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3 Tips That Made a Difference in My Own Pet Business

3-5 minute read

Are you running a business and it feels like your business is actually
running you? 

Hi, I’m River Lee of the Savvy Groomer, a business coach for the busy
pet professional and all I need is 3-5 minutes of your time to show you 3
tips that made a difference in my own pet business.

Tip 1- Basket It!
I know it seems weird but I’m telling you, organizing your loose items
into containers or baskets will make a huge difference. Consider what
your desk or shop currently looks like, having things put away will melt
away stress. The saying “a place for everything and everything in its
place” has a lot of merits. I personally have a place to place my keys
when I get home, otherwise, I will spend a few hours a day looking for
my keys. What do you often lose? What could you put away in a
basket that would allow you to find it quickly?

Tip 2- Prime Your Day By Setting Expectations
You don’t have to be a morning person to prime your day for success. I

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Ask Yourself 3 Questions Before Hiring an Assistant

Ask Yourself These 3 Questions Before Hiring an Assistant

Hiring an assistant can be a great way to expand your business and your services. While she’s taking care of the administrative portion of your business, you can focus on your clients and the money-making tasks. However, don’t jump into the interview process without first asking yourself these five questions:

1. What kind of person do I want to hire?

Do you want someone who is just starting out so you can train them in the way you like things done or do you want someone with experience who can just run with a job until it’s complete? Do you want someone who will work only for you or are you willing to hire someone who has multiple jobs?

2. Can you afford an assistant?

If you’re overburdened with your own work and business isn’t moving forward, hiring an assistant is a smart move. Look at your books and realistically determine a budget for this assistant and stick to it. Keep in mind, the more...

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Bite Gloves for Procrastination


Procrastination is a dirty word when you’re a groomer, especially if you're a business owner. If you procrastinate over doing tasks, then no one is left to complete them, which leads to a feeling of overwhelm, which leads to you questioning why you started your business in the first place. Sound familiar?

Business owners who also groom in their businesses have the added pressures of completing their clients in a timely manner and then all the day-to-day background work. A business takes SO much time after the dogs are done to run smoothly.  Often in my case, procrastination is a synonym for laundry build up, paperwork over flow, growing list of clients to call back and stress at home.  I'm literally one person and I can't do it all.

Put on your bite gloves to wrestle with your procrastination habits and find your motivation.  I'd love to see your business implement these simple strategies. Just because they’re simple doesn’t mean...

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Customer Service Tips, even when Fluffy is a Psycho

Have you analyzed your customer service practices recently? It’s not enough these days to just be an outstanding groomer; if someone is unhappy with their groom, or can’t reach you with a question or for an appointment...  They will be quick to bash you on social media or online review sites. Often these bad reviews are what people notice over the good reviews.

If you want to develop a reputation for being the “Danelle German”, or "Sue Zecco" of customer service, here are three tips that will ramp up your reputation:

1. Be Responsive

Frustration will set in quickly for customers who can’t get a quick answer to their questions or new appointment times. Have a process in place for answering emails or phone calls quickly and how to handle weekend inquiries. If you are grooming alone or have crazy days, have specific office hours, make them public on your website, have them listed in your email signature, and certainly mention those hours on...

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3 Tips for Gaining More Time in your Day



No matter if you are a salon or mobile grooming business owner, have employees or groom solo you often bemoan the fact that your to-do lists are miles long...  You wish you had more time in the day to get all your tasks done.  Now let's add in the number of clients vying for your attention, the long days of backbreaking groomings and the stress can become overbearing. Even though we all have only 24 hours in each day, here are some strategies for working more efficiently so it feels like we’re gaining extra time.

1. Use the Time Blocking Method on Your Calendar

For those of you grooming one a pet at a time (like I do in my mobile unit) already get the concept.  Time blocking simply means assigning a block of time to one particular client, project, or task. For instance, if you have to voicemail full of return calls, block that time off on your calendar and focus on those calls. If you need time to update your website or schedule out your month of...

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To be Unclear is to be Unkind: Employers

If you haven't already please read
To be Unclear is to Unkind

Employers, figure out EXACTLY what you and do not expect of your employee. Take that time, makes it clear in your mind what those expectations are, and if they’re reasonable. Would your “ideal employee” be your bather with those expectations? Would they learn to groom and still want to stay at your shop, or move to greener pastures? When hiring a groomer what are you offering?  Would you as a groomer consider the hours and money worth it? What is flexible and what is concrete?

Assuming you have read through employees and written a list of your own "ideal employee" traits, what's next?

Create an employee handbook to make sure your employees know your policies and can easily reference them

  • Dress code, what is and isn’t allowed?
    • Piercings?
    • Tattoos?
    • Hair color?
  • How should they speak to customers, are there words you’d prefer them to use and words you’d rather they...
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To be Unclear is to be Unkind: Employees

If you haven't already please read
To be Unclear is to Unkind

Not an employee?  Read

Consider sitting down with a cup of coffee and write down what you expect of your ideal position. Think about your “ideal boss” and what they would offer you. Write what you NEED and what you WANT.  As your best self what would you have to offer your future "ideal boss"?  Why would you be the BEST employee ever and be a true asset to their business?


  • Do you have a written job description laying out your duties?
  • Do you understand why you are a w-2 employee, or why your employer has you as an Independent Contractor? 
    • Is their classification of you legal and correct?
  • Has your employer spelled out exactly how you are paid, commission, hourly, bonuses?
    • Tips, split tips, no tips?
  • Paid sick time, paid maternity leave, paid vacation?
    • Is this something that will change after a set amount of time (90 days, 1 year, etc) or is it not something...
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To be Unclear is to be Unkind

If you are an employee, employer, co-worker or client the importance of knowing what you want and communicating clearly is priceless. How many times do you want to rip your hair out when a client says "short but not shaved", or "I want his hair 'this short' but I don't want a haircut". A lack of communication creates disasters in business and in professional relationships. Did you set realistic expectations of you, the client, your boss, your employee? Or did you hope they were going to read between the lines.

Every business is run differently and the needs of the staff are different than others.  Often it is easier to take the easy way out and share half-formed ideas with each other, trying to jam it into our business. 


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