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eGroomer Journal January / March 2014

April / June 2019 Vol. 9, Ed. 2 PetGroomer.com Publications

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M A G A Z I N E

Employed Groomers Survey

39

60 Year Shortage of Groomers Exclusive Grooming Business in a Box® Survey

11

The “Cool Factor”

15

Kill the Interview to Land Your Dream Job

23

How to Choose a Sharpening Service

31

Heel! - Groomfit

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INDUSTRY CALENDAR

APRIL 2019

April / June 2019 PetGroomer.com Publications

AUGUST 2019

April 11 to 14, 2019 Intergroom Seacaucus, NJ www.intergroom.com

August 8 to 11, 2019 All American Grooming Show Schaumburg, IL www.barkleigh.com

April 29 to May 2, 2019 Pet Boarding & Daycare Expo West Burbank, CA www.barkleigh.com

August 20 to 22, 2019 SuperZoo Las Vegas, NV www.superzoo.org

JUNE 2019 June 1 to 2, 2019 World Dog Expo New York City www.barkleigh.com June 20 to 23, 2019 Pet Quest Wilmington, OH www.barkleigh.com

JULY 2019 July 12 to 14, 2019 KenchiiCon 2019 Braselton, GA www.kenchiigrooming.com

SEPTEMBER 2019 September 12 to 15, 2019 Groom Expo Hershey, PA www.barkleigh.com

OCTOBER 2019 October 10 to 13, 2019 New England Grooming Show Sturbridge, MA www.newenglandgrooms.com October 25 to 27, 2019 34th Annual NDGAA Fun in the Sun Orlando, FL www.ndgaa.com

NOVEMBER 2019 July 19 to 21, 2019 Groom Texas Houston, TX www.txgroom.com

November 11 to 14, 2019 Pet Boarding & Daycare Expo Hershey, PA www.barkleigh.com

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The “Cool Factor” Selling “cool” can garner a cult following, repeat business, and free social media advertising from your clientele, if all the stars are perfectly aligned. So how does a business go about creating the “cool” factor?

There isn’t one tried and true formula to create the “cool factor” for your business (too bad right?) However, there are some best practices to get your business into the “cool” zone.

Businesses that are genuinely “cool” don’t have to try and those that try to be “cool” generally aren't. So what defines “cool?” Although there are many examples in the retail marketplace, here are a few that make the cut and a few that don’t. Adidas vs Skechers, Vans vs Journeys, Milkbar vs 31 Flavors, Target vs Walmart, Instagram vs Facebook and so on. All these businesses offer similar products in the same market space but are viewed very differently. What can we do to make our businesses “cooler” than the one down the street? eGroomer Journal

According to a study from the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, there are four characteristics of a cool product which is often also applied to businesses: •

It's fresh and new

It's fun

• It provides meaning (i.e., makes you feel happy or fulfilled) • It is recommended and used by a shared community (i.e., "people like us") After polling several clients, friends,

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and family on what they thought was cool, there were definite similarities with the aforementioned study from MIT. There were a couple of additional add-ons that I found very telling.

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April / June 2019

feel that they are not just another “number” and they matter to your business. What’s the last and most important descriptor in creating a “cool” factor for your store or product? (Continued on page 13)

Customer service was very important in creating a “cool” vibe. More importantly the customer wants to feel “inclusive” in this cool venture, product, or store. No matter how many tattoos, piercings, hair colors, clients don’t want to feel they’re being watched for being themselves and also want to feel that they matter to this business. Offering top notch customer service and making them feel special goes a long way. Years ago when I was in Women’s corporate retail fashion, I would keep a notebook with the clients information and history we had discussed when they were in last. This allowed me to reconnect with them quickly the next time they were in the store. My returning clients immediately felt comfortable and at ease with me and it was much easier selling them a $2,500 spring wardrobe because they knew I was familiar with them and had their best interest in mind.

Leel Michelle is the owner and designer behind the award-winning pet groomer apparel brand, Retro Stylist Wear and the grooming salon and boutique; Bow Wow Beauty Shoppe. She is a San Diego native that has also called Los Angeles, New York and Italy home. Formal education in fine art, art history, and fashion design led this animal loving entrepreneur to bring all her passion, talents and knowledge together to create a memorable and beloved retro business for pets and their owners.

When checking out your clients at the register, remember to revisit a topic that was important to them. Example; “How was your wedding?,” “Did you get that job you were excited about?,” “Did Bella © 2013 Find A Groomer Inc. All rights reserved like12her new food?” ThisCopyright makes a client PetGroomer.com Magazine www.petgroomermagazine.com Subscribe Free

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Passion! Yup, that’s what I said, passion! People are naturally attracted to passion! Think about it. When you hear someone speaking passionately about a subject matter (even if you don’t care about it) it’s very intriguing. You are more likely to perk up and pay attention if someone is very excited about a certain product or business. On the other hand, if you walk into a business and everyone in the store looks like they’d rather be somewhere else, this can be a major turn off! Don’t be shy to share your passion about your business with your clients!

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I can’t tell you how many clients tell me how much they enjoy seeing the growth of my business through the past 12+ years. This would not be possible without the passion I have for it. Now it’s your turn. Share your passion with your clients and you’ll be well on your way to creating a “cool” factor for you, your staff, and most importantly the people who fund your business, your clients! Until next time… Happy Retailing! XOXO, Leel Michelle ►

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Kill the Interview to Land Your Dream Job Angela Clark, American Grooming Academy Research Your Employer, Hiring Man-

background of the person (or people) in-

ager and Job Opportunity

terviewing you. The more knowledge

Landing your dream job starts with a solid foundation of knowledge on your part. Start by researching the employer,

you gain the better you’ll be able to determine if this business and position is a good fit for you.

the requirements of the job and the eGroomer Journal www.egroomer.com Subscribe Free PetGroomer.com Magazine www.petgroomermagazine.com Subscribe Free

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April / June 2019

Prepare to answer interview questions

Business casual is recommended for

as well as asking your own insightful

grooming interviews. Bring a smock in

questions based on what you learn.

case they request a groom on the spot.

Where can you find information?

Wear clothing that fits and is clean and

❏ Scan the organization’s website including business reviews. ❏ Stop into the business for a firsthand view of daily operations. ❏ Ask your own network of contacts what they know about the business.

pressed. Keep accessories and jewelry to a minimum. Try not to smoke or eat right before the interview and if possible, take a breath mint on arrival. Arrive on Time, Relaxed and Prepared for the Interview Timeliness is everything when it comes

Your Responses to Common Interview

to grooming. There is no excuse for ar-

Questions

riving late to an interview. Arrive 15 min-

Your responses should reflect your indi-

utes before your scheduled interview

vidual goals and clarify what is impor-

time to allow yourself time to get set-

tant to you. Start with these steps.

tled. Arriving a bit early is also a chance

When scheduling the interview ask the hiring manager what type of interview

to observe the dynamics of the workplace. The day before the interview, prepare

to expect. Will it be with one person, or will you meet several members of the organiza-

and pack extra copies of your resume and list of references.

tion? Knowing this will help you to com-

Bring your portfolio and samples of your

pose responses that focus on examples

work. Pack pens and a pad of paper for

and accomplishments specific to you.

job notes. Finally, as you arrive to the business, shut off your cell phone. If you

Dress Appropriately

are chewing gum, dispose of it.

Plan a wardrobe for the interview that (Continued on page 19)

fits the organization and its culture. 16

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Make Good First Impressions Be polite and offer warm greetings to everyone you meet, from the customers

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when greeting your interviewer, stand, smile, make eye contact and offer a firm but gentle handshake.

in the lobby, to the receptionist, to the

Your positive attitude and enthusiasm

hiring manager. Employers notice how

for the job will get the initial stages of

job applicants treat staff members and

the interview off on the right foot. Most

will be alerted by any rudeness or arro-

hiring managers make critical decisions

gance.

about job applicants in the first 20 min-

When it’s time for the interview, keep in

utes of the interview.

mind that the impression interviewers

Be Authentic, Truthful, Confident and Ar-

get in the first few seconds can make or

ticulate

break it. To deliver your best first impression dress well, arrive early and

Once the interview starts, the quality

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and delivery of your responses make the impression. Your goal is authenticity, by responding truthfully to interview questions. To get to the next step, provide focused responses that showcase your skills, experience and fit with the job.

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Ask Insightful Prepared Questions During the interview you should also be making your own assessments. Even if the hiring manager was thorough in his or her discussions about the job opening and what is expected, clarify your understanding by asking your questions.

By preparing responses to common in-

This shows that you have done your re-

terview questions, you will avoid ram-

search, know what you want and that

bling and hold the interviewers interest.

you want a job that fits your own goals.

Always keep your interview responses short and to the point. Finally, regard-

Sell Yourself

less of circumstances, never badmouth

Be the candidate who does the best job

a previous employer, boss or co-worker.

responding to interview questions and

The interview is about you showcasing

showcasing your fit with the job and the

why you are the ideal candidate for the

organization. Sell who you are to the

job.

employer.

Use Positive Body Language!

If you feel the job is a good fit for you,

While the content of your interview responses is important, poor body language can distract from what you are saying. Practice positive body language which includes smiling, eye contact, good posture, active listening, and nodding. Avoid

be clear that you can fulfill the salon's needs, solve its problems and propel its growth and success. As the interview is ending, take time to ask about the next steps in the process. What is the timetable in which the employer expects to fill the position?

slouching, daydreaming, playing with

Thank Interviewer(s) in Person, Email or

your hair, fidgeting, chewing gum, or

Postal Mail

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January / March 2019

Common courtesy goes far in interview-

productivity, equipment provided, bene-

ing. The importance of thanking each

fits provided, and pay status. If you are a

person who interviews you is not to over-

commissioned employee, prices and

look. It is a courteous touch. Thank

business flow will affect your income. If

them before you leave. Send thank you

you are being hired as an independent

emails and notes shortly after the inter-

contractor, take time to review the con-

view to give you an edge over finalists

tract before signing to insure it matches

who didn’t bother.

agreed expectations. Quality groomers are in a unique job hunting position.

