Over the years we have published dozens of press releases, pictures, articles and announcements related to mobile grooming. On this page you can access to those we feel should be saved in an archive for future reference. Welcome to the Driven to Groom Mobile Library Archive.

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Mobile Articles and Photos Archive

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Manufacturer Photos

Endurance Sprinter by Wag'n Tails Mobile Conversions
Pet Stylist Elite by Wag'n Tails Mobile Conversions
Trailer Conversion by Wag'n Tails Mobile Conversions
Pet Pro by Wag'n Tails Mobile Conversions
Hitch On Mobile Pet Salons
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Proud Mobile Business Owners

Shannon Coleman  
Victoria Blair Susan Beers
Sara Pauley Angie Robinson
Sherri Wolff Marti Davis
Anda Gill Lori Schwartz
Susan Thompson Gloria Reeves
Linda Thoma Jacqui of Australia
Felicia Moran Kevin Charles
Pam Julian's Conversion Lois Purdy
Ricky Gates More of Doug's Inverters
Melody's Self Conversion Michelle Marshall
Doug's Inverter System Tammy's Trailer
Alice - StylishPet Mobile Pam Julian's Inverter System
Karen Frisque Patty Martin
Cindy Eddy Angela Koza
Vonda Duer Carolyn Hoffmeister
Tom Meteiver Lorrie Buckingham
Pet Village Kathy Love
Trans Fur Groomers Morna Holden
Leslie McCoin Trojcak Stacey Kluberdanz
Lisa Benci Lauritza Taft
We regret that we cannot authorize you to copy in any manner whatsoever any one or more of the photographs and graphics located in this gallery. All photographs are either licensed by Find A Groomer, Inc. for its private use, or they are copyrighted by their owner and on loan to PetGroomer.com for display and not for copying by any party at PetGroomer.com. All photographs owned by individual outside of PetGroomer.com are clearly marked with the owner's copyright. By accessing PetGroomer.com and this gallery you are subject to our Mission Statement, Disclaimer Notice and Privacy Policy. If you do not agree with it in its entirety, you should leave this web site. We appreciate your cooperation.

 

Mobile Articles

Gasoline Prices and the Impact on Mobile Grooming:
A Rational Analysis of Cost per Pet

By John Stockman, Wag'n Tails Mobile Conversions
Copyright 2007 John Stockman All rights reserved
Published here with permission of the author

There’s a lot being said about how gas prices are damaging the bottom line in mobile pet grooming these days. They are, of course, having an effect but just how significant is it? To answer that question, we decided to take a closer look at the situation. Our goal is to provide an understandable analysis of just how big the impact is on mobile grooming today compared to a year ago.

To do this study, we used some recent mobile grooming survey results from PetGroomer.com to set our parameters on average distances driven per day and the price per pet being charged. We are using Onan’s data on generator fuel consumption with measured electrical demands using our normal Wag’n Tails components like air conditioners, high velocity dryers, lights, central vacuum systems, etc.

Remember that since we are going to figure the generator fuel consumption separately, the van MPG numbers are for the van only without consideration of the generator. Whenever there is a question, we’ll stay on the conservative side to be safe.

Finally, we’re using the highest national average fuel price listed so far this year ($3.227) which was on 5/24/07 in order to be conservative as we promised above. This is from the American Automobile Association’s (AAA) website entitled “Fuel Gauge Report” at this URL: www.fuelgaugereport.com. Check it out for average gas and diesel fuel prices in your local area and a lot more.

Now for some numbers. Almost of groomers surveyed report they drive 50 miles or less per day so to again be conservative, we’ll use the highest end of the range and go with 50 miles. We’ll figure 6 dogs per day and $60 per groom with 1 hour per groom and 12 MPG for the van. Our principal source for the van MPG is www.autobytel.com which lists the E350 extended van with the 5.4 liter V-8 at 15 MPG city and 19 MPG highway. With the extra weight of the conversion and 50 gallons of water, we will remain conservative and go with 12 MPG.

Also there will be 2 separate calculations on generator fuel usage. One calculation will be with the air conditioner on for the hotter states and one with it off for us northerners. You can also use the “A/C On” calculation for reviewing summer months and the other calculation for looking at winter months.

Regardless of the analysis here, conserving fuel is always a good idea. Be sure you’re routing yourself efficiently. Look closely at your scheduling too. Will a client let you move them to another day or time to keep your travel distance as tight as it can be? Oh and by the way, how heavy is your right foot? Easy starts and stops over time add up to better fuel economy.

