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  • Paralyzed by fear of the economy

    Having a hard time believing the economy will support mobile grooming in my area

    Maybe those that already had clients before things went down hill are doing well but wanting to have a minimun charge of $65.00 I just don't know if it will fly in this economy right now for a new business. I know a couple people who started right before it all went bad had a hard time finding customers.

    This is what is keeping me from applying for a loan.

    I now there are plenty of affluent house owners around and the demographics support that people could afford mobile but sometimes even they scrimp and save at times like these

  • #2
    I started 2 years ago when the economy was really bad, Bush was still in office and my min fee is about what you want to charge and it took off. I hardly did any advertising either, I was shocked. And I started from scratch, had no clientele following me, but I also had a husband working and I was never looking to support an entire family on what I was making.
    What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

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    • #3
      It really depends on your location. I don't think my area would support a mobile charging that much...and that's why the closest one to me is a city over. I know that mobile does service this area, but I almost never see her truck. Sometimes a customer will tell me that they've gotten a quote from her in the past and would never pay so much for grooming! We also have a couple of areas with a lot of affluent people, but most of them are that way because they've been cheap when they could. There are a couple of areas within an hour's drive in different directions, that would probably easily pay twice that amount and not complain...but not here and not my customers (I'm homebased). You may want to research towns around you and see if that might work better for you. My hubby owns a print shop in our town and also has a lot of business in a city about 30 miles from here as he took over a customer base from another shop that closed. The people in that town don't blink an eye at his prices and the people around here will argue about paying the same price. Play with the numbers and see what you come up with.

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      • #4
        Briarpatch

        Right now I am doing housecalls but am finding a lot of people are really turned off about that idea around here although it is clearly what I advertised they are always shocked when they call and I tell them I dont' have a van.

        There are a couple of even more affluent areas around me I suppose I can stretch my area if my target area doesn't take off as well as expected but don't know how you could reel your area back in tighter once you expand beyond your "zone" so to speak.

        I don't really want to charge any less due to I would be taking out a higher interets SBA loan if they'll give me one.

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        • #5
          I started Sept 07' about a yr before it hit. Oct 08' it hit hard. I mean I did 8 dogs the whole month, made a wopping $400 & I had to buy a new dryer that month. It picked back up in 09'. Each yr I have doubled what I made the yr before. So far in 2010 some of my clients I haven't seen in a while are booking & becoming more regulars, I have gained more new dogs this yr then in yrs past. I have already done 36 "new" dogs this yr with one more new on on the books for this week, about 50% of those have booked again. I am actually booking about a week out as long as no one cancels (had 4 dogs cancel this week). I'm defaintly getting the calls where the people don't care about price this yr, very rarely am I hearing "I have to check my schedule or check with hubby/wifey I'll call you back" which means no thanks. Although it might start out slow, I think the economy is really picking back up atleast in my area. As others have mentioned though it would be best to have a few months saved up to cover yourself in the first few months as things pick up.

          Shannon
          The Soapy Puppy

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          • #6
            Just keep in mind that it's not how much you earn but rather how much you owe that determines your wealth. Maybe you could start out with less costs and adjust your prices a little lower to meet your area's expectations. I'd rather be busy at $50 a dog than begging for $65 a dog.

            Use a drug dealers business plan. Once they start depending on you, creep up your rates.

            (but keep in mind, this advice is coming from a guy who learned how to groom dogs from the instruction manual on his beard trimmer)
            Last edited by Jedd; 04-12-10, 09:51 PM. Reason: pore speling

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Jedd View Post
              (but keep in mind, this advice is coming from a guy who leaned how to groom dogs from the instruction manual on his beard trimmer)
              Is that why you only do the faces?
              "We are all ignorant--we merely have different areas of specialization."~Anonymous
              People, PLEASE..It's ONLY a website!~Me

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Smart-n-Pretty View Post
                Is that why you only do the faces?
                Yes, because the shaving gel seems to melt off the body too quick.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jedd View Post
                  Yes, because the shaving gel seems to melt off the body too quick.
                  OMG you guys are too funny.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Starshan View Post
                    II think the economy is really picking back up atleast in my area. As others have mentioned though it would be best to have a few months saved up to cover yourself in the first few months as things pick up.

                    Shannon
                    The Soapy Puppy
                    Shannon,

                    I as planning on taking out extra $$$ with the loan to cover the first 4-5 months of expenses but somehow still don't feel like it's enough, although my contribution to my household right now is minimal at least it is something and as much as my hubby says we can live without me having a check if I made 400 in a month I wouldn't even be able to cover the loan payment never mind insurance and such and I know it's not cool to infuse your personal money into your business monies.

                    I however did locate a place that allows you to park and plug in through just the winter for $125.00 a month Not bad since you should only need it for 4 months.

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                    • #11
                      I started cheap, REALLY cheap. 1.5 dogs per week covers my expenses, or did in the beginning. I had a personal loan from family for $5K to buy the rig and then I think around $600 to start the business up on. I was still working one day a week at a grooming salon then too, but within 3 1/2 months I was able to start paying myself something. Wasn't a ton, but it was something. Even with all the issues my old gal has had, I would never want to go mobile (start up) with a brand new rig with a HUGE monthly payment. That is just way too much stress for me to deal with. Everyone is different of course. I started cheap to build. My clients actually think my van is SO cool 'cuz I have a bath tub in it LOL. They don't know how ****** she is compared to the latest greatest pro models on the road. And now I am having my friend convert my newer rig from a shuttle bus, and even that which will totally be "da bomb" (to use you younguns vernacular) it's still only going to cost between $10-$12K. You don't HAVE to have a huge monthly payment. It's just an option to think about.
                      What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

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                      • #12
                        Mylady I have thought about just finding a less expensive vehicle and having someone convert it but don't know anybody handy that can do it for me. The one I'm looking at is 29,000 but by the time I take out enough to pay the loan and expenses for four months I'll need 37K

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                        • #13
                          From what I have read around here it sounds like you are already doing housecall, if you are already picking up clients no problem. I went the super cheap route of building my own & hardly doing any advertizing except for craigslist. I know if I had done more advertizing & had my prices up a little I would have been doing better in the earlier yrs of starting. I really had not much clue but have grown & learned alot. I don't know your area so I don't know forsure but around here not many are batting an eye at prices in the $55 - 60 range anymore. I listen to what the clients calling are saying about what they were charged before either at a shop or the local Pet Something & go up about $5 - $10. Like today a lady called with her older lab mix. She probably won't book an appt as she has to talk to her hubby but she mentioned that where she was taking the dog she was paying $55, I was already 10 over that.

                          Shannon
                          The Soapy Puppy

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                          • #14
                            I'm scared of this economy, too! I have told a few of my clients that are traveling to come to me for grooms that I am TRYING to go mobile. They are so ready and are finding me customers in their area. When I went to the SBDC they told me that banks are not lending for start ups, and my credit is not so great and the last year has been hard for my family financially. Scared to take the leap!!

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                            • #15
                              I would be suprised

                              if you will be loaned the money to cover expenses in addition to your vehicle cost. If you are this nervous about going mobile, I reccommend that you find a unit even more affordable than the one you are looking at. Limit your expenses. I started with a 30yo RV for the first year. Then I built my own trailer. I have always been debt free business-wise. It is the only thing that keeps me sane in this economic environment.

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