The location that I am in is my shops third location in 26 years.
I bought my shop as an excising grooming salon.
The business had been run into the ground, lost most of its clientele do to the bad attitude of the previous owner, and the landlord didn't do much to help keep up the building.
I bought the business anyway, because it was a way for me to own my own shop.
I was not able to do many improvements while trying to build the business back up.
I was not crazy about the way the shop was laid out, but it was a nice big space.
Unfortunately, a lot of it was wasted space.
I would love to have some of that space back now. :/
Anyway, I moved out of that large shop, because the
slumlord landlord really raised the rent on me.
(The shopping center burned down, do to faulty wiring a few months after I moved out.)
So, I downsized.
I did not have much choice in the way that I laid that shop out either.
There was only 500 square feet to work with, but it was nice and cozy.
I moved to my current location to add a Self-Serve dog wash, and doubled the space.
I also got to start from scratch to do the entire layout the way I wanted it.
I thought that I got it right.
I don't know, I guess you will always find things that you would like to change.
Unfortunately, I don't have enough room to make those extra changes right now.
I really wish that I had one of those changes today.
So, what is the change?
A small, private consultation area.
A consultation area with a small grooming table were I can take a customer to when I need to talk to them in private about their pet.
Take today for instance.
I had a cat in today.
I have groomed this cat before.
Her owner had been bring her about once a month to have me combed her out.
Then her owner got sick and I did not see the cat for awhile.
The owners daughter called a few weeks ago about the cat, and said that she was pretty matted.
She said that the matting was pretty bad.
Because of the Holidays and being so booked, we suggested that she check with her Vet, and if the cat needed to be clipped right away, maybe they could do it.
The daughter called back to say that the Vet thought that we could handle it.
Ugh, well I knew I could handle it, I just thought that the Vet would clip off the mats sooner if they were really bad.
Fast forward to today.
The cat came in this morning.
The top half of her was not so bad.
She had matting that could be easily brushed out.
But the bottom half......
The matting was from under her chin and behind her ears, down her chest and belly to her tail, and was one tight, rock solid mat.
I spent a while slowly and carefully working my way through those mats.
Especially around those armpits.
I don't think I breathed while clipping those packed armpits.
The mats were so tight to her skin.
I clipped all of the mats off and saved them to show the owners daughter.
Thankfully, I only had to shave the under half of the cat, and only half way up the sides.
So, she looks pretty good laying this way.
When she lays on her side, her naked belly will show. :)
As I mentioned before, I saved the mats that I cut off to show the owners daughter. (she is taking care of the cat while her Mom recovers)
I was also showing her how to brush and comb the cat so that she could get all of the way down to the skin to get all of the matting.
This is when a nice, small consultation room would have come in handy.
As I was showing the daughter the matting, another customer came into pick up her dogs.
Most of the time a customer will stand back and wait their turn, or if my husband knows that I am going to be talking to a customer for a while, he will go over to the other customer and wait on them to get them in and out.
He did not have a chance today.
The second customer came right up to the counter to see what I was talking to the first owner about.
She also started to make comments about the mats on the counter, and asked the daughter a few questions.
She totally busted into our conversation.
I could tell that the daughter was embarrassed.
She was already upset about the condition of the cat, and had already asked me how she could keep the cat from matting up again.
It would have been much better if I could have taken her into a small room, away from the lobby and other customers to talk to her.
This scenario has happened a number of times before over the years.
When another customer walks in and injects themselves into a conversation that I am already having with another customer.
So, I have decided, if and when I have more room, I am going to make that little consultation room so that I can talk to certain customers in private.
Something else to add to my 'I Want That List'. :)