Future Opportunities for You in Grooming
As a career seeker the future may seem simple, you’re going to be an employed or self-employed pet groomer. Is there more? There is and it makes sense. You can even reduce the demands of grooming and preserve your physical well-being by grooming less and managing a staff. You may not want to become an employer. You have to master grooming first and that means your plate is full now. In a few years it makes sense to consider being an employer. We will take a closer look at why we say this later.
Many groomers with careers up to 50 years have gone before you, just as our company founder Madeline Ogle has done. We would like to introduce you to some concepts for advancement once you become a self-confident, professional pet groomer.
You can achieve certification from a recognized association at any time in your career. If you don’t in the first 2 to 5 years of your career, don’t give up. If you feel driven to achieve it, just do it. Certification testing and workshops along with competition grooming are offered by several grooming associations. See below.
Don’t be a spectator. Experience the thrill of competition. PetGroomer.com maintains a calendar of events where you can find competitions in your region. Get to know more about competitions sanctioned by associations such as:
National Dog Groomers Association of America (NDGAA)
Some pet grooming schools also host seminars, workshops and competitions to assist you. Most of these events are posted on the PetGroomer.com Calendar when we know of them. Occasionally you can find tutors to assist you with grooming competition preparations and refinement of your schools. Refer to the PetGroomer.com Classified Ads – Consultants section.
The GroomerTALK™ Message Board maintains a forum for competition messages. Quite a few competitors are members of the board. Who better to help you?
Groom Team USA is the premier competition team for the U.S. Investigate the latest news at their website.
One of the benefits of self-employment is the flexibility you have above and beyond grooming pets. If you “master” the art of managing a grooming business as well as “mastering” the art of grooming new doors of possibilities open. You have to realize that the physical demands of pet grooming can be wearing as the years pass.
Even a small staff with just one pet bather assisting you relieves you of years of wear of tear while boosting income at the same time. Without assistance you can still alleviate wear and tear with preventative practices such as wearing sturdy support shoes and standing on anti-fatigue mats. Learn and practice proper lifting. Use equipment like electric tables which raise and lower by motors doing the work, and not your lifting or pumping hydraulic jacks. Nutrition that supports joint health and stamina makes sense too.
Open a School of Pet Grooming
For several years we were hired by school owners to teach “the business side” of pet grooming to students. It’s very rewarding to work with students helping them to achieve their dreams. If you enjoy helping others and want to groom less and instruct more, transitioning your grooming business into a school may be for you. Realize that there are still several U.S. that don’t have one school, and even the largest states have as few as 2 or 3 schools for millions in population. If vocational licensing becomes mandatory, and the odds are increasingly pointing in that direction, the need for schools could explode.
At one time we offered consultation services to help transition pet grooming business into schools, but today our hands are full with Grooming Business in a Box®. Are there other consultants?
You only need one hand to count the number of consultants available to help you more quickly transition into a school while maintaining your established grooming services. Consider Golden Paws. Mitzi Hicks NCMG (see picture left) has assisted several grooming business owners in more than one state with state licensing, curricula, marketing and more.
Depending upon state requirements the tasks to open a school may take weeks or months. Having a consultant assist you may cut the time in half.
You may also want to consider Kathy Sanders NCMG who also services as part of Groomadog Academy and her Thrudreamin’ consultation services.
Expand Your Business
Thousands of pet grooming business owners expand their businesses by becoming employers. Many of them followed all or some of the employer information of The Madson Management System™ in From Problems to Profits. First they executed Step Two of the Business Plan adding additional groomers, and then they progressed to Step Three of the Business Plan. Today some also use the Pet Grooming Business Plan Helper & Sampler workbook and CD-ROM to prepare an expansion business plan. In fact, we purposely included a sample expansion plan in the sampler section, The Mary Groomer Business Plan. Mary’s plan describes how she started a one-person shop and expanded into a large pet salon over a period of 5 years.
Mary’s is not the only route. You can expand in other ways. We’ve helped hundreds of pet groomers to buy their commercial buildings and stop paying rent. Some of them expanded with pet day care, pet hotel accommodations, boarding, boutique retail and pet training. What’s important to remember is that they started as pet groomers. Just like you. They gained confidence in being a groomer, and found new confidence they could be an employer of a growing business. It’s a choice some make. It’s not right or wrong, it’s simply a choice.
Never forget the core service when you expand. Pet grooming has one major advantage over other pet care services. Many pet owners don’t take pets to their vets until there are problems. Some only need day care services or boarding services on occasion. Loyal pet grooming clients visit their groomers on average every 4 to 8 weeks. Everyone in the pet industry is envious of this frequency rate and that’s why you see so many non-grooming businesses add pet grooming departments, such as vets, boarding facilities and retail pet stores.
The benefit for owners of large centers goes beyond financial gain. They didn’t have to give up working with pets in order to put the clippers and scissors down and groom less and thereby reduce bodily wear and tear.
Grooming business owners with staffed operations can become absentee owners. This means they may only work on-site a few days each week or month. They are entirely reliant upon dependable and professional management. It’s very difficult to find these individuals. The best route is for the owners to start up to 2 years ahead of their assuming an absentee ownership by hiring and training a manager. The candidate should work with them at least 1 year before changes are made in the owner’s working lifestyle. Even then the owner will have to develop a system of accountability and maintain contact with the business on a regular basis. It can be done and is done, but it works best for owners with truly exceptional managerial experience and an exemplary system of management such as The Madson Management System™ described in the book, From Problems to Profits.