Dog Groomers?

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ewwies
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Dog Groomers?

Postby ewwies » Mon Dec 26, 2011 12:27 am

As of Jan 1st I will be the new owner of a dog grooming shop here in town! I actually worked at the place back in 04-06 until I left for the job I'm currently at now. I'm very excited.. I can't wait to get back into grooming!

Any suggestions as far as favorite clippers, scissors, tools and etc would be awesome!

Actually any and all advice would be appreciated! Any experiences? Suggestions on things I should be doing to help better the business as a shop owner? They are closed Sundays and Monday's and from what I hear they turn down a lot of dogs (groomers go home around noon!!??) I will be opening Monday's back up and will not be turning any dogs down!

Thanks!

Candice

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Amie
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Re: Dog Groomers?

Postby Amie » Mon Dec 26, 2011 7:23 am

How exciting!

Do groomers ever do any handling classes? I would think offering a class to help the dog accept the kind of touching they receive during grooming would be very beneficial - it's a source of income, but could also include a discount for graduates, say for the next year, and encourage repeat business of the more manageable pups. Don't know if that's something that could be set up, or is even doable, just a thought.

Do you have any business (owning) experience at all? How did you fall into owning this one?

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Dog Groomers?

Postby ewwies » Mon Dec 26, 2011 11:34 am

Hey that's a good idea!! It's something I will keep in mind as I get into the flow of things! I want to give my self at least 1 month to see how things are doing right now before I start making any changes.

Back in 06 the owner Wanted to work out some deal where I would take over the business... But I was only 18.. And thought this new job offer was the best ever. I've kicked myself ever since.

The person who bought it had her son run it for her. The son is also friends with my sister and his best friend rents a room with my mom so he comes over all the time. He is leaving to college in MO jan 6 so my mom starting asking questions about the business and 2 days later we are meeting with his mom to make a deal!

I've never owned a business.. But I use to run the shop mon to sat 8am to 6pm .. I will also have support from my dad who owns his own business as well as milo who is a manager at wells fargo and is number 1 in Los angeles for customer experience... Im confident I will have the help when needed.

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Re: Dog Groomers?

Postby Taffys_Angel » Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:09 pm

I'm envious.

My long term goal was to open my own shop, but the capital required is totally out of my reach. Then was going to work from home... but right now that won't work either because my spare room is taken up by a thankless sibling. I need a place where the spare room can be dedicated completely to grooming. Period. And I've been trying to find a part-time position in a salon somewhere for half a year, but the competition here is ridiculous. More people looking for work than there are positions unfortunately.


As for advice... hrrm....let's see.

Get an electric table, not hydraulic. Hydraulic tables suck from my experience (but are better than a standard table if it's all you can find). I prefer Andis clippers to Oster because they're lighter and easier on the wrist. Get at least one cordless machine, I absolutely love mine for cleaning out in front of the eyes, between the pads, and cleaning the face/feet on poodles. Keep a more heavy-duty corded one for tougher jobs, along with dedicated "dirty" blades for rough-in work or overly dirty coats (and only use the "clean" blades for finishing). I've got three different clipper machines and each has it's own strengths (if that makes any sense). Get the best scissors/thinning shears you can afford, but most importantly make sure they fit your hand. One of my favorite pairs is a mid-range one made by Miracle Coat... but it's because of how it fits my hand. I could have gone more pricey, but probably would have ended up with a pair that would fatigue my hand faster. GET A STOOL. Seriously. And use it. Being able to sit through certain phases of the process saved my back and bad knee. And get one or more of those gel mats that prevents foot fatigue, it would be worth it too. One for in front of the tub, one for the grooming table.

Oh, and make sure there are clear policies regarding aggressive dogs, etc...

If you don't have one already. Get a Grooming Certificate. Doesn't matter where. Could be an online course, or a physical school. But seriously. People WILL as if you're "certified". If there's a Groomer's Association in your area, see what it costs to join, and if it's affordable, do it. It can't hurt, and they sometimes offer good advice via forums, newsletters, and discounts at suppliers or insurance companies.


And that's all I got right now. I'm sure others will chime in. But I hope that at least gives you a few ideas...

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Re: Dog Groomers?

Postby Muttkip » Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:56 pm

Join petgroomerforum.com!!! They'll have ALL the information you'll EVER need!

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AmberD
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Re: Dog Groomers?

Postby AmberD » Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:28 am

I've been trying to post a sizable response since yesterday, but the forum keeps saying NO. Trying again:

Amie wrote:Do groomers ever do any handling classes? I would think offering a
class to help the dog accept the kind of touching they receive during
grooming would be very beneficial - it's a source of income, but could
also include a discount for graduates, say for the next year, and
encourage repeat business of the more manageable pups. Don't know if
that's something that could be set up, or is even doable, just a
thought.


I've found that the best way for dogs to learn to accept grooming is
to come very regularly, so I would suggest offering a discount for
customers who book every 4 weeks. Not only does this get the dog used
to everything, but it also keeps them in better shape so that visits
aren't so traumatic (less combing, dematting, scrubbing, and time!). I
think it's unfair when dogs come in every 3 or 4 months and are
hairier, grosser (?), and just take more time than dogs that come in
monthly, but they get charged the same price as long as they're not
really matted.

I would talk to all your groomers about the discounts they're
interested and opposed to offering. You definitely want to do what's
best for business, but you need to make sure you're taking your
groomers into consideration. If they're making commission, then
discounts are going to hurt their paycheck. There will be some
circumstances where they're probably willing to take a small hit, but
you don't want to ask them to take too many. In the same respect, be
careful about the whole "not turning any dogs" thing. Longer hours are
good, but overbooking leads to a decline in quality (and an increase
in stress). Encourage rebooking at pick up (like you would at the
dentist's office), and try to discourage last minute appointments or
walk-ins (because once people get into that habit, they expect it in
the future).

