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Marketing change, need of thoughts

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  • Marketing change, need of thoughts

    Hi gang, well, I never thought I'd do it, but I am in need of a few ideas of how to market Big dogs in my next conversion/mobile. Years ago I quit doing the big dogs, but that was before I had a bathing system, a LIPS system and a GH, and of course all the neat new tools from Romani (Shortie and Rake), not to mention the Ivac clipper, yadda, yadda...

    So, I guess I need a little help with ideas to market this area. When I first came up here 2 years ago, I was turning away Goldens 4 or 5 a week, I still have a few calls a month. Once my new rig is up and going (still haven't made a decision on which, I've got my eye on 3) I'm just not sure how to target this idea. I don't have a good photo of a Golden [yet] as I do with my little dogs and least where I could go and have my designer do something....I guess I need a few other suggestions. Any ideas?

    If we do the conversion ourselves, I'm thinking about putting the tub and table on the same side of the rig, then it's an easy in for the big dogs, hop on the table, up the table and walk them into the tub, that kind of thing, and won't have room for a ramp. I'm also looking at a Sprinter with a Aussie style tub? Any thoughts on that style of tub? Can you do little dogs in it, it seems great for a big dogs, but back-wrenching with a little dog? But that's what I get from the photos....and I use a recirculating system.

  • #2
    Wow Azoci, I am impressed. You are always doing something impressive! I didn't know you were changing vehicles. You did such a big job on the one you now use...what has happened? (sorry if I mssed something) Maybe if a "wrap" is in your plans/ budget, you might feature a golden on it, or even just a nice graphic of a golden and the other dogs you specialize in; bichon, etc.

    I have no real suggestions for you as I am not mobile. Tho' I did have a tub set-up once similar to what you are thinking about. I had a platform built (with storage below) that was next to the tub. I had the big dogs just jump up onto the platform (what big dogs don't like to jump up on things?) then they could walk over the edge and right into the tub. I had a big, heavy "O" hook (on the back wall of the platform) to hook them up when needed. I could do all of the drying and some grooming if needed on this platform. It was really a nice feature. I have recomended this design to everyone who was designing a salon.

    ps. I always enjoy the info you share with us! Good luck with this!!


    • #3
      I just got one of these for the little guys, cuz you're right - the Aussie tubs can be a bit of a back-ache sometimes. I really like it, plus it acts as a step to help some of the bigger dogs step up into the tub:
      Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.
      George Sand (1804 - 1876)


      • #4

        The back-up unit (Chinook) is an OK rig, and it's got some featurs that I like over my first unit. But it's old and tired, (OK for just a few trips a year) but I am putting a LOT of miles on her since my area is long and skinny. Usually an easy 500 miles a week. So at 7 mpg, that translates into a lot of bucks going in the gas tank. My first unit was a 4cyl diesel, got 15 mpg. Big difference! But neither unit was set up for the kind of dogs that seem to populte the area I am in, GOLDENS...and assorted other big breeds, seem to be the norm here and I am loosing a huge chunk of the $$$ to be made locally.

        At my salon in AZ, we had the tables that we could just roll up to the tub, with the table lowered have the dog hop up (maybe 11 inches) and then up-the table to the tub, dog walks off into the tub. So I've used that before. My rig now, has a seat area that they can hop up on, then hop to the table and just walk into the tub. But my tub has a stove hood and coounters over it, that reduces the hight. And I really don't have a way to secure the big guys in the tub, safety issue.

        Since this rig is the back-up, the tub and table are both pop-in. So in less then an hour, the rig can be ready to go down the road as an RV-toy. DH would like to have his little toy back, and I really need to be able to do the big guys safely.


        • #5
          What about running a special for those farm dogs in your area? We both know you're in farm country and there's got to be quite a few dogs that get a little farmy smelling.

          That's my idea anyway.....
          ~*~*~Shawn, C.M.G.~*~*~
          Apparently common sense isn't all that common
          *~*~emipoo on egroomer*~*~*


          • #6
            I hope you are ready for the rodeo with some of the big guys. I did 2 labs in the 70lb range & they hated the bath so bad I thought they were going to break my rig. My back was so sore after that. I am in my 30's & I have lowered my limit to 50lbs & under. I can do 60lbs as long as it is short haired & well behaved.

