When running a pet grooming business, you face many of the same day-to-day challenges as those running human-focused salons. Setting and maintaining appointments are always a moving target, as is keeping your stylists’ skills fresh and up to date. Throw in some industry insurance requirements and local health department regulations and you essentially have a salon that takes pets.
When a customer walks through your doors with their fur baby, they expect the service areas to be a relaxing environment. Keeping things running smoothly while maintaining a stress-free environment is the difference between a successful pet grooming enterprise and the locks being changed on your doors. This makes it arguably more important to smooth the hard edges of your operating procedures and tasks. You know that using technology will help you to accomplish this, but how can you manage the costs associated with upgrading your business technology platforms?
Making Intelligent Choices About the Tech You Rely On
Running a pet grooming business requires an in-depth look at how you accomplish daily tasks. Appointment tracking, inventory management, and managing customer data are all frequently addressed tasks that can easily be streamlined or automated. With the right POS software solution in place, you can achieve confidence in the technology your business depends on for its success, and at a much lower cost than you may realize.
A deep level of cost savings can be achieved when your POS solution is able to effortlessly integrate into your environment. It will be designed to ensure that you are not paying for functions that you will never use while eliminating long-term support or equipment contracts that do not provide dividends. Your selection of payment processing options must allow you to adjust terms as you go, even if it is to switch providers or financial institutions. Lastly, it must give you control over your shop so that you can focus on the needs of pets and their owners.
Taking Control of Client and Staff Scheduling
Juggling the schedules of customers and your staff is at times feels like an exercise in organized chaos. Not only must you ensure staff availability for the grooming services of each pet, but you must coordinate pick-ups, drop-offs, and in some cases, kennel space. Putting this all together in a physical or digital calendar will lead to inevitable mistakes that can cause inconvenience and frustration across the board. This makes your shop quite the opposite of the relaxing atmosphere you need to create.
Intelligent scheduling technology is a great solution to running a pet grooming business. There are innovative POS solutions on the market today that includes scheduling options, including some very customer friendly abilities, such as online or app-based scheduling. If the POS solution does not come with an app, have no worries. App-based scheduling solutions, such as Gigabook and Setmore, may have a plugin available to easily allow you to utilize these services within your scheduling software.
Not only does this ease the appointment-making process for your customers, but it reduces the pressure on your staff. Setting schedules for your stylists and support staff becomes much easier, and having an online scheduling presence gives you control over making appointment adjustments or re-allocating others to cover the tasks of those who are out on a particular day. Staff can easily switch shift times, or pick up available shifts, ensuring that you have the highest level of coverage. This creates an improved customer experience, thanks to the flexibility and simplicity of modern POS software.
Creating a Better Customer Experience With Payment Versatility
Creating a calm and enjoyable atmosphere for your two and four-legged customers requires a high level of flexibility on your end. Scheduling is just one aspect of running a pet grooming business. Offering flexible payments options in the array of services that you offer to improve customer relationships is another crucial, yet often overlooked, aspect to consider here.
Consider this example. A client leaves their furry friend in your hands for a shampoo and haircut while they leave to run a few errands. The appointment with your grooming stylist goes smoothly. However, you notice that the customer is 45 minutes late for picking up their pet. You kennel their dog and continue to try to contact the owner. Finally, 20 minutes later, the client rushes in, offering hurried apologies while mentioning a car issue. In their angst of being late in getting back, the stress of the disabled vehicle, and an impatient wait for an Uber, they realize that they left their wallet in the car that is now being towed across town.
The client offers to pay you via their mobile wallet instead. Can you accommodate them with this request? What about the newer tap cards; can you accept those if a client walks in and that is the only payment option in their wallet? Staying abreast of all of the latest payment trends is a must in today’s rapidly evolving payment space. You must present as many of the potential payment options that can be expected from your clientele. Doing so will require not that you have the payment processing in place to accept the payment, but you must also possess the technical ability to do so as well. You will not only gain deeper levels of trust from your customers but will gain a competitive edge.
Gain a Decisive Competitive Edge With Innovative Inventory Management
Taking command of your product and supply inventory is a time-consuming area that is just screaming for a technical solution. The ability to accurately track and manage supplies, and to tie in their usage to individual groomers, sets you up to transcend industry norms. With the right POS system in place, you can see through easily generated reports if any of your groomers are using more, or less, of a product than is expected. This gives you the ability to insure you against internal product leakage while helping you to achieve the quality expectations you have worked so diligently to establish with customers.
Managing the products on the shelves and reducing product leakage there is also made easier by having the right POS tech in place. Expiration dates can be scanned into the system and automated alerting setup when products meet certain criteria. The ability to maneuver products and displays through accurate product rotation reduces the number of expired products to be discarded. Here you achieve a reduction in waste and can begin to make positive strides towards improving your operating margins.
Additional improvements in your business can be realized when you can easily view reports around what your customers are purchasing. You gain the ability to determine which of your display shelves are hot, and areas where traffic flow could be improved. Also, you will be able to determine product trends, both up or down, so that your inventory of product offerings can be changed accordingly. The great thing about having the tech in place to help manage your inventory is that many of these tasks can be automated, freeing up your valuable time so you can spend your hours with your clients and their pets.
Running a Pet Grooming Business Means Using Smarter Tech
Managing a pet grooming business introduces challenges that you as an owner would not have to face in most industries. On top of the typical inventory and staff management functions, payment processing and customer data analysis tasks all owners must perform, you have additional items to consider. Your space must be kept calm so pets do not adversely react to your setting or your staff. Pets, owners, and groomers must all have assurances around safety, cleanliness, and peacefulness. Staff training is a bit more challenging, and the insurance and regulations you must meet to remain open can take a toll.
This is why you need a heavy-hitting technical solution in place to handle as much of the heavy lifting as possible. Modern POS solutions can often be one-stop software solutions, providing a wide range of process functionalities and automatons for a cost that you may find surprisingly low. Getting help in making the smart technical choice for your pet grooming salon is recommended. This ensures that you get the most for your spending dollars and helps with running a pet grooming business.
Running a pet grooming business means leveraging emerging POS technologies and implementing these into your business processes to ensure your success. You will require a wide range of customizable features, scheduling and flexible hardware options for your POS to drive your success. At talech, we developed an appointment scheduling solution that seamlessly integrates into your POS system for salons to leverage to their advantage. Reach out to us today to sign up for a demo and to learn more about how we can be your valued POS partner.