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Ways to Build Your Grooming Business in the New Year

Are you ready to take your grooming business to the next level? In this Resource Roundup, we’ll show you how to map your plan, improve your workflow, create productive space and expand your team! Cheers to a prosperous New Year!


More Resources from Team Paragon:


Resources from Our Partners:

Check out this Blog from our partners at Gingr, home to great groomer software – How to Manage Pets + People at Your Dog Grooming Business

How to Use Notes From the Grooming Table

The “Bible” for Great Groomers

Do you own “Notes from the Grooming Table – 2nd Edition”? This book will help you build your grooming career, boost your communication levels with your peers and clients, while expanding your career growth! You can purchase a copy HERE or at any one of our partner book sellers.

How Groomers Can Help Maintain Pet Dental Health

While February is the “official” month of Pet Dental Awareness, keeping canine (and feline) teeth clean and breath fresh is a year-round proposition. That’s because poor oral hygiene can cause a number of issues for dogs and cats — and they can’t tell us when it hurts. Approximately 84 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats in the U.S. will develop some form of periodontal disease by the time they’re three years old, experts say.

The trouble begins with gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums caused by a buildup of plaque. If it is not removed, tartar begins to form, and over time, advances under the gum line, resulting in periodontal disease. Periodontal disease doesn’t just affect the pet’s mouth, it can also affect the heart and other organs of the body, and possibly shorten the pet’s life expectancy.

Dog Groomers First Line of Defense Against Dental Disease

Groomers can be the first line of defense to help pet parents stay ahead of pet dental discomfort and disease:

• When grooming, look for signs of red swollen gums and tartar accumulation and point these out to pet owners. Report any sensitivity or signs of mouth pain in the pet.

• Encourage the pet parent to seek veterinary assistance for a deep cleaning in obvious cases.  Educate pet parents about the risks of deferred treatment, which can include abscess, infection, bone loss and heart disease (endocarditis).

• Use the “sniff test” as a quick way to identify bad breath in the pet. If a dog or cat’s breath smells really bad, he or she may have an oral infection that requires inspection or treatment by a veterinarian. But if the pet simply smells ‘fishy’ from food, you can freshen their breath to a more kissable standard and win the loyalty of pet parents in the process.

• Offer a brushless cleaning service, dental care products, and dental chews as add-ons in your pet business to give clients convenient access to oral care products.

TropiClean Fresh Breath Program for Pet Business

Our friends at TropiClean have developed a program for groomers to use — and resell — their Fresh Breath treatment line. It’s a great way to help educate clients about pet dental health care and encourage daily maintenance. It’s also a good way to generate additional business revenue. Benefits of the Fresh Breath program include:

  • Easy, 2-step process
  • Oral gel reduces plaque and tartar
  • Foam fights bacteria and freshens breath
  • Get 20% Off Groomer Program bundles of the Fresh Breath Line – just tell them Paragon sent you! Learn More at TropiClean’s Groomer Center.

TropiClean has also just rolled out its “Enticers” line of flavored dental chews and gel products with a 10% case discount for Paragon people. Learn more here: TropiClean Enticers.

Click on the image to download Fresh Breath program posters for use in your pet facility:




Too Busy? What Now?

What do you do in a service-based industry like pet grooming when you’re too busy and booking way out? You have two choices: trim your clientele or expand your team. Melissa Verplank shares her secrets for balancing your workload. In this video, she’ll help you weigh the pros and cons of growth. How do you find a great groomer to grow your business? What are the pitfalls of trimming your clientele?

Want to read more about hiring professional groomers? Check out the Melissa Verplank library using this search.

Want to train a promising apprentice? Check out Paragon’s Distance Learning Program, where you can sponsor an employee to get the best pet grooming education available in the industry: Distance Learning


Melissa: Hi guys, Melissa here. Today, I want to talk to you about what is one of the hardest things about running a business. Honestly, the hardest thing about running a business isn’t about grooming the dogs, it isn’t about dealing with customers. The hardest thing about running a business once you start to grow, and that is finding staff. Absolutely, hands down, the hardest part. Not only finding staff, but dealing with staff.

Melissa: If you are finding yourself on that cusp of you’re really, really busy, and you’re questioning, what do you want to do, do you want to grow, do you want to hire help, so that you can service more clientele, or do you just want to scale it back a little bit and just keep it being a one man show? Sometimes, the one man show is a little bit easier to deal with. Only you, only you, know what’s right. What’s right in your heart and what you want to deal with. My advice to you is, if you find yourself just way overbooked, booking clients out so far in advance, that you just can’t get all your customers in, and you’re just basically running out of bandwidth for your own personal self and your family, then it’s time to either scale it back or to hire.

Melissa: If you need it scale it back and you want to do it without having to hire somebody, then one of the easiest ways to reduce your clients is simply by raising your price. That naturally will thin out the number of appointments that you’re going to have. Now, sometimes it won’t fix everything, and there is no way to really thin out your appointment book. It’s always going to be painful, because you’re going to have to use that word no. No is hard. If we’re in the service-based business, if we’re dealing with customers, we want to be that yes person. We want to do it all. We want to handle all the appointments.

Melissa: You get around and you’ve got some experience under your belt, and you know that you just can’t sacrifice yourself for your customers, using the no word is a whole lot easier. Honestly, one of the easiest ways to thin out your appointment book is simply by raising the prices. When you raise your prices, it does a couple things. Melissa: Number one, it gets rid of the lowest clients, not always the lowest, but it gets rid of clients that you just get frustrated to service because maybe the value isn’t there. It also really tells you who truly appreciates what you do for them.

Melissa: When you raise your prices, when you get through the challenging part, what’s left are clients that really appreciate what you do. Those are the best kinds of clients to have.

Melissa: Think about that. If you do want to grow your business through staff, know that finding staff, maintaining staff, and keeping staff happy, and working as a well-oiled machine, there is a lot more to it than just saying, I need help, and bringing somebody in, because at some point, you are going to pour so much of yourself into that team member, because most of the time, when you’re growing your business, you don’t have the systems in place that training them and getting them to understand what you do, and when somebody comes into your business, it’s your business. It’s your reputation that’s on the line.

Melissa: That team member has to be trained up to provide the services that you have built your reputation on. So many staff members just don’t really seem to realize that, it’s your name, that is on the bottom of their check. You are the one who’s calling the shots. In order to have a staff member working with you, or multiple staff members, you’ve got to be the leader, because if you’re not the leader, one of those other team members will be the leader. More than likely, that is not a good situation. That’s where you start running into a lot of issues with morale, with authority.

Melissa: You’ve got to be fair, but very, very firm. You just have to really think deep and hard, whether, not only do you want to deal with the growth of your business, but do you want to handle what comes along with adding staff. Not only do you have the, just emotional part of training that staff member and putting systems into place, and making rules and holding people accountable, but then you’ve also got a lot of the legal kind of stuff that you’ve got to deal with. The taxes, and the workman’s comp, and insurance, and all of those things.

Melissa: Now, a lot of that stuff can be delegated. Don’t let that weigh too heavily on you. You do have to deal with it. Just, before you grow your business, think hard, what you want to do. Do you just want to keep it simple, and do you just want to be that one man show, and just do what you love to do, and focus on the dogs that you are enjoying doing? Or, do you want to grow? Do you want to scale your business?

Melissa: There’s good and bad with both. The only person that is going to be able to answer that question is you. You are the owner of the business. You are the one that gets to make that decision. Think about the opportunities that you have, think about the downfalls that come. There’s always pros and cons with everything that you do. Weigh them out and do what’s right for you.

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