Accepting a Position

Choose the job that fits your goals, and

Stay true to your goals when accepting

keep in mind a little negotiation up front

a position. Know the job expectations

can create the job that works for you. ►

regarding hours worked, pet grooming eGroomer Journal

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How to Choose a Sharpening Service by Daryl Conner Scissors and clipper blades are not only vital tools for groomers, they are also a sizeable investment. How can we know who to entrust these expensive tools with when it comes time to have them sharpened and maintained?

ened and returned to them unable to clip or snip.

Sharpener Stephen Toth, (Shear Mobility, LLC) says, “The sharpening field is getting so diluted. There are so many people watching YouTube and getting insufficient training.”

One groomer sent me a photograph of two identical sets of expensive shears. One had been ground down so far that the cutting blade was less than half the width it should have been. Metal improperly removed cannot be replaced, and she learned an expensive lesson, her quality scissors were no longer usable.

His words are proven true by groomers across the country who tell stories of handing over hundreds of dollars of clipper blades and shears, only to have them improperly sharp-

Randy Lowe, (Precision Sharp) who has been sharpening shears and blades for nearly 30 years, told me that historically, most sharpeners learn the trade by apprenticing with a more (Continued on page 24)

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experienced sharpener. He was not aware of schools that teach the trade but said that some of the manufacturers of scissor sharpening equipment do offer instruction. As in the grooming industry, there is no mandatory testing, but sharpeners may choose to voluntarily seek continuing education and certification. One such organization is the National Beauty Tools Sharpeners Guild. Jeff Andrews, (Northern Tails Sharpening) said, “The first level is ‘Journeyman’, which has a passing score in sharpening only in shears or clipper blades. The next level is ‘Certified,’ which has a passing score in sharpening and repair in shears or clipper blades. The ‘Master’ level is where a superior score was accomplished in sharpening and repair for shears or clipper blades. The top level is ‘Grand Master’. which the sharpener has obtained a superior score to become a “Master” in both shears and clipper blades. While someone does not need to be certified to be excellent at their trade, it shows a level of dedication and education if you find a sharpener that has taken the steps to become certified.

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April / June 2019

• Ask trusted groomer friends where they have their shears and blades sharpened. Keep in mind that many groomers ship their shears and blades out of their area to have them done by a trusted source. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a good sharpener in their neighborhood. • Once you get a name from someone, ask the sharpener how long they have been in business. Someone with a long track record is likely doing a good job. If they are less experienced and you want to give them a try, let them sharpen an older set of shears that you can live without, and just a blade or two, to see if you are satisfied with the work. • You can also ask if they have any certifications, and/or if they attend sharpeners conventions. • Know what the average price of sharpening blades and shears is. If someone is working at a drastically reduced rate, that could be a red flag. • Ask what they specialize in. The sharpener that focuses on lawnmower blades, shovels and hoes might not have the proper equipment and skill to put a fine edge on grooming shears.  Ask what sort of equipment they use. A bench grinder is commonly used to put a German style beveled edge on scissors. Lowe explains that higher end shears like

Here are some suggestions on how to find a 24 Copyright trustworthy sharpener for your tools:© 2013 Find A Groomer Inc. All rights reserved PetGroomer.com Magazine www.petgroomermagazine.com Subscribe Free

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those with a Japanese or convex style edge, are best sharpened on a flat hone or water stone. Jeff Andrew’s says, “There are sharpeners going up and down the road that don’t get any training and ruin equipment by putting the wrong edge on expensive grooming shears. I repair these every day and it saddens me to see this damage done when training is available in all parts of the country.” Stephen Toth gives this advice, “If a sharpener shows up at your business, ask where they live. If they are coming from another state, ask yourself if they live in a well populated area why is he/she driving for hours or days to find work? My local route is 50 miles, and I can’t keep up. If you’re a good sharpener, you should not have to drive far to make an honest living.” Some brands of scissors, such as the popular Sensei brand, require expensive, specialized machines to sharpen them. This means that only some sharpeners can take care of those shears. Also, some scissor manufactures have a list of sharpeners that you must use in order to keep your warrantee valid. These are things to consider when you purchase. Can you use your regular sharpener for the purchased

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shears, or do they need to be sent to a specific place for routine care? Most groomers have many hundreds or even thousands of dollars invested in their clipper blades and shears. Investing time to find a talented and professional sharpening service is a worthwhile effort. ► ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Daryl Conner is a certified Petcare Dermatech Specialist, Master Pet Stylist, Meritus and Certified Master Cat Groomer. She serves as Vice President of the Professional Cat Groomers Association of America. She is the recipient of the coveted 2005 Cardinal Crystal award for Journalism and the ’06 and ‘07 award for Congeniality, and the 2013 Barkleigh award for writing. A frequent contributor to grooming industry magazines, pet related websites and blogs, she enjoys sharing hard-won knowledge from 33 years of grooming experience with others. Daryl's abiding love of animals and passion for her trade radiates out to everyone she touches through her work.

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HEEL!

By Vera Needham The alarm goes off and in your hurry to enjoy another day at the puppy palace you jump to your feet only to wince at the sharp stabbing pain in the bottom of your heel. If you’ve had this happen you might be dealing with plantar fasciitis.

your first steps after getting out of bed or after prolonged periods of sitting. You may have less stiffness and pain after you take a few steps. But your foot may hurt more as the day goes on. Plantar fasciitis is the most common

The symptoms are most intense during eGroomer Journal Copyright © 2011 Find A Groomer Inc. All rights reserved PetGroomer.com Magazine www.petgroomermagazine.com Subscribe Free

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cause of heel pain in the United States with more than 2 million people per year seeking treatment. The plantar fascia is a layer of tough connective tissue that covers the bottom of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is a painful inflammation in this tissue that can be quite debilitating. The Achilles tendon attaches the calf muscles to the heel bone. From there the plantar fasciitis forms an extension of the Achilles tendon onto the bottom of the foot. If the plantar fascia is strained, it gets weak, swollen and inflamed. This causes the heel or bottom of the foot to hurt when standing or walking. Plantar fasciitis is common in middleaged groomers but we are seeing it more in younger pet stylists who spend hours on their feet standing on hard surfaces. Risk factors for plantar fasciitis include flat feet, high arches, tight Achilles tendon or calf muscles, obesity, prolonged standing or walking, and poorfitting shoes. Ignoring plantar fasciitis may result in chronic heel pain.

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April / June 2019

that make your foot hurt and try not to work on hard surfaces. Stretching and strengthening can also provide symptom relief and speed up recovery time. To reduce pain and swelling try the ice bottle or Tubee massage. This technique provides the pain relief of icing as well as a gentle massage to your plantar fascia. Start by placing a partially filled water bottle or Tubee in the freezer. Slowly roll your painful foot over your chosen massage tool, paying special attention to cranky areas. You can perform the massage for 5-10 minutes several times a day Plantar fasciitis most often occurs because of stress in your foot that has occurred over a long period of time. With treatment, most people will have less pain within a few weeks. But it may take time for the pain to go away completely. It may take a few months to a year to become pain free. Tightness in the foot, ankle and calf may lead to subtle changes in foot position and how forces are transferred through the foot.

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Many groomers find relief by using arch supports in their shoes to help distribute pressure to your feet evenly. Over-thecounter anti-inflammatory medications may help as well. Your doctor may recommend splints that you wear at night, steroid shots in your heel, or other treatments.

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April / June 2019

Another strategy to help reduce morning foot pain is to buy a pair of foam flip flops at the dollar store. Cut the heel from one flip flop of your non affected side and tape the heel you’ve cut off on top of the heel of the flip flop on the painful side. We really only need the sandal on our affected side but if you are wearing them around home it's worthwhile to make a matching pair. This will keep our body in balance.

Night splints, worn while patients are sleeping helps to prevent the foot from resting in a plantar-flexed or toe pointed position which shortens the calf and Achilles. Splinting increases calf and Keep the sandal by your bed and slide it plantar muscle flexibility and reduces on when you first get out of bed in the (Continued on page 35) tension on the plantar fascia during the 34 Copyright © 2013 Find A Groomer Inc. All rights reserved Subscribe www.egroomer.com first steps of the day. PetGroomer.com Magazine www.petgroomermagazine.com Subscribe Free

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April / June 2019

morning or if you have to get up during the night. During the night your foot produces scar tissue to help repair damage. When we stand up suddenly the scar tissue can tear. Wearing the sandals whenever possible will help speed up the healing process. The root cause plantar fascia pain is due to a lack of consistent blood flow to the plantar fascia by the tibialis posterior artery. This artery is limited or shunted when the big toe is compressed and elevated in modern-day footwear and running shoes. Traditional wedge-shaped toe boxes force the big toe toward the foot’s midline. Look for shoes with a wide toe box for healthy feet. A good first step to improving foot alignment would be to buy some toe spacer socks. They are inexpensive, really comfortable to wear, and help to stretch the toe and foot joint muscle really well.

tissue away. One way to do this is to consciously straighten or spread the big toe as often as possible. Toe exercises are easy and fun. Try picking up marbles with your toes and placing them in a jar. Press your toes into the floor, next see if you can lift and lower your big toe. The easiest way to get started on strengthening the small muscles of the foot is to kick off your shoes whenever you can. Our feet are meant to move not to be stuck in shoes all day.

Restoring the big toe to its natural position relieves tension on the plantar fascia allowing adequate blood flow and eGroomer Journal Copyrightthe © 2011 Find A Groomer Inc. All rights reserved then allowing the body to wash dead PetGroomer.com Magazine www.petgroomermagazine.com Subscribe Free

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Below is one of the best stretches for quick relief:

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April / June 2019

back towards the body. If it is comfortable to sit on your feet it is a wonderful way to enhance this stretch. Hold for 530 seconds .

