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Take Time Off From Your Grooming Business Without Feeling Guilty

Jul 19, 2022

When was the last time you took a day off? Was there a financial benefit to you taking time off? How much is it going to cost you to take a vacation? I’m not talking about how much money you need to spend to go away. Let’s pretend you’re going to do a staycation for some easy math.

Let’s take a look at your overhead expenses, all of your business expenses.

Don’t include payroll for now. For example, let’s say it’s $2,000. We’re going to multiply that by 12 months, which is $24,000. We’re going to take that $24,000 and divide it by 52 weeks, which is $462. It would cost the business owner $462 a week whether they’re open or closed.

Let’s dive into the salary expenses now.

We’ll assume that your salary in your grooming business is $50,000 a year. We’re going to take that $50,000 and divide it by 52 weeks, which is $962. 

Let’s look at the combined overhead and owner’s salary expenses. 

We’re going to put it all together - that $462 a week in overhead expenses and that $962 a week in salary expenses. That is $1,424 a week in order to take time off. Now this is really low overhead, but that’s still a lot of money!

So when you’re taking time off, it can get really expensive. Not only are you taking time off, but you’re losing the money that you would normally make grooming, you still have all those operating expenses, and you can’t not pay yourself. 

We have to understand that there is an ROI to taking time off. Your body is an organic machine. Just like a clipper blade, we have to maintain ourselves monthly. The majority of us are not doing this. Ironically, we expect clients to get their pets groomed every 4 weeks but we don’t take our own advice. 

Think of it this way… We all know that if we don’t get a Doodle groomed every 4 weeks, at the very least, it’s going to get matted, and then it’s going to have to get a shave down. We know that if you don’t brush your dog and you don’t come in regularly, the dog is going to be matted and get a shave down. 

Look at how much you’re investing into your own maintenance. When was the last time you… Got a massage? Went to a chiropractor? Did things that your body needs to be maintained in a healthy way? You should ideally be going to the massage therapist and chiropractor at least once a month where they’ll work out your kinks and get you aligned. When you don’t maintain your body, your organic machine starts to break down. When you do not take care of your body you're going to physically feel it and that’s also going to affect your mental health as well. You  have to take care of yourself. Remember, the same things we ask our clients to do, we have to do for ourselves. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. 

So what happens? Let’s start thinking about this. Your body is the only thing that you take with you your entire life. As of right now, we can’t just buy a new body. 

What is the ROI if you take 2 weeks off a year? Keep in mind that 5 years is the average that people are in our industry. That’s not a lot of time.

Why does this happen? That’s because people are burnt out, they’re physically exhausted, they’ve been working 6 or 7 days a week, they’ve been grooming ten dogs a day when they’re really a 6 dog a day person but they’re just pushing through it. How much would it cost you to stop grooming at 5 years instead of 10 years? Again, that’s $50,000 a year. We’re going to multiply that by 5 years and that’s $250,000.

For your grooming career, every time you don’t take 2 weeks off a year, how many years are you taking off of your grooming career? The ROI is those healthy groomers you see that have been grooming 20-30 years and it’s because they regularly took time off. 

A lot of groomers are learning ergonomics at seminars, but we’re not always practicing them. As a word of advice, I will say that those seminars are so underrated - learning how to use scissors properly, using your body properly, etc. If you never take time off, at least take those seminars to learn how to hold shears, how to take care of your body, etc. so that you can groom more. Remember if you don’t take time off, eventually you're going to have to take time off of your grooming career. 

Let me give you 2 great personal examples.

I had a Yorkie who bit my left hand, which is my less dominant hand which I still use often. As groomers I’m sure you can agree that we still need our less dominant hand for things like stretching skin, holding things, etc. I actually have permanent nerve damage because I let it get infected. The dog had really bad teeth and bit me right in the palm of my hand and I didn’t do the care that I needed. I put it off because I was so busy. There are so many things that I didn’t take time off for. It’s a lesson learned. It’s going to lessen how long I’m able to do certain things with this hand. Just working through injuries and pain isn’t healthy or normal. It’s not what we should be teaching people to do. 

Another example is my shoulder muscles. My shoulder muscles were so messed up I couldn’t lift my hands above my head. That’s how much my muscle was overdrawn. The muscle had raised about halfway above my neck and then would just drop off. It was so inflamed. I was doing the best that I could with what I knew what to do, but part of the reason this happened is because I had poor body mechanics. I wasn’t exercising, I wasn’t stretching, I didn’t make my health a priority. I had to get a personal trainer to help strengthen the right muscles and fix those problems. I also had to get a massage once a week for about 6 months.

I know it sounds silly but you do need to take time off when you’re sick. You do need to take time off when you’re emotionally burnt out. This includes if you have a loved one who passes. Take the day off if this happens. Grooming should not be the reason that we miss a funeral.

As much as I love how hardworking we all are, I don’t want it to be the reason that we are getting beat up and burning out. 

So where can you start? I want you to start considering what is a good ROI. What is something that you can do to get some investment back? That may be taking some time off, relaxing, etc. It’s all about figuring out what it is that you need to do. If you want to know the real trick about taking time off from your grooming business without feeling guilty, it's knowing that you have to take care of yourself. It’s up to you to put you first. I believe in us all. Know that you are worth it. Know that you are doing the best thing possible.

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