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bathnbiscuits

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Reply with quote  #1 
I own an upscale pet spa and grooming salon in Ohio. Last year a woman came into my shop wanting to shave her own dog-of course I was concerned...owners never do a good job, however I quickly noticed she had some skill. I needed a groomer at the time and offered her some space to lease in my shop. She hadn't groomed in twelve years, actually only apprenticed under someone, but was excited about being her own boss. Another groomer down the road left the vet office she had been working at for twelve years and asked to rent some space at my salon so she could keep her large clientele. Of course I said yes and even Groomer 1 said it would be fine with her. Now it's been seven months and Groomer 2 is fully booked each week while Groomer 1 has barely 2-5 dogs EACH week. Groomer 1 doesn't understand about marketing or getting her name out there. 75-80% of her clients are my customers of the self-serve and retail side and Groomer 1 thought she could just feed off my salon's success. Our contract states that she is responsible for all marketing, advertising etc unless she wants to go 50/50 or 30/30/30. She doesn't have the money to do anything because she doesn't know how to budget her earnings. Now she is complaining she isn't making money and it's all Groomer 2's fault. Understandably, Groomer 1 is looking at "other options" or even trying to purchase her own shop approx. 15 minutes away from mine. That shop owner wants to retire after 30 years and is asking $35,000 (I don't think she can come up with that) and Groomer 1 has said she will work through the holidays and make a decision in January.
Soooo...after that long explanation, my question is this; how should I handle this with her? I've already decided I won't help market her anymore as I want all new clients going to Groomer 2 (who is actually a much better and more experienced groomer). I can't believe she told me that she is trying to purchase an existing business which would be directly competing with me. Yes, I am disappointed that I have helped her over the past year with her business, showing her how to do things correctly and even created ads and coupons for her. I am hurt that she wants to do this when one year ago she never even thought of grooming again or even having her own business, yet I do understand someone wanting to own something which is all theirs. I've been in business for over 8 years and worked very hard to get where I am today-my shop is extremely successful.
Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

nd5050

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Reply with quote  #2 

I belive in your explaination you have your anwers. She has a plan to buy her own shop. She has no clientele now. Is not good with money and does not know how to advertise and promote herself. Sound like the road to success. Wish her the best and trust that God will take care of the rest. ( be ready for an influx of customers from down the road )

RC

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Reply with quote  #3 

I'm with you nd5050, couldn't say it better.

brittasmom

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Reply with quote  #4 

Don't be hurt. Business is business. Even if she decides to stay she needs to go. She can't cut it , she is a drag on the business since you constantly have to spend time  helping her.

bathnbiscuits

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thank you all for your responses. You're right brittasmom, I shouldn't be hurt, but it still stings...a little. I stepped back over the weekend, thought hard about it and I am going to speak with her today. I'll let her know that I understand where she's coming from and that since she isn't busy right now, she should take this time to concentrate on her new business and tell her this will be her last week. The tension in the shop is too great with her there and knowing what she wants to do is draining on everyone.
bathnbiscuits

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Reply with quote  #6 
So I spoke with her, kept it very professional and told her I understood her feelings-she blew up and started yelling nasty things at me. I kept calm and suggested she might want to leave at the end of the day. She finally calmed down and Nov 30 will be her last day as she has several appointments booked out until then.
Should I let her tell clients about her new shop, the name and where it's located while standing in my shop? I understand letting her clients know how to contact her but there were several surprised stares at me and it was very uncomfortable.
brittasmom

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Reply with quote  #7 
This is a sticky wicket . Since she got upset and abusive you had a perfect right to show her the door right then.  If she had her own clients when she came there she should be able to take them. If they are clients she got on your dime then they are yours. She will contact them anyway but doing it in front of you suggests to the client you approve. I would not be surprised if the nastiness and tension doesn't escalate . If she steps out of line show her the door immediately. Do not hesitate to call the police if she gets nasty or abusive.  You own the place and your business should not have to suffer because of her bad attitude. Nor should you or other employees have to work in a tense enviroment because she is not happy.Beware of retribution , she should not be allowed in the shop alone  especially if you have a computer.
You are going to feel so much better when she is out of there.
RC

