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    • October 24, 2013 5:48 PM CDT
    • By the hour pricing

      I've had some new, more difficult grooms the last couple months. Two were handstrips, one was a new Wheaton with a horrid previous grooming. It took time to fix it, and he wasn't the best dog to work on either.

       

      I kept track of hands on time on each of them and charged an hourly rate.  The two handstrips were triple digit prices. I had to take a deep breath before giving the price. lol  The first one was done on voicemail, the second with a text. 

       

      I LIKE charging by the hour. It's very fair for all the clients and its fair for ME.

       

      I've decided that is how I am going to quote pricing from now on. I'm doing an hourly rate, with a one hour minimum.  Just about every other service business out there prices based on time. Customers understand time = money.  

       

      Barb

      ____________________________________

      If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.

    • October 24, 2013 6:08 PM CDT
    • By the hour pricing

      I'm trying to be more strict about charging by the hour. I really like it too. I started when I realized I was charging $10 less to groom a golden doodle than a standard poodle, but they both take me the same amount of time. Doh!

    • October 24, 2013 9:20 PM CDT
    • By the hour pricing

      Amen, Barb! I've been doing hourly pricing since I opened. Yes, I'm sorry but if I work on your SP for 2 hours, I AM charging you $150.

       

      i look at some of the pricing on groomers websites and it makes no sense! Breeds that I know take longer are charged the same just because they're the same size! For my most common breeds, I don't watch the clock. I know how long a Maltese, Shoh Tzu. Bichon, yorkie, etc. take me. If I feel the groom is more difficult or taking me longer, I will time the overtime. To strip off matting, I time how long the extra strip takes and add that to the standard groom.

       

      Clients understand hourly pricing and when you tell them Poofie took 15 minutes longer than usual because she hasn't been here in 4 months, they don't balk when I charge them $18.75 more. They get it. Time = money.

       

      I've never understood why groomer swould charge any differently. How do you know if you're charging correctly and making a profit? You have to know what your overhead is, what salary you want to make, how many hours you will work in a day and then charge by how long it takes to groom a dog. Taking a stab in the dark or charging "roughly" what other shops in the area charge makes no business sense. I have never checked my competition. My busimess was set up based on the math it needed to survive. I;ve made no secret about the difficulties in my area. My business has survived because I know down to the penny what it needs to make it.

       

      Barb, when your clients learn that you charge by the hour, you will have a much easier time with add on charges. And if I want to give a client some leeway, I will tell them "Poofie took me 10 mintues longer than usual because of matting but I'm waiving the extra $10.50 this time because he's usually in perfect shape!"To which I get, "OMG, yes, I had to leave him with a friend, thank you."  Or, for a non regular, "poofie is an extra $10.50 this time because he took me longer to get the mats out, his normal rpice would be....". To which I get, "Oh I know, he was way overdue this time."

       

      All professional service trades charge labor by the hour. People get it. What's up with groomers????

      ____________________________________

      "And can it be that in a world so full and busy, the loss of one small creature makes a void in any heart, so wide and deep that nothing but the width and depth of vast eternity can fill it up?"...
      Charles Dickens

    • October 24, 2013 9:39 PM CDT
    • By the hour pricing

      I did it roughly, all along, figuring my average dog takes about an hour and would somewhat price accordingly. I had an average price per breed rather than for time though. The bigger dogs, I wasn't so good on. I will be now. :)

       

      Barb

      ____________________________________

      If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.

    • October 25, 2013 12:25 PM CDT
    • By the hour pricing

      Great thread!  I too am good charging for the smaller dogs but not so good with the bigger ones.  I charge by the breed not the time - I am really going to have to think more of this.   you are right its not very good business sense.  Thanks!   How do you change over especially with the bigger dogs when the price will increase dramatically. I am already in the higher price range for grooming in my town and last year a new guy moved in and he charges $10 less per small dog that I do,  plus because he is not making a certain amount he doesn't have to charge sales tax like I do, which adds another $2.50 per $50.

    • October 27, 2013 12:27 AM CDT
    • By the hour pricing

      I do very few large ones. My regulars have passed or moved, so it won't be much of an issue for me in changing over. I plan it more for new clients really.

       

      I guess it will depend on how badly you want to keep them. There IS the chance they will go somewhere cheaper, but when you think about it, is that really a bad thing?  If you are losing money on them, and you are if you're not charging accordingly, then it may not be bad.

      You also have to consider your other small dog clients. If they found out that they were getting charged twice the amount  for your time as what big dogs clients paid, would they be happy? Could they possibly  be upset enough to go elsewhere?

       

      Someone charging a considerable amount less likely has to do a few more dogs a day to make a decent living. The clients will have to decide if they want a more personalized service, with more one on one time, or if they want a cheaper price where more dogs are done a day.

