The Smell of Success


After being a regular client at a big-box store’s grooming department for a few years, my roommate recently went looking for a new groomer in our neighborhood in Brooklyn, N.Y.  After some searching and careful examination of Yelp reviews, she decided to take her long-haired miniature Dachshund, Winston, to a grooming salon a few blocks away for a summer cut. The location was convenient, the staff was friendly, the appointment was quick and her dog came home happy and neatly groomed. Still, she won’t be bringing him back to that groomer again.


Why? The smell.


A distinct urine scent caught her attention the moment she walked through the door. While it might have just been unfortunate timing, that first impression instantly conjured up concerns about the groomer’s overall hygiene practices and standards of care. She went so far as to say she had a twinge of guilt leaving Winston there and went away feeling like a “bad dog mom.”


What struck me most about my roommate’s experience was that even though she had no practical complaints about the service provided, the grooming salon she visited lost a potential regular customer. While groom quality, efficiency, pricing and timeliness are certainly important elements of any successful salon, my roommate’s experience serves to illustrate just how much of an impact even the seemingly smallest considerations can have on groomers’ success in earning and retaining new clients.


In this issue of Grooming Business, you’ll find plenty of practical advice for making your business as successful as possible. Our cover story takes a look at increasing efficiency on multiple levels, while a Special Report provides guidance on building a strong and harmonious relationship with salon employees.


But between seeking out the best drying equipment, organizing your clipper blades and running staff meetings, it never hurts to take a step back and try to take a look at your grooming business from an outside perspective.


What immediate sensory impressions do customers get upon their arrival? Does your facility and staff allow them to leave their pet in your hands with the utmost confidence that they will be well cared for and made as comfortable as possible during the grooming process?


Next time you walk through the door, try to take in the salon with the eyes, ears and nose of a new customer, and ask yourself, “Is my business making the best first impression possible?”  gb


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