Gain Extra Revenue in the Salon
Running a dog grooming salon is hard. It is a hugely underappreciated industry and a lot of groomers run themselves into the ground working for barely any profit and just for the love of the job. I want you to say this to yourself as you read this... 'it is okay to charge well for something you love doing'. This in my mind is how to be a good business owner. In this blog we are going to discuss lots of little ways that you can make extra revenue on top of your grooming prices. This will help with making profit at the same time as offering some luxury extras to pamper your regulars and make you stand out from the other dog groomers in the area. Below are just a few little tips of things you could add into your salon with minimal effort to you,to ensure you maximise your profit are are respected by your clients:
We offer seasonal spa packages for £15, and they are a huge hit in the salon! We have actually reached the stage where we have people asking what our next theme is going to be and when the new back drops are going to be in. Over the years we have built a reputation for them on our social media channels, making them exciting and sought after. It means our clients LOVE buying the spa package as it means they not only get a teeth clean, facial, paw balm and a luxury photo, suprisingly, the thing our clients love the most is the photo appearing on our Facebook page! We have one client who since we opened in 2014 has had the spa every 5 weeks and has every year made a calender of his spa pictures for all their friends and family, it’s the most adorable thing! By offering the seasonal spa treatments, your cost is only the backdrop, decorations and the products which cost pence per dog. This leaves a huge profit margain as the rest is down to your time and skill. So be confident at selling that spa, offer it to every customer and even if only 6 dogs have it each week, that’s still an extra £90 a week.
Pick and mix
Giving customers a choice is very important. Even if I go somewhere I don’t like feeling forced into buying something, but I do enjoy being told a lot of different options. We offer a pick and mix selection, so no pooch is left out. Some dog’s teeth are perfect and some are far too gone for us to go near so by offering a pick and mix our customers can change the teeth clean for another spa package that suits them and their dogs lifestyle better. For example, we have some people switch out the teeth clean and paw balm, for our luxury shedding mud bath which for a shedding dog will be more beneficial to the dog and the customer. By having the option for them to choose you are potentially getting someone to buy that spa package that would usually say no if there was no flexibility with it.
Pet pop ins
This extra really does depend on your work outside of the salon. Its not a service we shout about as we have young children, but it is one we offer to our regulars. Insurance is a must for this. You need to check you are definitely insured to do pop ins but we offer 30 min pop ins before and after work to our customers should they need it and this is a good way to make a bit of extra money and makes you stand out from the other salons and what they offer. I often plan my pop ins within my day so they don’t affect my outside work. As an example, I would go in a bit later but have an assistant in the salon bathing my first dog for me so its ready for me to groom when I go in.
I briefly covered teeth cleaning in our spa packages but we actually offer 2 types of teeth cleaning. One is our basic teeth clean where we use a tooth brush, descaler and a tropiclean teeth gel which we recommend for light plaque and to do when the dogs are young to promote good dental hygiene as they grow up. We then offer an Ultrasonic teeth clean which is an amazing revenue booster! I would strongly advise doing a training day with someone that know ultrasonic teeth cleaning well but I have seen dogs that are recommended for sedation and a descale come for ultrasonic and leave with gleaming white teeth and to then be complimented by the vets upon there next visit! The initial cost of the ultrasonic tooth brush is fairly high but once you have the equipment it is then just time and skill that is required leaving a lot of room for a great profit. When we first started, we made enough to cover 2 toothbrushes in 2 weeks. You can generally charge more per hour for teeth than you can grooming as in comparison to a vets clean which is in the hundreds due to the anaesthetic needed. Even the £40 for a half hour teeth clean is a lot less than what that client would pay at the vets. If you offer this service, it is very important to do some research as you can make dogs teeth bleed, if you attempt an ultrasonic teeth clean on a dog that needs to see a vet due to severe gingivitis, and always meet the dog first before you book out the time to ensure they will let you in their mouth.
Charge per dogs behaviour/regularity
A pet hate of mine is when groomers treat all customers the same and follow and one price fits all type pricing structure and this makes no smart business sense at all. It is not fair for a customer who brings fluffy every 5 weeks for a groom, who grooms at home and has worked hard to desensitise fluffy to the grooming process to pay the same price as “bitey fluffy” who visits twice a year because he doesn’t like it who is matted and bites you throughout just because they are the same breed. It is important when someone phones and asks for a quote you quote FROM and make it clear that your prices are dependant of how regular the visits are, the condition of the coat and the behaviour. This leaves you open to charge your worth and charge more for those hard work dogs that takes hours of patience and skill. Last week I charged £65 for a regular cockapoo and in the same day charged £110 for a cockapoo that had a years worth of coat and was very aggressive due to being rescued. Both customers were thankful for our service and had no issues with the hourly pricing. We also have matting fees anywhere between £5 + £30 depending on the severity. As I said above I love my job, but I choose to get paid well for the skill of doing it and it is not our fault as groomers that owners cannot manage or maintain the coat, we are here to kindly educate them on the coat type and help them keep it dependant on the clients lifestyle.
Late pick up charge/late cancellation fee
Always send your clients your terms and conditions on the first visit stating all your late pick up, late cancellation, no show fees and put a bit at the end saying by booking in with [your salon] they are agreeing to those terms. This then makes it very easy to charge extra if clients aren’t respecting your time. For many salons that offer a 1 to 1 service, late collections have a knock on effect to the rest of the day so its important to have your rules from the start and as soon as you start charging for those breaches of the terms and conditions, I guarantee the clients will stop doing them. This is a good way to also ensure your business isn’t at the risk of no shows which will lose you revenue and protecting yourself is key. Your clients wouldn’t go to work and not get paid so you should not be expected to either and it is not your job as a groomer to manage anyone else’s diary but your own.
Social media competitions
As we all know social media is such a strong tool for promoting our businesses. By posting regularly all those pictures of super cute dogs or your brand new seasonal back drop, you are actually not only making that customer that has purchased the spa package happy, but you are also attracting new clientele as well. The more pictures you post, the more clients are going to look and think wow I would like that for my dog and this groomer clearly cares and loves their job to spend their evening posting photos of dogs. It’s a great way to get engagement on your page so that then you can start running competitions! A monthly competition is a great idea to not only reward your regulars but also draw in new clients by getting page shares. We have gained many clients by running little competitions, like a free teeth clean or free facial ontop of a groom. Its about being clever with your freebies. You don’t want to be giving out free grooms but you do want to entice customers to book a groom because they have won a free spa package or facial. In quieter months you could give away higher rewards such as a free retail goodie bag worth £10 to the person who likes, shares and tags the most friends with dogs in the post. This again will get your page and your salon views.
Stalls at local fetes offering nail clipping
Giving up a weekend is something we don’t want to be doing regularly but if there is a local dog show running, it is a no brainer to have a stall and run a competition. When we go to small local dog shows we offer nail clipping for £5 or £10 and give 20% of it to charity. It’s a great way to entice people to the stall and get them talking about your charitable nail clips. By giving up this day you are going to get at least one full groom book in which is more than you had when you went. We also offer feather extensions which always end up the talk of the show!
Creative grooming is a great extra to offer such as seasonal stencils, feather extensions, died tails or ears and carving shapes. I would advise doing a training day with a creative specialist to ensure you are offering a good service for creative and know what you are doing but it is a great additional extra to offer and certainly makes you stand out from the crowd.