Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Start up

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Start up

    Poor doggone's story almost made me change my mind but here goes. I am in the process of learning how to groom and would like to go moble when i'm done. I have several questions though.
    1) How much should I have saved up for my start up?
    2) Should I get a new or used rig?
    3) Should I try to build my own?
    4) What is a good price range to look for with new and used rigs?
    These questions are a good start I guess for now i have more but need to know the answers to these first.Thanks Guys!!!

  • #2
    Originally posted by rnelson View Post
    Poor doggone's story almost made me change my mind but here goes. I am in the process of learning how to groom and would like to go moble when i'm done. I have several questions though.
    1) How much should I have saved up for my start up?
    2) Should I get a new or used rig?
    3) Should I try to build my own?
    4) What is a good price range to look for with new and used rigs?
    These questions are a good start I guess for now i have more but need to know the answers to these first.Thanks Guys!!!
    My biggest advice for you is to work in a salon for a least a year first. Reason, you will fine tune your grooming skills and learn about the do's and don'ts from a salon. Learn you lessons from working with others in a salon and how it works and what works for you.
    During that time you can gather brochures, go to trade shows and learn about the pros and cons of mobile grooming.
    That is what I did.

    Comment


    • #3
      It all depends ....

      You can start up for a lot or a little or anything in between, but as with anything, you get what you pay for in most cases.

      1) How do you intend to train? The grooming school I attended I was 4 and half months full time (650 hours) and cost $7,000 including basic equipment and two uniforms. Another school in the area cost $4,000, but I am friends with several graduates and they tell me they think I did much better attending the school that attended as compared to theirs. Other options include apprenticeships at salons, correspondence courses, and self-taught and practicing on shelter dogs. If you intend to go right into mobile grooming I higly recomend going to a full-time grooming school. Once you are mobile and on your own you won't be getting any feedback such as you would from other groomers in a shop setting. Working alone you'll need to be very confident in your skills and if you go to a reputable grooming school you will be. $4,000-$7,000

      2) Vans: New? Used? Build your own? Trailer? All have pros and cons. If you are starting out on a thin budget you may want to consider a used van. There are many listed on the classified ads here and most should be in good condition as mobile groomers tend to want to protect their investment. I know I keep meticulous records and a maintanance schedule on my 2004 WagnTails, which I bought new for $62,000. I put $10K down and my monthly payment is under $1,000. Since the first month I have NEVER had a problem making my payment out of earnings.

      Since I like driving a newish vehicle, I will more than likely sell it to buy a new one shortly after I pay it off. I hear of mobile salons being on the road for more than a decade and poviding good service, so if you start with a van that's a few years old you'll have plenty of life in it to build up your business and save for a new vehicle if that's what you want. As far as prices, check out the ads here.

      Are you capable of doing your own conversion? That may save you some money but will cost you time and you won't have the support you get from a company such as WagnTails who provide exceptional customer support when anything goes wrong. Also WT has been building vans for decades and use proven design and layout and are constantly improving their vans.

      Trailers can be an economical choice, especially if you already have a vehicle capable of towing it. But consider the area in which you will be working. I groom at a lot of townhouse developments and a trailer would be a nightmare to maneuver. If you are in a rural area or can mostly just park on streets in front of houses the trailer option may work well for you. They are also more roomy then the vans inside.

      Downpayment $4,000+

      You'll need about $2,000 for startup equipment, extra clippers, blades, shears, shampoos, bandanas, ribbons, etc.

      I'd guestimate you'll need about $10K-$20K to get going. I spent about $25K and that included my missing income for the time I was in grooming school.

      Meesh

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi well said Meesh just about summed it up.I bought a used old van and put about 12thousand in it fixing it.I realized that I could have put that much as a down payment for a Wagntails.Which I ended up getting anyways.It's good advice to work in a shop for a little wheil to learn on the job training after school is great advise.Good luck if it's really what you want you can make it possible.

        Comment


        • #5
          The story that this reminds me of is this girl that went to school for grooming...like me she wanted to mobile groom. She went ahead and bought a new van after she finished school. A year later she decided mobile wasn't for her. She didn't like driving, and was limited to how many pets she could groom. She sold the van.
          A year later after working in a shop she decided that she did in fact prefer mobile grooming! She liked working alone, no cattiness, and you book as many as you want or need. So,,,,, she had to buy a new van! She started mobile again...

          So again, I really think that working in a shop is best at first. Really, really, really and did I say really? Go to as many trade shows as you can. See the vans. Speak with reps and most of all speak with other mobile groomers.
          For example Hersey has a trade show in Sept which is great...learn a lot there....there is also a big one in Las Vegas....

          Comment


          • #6
            Not necessarily

            I disagree about the need to work in a shop before you go mobile. I went straight from school to my van -- I am a mid-life career changer -- and it worked out fine. I know many other mobile groomers who did the same. I knew that I wanted to work for myself and I went to a very good school and was well motivated and did fine. REALLY fine -- within a year I was making more money than I ever made in my previous cubical life. My school also welcomes me back to freshen up my skills and get critiqued if I ever feel I need it. I did go back after almost a year because I wasn't feeling good about my poodle topknots.

