To be successful in this business doesn’t depend on your knowledge of grooming or the equipment you use, it actually depends on some very basic goals you accomplish every day. My grooming instructor over 30 years ago covered these goals with us and I think about them from time to time in my own shop. They are simple goals such as “Make Money”, “Customer Perspective”, and “Safety”. Three little goals that pass through our minds everyday, but we never really think about how much they impact every day we work.
We all know making money is what we get into this business for in the first place, but how we make money is important. You make money several different ways like “Saving Money”, trying to get the best deals on products you use like soaps, conditioners, the products your shop runs on every day. Careing for your equipment, doing some of the repair work yourself as opposed to paying a sharpener to fix stuff for you. Compulsive spending is the biggest thing you have to watch. Do you really need that pair of shears everyone is talking about? If you can curb compulsive spending you will see a huge increase in your net income. Watching your utilities like electricity, are you running dryers longer than needed? Air conditioning set too low? The little things add up at the end of the month. We all charge a fair price for our grooms for the areas we work in, but being frugal in our spending, our payroll, and our operating costs can make us additional money by actually saving it.
This is the most important of the three goals, this can actually make or break you in this business. Customer perspective has three parts in it as well, your customer has to have a good perspective of “Your Work”, Your Shop”, and most importantly “YOU”. You can be the best groomer in the world and not be successful. Customer perspective of your work doesn’t include how perfect the groom is, but does mean “Did you do what the customer asked for?”. Sometimes you have to leave your idea of how a groom should be to the side and “Do exactly what the customer wants you to do”. Making your customer happy is the goal, even if the groom looks stupid to you, it made your customer happy and they will be back. Customer perspective of your shop is important also because they are leaving their “child” with you. Is your shop clean, uncluttered, can a customer sense danger in your shop? Does your shop smell clean or can you smell the cages in the parking lot? A good shop can bring customers back just for that reason alone regardless of the groom. Finally, your customers perspective of YOU. Do you treat the pets nice and not yell at them all the time. Pets sense this and sometimes act like they don’t want to come into your shop. Are you a pleasant natured person, or do you let things get to you all the time? Do you carry an attitude all day if something happened or something is bothering you? If a customer senses animosity in any form to them or their pet, they may take it personally and never come back. A good example of displaying animosity in the shop is when a customer comes early for a pickup and the pet isn’t done yet. Its very easy to make that person feel bad for coming early and you don’t even know your doing it. One time can change that customers perspective of you forever. So try to be happy if you can, it can be profitable for you.
When we think of safety, we think since no one got bit, and no pet got hurt, its good. Thats not all, we have to go further and think of other things like controlling “unsafe acts” and “near misses”. A grooming shop is a haven for near misses and unsafe acts because its the most aggressive form of hair care in the world. Our clientel just doesn’t come in and sit down, we have to fight them sometimes to get them in the tub and washed. If you really think about it, there are things you do every day that can actually injure you with no real fault of your own. Near misses are accidents that almost happened but didn’t, and most of these can be prevented from turning into a real accident that could injure you. A good one that comes to mind is when your getting a wet dog out of the tub and your feet slip alittle while your getting it over to the drying table. You didn’t slip and fall with the dog and hurt either of you, but the potential was there for some serious injury. To prevent the near miss in this situation would be to have the floor dry, or put some sort of non-slip media on the floor to prevent slipping. Just think about the near misses you’ve had in your shop and what you can do to prevent them. An unsafe act is something you do that you know you shouldn’t, but you do it anyway for some reason. We have all done stupid things that we shouldn’t have done and got away with it. But remember this, Mr Murphy (Murphys Law) walks back and forth in front of our grooming shop everyday, we don’t want him knocking on the door. Please, don’t be unsafe by cutting corners, not following directions, and worse yet doing something completely stupid, its not worth it in the long run. You are in control of 90% of what happens in the shop, so use that control to be safe, and you and your clients will go home every night un-injured.
Now that you've read these goals, think how or if they can apply to you and your business. They can help.
Be safe, read those labels, and have a great day grooming!