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Reply with quote  #8 

Show her the door now. I'm with brittasmon on this one, don't leave her alone in the shop or on the computer. I wouldn't keep her on as long as you are.

nd5050

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Reply with quote  #9 

I agree. Time for her to go if she cant respect your business! Its not worth the drama.

bathnbiscuits

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Reply with quote  #10 
It is a sticky situation and one that I just absolutely hate being in.
She did not have her own clients when she started a year ago. She hadn't groomed in over ten years and wasn't even looking to groom again. I brought her in as an IC and she pays me a % of her total invoices each month. The contract states she provides her own tools, equipment and pays her own taxes, insurance etc. I told her to register her business with the state when we signed the contract (in fact it's in the contract) and she was responsible for all advertising. She has done neither. Every client she has groomed in my shop, called my number and scheduled over my phone or online. The clients scheduled with my shop for grooming services which I provide via IC groomers.
So, are the clients who she groomed in my shop hers to take or are they really my shop's clients? I know this should have been all written down and signed when she started...boy was this a learning experience...but it's a moot point now.

bathnbiscuits

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Reply with quote  #11 
Groomingbiz, there is a written contract, however, it's very difficult to put in writing things you NEVER thought or could even think of happening. If we were to sit down and think of every awful scenario, contracts would be 500 pages long.
I don't wish any ill will with this person-everyone should be able to follow their dreams of owning their own business. However my customers come first and they expect exceptional service when they visit my shop. I want to protect my business and just do the right thing.

brittasmom

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Reply with quote  #12 

 The reality of this situation is that she is doing more harm to your business by being there than if you kick her out. She has no place to take clients and is not professional. She may take a few but don't  be surprised if they don't find there way back. Even if you had it in writing she will still go behind your back and contact people.  I would tell her that she cannot solicit clients in the shop. Any client that you know of that might follow her you need to let them know that if things don't work out that you will be happy to have them back. Even if you had a contract would you spend the time and money to sue her, especially if she doesn't have any money. You need to cut your losses and get her out of there. I don't think she will take much with her.

bathnbiscuits

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Reply with quote  #13 
I hope by colleagues reading this thread, they will learn from the mistakes made. That's why I love this forum.
I asked Groomer 1 to leave yesterday and explained to her the reasons. Needless to say she got quite ugly and police had to escort her out. Luckily, no clients were in the shop at the time and my employees witnessed her behavior and actions so if she does try any thing, I have their statements.
Over the past 18 hours since it happened, she has posted nasty messages on my business' Facebook page (she has been banned from the site) one of her "clients" has verbally cussed out my employee over the phone and threats have been made by her sister to damage my shop. She even called my employee in the afternoon and wanted to know where to buy some weed. My husband is a Deputy Sheriff and he feels she is trying to set something up to criminally damage my business.
She does owe a percentage for November's clients and the balance of a show trip she took with me several months ago-approx. $400. Would it be worth it to go after her for the money? I think cutting my losses is the best avenue to take. However, if she starts making false comments and slandering my business, then something will need to be done.

brittasmom

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Reply with quote  #14 

I don't want to post anything else   because she may be monitoring this . If she is threatening  a restraining order might be a good idea.

GroomingByEmily

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Reply with quote  #15 
I have two words for you "Non-compete Agreement" ALL my staff sign this even if they are bathers. It prevents them from opening a salon or competing business (even as a subcontractor) within a 15 mile radius. While it is too late to have her sign such an agreement, its not to late to take control of your business. I also include confidentiality agreements which prevents company affairs leaving the company; Also indicating the penalty for failure of adhering to the agreement. If you would like copies of these documents to use for future business dealings, I can forward them accordingly.
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