In the last 50 years manufacturers have made major improvements in grooming equipment, tools and supplies making our work easier, more productive and reliable. What continues to work against many groomers is their building design. Structural, space and materials planning can reduce groomer stress, burnout and improve mental clarity, focus, well-being and safety. Effective design also saves money.
Experienced members of the grooming industry may have never experienced our solutions for design and working environment problems common to thousands of stationary grooming businesses. Don’t come to quick conclusions. We base our designs on over 50 years of hands-on grooming industry experience.
There are several problematic elements common to all stationary pet grooming operations. They negatively affect productivity, client satisfaction, people and pet safety and the ability of groomers to optimize client referrals. They are so pervasive every square foot of floor space, and sometimes every cubic foot of air space, is subject to degeneration. They are:
- Dirt, dander and haircoat
- Excessive heat and humidity
- Fleeing or off-leash pets
- Pet Distraction
C.A.P. is an abbreviation for three directives whose mission is to address and resolve these design problems. The directives are:
When we don’t incorporate these directives into the design of a grooming business, productivity is lost. Owners running businesses alone, or staff, are left doing more mundane tasks to contain, abate and prevent problems. Groomers groom less and endure environmental stress. The result is loss of income. For example, groomers raise their voices over excessive noise every workday. Loose hair, dirt and dander travels throughout grooming businesses requiring more cleaning tasks. Air conditioning works harder and energy costs rise. C.A.P. directives lead to solutions and create happier groomers with less burnout.
Don’t let your grooming environment wear out people and pets because its design doesn’t contain, abate and prevent noise, excessive heat, humidity, fleeing pets, dirt, dander and haircoat. Let groomers groom as much as possible. That’s what they do best. Lower your operational costs. C.A.P. directives make an incredible difference in your floor plan design and operation.
Containment is the prime directive. How well we master containment in our floor plan design ideas affects our ability to successfully implement the two remaining C.A.P. directives, abate, and prevent. Noise, dirt, dander, haircoat, excess heat, humidity and fleeing pets can be contained with smart design.
Traditional grooming design does little to contain these problems. We’re going in the opposite direction. Contain is our prime directive. It is best achieved by wall placement and materials, and gates and doors.
Once large containment measures such as walls, doors and gates are in place, your floor plan should look to abate the targeted problematic elements previously mentioned. Environmental factors such as noise, heat and humidity are prime conditions for abatement.
Most grooming businesses are excessively noisy. Some groomers wear ear plugs. Disregard barking and you still have very noisy environments from equipment. It only gets worse when you have two or more groomers and other staff.
Noisy environments tire the body and mind of both people and pets. Noise is the leading stress factor in every grooming business. We telephone pet groomers on a daily basis and most have to raise their voices. Some even yell when equipment is running in the background and dogs are barking. Carpeting helps to absorb sound, but it never belongs in a grooming business.
Noise bounces on hard surfaces in grooming environments. Drop ceilings with acoustic boards and walls treated with acoustic dampening treatments offer a way to abate noise. It may cost extra but the relief is worth it. You can learn more about acoustic treatments by searching the Web. Our solutions include acoustic sound absorption materials, heat exhaust fans and strategic placement of A/C vents, walls and contained rooms for staff.
Two advanced abatement features for midsize and large businesses are:
Noise Abatement Room
Now you have an extraordinary grooming environment. You enter it during the busiest period of the day with several pets being groomed and only hear the soft hum of clippers and soft music. No vacuums of any kind, HV nozzle or box dryer noise.
Can we expect building design to help us prevent undesirable events involving pets and people? We know containment helps to prevent fleeing pets from making successful escapes. But what about accidents or health conditions that cannot be predicted? Prevention is the best solution.
Who prevents? Groomers do. Place their workstations strategically giving them natural line of sight access to accommodated pets not actively being groomed.
We make copies of our floor plans and mark them up with a Line of Sight Safety Analyses.
To get started, state your floor plan objectives. We’ve provided you with our list and it is suitable for all grooming departments or stationary locations. Next, get ready to draw your design. You may want to use floor plan software, but paper, pencil and ruler is adequate for most groomers with a little knowledge of maintain scale.
Besides C.A.P. goals, here are 10 objectives to achieve in your design for a professional grooming environment.
- Relatively quiet
- Comfort and visual appeal
- Safety for people and pets
- Clean and sanitary
- Space efficient
- Energy efficient
- Optimized natural lighting
- Groomer friendly
- Cost efficient
- Employee friendly
Every time you draw a wall, place a workstation or tub, or indicate any other design feature, stop and ask yourself, “Is my floor plan working for me? Am I optimizing the use of C.A.P. directives?” Keep adjusting to meet all objectives.
Here is a sample of a 2,000 square foot design created by Grooming Business in a Box®. It achieves maximum results meeting C.A.P. goals and ten additional objectives.
Article based on excerpt from Pet Grooming Floor Plans, a CD and User Guide part of the Grooming Business in a Box® series.