By Chris Pawlosky on Feb 1 2012
No matter where you are located or how your business is performing, we all need to find new or increased streams of revenue. Raising prices alone just isn’t enough to offset the ever-rising costs that we see across the board, so it is key to explore new and different ways to balance the budget and grow your business.
By Chris Pawlosky on Oct 1 2011
What defines your customers’ experience and perception of doing business with you? Creating a good first impression is probably the most important first step. What are the first things your customer sees when they drive up? Are things in good repair, clean, weeded, painted, organized and maintained? My grandma always said you do not have to be rich to take care of your things and keep them clean. This proves to be true time and time again when running a customer-focused business.
By Kathy Salzberg, NCMG on Apr 1 2011
In our highly personalized industry, we have traditionally considered word-of-mouth to be the best form of advertising—one dog owner telling another what an awesome haircut their little darling received on its last trip to your salon. We are caring for four-footed members of the family, so that personal connection looms large. We used to think that word-of-mouth involved one-on-one conversations, in person or over the phone, but the Internet has changed all that.
By Kathy Salzberg, NCMG on Feb 1 2011
How can you say that my Sammy is matted? I’ve been brushing him like crazy!”“Well, isn’t that something! I have to pay more for Cookie’s haircut than I do for my own!”“I hope you guys do a better job this time. Whoever groomed Max last time really butchered his coat.”“Hey, do I get a discount for being a frequent customer? I bring my Cocker Spaniel here three times a year.”“This is Waldo, my new Old English Sheepdog. He’s almost a year old and this is his first grooming. Can you give him a little trim?
By Kathy Salzberg, NCMG on Dec 1 2010
Merchandising encompasses all the methods, practices and operations used to promote whatever it is that you’re selling–including yourself and your salon. Whether it’s a sprawling retail pet supply store or a small boutique in your salon, it refers to the variety of products available for sale and how you display them to entice the customer to whip out the cash, checkbook or plastic and make a purchase. In the salon, merchandising means maximizing sales using eye-catching displays, prominent product placement and attention-grabbing signage.
By Kathy Salzberg, NCMG on Oct 1 2010
The growing trend toward pampering our precious pets and the accompanying swing toward a holistic approach to grooming them are twin factors encouraging us to make the grooming experience more like a day of beauty at an upscale spa. The spa experience centers around an innovative approach to health, wellness and lots of TLC, a relaxing respite from the stresses of everyday life and a tune-up for both body and mind. Since today’s owners like to treat their pets as they would like to be treated themselves, why wouldn’t they seek the same kind of experience for four-legged family members?
By Kathy Salzberg, NCMG on Aug 1 2010
Creating lifelong customers is all about making a personal connection. In the pet grooming business, that’s a given, because we are caring for a member of that customer’s family–their beloved pet. When they walk into our salon to get their dog groomed, we are already starting off on the right foot; the fact that they chose us means we have already established some level of trust. Whether we build upon that bond or let it slip through our fingers is entirely up to us.First impressions are important. We want to be welcoming and project our sincere caring for that pet.
By Kathy Salzberg, NCMG on Jun 1 2010
One of the most enjoyable things about being in business is becoming part of a like-minded community. On your block and in your hometown, you are connected, just as you are to the grooming community through magazines like this one, regional and national organizations or attendance at those wonderful conventions and trade shows held all over the country.
By Kathy Salzberg, NCMG on Apr 1 2010
When pet owners walk into our grooming salon, they have to pass through the retail area, which is brimming with eye-catching displays that showcase toys, treats, food, leashes, collars, coats, sweaters, crates, carriers, beds, greeting cards, calendars and grooming products, plus a wide variety of gift items for people who are as crazy about their pets as we are. These customers are, in effect, a captive audience that must run the gauntlet of retail temptations as they bring little Fluffy in for her haircut.
By Kathy Salzberg, NCMG on Feb 1 2010
In a business as hands-on and personal as pet grooming, word-of-mouth advertising has always been the most reliable way to promote our businesses. Because we are marketing our trustworthiness with a cherished family member, it stands to reason that a recommendation from the neighbor down the block, a favorite veterinarian or dear old Aunt Mary carries a lot of weight when it comes to choosing where Buffy gets her haircut.
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