Seated Foot Stretch: Start by sitting in a chair and extending one leg. Next stretching point the toe as long as you Just remember rest is the most imporcan trying to scrunch up the arch. Next tant aspect of healing. Sit back and put 36 Copyright © 2013 Find A Groomer Inc. All rights reserved Subscribe www.egroomer.com keeping the foot extended pull the toes your feet up whenever you can! ► PetGroomer.com Magazine www.petgroomermagazine.com Subscribe Free

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR Vera Needham is a Medical Exercise Specialist, pilates trainer and has been a dog groomer for over 35 years. Vera invented the Tubee-Fit training tool for groomers. The Tubee has proven to be a wonderful addition to her older adult classes and in long term care facilities. If you have any Goomfit question or want more information about the Tubee contact Vera at groomfit@yahoo.com eGroomer Journal

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60 Year Shortage of Employees

Employed Groomers Survey Exclusive Grooming Business in a Box® Survey ABOUT THE SURVEY Every grooming business owner looking for staff comes to learn that finding and keeping skilled groomers is a test of patience, and it helps to have a dose of luck too.

husband was a highly-skilled groomer known for commercial and show grooming expertise. At the time few groomers had main street locations, let alone air conditioning better known in upscale commercial buildings. Many groomers had small shops in name kennels instead.

When Find A Groomer company founder, Madeline Ogle, married a groomer in 1960 it was her first venture in the Madeline and Richard made the first lopet industry. She had vision and good cal step to open a modest location on a management talent while Richard her (Continued on eGroomer Journal Copyright © 2011 Find A Groomer Inc. All rights reserved 39page 40) PetGroomer.com Magazine www.petgroomermagazine.com Subscribe Free

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major commercial four-lane boulevard. A prominent billboard came with the building and quickly pet grooming became something thousands of commuters saw daily. In just weeks their growing clientele demanded another bather or groomer. It was 1961 and Rod Serling’s Twilight Zone was a popular TV hit. The series has been described as a strange mix of horror, sci-fi, drama, comedy and superstition. Oddly this description is in a comedic sense a parody of what thousands of grooming business owners have experienced as employers, even decades later. As business consultants the stories we have heard from employers searching for and managing groomers include the bizarre, and quite often disheartened feelings from nearly fruitless efforts against a shortage of labor. Notice our corporate name is Find A Groomer Inc. This concept of finding groomers has been in our minds for 60 years, and we are still helping thousands of grooming business owners find pet groomers and bathers 24/7/365 with the PetGroomer.com Classified Ads. Our efforts extend beyond the borders of the United States too.

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April / June 2019

we have published over 450,000 help wanted ads since 1997. The shortage of groomers is no less today than before. Through social media and consultation we hear stories of business owners so frustrated with the supply and skill levels of groomers they are closing or downsizing their business models that require staffed groomers. They claim skilled groomers rarely stay more than months. Veterinarians or boarding facility owners invest in build outs of grooming departments infrequently staffed by coming and going groomers. Unfortunately we all too often hear employer complaints of drug abuse and poor absenteeism. You have entered the twilight zone of business owners seeking adequate staff. No one has an official count of unfilled jobs for pet groomers. With our handling of hundreds of thousands groomer help wanted ad requests we offer a reasonable estimate of how many groomer job openings there are in the United States at any time. The estimate is no less than 2,000. What to do?

This year marks the 60th year since Madeline Ogle entered the grooming industry. Perhaps we need more informaImagine a 60 year chronic shortage of tion. PetGroomer.com conducts the skilled 40 groomers. It’s real.Copyright At no© 2013 charge Find A Groomerworld’s Inc. All rights largest reserved surveys Subscribe of www.egroomer.com the grooming PetGroomer.com Magazine www.petgroomermagazine.com Subscribe Free

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industry since 1998. Could a survey of employed groomers, not business owners, shed some light and help our industry better understand the decades old chronic shortage of skilled groomers? Why is the multibillion dollar grooming industry still suffering from a lack of skilled groomers? Can we make sense of the twilight zone abyss frustrating so many grooming employers? Can the industry turn this chronic problem around, or are we clearly seeing the future of grooming? We unleashed the survey to employed groomers. Now we are releasing the results for your review, along with our opinions of what the results mean for the industry. WHO TOOK THE SURVEY A little over 1,000 employed groomers took the survey in early 2019, and 91% completed the entire survey. The survey was anonymous with safeguards to help prevent anyone from taking it twice. They were currently employed bathers/ groomers, or employed as such within the last 12 months. Here are profile statistics:

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April / June 2019

Annual Gross Grooming Wages: Up to $20,000 7% $20,001 to $30,000 29% $30,001 to $40,000 36% $40,001 to $50,000 20% Over $50,000 8% IC or W-2 Classified Status: 59% W-2, 39% IC, 2% did not know Employment Location: Pacific Region US 31% Mountain Region US 9% Central Region US 19% Eastern Region US 40% Outside US 1% Highest Education (not grooming) Some high school 4% High school (or equivalent) 57% Some college 28% College degree (4 year) 11% Employment (check all that apply) Independent Shop, Spa, Salon 47% Independent Mobile 14% Retail Chain with Grooming 54% Boarding/Daycare with Grooming 7% Veterinarian with Grooming 8% Other 11%

Grooming Experience Years Sex: 89% female, 11% male Less than 1 Year 2% 1 to 2 Years 28% Occupation: 83% full-charge groomers, Over 2 Years to 4 Years 31% 9% assistant groomers, 8% bathers or Over 4 Years to 6 Years 27% bather/brushers. eGroomer Journal Copyright Š 2011 Find A Groomer rights reserved OverInc.6AllYears 12% PetGroomer.com Magazine www.petgroomermagazine.com Subscribe Free

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Desired Work Schedule Part-time 19% Full-time 81%

April / June 2019

Grooming Business in a Box®

GROOMING EMPLOYMENT SURVEY Table of Contents

Grooming Education (check all apply) On-site Grooming School 21% On-the-Job Training 29% Home Study Training 36% Apprenticeship 27% Seminars and Workshops 26% Other 4%

1. Compensation 2. Benefits 3. Work Schedules 4. Promotion and Career Path 5. Personnel Policies & Procedures 6. Workstation & Environment

Formal Grooming Assn Certification Yes 8% No 92% Targeted Annual Gross Wages Up to $20,000 2% $20,001 to $30,000 9% $30,001 to $40,000 22% $40,001 to $50,000 38% Over $50,000 29% Overall Satisfaction with Employment as a Pet Groomer or Bather to Date Excellent 3% Very Good 9% Good 21% Average 46% Poor 12% Unacceptable 9% ▀ END INTRO 42

7. Grooming Operations 8. Customer Relations & Holism 9. Self-Employment Goals 10. Hiring Process 11. Employee Commentary 12. Conclusion Results of the Grooming Employment Survey begin here. Sections 1 to 10 provide survey questions and percentages of responses. Each section provides a short analysis of the results. Section 11 provides verbatim responses written by surveyed groomers and bathers which we found of interest. Section 12 closes the survey results Subscribe www.egroomer.com with our summary commentary.

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Compensation Results In the previous section we profiled the employed groomers taking this survey. Forty-six percent of them have average satisfaction with being an employed groomer or bather. Another 21% are experiencing poor or unacceptable satisfaction. Clearly a large majority (67%) are not content or barely so with their grooming careers as employees. Why? Dig deeper. We learned that 37% feel they are only adequately compensated and another 58% feel their compensation is low to inadequate. Only 5% of the survey group think well of their compensation (above adequate). Could it get worse? Yes, let’s dig again. Over half (53%) of those surveyed get no benefits at all. A large majority (74%) have issues with benefits. Compound that number with 95% stating their compensation is adequate or low. What else are employed groomers working for if not at least minimum satisfaction with compensation? We are just starting the analyses of this survey and it is clear compensation and benefits are playing a major role in the market of employing groomers. Do you think it can get worse? No? The answer is yes.

Statistics start on next page classified as W-2 employees and not 1099 independent contractors. Sixty-one percent had experienced 1099 basis employment. Sixty-five percent did not know if their 1099 basis was compliant with federal or state guidelines. Seventy-nine percent were unfamiliar with self-employment tax compliance when receiving a 1099 and were not advised by their employers. Many (37%) ending up owing a lot more taxes than expected. Remember, 95% were already at issue with their compensation and benefits. Adding to their tax burdens with 1099 classification is partly solution for business owners bottom line, but what if they cannot find employees? A big majority of those surveyed (83%) requested wage increases and were turned down. Forty-two percent quit grooming jobs for higher pay offers.

Compensation is obviously taking the early lead as a detrimental factor not helping the industry to develop a larger pool of grooming employees nationwide. Is there more employee appeal that can be offered with benefits? Our next analysis is benefits. First, the staBoom! A whopping 88% prefer to be eGroomer Journal Copyright Š 2011 Find A Groomer Inc. All rights reserved tistical results for compensation. 43 PetGroomer.com Magazine www.petgroomermagazine.com Subscribe Free

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April / June 2019

1-1. Check all forms of compensation you have regularly received for your grooming services as an employee.

66%

Hourly

27%

Salary

78%

Commission basis

22%

Hourly/commission or salary/commission mixes

1-2. Based on your grooming experience which classification(s) have you been assigned by employer(s)? Check all that apply.

73%

W-2 employee

61%

1099 independent contractor

1-3. Have any potential employers offered you the opportunity to choose between W-2 or 1099 independent contractor bases?

22%

Yes

78%

No

1-4. What is your employee classification preference (assuming it was legally compliant)?

44

12%

1099 independent contractor

88%

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1-5. Please explain your response to question 1-4. Use the space below to write your explanation of your preference.

64% provided a written explanation

1-6. If you were classified as a 1099 independent contractor did you feel it was compliant with state and federal guidelines?

23%

Yes

12%

No

65%

I don’t know

1-7. Did you know the classification of 1099 independent contractors can be compliant with federal laws but not with state laws, or vice versa?

4%

Yes

76%

No

20%

I don’t know

1-8. Did you ever verify the compliance of your employee classification with an appropriate professional third party?

2%

Yes

98%

No

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1-9. At your present employed grooming job (or the last one if not employed now) are you adequately compensated?

5%

Yes, better than adequate

37%

Yes, but only adequate

21%

No, a little low

37%

No, very inadequate

1-10. Please explain your response to question 1-9. Use the space below to write your explanation of your preference.

71% provided a written explanation

1-11. What is the top W-2 commission rate you have been paid as a pet groomer (not bather, bather/brusher or assistant groomer)?

