By Updated March 24, 2019
Pet grooming may seem like a dream job. You can spend time washing, trimming and brushing adorable dogs and cats, with customers paying you to do so.
If you want to open your own pet grooming business, you will need a business plan, all required licenses, rented or purchased office space, and investment in marketing.
Planning a Pet Grooming Business
Any successful business starts with a solid business plan. This should include detailed financial information, as well as how you plan to grow your business. You can find many business plan templates, but if you can’t find one specific to grooming businesses, start with a template for a salon or spa.
Before you can open a pet grooming business, you need to decide where you will get the money. You’ll need at least $50,000 to get started, and that includes all grooming supplies, business licenses, and office space. If you need to hire staff, you will need to budget an ongoing monthly price for their salary, as well as ongoing costs for employee training, utilities, and cosmetics. For this reason, many pet grooming startups need a bank loan to get started.
Pet Grooming Business Compliance
Unlike those who provide professional health and beauty services to people, pet groomers are generally not required to maintain a license with the state. However, you may need certification to assure your clients that you are fully trained for the work you do. Like any other business, however, you will need to obtain a business license and verify that your state does not have the specialized licenses required for your type of business.
If you work with pets, your business will need professional indemnity insurance for legal protection. This type of insurance will cover you if a pet is injured or becomes ill while in your care. It will also cover your business if a customer comes across your property.
Mobile groomers need sufficient insurance on your grooming van to cover the exterior as well as the internal contents.
Mobile versus brick and mortar
Mobile grooming has become increasingly popular in recent years, but it is also very competitive. Not only will customers be thrilled that you’ve come to see them, but you can usually find a used mobile grooming van that’s fully equipped with the grooming stations, tub, and storage you need to get the job done. Some companies specialize in providing new vans specifically designed for mobile grooming.
If you choose to go the brick and mortar route, however, it’s important to research retail space before starting your business. If you plan to operate from your home, you will need to ensure that your area is zoned for this type of activity. Your store should be located in a convenient area of town, preferably with signage visible to passers-by, whether you’re building it in your home or renting retail space.
spread the word
The biggest challenge you will face with your new business is simply letting customers know you exist. Chances are there are competitors in your area that have been serving pets and their owners for quite some time. Make sure you have a strong online presence, including social media, and a website with all the necessary information. If clients can book appointments online, you will gain even more popularity.
Once you start booking appointments, you’ll find that many of your new clients come from referrals. If you do a good job consistently, with a friendly attitude and great rates, you’ll find that business grows quickly. From there, you can occasionally run promotions and market through local Facebook groups and coupon books to quickly take your business to the next level.