Working at a job that you love every day is a dream that many of us have. So many people go to work every day to pay the bills, but they don’t actually enjoy what they do. Kris Landon didn’t want to be one of those people. She wanted to go to work every day and enjoy herself. She wanted to have fun at work doing something that she was passionate about.
Landon, 48, has been running her pet grooming business for eight years and says that she still smiles every day when she turns the key to open the front door each morning. Her salon, Dog Gone Cute Pet Grooming is located in Great Falls, Montana and is a natural fit for the entrepreneur who has been interested in dogs and hair since she was a child. She says the business is a true reflection of her passions.
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She entered the pet grooming field at the age of 17. Over the last three decades she has worked for established grooming businesses and veterinarians, but owning her own salon was always a dream. Landon says that as the past show chairwoman of the Great Falls Kennel Club she learned a lot about what dog owners like. Her own poodles have earned titles and championships all across the Western United States.
It’s not just the grooming aspect of the business that intrigues Landon’s passion for hair. Five years ago she moved her business across town to a commercial space that was formerly a day spa. It was a great space, but it was bigger than she needed for her grooming business. What else would you do with a room full of sinks? She divided the shop and created FAB Fusion, a salon for humans, next door.
Now she leases that space to stylists, an esthetician, and a massage therapist. What an entrepreneur! Landon is also a self-proclaimed lover of bling, so both of her businesses have boutique areas. In the canine boutique there are designer doggy clothes from brands like Cha-Cha Couture and Toni Mari. Landon says they carry things that dog owners won’t find in other pet specialty stores. Next door the boutique carries jewelry, purses, flip flops, and other accessories for humans.
When you think about it, placing the two businesses side by side is a great idea. Pet owners can drop their pooch off for a bath and a haircut, and while they wait they can have a treatment of their own. Booking an appointment at Dog Gone Cute Pet Spa isn’t easy though. They are booked out at least three weeks in advance. Landon says that she has had some of the same customers for 30 years.
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She credits the success of both of her businesses to hard work and exceptional customer service. She says that customer service is the most important aspect of running a small business. It is her goal for her customers to be happy when they walk in the door and even more happy as they walk out. Many of her employees in the grooming salon have been with her for years, and they all understand the importance of top notch customer service as well.
As a small business owner myself, I would have to agree. Keeping your customers happy is the only thing that will make your business successful. The happier your customers are the more they will be willing to recommend your business, and word of mouth is definitely the best advertisement you can get. Clearly the strategy is working for Landon because she has loyal customers and her grooming tables are always full.