            I did a wheaten mix 40lb range 14yr old girl. Matted mess. A Lips system would have helped her, she was a mover & deaf. She'd step off my table & panic. It was all I could do to keep her on the table. That was a couple of days ago & my low back is still killing me. I have a hydralic table but I kept it lower so if she did fall off all the way it wouldn't hurt her, it just killed me.

            You've seen my rig. The table is next to the tub so dogs can walk over. That is good & bad, I'm finding a few dogs scared & don't want to stay on the table, they want back in the tub (only a couple). Or the other way, don't want a bath & try to get on the table. I can usually read the body language & catch them before they try. Yes they are tied in but they still try, make a big mess.

            I will save for a shuttle bus because the way hubby built mine I don't have elbow room. I also want a bath room If I still do the bigger dogs I want room to move away should I need to. Right now if a dog goes to bite me I couldn't get away from a big dog in my rig, glad I only take good dogs. Although I did do a Wheaten pup that was very mouthy, if she was more then that she filled my table & that is when I really noticed that I wouldn't have been able to back away from her if I had to.

            The Soapy Puppy


            • #7
              This may seem counterintuitive, but -

              Doesn't sound like you need to market the big dogs. You already get plenty of calls, so I would simply ask the weight and try to keep under 55 pounds if possible.

              If you "market" to get larger dogs, you will end up with too many large ones, and WAY TOO LARGE, is what I'm thinking. Keep it a secret and accept only some, while targeting those teeny ones more.


              • #8
                You can buy inserts for the hydrobaths for the little dogs or make one yourself, they are just a basic frame with mesh for the dogs to stand on, shade cloth would work well. You find with those baths that in the beginning you will get a sore back but after a short while you develop different back muscles and are no longer affected. Those baths have their own built in recirculating systems and water heaters which work with an element, like heating water in an electric kettle.


                • #9
                  I agree if you are getting 4-5 calls a week for large dogs, take on those. If you advertise, you may have more than you can handle.
                  How many clients do you have now? How many clients do you need to be at full capacity? Let your clients refer for you other clients with large dogs.

                  As far as your rig, I would feature a Golden and a toy of some kind>


                  • #10
                    What is shade cloth? I agree with Debbie Dogs.
                    "We are all ignorant--we merely have different areas of specialization."~Anonymous
                    People, PLEASE..It's ONLY a website!~Me


                    • #11
                      Hi there,

                      When i did a ride along with a mobile groomer she was using a plastic storage crate (the type with spaces in it for the water to run through) with a moisture magnet on top of it to sit the little dogs on top of as to not have to reach down into the tub and she also used it to keep them out of the water while drying them and then flipped it over to hold kitties in it wrapped in a towel while cleaning the tub and allowing them to dry a bit.


                      • #12
                        Around here the Lab owners are constantly fighting the shed.

                        How about targeting them with some properly worded De-Shed adds?


                        • #13
                          I agree I would just take big one as they call.It will give you time to get used to working on them again.Your brave taking on big dogs agian.Even with all the helpful equipment it can be very challenging on your body especially working alone.


                          • #14
                            Great advide

                            I got another call over the weekend for a Golden, [and 'could I come today?" ] Actually I had 4 calls on Sunday, "could I come today"...what it is with people?

                            I may need to take one of my sons (6'4") with me LOL for the big dogs. But I am loosing out on so much of the population, and it seems like every one here has a "hunting" breed. Shannon, the LIPS system works great for keeping a big dog where you want him, but that doesn't elimanate the tug-o-war some put up. But then I've had some little dogs that are as bad or worse than some of the big ones. I had a 4lb Poodle (yes Poodle) put my back out one time...yes I'm now looking at my second choise, a sm. shuttle bus. It shold have the room that I am used too. Same size as the Chinook.


                            • #15
                              I have 2 arms on my table as I did plan on having a LIPS system but where my table is at the back of the van in the corner I can't use both arms. I do use the post for the Table Works caddy though. The top part of the van walls it curves in so lifting the arms high enough doesn't work on that side. The way Ken built the van it just doesn't allow for some things. Another reason I want a shuttle bus & I will be picky on how the bus is built, we'll get a straight wall one Also since we kept the bench seat to cover the fresh water tank as it was when when we bought it, the table placement was the only place we could put it.

                              I hope the bus works for you.

                              The Soapy Puppy