By John Stockman
Wag’n Tails Mobile Conversions
That’s correct. You read it right. Mobile grooming and other small businesses in the United States have historically provided the impetus that pulls our economy out of recession and back into growth! This recession is no different than those in the past. Small businesses always provide the spark that jump starts our national economy. Like the little engine that could, small businesses including mobile pet grooming provides the true stimulus that will get things going again.
Why single out mobile pet grooming? Simple! Pet services in general and mobile grooming in particular are highly recession resistant. One important thing to keep in mind is that when the economy gets bad, pet hair continues to grow, pets continue to get dirty, pets continue to smell bad and pet parents are going to do what is necessary to take care of Fifi, Fido and Tinkerbelle!
Mobile grooming businesses capitalize on the fact that their customers are very hard pressed for time. Tommy has basketball. Sally has ballet. Dad is working late, Mom works too plus she is also the main kid taxi driver. There is just no time to transport the pets to and from the groomer. And an economic recession doesn’t ease that time burden any. In fact, most mobile grooming customers will be working even longer hours during a recession. This makes the convenience of a mobile groomer that much more special, more necessary and more in demand.
Am I saying that no mobile groomers are hurting? No…but most aren’t. Some clients have moved Misty from a 2 week groom cycle to a 4 week or from a 4 week to a 6 week. Although some customers are lengthening the groom cycle, most mobile groomers have taken this in stride and have dealt with it in a couple of different ways.
First, some can take it a little easier from their insane schedules. They have the loaded up schedule because like most mobile groomers I know, they never learned how to say “no” to a prospective client. That means they are totally buried in work and barely able to keep up. This lengthening of the groom cycle at least gives them a chance to catch their breath…for a little while, anyway.
Others have filled the holes in their book with clients that have been waitlisted for months because, unlike most mobile groomers I know, they could say “no” to a prospective client (or at least they could say “not now”).
At Wag’n Tails, we are in regular contact with our more than 1400 owners and we simply don’t hear the gloom and doom from them. We do hear of a very few mobile groomers that are suffering and we identified a common thread among them--they are priced TOO LOW!
Now some of you are thinking, “Priced too low? Is he nuts?!” It might sound counter-intuitive to some of you but look at it this way: Clients that groom their pets based solely on price have a tight budget even when economic times are good. They live paycheck to paycheck.
You all know who these people are. You talk to them quite frequently. They’ve called you. The first words they utter are “how much?” They would dump their current groomer for a $5 lower price from you. I’ll bet most of you don’t take them on as clients because they won’t pay a mobile groomer what they deserve. If you did take them on, I hope they are a small percentage of your book!
You see, these clients are the first to stop grooming Pumpkin and Bandit as soon as there is a hiccup in the economy. One bad newscast and BOOM! They’re gone faster than a speeding budget. Groomers who feasted on a steady diet of these customers now understand what I’m saying here! Since the economy is tough they have seen it happen to them and we really do sympathize with those that are suffering.
What’s worse, if they’ve been living on those customers for years, well…it’s hard to reinvent an image and a business philosophy but if this is you, it must be done and soon.
At Wag’n Tails we are all about the groomer. That may sound like a line but when you are a company founded by the “Groomer of the Century”, you have a unique perspective that keeps us firmly grounded in our “groomer first” philosophy. We really do want the entire pet grooming industry and mobile grooming to flourish.
Those mobile groomers who recognized they provide a premium service and have priced themselves accordingly have attracted and built their business upon a different customer. This client has a higher than average income, both parents are employed, they tend to be better educated and are likely to be working in a field that is more resistant to economic downturns.
This customer has to have the mobile convenience factor and they pay a premium price for it. They understand this concept because they experience it with the pool cleaning service, the landscaper, the housekeeper, etc. Sparky MUST and WILL have his grooming appointment!
When a prospective client begins the purchase process with Wag’n Tails, pricing is one of the 7 keys to success that is discussed at length. Our “Guide to Success in Mobile Grooming” (that each of our customers is provided with) is an easy to implement business model that explains the entire process of being successful in this business. One entire section is devoted to pricing correctly with formulas and rationale for setting your prices.
I’ll get off my pricing soapbox and move on now. Just know that you are great at what you do and you deserve to be paid accordingly for your skill, artistry, dedication and attention to detail!
Now let’s look at how mobile groomers and other small business owners can drive us out of the recession.
First, mobile groomers provide a service that is in demand-even during a recession. They pay themselves a salary and they buy consumer goods. That creates jobs at Procter and Gamble, Coca Cola, Frito-Lay, Levi Strauss, Microsoft, Goodyear and the actual retail stores where these items are purchased.
Second, the mobile groomer also consumes goods and services in the normal course of day-to-day business operations. They have to replenish everything consumed so they buy goods from Davis, Nature’s Specialties, Bardel Bows, MDC Romani and others. That creates jobs at those companies.
Next, MDC Romani, Davis and the other companies need to replace what they consume in the normal course of running their businesses. This in turn creates jobs at the companies that supply them and so on and so on and so on...
Also, all of the employees at all of those companies that supply all the other companies that supply the mobile groomer also go to the grocery and out to Denney’s and to Lowe’s and Home Depot and Wal-Mart and…what you wind up with is a bunch of jobs being created in other economic sectors all over the country.
Basic economics tells us that every dollar spent generates around $8 in economic activity. This “money multiplier” as it’s known in economic circles is the catalyst for growth. It has to do with bank deposits, reserves held, the money supply and all kinds of technical mumbo jumbo.
In basic terms, you buy something from Company A and some of that money goes to their payroll to pay their employees. Next, the Company A employees take their paychecks and they buy something from Companies B, C, D, etc. Some of that money goes to those companies’ payrolls and their employees buy something, etc. Every dollar spent by everyone keeps rippling through the economy like a stone tossed into a pond.
So now you might be thinking that mobile grooming can’t be that much of an influence, can it? Let’s look! If we only consider our 1400 plus Wag’n Tails groomers out there, we can estimate they are generating over $157 million in revenue every year. Surprised? Now let’s use the money multiplier and that says that our mobile groomers provide almost $1.3 BILLION in economic activity. Now that my friends, as they say, ain’t chicken feed!
It’s all about creating jobs. Now you’re thinking: “but John, I can’t create jobs!” Yes you can. You do it every single day! My dear mobile groomers, all you need to do is keep on doing what you do. Provide that valuable service to those time starved customers, make the money you deserve to make, replenish your supplies and go to Kroger, Target, Pet Edge and Ryan’s. Save and invest and this economy will get moving again. Be the catalyst! Be the spark! Be the best you can be!
And then very soon, maybe even before you know it, you’ll need another van! When you’re ready, just let us know. We’ll be here for you!