       

      If you are making a living you are satisfied with, doing the amount of dogs you like, and getting your bills paid and then some, don't worry about what the other guy is doing. :)

       

      Barb

       

       

      ____________________________________

      If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.

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    • October 27, 2013 5:02 PM CDT
    • By the hour pricing

      I usually think about how much time a dog takes, but....

       

      I can do say four small easy dogs at $50 each in the same time as a giant labradoodle. NO ONE here will pay $200 for a dog groom. Period. End of story. Is that fair to me? Not really, when you look at the math. But that's how it falls out here, and I don't try to charge $200. I could and watch those big pricy dogs go elsewhere, but the owners tend to be very good at telling everyone how great their groomer is and how they should all go to their groomer as well. So I gain extra clients from the owners, even though technically I could make more doing small dogs.

       

      Also, real life doesn't pay attention to math all the time. So even though I could do 4 small easy dogs in the same time as the 1 large difficult dog, do I have those 4 small easy dogs waiting to get an appointment? Nope. We're busy, but we're not THAT busy. It's like saying that if you charge $5 for a nail trim, technically you're making $60/hour, so why shouldn't you just do nothing but nail trims all day? Well, because you don't get 96 nail trims in a day every day, that's why(12 trims per hour, 8 hour day).

       

      I do charge enough for large difficult dogs to make me happy to groom them. The owners are usually happy to pay my price(which is slightly higher than surrounding groomers, or lots higher in some cases) and all works out fine.

    • October 28, 2013 6:40 AM CDT
    • By the hour pricing

      Are those 4 easy dogs your average small dog time? I've got some small dogs that take me about 25 minutes start to finish. My average though is about an hour. That's where I am basing my hourly rate. The average small dog takes me about an hour. A large dog that takes 2 hours will be charged twice that small dog price.

      For myself, I don't do a lot of large dogs. It's my preference. This will extend to all breeds and sizes. A cocker that takes an hour and a half will be 1.5 x the hourly rate. 

      Absolutely they will likely be able to go somewhere cheaper. For that matter, my small dogs could get done cheaper elsewhere too. We have a shop here that will do ANY bath dog, ANY size for $25. My guess is that if they are doing a St. Bernard for $25, their groom prices aren't very high.

      I don't price based on other shops. There is always a cheaper (or more expensive) shop somewhere.

       

      Barb

      ____________________________________

      If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.

    • October 28, 2013 7:46 PM CDT
    • By the hour pricing

      how do you 'by the hr' folks charge multi-dog clients?

       i struggled with this today (lg bath/nails + shih tzu mini-groom), both less than an hr.  i resorted to a minimum charge per dog,  which is how i would charge them if they brought the dogs separately.  it seemed too cheap per dog had i only charged the time added together, was a bit more clean up & supplies than a single dog in that time and i'm trying to charge more for large dogs that break my back.  i felt good about the individual prices, and a tad guilty when added together.

    • October 29, 2013 12:14 AM CDT
    • By the hour pricing

      We don't lower our prices. There's always a few people either cheap shops or more commonly here, home-based 'groomers' who think it sounds awfully easy to trim up a poochie and collect money. Those usually last less than 6 months, as they either find it takes training to groom pets well enough to not get screamed at by a client... or turned in to the authorities or HOA for running a business out of their home without any license or permit or well... anything.

       

      And some of our clients will indeed run off to get the dog groomed at the "I'll groom NE pet 4 $15!!!!!" and then come running back for us to fix it. I'm not really sure what it is about this area that leads so many untrained people to think grooming pets for money is a great idea with no training or experience.

       

      But back to pricing... I have quite a few of the 30 minute grooms. I have more that run 45 minutes to 1 hour. That's why I specified 'easy small dogs'. I even have some few that can be finished in less than 30 minutes(small dog, short hair, bath and nails? Great money!). And somehow if I have 2 dogs that take an hour each, or 1 dog that takes 2 hours... the big dog wears me out twice as much! For not as much pay as the two small dogs. Sheesh.

    • October 29, 2013 7:01 AM CDT
    • By the hour pricing

      tuckie said:

      how do you 'by the hr' folks charge multi-dog clients?

       i struggled with this today (lg bath/nails + shih tzu mini-groom), both less than an hr.  i resorted to a minimum charge per dog,  which is how i would charge them if they brought the dogs separately.  it seemed too cheap per dog had i only charged the time added together, was a bit more clean up & supplies than a single dog in that time and i'm trying to charge more for large dogs that break my back.  i felt good about the individual prices, and a tad guilty when added together.

