Education is Everything

Education Is Everything

By Melissa Verplank 

600x600_thumbnail_EducationIsEverythingPost_060419 copy

We have a motto within my companies when it comes to learning. 

Education is everything.

It is at the very core of everything we do. Why?

I see learning as never ending. It does not matter what stage you are in your career. Or what stage you are in your life. Continued learning offers positive opportunities around every turn. 

I was never a great student in school. Traditional academics did not excite me. But once I got into dog grooming, now that was a different story. 

I became passionate about learning. About growing my career. I didn’t seek out traditional methods. Most of my learning was self-directed. Something much more challenging before the age of the Internet! I quickly understood the wealth of benefits continued education unleashed. 

For my grooming skills. For my customer service skills. For my
operational skills. For my management skills. For my business skills. For my marketing skills. Or even my personal well-being, both physically and mentally. The benefits were immense. The opportunities were limitless.

I started learning the value of ‘education is everything’ before I even started my first business. Once I started my first business, I was off and running. The amount of information I needed to be efficient and effective to grow my business while developing my team was incredible.

Today, I think back at those early lessons. The mentors I had. The early industry magazines I kept for years. The volumes of books still sitting on my bookshelves today – highlighted, tagged and totally marked up. The notebooks and journals I kept, and still have. The friendships I made by attending workshops, clinics, industry trade shows, certification programs or grooming competitions. I turned almost everything into a learning occasion.

Every step of my career journey included continued education. And I’m far from done! There is still plenty to learn. Education IS everything!

Have you ever noticed the word learn contains the word earn?
But the benefits go far beyond that. 

Here is my personal list of 7 key areas continued education can have a positive impact on anyone’s career path. 

  1. Knowledge—Knowledge can be both factual and practical. The information you learn is not just interesting. It will also be of great use in your current position and/or where you want to go. If you want to grow your career – you need to grow your knowledge.
  2. Career Advancement—Being well educated allows you to bring new ideas and creativity to the grooming table. Doors of opportunity will begin presenting themselves in areas you never thought of.
  3. Higher Earning Potential—The more skilled you are as a professional pet groomer or stylist typically translates to a higher earning potential. It also means you will attract a higher caliber of pets into your business as your skills advance.
  4. Networking—By networking with fellow pet professionals, you can interact with a wide variety of individuals. As humans, we are wired to help others. It’s what we do. Being exposed to this broader network of like-minded individuals can have far-reaching benefits when it comes to advancing and expanding your knowledge base – especially when you need help.
  5. Dedication to Personal Improvement Creates Growth—When passion and dedication collide, there is no end to the excitement. Fresh ideas and new opportunities will be unveiled at a rapid rate.
  6. Respect—When you combine knowledge with humility, respect comes almost automatically. It comes from the pet you work on. From the pet parents you deal with every day. To your coworkers and your peers. Respect is earned through shared knowledge.
  7. Personal Confidence—When you take the steps to advance your skills, you do more than just gain knowledge. You gain personal confidence - in all areas of your personal and professional life. And guess what… personal confidence is directly tied to your success.

Regardless of where you’re at, you can always advance your career and professional skills. Dedication and focus to learning offers you the edge to take your next step. It is a powerful leg in staying competitive in the field while enhancing your skills. 

It does not matter whether you are just starting your career, or you are building upon years of experience, seeking advanced educational opportunities keeps you moving forward in your career.

Continued education may not be as exciting compared to other things in your life – but the benefits will be lifelong. 

For me, continuing my quest to be the best I could be has never failed me. It’s made my work exciting and interesting. There’s always been something to learn. Something to do better. It has allowed me opportunities to grow and expand my own career. Plus, I’ve been able to help thousands of pet lovers enter the field or expand their careers. 

The positive benefits of continued education has unlimited benefits at all levels. It’s a win for the pets you work on. It’s a win for the pet parents who bring their pets to you every day. And it’s a win for you personally when you know you’ve done a great job after each groom or finished a busy day. 

Education is everything! 

 

About the Paragon School of Pet Grooming

Founded by grooming industry icon, Melissa Verplank, Paragon is focused on the success and career development of pet professionals at all levels, beginner to expert.  Melissa has authored the industry’s most complete grooming guides such as Notes from the Grooming Table and Theory of 5.  Paragon offers grooming education at its On-Campus training center in Michigan. It also brings the on-campus experience to everyone through its Distance Learning Program and Learn2GroomDogs.com.  Paragon is regarded as one of the best grooming schools in the world. Ms. Verplank and her team have created award winning platforms with traditional education programs and web-based learning tools.


