Am I a Good Boss?

Welcome to my blog!  For the next few weeks, my marketing expert, Joelle Asmondy, will be filling in for me while I work on a large project.  Joelle is a whiz with marketing.  I can’t wait to see which helpful tidbits she shares with you!  Enjoy!

Let’s take a little poll:

  • How many of you own or run a salon?
  • Which of you have a degree in business or have taken any business classes?
  • Has anyone taken any management classes?

That sounds about right.

One of the best things about going to trade shows is meeting people. I get to talk to people from all over the country and I love it when they tell me their stories. We talk about dogs (of course), dog books (um, yeah!), and working with dogs (why not?). It’s a great way for me to stay in touch with our clients’ needs and find out what people are really thinking about.

Let me share a conversation that I have all the time…

“I became a groomer because I love dogs. At first, I just had a few clients. It started with friends and family, then their friends heard about me, and I got even busier. I got to the point where I had to hire someone just to keep up! Now I groom, book appointments, answer phones, run my own business, AND I have (one, two, three…) groomer(s) working for me!”

Sound familiar?

I love that so many dog grooming businesses have grown in such an organic way. It starts with a passion, grows because we’re needed, and thrives because we’re good at what we do. Our clients keep coming back because they know we love their pets and care about their health and safety.

The flip side to this is that very few people who own or manage these businesses have any formal training in supervising employees. We suddenly find ourselves in the role of “boss” simply because we needed help. For many, it’s a natural fit and the transition is painless. For others, the change is more challenging.

The question of the day is, “Are You a Good Boss?” The answer may surprise you.

I reached out to folks from the industry and asked them about the best qualities of their managers. Many of the answers were similar. Let’s look at the answers together and see if we can understand what it really means to be a good boss.

“I’ve grown a lot by working here.”

Do you take the time to offer praise as well as constructive criticism? In busy salons, it can become easy to fall into the habit of communicating like our furry customers – we bark at each other instead of talking. Don’t let a hectic schedule become an excuse for bad manners or meanness. Remember, you’re not just running a business, you’re building a culture. Do you want yours to be team-oriented or hostile and withdrawn? Things don’t get done any faster or better with rudeness than with courtesy.

“She’s willing to try new ideas.”

If you want employees who step up and really help out, you have to be open to trying new things. “That’s the way we’ve always done it,” will quickly kill initiative. Employees who feel like they have input into bettering the process tend to stick around longer and contribute more to the overall business. After all, isn’t that what you need?

“He’s organized.”

If you are constantly running late, running out of stock, and running out of patience, you could be running yourself right out of business. Let your team help you get things in order. Delegate duties that are well-suited to them. It empowers them and also takes a few things off your plate.

“She encourages me.”

I once worked for an amazing supervisor who motivated me just by being encouraging. I tried a new sales approach once, and it went so well that she had me present it to others in our district. Knowing that she believed in me did more than compliment me, it made me want to work even harder!

“He tells me how I can improve in a positive way.”

Two words: constructive criticism. It’s easy to tell someone when they do something wrong. If you want change that sticks, it takes a little more work.

  • Use the sandwich technique: tell them what you liked, tell them what needs to change, then offer positive feedback.
  • Be specific: saying something is done wrong is not helpful. WHAT was wrong about it? HOW should it be done next time? WHY is it important that it be done right?
  • Don’t attack the person, attack the problem: telling someone they’re terrible at trimming nails hasn’t solved anything. Look at the problem – in this case, quicking too many nails – and look at technique. If a person isn’t trained properly, they can’t be blamed for doing something wrong.
  • Don’t assume they know what you mean: it may sound simple to you, but it may not seem that obvious to them. It’s impossible to over-communicate.

“We never stop trying to get better.”

Complacency is the enemy of good business. Successful businesses are always trying to become better, more efficient, and less wasteful.

“She says, “thank you.”

Those are magic words, aren’t they? Thank you for staying late. Thank you for helping me carry in the supplies. Thank you for helping that elderly client to her car. Recognizing effort boosts morale and encourages them to keep giving their best.

“He tells me what is needed and doesn’t expect me to read his mind.”

“I shouldn’t have to tell them…”

“It’s just plain old common sense!”

Work on removing these phrases from your vocabulary. Just because you’ve done something a thousand times doesn’t mean other people understand it as thoroughly as you do. Take a minute, take a breath, and give them the benefit of the doubt.

“She recognizes effort even if we fall short of a goal.”

All success is success. It’s ok to be excited about progress even if you didn’t get quite all the way there. Learn from the experience and try again. Sometimes shared enthusiasm or experience is what’s needed to really make things happen.

Whether you became a manager by choice or by coincidence, it’s important to know how to be a good boss. Building a team and a business takes work – and you don’t have to do it alone. By developing a positive culture, you’re helping to make a better work environment that will attract better employees, will help keep your best staff, and will make your days a lot better.

What topics would you like us to cover?  Jump over to the Learn2GroomDogs Facebook page and tell us.

Click here for a complete video list to make searching even easier! 

Make it a great day!

