If you want to be a truly successful groomer, you’re going to need to know more than just how to groom a dog. Your technical skills could be the best in the world. But if your business skills are lacking, your dog groomer salary (and career in general) is guaranteed to suffer!
Here are 5 career mistakes that will – definitely, without a doubt – hurt your reputation and your income. Heed them carefully. This way, you can avoid making these mistakes in 2021!
5 Mistakes That’ll Hurt Your Dog Groomer Salary (and Career as a Whole)
1 – You think you don’t need professional training.
In a lot of places, professional training, certification, or licensing isn’t actually required to work as a dog groomer. To us, this is ludicrous. If you’re going to be working with a living, breathing creature, you absolutely need to know exactly what you’re doing!
Just because you can skip professional training doesn’t mean you should. Not by a long shot. In fact, by choosing the former, your career probably won’t be very successful. Not only do you risk making countless technical errors in your work – it’s going to be harder for you to gain clients’ trust.
Think of it this way: would YOU bring your dog to someone who’s never taken the time to learn the craft? Or would you only want to bring them to someone who you can be certain knows what they’re doing?
Opting out of proper training will severely limit the number of clients who’ll want to hire you. This won’t just hurt your dog groomer salary… it’ll hurt your reputation in general!
Because we know you WANT to succeed in this industry, we can’t stress this enough: get professional groomer training.
2 – You’ve limited your skill-set.
This could be due to a lack of training or an unwillingness to continue learning. Some groomers master the basics and then think they don’t need to further their education or learn anything more. The moment you adopt this mindset, you’re dooming yourself.
Yes, it’s great if you know how to brush and bathe a dog. It’s also awesome if you’re really good at clipping nails or performing a certain haircut. But what about other services? Ask yourself:
- How many dog haircuts have you mastered?
- Can you work with a wide variety of dog breeds – or just a select few?
- Can you recognize and work with skin issues?
- Do you know how to assist a severely matted dog?
- Do you have any canine First Aid training?
- What other advanced or specialty services do you currently offer?
The more versatile your skill-set, the better your career will be.
Remember: the best dog groomers out there are able to offer their clients a multitude of different services. More services mean more options for clients to choose from. As a result, this will mean more bookings, more return customers, and a better dog groomer salary.
3 – You know nothing about dog behavior.
In a perfect world, every client’s dog would be happy to see you. They’d jump up effortlessly onto your grooming table and stand perfectly still throughout the whole appointment.
But we do not live in a perfect world.
Understanding dog behavior is a MAJOR component of being a groomer. After all, no two dogs will ever be exactly the same. While some will be sweet and well-behaved, others will be anxious and stressed out. Some might try at every turn to run away from you. Others might even show aggression.
As the professional, it’ll be up to you to recognize each dog’s behavior. Only then can you adjust your strategy accordingly in order to work with them.
If you only know how to work on a calm, picture-perfect dog, you’re going to be in for a very rude awakening. You could wind up panicking in the face of any other kind of dog. Panicking can lead to potential injuries. At the very least, it’ll turn a salvageable situation into a disaster waiting to happen.
One thing will be for certain, though: if you don’t know how to work with a client’s dog, they’re not going to book with you again. They won’t recommend you to others (in fact, they might do the opposite). As a result, your career will suffer… and your dog groomer salary will definitely suffer, too.
4 – Your people skills are terrible.
Most of the time, you’ll be working only with dogs. But that doesn’t mean you’ll never need to talk to their owners.
Your clients care about their dogs and see them as part of their family. For many people, it can be nerve-wracking to leave their dog in the care of a complete stranger – especially if this is their first time booking with you. The kind of impression you make on them can be the make-it-or-break-it factor. It can determine whether they choose to book with you again, refer you to others, or leave a scathing review.
So, keep this in mind whenever interacting with your clients! Even if you’re not the biggest people person, put on a smile. Be kind, friendly, and professional. Even when your interaction is limited, it can still have a huge impact. If you have a bad attitude, it’ll probably leave a bad taste in their mouth. They could easily think that the way you’ve treated them is an extension of the way you’ll treat their pet… and you do NOT want them to think that!
The better your customer service is, the more clients you’ll book. You’ll get more repeat customers and more raving reviews. Not only will this strengthen your reputation as an industry expert – it’ll better your bottom line and do wonders for your dog groomer salary.
In the long run, how you treat the dog is the most important thing. But how you treat the dog’s owner is a close second.
5 – You don’t have First Aid training.
In our opinion, First Aid training should be mandatory for all dog groomers. Your job requires you to work with sharp, potentially dangerous tools. Moreover, you’re using all these tools on another living being.
If you don’t have any training, your chances are a lot higher for things to go wrong. That being said, you could be the most prepared groomer there ever was – and still have accidents happen.
This is exactly why First Aid training is essential! If you accidentally hurt your client’s dog, or they hurt themselves, knowing how to quickly and effectively assess and respond to the situation will make all the difference. Not knowing what to do spells danger. In extreme cases, it can even have fatal consequences.
If your client’s dog gets hurt on your watch and you have no training or understanding of what to do, that’s going to look bad on your part. Furthermore, if there was something you could have done but didn’t (due to lack of training), and the dog’s well-being is put into greater jeopardy as a direct result of this, your career will probably be over.
We’re going beyond the discussion of your dog groomer salary with this one. For the sake of everyone’s safety, the best thing you can do for your professional career is get First Aid training. Period.