Everyone knows I love to
groom, think and write about grooming. I’m sure my latest revelation will not
surprise you. I also love to talk TO groomers. Nothing gives me a better
opportunity to connect with other groomers then a grooming convention. This is
where my motor starts running. If you’re a groomer and I haven’t met you
before, it doesn’t matter to me. We’re friends and I’m very interested in you
and your business.
I had some enlightening conversations at Intergroom last weekend that started me thinking. I ask you this question, “What direction do you want your mobile business to go?” I ask because I had many a discussion with groomers about grooming large dogs in a mobile van.
Most mobilers start out grooming all breeds just as I did. It’s hard to be choosy in the beginning when you’re trying to build a customer base and pay the bills. As time passes some mobilers begin to realize they have limitations and options. The majority of mobile groomers work alone and groom one dog at a time. They don’t have the luxury of having someone to help, an unlimited supply of time, water, power, and the ability to put the dog in a kennel while they work on another. In addition to the physical labor involved, you’ve got to clean up and drive between each appointment. During the winter, some of us have to consider weather conditions. Extremely important is the groomers age factor.
I’ll never forget the St. Bernard I groomed the first week I had my van. The dog was old, grouchy, packed with hair and weighed more then I did. I was a brand new groomer working in unfamiliar territory with a dog I didn’t know. Need I say more?
Grooming big dogs came to a screeching halt about a year later. The turning point occurred at the end of my workday after I washed, dried, and clipped the doodle that was as big as a pony. At this time I was a young pup of about fifty-two. I crawled home, exhausted, and fell on my bed. That’s when the light bulb went off. I knew I had to make a change. It was nothing personal. I love dogs of every size and shape. I just knew I wasn’t going to last very long if I kept grooming big, hairies in the van. I realized if I didn’t steer my business in a new direction I was in for an early retirement.
At that point I decided to let the big dogs go. It was hard to say goodbye to many. We mobile groomers get attached to the owners and their pets but for me, it wasn’t an option. I had to put myself first. This is why it is extremely important to network and have relationships with groomers in your area. Nothing makes me happier then to refer a customer that I am unable to groom to a shop or mobile that can provide the same level of skill and care that I do. I need to know that my loyal customers and furry friends are well taken care of.
It’s good to know that many mobile groomers do love grooming big dogs. We can’t forget that these guys need mobile services too. These groomers have large mobile vans or trailers; powerful generators with lots of drying power and help. Some of these groomers live in areas of the country where big dogs are plentiful and make up the majority of their clientele.
An exciting direction for some mobilers right now is grooming cats, my newest passion. The need for mobile cat groomers is huge. Right now, mobile cat grooming is in its infancy all over the country. Cat grooming is a perfect fit for mobile grooming if this is your “thing.” When cat owners call and find you are accepting appointments for their feline friends, you can hear how grateful and enthusiastic they are. Cat owners are desperate for mobile grooming services in my area.
This is the beauty of mobile grooming. Big dogs, little dogs, kitty cats. What fits you best? Because we are an “owner driven” business we can make our own choices. Yes or no. It’s up to us decide which direction we want our business to go.