~Joelle Asmondy

Author of “Notes From the Grooming Table”

The Right Grooming Table For You Or Your Professional Grooming Needs

The Right Grooming Table For You Or Your Professional Grooming Needs

A grooming table is paramount to a professional dog or pet groomer. Some pet owners also buy tables for grooming if they have done an on-line or correspondence course in pet grooming, to help them look after their pet better. Just as people need to groom themselves to keep clean, and care for their skin, hair and nails, so pets need that care too. Grooming your pet aides the animal’s health and well being, it is not just to make it look good.

Vet’s bills can sometimes be large if there is a problem with your pet that you just were not qualified to notice. Pet grooming services have qualified staff that can pick up on this kind of thing early on, and let you know. This in turn stops the pet getting sicker before you are able to go and do something at the outset, instead of later, when it is much worse. Professional groomers can spot scratches and other problems early and cleanse and point them out to you.

Collecting your pet from a grooming service is an enjoyable experience, and helps your pet bond with you better. Your pet is healthier and happier through this service, and is happy to see you at the end of it.

Among the vast range of grooming tables available there are manual fold-able tables, electric tables, and hydraulic tables with tops that swivel. Therapeutic benefit features are sometimes built in to these special tables. Because of their clientele it is common for grooming professionals to sometimes have more than one table.

Some tables are riveted together, whilst others are welded, making it more stable. The grooming professional needs to have a table they are happy with, as they will be spending so much time grooming animals on it. If a table doesn’t have all the features a groomer wants, then it often makes their job a bit harder, and they look for a better one, or request one of a higher quality.

The variety of electric, manual, and hydraulic tables are wide. They come in a vast array of sizes and styles for the grooming professional. Your local groomer will be able to tell you how often to bring in your pet for maximum benefit. For example every seven weeks is a beneficial time period for your poodle. This is because animals molt their fur or hair at different rates, and need different care.

Electric tables aid pet groomers by helping to prevent back injuries. They do this by enabling the animal to walk onto and off of the table top without the need for the groomer to have to lift the animal. Because the table is electric it elevates the animal on the table top up to the groomer to start, and down to the floor when finished.

These tables also usually have a non skid textured surface. Pet tables come in a variety of colors. Blue is usually the best color surface as it shows up pet hair, whereas black does not reflect very well, and isn’t so good for the professional to be able to see as clearly. Whatever grooming table you choose, with the variety of styles and colors available, the hardest thing you will have to do is pick the one that suits you best.

Get the ultimate inside scoop on the best pet grooming tables for you or your business needs now in our pet supplies review at

Find More Dog Grooming Table Articles

5 Phone Calls That Can Build Your Business

Welcome to my blog!  For the next few weeks, my marketing expert, Joelle Asmondy, will be filling in for me while I work on a large project.  Joelle is a whiz with marketing.  I can’t wait to see which helpful tidbits she shares with you!  Enjoy!

phoneI recently spoke with a new salon owner who is struggling to fill her days with pets to groom. She has a good client base, a website, and a Facebook page but she still has lots of time to fill.

“What am I doing wrong?”

We all know that you can spend a lot of money on big-ticket ways to build your business. Few of us use our most common tool – the phone – to its best advantage. Let’s discuss these simple and effective methods to boost your client list. The best part is that you get immediate results – and they won’t break the bank.

It’s time you learned the 5 phone calls that can build your business.


This is the client that calls YOU. When phones are ringing off the hook, it’s music to my ears! They are the time savers – you didn’t have to go searching for them… they found you! Make the most of it!

One mistake people make with these calls is that they treat them like an interruption. Even if you are grooming another dog, have another call on hold, and are trying to eat your lunch at the same time, you still need to treat that caller feel like s/he is the only thing on your mind.

Here are a few simple tips to make the most of that call:

  • Answer the phone in 3 rings or less.
  • If the call needs to go to voicemail, make sure you call back as soon as possible. (Make sure your voicemail message is clear, friendly, to the point. After all, they’re busy, too!)
  • Put a smile in your voice. People can hear it over the phone. (You know what else they can hear? When you’re eating. Don’t chew while you’re on the phone.)
  • If you have another client in your salon while you are on the phone, don’t roll your eyes or in any other way demean the caller in front of someone else. You may think you’re being friendly with the client in the waiting room, but what you’re really doing is showing them how they’re treated while you’re on the phone with them. Be professional with everyone, in what you say and do, regardless of whether or not they can see you doing it.
  • If you have to check on something, use the HOLD or MUTE button. No one wants to hear you rummaging around for things – it makes you sound disorganized. Putting people on hold allows you to get your thoughts in order, as well. When you get back after a brief hold, thank them for waiting.

The thing to remember is that you invited them to call, so treat them like the valued guests they are.


Another way you might be losing opportunities is not making the most of the client base you already have. Many clients are like us – juggling work and family needs – and we tend to forget things. If you are setting appointments for your clients, do yourself a favor and give them a reminder call the day before the scheduled appointment. (Texting works well, too. Find out what your client prefers and stick to it.) Many clients come to rely on it, so don’t forget. Make it a part of your morning routine.


New clients aren’t used to you, yet. That means that don’t know how special you are and that you treat new clients like royalty. Give new clients the royal treatment with a follow-up phone call after their first visit. The day after their first appointment, give them a call to ask how their pet felt after the groom. Ask if they like the trim. Ask for feedback. And most importantly (if they didn’t rebook at check out), set up the next appointment.