       

      Yes, I believe for most that do by the hour, there is a minimum price. It accounts for clean up, the time involved in making the appointment, checking in, checking out, supplies, etc.

       

      Did you feel guilty that added together it was a large bill for the owner? 

       

      Barb

      ____________________________________

      If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.

    • October 29, 2013 9:31 AM CDT
    • By the hour pricing

      My minimum is $35, that's for anything under a half hour. That would be Chi's, Min Pins and similar. I charge about $75 an hour of hands on time. I bill small dogs like Yorkies and Maltese at between 40-45 minutes, Shihs and similar at 50 minutes and so on. I don't do any haircuts for less than $50.

       

      I used to have a SP that I charged for an hour and 40 minutes of my time, every 4 weeks. She wasn't trhilled with the price but she was trhilled with how her dog looked, "never looked this great" so she held on for almost a year. Then she started calling in every time with an excuse as to why she had to wait another week. I finally told her if she was going to extend the groom to 5 or 6 weeks, I either had to take the dog much shorter or raise the price. She canceled before her next appointment and never came back. Oh well. 3 small dogs by the hour might not make me any more money but they sure are easier to handle.

       

      As far as handling, I do charge more for really big dogs because, even if they take only an hour, they are harder to handle and many outweigh me! I bill those at $100 an hour. Cool

      ____________________________________

      "And can it be that in a world so full and busy, the loss of one small creature makes a void in any heart, so wide and deep that nothing but the width and depth of vast eternity can fill it up?"...
      Charles Dickens

    • October 29, 2013 9:33 AM CDT
    • By the hour pricing

      Forgot to add, I do not do any multi dog discounts. Takes me just as long to groom 2 ST's from the same family as from different families.

      ____________________________________

      "And can it be that in a world so full and busy, the loss of one small creature makes a void in any heart, so wide and deep that nothing but the width and depth of vast eternity can fill it up?"...
      Charles Dickens

    • October 29, 2013 11:58 AM CDT
    • By the hour pricing

      admin said:
      tuckie said:

      how do you 'by the hr' folks charge multi-dog clients?

       i struggled with this today (lg bath/nails + shih tzu mini-groom), both less than an hr.  i resorted to a minimum charge per dog,  which is how i would charge them if they brought the dogs separately.  it seemed too cheap per dog had i only charged the time added together, was a bit more clean up & supplies than a single dog in that time and i'm trying to charge more for large dogs that break my back.  i felt good about the individual prices, and a tad guilty when added together.

       

      Yes, I believe for most that do by the hour, there is a minimum price. It accounts for clean up, the time involved in making the appointment, checking in, checking out, supplies, etc.

       

      Did you feel guilty that added together it was a large bill for the owner? 

       

      Barb

      yes i felt guilty when added together (charged a min for EACH dog) & took all the cash in his wallet including all his singles... but not guilty enuf to lower the price. 

       

      i still feel good about the individual prices, but he knew it only took me 1.25 hrs combined because i'm a "one dog at a timer".  i didn't want to set myself up for pricing complications if he only brought a single dog (or compared to my other clients).  i just cudn't bring myself to charge a straight 1.25 hrs (lower) price.

    • October 29, 2013 12:15 PM CDT
    • By the hour pricing

      Yeah, when I started getting these little 4 to 6 lb chihuahua mixes (that need a full groom), I struggled with charging them the same as a 15 lb shihtzu that takes me almost twice as long, but I decided early on that I would have a minimum price. So far, no one has balked at that price. But I do have one customer that has two of these little chihuahua mixes, so I give her a multi-dog discount of $5. She didn't ask for it, but I just felt like it was highway robbery to charge her the same for her dogs that take me 90 minutes as I do for two dogs that take me 2 1/2 hours. I just do it for karma. Laughing  Otherwise, I don't give multi-dog discounts.

       

      Meanwhile, yes, I lose $15 every time I groom a standard poodle that takes me longer than it does to groom two small dogs. I figure I make it up on the little quickie dogs.  

    • October 30, 2013 1:59 PM CDT
    • By the hour pricing

      I don't do Multi dog discounts either. Why? I'm going to fill that spot with another dog paying full price anyway. I have a minimum of $25 for BBNE dogs, if small, and do not touch a blade to anything for under $45. Hourly pricing is $60 per hour. That kind of covers all here. I find if you think in terms of that pricing, you price accordingly on most any dog. I do charge $5-10 extra for flea dipping because we use Show Seasons - Pro tec. While cat safe, it's still very expensive and I'm not eating that cost. There are enough products on the market, spot on, or otherwise to make sure your pet is pest free, bringing them to me with a full flea infestation isn't something I will do for free anymore. We also only use that now so WE are safe as well. I have one Groomer who is expecting in April and I don't want her exposed to ANYTHING that might hurt her or that baby. Or myself.

