Today…April 1, 2011 I will be implementing a new pricing structure at the spa. I am quite sure you will be intrigued by this novel approach to pricing your services, and will be motivated to rethink the way you charge for your services as well.
The idea came to me one day as I was scissoring a three pound yorkie, it was a battle of the wills. Not sure who won, but she looked beautiful and the owner was very happy. The price…$55.00. The next day, I was rolling around on the floor with a 175 pound Newfoundland that had not seen a brush in…well, a year or so. Packed undercoat, moist dermatitis, smelled like dead fish…at this age I must wear kneepads. Price…$150.00.
It occurred to me that, in general, grooming prices don’t follow a rhyme or a reason.
As of April 1st we will no longer be charging by the breed or by the hour, but by the pound.
Here’s how it works.
Piranahs, I meant to write, pets weighing zero to five pounds, will be charged $10 per pound.
Our sweetie-pies, pets weighing more than five and less than 25 pounds will be charged $8.00 per pound. Unless they have really soulful, sweet eyes, then the price is reduced to $7 per pound.
Over 25 and less than 50 pounds, $9 per pound. Unless the client wants the eyelashes left, which will add $2 per pound to the cost of grooming.
Pets weighing over 50 pounds, and under 75 pounds will be charged $12 per pound. Unless, the pet should really weigh less than 30 pounds, at which point the price goes to $24 per pound and the owner must attend both pet parenting and nutrition classes.
Pets weighing over 75 pounds will be charged $15 per pound…unless they are dragging their owner around the parking lot before entering, at which point the price goes to $30 per pound. The submissive owner will be handed the Mastering Leadership Series Complete 6-Volume DVD Set, by Cesar Millan and $129.00 will be added to the grooming total.
Obviously, we have some tweaking to do, but I do think that this is a sound approach to pricing grooming services.
In addition, we will implement a “treat and pinch collar”, much like the “carrot and stick” approach to training our pet parents who stray from our salon rules for safety and etiquette.
Rule #1: For your pet's comfort, and spa sanitation, be sure your pet has fully taken care of his or her "potty" business before entering. A pet that has to “potty” during the grooming session is uncomfortable and fidgety. We can tell the difference between a nervous “nugget” and last night’s dinner. Imagine the embarrassment they feel when they just can’t hold it any longer. Please, walk your pet and be sure they have taken care of business so they can relax and enjoy their time at the spa.
Ok, really, we can tell the difference between a nervous nugget and last night’s dinner, so, the first nugget is on us. We will pick it up, sanitize and forget it ever happened…But, last night’s dinner, that is another story. That tells us professionals that Phydo was woken from his sleep, scooped up and probably carried to the car for his drive to the spa…where he holds it as long as he can, until finally, after his hydro-massage bath, and moisturizing heat wrap, mind over matter simply does not work. The aftermath is ugly, stinky and embarrassing, and usually means another bath and blow-dry for Phydo. Not to mention the cleaning and sanitizing of the suite, floor, walls and surrounding area.
Treat (Carrot)... be sure the pet has plenty of time to potty, and fully relieve himself before getting in the car to come to the spa. If the pet has had an upset stomach, vomiting or diarrhea, a trip to the spa will not make him feel better. Wait at least 48 hours to have him groomed after the tummy troubles pass. Following this rule ensures your pet will be comfortable and relaxed during his spa day.
Prong Collar (Stick)…we will let the owner re-bathe the pet. We will save the mess for the client too. We will supply the goggles, nose plug, rubber gloves and sanitation supplies, but the client will have to take the mess with them. A $50 fumigation charge will apply.
Rule #2: For your pet’s comfort, please do not feed large meals or unusual treats before the grooming appointment.
OK, no fair coaxing Trixie from under the bed with a pound of sliced ham. This is the same pet that probably did not get a chance to “go” outside before entering the spa. The projectile vomiting usually occurs 20 minutes before the diarrhea.
Treat (Carrot)... do not feed any large meals or unusual treats before the spa appointment to ensure your pet’s comfort and enjoyment at the spa. We have a yummy, healthy spa treat set aside for your fur baby that you may give her when you arrive to pick her up.
Prong Collar (Stick)…if the contents of the regurgitation resembles the original food, we will add mayonnaise and offer the client a sandwich.
Rule #3: Please, please, please….for your pet’s safety, have your pet on-lead when entering. Please leave the leash on your pet while in the reception area.
I am shocked at how many people believe that their pet will get out of the car, on a busy street, and follow the pet parent in to the salon, no leash, no means to control or restrain the pet.…Yes, we are a spa, we pamper and cater…but, for some pets there is always apprehension. We have had a few clients running down the street, screaming for their pet. This is not rocket science. Put a leash on the pet!!!
Treat (Carrot)… put a leash on your pet and the beloved will be safe and feel more secure when entering the salon.
Prong Collar (Stick)…once the pet parent catches the pet three blocks down, and carries her into the salon, shaking and panting…the owner that is, not the pet, we will ask the owner to drive home and get the leash they should have had on the pet when they left the house that morning.
Rule #4: Retractable leads should be locked at a length of 4 to 6'. Do not allow your pet to have direct contact with another pet while in the reception and boutique area.
We know that your pet may have the sweetest, most easy going personality in the whole world. But not all pets are that amicable. In fact, many pets are great with people, but are dog aggressive. It is best practice to NEVER let your pet walk up to another pet, nose-to-nose. The showing of teeth and growling is not play. Keep the retractable lead locked. The last thing we need at the spa is a blood bath, which is not a treatment on the spa menu of services.
Treat (Carrot)… for your pet’s safety, keep the retractable lead at a locked 4 to 6’ foot length to ensure your pet will not be harmed, or frightened by another pet waiting in our reception area. We NEVER allow direct contact between pets while they are in our care.
Prong Collar (Stick)…We will now charge the client a $10 fine for every foot past 6’ that the lead is extended. If the pet is allowed to roam freely at the end of the fully extended lead, we will take it from the owner and bonk them in the head with it.
These are our new policies that went into effect today, April 1st, 2011.
We hope that our fellow groomers are enjoying their April Fool’s Day and in the words of Mark Twain, remember… “It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and leave no doubt.”