Groomer Burnout is Real- FinancialDec 08, 2017
I knew when I was running my dog grooming salon I was becoming burnt out. I was working 60-80 hours a week, I had 5 employees that were finally amazing but needed a lot of guidance. I had opened my salon 4 days before my son was born, I lived in that salon with a newborn baby (which is completely illegal!) till he was 6 months old. Going from being so broke that I used to eat ketchup sandwiches to having a large paycheck in less than 5 years made my finances get completely out of whack. At this point I was making great money but I spent SO much money on crap that I didn't need or really want. I would spend my money on things to make my life easier. I averaged $1200/month on quick easy food because I was too tired to cook. I felt like I deserved a home cooked meal after sacrificing for so long. I paid for a laundry service even though I could have simply had an employee use our washer/dryer but I was too crispy fried to argue with them to fold the towels correctly. I didn't get to spend a ton of time with my son so on my days off that I was feeling well enough to not be bed / couch bound I would go crazy. We could easily spend several hundred dollars in one day when I would try to buy away my guilt.
I'm sure you can relate!
Listening to Dave Ramsey's Entreleadership or Christy Wright's Business Boutique I often here them ask a business owner: "If you made a million dollars a year doing what you're doing, would you keep doing it".
Would you? If you won the lottery would you become a hobby groomer? Would you spend your days grooming / showing or groom rescues for free? Is your burn out related to your financial situation?
Ways to get your Finances under control:
Get on a written monthly budget.
A budget is a leash for your money, without a budget your money is just going to run around and piss all over your life. If you're "sort of" doing a written budget, then you're that jerk customer who has their dog on a flex lead. That dog is still pissing all over my shop, right?
What really matters
Do an inventory of what is important to you and what are "deserves". This was a hard one for me to come to terms with. I deserved to be able to sit and watch 5 hours of TV on my DVR on my day off. My son deserved to go to Disney for missing all the time away from me. I deserved my fancy fully loaded outrageously expensive SUV because I worked so hard. The reality is I was trying to buy things that made me happy, and in the end it didn't make my job easier or my life better.
Impulse shopping is a real thing
Target? Amazon one click? That trade show credit card oops? Whatever those impulse buys are you need to stop. If it isn't in your written budget for the month, it has to wait till next month, let it sit in your head for a month. I can almost promise you that it won't be such an important purchase after a week or two. I'm guilty as charged, I love to buy that "wipe your paws" door mat at Target, I ordered a kitty shaped backpack on Amazon and when I go to a trade show I have a set limit so I don't accidentally spend several thousand dollars on things I never knew I needed.
Ways to make extra money
Take a hard look at pricing.
Are you charging everything you should have for that OAY Saint Bernard? How about that super matted Doodle? Why are you not charging a bandaid fee for that sabor toothed Scottie? If you're booking out 2 weeks or more out maybe it's time to increase your prices by $5-$10.
Sell Relevant Add-ons.
Don't be a piece of crap used car salesman, sell add-ons that people want and fits your business model. Is that German Shepherd molting? Offer a deshed, I'm sure for $30 more your client would like a month without vacuuming 10x a day. Offer nail/color to someone who is all dolled up and wants her pooch to match them or be a topic of conversation. The possibilities are endless.
Make sure you own a business and not just a job. Too often groomers are working 60-80 hours a week making as much as they would have working a 40 hour a week job for another salon. Make sure the money you are making is MORE than your local area's groomers salary. If it's the same or less consider why that is. You pay all your own taxes, have to take on all the risk, make sure you own a business, not a job.
Make sure you are making quality money and you are in a stable position. When you take your average week and multiply it by 50 weeks (assuming 2 weeks off for vacation/sick time) is that how much you made last year? Are there any normal low times? Times you work like a crazy person? I started to take off the week between Christmas and new years so I could let my body recover after Thanksgiving and Christmas. Instead of working in the slow times plan your vacations during those times so you don't lose money during busy times.
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