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Question for Mobiles Not taking new clients

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  • Question for Mobiles Not taking new clients

    I am close to this point myself, may actually even be there. Have been booked steadily for the past year and am booked 4 months out right now with little room after that because most my clients are on a set schedule that is booked out for the year. My question is how did you decide that it was time to say no to new clients? Also those of you who book the year out, what do you do when people need to change their appointments? Most people I just put on my cancellation list if they can't keep their original appointment, but one of them is now due for her next groom and I didn't have any openings in between. I like being booked, but I also realize that it has now made it so that I cannot be flexible for my clients.

  • #2
    I have

    no advice but I wish to ask a question. I have been mobile for a year now ,How long did it take to get to the place you are at now?

    The business is still slow.

    If I was in your position I would not take new clients for a period of time ( you decide how long) and then see how it works(OK so I gave advice LOL)


    • #3
      I know that a lot of mobiles like to give people a whole years of apppointments at one time. I do not do that. On my computer (I use Outlook) I schedule all my clients out for 6 months at a time, so I can see if I have openings. I only give them one appt at a time though, in case they need to change anything or in case I need to change. This means I can be a little more flexible if someone needs to re-schedule, and I don't have to call a million people to change a day or a week. Makes it much easier on me.


      • #4
        To me that means you're overbooked now. I am at that very point. I am not able to take any new customers. To me being overbooked is when a good customer needs to change an appointment and you have nowhere to put them. I hate to tell someone I really like with cute dogs that pay me well I can't come back for a month. This person might leave you and go somewhere else.

        I just got a call from someone with two cavs that I occasionally groom. They live in Florida so I don't see them that much. They called yesterday and I was able to get them in because I'm not overbooked. They were so glad and I'm looking forward to going.

        I might suggest if people drop out don't take anybody new. That gives you more flexibility for the good customers you do have.


        • #5
          not sure

          well, i been grooming 3 years, i am book only three weeks ahead, i had a bunch of clients on the rest of the year, weeks, but those are the ones steady, a lot of my clients, are going to different places, cause they do not book ahead, and when they call there is no space for three weeks and i wont put them on the waiting list unless they book a day even on three weeks, today i had three cancellations and got two filled from the waiting list, but what if i do not book any new client, and the old ones never call for those days? that is my point, so not sure where i am right, now, i want to get another truck or a place to open a shop and put some groomers there, to take the overflow, but not sure what do either, i hate when i am like that


          • #6
            I have that problem x 3. I have two vans, 3 of us that groom and booked out right now 6 weeks. I am not sure what to do either. We are getting 10 to 15 calls per day with 3-7 emails. Ahhhhh! I can very easily and cheaply expand into stationary but will this really solve any problems. I would only do appointment only if I do stationary. I really cannot afford a new van yet, plus even harder, finding another groomer. It is a crazy cycle. I can't find a great groomer until I get another van to offer her more days but if I get another van I don't have a a groomer to help to pay the payment. I am planning to raise my prices some to see if that will naturally adjust things. I haven't raised prices for two years so I feel justified to do so. This will increase will go to my girls. I am not raising the trip charge but my hourly rate. I am also going to use a pound scale. 0-45 pounds a price, 45-85 pounds a price and over 85 pounds a price all of this by the hour. I still will need to work out the details and I am still brainstorming this. So any comments shoot them my way. But, mostly, Thank God I am busy! He is good!


            • #7
              I book some down time

              to have some flexibility and fun, especially taking some Mondays slow for after dog show week-ends. Due to lack of availability all but 3 or 4 of my clients pre-book. Some were reluctant until they found they might not get in. It took about 3 years to get to this point. I groom housecall and lower volume, slower grooming appreciated.

              I figured I needed to not take any new customers when I felt dread at a phone call from a semi-regular asking for an appointment and I knew it could not be for weeks. My regulars keep me regular and happy as most are delightful to groom. I don't book high because I am wanting to enjoy this life and my dogs life.
              Money will buy you a pretty good dog but it won't buy the wag of it's tail.


              • #8
                To answer your question Maladee in August it will be three years that I have been in business. It takes time, but you will get there. The key is to get people to prebook their appointments no matter how available you are if they were to just call in. When you are done grooming the dog and while they are writing the check just say "would you like to book your next appointment?" Most say yes. If you know how often the person likes their pet groomed you can even go in and just say I have her next appointment for --- does that work for you? They will either say yes, or give you another time that will work, then you have them scheduled.


                • #9
                  you are there unless....

                  Sounds like you are already there to me. I mean, for the next four months? The only way you aren't there is if you have a bunch of OAY dogs or infrequent clients. If all those people are rebooking on an every two month basis on average, you have no openings. If you have a lot of infrequent or OAY clients, you need to focus on replacing them with reliable, frequent rebooking people. Next, you need to replace the big hairy dogs with little easy dogs.

                  I have not officially taken new clients for a couple of years. I say "officially" because now and again, i pick up someone (a friend of a friend, a juicy little yorkie, or someone who just attracts me) and I have had several dogs die this summer that I will eventually replace with highly desireable clients. However, in general, I stopped taking new clients when I started projecting appointments out over many months and saw that I just didn't have much space. I too, book down time. At first, I would pick one day every couple of weeks to leave open for unforeseen situations. I did this because I did not like having to squeeze people in who needed to rebook at the end of an already busy day, or worse, have to go on a saturday (i take weekends off). If that day is still open when it comes up...great! I have a day off. If not, I have helped a client out. How can you tell a client who needs to reschedule "sorry, i have no other opening until....(?)" I too, take many days off to go to dog shows. Some months are very busy in regard to shows, then I can go several months in between without a show. I learned quick that I simply couldn't have a "full book" of clients so that I couldn't take a long weekend or even a week of vacation. Things come up. So, I am most comfortable at 75% capacity ("capacity" meaning if I worked 5 days a week 50 weeks per year). I need to take days off for dog shows, kid appointments, personal chores, etc. Since I can be flexible with my clients, they in turn are flexible with me. Which is a win-win situation. I don't have many reschedules since my clients are mostly all retired, but they do have medical emergencies and drs appointments that I accomodate happily. I realize that many groomers have to book more fully, but I would still suggest that you leave open time for rescheduling. If no one reschedules, pick up a bath and brush OAY if you want to.


                  • #10
                    Mondays off

                    I am housecall and I book out every 6 months but I take every monday off if someone needs to change their appointment then they can have that monday if everyone stays with their appointments I get that day off. As far as accepting new clients if your current clients are on a regular schedule then you can leave things open in case something happens like leave a message that you are not accepting new clients at this time but if they want to get on a waiting list....or say you are accepting new clients on a limited basis.


                    • #11
                      Thank the lord!!!

                      It is so refreshing to read this post!!!!

                      I thought I was the only groomer facing the same problem.

                      Good to know what some of ya'll are doin