Finding success in the pet grooming business is harder than it looks. Competition is fierce! To make sure you stay competitive, you need to be better than the rest. Below, we will detail 7 things that all amazing professional pet groomers do. These are the keys to their success, so follow along and incorporate these tips!
1. Great pet groomers research pet breeds
All professional pet groomers should have a good knowledge on breed characteristics. This will allow you to tailor their grooms and charge the right price.
If a new client calls to book a dog grooming appointment over the phone, you must identify the dog breed. This information allows you to estimate the appropriate appointment time and prepare the right equipment for the appointment. The breed type will also indicate how big the dog is so you can charge for large dog grooming.
Breed knowledge will also affect which tools are used and how a dog groomer approaches the groom, as dog breeds have their own specific fur types and densities. For example, when grooming a terrier, the grooming standard is to hand strip the coat. As a professional pet groomer, you should understand the theory behind why you strip some coats and shave others. Treating all dogs the same is a surefire way to go out of business.
2. Great pet groomers sanitize their dog grooming equipment
In a salon environment, it is absolutely necessary to sanitize your dog grooming tools between appointments. Sanitizing and cleaning your dog grooming kit extends the life of your tools. Dog grooming equipment isn’t cheap! Spot clean between appointments and deep clean every week. You should also be deep cleaning the grooming table, your station, and bathing tubs. This cleaning schedule, of course, will change depending on the pets that visit your salon.
If you are grooming a dog with fleas or ticks, it’s your responsibility to prevent it from spreading between clients. You should do a deep clean right after the appointment. It can be very easy for a stray flea or tick to hitch a ride on a departing client. By cleaning with disinfectants and rubbing alcohol, you can limit the transmission of pests and disease.
3. Great pet groomers do a final test
Professional pet groomers always check their work! Pet grooming isn’t a profession where you can cut corners. You need to make sure that your clients walk out of the salon with a clean and tangle-free coat. This means testing the coat throughout and at the end of the groom.
By running a comb through your client’s coat, you will know whether you’ve gotten all the mats out. You should have a selection of combs in your professional dog grooming kit. Throughout the groom, a greyhound comb can be used to loosen tangles in the coat. It can also help remove excess hair that your grooming brush missed. If the wide-tooth comb runs through the coat without a hitch, hurray! But you’re not done yet.
For the final test, reach for a fine-tooth comb. If you can get the narrowest teeth through the hair, you’ll know that you’ve done a good job.
4. Great pet groomers are go-getters
Be active in your career. Many groomers fall into the trap of just taking their days one at a time.
Mind you, this is a great attitude to manage stress. But it can also limit you from fulfilling your potential if you’re not careful.
Set goals for your pet grooming business and stick to them. We recommend setting goals every quarter. Make sure they’re realistic and write them down!
Simply saying “Open a pet daycare” isn’t specific enough. Vague goals are hard to meet, so break your goal down into actionable steps. And don’t forget to attach a realistic goal date for each task. Having a timeline will remind you to keep your long-term goals at the forefront of your mind. You may even develop some newfound vigor once you have a goal to reach!
5. Great pet groomers keep up with new techniques and trends
Dedicate yourself to lifelong learning. Many groomers graduate from pet grooming school and think they’ve mastered it all. Yes, earning your certification means you have the skills to groom the animals that come your way. But guess what? The pet and dog grooming industry is dynamic. As grooming theories develop and new trends and techniques emerge, you want to keep up. Failing to do so may mean losing business to the up-and-coming grooming salon down the street!
If you’ve ever attended a pet grooming show or convention, you know it’s where the experts in the field come together to share their knowledge. It’s where the latest trends are talked about and where established groomers can learn new skills! We highly recommend you to attend a grooming expo every year. But if you can’t, you can still grow your skills at home.
Consider online pet grooming classes. Besides grooming fundamentals, there are advanced courses that tackle skills such as breed styling to expand your services. Online courses allow you to grow your skills around your schedule. You can continue to work full-time due to the flexible nature of online courses. You can schedule your studies around your work so you don’t have to sacrifice full-time hours or your pet grooming salary.
6. Great pet groomers know when to draw the line
Professional pet groomers can see up to ten dogs (and their owners) a day. Due to the sheer volume of clients, pet groomers have seen it all. From working with difficult dogs and difficult owners, you may find that sometimes you just can’t seem to please the owners.
Remember that your top priority is the welfare of the animal. In most cases, clients will trust the knowledge of a certified pet groomer. But sometimes, they may make a request that is not suitable for their pet or they have unrealistic expectations.
Trust in your expertise. Fall back on your professional training and knowledge to explain why you can’t accommodate a request. Be specific in how it could hurt the dog or cause problems down the line. If you approach any issues with professionalism and honesty, you’ll likely get a positive response. Or at least diffuse any tensions.
7. Great pet groomers educate pet owners
We just mentioned how to diffuse encounters with nightmare clients. Many clients may be angry, but don’t forget that these feelings stem from their love for their pets. At the end of the day, they do want their pet to be healthy, they may just be misguided.
These are great opportunities to educate the owners. Many pet owners have no idea the characteristics of their breeds. Encourage them to learn more about their breed. Pet owners can then use their knowledge to care for their pets between appointments. Don’t forget that breed characteristics extend past physical features. Owners can learn a lot about their pup’s personality, too!
Did we miss anything? Let us know!