Ok, enough of that. What do the numbers look like? Is it as horribly depressing as the hype says it is? Is the world coming to an end like the evening news tells us every night? Should I sell my van and run for the hills? Not just yet! Read on…

Gas price per gallon-Today

$3.227

 

 

Gas price per gallon-Year ago

$2.852

 

 

Miles driven per day

50

12500

Annually

Dogs groomed per day

6

 

 

Miles driven per dog

7.1429

 

 

Van MPG

12

 

 

Price per groom

$60

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A/C On

A/C Off

Van Fuel Per Dog (Gallons)

 

0.60

0.60

Generator Gallons/Hr--A/C On

 

0.82

N/A

Generator Gallons/Hr--A/C Off

 

N/A

0.70

Fuel consumed per dog (Gallons)

 

1.42

1.30

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fuel cost per dog-Today

 

$4.57

$4.18

Fuel cost per dog-Year ago

 

$4.04

$3.69

Difference

 

$0.53

$0.49

 

 

 

 

Fuel cost % groom price-Today

 

7.61%

6.97%

Fuel cost % groom price-Year ago

 

6.73%

6.16%

Difference

 

0.88%

0.81%

So what does all this mean? Well, I wouldn’t throw in the towel on mobile grooming just yet. What it all boils down to in this example: your fuel costs have risen around fifty cents per dog! That equates to $60 per month or about 1 extra pet per month. And remember we’ve included driving to the appointment and running the generator for a full hour.

But wait! Fifty cents a dog is a lot of money! Yes it is but look at the total as a percentage of your groom fee. In the worst case scenario above, it’s increased from 6.73% of the total groom fee to 7.61%. That’s less than a nine tenths of one percent jump in a year.

We aren’t trying to play down the impact of the recent spike in gasoline prices. We suffer right along with you when we gas up our vehicles too. Our point is simply this: When you take a rational look behind all the hype, it’s not as bad as it seems.

There are answers beyond conserving gas too. One very important consideration is this one: When was the last time you took a long, hard look at your pricing? When was your last increase? Remember one thing-you’re great at what you do and you’re worth every penny!

Also take the same detailed review of your routing and scheduling. You can probably make that all back and then some by tightening up your routes and schedule.

We need to keep our wits about us and we all need to look for other inefficient areas that can be corrected in our businesses also. That’s always a good practice, not just when fuel prices rise.

Our hope is this analysis has helped you look at this matter a little differently than you did before you read it. If you want to see the same analysis above but for your local area, just call us and we’ll email you a completely interactive spreadsheet that allows exactly that.

You just put your own numbers in for all the variables. It’s easy to use and all you need to do is type in what you want to change and it will do all the calculations for you. Just call us or send an email to john@wagntails.com with your email address and we’ll send it right to you. Oh, and since gas prices are so high we’ll send it to you for free.

The Do's & Don'ts of Mobile Grooming

by Terry Minix, Vice President, CEO Custom Commercial Vehicles
Terry Minix, J.T. Custom Works, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Published here with the permission of the author.

If you are interested in going mobile, the following information should be somewhat of a guideline to help assure  that your investment is a profitable one.

One very important point that should be considered when choosing a conversion company is that they are a "factory authorized mobile grooming company." This means representatives of  Ford, Chrysler & GM  have been to the company, and have inspected and approved the conversion and workmanship of said company. This assures the end user that both the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) such as Ford, Chrysler and GM will stand behind both the conversion and the vehicle.

There have been a lot of conversion companies in the past go out of business and Ford, Chrysler and GM are ultimately responsible for those conversions. Therefore back in 1992 the industry went through a lot of changes, and this is the way the factory monitors what is being done to their vans. A reputable company should not have a problem with meeting the OEM's standards.

One of the  most important things to be concerned about with a Mobile Groomer is "Down Time." A good way to find out just how much Down Time you might experience with a particular conversion company is to contact customers of these conversion companies. Email is less disruptive to the current groomers and they can respond to questions at their convenience, as not to disturb their work schedule.  No matter what conversion companies might say there will always be a certain percentage of equipment failure resulting in Down Time.