This is the client who doesn’t have an appointment on the books for 6 weeks or more. If you have gaps in your day, it’s might be because these clients do not have recurring appointments. Another way to make the most of your client base is to get everyone on a recurring schedule. If you have 50-75 valued customers, your books should be pretty full – if you take the time to rebook people and get them on a regular grooming schedule. When you look ahead and see gaps, look back 6 weeks and see who’s missing in the days ahead. Give those folks a call and welcome them back. Chances are they don’t even realize how long it’s been since their last visit and will be glad you reminded them to drop by.


Ok, it’s not a wreck. Most likely it’s nothing more than a minor scratch, but we’re talking injuries, here. Brush burn, nicks, cuts, clipper irritation, quicked nails… any injury. The important thing is that you communicate with your clients. If an injury has occurred, talk about it openly before they leave your salon. Admit any mistakes. Apologize. Most importantly, call them the next day to follow up. Ask how the pet is doing. Ask if they have any questions. It’s crucial to your relationship that you can talk despite any accidental injuries that might happen. If you aren’t comfortable talking to people after an incident, you’re in the wrong business. Pretending it didn’t happen and “hoping they’re ok with it” is not going to retain clients. You need to talk it out.


If you are using your personal phone for your business, make sure that your hold music is appropriate for a business. Your friends will think certain songs are hilarious as they wait for you to pick up, but your clients will lose respect for you if your music is inappropriate. It’s your phone – but it’s also your business lifeline. Treat it with care.

There are plenty of big-ticket items that are a part of being in business. You can do so much to build your clientele by making the most out of every customer relationship. Simply pick up the phone. It’s effective – and – inexpensive! These tips are just the start, but used consistently, you can start filling your books fast without draining your bank account!

What topics would you like us to cover?  Jump over to the Learn2GroomDogs Facebook page and tell us.

Click here for a complete video list to make searching even easier! 

Make it a great day!

~Joelle Asmondy

Author of “Notes From the Grooming Table”

Work WITH Them…..

….DON”T break them!

In a perfect world, all the dogs that we groomers groom would prance happily into our shops, or vans and jump into our tubs or up on our tables, standing like statues as we quickly and safely groom them.
And, they would love it!

Actually, if we think about it, we do have a lot of dogs that do like the grooming and are really good in the tub and on the grooming tables.

Then there are others.
The ones that we tend to remember more.

The ones that are fearful and and scared.
Others that may snap or bite.
Still others that are wild, crazy, and always in perpetual motion.

When I went to Grooming School, a hundred years ago, the instructor that I had taught the students that (we) the groomers must always be the alpha.
Never let the dog get away with anything.
Make the dog do what you want it to do, when you want it to do it, and how you want it to do it!

I didn’t agree with some of her handling methods then and, after so many years of grooming, I STRONGLY disagree with the methods that she taught.

Gentle, praising grooming has always worked for me.
Gentle, firm handling with biters has always worked.
Gentle, slow, encouraging grooming has always worked with frighted dogs.

Trying to be ‘the boss’, being forceful and manhandling makes things much worse with a biter or scared pet.
It absolutely brakes the spirit of a silly, wiggly, happy-go-lucky dog.

I have seen it happen…


A little back story…..

Years ago I had a lady call asking if we would be willing to groom a dog that had been kicked out of other grooming shops do to biting.
She lived 40 minutes from the shop, but was willing to bring her dog if we agreed to groom him.

As I tell anyone with a biting dog, all we can do is try.

I did groom her dog, a large Cock-a-poo, with  thick Cocker type hair and very tight curls.
Yes, he did try biting me several times.
He could certainly be nasty.
He did not trust me in the least.
He watched every move I made, and let me know that he did not like his head fooled with or his feet.

I worked with him.
Can’t say that I didn’t call him a couple of names when he was being extra nasty and managed to bite me, but I didn’t yell at him, hit him, or manhandle him.
I worked with him.
I talked him through grooming his face.
I worked slowly.
I always told him what I was about to do.
I did have someone firmly, but gently hold his head while I groomed his feet.
They were instructed to gently hold the head, behind the ears, with both hands and only tighten the hold when he tried to swing around.
Just tight enough to stop him from reaching me, but not too tight.
As soon as he stopped trying to bite, they were to relax the hold, but still hold till I was finished and I was able to slowly replaced my hands with the person holding his head.
Once I had his head in my hands, I would talk to him softly and rub his cheeks, very slowly releasing my hold.

I wanted the thing that he hated the most, grooming the feet, to end on a happy note.

Slowly, on a six week grooming schedule, he came to trust me and tolerate the grooming.
He never did care for his feet to be groomed, but he stopped biting.
I groomed him for many years, until he passed away last year.

His owner followed me through several moves in my grooming career.
When the owner started having a hard time getting her dog to our shop, because of her work schedule, we picked him up and took him home on our way home after work. (they lived 15-20 minutes from my home)

A few years before the Cock-a-poo passed away, his owner got a Goldendoodle puppy.
She is a very, very sweet dog.
She is also a very silly, happy-go-lucky, wiggly, large Goldendoodle.

As a puppy she was a handful.
It took her a little while to learn to be calm in the tub.
All she wanted to do was play.
She splashed shampoo by wagging her tail all the time.
She was perpetual motion on the grooming table just because she was too nosy and wanted to see everything that was going on.
Whenever you tried to get her to be still, she just wagged her tail harder and gave you big old kiss.

