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Effective Versus Efficient

Melissa Verplank explains the difference between being effective and being efficient. Make sure your team is effective by considering her tips and examining your existing strategies!

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Melissa Verplank: Hi guys, Melissa, and this weekend I read something that really hit a chord with me and it’s something that I’ve always thought about and I think I always practice and I hopefully I pass it on to all of you guys as well. But to actually see it in print, it just really reminded me of the importance of these two very similar but different words. And what I read in a book was the author was saying that we should be effective versus being efficient. And I went, boy does that strike a chord? Because I’m always saying be efficient, be efficient, create routines. But there’s a little subtle difference between the word effective and efficient.

And so I want you to think about how can you be more effective, not only being efficient because being efficient just means yes, you’re doing something quickly, but are you doing it effectively? Are you doing it the easiest way you possibly can while getting the best results? And so a couple of the things that I really thought about was, are you pre-clipping a dog when it really doesn’t need to be pre-clipped? For me, I would always make sure that anything that came in every six weeks or less, it went directly to the tub. There was no passing go. I didn’t even do basics. I didn’t do sanitary, I didn’t do nails, I don’t do ears. I do everything afterwards. I get that dog clean first. So six weeks or less, it goes directly into the bathtub, gets bath, gets dried and then I do all the work at one time. So that is a difference between being effective versus being efficient.

Another one would be, are you pre-brushing a dog? I always say if water can penetrate the coat, get it into the tub before you start brushing. Who wants to brush a dirty, grimy, nasty dog? On top of which that oil in that dirt and the debris that’s in the coat holds those maps together. So if you can get that dog clean before you put a brush on it, it’s going to go so much easier. It’s going to be easier on you, it’s going to be easier on the dog. And if you are really being effective, you are actually taking that dog, sedating it up in the tub, if it’s really a tangled mess and maybe you’re pulling in the high velocity dryer into the bathing area and literally blowing the shampoo out of the coat just like if you’ve got a ring on that’s too tight, how do you get that ring off? You soap it up, right? Well, same thing as going to work with a dog’s coat.

So my general rule of thumb is, if the water will penetrate the coat and get through those mats, those tangles, that crud that’s there, get him in the tub first, let the water, let the shampoo, let the conditioner, and let your high velocity dryer do the bulk of the work for you. Again, the difference between being efficient versus being effective. If you are effective, you’re getting it done in the least amount of time possible while yielding the best result.

Another one is are you pre-wetting a dog? With all of the shampoo systems that are out there, a lot of folks don’t pre-wet any more. You just go ahead and start working the shampoo and the water together. But even if you’re doing it more the old-fashioned way by hand, most of the time we are pre-mixing our shampoo in water. So maybe you do out your dilution ratio a little higher and all of a sudden you can wet the dog down and apply the shampoo at the same time. It doesn’t make a lot of difference in the time as it takes to wet a dog down, but it’s still seconds and minutes add up to hours.

So think about how you can be effective versus just efficient. Efficient means you’re working quickly, you’re hustling, you’re gunning, you are so busy. But if you can be more effective, not only will you be busy, but you’re going to be able to get something done more rapidly in a shorter amount of time. It’s going to be easier for you, it’s going to be easier for the pet and bottom line, everybody’s going to be happy in the long run. So give it a go. Think about the difference between those two words. Are you effective or are you just being efficient?

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