Making Masterpieces Out of Nightmares in Record Time – Part Two

Best Shot Pet Products


by Dave Campanella of Best Shot Pet Products

making-masterpiecesThe Next Step:

Your Business Runs On Shampoo

Recently, I wrote about how to bathe a matted dog without any pre-brushing using a simple 3-step grooming system.  I was able to prove scientifically that some products available today can safely release more shedding and undercoat in the washtub while you bathe the animal.  This will also enable your force dryer to release more shedding, matting and tangles than ever imagined without ever lifting a brush beforehand.  While this method doesn’t eliminate brushing entirely, it dramatically reduces your time and effort.

The implications of this method are of course profound to say the least.  Imagine no more pre-bath brush-ing, cutting prep time 50% to 85% and minimizing the physical toll of all that repetitive brushing on your body and to the animal.   Well, let me tell you, I have been inundated with positive feedback, phone calls and emails validating the results.

With that said, what does all that have to do with this article?  Let me be frank. Your business runs on shampoo, and “tub time” is the most critical phase of the grooming process.  The liquid products you select will impact your business’ success much like the fuel Dale Earnhart Jr. puts into his car before a race.  He wouldn’t skimp on fuel, and groomers shouldn’t skimp on their liquid products either.  There are products out there that will do most of the work for you if you simply give them the chance.  However, they typically get overlooked because they are underestimated even though they can save a ton of time, and remember time is money for grooming professionals.  In fact, I bet you have some of these products in your salon right now staring you in the face!

You know what I’m talking about.  Why is it we tend to reserve our best products for our worst challenges, but use lesser products for our routine ones?  I’m referring to that coveted bottle one breaks open only for special occasions.  To be specific, what about those shampoo, conditioner or spray bottles we set aside for when Mrs. Smith brings in her matted Collie, or for Mr. Jones’ terribly tangled Shih Tzu twins?  If these products do such a fabulous job on nightmare clients, it stands to reason they will work miracles on every dog passing through your grooming establishment.  Stop just a moment to ponder if you’re missing out on your routine bath & brush outs by not capitalizing on the benefits of these favorite performance products kept on hand.

In various seminars I’ve presented at grooming trade shows throughout last year, I verified that many groomers and salon owners perceive it cost prohibitive to use premium products for routine baths.  Now I could understand if one pays a $100+ per gallon, but the math works out to be very reasonable for most products that cost between $25 and $50 a gallon.  Most groomers agree that one can net 60 to 100 hand baths from a single gallon of shampoo.  Certainly there are sufficient tools and technology available today that will squeeze even more baths out of a gallon. Of course this depends on the dispensing system one selects to apply each product, the dilution ratio, area water supply and one’s personal preference.

The reality is one can net the cost of a premium bath down to under 45 cents per wash with very little effort.  Using a bathing system can reduce this even more.  So, this perception of it costing too much doesn’t hold water.  In my opinion, it would be well justified using ones premium bath & dry products more often when you consider the following 6 points.


If your average service generates $40 and you can increase the number of dogs your business does from 6 to 10 dogs each day using for example a 3-step system with coat release technology, isn’t the $160 return on your investment (ROI 4 additional dogs x $40) worth spending a couple extra dollars that day?  You bet it is!   If you still disagree, then charge an extra dollar for every dog you do and the matter of any additional shampoo expense is resolved.


We all know how a poorly washed dog can negatively affect one’s clipping and scissoring. Having to re-bathe can set you back, slow down the process and add to one’s stress.  If you know of products that speed up the process, minimize effort or maximize results, chances are you and/or the bathers will give better baths and become more efficient.  You’ll have more time to properly clip nails, clean eyes & ears, brush teeth, and freshen butts in the tub beforehand.  Not afterwards!


Shedding is the number one reason pet parents seek your professional help. Your salon may invest hours of prep time Drying, Dematting, Deshedding and Detangling a single animal before any clipper and scissor finishing can begin.  In fact, the 4-D’s I mentioned above can be the most strenuous, repetitive and time-consuming tasks you face at work.  It’s not a matter of if you or a pet will get hurt facing these occupational hazards…but when, how often or how serious.  The cost of personal injury, sick days, and vet bills can be reduced simply by the liquid products you use.  Well worth such a minuscule investment I say.


I was recently asked if one should “up sell” the premium shampoo and conditioner they use for dematting to the customer.  My answer was, “No”.  Here’s my reasoning, you be the judge.  If the customer opts not to pay for the up sell, does that mean you are going to work harder by using a lesser product?  Absolutely not!  Always make it easier on you.  If you have been working inefficiently in the past pre-brushing and de-matting for hours, but now can do it in half the time with less effort, that’s money in your pocket, Right?  Why not charge by the minute for additional de-matting time put into the job?   Let’s say for every 10 minutes.  Just make sure you have a reasonable base price for the breed you’re grooming.  Bare in mind you can charge like this when using an effective liquid product and technique.


Since most premium performance liquids are multi-faceted with many benefits and applications, they often times enable you to do more with less.  In other words, imagine cutting back from 8 shampoos or conditioners to only 3 or 4 items you’re using daily.  I’ll bet you never looked at it that way before.


In addition to making grooming easier on you, your premium liquid products can make it easier on your equipment too.  Imagine easily gliding through thick abundant coats with your clippers, hair that cuts easily with your scissors, drying in less time, and shedding tools or clipper blades that stay sharpened longer.  These savings are substantial over time.

Well, there you have it!  I’ve just provided 6 good examples of how to streamline the grooming process just by capitalizing on the strengths of effective liquid products and using them to their full potential.  So dust off those dormant bottles of special shampoo and conditioner and put them to good use!  You’ll be glad you did.  Better yet, try something new!  Perhaps it will increase your salons output by 30%, or enable you to go home early to spend more time with your family.  Now that’s what I call making masterpieces out of nightmares in record time!

I look forward to sharing more findings and techniques that will minimize effort and maximize your results in future issues.  ♦

About the Author

Dave Campanella has been with Best Shot Pet Products for 10 years and is the company’s sales & marketing manager. His experience in the grooming industry spans 20 years from co-owning and managing a grooming salon and do-it-yourself pet wash with his wife Tracy, designing and marketing grooming equipment, and working with company president Mike Gallagher. Dave has been a sales and marketing professional for over 26 years with an extensive background in mass consumer goods, sales management, product development and direct-response advertising. Visit the Best Shot Pet Products web site at