Just in case this might help a fellow Groomer.
I am currently open for business and working with strict state mandates in place in order to be functioning. I’m only one week in but I have taken note of a lot of things I’ve encountered and I thought it might help fellow groomers out to have a heads up as they begin to re-open for themselves.
-Hopefully mentioning these things will give you a heads up towards preparation, or a sense of knowing you aren’t alone when something either really weird or super annoying happens.
Before you open:
🗣Do not re-open simply on a verbal agreement with a local administrator. You need to have these things in writing with no exception.
💸Double check to make sure that your business liability insurance *policy holder* (not just your agent!) will insure you with everything that’s going on even if you’ve been given clearance to reopen with your county.
💎Update your salon voicemail to include pertinent info about your current operating hours and procedures.
Keep it upbeat!
🧿Be sure to update your Facebook business page or your website with any updated current mandates you have in place.
📞Never before has having a receptionist been more important than now, if you are able to do it.
🩺Make contact with your nearest referring veterinarian to make sure that they are open regular hours for you to utilize in event of an injury.
📍Set operating protocols around your mandates that best suit your business, you and your staff. Expect to explain those to your clients if you expect their support in return.
🎉If you are a member, approach your local chamber of commerce to see if they are willing to spotlight your business in light of honoring the community’s overall safety while providing a vital service.
🧹Spend some time cleaning everything thoroughly ahead of when you open. It’ll help you get your arms around day-to-day tasks without forgetting anything, and it’ll give you peace of mind knowing that you’re prepared and ready to get going.
💳Be sure and contact your credit card processing company if you are taking credit cards and not requiring a signature on site. Whether a client disputes your charge or not, you do not want your direct deposits stalled while they sort things out because suddenly you have a bunch of non-signature receipts coming through on your account.
🧼If you are going to the store anyway be sure at every visit you try to grab something for surface sanitizing. Things like vinyl gloves, surface disinfectants and hand sanitizer if you can find it. You do not want to run out of these things or have to try to make them “stretch”.
🎁Visit your large scale grooming vendors for larger quantities of broad-spectrum sanitizer to help give you peace of mind.
🧮Creating a morning, midday and evening or closing cleaning routine is not a bad thing even if you have had your salon for a very long time. They will still going to be additional things that you don’t want to possibly overlook.
Once you reopen:
💕Be there for your clients. Don’t be taken aback if they ask how you are protecting yourself towards contact with a virus to help give them peace of mind that they are also safe.
⁉️Don’t be surprised if they ask you specifically about articles they have seen online where pets have contracted COVID, and how you are handling that to help keep their pets safe. Spend time talking to them and investing in their trust.
✅If you don’t already do reminder calls the night before, now is a great time to start. Spend a few minutes explaining to your clients your new procedures ahead of time so that they are best prepared to follow through when they arrive while keeping everything running smoothly.
🚫Do not bend rules for certain clients while expecting others to dutifully comply.
💰If you are allowed to accept cash payments in your county, I recommend not giving change back- but asking for correct amounts at drop off time.
🦠Create a hot bag or some type of sanitation process for every type of payment you take in from your clients, especially cash. Be sure to sanitize cards before returning them to your clients and keep your payment terminal wiped down and clean.￼
🔏If you decide to take new clients at this time be sure and spend time on the phone filling out client cards/creating files with their pertinent contact information ahead of time.
⚖️If you accept checks from your new clients, be sure you have a clear line of contact in the event of a bad check writing.
💅🏻I’m personally not doing any à la carte nail trims or services at this time with the exception of only a few. With new procedures currently in place such services disrupt the steady flow of things. Give yourself time to get your head around streamlining your routine before introducing any type of low revenue or short interruptive services.
🧑🏼🦲Most every owner is going to ask for a clip length shorter than last time. People are trying to think ahead financially and they’re still unsure if closure statuses might change in the near future.
🙇🏼♀️Don’t be offended if people don’t want to pre-book for the same reason. Most people are not comfortable discussing their financial situations or fears. Now’s the perfect time for empathy.
💰 On the other hand, tips also seem to be at an all-time high right now. Your clients appreciate you risking your livelihood in order to care for them. It makes people in a difficult time feel better when they can show support toward someone else. ☔️But try to squirrel away as much of those extra tips as you possibly can because we don’t quite know where things could go from one week to the next.￼￼
🆘Don’t expect to do just as many dogs as you were before and still have everything come and go on time. If you decide *not to do less dogs during this transition then you may want to give your clients a longer turnaround time- and explain to them that it’s due to foot traffic and additional cleaning requirements.
🚧Be ready for a random, unannounced and thorough visit from your health department and to have to be front and center to answer questions from them. Do not expect them to know anything about grooming whatsoever.😄
⚔️Be ready to have a few people in your community who disagree with your reopening. But think about how scary this is for some people.
🐒Dogs will predominately be either extremely exited, overstimulated and happy, or very quiet and timid. Mostly quiet and timid, it seems.
🧭Some clients will still have a hard time grasping being on time. You are going to have to be firm with setting boundaries about them needing to arrive in a timely manner, or wait in their vehicle curbside until you can come out and gather them up. You’ll likely also have to talk to some about not lingering at your door or knocking on your windows.
🎲Owners who consistently brought their dogs in off leash before will still probably try to do it now. Be sure to have plenty of slip leads on hand. My opinion is that off leash is never a good idea. If you feel the same, this is a perfect time to set it firmly in stone that this needs to stop for everyone’s safety.
💃🏼Have some fun through your day. Anytime you can find a reason to giggle, throw yourself at it with great gusto. The more we can laugh and appreciate the moment and opportunity we have in front of us right now, the better.
🍀🌺Good luck to everyone.
🏋🏻♀️This is terrain we have never traversed. 🧗🏼But we can get through it and learn a few valuable lessons along the way!