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I'm getting too booked- what to do?

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  • I'm getting too booked- what to do?

    I can't believe it! It's January, and I'm having trouble fitting people into my schedule? I do have sporadic spots here and there, but that's about it! It feels really strange to tell people (based on days and times they can do), that I can't get them in for at least 3 or 4 weeks. Wow, whoever said it takes about 6 months to be in full swing was right on the money with me.

    At what point do you stop taking new clients? How do you make sure you don't end up with down days in the months to come?
    don't find yourself up a creek without a poodle.

  • #2
    Congratulations, but i wouldn't worry about it. you probably never stop taking in new customers. Dogs die and people move away,but the phone is always ringing. if there is an empty slot, i usually don't have any trouble filling it with what I WANT. at this piont, i probably would give thought to those customers you don't want to do. i've changed my message to say that i don't have anything readily available for new customers. those really interested will leave a message.
    Certified Master Pet Tech Pet CPR, First Aid and Care Instructor
    "Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation." Henry Ward Beecher US Congregational Minister 1813-1887

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    • #3
      Oh, I love that phrase " with what I WANT". What a sense of relief it is to really be able to decide what dogs I want to do, or how far I want to go.

      Can't help but have the "what if something goes wrong", in the back of my mind. Right now it seems almost too good to be true.
      don't find yourself up a creek without a poodle.

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      • #4
        I am not even near being too busy and I still fired a client. Tired of their dog trying to bite and he ment business. Nasty little schnauzer.
        If your dog is fat, you are not getting enough exercise!

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        • #5
          Congratulations on your success! Just as was mentioned - you should never stop taking on new clients - but you can slow down on taking new ones. Every once in awhile, I stop taking new client appointments and put them on a waiting list. This way, I can make sure my good clients are booked regularly into my schedule. Once they have have been taken care of, I will VERY SELECTIVELY take on a new client (at a higher price and more frequent groom time). Once the new clients become regulars, the process begins again. I can finally say that my client list is awesome. It has only taken me three years!

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          • #6
            Now is the time to start being choosy about your clients. And raise your prices. Any time you are booked up quote a higher price if they are willing to pay it squeeze them in somewhere. Then start raising prices on your regulars.

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            • #7
              I am close to being in the same shape...consistently booked out about two weeks. I do also take quite a few days off here and there though. I made a new years resolution to raise the prices on the clients' that are too low or are difficult for whatever reason and am systematically doing that at their next appt. Sometimes they fire themselves opening room for new folks, sometimes they accept the new price and oh well, at least I am getting better paid. I am quoting reasonably higher rates to very attractive sounding clients who call, and much higher rates to the less desirables or those who don't sound like the target client.

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              • #8
                Good job, Furry!

                That is great news. Here is as thought:

                If you have any not-so-good clients, maybe you can weed them out by filling in all your blank spaces with people calling in. Then when Mr. Not-so-good-client calls in, you're booked. You can't help it that you're booked with a NEW, wonderful client, it just so happens that his once every blue moon dog just wont be able to be squeezed in, because you have a new every 3 week client.

                Tammy in Utah
                Groomers Helper Affiliate

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                • #9
                  Wow! That's great! I just decided to switch careers to learn to become a groomer, but I had this situation in my last busiess. (BTW, I used alot of the advice in the Problems To Profits book for my business unrelated to grooming and it was really helpful.) If I were you I would do a few things. 1.Possibly raise my prices slightly. 2.Be sure that everyone (I love) has a standing appointment so they can get in. 3.Put new clients you can't take on a waiting or call list. 4.And hire my first 2 part-time, trainee employees to work for me! Congratulations!

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                  • #10
                    Me again, I am sooo new here and switching careers to learn grooming. I just realized that this is a mobile grooming question! Sorry, I gave some suggestions about what I did with my NON-grooming biz when this happened, but obviously hiring a couple trainess would not go with mobile biz, unless you plan to expand to more units. Anyway, congratulations again on your success!

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                    • #11
                      That's great news for you, and I know how you feel. I recently had an advertiser contact me and I said no way, I couldn't fit new one's in right now if I tried. I couldnt' imagine what my phone would be like.

                      I still don't know what to do in situations, like today I was very sick with a bad cold so I had to stay home because my only client scheduled for today with 3 dogs, had just got finished with chemo. Well I didn't want to get her sick too, so how in the world am I going to fit her in my schedule without making her wait for 3 weeks? That's my problem. Also, bad weather may be coming and have to reschedule people, so I guess I'll have to start leaving a day open here and there until the winter is over.

                      I like being busy, but not so busy that I can't keep up. And right after Christmas I was expecting a slow down period - NOT! I haven't had a break, I still even have giftcards to spend. Aye ya yie!

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                      • #12
                        Woo-Hoo!!!!! What a nice problem to have!! Now raise your prices, go through your files and let the problem clients go and get some nice, new ones to fill their place!!

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                        • #13
                          You are my Idol! I want a list like that! The thought of it keeps me going!

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                          • #14
                            I'd start thinking about weeding out the clients that just aren't any fun to do. Either because the dog is naughty or the owner is a pain.

                            I'd also encourage your regulars to book for the entire year, so they can be sure to have their prefered day and time. Then you'll have a better idea of how many new clients you can fit in.

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                            • #15
                              i know a lot of groomers like to book out for the year, but i don't like to do that. it takes away from the whole mobile groomer flexibility thing. names are placed ahead in the book so i know whats available, but not scheduled. the only cancellations i have are true emergencies. it is probably a little more work for me, but i have better control of the schedule and the routes needed, by only scheduling 3 weeks out at a time. my customers love the fact, that i call them 3 weeks prior to set up the schedule.
                              Certified Master Pet Tech Pet CPR, First Aid and Care Instructor
                              "Compassion will cure more sins than condemnation." Henry Ward Beecher US Congregational Minister 1813-1887

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