            So whether or not you decide to make a stop at a salon before you hit the road is up to you -- if you don't have enough money or need to have a documentable job in order to qualify for a loan to finance your leap to mobile then working for a time in a shop may be a good solution. But if you really want to start making money fast and feel confident in your skills, don't feel like you "have to" work for someone else first.

            For what it's worth, my original plan involved working at a shop while I built my mobile business enough to keep me busy full time. I picked up my van two weeks before I graduated from school and by the time I graduated I had enough appointments booked and the phone was ringing enough that I felt busy enough to not bother working at a shop and concentrated on the mobile business 100%.

            So evaluate your personal circumstances, finances and personality before you make a decision as to working for another or working for yourself straight away.

            Meesh

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Meesh View Post
              I disagree about the need to work in a shop before you go mobile. I went straight from school to my van -- I am a mid-life career changer -- and it worked out fine. I know many other mobile groomers who did the same. I knew that I wanted to work for myself and I went to a very good school and was well motivated and did fine. REALLY fine -- within a year I was making more money than I ever made in my previous cubical life. My school also welcomes me back to freshen up my skills and get critiqued if I ever feel I need it. I did go back after almost a year because I wasn't feeling good about my poodle topknots.

              So whether or not you decide to make a stop at a salon before you hit the road is up to you -- if you don't have enough money or need to have a documentable job in order to qualify for a loan to finance your leap to mobile then working for a time in a shop may be a good solution. But if you really want to start making money fast and feel confident in your skills, don't feel like you "have to" work for someone else first.

              For what it's worth, my original plan involved working at a shop while I built my mobile business enough to keep me busy full time. I picked up my van two weeks before I graduated from school and by the time I graduated I had enough appointments booked and the phone was ringing enough that I felt busy enough to not bother working at a shop and concentrated on the mobile business 100%.

              So evaluate your personal circumstances, finances and personality before you make a decision as to working for another or working for yourself straight away.

              Meesh

              I'm soooo glad to hear your perspective! I've been in the mortgage industry 22 years and am getting out for good. I've decided to go mobile after a snag on working from home (zoning, etc.), and after doing more research will be much better off. I really don't want to work at a shop first or need to financially so I'm hitting the road as soon as grooming school is over. I've already built my website, located a trailer to buy, researched and am accumulating equipment, crunched the numbers, and am working on advertising. I can't wait to get started! I know I'll be slow at first, but we all crawl before we walk, and then we run.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by sherric704 View Post
                I'm soooo glad to hear your perspective! I've been in the mortgage industry 22 years and am getting out for good. I've decided to go mobile after a snag on working from home (zoning, etc.), and after doing more research will be much better off. I really don't want to work at a shop first or need to financially so I'm hitting the road as soon as grooming school is over. I've already built my website, located a trailer to buy, researched and am accumulating equipment, crunched the numbers, and am working on advertising. I can't wait to get started! I know I'll be slow at first, but we all crawl before we walk, and then we run.

                I think that Meesh is one of the exceptions, not the rule. There is so much you DON'T learn in a school, and if you jump right into working on your own you will lack the advice, support, and knowledge of experienced groomers, which is what you get in a good shop. Wanting or financially needing to doesn't come into the equation when you are told to do that first. I've been grooming for 23 years, and I'm still learning. I can't imagine how rough it would have been to have started out without having an experienced groomer at hand to answer questions and show me the things I didn't know.

                The people who are telling you guys this aren't doing it to be 'mean' or 'pessimistic'. When advice is asked for, you will get honest answers, and sometimes they're not what you want to hear. As I said, Meesh did it, and did well. Maybe you will, too. Many don't.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I am another one who started mobile right after school and would not have had it any other way. Please no offense anyone, but I am 42 with a masters degree and have been in managerial positions most of my professional career. There was simply no way I was going to go work my a$$ off somewhere being supervised by someone who *might* have had a high school education and make 50% of a $35 groom for a couple of hours of work....again, no offense...I am not being disparaging of people without formal education....it just wouldn't work for me. If you know you have the ability and drive, it is possible to succeed. Sure, I am probably not the best groomer out there and I am sure I missed out on many of the finer "finishing" points that can only be developed working with others. But, I have plenty of clients and none of them seem to mind. In fact, some of them even say I am the best groomer they have ever had. I am not sure what that says about the other more experienced groomers in my area, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. They are just happy I come to their home and take good care of their pets I guess. I am not taking any new clients and have been in business for just over 3 years, so how bad could it be. Sometimes I look at my work and think that I am no better than a chop shop and marvel that anyone ever books another appointment, but sometimes I look at my work and think "dang, that looks GOOD". You can learn waaay more on these boards than you might learn from years of working at a shop.....cuz you never know what skills the shopowner might have. Most groomers in my town have never even heard of this board, have no clue about bathing systems, CVs, wet shaving, etc. I can't say i really feel like I have missed out on much by not working for any of them. You have to search yourself and decide what you think will work for you. Do you need others to help you succeed? Can you pull off, with at least fake confidence, things with little hands on direction?

