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  • New Home Groomer

    Hi, everyone. I've been reading many of your very helpful ideas in the grooming business. I opened up my grooming business in my home in Dec. 2006 on a part-time basis. I have a few customers but would really like it to take off so that I can quit my full-time corporate job. I have been doing advertising and talking to people, but it's been a slow start. Can anyone offer some suggestions to get me going? I am certified and my current customers have been really happy with my work. I am trying to be patient but it's hard. I don't know what to do...

  • #2
    more info

    What advertizing are you doing?
    I am getting quite a few from the online yellow pages add.
    It was free.
    Just go to yellowbook dot com and try it if you haven't.
    Are you in the yellow pages for your county or the nearest large city?
    Worth it in my opinion.
    Do you have a website?
    Signage? Business cards? Where are you posting them?
    Tell us what you are doing.

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    • #3
      Hi there and welcome to the board! I don't have much advice for you, but did want to let you know that if you can get hooked up with a vet you could be in a great position. We have several vets that refer to us, and we refer to them. We gotten quite a bit of business from them.
      Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job. ~Franklin P. Jones

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      • #4
        what kind of advertising?

        What kind of advertising are you doing?
        Have you tryed putting an ad in the pet section of your towns news paper?
        You could offer a first time client a discount or give a discount to a current client who reffers a groom to you.
        Make sure you advertise something that makes you stand out from other groomers working in a business location. (Example: "Your pets will feel at home in my home".)
        You could also make flyers. Put them in vet clinics that don't already offer grooming.
        Advertising is your biggest key, you can't always rely on word of mouth.
        Remember you have to spend a little money to make money.

        Hang in there it takes a little time, but with advertising you'll be booming.

        spacy colors

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        • #5
          Here's a few

          - Put together a flashy photo album of your work (before and after shots) to show potential clients
          - Ask happy clients to be a reference
          - Network with local pet sitters, veterinary clinics and even other busy groomers...don't forget about us mobilers that will come across an occasional dog that really should be done in a shop. Come prepared with business cards, brochures, photo album and dress professionally (ie., clean scrub uniform with name tag, etc.)
          - Post flyers at local dog parks/stores, RV resorts, Retirement communities
          - Put a coupon in the local paper/penny saver for a few bucks off or a free add-on (like a toy/chewie/toothbrushing)
          - Contact your local news station to do a business spot light on you
          - Wear t-shirts/scrubs with your logo and keep business cards handy while running errands, walking the dog, etc.
          - Put an ad in the yellow pages, and research online listings: Craigs List, Findagroomer, meowhoo, etc.
          - Create a webpage and include photos, a mission statement and anything you can think of that will make your service outshine others!

          Best of luck!

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          • #6
            get your name out there!

            if you have time after work go door to door with flyers. around your neighborhood, go as far as your legs will let you..lol im also a fairly new homebase groomer.. almost a year.. be patient ..word of mouth takes time.

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            • #7
              Welcome, we hope you add lots of great input:-)

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              • #8
                When I get a slow spell I put an ad in the pet section of Craigslist.com. Most big cities have a craigslist, it is free and I get half of the visits to my website from there. Also get a website through yahoo. It puts you in a yahoo search engine and google for free. My website, and craigslist are my only form of advertisement right now and I am getting pretty busy after being open for 2 months I now am booked with appointments everyday. It may be only one or 2 clients, but I think it's a great start, I have also gotten many referrals from clients, it takes a while, but it happens.

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                • #9
                  all of the above,


                  and then some. when i had my grooming shop in NJ. i did not advertise at all. i had the 1 line in the yellow book and that's it. but what i did have were all of the vet referrals. if you can get that. it's like gold. so when you get a new customer, do you have them fill out an info sheet? you should. home based or otherwise. it should have their pets vet info. when a customer is happy give them a few business cards and ask them if they could give them to a friend. also ask them to let their vet know that they are very happy with you. then go to the vets and ask them if you could leave some business cards there. I actually had a vet call me and ask me if i could bring my business card to him! sure. no problem. of course if it's a vet that does grooming then they may not be as willing to help. but it never hurts to try. so don't be shy. just ask. it may take alittle longer with a home-based business but the above only costs some business cards and a trip to a few vets to introduce yourself. vets will be much more willing to recommend you if they have met you and you gave them a good professional impression. and of course, if they have seen your handiwork.
                  laura

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                  • #10
                    I help out the local animal shelter as much as possible, so I posted a sign there and give 1 free grooming to every pet adopted, I would say 3 out of every 4 turn into regular groomings it really helps out when they first adopt with all the fees and vet visits, plus it makes the animals feel special and loved to have the extra attention they deserve. Plus if they stay on a regular 4 to 8 week grooming schedule I give my clients a free pet bath in between visits it doesn't take much time and the clients love it.

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                    • #11
                      Welcome to the board.

                      I'm also a home base groomer. I have done very little advertising, most (99%) of my business has come to me by word of mouth. I was let go from another grooming shop (not same place where Spike and I worked) and my old clients hunted me down.

                      I have put a business card in a couple of animal hospitals and that is about it. Have only gotten 1-2 clients from there and they didn't last.
                      "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."
                      Diane

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