When you first started your business, you were likely a one-man (or one-woman) band. You probably did everything yourself—from building your website to cleaning the studio, you had a lot to do on top of actually grooming the dogs. You were a master juggler and could handle it all without a sweat. But what happens when you find that there’s just too much work for one person to handle?

If you find that you’re being overworked or that the quality of your services is decreasing due to having too much on your plate, why not consider hiring an assistant or some employees?

Not sure if you’re ready to expand your business? Here’s our guide to hiring new assistants and employees.

How do you know when you’re ready?

Ask yourself these questions: Is the quality of your client service decreasing? Are you getting more inquiries about your services and more referrals? Do you find yourself working back-to-back shifts on the daily? Did you find that you’re starting to drop the ball on tasks and appointments? If you said yes to any or all of these questions, it time to think about hiring an employee.

happy groomed dog

What do you need help with the most?

You’ve probably come to the decision to hire someone because you’re overwhelmed. But what specific tasks do you find overwhelming? Sit down and make a list of the most frustrating parts to the day. What don’t you have any time for, and where do you need the most help?

For example, you find that you enjoy taking on clients who want advanced services that take longer. But you’re also getting a steady flow of people who just want their dogs bathed. If you find that you want to spend more time on haircuts and styling, hire a dog bather to pick up the extra appointments.

Do you need full-time or part-time help?

Really think about this. If you’re overwhelmed with running the business yourself, you might do a mass hiring only to find out that there’s not enough work to go around. The last thing you want is to hire someone to sit on their hands.

Take some time to objectively look at the tasks you want this new person to complete. Average out the time it’ll take to complete these tasks and include it in your “help wanted” ad. Being clear about the time commitment will help avoid applications from unqualified candidates.

professional dog groomer happily grooming

What qualities should you look for?

If you’re going to take the time and resources to hire someone, find someone whose skills are top notch. That way they can keep up the quality of your services. Here are some qualities you should be looking for:

  • Communicative: They are great communicators and can deliver excellent customer service.
  • Compassionate: They treat animals with the utmost care and respect.
  • Ready to learn: They are open to learning new things and are great at following instructions.
  • Hard working: Dog grooming can be a dirty job. They have to endure being on their feet and maintaining consistent speed and quality when completing their tasks.
  • Reliable: You can only really know if someone is reliable after working with them for a bit. Try putting them on a probationary trial for a couple weeks to see if they’re the right fit for your business.

How much time do you have for hiring & training?

This is such an important question most people overlook. When you hire someone, it will take a fair amount of time to peruse resumes and interview potential candidates. After you’ve selected someone, you’ll also need to set aside time to train them on your specific business practices. Since the goal is to have them do tasks independent of your help, ensure that they know what they’re doing! Training, mentoring, evaluating, and nurturing are all part of the deal when hiring someone new.

happy lab

Make sure they’re also benefiting

Make sure that you find out their motives for the job. Many applicants may simply be looking for a mentor. If they wanted to apprentice a full-time groomer, and you wanted a second hand because you’re busy, it won’t be a good fit for either party. That being said, if you’re looking to expand your business one day, take time to train capable employees. Nobody likes being stuck in a dead-end job. Challenge your employees, and always be ready to answer any questions they may have. If you do expand your business to a full-fledged salon, you’ll need a senior staff who are just as capable as you!

Any other points we didn’t consider? Let us know!

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