46

3%

Up to 40%

7%

45%

35%

50%

33%

55%

16%

60%

4%

65%

2%

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DOG WASH. Can I Help You? Fifty-seven-year-old Denise Jameson, an awardwinning master groomer who has been plying her trade for over thirty-five years, is the manager of Dog Wash, a grooming salon inside a Your Pets store. Denise works long hours, seven days a week, and her only desire is to see her favorite rock group and favorite singer in concert one day.

New eBook $3.99

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

J.L. Campbell is a veteran of the US Army, a retired federal government employee, and has worked part-time in a dog grooming salon in Fairfax County, Virginia. She has used these experiences to create her first book.

The salon never has a dull moment with pets of all breeds and sizes, and the employees who help Denise groom the animals. There’s Christine, a groomer who brings her talkative, and at times trouble-making, mynah bird, Diego, to work with her every day. Stacy, the other groomer, has two children and is expecting her third one. Working with the groomers are three grooming assistants. There is Kathy, a gorgeous young woman with a beautiful voice, who is determined to become a singer one day. But her constant singing at work gets on the nerves of her co-worker, Bob, who wants to be a veterinarian. And then there is Cheryl, who is content just to work part-time for Denise and part-time as a veterinary assistant. Their lives intersect with Tony Lovic, a homeless US Army veteran, who would do anything to be employed again. One day, hungry and desperate, he asked his patron saint, Francis of Assisi, to intercede for him to find a job. Then Tony enters Denise’s grooming salon, and Diego greets him by

“Author loves animals, and knows her dog pedigree. I don't normally Available on iUniverse Publishing/ read fiction, however the characISBN48978-1-5320-3794-8 Copyright © 2013 Find A Groomer Inc. All rights reserved Subscribe www.egroomer.com ters drew me into their lives. I could 492 Pages not put this book down.”


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1-11. What is the top 1099 commission rate you have been paid as a pet groomer (not bather, bather/brusher or asst. groomer)?

1%

Up to 40%

2%

45%

35%

50%

38%

55%

16%

60%

5%

65%

3%

70% or more

1-12. If you are a bather, bather/brusher or assistant groomer which best describes your current or past compensation?

38%

Hourly, minimum wage or up to $2 hour over minimum

32%

Hourly, $2.01 to $4.00 hour over minimum wage

15%

Hourly, $4.01 or more over minimum wage

7%

Commission, 5% to 20%

6%

Commission, 21% or more

2%

Salary

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1-13. Have you ever requested a wage increase and been denied an increase?

83%

Yes

17%

No

1-14. Have you ever quit a job over a compensation dispute with your employer? You may select more than one answer below.

71%

No

67%

Yes, for better pay + benefits at another grooming business

19%

Yes, for refusing my pay increase request

37%

Yes, denied my request to be W-2 classification

1%

Yes, denied my request to be 1099 classification

42%

Yes, for a higher paying grooming job, no benefits

38%

Yes, for a job with significant benefits

1-15. If you are a groomer paid by commission do you also get bather support?

27%

Yes, my regular commission includes bather support

22%

Bather support available for lower commission rate or fee

51%

No bather support available, I do all bathing and styling

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1-16. If your compensation is salary, did your employer explain how it was calculated and amount of hours expected?

6%

Yes, based on hours and expected productivity of grooming

19%

Yes, based on hours

55%

Not calculation, just hours worked and basic groom quota

20%

Little or nothing explained

1-17. What is your viewpoint on salaries for groomers? Select only one choice below.

29%

Salaries benefit employers more than me

21%

I prefer working for salary

11%

I prefer working for salary but require some benefits

39%

I might accept salary if it is negotiable

1-18. What is your viewpoint on hourly pay for groomers? Select only one choice below.

32%

Hourly pay benefits employers more than me

30%

I prefer commission, no hourly pay

11%

I prefer working for hourly but require some benefits

27%

I might accept hourly pay if it is negotiable

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1-19. Do you think employed groomers paid by commission make the highest pay in the grooming industry? Select one answer.

34%

Yes, definitely

35%

Yes, usually

11%

Yes, but I would work for less if the benefits are good

20%

I don’t know

1-20. Did you know a high commission rate does not ensure the best pay when the average grooming service fee of the business is lower than other local shops?

53%

No, I never thought of that

47%

Yes, I understand

1-21. If you ever worked as a 1099 independent contractor did the employer advise you of the financial responsibilities and added expenses you face as an IC. Select one answer.

12% 9%

52

Yes Yes, some but certainly not all

42%

No, I didn’t know I had to pay extra self-employment taxes

37%

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1-22. How often were their errors in gross wage calculations or deductions when paid by your employer?

78%

Few incidents or none

7%

Occasionally

3%

Fairly often

12%

Often when paid by commission

1-23. How receptive were employers to your wanting to discuss compensation issues?

16%

Good

30%

Average

26%

Poor

28%

Not at all

1-24. What is your opinion of sign-on bonuses when seeking new employment?

37%

Strong appeal

39%

Good appeal

15%

Little appeal

9%

No appeal

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Benefits Results Surveyed groomers and bathers (34%) indicated their employers had told them they could not afford benefits. Another 18% said they were simply given no reason why there were no employment benefits.

Statistics start on next page That decision is not likely a surprise to anyone. What was their second interest? Paid time off (PTO) was indicated by a majority (51%).

Employers using the 1099 independent contractor classification obviously avoid benefits and that accounted for 41% of our survey participants. However, about a fourth (21%) of those surveyed did not know they were unlikely to receive little or no benefits working on 1099 basis.

Interest in life, dental or vision insurance was negligible.

Having reviewed the financials for more than 1,000 grooming business owners we do agree with their financial inability to provide significant benefits to hired groomers and bathers. Most groomers receiving benefits work for retail chains, while some work for local veterinarian clinics or boarding facilities capable of doing so.

The cost of PTO is far less than health insurance (and not medical discount cards). If an employer not offering benefits was to expand their offering adding their first employee benefit it appears that PTO was be received well, but clearly not satisfy the strong desire for health insurance.

We took a closer look at paid time off as a benefit. We asked them to assume they would be employed full-time (32 hours a week or more). After one year’s employment 60% of the survey group desired 5 days off worth PTO.

Otherwise there is nothing new here to One statistic that stands out regarding say that has not been said. We know benefits for groomers is their willingthe survey group desires health insurness to consider lower wages in return ance and it is available to many of for benefit(s). Seventy-two percent were them today should they qualify and dewilling to do so, almost three-fourths of sire to work for several retail chains them. with grooming. It is a competitive edge of retail chains to garner more of the What is the most desired benefit? A available grooming labor pool. majority (53%) said healthCopyright insurance. eGroomer Journal © 2011 Find A Groomer Inc. All rights reserved 55 PetGroomer.comMagazine Magazinewww.petgroomermagazine.com www.petgroomermagazine.com Subscribe SubscribeFree Free PetGroomer.com

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2-1. Select one benefit below that appeals to you the most. These benefits are only for W-2 employees.

29%

Paid Time Off (PTO) (sick days, vacation days)

53%

Health insurance

5%

Life insurance

3%

Dental insurance

1%

Vision insurance

9%

Retirement benefits or accounts

2-2. Select one benefit that appeals to you second. These benefits are for W-2 employees only.

51%

Paid Time Off (PTO) (sick days, vacation days)

39%

Health insurance

2%

Life insurance

1%

Dental insurance

1%

Vision insurance

6%

Retirement benefits or accounts

2-3. Would you consider a grooming position for lower wages if it provided the benefit you selected in 2-1 above?

72%

Yes

28%

No

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2-4. Assume you are a W-2 employed groomer working full-time (32 hours or more a week). How much Paid Time Off do you think you should get after one year’s employment (first year)?

2%

1 to 2 days (8 to 16 hours)

13%

3 to 4 days (24 to 32 hours)

60%

5 days (40 hours)

25%

Over 40 hours

2-5. Do you understand that if you are an independent contractor (1099) you are self-employed and normally not eligible for employee benefits.

79%

Yes

21%

No

2-6. Review the list of reasons below explaining why a majority of independently owned grooming businesses provide few or no employee benefits. What is your opinion? Select one answer.

34%

The employers say they cannot afford them

18%

They refuse to provide them without reason

7% 41%

They don’t have the time to manage the benefits Most employees are independent contractors

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Work Schedules Results Work schedules may not seem to be a critical issue to employers, but it is to grooming labor pool. Let’s take a look. The preference to work day shifts is almost absolute (83%). As expected no one indicated a desire for graveyard shift, leaving 17% with a desire for swing-shift grooming. So how strongly do the eighty-three percent feel about having to work anything other than day shift? A majority (58%) said they had already turned down job offers because of the days and hours required did not appeal to them. Another sizable group of them (21%) said they had turned down job offers because of days and hours but their stricter reasoning was based on family responsibilities. Yet another much smaller group (3%) attributed similar problems with days and hours only because it conflicted with their attending college. Overall only 18% had never turned down a job offer over the employers’ work schedules expected.

Statistics start on next page models. The adamant nature of the group was shown again when asked if they had accepted a grooming job, and later quit because of work schedule changes. Indeed a strong 59% of them had already quit jobs in the past based on work schedule disputes. We posed the question of working weekends (Saturdays and Sundays). Working weekends was clearly not favored by 40% and yet another 27% were somewhat concerned about having to work weekends. Others (26%) indicated an average aversion to working weekends. These numbers affect both independents and retail chains. Regardless there are significant numbers of grooming employers among the ranks of independents that do operate largely on Saturday’s and working that day is required. Perhaps with seniority that changes.

What else? Fifty-three percent will not Eighty-two percent turned down job ofwork if days and hours change frefers based on expected work schedules. quently. We believe this affects the reOf course this factor impacts retail tail chains more so than independents. chains the most since there are very The point here is that our survey group few independently owned grooming had strong opinions on work schedules businesses operating in swing-shift 58 Copyright © 2013 Find A Groomer Inc. All rights reserved Subscribe www.egroomer.com expected of them. PetGroomer.com Magazine www.petgroomermagazine.com Subscribe Free

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3-1. Which work shift listed below appeals to you the most. Select one choice.