She was such a happy dog that you just couldn’t get upset with her.
So we groomed her while she wiggled and wagged.
She was slowly growing up and getting better in the tub and on the table.
She loved coming in to be groomed.
She would burst out of her house to run and jump into our car.
She would run into the shop and go right to a kennel.
She would wag, wiggle and give kisses.

After the Cock-a-poo passed away, the owner chose to find a groomer closer to her home.
She has at least three grooming shops within 10 minutes of her house.

I will admit that we were a little bit hurt at her decision.
Okay, we were a lot hurt.
At the same time I kind of understood, she no longer had a dog that bit.
Her one remaining dog loved everyone, so anyone could groom her, right?
Her dog was a bath and trim on a thin wispy coat that didn’t seem to grow past five inches.
The coat did tend to get those small natty type mats close to the skin, but they always brushed out fairly easily.

That was a year ago.

A few weeks ago the Goldendoodles owner called.
She wanted to know if we would take her back as a client again.
The Goldendoodle seemed to hate going to the groomer that the owner had been taking her to.
She did not want to walk in the door.
She cowered and put her tail between her legs when the groomer came out to get her.
The owner also did not like that the groomer never talked to her dog when she came to take her into the back room.
She also seemed down when the owner picked her up.

The owner thought about asking for a different groomer, (apparently there were a couple to pick from) but she was afraid the groomer would get upset with her and want to know why she wanted the other groomer.
The owner was also not happy with the groom.

How do you mess up a bath and trim?

Yes, we took her back.
She was a good customer.
And, we liked that silly, wiggly, happy-go-lucky, large Goldendoodle.

The only thing was, that silly, wiggly, happy-go-lucky, large Goldendoodle didn’t walk in the door.
A quite, head down, slinking behind her owners legs Goldendoodle walked into our lobby.

My heart sank as soon as I saw her.
What happened to her?
Who broke this sweet dog?

Thankfully, as soon as I started to talk to her, she came out from behind her owner and came right up to me, but her tail was only wagging a little.
Gone was that big, full of energy tail wag that made her whole butt shake back and forth.
Her owner was happy to see us again and see her dog so easily follow me back into the grooming room.

I put her in the tub to be bathed.
She just stood there with her head hanging.
What the he** happened to this Goldendoodle.

She didn’t seem afraid, she just seemed…. broken.

I spent the whole bath praising her and actually trying to get her to play a little.
I just wanted to see some of the old girl back.
I got some small wags and few kisses but she just was not the same dog.

By the time I finished drying her, she seemed more relaxed and happier than when she first came in.
She was also more herself as Jess groomed her.

The owner was so happy to see her dog happily trot out from the grooming room.

I don’t like to think about what the other groomer may have done to break this happy-go-luck dog of its playfulness.
Unfortunately I have worked with some of the groomers who feel they need to dominate a dog and make it stand still like a statue in the tub and on the table.
I didn’t work with them long.

I guess my point to this long drawn out post is, work with the dogs you groom.
Don’t break them.
You may have to groom differently with some dogs.
You have to take a little extra time to figure out what works for each dog.

If they are fighting for their face, or feet, ears, or legs try to figure out why.
Why do these areas upset them?
Are they arthritic?
Are they ticklish?
Do their teeth hurt from lack of cleaning when you try to hold their face?
Do they have an ear infection, or did they once have an ear infection and they still remember the pain whenever someone touched their ears?
Is your clipping pressure too heavy?
Maybe they don’t like the way you are holding their leg up to clip.
Maybe you are holding their leg, or ear, face too tightly.
Maybe the sound or the vibration of the clipper scares them and they need an encouraging word.
Maybe it scares them when they see scissors coming close to their eyes because they don’t see very well.
Maybe they are just scared and need someone to talk them calmly through the grooming.
Maybe they need someone to work slowly and give them time to process the grooming.

Maybe, sometimes it is okay to let a dog be a little wiggly on your table.
Maybe that wiggly dog could be gently trained to be still while grooming, because you will reward them by playing with them for a couple of minutes once the grooming is done, and end the grooming on a happy note.
When a dog fights about something I am doing to them, I try to put myself in their place and figure out why they are fussing.
I try a different hold.
I clip a different way.
I talk to them and reassure them that everything is okay.
I think about how I would feel if someone where pulling hair out of my ears, doing things to my feet, or holding my face still.
Would I be able to hold still all of the time?

In 30 years I have only had to refuse to groom two nasty dogs.
They were down right dangerous, and mentally had something wrong with them.
All of the others, and there have been many, were able to be gently trained to trust and accept the grooming.
It has worked for me.
It should work for every groomer.

Fighting a dog is only going to make it want to fight you back.

If a dog scares you because it bites, or it moves too much and you’re afraid you will cut it, then refuse to groom it.
It is not worth the stress to the groomer or the dog.

If you know a dog gives you trouble, or is a wiggle worm on the table, book a little extra time with that dog to work slowly with it.
Charge a little extra for that extra time so that you do not feel stressed that you are losing time and money spending extra time.
Explain to the owner that you will do the best you can, and hopefully their dog will get better for the grooming. 