If the company truly cares for your business they will send you replacement parts overnight and deal with vendors and repair shops themselves. Some conversion companies require you to have written authorization before repairs can take place. This can be an absolute disaster for the Mobile Groomer. Again check with conversion companies to see how each handle this situation. Again most responsible manufactures have a policy that will allow the customer to choose who, and where they would like to have repairs made to their vehicle.

You should also be aware of the quality of the conversion. The van conversion industry is known for cosmetically making things look good, and then cutting corners on materials, equipment and workmanship. Again emailing existing Mobile Groomers will reveal if a company uses inferior materials, equipment and maintains poor workmanship.

One other point that you should make absolutely sure of is that the company you are buying your conversion from is the manufacturer, and not just a middleman / sales representative. This keeps you from having to go through several different channels for warranty or repair work. Go straight to the manufacturer for your conversion.

Mobile grooming can be a very profitable business " IF " the right Groomer, has the right mobile grooming conversion for their needs.

So You're Thinking of Adding a Second Mobile Unit

by Dina Perry, Wag'n Tails Mobile Grooming Conversions
2001 Dina Perry - Wag'n Tails Mobile Conversions All Rights Reserved
Published here with the permission of the author.

This is a sure sign of success. Usually the statement is made to me when you are so busy you can’t see straight. You’ve taken every client you can and have fired all the ones you don’t want. What to do? First, if you’re that busy make sure your prices are high enough. Raise your price and sit back and select your clients. Choose customers who are scheduled every 4 weeks or less.  Get rid of the biters! Now life is good.

This is the point a lot of you are at after a few years, some in a few months, and the new clients are still calling. If you seriously want to start a fleet, or just a second van you need to remember just how hard good groomers are to find. Why did you go out on your own? Money, freedom, security? This is what you will need to provide to a qualified groomer to find and keep them. If your prices are low, they can’t make a great income. So check that out first. You can easily give a mobile groomer 60%, of the grooming charge,  if you have a service charge you keep along with your 40% of the grooming charge. This could never be done in a salon. Think about it. The groomer makes 60%, at least 10% more than a salon, and hopefully the price is a good 10 to 20 percent higher in the mobile for grooming. After all, in a mobile the pet gets one on one service. The very best should cost more than the assembly line. Make sure you give a groomer benefits if they need them. Most HMO’s cost around $100.00 to $150.00 a month for a single person under 35. It’s well worth the cost and will help keep good people. Be flexible on days and hours. Remember that’s one of the reasons you aren’t working for someone else. Do make sure they understand appointments are made and never canceled. Nothing loses a client faster then a cancellation.

Lynn Edwards, a client of ours from New York State had great idea. She had been in business less than a year and she was swamped. She said at least half of her clients were B&B’s. Goldens, Shelties, Yorkies, labs, and etc. She could teach a person to B&B (Brush and Bath) in a few weeks. If they quit and she had two payments it would only take a short time to find and train a new Bather. Good Thinking Lynn! If you have a groomer out there and they quit. Ouch!! It could take months to find someone qualified.

The best idea for multiple units is to have your first unit paid for or to know the person you hire is not going to leave. Many of my clients are now family businesses. The money is great, the job a breeze with only the best clients on the books, and your spouse or mate is looking at you with envy in their eyes. A daughter or son is thinking this looks pretty good to them. These people don’t leave without notice.

A young man from California once called inquiring about a new van to replace his aging one. He told me he worked  very hard for five weeks and took the sixth one off. He always had time for the “honey do” list his wife had saved for him, or a 10 day vacation. This young man had thought out his life. He had found the best of the job, flexibility and freedom. Smart guy.

If you don’t have a person you know well to fill a second van than maybe the best bet is to pay off your first one and then get the second. Cori, a young client from Michigan told me she was 3 payments ahead. I was extremely proud of her. Make double payments and in no time you can have a second van. If the groomer quits and it takes a few months to fill the spot with the right person. No sweat, you can make one payment very easily.

When writing this I am assuming the person reading it is not able to invest $50,000.00 into a new van in cash. If that were the case, the suggestions would be quite different. A fleet of mobiles is a very profitable enterprise when well run . I will write an article for you soon about how to pay your employee.  Stand by.

To summarize:

Make sure you are charging enough to provide you and a groomer with a good profit.

Think about the B&B'er van.

Pay off your first van making double payments, then breathe easy with only 1  payment.

Look for people you know and trust to fit into your business.

Pay them well, find out what they expect from the job, and provide it.

 

 

 
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