay with where you're at. When I am teaching someone to groom, I tell them you can always have speed. You need to be a good groomer that cares about the dog and people clients first. I think you have that part down perfect.

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                    • #11
                      the jist is you are trying to price fairly b/c you charge by the hour. This is why I will avoid charging 'by the hour" because I dont want the pressure to be faster than I am comfortable with so that ppl can save money. And i would imagine ppl will expect you to be quite fast and perfect all at the same time. I dont want that pressure. I would rather personally charge a flat fee for the dog depending on how much work that dog is gonna be.

                      But i can see why you'd ask if you are charging hourly. To me, I'm stll slow, really slow because it takes time to build speed and confidence. naturally i want to be as fast and as accurate as i can, so that I can serve as many ppl and their pets as I can and make as much income as I can (being middle aged w/out assets or investments is a scary thing)... but the most important thing is "at the end of the day" feeling good about a job well done and about proper income from said job...b/c in the end it is a job after all.

                      But, heres my take: if it ends up putting too much stress on you to be hourly (feeling the need to compare to others and worry if you are fair etc) then why not consider just a flat fee per dog.

                      But that said? You dont sound slow thats for sure.

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                      • #12
                        I decided to charge based on an hourly rate after going to a John Stazko seminar. What I like about it is that if the dog is in bad shape and takes me twice as long the owners know I charge for my time and aren't surprised when the bill is higher. Another nice thing about mobile is that the owners know exactly how long you spend on their dog so they never wonder if I've "padded" the bill time wise. I mean, I guess if I was terribly dishonest I could fly through a groom and then sit and do nothing for half an hour or so and they wouldn't know, but you get my point hopefully.
                        There are days I am slower than others. If I'm overly tired or coming down with something. Then I still charge for the time it should have taken me. My biggest problem (besides chatting it up with the owners) is I have some mild OCD issues and tend to have to do things in threes, meaning I have to go over every dog three times to check to make sure everything is correct before I feel comfortable giving the dog back to the owner. I know it slows me down and I've been working on that. I never want to go back to having to do 11 in a day. I did that with no bather, no reception help, no one to check in or out or answer the phones but me but then the paperwork I had to do every single day usually took about 2 hours as required by my boss. I'm happy doing 3-4 in the mobile and making more than I did doing 8 at the salon or even the 11 at the vet.
                        I have a small Bichon I do every 4 weeks and he usually takes me an hour, from start to finish and he's in a fairly full Bichon clip, my Shih Tzu's normally take me about 1-1 1/2 hours and most are in #0-#E comb clips, maltese normally take me 45 min-1hour. I know last year I was taking a lot more time, I guess sitting down and writing it all out makes me realize in a lot of instances I've cut my time way down. I won't sacrifice quality for time saved, but I think I've found my groove I guess. I guess I am comfortable with my times now that I have really taken the time to think about them.
                        LOL, I remember the first dog I ever groomed on my own took me 4 hours, and that was NOT including the bath/dry! It was a black cocker in a suburban clip.
                        What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

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                        • #13
                          I'm all over the place with my times but as long as your charging for the time spent that's really all that should matter.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Smart-n-Pretty View Post
                            When I read the thread title I thought maybe you were working undercover for Jmarti, too.
                            Et tu, S n P?

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                            • #15
                              Wow!!!

                              You said you started at 1:20pm and had the three matted Cavaliers done by 3pm...I could never acomplish (spelling?) that. I would like to know your secret. I just had done one of my Cavaliers yesterday who is always matted. It took me almost two hours. Just shaving him would be faster. But to work the matts out and then cut with a 19mm blade plus bathing, drying, nails, ears and sani? I wished I can take a seminar in your rig,lol. Unfortunately I am too far away.
                              Believe me there is nothing wrong with your speed.

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