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  • How Long?

    Hello Folks:

    Been following conversations for awhile and have learned a lot...Thanks!

    I'll be starting a new mobile business in May and am curious to know how long it takes/took you (or any who care to share) to become established and able to cover obligations? I'm giving myself a 6 mo financial cushion and feel very confident I can make it work, but as time gets closer I am feeling like I'm jumping off a cliff to leave a good job (for someone else/another field) with benefits. Any thoughts?


  • #2
    From reading when I first got started I was under the assumption that I would fill up in six months but it really took me closer to two years. That was because I learned early on that I didn't want to groom the big hairies and I didn't want to drive all over the place. I was also picky about who I groomed. My groom fees were high and I held our for a particular customer. In the long run it worked out great for me. If you charge low in the beginning, you will fill up quickly which is good in the short run. You really have to think ahead in this business. That's my opinion. So much of it depends on you.

    May is a nice time to start a mobile business and the economy seems to be growing which is good. I think everyone is different. A lot depends on your area, your competition, your skills. It's good that you have set aside six months of a financial cushion. Very smart. I'm sure you'll get lots of different answers and opinions here but that's what happened to me. I did write a book called Go Mobile And Succeed. You might find it helpful in getting your business up and running.

    Best of luck!


    • #3
      It has taken me 3yrs, I've been picky & now I'm even pickier. I did very little advertizing which in my area I probably should have done more. Referals have only gotten me a handful of clients over the yrs. I was in a comfy position though. Hubby had a good job & medical was ok. Well last yr he took a pay cut to move up to management. I gained a few more clients & that balanced things out money wise but still wasn't making much. We built my rigs so we had no payments. Now this yr 2010 has been amazing. The last 3 months I have gained 11 new dogs each month. My husband did loose his job Feb 1st this yr & my business has been taking off big time. Still not full but now I am filling up with 5 dogs atleast one day a week with 2-3 dogs the other days. I still travel 30min or up to 15miles one way to some places. I am hoping come next yr I can narrow my trips down a little better Or even cut out parts of some towns. This yr I am finally able to group people better & trying to limit my traveling from town to town in a day. The only hard part I just ran into is getting sick with salmonella from recalled dip, my store gave me a list of foods. I normally will work through a cold as they tend to not be bad but for the last 6 days I have had stomach pains, it got worse over the wkend with fever etc. I rescheduled my Monday which was a 5dog house. Luckily this week is light with just 7 dogs total so I have a place to put those dogs & can recover more. I am feeling a little better today.

      The Soapy Puppy
      Last edited by Starshan; 03-23-10, 01:16 PM.


      • #4
        It took me about a year. I could have easily been set at the 7 month mark, but I was working part time as a tech still and was too scared to fully quit that job, so I was turning clients away - stupid! That resulted in me working 7 days a week between the two. It was April of 2007 that I finally decided to quit the tech job. I worked extra days taking all appointments that I could just to make sure the money was coming in, then after a month or two I was able to give myself regular hours. I did not advertise but the vet I worked for was very kind to give my name out even though they were upset with me leaving. Because of them in the beginning and now word of mouth from clients, I have never needed the advertising. I have been picky as well. I discovered soon after starting that the large dogs were killing me physically, so I weeded those out over time. I still have a few that get into the tub without lifting and they are super good to groom, in fact, I think all of the 'large' dogs are bath dogs, except one labradoodle, but she is very small...oops, I'm rambling.


        • #5
          There are some regulars on this board that always give good advices on starting a new mobile business. I agree with WetNoze. It will be one year this July since I started my business full time. I didn't have any prior background in pet business but my personalities combine with my other experiences have worked really well with my business. I started to get full (about 4-6 dogs a day/ 5 days a week) after the New Year. I am taking a Spring break off with my family this week but right now I am booked about a week-2 weeks a head. I try not to over do myself because I don't want to get too tired and burn out too soon. I sometime work at home on Sat. as well. Those aret the clients that have been with me before mobile. I start to get a little pickier choosing my clients. I don't do big hairy dogs (but I don't have that many inquiries any way) I quote my price higher on the bigger dogs, but I don't mind taking some big short haired dogs because that is easy money. Most o my clients are small dogs like Schnauzers, Shih Tzus, small designer dogs. I don't travel more than 15- 30 minutes out of my town. There are plenty of works for me in my town. If I have to travel further, I charge per mileage. So it is about $10-$15 extra. I have all kinds of clients from retirees to hightly professionals. I have clients live in a mobile home, lower income part of town to million dollar homes. I have a one-year contract with the local newspaper to advertise on the paper and website, that is the most expensive expense besides the van payment. It is about 8 dogs a month for me to pay for my ad, but it is worth it. It helps my business to take off a little faster. I am also able to change my ad every week. I use a picture of my clients' dog on the ad. Sometime I do before and after photo. I think I probably will need at least one- two years to be full. My advice is you have to have a very good customer service. Try to spend a little more time with each client and getting to know them. I want to make them feel special. Good Luck.


          • #6
            1-2 years may be more like it depending on your area...Best Wishes!


            • #7
              I started my mobile in Nov '08...

              things were very slow up until Mar'09 then it just kind of snowballed and hasn't stopped since. I've had a few 3-4 dog days, but for the most part I have been 5-7 dogs/5 days a week and I do about 2 Saturdays a month with 3-4 dogs ... been going like this for the past year. I bought a brand new elite so my expenses are huge but I have been able to make all my expenses with a little left over since that time. I only advertised for a few weeks when I first got my truck...haven't done much of anything since then, a few postcards here and there but the rest have been from client referrals. Good luck with your new venture.