                  At first I thought I would work in a shop after graduation, but I quickly abandoned that idea when I realized I could pull off a decent groom and really didn't want to be stuck in a shop setting earning peanuts doing something I knew I was good enough to do on my own. You have to decide what is best for you. But it can be done!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    oh, and regarding your questions

                    I read your original post and felt I should add something about your questions. Being a new groomer without a clientele, the amount you will need to save up before starting may be substantial but really depends on your life situation. Like, do you have a significant other who contributes to the income, or are you IT? The biggest thing that I harp on is that it is easy to get over optimistic about how quickly you will be successful. If you don't plan correctly, you may never be successful because you may have to quit before you ever get there. Please make sure to have enough resources to support yourself and your business expenses for at least 6 months before you start. You may be lucky and go gangbusters from the get to, but you should have enough saved up in case it takes longer to get going. Your area really has a lot to do with how quickly you will be successful. It took me a good year before I was making decent money. Sure, I was able to cover expenses really quickly ( after a month or so) but it took longer to get a steady, reliable income.

                    I think that used is always a good option so long as you go with a reputable maker. I would never build my own as a newbie, nor would I buy one that was built by an individual. Too many chances for a money pit there.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I really don't think I am an exception, I know several groomers in my area who have done the same thing. A few went to a school that wasn't quite as good as the one I and a couple of others did. They are also doing well, although at first didn't seem as confident as we were from the better school, but after getting some experience and going to seminars to expand their knowlege they are also doing just fine.

                      I have also spoken with several other straight-from-school mobile groomers at Groom Expo and they are also doing fine. The one thing we all do have in common is we're all older (40+), have long and solid work histories and some business savy.

                      Meesh

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RoosMom View Post
                        I think that Meesh is one of the exceptions, not the rule. There is so much you DON'T learn in a school, and if you jump right into working on your own you will lack the advice, support, and knowledge of experienced groomers, which is what you get in a good shop. Wanting or financially needing to doesn't come into the equation when you are told to do that first. I've been grooming for 23 years, and I'm still learning. I can't imagine how rough it would have been to have started out without having an experienced groomer at hand to answer questions and show me the things I didn't know.

                        The people who are telling you guys this aren't doing it to be 'mean' or 'pessimistic'. When advice is asked for, you will get honest answers, and sometimes they're not what you want to hear. As I said, Meesh did it, and did well. Maybe you will, too. Many don't.
                        I appreciate everyones input and take it into consideration. I do plan on asking the school I'm attending, which is an operating salon, if I can come in and groom (no charge of course) when I'm not busy drumming up business so I can continue to get guidance and practice until I'm too busy mobile grooming to do so. I also plan on continuing my education with seminars, etc., I've always considered myself to be professional. I'm a big believer in furthering education, which a lot of people don't do; they're satisfied with the way things are and that is that, no need for anything new. I'm not one to sit still. I plan on being realistic, if I feel like I'm not ready I'll gladly park my mobile for a little while and do what I need to do to be a better Groomer. Again, thanks for everyones opinions.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by sherric704 View Post
                          I appreciate everyones input and take it into consideration. I do plan on asking the school I'm attending, which is an operating salon, if I can come in and groom (no charge of course) when I'm not busy drumming up business so I can continue to get guidance and practice until I'm too busy mobile grooming to do so. I also plan on continuing my education with seminars, etc., I've always considered myself to be professional. I'm a big believer in furthering education, which a lot of people don't do; they're satisfied with the way things are and that is that, no need for anything new. I'm not one to sit still. I plan on being realistic, if I feel like I'm not ready I'll gladly park my mobile for a little while and do what I need to do to be a better Groomer. Again, thanks for everyones opinions.

                          You sound like you've got it together and have reasonable expectations. Good luck! :-)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RoosMom View Post
                            I think that Meesh is one of the exceptions, not the rule. There is so much you DON'T learn in a school, and if you jump right into working on your own you will lack the advice, support, and knowledge of experienced groomers, which is what you get in a good shop. Wanting or financially needing to doesn't come into the equation when you are told to do that first. I've been grooming for 23 years, and I'm still learning. I can't imagine how rough it would have been to have started out without having an experienced groomer at hand to answer questions and show me the things I didn't know.

                            The people who are telling you guys this aren't doing it to be 'mean' or 'pessimistic'. When advice is asked for, you will get honest answers, and sometimes they're not what you want to hear. As I said, Meesh did it, and did well. Maybe you will, too. Many don't.
                            "There is so much you DON'T learn in a school, and if you jump right into working on your own you will lack the advice, support, and knowledge of experienced groomers, which is what you get in a good shop." I agree totally with this. I went from grooming school to van, no business sense no exit plans, At times I feel like I am still locked inside my own van after 25 years of being mobile. Most of the important stuff I learned from being a good listener.

                            Comment

                            Working...
                            X