      ____________________________________

      Once you can accept the universe as being something expanding into an infinite nothing which is something, wearing stripes with plaid is easy. Albert Einstein

    • October 30, 2013 2:03 PM CDT
    • By the hour pricing

      I think the minimum price per dog was a good pricing. Figured in that minimum is shampoo, products, skill, check in time, check out time, it's more than 'just' the hands on time.

      I long ago quit feeling badly about charging for my work. Grooming is not rocket science. With the exception of the elderly or handicapped, any owner can groom their dog. Will it look as good? No, not at first, but they are just as able to practice and learn and get it to look respectable. They choose to pay someone to do it.

       

      Barb

      ____________________________________

      If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.

    • November 2, 2013 12:46 PM CDT
    • By the hour pricing

      I do a minimum as well. It's a one hour's minimum charge for any haircut, 45 minutes minimum on FFT, 30 minutes minimum charge for any bath only. Now, I WILL say that there are some people I give a multi-dog discount and charge them for just the time I do on their dogs. But these are my favorite clients, on a standing pre-booked for the year appointments, with wonderful easy dogs. Just today I had a lady with 4 pommies. She is on a 4 week schedule and drives 90 minutes for me to groom them. Now normally, a pommie would take me 45 minutes to do straight through, so that would be 3 hours of work if I scheduled these as separate clients, and I would price each dog at the 45 minute rate. But being that she always brings them in at once, I can throw them all in a tub, put 3 in a cage dryer while I finish the first, and then pull them out of the dryer one at a time to finish up. So it only takes me 2 hours to do them all instead of the 3, so I only charge her for 2 hours of work. And I love her, she is an awesome client. I can also book an extra hour long groom that day to get my income from any "loss" in the price I charge her, so I am really not losing anything at all by charging her for the actual time I spend on her dogs, rather than the minimum. My hairstylist has a poodle and a doxie. Normally it would be an hour minimum for the poodle, and 1/2 hour minimum for the doxie. But having her bring them both in, I bathe them together, pop the doxie in a cage dryer while I do the poo and the doxie will be dry by the time I am done with the poo. So rather than the 1/2 hour minimum I just charge her 15 minutes for the doxie. But again, she is my hairstylist, an awesome person, and on an every 4 week pre-booked schedule.

       

      And I NEVER feel bad for charging gobs of money for large dogs. I would have no problem whatsoever charging $200 for a giant labradoodle. If it causes them to go else where, so be it, it's not gonna hurt my feelings none! Because if I can make that $200 up in small dogs instead, what's the problem? ;-)

    • November 2, 2013 1:01 PM CDT
    • By the hour pricing

      i have my own shop/wk by myself...sure have appreciated all the info you experts share.  when i started building my shop i read EVERY SINGLE POST from ALL the past years.  i really do owe my happy little grooming life to you....a long over due THANK YOU!  deb

    • November 3, 2013 8:23 AM CST
    • By the hour pricing

      I love hearing those stories Deb!

      Thank you and thank you for being part of the GL.

       

       

      Barb

      ____________________________________

      If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.

    • February 14, 2017 1:50 PM CST
    • By the hour pricing

      Can you help me with a sign to notify of the price change? I have no way of how to tell clients that we are having a chang to hourly pricing after 13 years but know it is necessary......I have been racking my brain!!

    • February 14, 2017 1:57 PM CST
    • By the hour pricing

      Will it be a significant increase?  If not, it may not need to be something you tell them really.  I base my prices on an hourly rate or really by how many small dogs I can do in the time it took me to do that dog. I do not keep a time clock running except for on extensive grooms like a hand strip or a heavy undercoat removal. 

       

      If they are not going to see much difference, you really won't need to explain the why's and how's of their new pricing. It could be something as simple as "In order to continue to provide you with the excellent service and products you deserve, there will be a price increase effective March 1, 2017."

      Then if most of your clients are prebooked appointments, you can just note the new price on their next appointment card.  If you want to do it individually, you can customize the above notice for each client.

       

      Barb

      ____________________________________

      If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.

    • February 14, 2017 2:45 PM CST
    • By the hour pricing

      I try really hard not to explain or say too much. It leaves it open to discussion and there shouldn't be one.  I usually avoid any kind of discussion when I can. I post signs about three months ahead of the date to try and catch everyone.  I have one on the door and one on the counter. Then on their appointment card for their first grooming after the effective date, I make a note of the new price.  I figure they will see it when they look for their next date.

      I find if I talk too much about it, I end up defending it. It's not something that should be defended, it's part of doing business. :)

       

      Barb

      ____________________________________

      If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.

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