Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Now What?

Well, I have researched the "local" market in pet grooming and am now even more confused. Please read on, because later you will be asked to register your opinion, and I want you to be informed.

First I went to Belle Plaine. You regular readers may remember my having mentioned Belle Plaine before: I went there to get some photos of turn-of-the-century architechture and had the snot scared out of me by a coal-hauling freight train. Anyway, I went to a place that was supposed to be a grooming establishment, only to find the place shut up tight and a realtor's sign in the yard. So I called the realtor on my cell phone and she told me the groomer was out of business. Oh well. After that, I got a sandwich at Subway and drove out of town, stopping at Countryside Veterinary Clinic on my way. The vet's assistant told me there was a huge demand for groomers, but the main problem is that people don't want to drive long distances to get to a groomer's. Hmph. Armed with that information, I then made my way across the county to Vinton, and Lucky Dog Groomers.

The lady at Lucky Dog was really nice, once she got over the shock of having unexpected company. She was clipping a tiny little curly-haired dog, and she spent some time talking to me. She said that, at least for her, grooming was a pretty seasonal business, with less traffic in the winter and more in the spring and summer. She only worked in her shop part-time: she also worked for a veterinarian in Center Point. I got the gist that her work was pretty steady. However, she did outline some of the drawbacks of the grooming business: cleaning up after pet waste, dealing with fleas, having to maintain a shop that met with government standards, licensing, and having nervous pets ralph on you. I think that she thought pet ralph was the worst part. Whatever. She told me that the veterinarians in Cedar Rapids were always looking to hire groomers, and so were the pet shops. Hmmm. More food for thought.

So now I'm wondering what avenue to take. Should I go into pet grooming? There seems to be a market for it, and I could probably work part time for a vet (there's a couple relatively near by) or I could start my own business. Or at least, I would be more willing to start my own business if I had more space, like a place out in the country. If I started my own shop, where would I put it on the property I currently have? Where would I kennel the animals that were waiting for their turn, or waiting for their owners? Remember, part of the idea here is to come up with a job that I can do and still be available for my daughters before and after school and also during the summer. By the time I'd finish Kirkwood's grooming program the girls will be old enough to be left alone at home for half a day, but I wouldn't want it to be any longer than that.

But I'm still considering architectural drafting. I love to draw, and I could work part-time for an architect or whomever. And working for an architect would be a steady paycheck, whereas owning my own business doesn't necessarily mean steady income. I'll know more about Kirkwood's drafting program after Thursday, but in the meantime I'd like your opinion as to what I should do. Should I pursue pet grooming? Or architectural drafting? Or neither? Should I try to find a job, or should I just be content to stay home? I must admit to being rather bored. I really need a challenge. What do you think? Go ahead and leave your advice in my comment box, especially those of you readers who happen to be my relatives. Yes, I mean you, Mom.

Thank you.

2 Comments:

Blogger Peri said...

You speak more passionately about the pet grooming, it seems to me. It sounds like it's something you want to do and what another groomer saw as drawbacks don't worry you too much. There are are lot more challenges to worry about with your own business but it would never be boring. And who says you have to book appointments outside your available times? I'll bet your kids would enjoy working with you in the summer.

6:58 PM  
Blogger the 'ol dad said...

Nancy:

Peri's comment is spot on - you have always loved animals.

Here's a thought - what if you worked part-time for an established groomer, and took a little time to discover if this is something you REALLY want to do. Then, if that proves to be the case, you could investigate what it would take to start up your own business.

9:00 AM  

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