New Years Resolutions are Dreams with Deadlines

By: Melissa Verplank

With the Holiday rush just behind us, it may be a perfect time to fuel a prosperous 2020 and create a dream with a deadline!  A recent study divided people who made New Year’s resolutions into two groups.

  1. Those who made New Year’s resolutions and wrote it down.
  2.  Those who made a New Year’s resolution but neglected to write it down.

You know what? The results were amazing. For the group that did not write down their New Year’s resolution, only 4% of them kept their resolution. However, for the people that wrote down the resolution, a whopping 44% of them had kept their New Year’s resolution.

“You can’t hit a target you can’t see” says motivational speaker Brian Tracy. And he is so right. A dream is a wish. Most people don’t write down their wishes – Thus, most wishes don’t come true.

Another one of his famous quotes is, “Goals in writing are dreams with deadlines.”

So have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet? Have you put pen to paper or your fingers to keyboard? If you’ll just take a few minutes and get your dreams down on paper, your odds for success are going to increase tenfold.

So what are your goals — what are your dreams — what are your aspirations? If you really want to make them happen, put together a plan.

Do you want to go for doing six dogs a day to eight? Have you divided your day so you know how long you have to spend on each pet and still get the job accomplished? Maybe your plan includes dividing the types of dogs you take each day in order to accomplish your goal. This division might come from the size of dogs you take. Or it might be the degree of difficulty. Obviously it’s going to be easier to wash a Beagle than it is to do a full scissor job on a poodle.

Do you want to become a certified master groomer or enter the competition ring? What type of knowledge do you need to gain before you’re successful at that endeavor? Do you need to learn the foundation of dog grooming first? The foundation would be anatomy, structure and movement. Next will come mastering technical skills like; bathing, brushing, dematting, drying, clipping, scissoring, hand- stripping. Once your foundation work is down, now it’s time to take a breed. Pick one breed — and one breed only. Focus on that single breed. Read the books. Watch videos put out by top professionals on the breed. Study with professional breeders and handlers. Go to conformation dog shows. Attend workshops and seminars. Once you master one breed, you’ll find it much easier to learn additional breeds.

Make a Roadmap, a List, a Plan

Do you want to own your own business? What will it take to make that happen? Outline the steps it’s going to take for you to gain the experience necessary to open your own salon or to go mobile. Once you have the experience, then it’s time to create a full-fledged business plan. A well thought out business plan will be your roadmap to starting your own business successfully.

Whatever your goal, the important part is to get it down on paper. The style that you get it down will be all your own. Some people do better doing outlines. Other people do better with simple lists. Others find mind maps work extremely well. Whatever your style, write it down. The more detailed you are about the necessary steps required, the more likely you will succeed.

Create a Visual Reminder

Then, post it where you’re going to see it. Set a timeline to it and then energetically take action to complete each detailed step. The steps can be small — and sometimes smaller steps are good. It gives you a sense of accomplishment each time you get to move up the staircase of success.

The New Year is here! What do you want to accomplish? Make those New Year’s resolutions. No matter what your goals, remember that just by simply writing them down are more likely to happen.

Happy Trimming!


 

About the Paragon School of Pet Grooming

Founded by grooming industry icon, Melissa Verplank, Paragon is focused on the success and career development of pet professionals at all levels, beginner to expert.  Melissa has authored the industry’s most complete grooming guides such as Notes from the Grooming Table and Theory of 5.  Paragon offers grooming education at its On-Campus training center in Michigan. It also brings the on-campus experience to everyone through its Distance Learning Program and Learn2GroomDogs.com.  Paragon is regarded as one of the best grooming schools in the world. Ms. Verplank and her team have created award winning platforms with traditional education programs and web-based learning tools


8 Ways to Make More Money Grooming

8 Ways to Make More Money Grooming

By: Melissa Verplank

Are you looking for ways to boost your income? Come on – who ISN’T??

What if I told you there’s a way to do it without doing more dogs?

In order to grow your business and/or your bank account, it’s important you work smarter - not harder.

Up until about 12 years ago, I never thought about offering extra services as a upsell. Sure, I always charged extra if there was excessive dematting or shedding. Specialized treatments for fleas or eliminating nasty odors (like skunk!) always cost more. Or if their pet was difficult to handle.

