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Big city mobile groomer vs. small town mobile groomer

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  • Big city mobile groomer vs. small town mobile groomer

    Hello Out There,

    I have a mobile grooming business in a large metropolitan area with beautiful weather year-round. It is just me and my husband and our van, no employees or additional vans. Our goal is to move to a smaller city(population ~40-70,000) with snowy winters(we like to ski).
    I was hoping to get input from mobile groomers out there who have experienced owning a mobile unit in winter conditions and smaller cities/towns as I know there will be may more difficulties to face than I currently contend with.
    Thanks for your help.

  • #2
    Snow. Snow really stinks. If you'll be in an area that gets a lot count on having times when you have to cancel due to weather. When you can't get out without digging out. Freezing water pumps, sometimes even with heaters going. Is your rig well insullated? You will have to keep it heated all winter so that usually means plugging in somewhere. Another hassle. Dead batteries because of cold are fun too. Getting stuck in driveways, falling on the ice getting or returning pets to owners, another favorite of mine. So much so I tend to do it several times every winter! Frozen fingers, toes, tramping in and out of the van. Frozen pipes out of the grey tank so you can't drain your grey water. Carting product in and out because if it's not all kept where the heat is your shampoos/conditioners/sprays can freeze. Slushy shampoo is just so wonderful. Dogs taking forever to dry because of the moisture and the dash fogging up. Trying to get in and out of driveways that people haven't shoveled or plowed yet. ANd of course, my number one pick. Spending three hours fluffing and scissoring the perfect Standard poodle to have him have to walk through the snow back to the house and have half his legs look completely bedraggled!
    Wet Noze wrote a blog about mobiling in the winter, you should read that as well. I'm in upstate NY, get lots of snow which I am used to driving in. If you are NOT used to driving in snow, that is another issue.
    What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

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    • #3
      I wrote an essay on mobile grooming in the winter on my blog here if you'd like to take a peek. If you say you like to ski what state do you mean? If you're mobile in a state with beautiful weather you're in for a real shocker if you're thinking Vermont. I'm in NJ. We have two months of winter weather here. It's awful.
      www.gomobileandsucceed.com
      http://thesuccessfulpetgroomer.com

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      • #4
        Don't forget faucets freezing and fill hoses freezing. I cart mine indoors everyday in winter. If you take the proper precautions you can avoid most of those things, but definitely count on losing a few days to unexpected winter events. If you don't mind the extra hassles it's all doable, but you will have a learning curve.
        A Light exists in Spring, Not present on the Year, At any other period -- When March is scarcely here...~~ Emily Dickensen~~

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        • #5
          You will want to make sure that you have an antifreeze system in your mobile, to prevent the water pipes to your fresh and bathing system from freezing up. You will need to have a ceramic heater running all night long in the back section where your water pipes are. Also you will need to keep your furnace on all night, to prevent your fresh water tank and all your grooming products from freezing. Sometimes it is difficult to park your van on the street due to the plowed snow, but if you park in front of their plowed driveway, you can avert the “trudging through the snow”. My worst winter nightmare is filling my fresh water tank. My outside faucet is drained for the winter, so I need to snake a hose, from my cellar to the van, and it is always in the evening, temperatures are getting cold and is it usually getting dark........plus I have 5 doxies and 1 schnauzer jumping on me, welcoming me home !!

          Happy Skiing

          Dolly’s Barking Bubbles, LLC

          www.dollysbarkingbubbles.com

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          • #6
            What state do you live in?

            I'm in north NJ, we have several mountain ranges ,poconos and catskills ,with great skiing .plenty of snow .As long as you have a garage or shelter to keep your rig,you will do well.


            Originally posted by nelliegroomer View Post
            Hello Out There,

            I have a mobile grooming business in a large metropolitan area with beautiful weather year-round. It is just me and my husband and our van, no employees or additional vans. Our goal is to move to a smaller city(population ~40-70,000) with snowy winters(we like to ski).
            I was hoping to get input from mobile groomers out there who have experienced owning a mobile unit in winter conditions and smaller cities/towns as I know there will be may more difficulties to face than I currently contend with.
            Thanks for your help.
            Last edited by desertdogs64; 04-22-10, 11:22 PM. Reason: added

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            • #7
              I am in Florida- maybe consider staying where you are and just visit for the skiing ;-) I could NOT imagine having to freeze all of the time, this Winter was horrid enough when we actually got to see Snow and I had to turn on the heater (which hadn't been on in 3 years and burnt my wires and had to be redone).

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              • #8
                haha..

                try living in an area where your salon can freeze up if you aren't careful... I'm going mobile, but skipping the van. I would love to have one, but I think it would be a major hassel up here. when there's snow on the ground for up to 6 months a year... I'm lucking if I can keep my car running, let alone a grooming shop on wheels.

                If your mobile is winterized than you should be fine... just expect a longer day having to deal with the issues.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Gracy Rose View Post
                  I am in Florida- maybe consider staying where you are and just visit for the skiing ;-) I could NOT imagine having to freeze all of the time, this Winter was horrid enough when we actually got to see Snow and I had to turn on the heater (which hadn't been on in 3 years and burnt my wires and had to be redone).
                  Oh that is so stinky! I didn't know that happened to you.

                  I'm with Kristen. Stay where you are and take one or two ski vacations. Mobiling in the winter can be done but it's the pits. It gets old in about five minutes. January and February I just want to run and hide. lol
                  www.gomobileandsucceed.com
                  http://thesuccessfulpetgroomer.com

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by wet noze View Post
                    January and February I just want to run and hide. lol
                    OH yes, that's the other thing about mobiles in winter.... grooming slows way way down. I think it tends to be much more seasonal in the colder regions. Something about spring makes people think...... ah! time to get the dog groomed!
                    A Light exists in Spring, Not present on the Year, At any other period -- When March is scarcely here...~~ Emily Dickensen~~

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                    • #11
                      I was only in Wisconsin half a month & remember something Y'all forgot--the huge amounts of condensation on the entire inside of the van slowing drying time way down & allowing tons of hair to stick to the walls and windows. What a PITA!
                      "We are all ignorant--we merely have different areas of specialization."~Anonymous
                      People, PLEASE..It's ONLY a website!~Me

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