Estate Sales & advertising???? Those of you who have small businesses, help!

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#1
Hi all! Sorry I haven't been around, we just completed our move from El Paso, Texas to Aurora, Colorado! Anyway, I've been watching for estate sales, I guess I missed one where there was quite a bit of grooming stuff up for sale right before we got here, but my husband and I have been having an ongoing debate.
He is of the opinion that its incredibly creepy to buy some dead groomer's old equipment, I think its just a great opportunity. My little home salon is almost finished, minus a bath tub, which I still need. I haven't seen anything yet, but I'm pretty patient, its just going to be interesting talking hubby into buying "some dead groomer's" bath tub. -_- Would you be creeped out by this, am I just a heartless weirdo???

On the other end, advertisement. I'm having some trouble figuring out what to do... In El Paso you could advertse however you wanted, here in Aurora, we CANNOT advertise from the home - no stickers in the windows, etc. We even have to back our van into the drive way because it has a magnet on the back advertising the salon! Its nuts! We're on a pretty tight budget right now having just moved and him getting out of the Army, plus dropping $600+ on Doom at the E Vet Thursday night, we've thought about doing EDDM through the post office, but its pretty expensive. In El Paso I volunteered grooming for the dogs at the Humane Society and they advertised for me, but none of the shelters around here need anything from me (This makes me really sad, I live for the volunteer side of things) we came from a place desperate for volunteers in the rescue world, to a place that has entirely more than they know what to do with - So, on the advertising front, what would you do? I'm bored and ready to get some clients in here!
 

MandyPug

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#2
Go around to local pet stores with posters and business cards. I swear I get at least 7 or 8 requests for groomer recommendations a day. Maybe offer to do free nail clipping with the store or cheap nail clipping where the proceeds go to a rescue or something like canine cancer research.
 

Taqroy

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He is of the opinion that its incredibly creepy to buy some dead groomer's old equipment, I think its just a great opportunity.
Matt is like this too - he doesn't like thrift store clothes because you don't know who had them first. I freaking love thrift stores and cheap clothing lol. And there's every possibility that the clothes were donated from some dead person's estate so I guess I'm a creepy weirdo too. :p

How's Doom? I hope he's feeling better.
 

Giny

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Hello, saw your post and thought I'd try to help you out as best as I can. I've been a groomer for close to 24 years and have been grooming in my own little shop for 8 years. I was new to the area also and started getting customers through word of mouth. I have a great relationship with my vet and they also have been great in sending some customers my way. Doing it through word of mouth can take you a while ,building up customers, but one positive aspect of it is that you get amazing customers. Once you start out with a few, you can offer them a discount for every new business they bring in. Make sure you have a lot of business cards at hand for them to hand out. Putting some of your cards up on local business bulletin boards, as others have mentioned, works well also.

As for a bathtub, I just used a regular bathtub, and framed it up to a comfortable level. It's cheaper that way. I have built in sliding doors underneath to cover the gap from the bottom tub and floor, and it make a great storage area for my shampoos.

Good luck with your new business.
 

DJEtzel

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#5
Can you advertise on craigslist? I do that a lot.

Also, do you have a business facebook page? I have one and I just "like" all of the local dog-related businesses and share a lot through my own facebook as well, and like statuses that pages I've liked post, so that more people are seeing that link "Fraggle Rock Collars like this" out there.

Good luck!
 

SevenSins

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He is of the opinion that its incredibly creepy to buy some dead groomer's old equipment
Why? Unless the groomer tied all of their clipper cords together and hanged themselves with it, or they were put on death row for using their shears to make Ipod cases out of unsuspecting toddlers, I don't know how it could be seen as any more or less "creepy" than buying used grooming equipment that was once owned by a person who is still alive. :p
 
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#7
Thanks for all the awesome advice, guys! I just got word from a rescue today that they're willing to partner with me! I'm pretty stoked! she called right after I got back from helping Nolu move into Zoom's place. :)

We have a facebook page going, and the holistic pet store by us hands out business cards, I need to take some to the e vet I took Doom to Thursday night (By the way Taqroy, he's doing SO much better! Fluids and meds abound, but much better! Blood work Friday to see how his kidney function is looking)
I have an ad on Craigslist and Bookoo, but I don't get a lot of feedback from those - there are a LOT of other places advertising on there. Word of mouth was my best friend in El Paso! I'm hoping once I get a few clients in here I can get that going again. I like the idea of using a regular tub and building it up to salon height, I hadn't thought of that! Again, thanks everyone for the ideas and encouragement. The last couple of days I've been pretty discouraged. <3
 
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