Grooming Business Helper & Sampler CD-ROM
Welcome to Pet Grooming Business Plan Helper & Sampler, the first Grooming Business in a Box CD-ROM. This is the first business plan writing program developed for groomers by members of the grooming industry. We’re going to show you how to create a formal business “road map” you can follow to fulfill your dream for a pet business.
Grooming Business in a Box™ was created to balance the demand for a person to be both a groomer and business owner. Groomers take it for granted that training is required to become a professional groomer, but where is it taken for granted that grooming business owners should have small business management education? Now isn’t that a rare breed? Is it then any surprise that so many grooming business owners struggle? It’s an obvious result of a lack of small business education. That’s the balance we offer; educational opportunities to create businesspersons that groom.
Today, most pet grooming business owners do not have a formal business plan. Most of them have never read a grooming business plan and cannot poignantly describe what constitutes a business plan. Unfortunately, most grooming business owners create a business plan only when they are required. For example, the most popular reason to create one is to secure a start-up business loan.
Lenders or investors are not being cruel to expect and require business plans. In fact, business plans are the normal course of business and for good reason. There is truth in the saying that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Failure doesn’t necessarily mean that you lose your business. Failure in business can also be described as an operation that struggles to survive and noted for stress commonly associated with “groomer burnout.” It’s not the fault of pet owners. Honest grooming business owners have told us they sought our help because it was their desire to fall back in love again with their business. They didn’t want to establish a burdensome operation, but that is often the result of a lack of formal planning. You will come to better understand the difference between groomers that own a business and businesspersons that groom using business plans as you write your own plan.
Businesspersons That Groom
We hope that you will take a lighthearted approach toward your journey to quantify your dream business into words and figures. It’s going to be much easier using the Pet Grooming Business Helper and Sampler than going it alone or paying someone else to do it for you. You cannot go wrong by becoming more informed in what to expect from your business, and what the public expects of your grooming business. Setting goals for a business in writing and then measuring your success to achieve them has always been an important part of the formula “from problems to profits.”
We’re excited for you. For nearly 20 years as consultants we have seen the business plan writing process take typical pet lovers and groomers and transform them into a “businessperson that grooms.” Most of them had no idea that they were not a businessperson. The title “owner” doesn’t make anyone successful in business. It’s how they manage what they own that either creates a problematic business, or a smooth operation. Out of hundreds of consultation clients only a few ever showed us their business plan. Was a lack of business planning the source of their problems; you bet. Those that did show us plans were usually asking for help to open another successful operation or to mend minor problems.
It’s time to consider the balance of your responsibilities. Most of you are groomers and business owners, and that requires balance. The pet groomer in you is consulted during the process of creating a business plan, but it is the businessperson in you that creates and follows the “road map.” Put aside the art of grooming while you work on your plan, and learn the tasks required of successful business manager. In many ways your role is much like the parent of a newborn child that needs your vigilant care. It is said by professionals that the first 5 years of a child’s life make a profound effect upon who they are for the rest of their life. Isn’t it interesting that most business plans for start-ups chart the first 5 years of the businesses they establish? The decisions you make now about your business impact the formative years of your business. Be a vigilant parent of your business and use the management system in From Problems to Profits to fulfill that role.
Hundreds of our consultation clients came to us to find their way from problems to profits. They were fine groomers, but they overlooked management skills and they didn’t have a map, just the will to go into business for themselves. We regularly hear from groomers on our chat and message boards having problems with their businesses. As consultants we can quickly source the their problems to a lack of planning before they went into business. They have no road map, no chart, no way to measure where they are going. They didn’t anticipate the problems in order to prevent them!
The good news is that if you will formally plan, execute and manage a business it will mature and turn the tables and serve you well. Grooming Business in a Box™ is for achievers, and that is the way it should be. You are an exception in the pet grooming industry. We cheer you for your motivation and intent. It’s obvious you are becoming the business person that grooms. In a few weeks the proof can be in your hands. Simply follow all of the step-by-step instructions in this User Guide.
This User Guide provides instructions for a 5 step process that results in a finished business plan. You must follow the steps in the order they appear. Here are the 5 steps:
The Pet Grooming Business Helper & Sampler package includes a CD-ROM. There are some resources on the CD-ROM that may prove helpful for Steps 1 to 3. For example, we suggest you use the copy of the PetGroomer.com Yellow Pages to research information required for Steps 1 to 3. When you reach Step 4 the CD-ROM becomes mandatory.
There are some audio files on the CD-ROM we suggest you listen to at this time, if you have not already done so. Insert the CD-ROM in your computer with speakers. The table of contents splash screen lists 5 audio welcome messages you can click and listen.
Features for All Users and Advanced Users
The Grooming Business in a Box™ CD-ROM #1 separates its resource into features for “all users” and “advanced users.” To qualify as an advanced user you must have access to a Windows® computer with a CD-ROM drive and 2 Microsoft® programs installed. They are Word® and Excel®. Microsoft Office® includes both of these programs.
The advanced user files we provide are powerful and unique Excel® and Word® computer files which we have created and refined over a period of many years writing professional plans. The files represent two separate plans. They are:
When you reach Step 4 of this User Guide you are given the green light to access the Financial Plan (Excel®) files on the CD-ROM. It is very important you complete the Financial Plan before you begin the Pet Grooming Business Plan file (Word®). The latter requires you to copy tables of financial figures and charts from the Financial Plan into its outline. You cannot do that if you have not fully-completed the Financial Plan. We reiterate that by “fully” we mean 100% complete.
If you are unfamiliar with using Word® and Excel® you must have the assistance of someone who has basic word processing and spreadsheet data entry experience. You are not required to create or formulate any formulas; we have done that you. You must accurately enter figures that you develop with our assistance. However, in the process of developing figures you will require some accounting knowledge. Of course, we cannot give you an accounting education here. It is absolutely normal to require some assistance using the services of a professional if you do not have someone so experienced among family and friends.
Before you seek assistance from a professional with small business finance experience there is a substantial amount of work to be done that you can do, and you should do. It will not only save you money, but you will grow by leaps and bounds as a businessperson.
During Step 1 to 3 you collect and organize information to be used in Step 4. In the process of completing Step 4 you are asked to make many decisions that you as the owner of the business should make. For example, what days and hours will your business be open in the next 5 years? Will you have employees in the next 5 years? How will you organize the staff as the business grows? Where will you open the business? If you are mobile, what are the boundaries of your service area, and will that change in the next 5 years? How many pet owning households are in your proposed market area? What is its dog and cat population? What equipment, tools and supplies do you require? What will the grooming fees be in Years 1 to 5? What portion of your grooming fees is allocated to overhead expense? These are but a few of the questions that lie ahead, and you need to work through them with our assistance before you seek additional assistance. Do your best. It is entirely normal for decisions to change and change again all the way up to the day you press the button to print the final draft of your business plan.
Do as much as you can do and leave blank what you cannot do. Then it is time to get assistance. Remember it is vital that you maintain notes that explain how you derived any and all figures. Some of our clients have taken short courses in small business accounting while they completed Steps 1 to 3.
Every businessperson that grooms has a bookkeeper or accountant, and you are likely to need some assistance from them to review your numbers, especially for more complicated spreadsheets such as the “Cash Flow Summary” and “Balance Sheet.” Do all you can do first to minimize the amount of assistance you require. We have some good news too. Many of our business plan clients have gotten free or modestly priced assistance from professionals associated with local SCORE, SBA or SBDC agencies.
We remind you there is no need to access the Advanced User files on the CD-ROM until you complete Steps 1 through 3 in this User Guide. You’re ready to move onto Step 1.