I grew up in a United States Air Force (USAF) family and have lived in all parts of the world from Japan to California. I enlisted in the USAF right out of High School. It also took me to places around the world like Germany and Guam.
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Why The Fees?
This is a Why to everything I require - heavy reading below.
I've been in business since 2005. In my time I've ALWAYS groomed by the hour. 90% of the time I've been in business I've been the only one working for myself. I've had help through the years but no one that stayed, no one that could maintain that kind of grooming. I have always worked very hard. I'm a Realtor & do office work for several companies. My time is precious to me. Every client signs a release statement. I read over the release statement with them when we first meet. I always want to run my business clear without hidden fees. Keep this in mind as you read below.
2005-2007 I was working as a Groomer 7 days a week & worked at the FAA during the day & I was in the Air Force Reserves. When someone made an appointment it meant I made time to groom their pet. If they didn't call to cancel the appointment & they didn't show up, it meant I got off my day job & went to grooming & waited for them. When I could have had that time with my family or myself. I didn't have a fee if they didn't show up to the appointment. I'd be sitting their waiting. Time gone, my schedule just at a pause, & no income.
2007- I started charging $10 for a no call no show. I wasn't sure how to ask someone to actually pay the fee after they didn't even notify me that they were going to cancel. There again, I would be sitting their waiting after have worked a first job all day & hussled to get to my grooming business. When I would call the client & tell them they had a fee to pay most people didn't come back & pay for it! 1 out of 100! Most wouldn't even take the call or acknowledge me anymore. Even though they signed an agreement form. Sometime in 2007 I decided to send an invoice for the fee. That went ignored completely.
2008 I started charging the no call no show fee to the next appointment automatically instead of telling the client when they did it I would just mark their file & go on with life. Did it upset me, maybe a tad. The thing that affected me the most is the loss of my time when all it would take is a phone call to say "I'm not showing up". Still only 50% of those clients came back hence only 50% of those clients paid the fee. This year, I also implemented the complimentary text & / or call to confirm their appointment. This started helping me not waste my time & helped the client remember their appointment. I personally think people who call me to make an appointment should take more responsiblity in this. We are all busy people. Even though it's complimentary, it still isn't my responsibility to make sure you know about the appointment you set up. So, this is how I was being treated. Well, my call didn't come soon enough & the client forgot so they cancel. If someone cancels their appointment at 843pm for 10am the next day; likely I've lost the ability to give that to someone who would have showed up. So, in the end, people were still cancelling. I just got them on the phone before they cancelled & I was being told most of the time in advanced to some nature.
2012- was the end of my Air Force Reserves & the beginning in getting my Real Estate License & the beginning in trying to take Thursday off as a day entirely for Real Estate.
At the end of 2013, I finally started trying to have 1 regular day off a week that didn't have any work involved. I also started trying to work 8-2pm on Saturday & Sunday rather than 8-4. The day off went to null. It didn't last long. The need to be their for clients was too strong. I was now doing the reminder text or call to clients whom had an appointment the next day. But, it still wasn't enough to help. People still do cancel & it prevents me from using that time again, for someone that is waiting to get a groom for their furbaby.
So, beginning 2014 I revamped the fee system adding a fee of $25 for not giving a 24 hour cancellation notice. It deemed impossible for me to reuse a cancelled time in 24 hours. I don't work for walk ins. Rarely I get one or even allow one. Because of the way I groom. At the end of 2014, I moved locations. The biggest financial and structural move of my business. Still, working solo as well and holding down the Real Estate business, & another side office job to help other companies.
2015- I've had the most no call no shows in the last 30 days then I ever had in my entire grooming career. I have also had the most cancellations in general, even with my courtesy call or text. I have had many clients continue to cancel the same day or in the evening prior to their appointment. I have always been understanding, lenient, forgiving. But, it's finally too much for me to handle. My time is very valuable. As the years have passed I have tried everything in the realm of respectfully babysitting my clients but people ourselves need to take responsibility of appointments we make. I understand life has changes & emergencies. I will be super forgiving in times of death, bad weather etc. But, because of the years of abuse to the appointment system all my effort has lead me to move to an appointment system that requires a down payment to hold the appointment. I hate fees. I hate to pay fees. But, that is my last resort to maintain the great clients I have & to be able to offer the extensive one on one groomings that I do. My time & your time are super valuable to me. I do not waste yours & prefer people to respect mine.
