As a small business owner today, we are faced with many challenges. We are often asked about the balance of running a successful business with multiple locations, money management, labor management, etc. My usual advice is get accustomed to wearing many hats- a small business owner must be everything from janitor, to counselor, to accountant while also accomplishing their trade on any given day.
Pet grooming, Daycare, and Training is a service business and our first priority is always the product we offer. By nature of our industry, we don’t make, manufacture, or resell goods- we serve people and their pets. That means that our product is only as good as the people who provide it.
At See Spot, our focus has always been on our employees. We spend our time focusing on their daily work life so they can spend their work life focusing on our clients and their pets. We strive to help each employee achieve personal goals, work/life balance, and maintain stability in their career as well as personal lives. We employee mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, veterans, and dog lovers.
We built what we believe to be a Groomer-centric company. The groomers are our educated pet professionals and are surrounded by a network of support staff who helps them accomplish their day to day duties. Our groomers are some of the first in their industry to realize viable Employee status and the protections which come with that such as health benefits, paid time off, etc. They earn well-above the average wage for their industry and enjoy extensive continuing education opportunities.
My advice for new (and old) shop owners who are looking to move forward or just improve their bottom line is take a look at your people- they are the true assets of every Pet Services business.
Proud to have been a voice for the animals in this recent Groomer to Groomer article chronicling strategies to ensure that pets have advocates during their grooming experiences. See Spot is proud to foster a ZERO tolerance policy for our Stylists!
Best Practices for your salon are defined as a set of guidelines that you practice to complete your services in the highest manner for your clients and their pets. For many groomers, they are already in place yet not written or defined. You may have a certain way you greet your client, a particular way you like to complete a nail trim, or even a preferred style for your pet Bichon heads. These are called Best Practices and every groomer and salon owner should seek to identify their own to help elevate the professionalism in their salon.
Whether you work alone or in a bustling shop with many groomers, defining Best Practices for your salon will help you have a basic standard on which to build a grooming business. Your clients will appreciate the consistency and uniformity in their pet’s finished grooming. Additionally, when they recommend friends to your salon, they can be assured that their friends will enjoy a similar experience. Identifying Best Practices helps reduce both client turnover and increase client/groomer conversation.
One such example is the hot topic of ear-plucking during the grooming process. In recent years, many veterinarians are beginning to suggest that ear hair should be left in a natural state in the ear canal. On the other side, many veterinarians still counsel the hair should be removed and instruct their clients to ask their groomer to complete the service during each grooming appointment. We, as groomers, stand between these opinions.
This is an excellent opportunity to define a Best Practice guideline for your own salon. You can use it to educate clients, instruct them to have a conversation with their vet, and proceed as necessary based upon their wishes. In our own salons, we advise clients that the veterinarian community is divided on their recommendation and we do not pluck ears unless instructed by the client or their vet. Therefore, we are meeting the needs of the client, their medical professional, and ultimately the pet. This is how a Best Practices statement works to protect you and offers the opportunity for client education.
Defining and discussing your Best Practices offers you an opportunity to provide your client with a professional and educated approach to their grooming service. You can gather your information and begin to formulate your own Best Practices by discussing your services with other groomers, attending educational seminars, your own experiences, and speaking with other pet service providers. Your individual Best Practices will be as unique as your business and should reflect your desire to offer the client and their pet the best pet grooming experience you can provide.
Read this article and more like it in the Groomer to Groomer magazine online!
Make sure that your groomer is fairly compensated. As the pet grooming industry has moved toward modern and professional practices, the care and keeping of employees and groomers has been slow to keep up with the times. Making sure that your groomer is paid competitive wages and is a legal employee helps ensure that you, your pet, and your pet stylist are all protected by proper insurance and eduation!
Here is a great link explaining groomer pay and how it has changed in recent years-