You Can’t Help Some People (Pet Care Industry, in particular.)

puli side (Small)Wow.  I am amazed at how many hits  my post on quitting my job got, but my post the week before on choosing a dog boarding  or day care facility got none (except for subscribers).  So, in  looking for a new ‘job’ this week…

I came a cross an animal hospital that needed a groomer, but  had gotten atrocious reviews  for their boarding facility.  How sad when an animal hospital employs veterinarians and  kennel staff who don’t really love animals.  You can tell by the detail of the reviews that these are not competitors, but  very sad dog owners.

A full service kennel that employs my  former boss ( who everyone has acknowledge has an anger management problem)— felt he  should have some say in whether I get hired at a different location, even though he has not been able to keep a groomer for more than a year.  They wonder why they can’t get an honest , reliable dog groomer to work for them. As a dog trainer  who had run-ins with my former boss said to me, “You do not want to work for a business like that.”

I have also spoken with my  old employer’s major competitor/frenemy, who is now totally mobile and does not have anyone grooming at her kennel. My  most recent employer  sort of modeled her build out on her frenemy’s.  However, when I went to visit the  business, I was amazed at how nice the  build-out was. It was really done by someone who  planned to work in her own business, and no expense was spared—-whereas the place I was working, … it looks nice, but is not functional.  The strangest thing happened. I went to pick up my check, and  my old ‘boss’, told me I was late  for my interview at her frenemy’s business. I denied an appointment, partly to spare her feelings, and  told her I was exploring different options—and she actually followed me over to her frenemy’s under the guise of  doing something else. & had a key to the building!  I thought she had a key to her frenemy’s business, as she was buzzed in immediately, twice!   I really can’t have my old boss coming over and harassing me whenever she is bored!

I have been working  part time at another day care business.  I like the woman who owns the daycare, but she is not dog knowledgeable, and doesn’t think treating dogs with respect is important.  I went up to the daycare room to get a dog  for grooming, & the 3  guys she had with them were  NOT playing with the dogs or interacting with them, and one had a spray bottle in his hands.  The only time you should have a spray bottle is if dogs are fighting.  Intimidating dogs  by spraying them  in the face is unethical and scary.  I saw dogs plastered against the walls, they were  so scared.   This does not make for a pleasant experience for the dogs.They go home tired, but not because they are playing all day.

I answered an ad from  the ever popular idealistic woman with no experience in the pet industry(she has never trained or groomed a dog, worked in this type of business, worked for an animal hospital or shelter) who thinks she has to hire 4 groomers  and a dog bather  before she has even done her build-out because…based on air…she is sure she will be busier than any grooming shop around.  She also does not ‘believe’ in cages.   A free for all.   I had another friend. Romaine Michelle,  respond to this woman several weeks ago, and, apparently  Romaine,  also with over 40 years experience, was as honest about  business prospects as I was, because idealist told me she got a very bad vibe from her, and she was getting a bad vibe from me,  Why?  Because we asked:

1.Where she got her equipment;

2.Who advised her on the build out;

3.Did she have a client base?

4. How a groomer was going to get paid if there was no business;

5. Why she thought she needed more than 1 groomer and a bather if  she had no client base.

Friends who have no business experience constantly ask me why I don’t open another  dog grooming business.  Here’s why:

1.  You need to find a location not only where there  aren’t many similar businesses around, but  is zoned  appropriately;

2.You need at least $5000 for equipment, and at least $5000 more for build out, and at least $5000 more  to sustain you until you build a client base.  the utility companies and the landlord don’t give credit;

3.Any blip in the economy, or more than 3 days of straight  rain will destroy your business.

How much capital do you want to risk?   Mutual funds are enough of a gamble for me.  This  woman who wanted to open a dog grooming business…even though she was not a groomer, was offended that I would not tell her everything she needed to do and that I was trying to discourage her (from spending all the money she had).  She had a decent location…and that was IT. Nothing else. I’ve ‘helped’ too many people who then went on to hire another groomer. No, thanks.

The  nice thing is, not many groomers are entering the profession.  They are good enough to work for a non-dog groomer, who really doesn’t know the difference, but  people who really care about their dogs know the difference.

Several people have asked Romaine Michelle,  who was on the original GroomTeam USA, and is a noted grooming contest winner and grooming contest judge,  and I why we don’t teach. We try, but people won’t make the commitment to learning…and you can’t teach talent.


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