Dog grooming services are fast-growing and profitable. It is a challenge for pet owners to keep their pets clean and well-groomed. Dog owners treat their dogs as family and love to pamper and take care of them. They however do not have the time and skill to groom their dogs. They hire professionals to do it. If you love dogs, then this might be the best business option you can think of. You can start with the basic grooming and cleaning services. Starting a dog grooming company will require you to have patience and discipline. You need to be flexible as you are conducting your business. In this article, you will get tips on how you can set up a dog grooming company.
Have a Business Plan
Like any other business, it is important to have a business plan if you are to start a dog grooming business. A business plan is a written document that describes the company’s main business activities, objectives, and how it plans to achieve its goals. Your business plan should have the following:
- Business overview: this will explain what your business does, the services you intend to offer to your customers, and who your target market is. Your business description should be short. It should be a brief, simple explanation of your business.
- Your marketing strategies: you should state in your business plan how you intend to attract and maintain your customers. You should also state the methods you will use to market your dog grooming business.
- Financial data: as a business owner, you should have your finances in check. Your business plan should contain your balance sheets that will tell your current financial positions. You should also have your profit and loss statements in your business plan. You should state in your business plan your income sources and the costs you will probably use.
- Competitors: you should state in your business plan your competitors. Define your competition. Conduct a competitive analysis. This will help you know how your competitors are faring, their strengths, and their weaknesses.
- Ownership and management plan: this will highlight your business legal structure and management resources. If you have team members, have them listed in the business plan not forgetting to list their experiences and skills.
Get licenses, permits, insurance, and register for taxes
You need to be on the right side with the law. Once you have decided to start a dog grooming company or business, you need to get licenses and business permits. You will need to get a variety of permits and licenses.
Visit your local government offices and know which license you will need. You should also register your taxes and pay the needed amounts. Once you know the requirements needed, get all the documentation you will need and make an application. Once received, you will be able to start your business.
You should also have your business insured against any risks. You should insure your business against fire, health, and safety, hazardous substances, and insure your equipment.
Have a dog-grooming name for your business
For your business to be known, it needs to have a name. Do your research online. You will find many examples of dog grooming businesses online. You can get an idea of what you will call your company. You should choose a name that is short, catchy, and easy to remember.
Buy the required dog grooming equipment
You cannot start a dog grooming business without the right equipment. You can purchase this equipment from local pet stores, online stores, and auctions. The tools you buy do not have to be expensive or this will result in added expenses to your new business. Here are some tools you might need for your business
- Dog grooming scissors: they come in different types. You need to have a variety of them
- Dog grooming brushes and combs
- Dog shampoo: main shampoo, baby shampoo, flea shampoo
- Nail clippers
- Pet-friendly disinfectants
- Tick removing tools
- Pet cages
- Grooming tables: these can be expensive. If you are not yet in a position to buy one, you can take advantage of a table you might have at home, as you look for a cheaper grooming table.
- Your waterproof apron: you can wear this during the cleaning process to avoid getting your clothes dirty and wet.
The equipment and tools you will buy will also depend on the services you will specialize in offering.
You should also have a first aid kit for you and your dogs. In case of any accident, you can perform first aid.
Create a website
A website will help you sell your dog grooming business. You can make the website yourself or get templates available on the internet. You can also use online website developers from sites such as fiverr When creating your website, do include the following things
- The business description: here, you should give a brief explanation about your dog grooming company. You should briefly describe the services you will offer
- Pictures: these will attract customers to your website. Make sure the pictures you take are of good quality and the background is eye catching. Under each picture, put a brief description of what service you are offering
- Prices: When potential customers go to your website, they should be able to see the prices and catalog of the grooming services you are offering. This will help them make a decision on which service they want to choose from without having to inquire from others
- Contact details: have a phone number on the website. This will make communication easier between your potential customers and your business. If you have a physical store, make sure you put the address of where it is located. You should also have a working email where people can send their inquiries and communication there.