How I Groom:
I prefer one on one grooms because not many people do this. It allows your pet to get a service that is so special to him or her. It creates a calmer environment. It allows minimal time for the grooming process.
Since it is just me I work with one pet at a time. I have had helpers, workers, groomers. No one has been loyal, some that were untrustworthy, & some groomers nick every dog they touch. Those people I refused to keep. I have some standards to what I do & they are important to me.
From 2005-2014 my location was in some warehouses in Watauga, TX. You would never have found me really. I was there by appointment only. I received 100's of referrals from Veterinarians & Veterinarian Technicians. I based my business on senior, special care, aggressive, & disabled pets. I specialize in these types of pets. I don't believe anyone is perfect. There have been some cases where a very aggressive dog was very hard to groom. But, I have NEVER fired an aggressive client. I have had to ask Mom or Dad to assist. Which allows parents to see what their pets behavior is.
There is a 24-hour cancellation requirement because of the stories above. My time is valuable.
I don't believe in caging any pets for hours. I think when you drop off 20 dogs in the early morning & they are caged for 3 hours before their grooming even starts, it creates stress. Dogs barking, dryers going, clippers running; it's a lot of stress on animals; dogs & cats alike. I would go as far to say it's very stressful especially on cats. You know how you go to the dentist; for me anyway. You sit there waiting for your appointment. Let me tell you, I usually get cold, after my "appointment" time has already passed I start getting irritated, a little disappointed, & by the time I'm sitting in the chair I'm a nervous wreck & we haven't even started. I like to see it a little bit like that. Everyone including an animal has an attention span to most things. I prefer we make you & your pet an appointment & you come in for your appointment & leave when we are complete. Minimal cage time.
I don't cage dry pets. I don't like a cage dryer. I don't own a cage dryer. My idea about cage dryers goes a little something like this; I feel like (especially with boston terriers, bully breeds, pugs) when a cage dryer is used it is like frefalling for an animal. A cage dryer is this dryer (estimation 12" x 12" x 12" deep) that you hang on the cage. It faces the pet & blows constantly when turned on directly where it's placed; on the pet, around the pet, right in the pets face. Who knows? The pet is constantly moving and it also depends on the cage size & type. Say 4' x 4' x 4' deep. Not alot of space & a blowing cage dryer on the front of that cage, say it's all stainless steel except the front, for instance, the air is circulating at a higher rate while it's on. The cage dryer is left on until someone turns it off. 1 hour 10 hours.
I take my business & the care of your pets VERY Serious.
I value your time and my own.
(I wish I didn't have to have fees. It took 10 years and a lot of time lost to realize my value and now I MUST follow through on the fees).
9/16/15 FEE STRUCTURE HAS CHANGED DUE TO CONSTANT CANCELLATIONS
1) Over 15 minutes late for your scheduled appointment $10
2) Flea Charges START at $20 - $100 (going up depending on how many fleas your bring into my salon).
3) $25 PER PET NO CALL NO Show.
4) $25 PER PET FEE If you did not give 24 hour notice. 24 HOUR CANCELLATION REQUIRED
5) $20 petsitting charge if you leave your pet over 1 hour after its groom is complete.
6) We take Cash or Check, Debit or Credit cards incur a 3% fee.
7) Pets that are AGGRESSIVE, MATTED, DISABLED, & SENIOR may incur additional cost based off their needs.
REQUIREMENTS TO COME IN FOR GROOMING:
1) ALL pets MUST be current on ALL VACCINATIONS (rabies, distemper, parvo, DHPP, bordetella).
2) The first appointment you make you MUST hold your appointment with a $25 payment which is used towards the groom. (We are transitioning to an automatic scheduling system & payment to hold an appointment is required).
If you do not give a 24-hour cancellation noitice or you do a no call no show the $25 payment is nonrefundable.
NO TOLERANCE RULES
The 1st time you do a no call no show or the 1st time you do not give a 24 hour notice when
cancelling an appointment the fees will be added to your next groom.
The 2nd time you do a no call no show or the 2nd time you do not give a 24 hour notice when
cancelling you will ALWAYS need to have a credit card to hold your appointment.