I am very confident that we will get this Goldendoodle back to her happy-go-lucky self in time.
She knows us and remembers that she enjoyed the grooming with us.
I would so much rather see her happy wiggle on the table and in the tub than that sad, head hanging, tail between the legs dog that I saw walk into my shop a couple of weeks ago.

She will be in again in a few weeks and I am looking forward to it. :)

Pet Grooming: The Good, The Bad, & The Furry

Basics Of Dog Grooming Equipment

Basics Of Dog Grooming Equipment
Some dogs are more high maintenance than others, require more frequent or rigorous grooming habits, so it’s important to pick the dog grooming equipment that suits your dog’s needs.


The first tool you need for this task is a brush. The best brush to use will depend on your dog’s coat type. If your dog has a fluffy coat it may need a different type of brush than if it had a more coarse, rough coat. If your neighborhood pet shop has knowledgeable staff, they might be able to have a look at your dog and recommend a particular type of brush. For example, dogs with long flowing coats can benefit from a bristle brush. A dog with a thin coat might require a coated pin brush. Depending on your dog’s coat it may need a daily brush to prevent matting, or you might be able to wait longer between brushing.


For a bath you will need your brush, shampoo and, if your dog is the kind to roll in dirt right after a bath, a hair dryer. While it’s fine to use your own hair dryer, make sure that you get dog shampoo. Shampoo that is designed for humans should never be used to wash your dog. Unless youre an expert, wait until your dog is dry to follow up with brushing, especially if you dog has a thin, fine coat. Attempting to brush its thin coat when its wet can hurt and damage the individual strands.

Claw treatment

Maintaining your dog’s nails at a reasonable length is also an important part of proper dog grooming. Clipping your dog’s nails will ensure it doesn’t suffer from any painful breaks or other grievances. For this task, you will want to invest in a quality pair of claw trimmers. Although a pair of good claw trimmers will cost more than a regular pair of human nail clippers, the results you get with claw trimmers will be much better. Claw trimmers will also help you ensure that you don’t clip too much nail and hit the nail’s quick, which can cause your dog’s nail to start bleeding. The frequency of your nail clipping will depend on how quickly your dog’s nails grow and how much wear they get on surfaces like concrete.

Healthy teeth

Ensuring your dog has a healthy mouth is vital to keeping your pet from developing any gum or other oral diseases. As with shampoo, when you purchase toothpaste for your dog, make sure you buy toothpaste that is specifically designed for dogs. If you decide to use a standard toothbrush, choose one that that fits the size of your dog’s mouth. Although there’s nothing wrong with using a standard toothbrush, many dog owners find that it’s easy to use a finger toothbrush. This rubber brush slides over your finger and allows you to vigorously scrub your dog’s teeth while holding your pet still.

When you’re grooming your dog, it’s best to keep it contained in one place. This will make your job much easier. A bathtub is a good choice for a smaller dog, while an outside pen will perhaps be the best option for a larger dog. It takes skill and practice to groom a dog, especially one with a more high maintenance and matt-prone coat. If you’re not confident in your own grooming skills, take your dog to a dog groomer – even if you only go once, at least you’ll get to see a professional groom and know what end result you’re looking for in your own dog grooming efforts.

K9 to 5 are professional dog groomers in Perth, Western Australia. They offer dog grooming, dog day care, and other services in Perth. K9 to 5 staff are experienced and qualified animal carers and owners, including vet nurses and professional groomers to cater for all of your pets needs.

Find More Dog Grooming Brush Articles

Tips for Using – It’s easier than ever to use!

While we designed to be as “user-friendly” as possible, we know that sometimes it helps to have a guided tour to make things easier.  Here are some of our favorite tips and tricks to help make your experience with us even better!

Finding Your Favorite Videos

Sometimes you just know that the video you watched will come in handy again someday.  Add it to your list of favorite videos you will watch time and time again.  We even keep it for you if you leave.  When you renew your membership, that list will be there waiting for you.

Coupon Codes

We do promotions several times a year.  If you do not have an active membership, you can use the provided coupon code to get the promoted discount.  Do not cancel an existing membership to try to apply a code.  This will result in double billing – who wants that?


It happens to all of us – mind-blanking on a password.  If it happens, don’t panic.  Simply follow the steps above to recover your password.  Security features built into our website prevent customer service from being able to see your password.  Your best course of action is to recover – or if needed – create a new password.

Account Details

You have complete access to all of your information.  It’s just a few clicks away!  If you need information for your records, you don’t need to wait for us – your information is right at your fingertips.

While We’re Talking About Account Information…

Sharing your membership with someone may seem like a nice gesture, but it can also be a disaster!  ANYONE who has your information can see your private account data.  That means your address, email, and credit card information can be seen by anyone you give access to.  It doesn’t stop there – if that person also shares your information with anyone else… you get the picture.  Salon owners who share their account with their employees are sharing more than they think.  Be safe – protect yourself – keep this information to yourself.

Did we miss anything? Jump over to the Learn2GroomDogs Facebook page and tell us.  You can even click here for a quick lesson in how to use the site.

Click here for a complete video list to make searching even easier! 

Happy trimming,


Author of “Notes From the Grooming Table”

Building Buzz – Getting the kind of attention that builds your business

One of the fastest ways to build a clientele is to get people talking. You want positive attention, the kind that fosters business. It’s good to keep in mind that people never talk about:

  • boring people
  • boring products
  • boring services
  • boring companies

1You want to be unique. To stand out. Be interesting.