Your website should be catchy and beautiful. Remember, your potential customers will be attracted to your website if it is presentable and attractive.
Choose a location
You need to know the operating concept of your dog grooming business. Do you want your business to be a mobile, salon, or from home?
- Working from home: If you run your business from home, you will need space. You will have to figure out where you will carry out your services. Have in mind your neighbors. This method is good because you will not spend a lot of money paying extra rent, you can choose when to work and you will not spend a lot of money commuting. It also has its disadvantages as you will not be able to expand your home if need be, you will also be limited to a certain number of dogs you groom.
- Mobile: this option is a bit expensive because you will have to move around with your equipment, you will have to pay for fuel as you move around. If you expand your business, you will have to buy another vehicle to cater to more clients.
- Salon: having a physical store or premises is one of the best options. The business has the opportunity to hire other groomers to help you out if the demand increases, you can groom multiple dogs and provide more services. The disadvantage is that it is more expensive to start, it needs more time to manage and you will pay more rent.
Weigh all the options available before settling on the best one. It will enable you to know the advantages and disadvantages of each structure.
It will determine whether you will get customers or not. Do your research well. As you start your business, you might be tempted to offer your services at the cheapest rates. Do not undersell yourself.
Find out how much other groomers in your area are charging and the services they are offering. Once you know this, you can decide to price your services. You can also opt to offer other services that other groomers do not offer in your area. Believe in your services and business. Do not stoop low to get customers. Remember, your potential customers are watching. If you provide your services at the cheapest price, they will start to question your services because cheap is expensive.
You can come up with different pricing for different services. You can also have offers for some services occasionally. This will help you attract more customers.
Try to offer unique services. It can include ear cleaning, teeth descaling, painting nails, and gland expression.
Market your dog grooming business
Without proper marketing, your dog grooming business might not grow. Market your business. There are so many ways you can market your business.
- Social Media: take advantage of the many social media platforms available. Create a business page on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp. On these pages, make your presence known. Advertise your business as frequently as you can. Post! Post! Post! Hire someone to act as your social media manager when your business grows. Post clear pictures.
- Family and friends: these should be among the first people who know about your dog grooming company. If they have dogs, you can start by grooming their dogs. Family and friends will give you referrals to other people they interact with. Encourage them to refer you.
- Local media: you can have advertisements made via your local media. This can be done on the radio, television and even having some advertisements in the newspapers. You can have weekly segments in the newspaper where you share some of the offers you might have or some tips that might be helpful to dog owners.
- Network: you should network. Meet up with other dog groomers, veterinarians, dog daycare owners and share your services with them. They will give you referrals if your services should be needed somewhere.
- You can also make flyers and brochures. They can be distributed in your neighborhood and can even be posted as mails. It will help people know about the services you are offering: if needed, they will contact you.
- Have your dog dressing merchandise: this can include branded car stickers, pet toys, pens, t-shirts, hats, etc. Branded merchandise can help in advertising your dog-dressing company.
Have a business account
This will enable you to have a separation between your account and business. You should maintain your business account for business purposes. Visit a bank of your choice and open a business account. You should also request a credit card where you will be channeling all the money you get from your business to the account. Banks also have offers for businesses, so you can take advantage of that and ask for the offers available.
Listen to your customers
Be willing to accept the feedback you get from your customers. Take the feedback as constructive criticism and make the necessary changes if you need to. Your main aim should be to provide quality services to your customer’s dogs. The happier your customers are with your services the higher the chances of your business growing.
Start the business
Once you are ready, start your business. Have a small launch party and invite some people from your area to attend. If a physical launch is not possible, you can have a virtual launch party where you can share more details about your dog grooming company with your potential customers.
Starting a dog grooming company is a good choice. Enroll in dog grooming schools, get the needed training, and better your skills. This business if done the right way will yield great results. Do not shy off from starting your company. With the tips above, you should be well equipped to start up your dog grooming business. All the best!