11 Things I Wish I Knew Before Becoming a Dog Groomer
by MoeGo on Jun 23, 2023 11:19:05 AM
Are you ready to embark on a fur-tastic grooming career? You may not realize it yet, but pet grooming is no walk in the park. But fear not, aspiring groomers! The MoeGo pet grooming community has got you covered with 11 essential things you need to know before becoming a pet groomer.
1. Take care of your body - and see a chiropractor!
Grooming pets is physically demanding work. As a groomer, you may find yourself standing, bending, reaching, and lifting all day, which will take a toll on your body. This can cause strain and tension in your muscles and joints, leading to pain, discomfort, and even injury over time. Invest in comfortable shoes, take breaks to stretch, and consider seeing a chiropractor to keep your body in tip-top condition.
2. Price what you're worth.
Don't undervalue your skills and time. Setting prices that reflect the quality of your work and the value you provide to the client is key to success. Be confident in the prices you set, and don't hesitate to adjust them if you need to to meet your business and financial goals.
Pricing what you're worth can be intimidating - especially when good intentions and imposter syndrome come knocking. Like any financial decision, pricing your worth starts with a solid budget and understanding of how much you really need to charge.
From there, you can understand how much you'll need to increase your prices. Sure, some clients may leave along the way, but that doesn't mean your revenue will decrease too. Charging more can mean taking on fewer clients at a higher price point so you don't have to be overbooked and underpaid.
3. You don't have to make every client happy.
It's easy to fall into the trap of trying to make every client happy and perfectly satisfied, but it's not always feasible. Some clients will be difficult to work with or may have unrealistic expectations. When this happens, it's okay to say no and move on.
As a professional, it is important to recognize when it is time to let go of a client and focus on other opportunities. Remember, your time and well-being are valuable resources, and you should prioritize working with clients who appreciate your skills and respect your boundaries. It is completely okay to turn down a client if you know it is not a good fit.
4. Dog hair splinters are REAL!
Dog hair may look fluffy and harmless, but it can cause splinters that are painful and annoying. These tiny hairs can embed themselves in your skin and cause discomfort, irritation, and sometimes even infection. Protect yourself by wearing long sleeves and never using your hands to clear pet hair from the grooming table. Baby powder and cornstarch can also help mitigate hair splinters. Some groomers even recommend using a ClipperVac, which vacuums up stray hairs as you groom!
5. Protect your ears and lungs.
Protecting your ears and lungs might not be the first thing that comes to mind when starting your grooming business, but grooming can get noisy, dusty, and hairy. Being exposed to excessive noise can damage your ears over time and inhaling dust and dog hair can lead to “groomers lung,” which causes inflammation in the lungs after prolonged exposure. Invest in earplugs or noise canceling headphones to protect your ears, and wear a mask to protect yourself from inhaling hair when you’re blasting or drying.
6. You don't need EVERY shampoo on the market. 😉
It is easy (and fun!) to get caught up in the hype of the latest and greatest shampoos for dogs, but you do not need to have them all. Stick to the basics and find a high-quality shampoo that works best for you and your clients and, if you want to try something fun and new, plan for that in your budget so you can splash out without going overboard.
7. Price high from the beginning.
When you are just starting, it can be tempting to lower your prices to attract clients. However, this can potentially hurt your business in the long run. Instead, consider starting with higher prices from the beginning.
This sets a higher standard for your services and establishes your worth as a professional. Being transparent about your pricing will help your customers understand the value of your services and feel confident in their decision to work with you. Always strive to work smarter, not harder.
8. Set boundaries and fire bad clients FAST.
As a dog groomer, it's important to set boundaries with your clients. This can include things like appointment policies, payment expectations, and acceptable behavior during appointments. Don't be afraid to communicate your expectations and hold your clients accountable. And if a client is not a good fit, fire them quickly and move on.
9. The more you charge, the more clients value you.
This may seem counterintuitive, but it's true. Clients tend to assume that if you charge a higher price, you must be providing a higher quality service. This is called the “marketing placebo effect” and is a basic, psychological function that compels us to assign a higher value to things that cost more money. Conversely, clients are more likely to undervalue your work if you undercharge them. So, don't be afraid to charge what you're worth - because the price tag may be one of the things that helps your customers understand your worth, too.
10. Invest in high-quality equipment.
The cheaper option isn't always the best, sometimes it's better to invest in the best tools. Invest in high-quality grooming equipment that will last longer and provide better results. Try looking for ergonomic tools and equipment when you can, to ensure that you are protecting your body from repetitive stress injuries. Additionally, paying a bit more for high quality tools when it counts can help you save money on repairs and replacements in the future.
11. That you'll love it and wish you started sooner. ❤️
Despite all the challenges and hard work, dog grooming is a rewarding and fulfilling career for those who love animals. Seeing a client's smile after a successful groom or being able to comfort a nervous dog during a grooming session is a priceless feeling. You'll love it and wish you started sooner.