83%

Day shift

17%

Swing shift

0%

Graveyard shift

3-2. Have you ever not accepted a grooming job offer because of the work schedule days and/or hours?

18%

No

58%

Yes, no specific reason other than my preference

21%

Yes, because I have family responsibilities

3%

Yes, because I also attend college

3-3. How flexible are you when the days and/or hours requested to work change frequently?

53%

I will not work under those circumstances

27%

Flexible

20%

Moderately flexible, occasional changes acceptable

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3-4. Did you ever quit a grooming job specifically because of work schedule issues?

59%

Yes

41%

No

3-5. Would you ever turn down a grooming job offer specifically because of the work schedule expected?

61%

Yes

39%

No

3-6. How important is it for you to have weekends off? (Saturday and Sunday)

40%

Very

27%

Somewhat

26%

Average

7%

Not at all

3-7. How willing are you to work overtime should the need arrive?

48%

Very

40%

Occasional

12%

Unwilling

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Promotion & Career Path Results While there is nothing largely new in this section it is of interest to note that a near majority (49%) would have an interest in becoming a grooming business manager. Personally we did hire the Manager position (no hands on grooming duties) in our large salon as far back as 1970’s as detailed in our book, From Problems to Profits: The Madson Management System. We know of a few large grooming salons that continue to do the same.

of 91% of the survey group planned to groom at least 5 more years, and of them 63% indicated pet grooming was their primary life career. Eighty-one percent support promotion from within, and of the bathers the majority of them had an interest in becoming full-charge groomers when training was provided, and another 21% even without training provided.

Another point of interest important to the future grooming labor pool is their personal grooming career vision. A total

These are positive numbers at least for the future availability of the grooming work pool even if it is inadequate now.

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4-1. If you are a pet bather or bather/brusher how interested are you in promotion to a pet groomer position someday?

56%

Very, if training is provided

21%

Very, even without training provided

23%

I have no desire to become a pet groomer

4-2. If there is a grooming manager position (no actual grooming), would you be interested in that position?

17%

Yes

49%

Yes, but not if it pays less than a groomer position

34%

No

4-3. Do you consider yourself a career groomer with an intent to continue grooming for many years?

63%

Yes, this is my primary life career

28%

Yes, at least 5 more years

19%

No, I anticipate changing professions in the future

4-4. Do you think grooming employers should always consider promotion from within?

81%

Yes

19%

No

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Personnel Policies & Procedures Results Many independent grooming businesses do not distribute job descriptions or employee handbooks. According to the survey 69% of them received neither an employee handbook or job description (66%). If you have worked in employment law as we have you know this is a poor practice, sometimes illegal. How can one professionally supervise staff when there is no proof that they were informed of policies and procedures? It makes the employer vulnerable in many ways especially if disputes arise. We learned that 21% of those surveyed actually quit a grooming job because of

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Statistics start on next page a dispute or dislike of personnel operations. We also discovered several of them actually won legal disputes against their employers because the courts were not provided with evidence that the employees involved were informed and asked to sign acknowledgements that they were trained in policies and procedures and had the opportunities to ask questions about them. Independents involved should rethink their personnel operations.

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5-1. Did you receive an employee handbook stating your employers policies and procedures for your grooming position?

31%

Yes

69%

No

5-2. Did you read the employee handbook and ask questions for anything you did not understand or agree to?

46%

Yes

54%

No

5-3. Were you provided with a job description to read, and did you ask questions about anything you did not understand?

34%

Yes

66%

No

5-4. Did you quit a pet grooming position because of a dispute or dislike of personnel operations?

21%

Yes

79%

No

1-5. Please explain your response to question 5-4. Use the space below to write your explanation of your preference.

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Workstation & Environment Results At this point in the survey we started to see some serious employment issues not related to compensation and benefits. Evidence has already been provided and I think anyone in field of pet grooming knows that compensation and benefits has always been something that is “never enough” with most employed groomers. So what else is not “making their days” at work as employed groomers? Plenty. We suggest employers study the detailed responses about the workstations and environments they provide for their grooming employees. Right off the bat, boom! Only 18% responded that their personal workstation and the surrounding environment was good or better. Even the moderate rating got only 35% support. Almost one-half of the survey participants (47%) rated their workstation and surroundings as “poor, enough to consider quitting their job.” Whoa! The most popular explanations of this discontent was deficient equipment including air conditioning (42%), excessive cell phone use by other employees distracting their grooming (39%) and distractive talking and personal radios of other groomers they worked around eGroomer Journal

Statistics start on next page (38%). Even more reasons for discontent were responded upon, such as deficient plumbing, electrical or lighting. Other noise factors arose such as street noise and excessive barking, traffic patterns and space design issues which apparently distracted them from their focus on grooming. More details are shown on the next page. In another survey question, 42% of the surveyed groomers and bathers indicated their employers used “poor grooming products” or “unacceptable products” even to the point some employees provided their own products at their expense. On the extreme end 4% indicated they might quit over the grooming products provided by their employers. Boom! When allowed to explain their reasoning in their own words, some noted that were provided only with dish soap such as Dawn for the standard grooming shampoo. Based on our experience consulting with business owners we know that many of them don’t realize how the working environments of their businesses can stir discontent within their employees. Get ready for more.

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6-1. What level of satisfaction do you have with your personal workstation and the surrounding grooming environment?

18%

Good or better

35%

Moderate

47%

Poor, enough to consider quitting my job

6-2. If you answered “moderate” or “poor” to 6-1, select one or more explanations below which explain your concerns.

42%

Deficient equipment conditions including air conditioning

16%

Deficient electrical, plumbing or lighting conditions

22%

Noise (non-human, non-canine source) such as street

38%

Noise (human source including employee talk and radio)

23%

Noise (excessive barking)

39%

Excessive employee cell phone use distractions

21%

Traffic pattern and/or space design distractions

18%

Smoking-related policies

6-3. Does it distract you to have your workstation visible to pet owners or shoppers (retail environment)?

33%

Yes, a lot

47%

Yes, moderately

20%

No

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6-4. If you use company provided grooming supplies such as shampoo and conditioner, what is your opinion of them?

23%

Excellent grooming products

35%

Good grooming products

27%

Poor grooming products

11%

Unacceptable products so I provide my own at my expense

4%

Unacceptable, I am dissatisfied and may eventually quit

6-5. How important is it to you for your employer to provide shear and blade sharpening at no charge to you?

23%

Very

36%

Moderate

41%

Does not matter, I pay for my own

6-6. How important is it to you to have convenient car parking provided for employees?

33%

Very

31%

Moderate

23%

I do need parking but not a critical matter

13%

No car but good access to public transport is important

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Grooming Operations Results In this section of the survey we asked a variety of questions, including how operations are supervised, safety planning, grooming assignments, noncompete agreements, training, appearance and cleanliness. Detrimental results pepper these topics, and yet there is more satisfaction here than in our last section on workstations and working environment. Let’s start with supervision of the grooming operation, a thorny subject. Twenty-two percent said they were looking for another job because supervision was “unacceptable.” Another 48% said supervision was “poor.” We speculate that supervision was not correcting the strong discontent expressed in the last section such as distracting personal radio noise, excessive use of cell phones at workstations and more. You may want the previous section’s results. All of the stinging issues should be clearly evident to supervisors. Right?

Statistics start on next page of them was “barely acceptable” or “unacceptable.” Fortunately safety factors were far more positive and only 29% indicated safety was less than satisfactory, however, don’t discount safety. The goal needs to be much closer to 100% satisfactory or better. Thirty-one percent indicated they will not groom under surveillance cameras. That cuts the potential grooming labor pool by nearly one-third for some employers. Discontent with non-compete agreements but only 29% had ever had to consider signing one. A majority (57%) think they might to able to break their non-competes. More ominous is that non-competes are gaining in disdain. Fifty-four percent now claim they will never sign a non-compete. Management and supervision (59%) is not working best in their grooming operations when compared to customer service, bathing and finish styling operations.

Fifty-two percent responded that the distribution of grooming assignments was “poor” and surely that is a supervisory issue. Forty percent rated probWhat we are seeing in the last few seclems with intake of customer service tions is that the labor pool of groomers orders as being “poor.” Sixty-two perhas far more issues beyond rates of cent indicated responses from their sucompensation! Subscribe www.egroomer.com pervisors when they asked something 72 Copyright © 2013 Find A Groomer Inc. All rights reserved PetGroomer.com Magazine www.petgroomermagazine.com Subscribe Free

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7-1. If you are currently supervised by a business owner or another hired employee, how do you rate their supervision?

14%

Excellent

16%

Good

48%

Poor, I am never asked about my views or opinions

22%

Unacceptable, looking for opportunity to quit

7-2. How much say do you have in grooming assignments given to you?

25%

Good

23%

Satisfactory

22%

Poor

21%

Unfairly poor, other employees always get first choice

9%

Unfairly poor, I get no consideration and do “leftovers”

7-3. If client reception employees take grooming service orders, how accurate and detailed are they taken and documented?

23%

Good

37%

Satisfactory

25%

Poor, and I am rarely consulted to talk with pet owners

15%

Poor, receptionists do not understand grooming orders

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7-4. How do you feel about responses when asking questions of your grooming supervisor about your grooming assignments?

11%

Good

27%

Satisfactory

40%

Barely acceptable, somewhat stressful

22%

Unacceptable, I feel I am being talked down to

7-5. How do you rate the safety program of your employer, and its training and supervision.

26%

Good

53%

Satisfactory

18%

Barely acceptable

11%

Poor

7-6. If you have staff meetings what is your opinion of them and their frequency?

13%

Good

23%

Satisfactory

40%

Acceptable

24%

Poor, we are talked at and rarely asked for opinions

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7-7. Are you provided lockers or other forms of safety for your personal belongings including tools?

18%

Yes, but only for a purse, wallet or small backpack

23%

Yes, but I would never leave things overnight

7% 52%

Yes, but we cannot leave anything overnight, locker or not No

7-8. What is your opinion of working under closed-circuit observation and recording systems?

