Since the emergence of the superstore in the 80’s, groomers have had to be more than just groomers; they have had to be all-around pet care experts, merchandisers, business people and sales experts. How can you be all of these people? The answer: control the customer’s perception. Take a critical look at your business with a fresh eye; better yet, have a friend come in to give a customer view opinion. Someone not personally involved in the business may notice things that another has grown accustomed to. Decide on an image and then project it. Country store? Warm and friendly? Upscale professional? Clean and antiseptic? Choose decorations and accessories accordingly.
Get Organized to Save Time and Frustration
To a groomer, time is money. Make the most of it. Have client cards (whether handwritten or computer generated) prepared the night before the client comes in. Employ an easy-to-use appointment book/planning system that helps you track clients and sales.
"A place for everything, and everything in its place." This tired old saying couldn’t be more applicable! Staying organized saves both time and money. Think of every way to organize the shop and the equipment in it. Keep equipment in a rolling cart or hang it from a pegboard. If you always keep blades in the same order in their rack, you’ll never have to stop to check a blade number again. Consider organizers that keep tools and equipment neat and ready to go. Products such as Peg Board Storage Systems, Groom-Vu Organizers, Grooming Carts, and Tool Boxes provide places to store tools. Keep them close at hand so they can be found with ease. Avoid frustration and see better results in your work by eliminating trivial, time-consuming distractions, such as trying to find scissors and combs.
Be Professional, Look Professional!
"You never get a second chance to make a first impression." This saying is also true, so make your first impression a good one. A groomer should be visible; your appearance reflects the kind of business in operation. Customers should be able to tell right away whether the business grooms, carries retail, offers training, or performs all of these services. Using professional-looking signage to create a favorable first impression is an important part of promoting your business. Windows are valuable storefront space. Attractive and colorful window decals and grooming shop signs are an inexpensive and professional way to advertise services, create walk-in traffic, and increase sales. Grooming shop signs also provide important information your customers can see at a glance.
Knowledge is always an important means of gaining a competitive advantage There are books and videos available to help improve and extend business opportunities. Expertise tapes such as From Problems to Profits , The Art & Business of Professional Grooming , and How to Make Big Money Grooming Small Dogs are all helpful. Not only are there any number of tapes on grooming every breed, but there are also videos available on every aspect of pet care, from veterinary handbooks to those on training or breeding dogs. An atlas that features all dog breeds is also available and is helpful to show customers what their groomed pet should look like. All are wonderful reference texts to have handy, both for you and for your clients.