Following your dreams can be hugely rewarding, but it can also become a nightmare if you don’t prepare properly. If you’re thinking about taking the plunge you first need to consider whether you have what it takes to become a dog groomer:
The ability to handle dogs firmly but gently
The ability to calm and control nervous dogs
Patience and attention to detail
Good communication and customer care skills
Physical ability to handle large — and often heavy dogs
You will also need to consider the characteristics that make a good business owner!
Dedicated work ethic
If you’re ready to start a pet grooming business here are a few tips to help you get started on your journey.
There’s no legal requirement to have qualifications when starting up as a dog groomer. But experience is mandatory. Qualifications give you hands-on experience, guide you to further develop your skills and teach you how to provide a better treatment for dogs and your customers.
Dogs Delight run courses that work for you. Whether you have experience in salons or no experience in grooming at all – have a look at our courses here.
Grooming courses help you build skills and relationships alike! Connect with other groomers, and your teachers, people that understand your industry that can offer you advice – be it on equipment or treatments!
Suggested Learning Resources
The more you understand about dogs; including anatomy, behaviour and psychology, first aid, and grooming styles, the better this enabled you will be to do a professionally satisfying job.
But best of all, reading up on topics, as recommended by City & Guilds, gets you a step ahead when you enrol in one of our courses. Check out our library for some recommended books here.
Even the most experienced pet groomer cannot foresee all the accidents that might occur on site when dealing with animals. Some insurance companies have established customised, affordable (all risk) insurance plans designed specifically for pet grooming businesses. Research your insurance options carefully. This is one area of your business you don’t want to choose hastily or skimp on.
It’s a good idea for dog groomers to take CPR and first aid classes to know how to react in an emergency. You’ll also need to learn how to react if there are accidental injuries – whether that’s from scissors, or nail clippers.
Sniffing Out the Right Location
When beginning any business venture, the location should be on the top of your list. Having your storefront in the right place is the single most important thing that you can do to start off on the right foot, prime location means your salon will be seen.
Prime locations can be pricey! Find a place that you can afford, you should have a clear estimate of how much rent or mortgage your business can afford monthly, given its projected revenue and expenses. A detailed business plan is mandatory and should be created well in advance of choosing a location and signing a lease.
Make sure the shop meets your electrical, plumbing and climate needs – well-lit spaces that are easy to heat, with appropriate plumbing for bath time! Although plumbing lines can be moved to accommodate needs, it is costly. Using existing drain and plumbing lines will save you money. Spaces formerly occupied by hair salons make great makeover choices because they have abundant plumbing lines and drains, and usually the flooring is non-porous!
You can’t groom without equipment! Make sure that you account for expenditure on the following essential pieces of dog grooming equipment:
Consumables such as shampoo, conditioners, and de-tangling sprays
One of the most substantial start-up expenditures for operating a grooming salon is the purchase of equipment. In addition to all the necessary tools required for clipping, trimming, and shaving, most shops are equipped with bathtubs, professional tables, and holding cages. Often, there are also washing machines and dryers on location for handling towels and blankets. You can find grooming suppliers either locally or online but be aware! Purchasing the best you can afford is wise, as quality products hold a sharp blade for longer, cheaper is not always better.
Advertising and Marketing
Starting your own business can be daunting, there is so much to learn in addition to dog grooming! You are not just a pet care professional you have to be a contract writer, copy designer, bookkeeper, salesperson and marketer too! Stephanie Mehanna knows all too well the additional work that comes along with a pet business; a website, business policies, processes, customer forms… and many more!
That’s why she created The Pet Business Academy, which provides you with a “pet business toolkit” providing everything you need when it comes to business paperwork, brand, advertising and more.
Save yourself time researching and money on marketing.
Since the pet grooming business is a repeat sales business, you must generate customers, sales, and profits to become successful. Your pricing strategy should be structured to ensure that you are neither charging too much nor too little.
Running promotions online is a great way to get people through the door, but you want those people coming back regularly! Consider your branding on social media, and your target audience for your grooming business and stimulate interest in your services. Advertise in your community, visit local veterinarians and pet centres, and go to local animal shows to pass out flyers or brochures. You can get a good idea of pricing by looking at the local competition or evaluating your potential client base.
Owning a pet grooming business is fun, exciting, and personally rewarding. You will feel needed and appreciated by both man and man’s best friend. And because the industry is expanding so rapidly, you will have the ability to grow your business.