Fruitful Prospects and Job Security in the Grooming Industry

Are long-term careers a thing of the past? Certainly not when it comes to the pet grooming industry! Pet grooming is a job that can never be outsourced overseas or computerised so redundancy fears are minimal. Furthermore, pets will always need grooming and with trends such as the ‘humanisation’ and ‘premiumisation’ of pets so prevalent today, cats and dogs are becoming an increasingly pampered part of the family with owners buying high quality products and services for their pets.

Approximately 24% of UK households own an average of 1.3 dogs and 17% own an average of 1.6 cats. This number is constantly increasing - 22% of people considering getting a new pet to represent the next stage of commitment in a relationship before marriage and kids.

The UK dog care market has consistently grown by over 3.5% since 2009, making it recession proof as people will always continue to spend money on their beloved pets. The market for pet pampering in particular is booming. 

We spent nearly £2.5bn on grooming, insuring and taking our pets to the vets last year. The amount the British spend on pet hygiene has also climbed steadily in recent years, growing from £289m in 2006 to £334m in 2012. It is predicted to grow to £380m by 2017, according to Pets At Home.

In terms of success, our very own graduate student Annette Potamitis has experienced first hand the flourishing mobile pet grooming industry. A year on from getting qualified and starting her business she has had to employee more staff and expand with a second vehicle just to manage the demand.

Pet salons are experiencing a similar demand and need for expansion with more staff and larger premises. Merchandise, treats and pet products add great weight, sustainability and profitability to grooming salons on the high street and being able to keep up with the latest trends in the industry for your customers will set you up for a win-win situation.

So why have pet stylists become so successful? Quite simply they are passionate and love what they do. This joy and enthusiasm translates to clients and pets and keeps them coming back for more and positively promoting you to others. Additionally, groomers are becoming smarter, more skilled, business savvy and more creative. You get out what you put in and grooming is a job which allows you to continually grow and develop should you chose to embrace it.

What are the secrets to job security in the grooming industry?

  • 1. Let your passion for your work and business shine through

    Passion will always transpire into your work; you’ll achieve greater results because you’ll always be striving to do the best job and you’ll be proud of your work and want to engage positively with people whether there are customers, staff, other business or other people within the industry. This in turn all helps build long-lasting relations with customers, clients and business contacts.

  • 2. Take a sincere interest in each client and pet, with a focus on customer service

    Some people in the pet grooming industry can fall down because they say “I love dogs and much prefer them to people” but it is essential to remember it is not all about the dogs. In fact one of the main parts of your business is building long-lasting relationships with your customers as they are the ones who will promote you in the park and keep coming back to you time and time again. If you really get to know your customer you can be far more focused with the promotions or products you offer them and also the way you communicate with them as what suits one person may not suit another and successful groomers understand this. You need to know what makes your customer tick and then they are yours for a lifetime.

  • 3. Make your business work for you and don’t be afraid to specialise

    Many people turn to a career in dog grooming after spending years and years in jobs they’ve found uninspiring, demotivating and that the job/work is controlling them rather than the other way around. Don’t fall into the trap of having your business dictate your working hours; benefit from the flexibility and make it work for you. Furthermore, if there is a particular area or part of the job you enjoy most then don’t be afraid to focus your efforts here and specialise. Customers will travel from afar for a groomer with a renowned reputation for a particular skill or breed, be it big dogs, hand stripping, schnauzer cut or cats. If you’re the best, customers will want you.

  • 4. Network and build relationships within the industry

    There is great benefit in having reciprocal relationships with others in the industry. Whether it is other groomers who are happy to send their overflow to you or joint ventures with dog walkers, doggy day cares or kennels, it can be hugely beneficial. Furthermore, if someone does specialise in a particular breed or technique it is great to match a customer and their pet to the perfect groomer.

  • 5. Use social media to its greatest advantage

    Being active online enables you to stay connected with industry experts, customers, clients, businesses and potential new talent and staff. Not only can people see what you are up to but you too can learn from the vast amount of information available right at your fingertips.

  • 6. Let continuing education and development be your mantra

    The key to long-term success is to never stop learning. As Albert Einstein famously said “once you stop learning, you start dying.” This seems extreme but it’s certainly a mantra our Head Tutor Laura Campanella stands by - “if you stop learning other people in the industry will overtake you, you won’t offer anything different or special and you are at serious risk of becoming just average or below average the more time goes on.” Laura recommends being involved in one grooming convention/exhibition/show a year, attending seminars, being a part of workshops, watching videos, webinars, YouTube, being active in social media grooming groups and forums and be continually asking questions, reading books and listening to podcasts.

The professional pet grooming world has a lot to offer people and businesses so make sure you take advantage of all that is available in our industry. Use it to be a pet stylist that is so good that your services are always in demand. Build long-lasting relationships with your clients and become known for something. Continually look forward - there’s a wealth of opportunities to be capitalised on in the pet grooming market so make the most of it, stay in touch with new trends and move your business with the market to ensure job security and a long and successful career in the industry.

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