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How many clients do you have a day????

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  • How many clients do you have a day????

    I have been a mobile groomer for over 2 years now and despite my best efforts, I find it is still taking me between 1.5 - 2hours average per client. That of course includes the consult with the owner, toe nails, ear cleaning/plucking, bath, drying, brushing, haircut, bandana, calculating the bill, bringing pet back the owner, collecting payment, cleaning up the unit and heading to the next appointment. I work 10 hour days, but seem to only be able to get about 4-5 dogs (complete haircuts) done per day. Most of my clients are 6-8 week returns. I also have alot of special needs dogs, either old, ill or badly behaved dogs. My boss/supervisor is really wanting me to reduce my groom time, but I am at a loss of how to do with without sacrificing quality. Any idea/advise you can give me would be greatly appreciated! How many clients are you doing a day? What types? Baths, partial haircuts, full haircuts, small dogs???
    Thanks, looking forward to getting alot of great advice on this website!

  • #2
    It isn't quality that I am worried about but when you speed up and are not ready that is when the care of the dog goes down. Meaning when you hurry you risk cutting a dog. Once you cut a dog then it takes more time to rebuild the trust again. You may just be a slower groomer. Your boss should be lucky to have a faithful and dependable employee like you. Do your best even if it is 4-5 dogs. FYI-I can do anywhere from 8-10 dog in a 10 hour day including drive time and clean up. Perhaps someone will have advice to build speed. Keep your chin up!!

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    • #3
      I dont know how some of these people are doing all the things you mentioned in an hour for a haircut dog! It also takes me between 1.5 - 2 hours per dog. Maybe speed just comes with more experience so for now I will be slow which is okay for me. I have only been mobile a few months now and it's taking me a while to get in the rhythm.

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      • #4
        This is average for me when you include set up, clean up & talking with the client. Like today I did 3 poms, bath, feet, tidy fronts & rears. Started at 9am & was bringing the last one in the house at 11:30am, I do one at a time take it back, pick up the next one. I was only in the house for about 5 mins at the end to book another appt & get payment. I did most of the clean up before taking in the last dog. I'm only doing 4-5. If I only do small dogs I can do 6 but I like to not be rushed.

        Are you using a bathing system? Are you keeping things at arms reach that you need for the days dogs? I found Best Shot Ultra Max shampoo, conditioner & finishing spray has helped me speed up even more. Even for dogs that I don't use this set on I like to do a light spray of the finishing spray over them when wet & it helps dry faster too.

        Shannon
        The Soapy Puppy
        Last edited by Starshan; 04-07-10, 09:55 AM.

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        • #5
          What kinds of dogs are taking you so long? If it is a toy poodle or a short clip shih tzu, then 1.5 - 2 hours is a little too long, if it is a full coated cocker spaniel, or something like a samoyed or chow or other heavy coated breed, then you are about right on the time. Are you spending too much time chatting with the owners? That can be a huge time consumer, some friendly chit chat is good and gathering info on the dog is necessary, but some owners will take up too much time just chatting away. I'm mobile and I can easily get 6-7 dogs full groomed in an 8 hour day. But, I am only doing small dogs 30 lbs and under, I have a lot of multi pet homes, I have my route set up so that I am working in a defined area each day and not spending a lot of time driving around and 95% are established clients on a regular 4-6 or 8 week schedule.... Are you routing your clients so you dont zig zag around too much? Are you driving a lot between houses? That can be a big time waster too. Do you use any speed dry products like Davis Quick Dry to cut down on your dry time? They really help, especially on thick coats and on rainy damp days.

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          • #6
            You have lots of "special needs"

            Special needs dogs take a LOT more time, it seems. Why do you have so many? Maybe you simply have to charge more than the current fee.

            I, too, am a slow groomer for a full haircut, especially curly coats and/or lots of scissoring, Poodle feet, etc. And when you figure in cleanup time, too - whew! - I'd be going crazy.

            Maybe you simply don't have enough "easy" dogs on your roster, and you need to add a few simpler ones.