I’ve used this technique in many of my companies. When I/we focused on this method, our growth rate has been amazing.

There are many ways to build positive buzz. Many of these strategies are super easy to do. As a bonus, many are also cost-effective. Others take a little bit more planning and a financial investment to get the ball rolling. Choose what works best for your situation and budget. It doesn’t matter if you are quiet and shy or vivacious and outgoing. There are tactics that work for all personality types.

The key to making this work is…




  • Know what they like.
  • Know what makes them smile.
  • Know what gets them excited.
  • Know what triggers them in a positive way.

Be unique. Stand out. Knowing your clientele can help you make a positive impact. Done well, clients will seek out your services. Mismanage it and they will run in the opposite direction.

Most grooming business owners focus on the rational parts of running their business: price, scheduling, pet handling, and the finished groom. They totally ignore the emotional rewards for the human client. This is important, because although we love the dogs, they don’t have the ability to pay the bill.

People don’t get excited about ordinary services, an acceptable haircut, or a fair price. They talk about things that surprised them and made them feel great about their pets. When you make things special, you make them memorable – while at the same time removing the feeling of risk they might have had about doing business with you.

It’s not enough to have a good grooming business. You need to stand out from the crowd. The unique business has fabulous solutions wrapped in a shiny package that delights, excites, or surprises the customer.

So what makes up a “unique shiny package?” Here are four areas to get your ideas flowing.


How does it look? It doesn’t matter if it’s home business, a corporation, a small storefront, or a large facility. Your presentation will make an impression.

What does it look like when the client first drives up? What makes it stand out in a positive way? What makes it unique? Is it your signage? Your exterior decor? Some clever way to lead clients to your front door? Your front display window? Something needs to pop out at them.

Moving indoors, what do your clients see as soon as they step through the door? Is it clean and tidy? Is it bright and cheery? Is it easy to maintain and organize? How is your indoor signage? Is your reception desk inviting? Are your brochures and business cards readily available?

Think about not only what they see – what do they hear and smell? Is there appropriate music? Are the dogs relatively quiet? Is the louder equipment muffled behind closed doors? Do a sniff test – or have someone else do it for you who isn’t “nose blind” to smells in the salon. The salon should smell clean and fresh. If it can’t pass the sound and smell test – fix it.

Clients have loads of choices and ways to compare you to other service-based businesses. Even if you are the only grooming salon in town, you still have competition. Clients and prospective customers are comparing you to plenty of other service businesses such as their vet clinic, their hair salon, or their dry cleaners. How do you stack up against the other professionals in the area?


Clients gravitate to businesses where they feel comfortable. Making them feel comfortable means mirroring how they present themselves. Whoever has direct interaction with clients should positively impact the customer. Clients are your guests – welcome them as such. If you had invited them as guests into your home, wouldn’t you try to make them feel as comfortable as possible?

Regardless of whether you are in a conservative or a trendy area, presenting a well pulled-together look goes a long way. Pay attention to the details. Make sure you are groomed as well as the dogs leaving your salon.

If you don’t want to take the time to put together a polished outfit every day – opt for uniforms. Nothing pulls a look together like outfits designed for the work at hand. If you have staff, discuss what you wear so you all match. Once uniforms look dull and old – toss them.

You are going to be washing and styling dogs all day, so make sure your own hair gets the same amount of attention. It doesn’t matter if your hair is short or long, natural or brightly colored. Your own hair needs to be clean and styled in a manner appropriate for your workplace.

Accessories can bring a smile to a customer’s face and make an impression. Makeup can be an accessory. Let’s not forget jewelry – earrings or a fun bracelet that can hold up to the abuse of professional grooming. Even funky shoes that can take hours of standing and still be comfortable.

Your personal presentation can be as unique as you are. Just remember to present yourself in a manner appropriate to the clientele you wish to attract. Never lose sight of the fact that you need to make your clients feel comfortable and welcome if you want to build your business.


Pick a breed. Pick a technique. Pick a personality. Pick a trim. Specialize in something. Do it better than anybody else.

Establishing a reputation for specializing in your area of choice will make you stand out. People will begin to talk. Because you do such an amazing job in your specialty, new customers will seek you out.

Maybe you love Terriers and hand stripping techniques. You might be a Poodle fanatic who loves to hand scissor. Love kitties? Enjoy challenging pets? Whatever it is, lock into it. You will thrill people when you walk out with a well-groomed pet from your specialized field of expertise. It’s a great feeling. Both you and your customer will be smiling.


What do you do that makes your clients grin from ear to ear and say, “Wow, I can’t believe they just did that!” Customer service skills come into play over the phone and in person.

All service-based businesses are problem solvers. If you can solve the problem triggers for your customer, you are way ahead of the game. Once you figure out the problem, offer a viable solution with a kind heart and a big smile.

In some cases, the client doesn’t even realize they have a problem. Not only do you need to be a problem solver, you need to be a tactful educator.

Most clients benefit by using the trifecta principle of communication: tell – show – read. As professionals, we deal with dirty, messy dogs all the time. We can groom dog in our sleep. It’s a totally new experience for the client. Most people cannot remember all the information you are going to give them when they first come to your salon. Use the trifecta principle to help get your messages across. Tell them. Show them. Give them something to read that locks in what you just told and showed them.

