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  • To Mobile or Not to Mobile

    Hi All...I have been a groomer for 14 years plus. Would love to hear your thoughts on the advantages and disadvantages of mobile grooming. I like doing 7 to 8 dogs a day. With travel time, how many dogs are you all grooming daily? How much better are the prices compared to being in a shop? Would appreciate your imput.

  • #2
    I average about 10, this is a combo of baths and grooms. And I would say TO!

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    • #3
      Mobile is da bomb!! Go for it!

      You should expect to get between $15-$20 more than the "better" salons for the price of a mobile groom (you're not competing with PetSomethings).

      At first, while you are building your clientelle up and need to make money, you'll probably start accepting clients from further out than you would like, but within a year or two you should be driving relatively short distances. I put on between 80-125 miles per week, depending on what areas I am hitting. I have a few older clients from when I just started out, who are nice and I want to keep that I travel about 8-10 miles for, but only every 6 weeks. The rest of my clients are within 6 miles of my house. Once I realized I had a 3-6 week wait before I could work new clients in, I "gave" a bunch of my clients to a groomer who was closer to their area and took new clients who were much closer to my house. With gas kind of pricey the secret to remaining profitable is keeping a nice tight grooming territory.

      I usually get to my first house before 7:30 am and am back in my driveway for cleanup between 1-2 pm. I tend to skip lunch or eat it when I am done grooming. I keep snack bars, beef jerky and stuff like that in the van to refuel myself during the day. And lots of water, Lipton diet green tea, energy drinks, etc.

      It is wonderful working for myself and setting my own hours and days. If you are not a morning person you can work in the afternoons into the evening. I don't like working Saturdays, so I don't (if I did I would charge a premium for Saturday appointments I think!). You set the rules!

      You can work as much or as little as you want to or need to. If you want to take a day off, just book around it, no one needs to know.

      It's the best thing I ever did. I am sure there are cons -- if you like to chat with coworkers, well, you may be lonely, but then again, no more dramas. A salon won't break down, but if you keep to your vehicles service schedule neither will you. You should have duplicates of every piece of equipment possible to minimize down time ... feel free to e-mail me if you have specific questions.

      Meesh

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      • #4
        I think I'm a little slower than most. I refuse to rush if I can help it, and I'm not blessed with the ability to get it done quickly and correctly (after 5 years I doubt I ever will be). I average 6 dogs a day, and do mostly full groom dogs. On days where there are some nice easy bath dogs I can do 8. I think alot has to do with how close each of your stops are and the types of dogs, and how many hours a day you're willing to work.

        Plusses (just a couple): Own hours, own boss, daily change of scenery, client and dog selection, higher pay for each dog, calmer atmosphere with less interuptions, friendlier "competition"

        Negatives: Winter, snow and ice, maintenance of vehicle and contents, a no show really messes up your day.

        I also would say TO!
        don't find yourself up a creek without a poodle.

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        • #5
          I would have to say, the most negative thing that I experience is I have no one to talk to but the dogs. I tend to get lonely and spend probably more time than I should chit chatting with the customer before and after the dog is groomed. If you are a very social person, make sure you have social things to do in the evening. That helps.
          I love being my own boss and setting my own schedule. I usually do 6 - 7 dogs a day and work from 8:30 - 9 am until 5 or 6. Nothing later.
          I take two days off to recoup do the things around the house that tend to never get done during the week.
          My service area is also pretty large, I try to stay in one area the whole day to save on gas prices. I usually go between 30 - 50 miles roundtrip daily. Most of my clientiel is about 15 miles away from my house, but once I'm out there I stay out there all day.
          I would not trade my mobile for shop grooming ever, I love it.

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          • #6
            Lonliness; socializing via txt msg

            My husband and I text each other throughout the day. We can't always talk on the phone because he sometimes is on the air, working in a studio, or I'll be drying a dog and unable to hear the phone "ding!" But we can check our phones periodically and text whenever we have a funny comment to make, or to tease and flirt. It definitely helps make the day less lonely.

            If I am grooming a particularly hairy, large, small, cute whatever dog I'll send him before and after pix. He likes seeing me take the big disasters and then a couple of hours later send him a clean dog with it's pelt removed. He noted once that they always seem to be smiling in the after pictures.

            Anyway, texting helps me stay connected and less alone. I can often get texts out in areas where I can't get phone calls.

            On the flip side my teen can continue whatever arguments and debates we have all day long via text! Oy!!

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            • #7
              Hi being mobile you might not be able to do as many dogs as a shop.Your prices will be higher so will not need to groom more dogs if you don't want to.I do about four to six a day.I only work from 8a.m to 1:00 or 2:00 p.m.I like that scedule so I don't burn myself out.Also when I'm done working I get to go home not wait for clients to pick up thier pets.Mobile has so much freedom.I love it.

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              • #8
                Being one of the newer mobile groomer the cons were having clients spread out thru town.Not being able to afford to say no to dogs really don't want to do and figuring out how long it takes to do dogs mobile as compared to salon setting.At first it took me longer to do them now I'm faster than when I was in a salon.The Pros are not doing dogs you really don't want to do. Being your boss is great if I want a couple of slow days I take them.I've been mobile since Feb. and now have 85% of my dogs once a month and condensed down to a 8 mile area.Oh I forgot a big con the start up fees have enough saved up to supplement you for the first couple of months.It's the best thing I've ever done. I have a wagntails pet pro I love it.

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                • #9
                  I second everything that everyone has said here, especially Happy Trails. I, too, am new and the cons she mentioned are just about all I can come up with. It is my dream job and the few cons that it has are simply the side-effects of being a brand new business. BTW, I LOVE being "alone" all day but if I was more social I know that that would be a con.

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                  • #10
                    TO!

                    Definitely look into mobile. I've only just started last month and I wish I didn't have to still work full time at the shop to make money. I love being in a quiet trailer with just one dog, where everything is mine and it's all within arm's reach. I wish my graphics would get designed soon so I can really start building my clientele.

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