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            • #7
              I don't know about your situation exactly, but for me I have to be very careful not to get caught up in conversation with clients (unless I have time for it.) I'm in a shop, but have a mobile type schedule. And dangit if someone hogs my time or if I get caught up with them I get behind.

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              • #8
                Everyone has their own speed. I average 1-2 hours per groom depending on what I am working on. I think your times are fine since you are including set up and clean up. I clean my van in between grooms as if it's end of day because many of my clients come out to the van with their pet and I am not about to open teh door to a less than clean area! They don't care if I've groomed 5 other dogs before them, they want their pets in a clean, sanitary environment. So I spend a good 20 minutes in cleaning. I rinse the rubs, wipe down the walls, counters, tables, floors, etc. From talking to other mobiles, I do spend more time cleaning than most I've spoken to, but it's what I'm comfortable with.
                It also depends on your equipment, your set up, etc. If you are shore line, like I am, you can't have a K9-III to dry the dogs and that is going to affect your tiem verses another groomer. I found I was grooming faster when I got things more organized in tha van too. When I didn't have to hunt for tools it made a big difference. Also using my Speed Dry shampoo and spray has really helped too. I specialize in senior and special needs pets, so I get plenty of those. I enjoy working on them.
                I hate having to groom more than 4 a day. I only work on full day, Sunday, otherwise I onlt do evenings and will only do up to 3 in an evening, and they can't be huge unruly coated dogs to do that many. I have one client with 3 poodles. They are 7 strips with cf and ft and the one gets a mohawk I dye a different color every time. I get there at 6:30pm and am usually leaving there by around 10pm. I have another client with a Samy and an overweight Golden and I am easily leaving there at 10-10:30pm. Thankfully the golden has a thin coat due to thyroid issues. Not that I'm happy about his health issues, just that his coat dries quickly.
                I have done up to 8 in a day and HATE it. So much I'll say it again, I HATE doing that many. I went mobile so I could do fewer dogs than I was doing at the salon, not to try to kill myself doing too many! If I could do 3 per day, if I was full time, I'd be thrilled. My groomer that works during the day, I try not to schedule her any more than 4 since she has to have the van back to me by 6pm.
                I think your time is just fine. If you want to work on speed, maybe look at your equipment and products and see if there is anything you can add that will save you time. Really good shears save time, having a little trimmer for feet and sani save me time, being organized, using the speed dry shampoo/spray, having a good dryer and I also have a high velocity fan that I keep blowing on them while drying to help speed that up, good ventilation to let the moisture out when drying, etc
                What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

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                • #9
                  Workload:

                  I think it depends upon the "mix" of the days work..are some of them bath dogs only? When I do scheduling I try to mix up a day; but it doesn't always happen. Its the $ at the end of the week that counts. What it takes to get there is individualized. I consider a "reasonable" amount of grooms per van on a weekly basis to be 35 dogs. Some days are always heavier than others...the holiday season means more like 45 to 50 dogs per week. However; that is not the norm. Pricing via area basically dictates how many dogs you need to be doing to hit "your minimum required $ amount". I am in The Woodlands, TX are and is for the most part; upscale homes so I may be charging more. Your main goal should be quality...not necessarily quantity but to stay financially sound...you must always focus on time management. That means with both the 2 legged and 4 legged clients. Start timing yourself on what groom areas slow you down the most...then focus on speeding those areas up; still quality work of course. If you don't do this...then old habits kick in and you just continue your "norm" routines that won't make you much money. You should work towards a minimum of 6 dogs per day- confortably. Yes; with a mix-up of bath/groom clients.

                  Poochlady

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Poochlady View Post
                    You should work towards a minimum of 6 dogs per day- confortably. Yes; with a mix-up of bath/groom clients.