11%

I agree there is a need for it

58%

I do not like it but accept it as part of employment

31%

I will not groom under surveillance.

7-9. Did you ever have to sign a non-compete agreement with your employer as part of your employment?

29%

Yes

71%

No

7-10. If you answered yes in 7-9 above, which explanation below best describes your feelings towards the non-compete?

7%

It is very strict, required and lengthy, 3 or more years

36%

It is strict and required but short term up to 2 years

57%

I had no choice but I hear I might be able to break it

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7-11. How likely are you to accept a grooming position offer that requires a non-compete agreement?

3%

Likely

12%

Likely I will at least consider one

31%

Not likely

54%

I will never sign a non-compete

7-12. Overall, how well-organized do you consider the grooming operation where you are currently employed?

12%

Very good

33%

Good

23%

Average

32%

Poor

7-13. What aspect of the grooming operations are working the best where you are currently employed? Select all that apply.

9%

Management and supervision

49%

Bathing and drying

53%

Finish styling

17%

Customer service

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7-14. What part of the operations are NOT working the best where you are currently employed? Select all that apply.

59%

Management and supervision

12%

Bathing and drying

14%

Finish styling

37%

Customer service

7-15. Are you provided reinforcement training in pet styling from grooming books, DVDs and streaming video. Select one answer.

7%

Yes, all three

32%

Yes, books

22%

Yes, DVDs

12%

Yes, streaming video

27%

None

7-16. Does your employer provide financial assistance allowing you to attend grooming seminars, workshops or trade shows?

13%

Yes, paid time off

12%

Yes, allowance for attendance fees

2% 73%

Yes, both paid time off and allowance for attendance fees No

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7-17. Based on your answer to 7-16 how impressed would you be with your employer if provided with financial assistance for offsite grooming continuing education events?

62%

Very impressed

25%

Somewhat impressed

5%

Impressed

8%

Not impressed

7-18. Are you provided with grooming apparel or do you provide your own? Which comment best describes your experience?

3%

I am provided with company approved apparel

71%

I must wear grooming apparel tops I provide

26%

No grooming apparel is provided or required

7-19. If you work with 1 or more other groomers or bathers how would describe the cleanliness standards? Select one answer.

22%

Cleaning workstations and tools after every pet is enforced

18%

Occasional cleaning of workstations and tools is enforced

21%

I occasionally clean workstation and tools, not enforced

11%

I have to ask others to clean their workstations or tools

12%

Cleanliness is an issue rarely enforced, it bothers

16%

Very poor cleanliness, it distracts and bothers me

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Customer Relations & Holism Results This section of the survey found more neutral results, except one measure of employee training in how to service pet owners. A whopping 79% indicated that employer training in how to work with pet owners was provided in “little” or “very little” amounts. We juxtaposed the next question to see how aware the responders knew what should be trained and expected of them working with pet owners as their groomers. We appreciated seeing that 74% responded correctly. See the details in question 83. We were concerned when asking about

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Statistics start on next page grooming tips. Thirty-six percent said they had experienced employers who kept their tips, they got no tips! We did not go into details with “holism.” We think groomers in the future could benefit from taking a more holistic participation with pet owners. This practice is surfacing to small degrees and encouraging more retail sales but also the realization that groomers are a good source of information for “pet parents” beyond grooming alone. More studies to come.

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8-1. Which best describes your feelings about working with pet owners as a pet groomer?

12%

Prefer customer service staff to work with pet owners

31%

Would like to work more with owners but workload prevents

33%

I am allowed to work with pet owners on my time

24%

I am the only employee so I work a lot with pet owners

8-2. Did your employer provide training in how to work with pet owner customers?

4%

Yes, a lot

18%

Yes, some

42%

Little

36%

Very little

8-3. Other than their contact information, and bathing and styling desires, what information should be acquired from pet owners? Select one response below.

6%

Pet health information and lifestyle

8%

Pet behavior information and past experiences with grooms

5%

Owner maintenance grooming activities between grooms

74% 82

7%

All of the above Copyright Š 2013 Find A Groomer Inc. All rights reserved I do not know

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8-4. As an employed groomer, how often do customers tip you for your grooming services?

27%

Very often

35%

More than half time

25%

Occasionally

13%

Not often

8-5. How are customer tips for your grooming services handled by your employer?

22%

Tips are managed and distributed by paycheck

42%

Cash tips given daily and non-cash on paycheck

9% 27%

My employer keeps all tips for the business I do not get all my tips. Employer keeps a % share

8-6. Do you have access to customer records whether stored on computer or in customer files? Select one answer below.

15%

Yes

42%

Yes, but limited access to some information only

30%

Yes, only past grooming service records and contact info

13%

No

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Self-Employment Goals Results We have arrived at a very important section considering the future of the grooming labor pool. When PetGroomer.com started surveying employed groomers in the late Nineties, around 65% if them were considering self-employment at some point in their grooming careers. That level of interest has never decreased, and flat-lined around 70% for many years. In the present decade our measurements changed and started to increase beyond 73%. In this survey the number of responses indicating employed groomers saying it was “very likely” or “likely” peaked at a new high (78%).

Statistics start on next page ing self-employed is earning more personal income, independence and working lifestyle choices. What does this portend for the future and why? We will share our opinions in the coming final sections of the survey where more written responses collected and studied. We suggest you study the following seven selfemployment questions and responses. One thing is certain the interest is growing and there is evidence in the detailed responses they are apparently studying the concept more.

Almost universally the perception of be-

9-1. For you, what are the benefits of being a self-employed grooming business owner (not 1099). Check all that apply.

84

94%

I will earn more personal income from my business

98%

I can choose what days and hours I want to work

91%

I can choose my clientele of pet owners

76%

I can work alone such as small shop, mobile or house call

79%

I can hire what employees I want and boost income

67%

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9-2. How likely are you to become self-employed in the pet grooming industry in the future?

51%

Very likely

27%

Likely

5% 17%

Not likely No desire at all

9-3. If you indicated “possible” or “very likely” in 9-1, why are you not working now as an employed groomer? Check all that apply.

58%

I need more grooming experience

42%

I do not have adequate funds or credit to be self-employed

29%

I am unsure what type of grooming business to establish

54%

I need to learn more about grooming businesses

9-4. What type of grooming business interests you as a selfemployed groomer? Check all that apply.

48%

Grooming salon, spa or shop

39%

Mobile grooming

31%

Grooming in my home

6% 14% 2%

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House call grooming in homes of pet owners Boarding, daycare and grooming Copyright © 2011 Find grooming A Groomer Inc. All rights reserved Pet boutique and

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9-5. Will you potentially hire pet groomers and bathers for your business someday? Select one answer.

18%

Yes

41%

No, I want to work alone (not mobile)

32%

No, I will be mobile groomer working alone

9%

I am unsure

9-6. Have you considered buying an existing business rather than doing a startup grooming business? Select one answer.

12%

Yes, very interested

15%

Yes, will consider when the time comes

43%

No, not interested

30%

No, I am unsure

9-7. Did someone advise you to get experience as an employed pet groomer before opening your business?

86

36%

Yes, books and/or online reading

21%

Yes, family and/or friends

11%

Yes, instructors of grooming

32%

No Copyright Š 2013 Find A Groomer Inc. All rights reserved

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Hiring Process Results If your goal is to procure groomers for employment this section should help you. We fully agree with the results of question 10-2 where groomers suggest that employers verify the presentation photos of grooms shown to employers. It is easy to download photos of other grooms and copy into portfolios of other

groomers. It is of course fraud, and we hear many tales of it happening. Test grooms are essential for grooming job candidates. Next we present excerpts of written commentary provided during the survey, and then a closing summary.

10-1. What sources do you use to find available grooming jobs? Select all that apply.

61%

PetGroomer.com Classifieds

13%

Indeed

20%

Craigslist

29%

Facebook

52%

I contact local grooming businesses by phone or visits

34%

I ask local groomer friends

10-2. What are your feelings toward the interview and hiring process of pet groomers? Check all that apply.

47%

Employers often don’t verify grooms shown in portfolios

28%

I don’t appreciate requiring test grooms, see my portfolio

41%

Let me know beforehand if test grooms are required

42%

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Groomer’s Written Commentary Results In Section 1 of the survey we accepted written commentary on the subject of a preference of being classified W-2 employee or 1099 independent contractor. Do keep in mind that employers rarely have a clear choice, and most IC employment classifications are not compliant today. In fact, a growing number of US states have clarified that employed pet groomers are never, or rarely, eligible for 1099 classification. Comments were submitted on an anonymous basis, and shown the deep red shaded objects here. ”Why are employers allowed to hire pet groomers on a 1099 basis? It is NOT legal in my state.”

The survey showed fewer pet bathers or brusher/bathers are earning strict minimum hourly pay. But not by much. ”Hard to believe how I hard I work for minimum wage and no hope of more.” Moving on to Section 2 about benefits some comments stood out. ”My employer does everything he can to keep us part-time and not provide any benefits. Just some sick days or vacation days would be hopeful.” “Thanks to the big retail pet stores for making it possible to groom and get benefits. Where would we be without you?”

“Unless I get a corporate store job every position in my area is 1099 which means making 50% commission I make much less money than if I was 50% commission as W-2. Stop ripping us off!”

Survey results indicated some angst with frequent changes in hours and days scheduled for work.

”In two years I have never worked the same schedule for more than two or three weeks in a row! I would rather work the retail pet stores and get ben“I cannot find reliable groomers to hire fits. Stop changing my schedule. I can’t even on W-2 basis. I am downsizing to a go out with friends or family planned one person shop. I am tired of trying to well ahead because my schedule is find keeping them.” to reserved change.”Subscribe www.egroomer.com 88 groomers and then Copyright © 2013 Find A Groomer likely Inc. All rights “Maybe the shortage of groomers is because groomers are waking up...1099 jobs are bloodsucking our wages.”

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Groomer’s Written Commentary Results The survey results made clear some groomers face “impossible” distractions in staffed work environments. Some groomers simply quit in response, and some look to become self-employed in order to take control of the grooming environment.