Favorite equipment...

1. I'm an Andis girl, as are all my co-workers; I'm not comfortable
with Osters (plenty of people love them though). I currently use an
Ultra Edge, but I have a Light Speed and do like it a lot (it needs a
tune-up, then I'll switch back). I've heard they have a new clipper
(Power Groom?) that's better than the Ultra Edge, and I may look into
that in the future. The little LED light on the Light Speed is
fantastic, though.

2. I have Safari brand nail clippers and like them. I don't like the
orange Miller's Forge ones that are so common, for some reason. Get a
Dremel or similar nail grinder, definitely. The cordless ones (like
the MiniMite) are convenient, but the batteries can get annoying. The
corded ones have more power. Make sure whatever you get has an
automatic stop (in case you catch hair).

3. I don't have much to suggest about shears. I still have the ones I
bought when I first started grooming, and I don't even know what brand
they are - they're private labelled for Ryan's Pet Supplies (Paw
Brothers). I do recommend a tiny pair of scissors for around the eyes
- I have Four Paws Ear Trimming Scissors but don't use them for ears.
My co-workers borrow them a lot. Thinning shears are your friend...
get a nice pair and get comfortable with all the ways to use them.

4. Notes From the Grooming Table. Do not compromise.

5. I really like the Mars Coat King style tools, although I personally
have a more generic version. Great for shedding. Some of my co-workers
have flexible, double-headed slicker brushes they love. I'll probably
be getting one soon.

I know you said you worked there before, and maybe you knew half the
stuff I said. Please know I'm not assuming you don't know what you're
doing; I was just spewing forth whatever came to mind ;)

Best of Luck!

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AmberD
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Re: Dog Groomers?

Postby AmberD » Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:29 am

OK, apparently it had an issue with a link I tried to embed in there?

http://shop.melissaverplank.com/product.sc?productId=6

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Heather9603
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Re: Dog Groomers?

Postby Heather9603 » Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:19 am

Diluted dawn dish soap bath will make grungy looking white dogs be sparkling like a diamond! the last vet I worked at actually offered a "White dog bath". It didn't cost any extra, it was just a promotional thing.

I could take long haired dogs with nasty brown spots around their feet, mouth, and potty patches and turn them crystal white! Just make sure you follow with a regular shampoo and a good conditioner.

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Re: Dog Groomers?

Postby Savage Destiny » Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:37 pm

I'm going to give an enthusiastic third recommendation for Andis clippers. I had to use Oster at the old shop I worked at, and I loathed those things. Loud, vibrate horribly, and get super hot in the body of the clipper. I've used the Andis 2 Speed and the Light Speed- love them both, but the light is like a miracle for shaving groins/bellies.

I'm also going to rave a bit about a product called Odor Handler. Its a powder you use mixed with a gallon of water for washing dogs, in addition to shampoo, and it is flat out amazing. We just recently started using it, and I don't know how we survived without it! Dogs that used to require 3-4 scrubbings to get the stink out now take 2- one with the Odor Handler, and one to use just the shampoo to make them smell heavenly! It has cut way down on our bathing time for gross dogs, which we do a lot of!

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Re: Dog Groomers?

Postby ewwies » Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:00 pm

Thank you all for the wonderful suggestions/advice!!!!

Unfortunately... the deal went bad.

I can't even begin to describe the sorrow I felt. Everything was good to go.. we confirmed things last Saturday. We were going to meet with the landlord this week to sign a lease and start transferring all the utilities in our name. As soon as we signed the lease, we we going to give her the down. She (current owner) told us she was going to tell these other people that were interested in buying that she found somebody else. Tuesday morning I told my work that Friday will be my last day.. and everyone was more than happy for me.

Shortly after I get the call saying that she had to give these other people "right of refusal" and they came back saying they now all of a sudden had enough money for the down. I offered to pay more but she refused saying she didn't want to get into a bidding war. She said that if something goes sour with this deal then she would let me know. It's been 2 days - and I'm definitely not keeping my hopes up again.

I cannot believe it. For years I have been so lost with my career path... Ive been so unhappy. I finally thought things were going to work out for me.. I was SO excited.. I enjoyed my time very much working there.. and I had confidence that I could do great with this shop! I was crushed to say the least.

I never did tell my work that the deal went bad... Tomorrow is still my last day of work. I've been with them for 6 years.. but it's time for change. I'm taking this opportunity to explore new things... do something that will make me happy. For years I've been talking about moving to the San Diego area... and I think I will do just that. My friend's work is hiring, and I am going to apply there.

I strongly believe everything happens for a reason. I will keep thinking positive - everything will soon fall into place for me!

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Amie
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Re: Dog Groomers?

Postby Amie » Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:05 pm

:hug:

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Re: Dog Groomers?

Postby HappyPuppy » Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:37 pm

I'm so disappointed for you - esp having gotten your hopes up like that only to be shot down. You have a lot of potential, no doubt. Take some time if you can afford it to find what will make you happy - try not to 'settle' for anything prematurely. And to wish you a happy new year now seems even more appropriate than ever!!

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Re: Dog Groomers?

Postby Taffys_Angel » Sat Dec 31, 2011 10:50 am

Aww... I'm sorry. :(

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Re: Dog Groomers?

Postby abbybaby2011 » Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:02 am

I hope that everything works out for the best. And we wish you luck

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Re: Dog Groomers?

Postby JenLeigh » Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:54 am

this could be the perfect chance for you to start something new, including building your own grooming shop, instead of coming into someone else's. i too believe everything happens for a reason.

good luck candace.


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