But I never thought about offering extra services as an option. The lightbulb went off when I was working with a private consultant. He suggested we add a couple optional items for clients to choose from. Nothing difficult. We chose three optional services. Just three. And we were to ask every client, every question, every time. 

We tested it for a week. Every client walking through the door was offered at least one optional upsell service. We didn’t push it hard – we simply offered the service. Kind of like going through a fast food drive-through and they ask you, “Do you want fries with that?”

The three services we chose were simple to administer. They did not take much time. Nor were they overly expensive. However, they made a nice impact to our bottom line. The first week we tested it, we brought in over $200 extra. Talk about eye opening! I called it, “found money.”

Today we offer quite a few extra services. In fact, nearly 100% of our customers take us up on an extra service.  Our top sellers are spa upgrades, breath freshening and nail filing. None of them are difficult to administer. None are expensive. Clients know exactly what to expect.  And none of them take much time. The added income drops directly to the bottom line.

Today our “found money” represents 15% to 20% increase in our weekly grooming revenues alone!

What does that translate to you?

If you’re a solo groomer generating $1200 a week in grooming sales – that would earn $180-$240 extra every week.

I don’t know about you, but to me that is like finding two $100 bills just sitting on the ground!

Are you ready to give service upsells a shot? Here are a few ideas to get you started. In most cases, the upgraded amount is an addition to basic grooming price.

  1. Spa Shampoo Upgrades: This is simply upgrading the cleansing products from your everyday routine. Most of the time, skin and coat enhancements are automatically built into the products along with a phenomenal fragrance. Price upgrade from $2- $10 based on the type of product, size of pet and coat type.
  2. Nail Filing: Nail trimming is typically included with full-service grooms. But filing goes beyond simply cutting the toenails. It files them removing the sharp edges. This is especially beneficial in families where young children or seniors are involved with the pet. Price upgrade from $2-8
  3. Fresh Breath Treatments: There are many options when it comes to helping the oral hygiene of a pet. One of the biggest benefits is fresher breath. Many pet parents will notice it immediately. Price upgrade from $6-15
  4. Shed Control Treatment Program: There are many ways to administer this type of program. Typically, it’s a combination of products, gentle yet effective coat removal techniques and boosting the frequency between appointments. Price upgrade from $16-$30 based on the type of product, size of pet and coat type.
  5. Mini Shed Controls: These are done weekly during the shedding season. It’s done in between full service Shed Control Treatments and typically does not include a bath. It’s simply a blowout with a high velocity dryer combined with light brushing. Price upgrade from $5-$10 based on the type of product, size of pet and coat type.
  6. Specialized Skin & Coat Treatments: Pets come to us with a wide array of mild skin and coat issues. By using a specialized product in the bathing process, often we can minimize a skin or coat problem. The pet is more comfortable, and the owner is thrilled to have a solution to their problem. Price upgrade from $2- $25 based on the type of product, size of pet and coat type.
  7. Simple Color & Bling: Colorful accents and sparkle is a large trend right now. Some of the colorful and shiny accessories are super easy to apply and temporary. They can be easily removed or washed out of the coat. Many hardly take any time to do and cost just pennies yet are super fun. Price upgrade from $2- $15 based on the type of product and time involved.
  8. In-between Appointment Touchups: These are perfect for a pet who is truly is a part of the family. If the pet snuggles on the couch, sleeps in bed with the family or the client does not have time to maintain the coat - this is a fabulous service for them. A touchup appointment is simply a bath, blowout and possibly minor trimming on the face, feet and rear.  If you’re seeing the pet on a weekly or biweekly basis, the price typically is about half of the full-service groom.

These are just a few of the many services you can offer your clients. It’s a great way to enhance the services you already offer. Plus, you can offer solutions – sometimes to challenges the owners did not even realize there were options for improvement.

Offering service upsells are a wonderful way to open the door of communications with your clients. It helps both your four-legged client and the owner. At the same time service upsells increase your bank account without working harder. Instead, you are just working a little bit smarter.

Paragon6

Paragon’s Distance Learning Program (ParagonPetSchool.com) is a web-based grooming instruction solution. It’s perfect for individuals looking to make Grooming their future. It is also an ideal resource for Salon Owners and Managers who find it hard to locate groomers. It’s designed for those who don’t have the time - or desire - to teach.