“Since the owner won’t manage the groomers some of them take only the grooms they want to do and leave the hardest pets for me.” “Who is running the business? The bold know it all groomers or the owner? I hate working at this shop.” “Not sure if I am going mobile or renting a shop but I want to work alone. I have had it with everyone do your own thing.”

”Now I see why some groomers go mobile or work in their homes or little shops. Groomers gabbing out loud on their phones drives me crazy and asking them to be quiet long is worthless.” “I work at a place that is like the detention room in the Breakfast Club movie. The noise is crazy with 3 radio stations on the air and cell phones buzzing alerts constantly. Someone is always on their phone. I cannot wait to quit when I find a quiet place with respect run by someone who keeps the peace and listens to my needs and the pets.”

In 2017 a separate survey of mobile groomers unveiled a large majority had experience working with other groomers in larger shops and salons. They chose to leave. One big reason, working alone in mobile gave them the ability to control the work environment and to reeGroomer Journal

duce distractions. Logically this could also be accomplished in one person tiny shops, and at GroomerTALK Community and GroomWise Blogs you can see pictures of these tiny shops and the joy of their owners. “We cannot run more than 1 dryer most of the time or it pops fuses. Leaky tubs get bubble gum fixes. Dryers rattle. No one takes care of the equipment…I guess I have to bring my own dryer, no way! The electric table hasn’t been fixed in a month so I have to lift dogs on and off.’

“I hate going to work in this place. We clean our work spots but the owner doesn’t do floors, windows, paint or remove mold in wet area. Cheap supplies Copyright © 2011 Find A Groomer All rights reserved 89 for Inc. bathing like dish soap.”

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Conclusion The survey results had some surprises and are ready to be mined further. We expected employed groomers to have issues with compensation and benefits having been past employers in the industry. We employed some groomers up to 12 years. Some left our employment and opened pet care businesses. Candid ones thanked us for giving them the work experience to go from being a “just a bather” to a successful pet care business owner by our example. Sixty years ago we were among the first to create the assistant groomer position allowing a working career path in grooming from bather to full-charge groomer. We always had resumes on file giving us the opportunity to learn how to choose the best candidates for promotion within or among applicants. By the way, we did not put our assistants on the expressway of training, many worked as assistants for one to two years.

supervision of the entire operation for all people and pets. Problems of any kind did not go unseen and fester. Sometimes Madeline would sense some tenseness in the air and ask everyone to turn off their clippers or dryers for one minute and take a deep breath if they like. She might have a comment or two to clear the air if appropriate, and then it was back to work. These little resets, usually on the busiest days of the year, worked well. Our point here is that proper, supportive supervision retains employees. Every groom was observed and credit given by supervisors and support staff. Every problem in a business is the responsibility of management to quickly investigate and address. Our experience as business consultants for almost 30 years showed us the busy work of grooming and few hired managers allowed most business problems to fester. Sometimes the business owners were overwhelmed, even frozen from creating solutions. Things get out of hand. The appeal of the business to employees at best glimmers or fails.

Benefits were still limited to PTO and sometimes a share of healthcare insurance costs. We used quality products and maintained the work environment. More important, read in our book From Management is the source and answer Problems to Profits: The Madson Manto the industry’s decades old chronic agement System about the Manager shortage of skilled groomers? Here is 90 © 2013 Find A Groomer quick Inc. All rights reserved Subscribe www.egroomer.com position. In effect there Copyright was constant recap of troublesome issues PetGroomer.com Magazine www.petgroomermagazine.com Subscribe Free

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from the viewpoints of currently employed groomers taking our survey. Unfortunately some of the issues have larger than expected numbers of employed groomers ready or considering quitting positions. Some may seek refuge from employment frustrations becoming legally self-employed grooming business owners working alone or hiring staff. Here are the lead issues:       

  

Compensation Limited access to benefits 1099 compliance issues 1099 financial impact on employees Erratic work schedules Working conditions Deficient maintenance of equipment and building Deficient or unacceptable grooming products Distractive environments from noise, excessive cell phone use by other groomers and poor space design Deficient or unacceptable supervision Poor or unacceptable methods of grooming assignments Restrictive non-compete agreements Working under video surveillance Handling of customer tips

April / June 2019

ing number of groomers already thinking about quitting their present jobs. The presence of the issues stimulates the large majority (78%) to consider options freeing them from the management issues, such as being selfemployed groomers (not by 1099). There is then no denying these issues have a part in explaining the chronic shortage of groomers for those desiring staffed operations. Constant presence of management could easily tackle most of these problems. Let’s look again at the main divisions of working opportunities in the grooming industry. 1. Retail stores with grooming 2. Independently owned grooming businesses with hired groomers 3. One person operations by selfemployed groomers (not 1099) In general, the most troubled operations are the independents with grooming staff. Not all of them. Some are well-managed with stable operations in the face of employment challenges. For those in the grooming labor pool with a strong desire for compensation with more significant benefits, their chances are better with retail stores.

All of these are management issues. They don’t help attract experienced groomers let alone grooming career seekers who may simply not yet know Who are the least challenged mem-91 eGroomer Journal Copyright © 2011 Find A Groomer Inc. All rights reserved better. Survey results showed a surprisbers of the grooming industry? The PetGroomer.com Magazine www.petgroomermagazine.com Subscribe Free

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case can easily be made it is the owners of businesses without staff. For example, self-employed mobile groomers, tiny or small shop owners. Some legally operate home-based grooming businesses. Others are house call groomers delivering grooming services in the homes of pet owners. Without adding staff to boost sales they do face a potential cap of earnings but they understand that limitation and work within the financial bounds. The survey results showed a majority of employed groomers have dreams or serious intent to own businesses like these. Should retail stores with grooming, or independents with staffed operations, be worried that the shortage of groomers will worsen by groomers departing to open one person grooming businesses?

April / June 2019

Retail has advantages to appeal to a large sector of the grooming labor pool. They can offer initial training and significant benefits and more locations. Each has their own formula to appeal to employed groomers. Are we seeing the future of grooming as largely retail stores with grooming employees, and on the opposite end, a record number of one person grooming businesses owned by self-employed groomers (not with 1099 basis)? It appears the winds of change are blowing gently in that direction. Do not take too seriously the survey’s large number of groomers hoping for self-employed operations (not 1099). It takes a special breed of groomer to tackle the many responsibilities of being self-employed. The lure of the idea of being self-employed is quickly muted by recognition of the many extra hours of work required year round.

Our answer to them is don’t over worry about this potential, but don’t overlook it. We believe it will affect the staffed Independents with staff remain our independently owned businesses far main concern. Businesses like what we more than retail chain stores. Today in owned. They rank from first class wellonline grooming communities we hear managed operations to troubled ones, of staffed business owners downsizing some characterized by the poor comto one person operations in response to mentary the survey results. We remind the shortage of groomers to hire. It is them the majority of problems listed in frustrating and expensive if you have this survey conclusion are manageleased extra space required for staff opment issues. Redo your operations erations and then cannot find staff. and management like a Chef Gordon Downsizing is their only Copyright choice. Ramsey restaurant makeover! Stay vi92 © 2013 Find A Groomer Inc. All rights reserved Subscribe www.egroomer.com able and appealing to groomers! ● PetGroomer.com Magazine www.petgroomermagazine.com Subscribe Free

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Cleaning The Wahl 5-N-1 Trimmer Blade By Jeff Andrews, Northern Tails Sharpening

All Wahl trimmers (Bravura, Chromado and Arco) use the 5-N-1 blade. It is durable and quiet. It can be successfully re-sharpened. But, it does have a drawback. If the 5-N-1 blade isn’t cleaned properly it will seem as if it dulls quickly. Here I will share suggestions for cleaning it and reducing the need for more extensive blade service. In fact, some groomers unnecessarily throw their 5-N-1 blades way. Many styles of trimmer blades, including the 5N-1, use wire springs to put tension on the cutters, and to hold them against their combs (bottom blade). These springs can trap hair between the cutter and comb. When enough hair collects it pushes the cutter up just enough to make the blade snag or drag. At this point your diagnosis will likely be, the blade is dull. That is your cue to check for hair by looking at the blade from the side. If you cannot see all the way through the blade halves the passageway is packed with hair. You need to clean the blade. To start, take the blade off the trimmer. Clean hair out of the “spring deck.” Use your HV or vacuum. Don’t submerge it in blade wash creating a wet mess. As needed, remove remaining hair trapped under the cutter. It’s a simple task and can save you the expense of sharpening. (Continued on page 95)

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Figure 1 Get a small Zip-Tie, or a pipe cleaner or a broom straw. Take the Zip-Tie and align it up on either side of the blade at the space between the blade halves. Now you are ready to push it through and in-between the blade halves. Figure 2 Push the Zip-Tie through the blade halves forcing hair out the other side. You may find hair, pet dander or a solid form of hair melted by either heat or solvents. Cat hair melts at a lower temp than dog hair. If you regularly groom cats clean more often. Keep plunging the Zip-Tie between the blade halves until you are satisfied all the material is out. Now look between the blade halves again from the side. Do you see a clean space between the blade halves? If not, put the blade back on the trimmer and try using it at a fine or medium setting. If it cuts normally you are finished. Now you know what to check next time it stops cutting. If the blade continues to snag or drag through (Continued on page 96)

Jeff Andrews is "One of America's Favorite Sharpeners." Along with his years of grooming experience in two of his own shops, he is a "World Class Sharpener" that can sharpen all grooming equipment to better than new condition. Jeff is an author and pioneer of many maintenance and grooming video's and articles. They are for groomers who want to make their equipment last longer and save money on their sharpening costs. These videos and articles are on his website free to download and keep for reference. www.northerntails.com eGroomer Journal www.egroomer.com Subscribe Free PetGroomer.com Magazine www.petgroomermagazine.com Subscribe Free

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April / June 2019

coat it may actually be dull. Send it out for sharpening. Several sharpeners around the country do sharpen the Wahl 5-N-1 trimmer blade along with other popular trimmer blades. Another way to clean the blade during a groom is to dip in blade wash and run it a few seconds, or until you feel its clean. If a 5-N-1 blade starts to snag or drag during a groom follow these next two steps very carefully! (Continued on page 97)

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Step 1 Brush or blow the obvious hair from the front of the blade. It will just float in the blade wash and cause a mess. Turn the trimmer on and gently stick just the tips of the blade into the wash. Don’t submerge more than the tips of the blade because it’s just the tips that do the cutting, and also gets hot enough to melt the dander on its cutting surfaces. I suggest setting the blade in the #40 or fine position. Run it until you think it is clean or you hear the RPMs go up a little. Step 2 After cleaning stop the trimmer motor. Bring the trimmer out of the wash. Make sure its pointed DOWN! If you tilt the trimmer up the wash will run down inside your trimmer and cause problems. While holding the trimmer pointed DOWN, take the blade off with a rag and wipe it dry. Put a drop of blade oil on the front teeth and try it. If it still doesn’t work make sure there isn’t any hair between the blade halves. If there is clean it out as previously explained. If you drop your trimmer and the blade pops off check for any damage. You could break the rear tab or the side post. Don’t throw the blade away. Several sharpeners around the country can replace the “spring deck” and restore its regular service. ► eGroomer Journal

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Northern Tails Sharpening, Inc. You Now Have a Better Choice!