In order to be successful, we need plenty of clients that keep coming back. Salons that get positive buzz in the community will attract new clients and help retain old ones.

When done well, there a great sense of pride. But even more than that, there’s also a great sense of security. Security comes from knowing clients like what you do and continue to seek out your grooming services.

So stand out from the crowd. Be the positive buzz of YOUR town. If you want a busy business, you need to get people talking. Finding creative ways to make your clients feel special is one of the best marketing strategies you can develop for your business.

Did we miss anything? Jump over to the Learn2GroomDogs Facebook page and tell us.

Happy trimming,


Author of “Notes From the Grooming Table”

Dog Grooming Equipment

Dog Grooming Equipment

Dog grooming equipment is a necessity when you are a professional groomer or when you take care of your pet’s needs at home. There are lots of items that you can buy but not all of them are really necessary, and not all come handy for a certain pet. The supplies we are going to discuss here are usually used in professional grooming salons to make the grooming process a lot easier and comfortable for the animals. As for home use, a minimum of accessories should do for a customized grooming.

Probably the most important item of dog grooming equipment is the table. How can one work on a pet by sitting or standing in a very difficult position? Therefore, a table allows adjusting to the height that is the most comfortable for brushing, washing and nail trimming. Cheap or expensive, grooming tables are available in a high range of models and designs. Stationary tables, electric tables or hydraulic tables, you can take your pick according to budget and needs. Dog grooming depends on this gear item for maximum of efficiency and dog quality.

Equally important are the dog grooming brushes; careful matching to the dog breed is necessary, and several models should be available in the salon. More brushing and several items of dog grooming equipment are necessary for long-haired dogs, to give just an example. Not the same thing can be said about short-haired breeds that are a lot easier to groom. Scissors, clippers, blades and all sorts of combs can also prove handy items of grooming equipment with a high utility rate.

The supplies in any grooming equipment are usually available with regular pet shops or larger pet stores. They can also be ordered online from very many dealers and sometimes for more advantageous prices. Invest your money wisely in dog grooming equipment, particularly if you are preparing for a business launch. Individual items may seem cheap, but when you get the total costs, you’ll see that it is definitely not little money.

Dog grooming equipment doesn’t have to be complex to meet regular pet needs, and diversity generally serves for business purposes. Therefore, carefully consider what is and isn’t practical and then start spending money.

Tip: Check out Dani’s dog grooming tips, articles and his dog grooming book and discover “The Secrets Of Master Dog Groomers And Save Hundreds Of Dollars On Your Dog Grooming Bills Without Even Leaving Your Home!”

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Tricks to Keep Your Appointment Book Full – Great Ideas to Stay Busy All Year Long

When your appointment book is totally full, how does that make you feel? For most of us, it’s a sense of security. It’s a source of pride. It’s a guarantee that you are satisfying your customers’ needs. You are doing a good job.

But how do you feel when that appointment book has empty slots? Maybe you are just starting out on your own and have an open book. Maybe you are new to the salon and need to build a fresh clientele. Or maybe you have been at your salon for a while, yet you’re just not getting traction with repeat customers.

Long-time pet stylists know this unspoken rule: a full appointment book offers job security.

So if your appointment book is lighter than what you would like, how are you going to fix it?

Here are a few ideas to help you boost your number of daily grooming appointments.


If you went to a restaurant and the server did not hand you a menu, how would you know what to order? Pet grooming is very similar. Owners know they’re coming to you to get their dog cleaned up, but they probably don’t know all the services that you offer. Services that could help them keep their pet looking and feeling great.

A well-organized service menu makes it easy for the client to select a service. As a bonus, it also makes it very easy for you discuss optional services such as de-shedding treatments, shampoo upgrades, skin conditioning treatments, tooth brushing, nail filing, or other add-on services.

A service menu allows you to quickly summarize maintenance grooming services. Use it to  highlight the benefits of regular professional grooming appointments. This is a great place to outline the suggested frequency of appointments. Depending on a number of factors, most pets benefit from being groomed every 3 to 6 weeks.  Others may benefit from weekly or biweekly appointments. Having a comprehensive service menu makes it easy to rebook clients on a regular basis.


Actively encouraging clients to reschedule on a regular basis ensures that a salon will have a steady stream of clients. Plus, the pets will be in the best possible condition.<

Rebooking and rescheduling is all about helping your clients keep their pet looking and feeling its best. It’s about helping them understand the hygienic needs of their dog or cat, such as why it’s important to properly brush and bathe their pet between visits. Those are the goals. You are a problem solver. If they do not want to do the tasks necessary to maintain their pets at home, they will turn to you to do the job for them. Education is the key.

There are number of ways to rebook that next appointment:

  • on the spot.
  • reminder calls.
  • wake-up calls.
  • e-mail blasts.

Rebooking on the Spot

Referral card example.

Referral card example.

Offering to schedule an appointment at checkout is the best way to get a client to rebook. Develop a couple different scripts and use the one that best fits the needs of that client. For best results, use the tips below.

