Today’s blog is a departure from cat grooming, and instead much more personal. I  just checked the blog and was astonished to find I my last one was written 1 1/2 years! That’s horrible! bad, bad, very bad. And that’s what this blog/share is about.

Growth is a wonderful and terrifying thing. Every new business owner has to beat the odds to get their company off the ground. Only a small percentage make it past two years. Due to overwhelming response of wonderful clients, we’ve easily rounded that curve. But what comes next? More personnel? More locations? More services?
It’s easy to get sucked into a mentality that to be successful you have to grow. But what kind of growth is good for the clientele? For the company? For the people who work here? 

As I started out, I added many revenue streams/features to try and see what worked, what resonated with the clientele, and who exactly was my ideal clientele. I couldn’t compare what I knew about the dog grooming industry because, like the animals themselves, the clientele is different. I have groomed. I have taught and administered grooming exams. I sold Chubbs Bars. I created grooming aids. I have worked six days a week in the grooming studio for the last three years (and on the seventh, I’m still working on accounting and marketing).

One of my many interests is horticulture, but I don’t have the time. But what I learned from gardening long ago was that when all the new shoots on a plant are growing, they all compete for a limited amount of energy from the core of the plant. That is why it is so beneficial to prune. A good gardener is merciless in cutting back weak, non-productive growth that doesn’t support the core of the plant.

So rather than grow Cat’s Pajamas unchecked, it is important to stay true to our core and refocus on our purpose, which is to make each cat a masterpiece for their pet parent. I would hate to disappoint our core clients, or make bandaid decisions to just fill demand. It won’t benefit anyone.

Sooooo, going forward into 2019, I need to prune. Some things may make some people unhappy. For those who understand and “get” what Cat’s Pajamas is about; they will benefit.

First cut: No more walk-in services on Mondays and Fridays. Giving 3.5% of company time to a revenue of less than 1% of the business makes no fiscal sense. Also, the point of creating a walk-in time was to convert walk-in visitors into clients. It didn’t happen. I would say 90% of that 1% revenue just don’t believe their cats will benefit from proper grooming. Spot shaving mats or just combing is not proper grooming. Need a nail trim? Make an appointment for full luxury bath service instead. Still not convinced? We may not be the groomer for you (That’s another blog idea coming soon).

Second cut: Closed Mondays. If you have an appointment currently scheduled for a Monday – do not panic! I will of course grandfather all existing appointments. I need Mondays to do business development such as hiring and training employees, writing blogs, recharging. We may re-open Mondays in the future once appropriate employees are trained and put in place, but in the meantime…..

There are a few other branches I need to prune, but they won’t affect the grooming clients in any way, so I won’t go into it here.

New initiatives: We are going to upgrade our reception to improve clientele experience and social engagement. We are also exploring even better ways of making appointments, reminders, etc. We may have to limit accepting new clients in the future to better serve our existing loyal regular customers.  This may slow down growth, but that is a good thing, as each decision will be done keeping in mind our core purpose of why we are here in the first place.

So that’s the low-down of what this year’s streamlining for betterment is all about. If you have ideas on how we can improve your grooming service experience with us from a customer point of view, we would love to hear from you!

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