Mail-in Prices Clipper Repair ● Veterinarian Equipment ● Beauty Shears Steel Blades

$6.00

Ceramic Blades

$6.00

Beveled Shears

$8.00

Bevel Thinning Shears

$8.00

Convex Shears

$15.00

Refurbish 5-N-1 Blades

$10.00

Chunkers

$15.00

Convex Thinning Shears $15.00

We are an Andis & Furzone Regional Distributor and Repair Center Check out our website’s free instructional videos and articles helping you to maintain your clippers and blades. It’s free to download!

Jeff is a Master Sharpener and Certified Pet Groomer. He knows how your tools should perform. He won’t sharpen worn out tools which could harm animals. His office will call you if any of your tools look bad.

Please call or visit our website for mailing information. http://www.northerntails.com/

SINCE 1995

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WE PROMISE TO EXCEED OUR CUSTOMER’S EXPECTATIONS IN QUALITY www.showseasongrooming.com

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Classic Reprint

Classic Reprint

Christina Pawlosky. CMG

Achieving the Perfect Disguise on Curly Coated Mixed Breeds The popular Bichon look can be a assortment of grooming tools on-hand great fit for a wide variety of mixed is essential to accomplishing each breeds. The playful Bichon cut can be step effectively, efficiently and safely. a little tricky to master even for the (Continued on page 101) experienced groomer. Having the right 100 Copyright Š 2013 Find A Groomer Inc. All rights reserved Subscribe www.egroomer.com PetGroomer.com Magazine www.petgroomermagazine.com Subscribe Free

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For this cut, we used a mixed breed

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dog named Sox. The following steps will help you create the Bichon look for mixed breeds: STEP 1 Bathe and Dry

STEP 3 Clip the Ears

Bathe the dog with Hydrosurge® Hypoallergenic Shampoos and Conditioners. Using the Hydrosurge® Very Berry Face wash, make sure to clean the dog’s face and ears very well. This preparation will make the hair a lot easier to groom. STEP 2 Trim Around the Eyes Shape the eyes round using the Oster® Lithium Ion Juice® clipper on the middle (#10 blade) setting. Remove the hair at the bottom of the eye socket. Using the Oster® Super Steel 8” curved Convex 2 shears, go over the eyes and remove the eyelashes.

The Oster® Super Steel Convex 2 Shears has a micro-serrated edge, which removes the coat effortlessly leaving a beautiful finish. Make sure not to lift the ears as you trim the head so they appear as part of the entire frame of the face. The eyes and nose should come just above or very close to the center of the round head. STEP 4 Shaping the Muzzle Using the Oster® Lithium Ion Juice® and a ¾” comb attachment, cut the length of under the jaw. Then it is on with shaping. Using only shears gives the pet a soft, clean and round look.

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The Dog Spa Academy Norwood, New Jersey NASH APPROVED Stacey Herbert, owner, is a:     

Nash Academy Graduate Professional groomer with over 25 years of experience Show Groomer Certified Grooming Instructor Online Course Instructor for Nash Academy and Dog Spa Academy

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STEP 5 Clip the Head Comb the head hair forward in small sections using the Oster® Super Steels™ Convex 2 curved 8 inch shear. Trim each layer so that it blends into the first one. Nothing should be hanging past your first line. STEP 6 Clip the Neck and Front of the Body The neck should appear long. Make sure to leave additional hair to fill in from the back of the skull to the shoulder and blend smoothly into the level back and top-line using the Oster® Super Steels™ Convex 2 straight 8 inch shear followed by the Oster® 26 tooth blender. To clip the front of the dog, use the Oster® A6 Clipper with a #3 blade. Using the same blade, make sure to take the throat tight and cut on a good angle into the front of the front leg, as this will accentuate the chest. eGroomer Journal www.egroomer.com Subscribe Free PetGroomer.com Magazine www.petgroomermagazine.com Subscribe Free

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STEP 7 Clip the Rear of the Body and Rear Legs

Follow the natural line of the dog, the rear angle of the dog should match the front angle. Using a ½” comb attachment over a #30 blade on the Oster® A6 clipper, start clipping reverse to the lay of coat and remove the coat from the bend as shown. If the dog I am grooming does not have the correct angles, I tighten the bends even more and allow the hock hair to be longer. STEP 8 Clip the Middle of the Body The goal is to create a sturdy bodied dog with rounded edges and overall symmetry. Use the Oster® A6 Clipper and a ½” comb attachment over a #30 blade. If the dog you are grooming is thinner bodied, use a longer attachment such as a ¾” or even a 1” if your dog is really thin. (Continued on page 105)

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STEP 9 Clip the Front Legs I personally like to knock off the hair from the leg with the Oster® A6 clipper and a comb attachment. For this cut I used a 1” comb over a #30 blade. To ensure the look of a well sprung rib and nice amount of chest, the dog’s legs should sit directly under the dog’s

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withers with some light coming between the front legs. Take the inside or outside tight, depending on the way the dog stands (for this part of the cut I use the Oster® A6 clipper with the 1” comb attachment over a #30 blade).

STEP 10 Finishing the Feet Clip the pads clean using the Oster® Juice Clipper on the middle setting or a #10 blade on the Oster® A6 clipper. The feet should be trimmed round and look like pillars sitting on the ground. The Oster® Super Steels™ Convex 2 curved 8 inch shear are ideal for a clean finish. For safety, do not scissor directly over the pads of the feet.

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STEP 11 Finish the Tail Hold the tail over the dog’s back and trim the coat at about a 30-degree angle, tight against the back of the tail using the Oster® Super Steels™ Convex 2 straight 8 inch shears. Make sure to blend the tail into the rear angle. If the dog has a long tail, tip the end to make the tail appear thicker. Disguising mix breeds to look like other breeds can be easy as long as the mix breed dog has some characteristics of the chosen breed cut. Sox was a natural for the Bichon look. Grooming should be a pleasant experience for the groomer and the dog. Choosing the right tools and the trim that suit the dog best is essential for a great grooming experience. ♦

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January / March 2014 113 is not commonly known relates toPetGroomer.com It’seGroomer commonly Journal known that all brands of A-5 blades fit any brand of A-5 clippers. What blade sizes. Most Publications brands of A-5 blades have similar sizes, but how they perform varies. Manufacturers must use design differences in order to avoid patent and copyright infringement. The most common difference between brands is the blade thickness. Similar manufacturer sizes may cut at different heights. You could be in for a surprise if you change brands of the same size blade only to discover the cut is different! For your convenience Jeff at Northern Tails Sharpening prepared the multiple manufacturer reference charts below for blades and snap-ons. Be sure to check Jeff’s web site at www.northerntails.com for more helpful articles, videos and descriptions of his mail-in services. ♦

Clipper Blade Cutting Heights by Manufacturer BLADE SIZE

BLADE CUT

MASTER GRM.TOOLS

LAUBE

WAHL

KLEAN CUT

OSTER

ANDIS

#

Inches

MM

MM

MM

MM

MM

MM

50

1/125

0.2

0.2

0.5

0.2

0.2

0.2

40

1/100

0.3

0.3

0.6

0.1

0.3

0.3

35

3/50

0.4

30

1/50

0.5

0.5

0.8

0.2

0.5

0.5

15

3/64

1.2

1.0

1.3

1.0

1.2

1.2

10

1/16

1.6

1.5

1.8

1.5/1.6

1.0

1.5

10W

3/32

2.4

9

5/64

2.0

2.0

2.0

1.5

1.0/2.0

2.0

8.5

7/64

2.8

2.8

2.0

2.8

7

1/8

3.2

3.2

4.0

3.2

3.0

3.2

5

1/4

6.4

6.4

6.0

6.3

6.0

6.3

4

3/8

9.5

9.6

8.0

9.5

9.0

9.5

3

1/2

12.7

13.0

10.0

12.0

13.0

12.0

5/8HT

5/8

15.9

16.0

16.0

3/4HT

3/4

19.0

T-84

3/16

2.4

Snap-On Comb Sizes & Cut Lengths by Manufacturer COMB SIZE

LAUBE SELF ADJ & X-LARGE

WAHL STAINLESS STEEL

MDC ROMANI

OSTER UNIVERSAL

MILLERS FORGE

#

Inches

MM

MM

MM

MM

1/16

1/16

1/8

1/8

1/4

1/4

1/2

3/4

9/16

1/2 3/4

3/4 0

7/8

5/8

5/8

1

5/8

1/2

1/2

1

5/8

1 1/4

1 1/4 1 1/2

1/2

2

3/8

3

5/16

4

3/16

3/8

3/8

7/16

1/2

3/8

3/8

5/16

5/16

1/4

3/16

5

1/16

1/8

1/16

A

1

3/4

B

1 1/4

C

1 1/2

PetGroomer.com Magazine www.petgroomermagazine.com

D

1 3/4

E

2

eGroomer Journal 1 5/8Subscribe Free S www.egroomer.com

7/8 1

Charts courtesy of Northern Tails Sharpening 251-232-5353 www.northerntails.com

© 2014 Find A Groomer Inc. All rights reserved


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