  • Ask every time. Think of fast food chains. They ask you every time if you would like something else with your order – every time. When the client checks out, offer to rebook their next appointment to ensure their pet continues to look amazing.
  • For the busy or in demand pet stylist, reschedule a number of appointments at once or book the entire year. This will guarantee the client will get the premiere dates they are looking for.
  • In areas that are price sensitive, offer incentives. Maybe it’s $ 5 off their next grooming if they book within six weeks or less. Or maybe you offer them free upsells like tooth brushing or a spa package upgrade.

Reminder Calls – If the Client Does Not Rebook on the Spot

Discount card example.

Discount card example.

Ask the client if they’d like a Reminder Call a week before “Buffy” would be due for his next appointment. This could be done via phone, e-mail, or text message.

Wake-Up Calls

Actively call clients that have not returned to the salon in 8-12 weeks.

E-mail Blasts

This is a great way to market to existing clients. If you are going into a slow day or week, offer an incentive to get clients in the door for those days.


Incentive coupon example.

Incentive coupon example.

Rebooking is something you must do regularly – the same way – every time. Make it a habit to ask if they want to rebook at check-out. If they don’t, make sure to call and remind them one week prior to the preferred grooming time for their pet and don’t forget to do the Wake-Up calls once a month for any client you haven’t seen in 8-12 weeks.


People are physiologically wired to make referrals. Many businesses can grow and flourish just by tapping into this business building strategy.

Referrals come from a number of different sources:

  • existing clients.
  • other service providers.
  • pet professionals.
Welcome flyer example.

Welcome flyer example.

Existing Clients

  • Encourage them to pass out your business cards. Let them know you are looking for more great clients like them. Always keep a supply within easy reach and generously hand them out to clients.
  • Use an incentive-based referral program. Offer a discount for first time clients PLUS give the same discount to the client that referred them. You give them even more reason to pass your name around – plus – it’s a great way to thank them for the referral!

Other Service Providers

  • hairdresser
  • local pizza joint
  • coffee shop
  • anywhere people gather and talk

Leave a stack of Discount Incentive cards with the owner or someone that is happy to pass them out. Code the back so you know where they came from – that way you don’t have to ask the customer when they turn them in. You do want to track where the cards are coming from so you can thank the service provider in an appropriate fashion.

Pet Professionals

  • vets
  • pet supply businesses
  • rescue organizations
  • trainers
  • pet sitters

Leave them with a basic welcome package they can hand out to clients that would benefit from your service. Participate in and support their events. They are more like to refer and support you in return. Offer a thoughtful thank you gift to those that refer you on a regular basis. Food or flowers never go out of style but there are many options.

Did we miss anything? Jump over to the Learn2GroomDogs Facebook page and tell us. You can even see a video on on this topic!

Happy trimming,


Author of “Notes From the Grooming Table”

Learn How To Use Dog Clippers

Learn How To Use Dog Clippers

If you own a dog that requires frequent trips to the groomer, you know that it can be expensive. Perhaps you have considered buying your own dog clippers and trimming your pet yourself. If you are just looking to do a basic cut, this can be easy to do and save you money.

You can purchase a set of clippers online or at a pet store. A quality kit should come with different guards for the blade that allow you to customize the length of the trim. You should also have a pair of scissors, leash and collar, and a sturdy surface to work on. Use towels or sheets to make clean up easier, or work in an easy to sweep area.

Keep in mind that if your dog hates going to the groomer, he probably will not like it any more at home! The sound of the clippers can be vary scary for some pets, and without the experience of a groomer, the results could be less than desirable. If you still want to try, go slowly, and ensure that you are not stressing your dog out.

Get started by securing your dog to the table with a leash. Using a non skid mat on the table or counter can help prevent your pet from slipping and makes them feel more secure. Don’t start without securing your pet, unless they’re very cooperative.

Decide how short you wish to trim the fur, and select an appropriate guard for the blade. If you want it very short, you can trim with no guard on the blade. Start at the neck and work towards the back end. Go slowly with gentle pressure, and let the hair fall away. Check the blade frequently, as it can heat up with extended use and accidentally burn your pets skin. Groomers use a special blade cooling spray to use their clippers for long periods of time. Ensure you keep the blade lubricated as well. Most clipper sets come with blade oil, and refills can be purchased.

If you encounter a mat while trimming, work slowly around the edges of it. Never try to pull it off or force the trimmer under it as the skin beneath can be sensitive, causing your pet pain in the process.

When it comes to doing the paw areas, take your time. Pets can have ticklish feet just like people, and it may be difficult to trim these areas. Bending the leg so that the bottom of the paw faces up will give you a good view of the area, and may make your pet cooperate as he will be off balance.

Giving your dog a small break, a treat, and a trip outside at this point is always a good idea. It can give the clippers a chance to cool before you begin working on the face and neck. These areas can be tricky to clip, and most dogs do not like it! Again, patience is the key to doing a proper job.

Working slowly, and gently holding your dog around the mouth to have control of his head, begin by trimming the neck area. Make your way to the face, and be especially careful around the eyes. If you feel confident enough to use scissors, do so carefully.

Once you have trimmed your pets fur at home a few times, you and your dog will become comfortable with the process. It need not be a difficult task providing your dog is cooperative, and you use patience.

Get fabulous prices on pet grooming supplies by going online. There you will find many pet clippers and other items to consider buying. Head online today and learn more.

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