Busy week doing consulting..on dog grooming!

Nella Poodle 002 (Small)Yes—consulting on dog grooming.  This time of year in Chicago ( meaning from  about Easter until just after  July 4) is very busy for dog grooming, and  everyone is trying to add staff.  If you’ve read my past blog posts on looking for a job in the industry, you know that  most  of the shop owners  don’t  ‘do the numbers’.

I am now in a different position than I’ve  been in before.  I can work part-time and pick & choose  where I work.  I   now work part-time for a very experienced groomer  several days a week, and that gives me a base, and I’ve been all over the north side of Chicago in the past few weeks.

I had been interested in providing job shadowing, and have signed on with http://www.PivotPlanet.com .  We will see how it goes.   I am also networking with others to provide  services.  I am absolutely shocked at how many people want to enter this industry, and think that if they just open a business, it will come.  I had to tell one of the people I contract with that , in the past, I had over  40 once a week clients with very long-haired dogs. As those dogs  expired, those owners didn’t replace those long haired dogs with other high maintenance  breeds. They now have  Bostons & Frenchies   You can  bathe one of those in your laundry tub.  The business owner I  was talking to didn’t have a clue. She really doesn’t know that some breeds are more popular than others.  Worse, she  feels that since she  has a  college degree, she is too good to do  physical labor. Even worse,  her  social media is non-existent.  I think she is going to lose her business.  Half  a million dollars  just  disintegrated because she really didn’t know  what she was doing, she blames it on more competition.  It’s part of the problem, but not all of it.

Over the years, several people have told me they have wanted to open grooming businesses in certain locations because they’ve seen a lot of people  with dogs.  To me, that is not a business plan. it’s like saying you see a lot of fat people , so  you want to  open a bakery.  people have just enough capital to get themselves into real trouble.  I feel it is a matter of integrity to warn  people who have a fantasy notion of being in a pet industry  service business that  they have to cost it out, step by step, and not think  that all these people they see walking their dogs  even have their dogs groomed, or  are unhappy with  the people grooming them.  Dog daycare may be an option, and in some locations, possibly retail, but  they have to be prepared to lose a lot of cash before they make any, and marketing  will be a constant activity.  But more; these  businesses are generally too marginal to support  an owner who does not ad value.   if you  don’t have experience training dogs, or working with animal shelters, or  showing dogs, you really can’t  advise people who have pets what is  best for their dog.  when you are in business,  pet owners tend to see you as an expert.  It’s a matter of integrity to not tell people  the wrong thing.  If you really love dogs, that is.

Fewer hobby breeders are breeding dogs. They just can’t handle the expense. That leaves the puppy mills.  All the designer dogs : the Morkies, Shipoos, Doodles, Chiweenies—come from irresponsible people breeding dogs as livestock, as do most Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs.  I won’t even go into  where pit Bulls come from.  Most of these dogs have e painful, life  shortening genetic defects.  Most dog groomers are now trained  by grooming schools, who  are not concerned with styling, but teaching people to not injure dogs.The independent dog groomers are going to go the way of the video store.  Maybe not next year, but soon.


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