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I am booked at least three weeks into the future and no saturdays til April 3.

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  • I am booked at least three weeks into the future and no saturdays til April 3.

    I told clients I've seen before they need to schedule for the next groom or they will have to wait for a Saturday. Then they call 3 mos later and want Saturday when they called Monday evening. They won't wait and get irritated. First time callers won't wait either. Or, they are on Spring break and need it today because they go back to teach school Monday. I will not groom at 4:30PM, when I work shorter hours and usually get home by 2PM.

    How can any of us schedule newbies three weeks into the future? I think to myself, they don't know what they are missing with my awesome THE STUFF and blueberry facials, AND with my info I share from here.;and my wonderful selection of colognes.

    I told one gal, try to get your regular groomer, then call me to schedule for your two dogs now so you will have that Saturday you want next time. I jokingly said we aren't like the good humor guy drivin' around lookin' for dogs to groom. I think any mobile who has an opening tomorrow for two dogs makes me wonder... why isn't she busy? All Groomers are very busy here.

    How do you get new callers to wait for an appt three weeks away?
    Last edited by Jenneversage64; 03-20-10, 12:25 AM.

  • #2
    I have been lucky enough to be staying busy at the moment too, and I'm fully booked until after Easter as well. My poor clients are used to the 'old' me, where by this time of the year (autumn here!) I'm getting quiet and can fit dogs in within a week or so usually, and now they're calling and can't be fit in for 3+ weeks! BUT in saying that, because I have been this busy since November, most of my regular clients are catching on fast, and are pre-booking all their appointments for next time 'just in case' I stay busy, which in turn is KEEPING me busy...

    But yes, it's hard when it's new clients ringing around and I can't fit them in for ages and they need groomed now. BUT at the same time, any of the ones that I spend a few mins talking to (puppies about their first grooms etc etc) generally make the appointment for in a few weeks time anyway, so I'm certainly not missing out on all the new guys...

    All the groomers in town here are busy at the moment, it's unusual!!! But I'm not complaining at all

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    • #3
      Well, I'm not mobile, but my Saturdays are full until the 17th of April and people that normally get a sat. and WON'T prebook, are now getting discouraged because they are having problems getting an appointment.

      What I've been doing to accommodate these people is offering them an early am drop off during the week, along with a later pick up time. I've noticed the ones that have done this in the last couple of weeks, are now prebooking for a saturday

      As for new clients (or perspective ones), they don't want to wait that long, so I don't see a solution for that. If they really want to use your service, they'll either wait or pre-book their next appointment. Frankly, I've found the ones that want it now are usually the ones that don't get their dog groomed on a very regular schedule and just HAVE to have it done right then. While I try to accommodate everyones request when possible, I honestly, don't want to make exceptions for people that are only going to come in a few times a year. That would prevent me from being able to service my regular clients.

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      • #4
        I am finally starting to book up; getting lots of new client calls, I am about to expand a day a week, as my corporate has started scheduling me off on Wed, too. Wait til them want me back and I tell them my Wed are taken by mobile. They shouldn't cut my hours when things are just getting busy there.
        Deidre

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        • #5
          I'd like to know the answer to this too. I have people that call and if you are busy and call them back a half-an-hour or hour later they've already called and found someone else.

          People are very fickle and want instant gratification even when they are poor planners. There is no need for grooming to be of an emergency nature in my mind. Minus being skunked are rolling in something funky.

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          • #6
            Yes, we are now booking 3 of us after Easter. We are in the same boat but most people are waiting. I am very lucky that I have a stylist who doesn't mind working weekends. I am trying to find another stylist who can work weekends. I guess we need to consider ourselves lucky and thank the good Lord for our fortune. Have a great weekend.

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            • #7
              I am booked out 4 weeks. Most of this is due to the fact that 95% of my clients pre-book. I do not work Saturdays so no one wanting Sat.'s. But what works for me is three things. First the local vet highly recommends me to her clients. Second, my clients know when recommending me to their friends, they tell them to plan on waiting a few weeks before getting in to me the first time. Then the last thing I do is try to leave an open appt. one day a week that I will only fill with a new client.
              Lisa VanVleet, RVT

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              • #8
                I usually have Sun and Mon off.

                I did work last Monday for a four, Maltese family. My Mondays are reserved for my generator to be hopefully fixed completely. I need my two days off, but now and then it is nice to add a few more to my weekly earnings. I also have Monday open in case a good-sounding new client comes along. Those Mondays have brought me some good regulars in the past.

                I have one client who is away several months in Wash to be with her son and Grand kids and she hated the way they ruined my groom. She said this week when I did Muffin, she will have me again before they leave and never go to the groomer there again, she will just let her grow shaggy for me. They brush her some, so she will probably stay ok (.Xed fingers,) I think they might be gone 3 mos. I am glad she had her done in Washington because now she has been tipping me $10.

