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October 23, 2018

Finding Financial Stability for Shampooches

Anyone who has a dog can tell you they’re like family. And those of us who have dogs that need grooming, know that finding the right groomer can be tough. Groomers need to be trustworthy, gentle with the dog and most importantly, the dog needs to feel safe with them. If a dog goes to a groomer and gets hurt or has an unpleasant experience, then the experience of getting groomed will forever be tainted.

Alicia Jeffreys, owner of Shampooches Dog Grooming in Alton, Illinois, is one of those groomers you wished lived near you. She treats every dog as if they’re her own and even gets emotional at the loss of one of her clients. Yes, her dogs are clients.

As a business owner, Alicia has the service and grooming technique down, but it became clear to the Deluxe team that she needed some focus. Running the business was a problem. Her books were a mess and she couldn’t tell us how much money she makes. The space Shampooches occupies is an old veterinary office, which couldn’t have been more perfect for the Deluxe and Small Business Revolution teams to work with. Not only was this a blank slate, but it was spacious, which allowed for more changes that could better suit the business, and, there was already a large space for a sign outside that was just waiting for a new logo.

With the help of dog grooming expert, Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins, who owns Love Fur Dogs in Chicago, Alicia was able to move some things around in her space and allow for a better experience for her clients. The finished product also allowed for retail, which is something Alicia can utilize to bring in more money to the business.

The biggest issue for Alicia was learning the financial side of being a business owner. When Alicia sat down with Amanda Brinkman, chief brand and communications officer at Deluxe and Jennifer Bishop-Jenkins, she couldn’t tell them how much she was making, how much the business was making, or how much the business needed to make for her to bring in enough money at home. This is surprisingly a common small business owner problem.

Working with small business owners, we have found that many think if they’re paying the bills and can put food on the table, then they are succeeding. Yet many times the reality is they pay the bills, but not themselves. They forget to look at costs, at overhead, at prices.

Alicia needed to look at those numbers to better determine if she needed to charge more for grooming or add additional services that could bring in more revenue. Talking to Deluxe vice president of small business services, Damon Fieldgate, Alicia admitted that she was afraid to raise prices because she wanted to be fair to her customers. Yet as Damon told her, she is providing a service and she needs to be compensated for the service. A rate hike is not cheating her customers, it is valuing her skills. After all, if she doesn’t charge enough, she won’t be in business, and then her clients lose out as well.

All the marketing efforts Deluxe provided for Alicia, from a new website to printed materials to logos and more can only help make people aware of her business. Without gaining hold of her financial picture, Alicia could become one of the hundreds of thousands of small businesses that fail each year.

Businesses often don’t think about the finances, or think, they’ll work themselves out. A lot of owners tend to have the mindset that if they’re paying all the bills, they’re fine. But in order for a small business to thrive and be successful, they must track finances, whether it’s through a system or with the help of an accountant.

Shampooches Dog Grooming is a place you can take your pets that you can trust and know you will get remarkable service again and again. With Deluxe’s help, this dog grooming shop will continue to be a cut above the rest.

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