Groomer to Groomer
“Gimme a Break!”
Take time to smell the roses?! Are you kidding me?
I have a two-week waiting list, call ins, walk ins, and staffing problems! There is absolutely NO way I can even come up for air, let alone, take some time off.
Does any of this sound familiar to you? If so, you could be heading down a dangerous road of exhaustion, burn out, injury, and other life turmoil your schedule could thrust you into. Too often I see pet professionals doing everything they can to take superior care of the pets and the pet parents, but neglect themselves. Poor diet, lack of sleep, stress, short temper, and depression are some of the tell tale signs of letting your business get the best of you versus you getting the best from your business.
While not everyone can afford (time and/or expense) to take a vacation, there are little things you can do to help cope with the everyday grind of your business. I have listed some for you to consider, but I urge you to pay close attention to the signs of your business taking its toll on your well-being, physical and mental health.
Take a vacation. I know this seems like it is impossible, but whether it is an out of town trip or a “stay-cation”, get away from reality for a short bit. Do something different. Maybe it’s a week, or even a long weekend, but some time away from your daily routine, exploring new endeavors is always a way to relieve stress. Some get creative and plan on combining a vacation with a trade show.
Schedule an appointment in your books..for you. Yep, make an appointment in your grooming books for yourself. These little gems of time are priceless. Get a manicure. Get a facial. See your kid’s soccer game. Take your kid lunch at school. Get a massage. Eat your lunch at the park. Whatever an hour will buy you, make yourself an appointment and take care of yourself as you take care of your customers.
Invest in Equipment. Your job is hard enough. Why complicate things by fighting with old or shoddy equipment? The time and frustration you spend on hard to use, outdated, home made, and faulty equipment takes more out of you than you think. Put a plan in place to replace or purchase a new piece of equipment at least quarterly. Before you know it, your hands, feet, and back will feel better and so too will your attitude and health.
Dress for Success. I know you get wet, hairy, and sweaty every single day. Your hair falls, your clothes can tear, and your make up fades. But start every day as if it was your very first on the job. You have a responsibility to reinforce your reputation. Nobody else can do it better than you. In fact, if you have staff, they will tend to emulate your efforts, good or bad. Take pride in your appearance. When you look in the mirror in the morning before going to the shop, you should ask yourself if you have done everything you can to look your best for your customers and represent you, your staff, and your business to the best of your ability.
Charge Enough. Your business is a “for profit” business. In other words, unless you are a non-profit organization, you are in business to make a profit and to make as much of a profit as you can. While your prices should be competitive, be sure you are charging enough for the work that you are doing. Too many times we give away services or products because we think our customers will think more of us if we do this for them. Guess what! Customers value what they pay for! Unless you are a substandard groomer, don’t charge substandard prices. Offer extra services and charge for them. If you need to raise prices, do it.
Depend on Others. If you have staff, train them and depend on them. If you cannot depend on them to provide a level of service you would yourself, then you either have the wrong people or you just haven’t trained/managed them enough yet. Define and teach your standards, don’t waiver from them, and demand strict adherence and understanding as to why you have these standards and expect top performance. Settle for nothing less.
In summary, take care of yourself. Don’t settle. Pay close attention to your well-being and do everything you can to make sure you have satisfaction with your business, your job, and your personal life balance.