Product review...

I recently tried a new product.  

MattI have developed a small addiction to it, and have several bottles stashed so I make sure I don't run out. I've talked customers into buying it, and introduced people at a recent seminar I taught to its wonders.  Matt-X, made by Artero, is a groomers "must have," in my opinion. 

There are lots of excellent dematting sprays on the market now, so what's the big deal about Matt-X? 

  • The bottle is nicely shaped, and easy to grab, hold and use. 
  • The scent is light, inoffensive, and dissipates quickly. 
  • Spray away, there is no greasy residue left behind. 
  • The applicator delivers a fine, even mist. 

These are all good things. But the real reason I am such a fan of this product is because it works like magic. 

IMG_2473The above image is a poodles tail. The owner likes the hair left LONG and wild. They don't brush between visits. I always have to work on this tail for a bit to get the tangles out. On the last visit I got the hair partially dried, then spayed well with Matt-X, brushed lightly and finished drying. Using a good slicker brush I had the entire thing totally mat free in less than two minutes. Two, easy, pain free, minutes.  

I am finding that I use this product on almost every dog, and I am simply delighted to have discovered it. I buy mine at 

Time for a price hike..?

Experts in our industry, who are far more business savvy than I am,  strongly suggest that we raise our grooming rates by a small amount each year. I struggle with this. I dislike the potential for confrontation or unhappiness when I raise my rates, so I tend to put it off.  Before I know it, several years have passed, and I need to raise my rates by a fairly large amount to keep up with the increase in my supplies, insurance, and general costs of running a business.  And then I hear a lot of complaints.

I have to remind myself that people are far less to quibble about a change of $1-3 dollars than they are a larger bump. Where I live, in fairly rural Maine, our summers are by far the busiest time of year.  I take this time, (usually in June) to increase rates for new customers and  inform my regular customers that there will be a nominal new charge at their next visit.  This year I raised my rates $3. And I fretted.

Here is an example of how it's been going so far.  Mrs. T brought adorable Buddy in last week.  Writing her check she asked, "How much is it? I can never remember."  I said, "It is $__, but we are having a small increase and next time it will be $__."  She wrote her check, added a nice tip and said, "You are worth every penny."   IMG_6519
That is how it has gone with almost every customer. Except one, who makes a hobby out of complaining about everything. I just smile and stay quiet, and she keeps coming back.

Now, this being said, I do have what I secretly refer to as my, "little old lady on a fixed income" price.  That price has not budged in years, and in fact, sometimes I don't charge at all. I can do that, because it's my business, and once in a while it's fun to make someones day by saying, "Fluffie's haircut is on us today!" 

I digress.  Have you raised your rates recently?  If not, you should consider doing so. I know that my cost of doing business goes up each year, and I work hard and deserve to make a decent hourly wage. You do, too.