Monday, September 3, 2012

She's Got the Lease, but does she have a plan?

Cool Dog Grooming Studio FB page

Cool Dog Grooming Studio Web Page

Looks like I've made it! But, have I? Yes, finally the landlord met with me regarding the building on Highway 90W, 1909 in Baker. He handed me the keys and told me to put the electric, phone and water in my name  Tuesday  Sept 4th.  He thought long and hard about the rental fee, so kept it low in expectations that I could go forth and prosper. I'm on cloud nine. But what, my boss takes no notice, advised I leave today?  Yes mam, that is how it is. No groom shop wants you around if you are leaving to prosper on your own. I understand, but do I have a plan?  Did you know 50% of small business fail within the first 2 years? Yes, scary isn't it! So, as I worked for the past 7 months, I listened, watched, learned from as many sources as I could. From friends, family, DVD's, books, groomers, and by daily experience. I took that small paycheck, and every week, I would build my inventory. In seven months, I didn't make a lot of money, but what I did make, I invested in my future. Spending thousands of dollars on the items I would need if I ever found that lease!

One of my friends on FB in a grooming group asked me, do you have a plan? Do you know the  items you will need to set up shop and have a possibility of not failing? 

I sent a reply back -

Thanks : yes I am taking a pretty large risk. I wanted a bank account, but w/my boss hiring a second groomer, my checks have been about 200 a week, so no money to save. Here is the up side. I own 2 grooming tables, a HV dryer. 2 Gal of Shampoo plus several 16 oz bottles, 5 doz towels, Two banners, can paint my sign. One clipper Vac, 9 cages, cleaning supplies, mop bucket, shop vac. Web Page and at least 10 links/ directory listings, FB page with over 90 people rooting for me. 2 clippers, 3 of every blade, 8 scissors, brushes, combs, several leads,3 nail clippers, polish, cologne, 3 dremels, several grooming loops, 2 tubs. Bows, Bandanas, Mirrors. Art for walls, Spa music, clock, decor'. Rubber mats, Four reception chairs, desk, lap top. A partridge and a pear tree! (just teasing) I've read several books. Have a business plan. marketing plan, Logo- Tshirts, business license, LLC. Have run a successful pet portrait business for over 3 years, hence the name Cool Dog Grooming Studio. I will paint portraits for extra income as my grooming business grows. And a kick ass husband that will help me paint the building and do maintenance and bathe on Saturday. This is only 6 miles from my home, high traffic count, close to huge housing developments, and no competition on this end of town. Plan for press release, continued marketing, Direct Mail marketing, meet and greet w/other business owners and Vets, join the chamber, have a grand opening. Open early, stay late, I won't just groom a dog or two and go home. I will sit all day, every day w/a walk ins welcome sign as thousands of cars pass by. Promote events in the paper on a quarterly basis, help rescues by giving back w/grooms Advertisement agency to do a video production. The building is a former hairdresser shop , so plumbing is there.

The business plan: 
Add phone line, get wireless headset, add internet service
Check with zoning regarding signs
Keep current grooming position on Hamilton Bridge road while updating space for
pet grooming business.  Installation of tub, cages, grooming room and drying room with
existing partitions. All work performed by my husband and myself. Once the grooming area is suitable for  grooming, give one week notice and increase advertisements. Use local paper, Internet, Veterinarian , and meet and greet to local business owners.  Join local Chamber, have ribbon cutting. Write press release. ( so the employment plan didn't work )

Existing inventory – All grooming supplies – tables, dryers, a few cages,  tubs, PC and some retail. Approximate value $5,000.00 Art, bandanas, bows – Goal – cage free grooming, (use of hitching posts and play corral)  Appointments five or  six days a week  7 am to 5 pm – Open on Monday to capture clients other groom shops don’t due to being closed on Monday 

Market on Facebook, make web page. Hand out brochures to local businesses.
 Increase revenue with bath and go program.
Proven success marketing on Facebook for Pet Portrait business.

 Long term Projection of grooms and baths per day will be ten at an average charge of 38.00.
38.00 x10 = $380.00 per day – Gross revenue per month 7,600.00 - Goal projection -

Experience – over 20 years as a business office manager, handing – Payroll, billing, staffing, collections.  Degree in Business Management. Self employed in the Pet Industry
Since 2009

I will perform all services until I have a cash reserve of six months expense, then I will
hire a bather part time at 50.00 per day. All revenue will be put back into the business, drawing a minimal income for the first six months, to make sure all expenses are paid for, and there is a cash reserve for the slower months. When business is booked one month out and I can not keep up with demand, I will seek a second groomer, and pay 50% commission, and take out taxes, pay unemployment compensation.

During slower times, market heavy, work on sales of pet portraits, and sewing of custom
dog accessories.

So, yes, I have a plan, I have probably more grooming equipment than many groomers who have been in the business for much longer than I have. I graduated from grooming school last October, one year later I'm set to GO!

Live your dream, follow your passion, be humble and grateful for the things you have, and never become complacent and you will be sure to succeed!

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