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Dog Groomer

Odds of Hanging On

Now you've got three questions to ponder. First, you need to consider how long your body will hold up to the punishment you inflict on it every day. Are your feet and back screaming in protest every night, probably because you stood on a concrete floor all day? Can you barely stagger out of bed and into the shower each morning? Can your fingers and hands continue to perform intricate scissoring work on multiple dogs every day? That's Question #1.

Question #2 deals with the quality of your grooming work, and indirectly leads into Question #3. First, are you turning out good-looking dogs that haven't been traumatized by their ordeal, er, experience? Or have you rushed through your grooms, nicking dogs' faces left and right, and clipping the pooches so closely they get razor burn? If so, you're not likely to keep your clients very long, and you could even be on the receiving end of a lawsuit. If that's the case, we hope you've got your liability insurance in place.

That brings us to Question #3. You've got to determine if you're making enough money to pay your bills. If you work in a big pet supply store's grooming shop, for example, and the manager is hoarding dogs so you barely get any work, you probably won't even make enough to fill your car with gas. Or let's say you've got good basic grooming skills, but this grooming shop seems to attract owners that want frou-frou cuts you're not familiar with. You're not getting much money out of those dogs, either. The bottom line: All other things being equal, if you're not making it financially as a groomer, you'll be browsing the Help Wanted ads really soon.