                    Poochlady
                    Hmm, no offense intended, but I think working towards any certain number per day is an individual choice. I would never want to do 6 dogs a day, everyday, in my mobile. Unfortunately you can't control how many bath vs groom dogs you have as clients. When it comes to bath dogs, I have 3, in all of my clients. And when I say bath dog, I mean that's it (bath nails ears), no trimming. I have several bath and trim dogs. I would say 95% of my clients are full hair cuts and as much as I would love to get some easy bath dogs, I can't force people to call me. Now, my employee, she has quite a few easy bath dogs. A family with 5 beagles, a family with 3 bull dogs, etc. I have no idea why she seems to get the bath dogs when I rarely ever got those calls. And MY bath dogs are a lab, a GSD mix and a GSD. Not exactly the easiest when it comes to drying time. I was doing 6-8 full haircuts a day at a salon before I went mobile. before that I was required to do 11 per day (mix of bath and haircuts). After grooming for 15 years, I just don't want to do that many anymore. Give me 3-4 per day and that is PLENTY and seems to be pretty average for many of the mobiles I have talked to. Of course, I have such low overhead that I just don't need to do very many dogs to make a really nice profit and I have the luxury of keeping my schedule to 3-4 dogs and still do very well. Everyone's situation is going to be different. I can cover my monthy expenses doing 1-2 dogs per week. I normally do 10-14 per week an d my daytime groomer is getting busier, averaging about 3 per day now.
                    Do what you are comfortable with. There is no magic number of what you should be doing. as long as you are able to meet expenses and pay yourself what you need, you are doing fine. If you want to increase, that's one thing, but don't ever feel you HAVE to.
                    What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

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                    • #11
                      Wait

                      MyLady.
                      Did you correctly read my previous post? First of all; since the owner usually does the scheduling....how can you "not" control who does what and bath vs groom dogs? I don't get that at all. And I didn't make it some mandatory requirement to do more dogs; just that you should be "able" to. And...I did make mention that each persons income requirements vary. Your post blows it all out of proportion.

                      Poochlady

                      (minor edits by Admin)

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                      • #12
                        It's very easy when it comes to why she gets the bath dogs and I don't. I'm full, I cannot really take any more clients, which is why I hired her, and it's all the new clients calling that I book for her. If someone calls with all bath dogs, well, she gets them because I already have a full schedule. She has "her" clients and I have mine and I already told her if she ever decided to leave she's welcome to take all the clients she does with her.
                        Unfortunately, I think when people read through posts, many times it's the last statement or two that really sticks with them, and I just don't want anyone to feel that there is some magic number everyone should try to reach. It sounds like she is doing fine financially with the number of dogs she is doing, she'd simply like the get them done a little faster, which is absolutely understandable. Sometimes, especailly with newer groomers, they can read something and really take it to heart that they HAVE to be doing it that way, and I just want to make sure no one feels that way. With just about everything in life, there is more than one way to get things done, and very rarely only one right way.
                        I couldn't help but sit down and figure it out today. If my employee worked 5 days a week doing only 4 dogs per day at my MINIMUM small dog hair cut price she would gross $35500 per year. (and many dogs cost more than that min)I think that's pretty darn good since I was making $32K working full time doing twice that many dogs per day at the salon. That was 7 years ago of course. How many grooming salons can offer that kind of salary with only 4 dogs per day? Plus most of our clients tip $10-$30. I remember working for the vet making $20K a year doing 11 dogs a day because the area I was in the prices were so darn low. So glad I don't have to kill myself anymore and I'm happy to offer the same thing to someone else!
                        Just thought that was interesting.
                        What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

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                        • #13
                          work load

                          I do think everyone should strive for quality but also this is our bread and butter to so before u go out alone you need to make sure you can do enough to make it. I do between 5 being a rare and slow day to 11. 8 being average. I make sure they are done properly before going back to the owners home and clean up between pups. Some mobiles here use dry shampoo to cut corners but there is no substitute for a real bath.

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                          • #14
                            Workload

                            SCGroomer... I agree with you...big time. I have never used a dry shampoo in my life. I too am very picky over how finished my pooches look but also clean up between them. I run 2 vans...the 2nd being a new Wag'n Tails Elite and it takes money to run them & that equates to production; as well as perfection.

                            Poochlady

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                            • #15
                              I like grooming 4 dogs a day. That usually has me working an eight hour day. I too take 2 hrs per dog including cleaning and drive time. If there is a day with households that have multiple pets then I do 5, but still prefer not to and would like to keep it to 4. Today I groomed 6, 4 of which were large breed dogs and I am exhausted! I wouldn't want to feel like this every day.

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