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                • #9
                  No more week ends

                  That was a pain in the past. With this new client base we are not working week ends. There is just way too much good fishing down here to waste my week ends on working. Caught 15 bass yesterday evening all keep 'rs. Gonna go back and hit it again this afternoon. It's nice to have time to work on the van with out feeling rushed as well. Life is too short. I have had so many people in my life pass away or are in the process of ,that Im not willing spend the last half of my life regretting all the things I did not get to do. You all can go get em ,Im going fishing.

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                  • #10
                    I think there comes a limit as to how many customers one mobile groomer can handle. When you reach the point you are booking out ahead and don't have room for new customers and they choose to go somewhere else, your business is simply reaching saturation point. Fill the hours you are willing to work with appointments, streamline your routes for less driving time, streamline your grooming technique and improve products to limit the time required per pet, increase prices with demand for service, pre-book clients, concentrate on your best clients rather than all clients, but when you reach saturation it is a time to celebrate, not a time to worry.

                    The very nature of mobile grooming limits the size of your business, and with that it limits the number of new customers you are going to be able to serve. It's not like a shop situation where you can go from a one groomer shop to a team grooming shop and thus bring in more money. If clients refuse to pre-book and are then unable to get an appointment when they want one, they either learn to pre-book or they learn to go somewhere else.

                    If you feel you are not yet at saturation point and really do need to keep growing your business, save a few of your appointment slots and leave them open specifically for new clients so that you don't have to tell them they will have to wait 3 weeks. Since you are booked for the next 3 weeks, you may have to work a bit longer day to fit in a new client, but can start leaving some spots open in the unbooked section of your calendar.

                    I think working 6 days a week may work well when building a business, but for long term, I think you may be asking for burnout. If you only want to work until 2, then schedule yourself that way, but of course, it will limit your clientelle base further than someone who chooses to work until 6.

                    Be happy being exclusive rather than inclusive! Being booked is an incredible feeling!

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                    • #11
                      My Saturdays are filled thru April3rd and weekdays are getting farther out too

                      I hope this trend continues. I have many more days booked in April and beyond. This Blue Moon New Year is proving to be special. I love it! We can set aside weekends to go somewhere and relax. It is true, people want what they can't have. Being booked makes them want me even more.
                      Last edited by Jenneversage64; 03-20-10, 08:03 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jenneversage64 View Post
                        I hope this trend continues. I have many more days booked in April and beyond. This Blue Moon New Year is proving to be special. I love it! We an set aside weekends to go somewhere and relax. It is true, people want what they can't have. Being booked makes them want me even more.
                        I work 3-4 days/week, 8-10 dogs a day, I'm not mobile. We're booked out until the beginning of June. I hate turning away people, but there is only so much I can do being the only groomer. There are other groomers in the area. Slowly but surely the "once-a-year's" are going elsewhere. That's fine with us, we don't make any money on them anyway because they're in such bad condition. The word is getting around that we are busy, I'm getting calls from people willing to wait - they hear around town that we're booked out pretty far so they're making appts. in May and June. I'm pleased that we're doing this well, but still am struggling to find a balance...I worry that we're losing potential customers. We're truly not sure about hiring.

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                        • #13
                          Yup, don't you want to go to a restaurant that is so popular they are

                          booking reservations weeks in advance? Psychology....it works.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by borzoimom View Post
                            I am booked out 4 weeks. Most of this is due to the fact that 95% of my clients pre-book. I do not work Saturdays so no one wanting Sat.'s. But what works for me is three things. First the local vet highly recommends me to her clients. Second, my clients know when recommending me to their friends, they tell them to plan on waiting a few weeks before getting in to me the first time. Then the last thing I do is try to leave an open appt. one day a week that I will only fill with a new client.
                            I work the exact same way as Lisa. Prebooks are the big majority of my business, followed by my "sometimes clients". You know, the clients you have been doing forever, but they cant schedule several weeks out, so they call you (in advance because they know the deal) when they need appts or if you get openings you call them.

                            When a newbie calls (again, usually a vet referral or friend of an existing client) and I have absolutely no space for an extra dog for a couple of weeks, I tell them to lets schedule their appt for the first available opening and if I get a cancellation earlier that that, I will call them. Most people will accept that with no problem. 9 times out of 10 someone within that 2-3 week time period will have to re-schedule and then you slip the newbie in early.

                            If they cant be satisifed with that, Oh Well, take your impatient self somewheres else. You know what they say about Poor planning on your part, does not constitute emergency on mine.....I am not a robot and I can only work so many hours in a day and groom so many dogs in those hours. I do my best to accomodate everyone because I am grateful for their phone call and their business, but I can only do so much...

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