Setting Up A Dog Grooming Business: Advice and Business Plans
Learn how to start your dog grooming business at a salon, at home or as a mobile grooming service with Groomarts. We train groomers in London and Hertforshire.
Work from home
When grooming from home, there are big decisions to make. Are you converting a room, a garage or having a shed within your garden? Are you using any garden space? Are you able to take multiple dogs or do you just want to have one dog at a time? The main factors that need considering when working from home, funnily enough aren’t costs at all, but in fact are neighbours! Planning permission is essential to get but keeping your neighbours well-informed and happy is fundamental to a successful venture of working from home. Working from home means you get to work the hours that you decide and importantly, get to stay in the comfort of your own home. Overheads are significantly smaller than the other options, but you would need to renovate your living space and remember that your market would only be open to those that can travel to you. This would also mean that all of your clients would know your home address.
When you think about grooming using a mobile facility, you need to be realistic in how much everything will cost because you don’t just need to factor in your grooming equipment, but also the running and maintenance costs to a vehicle. Being truly portable means that your client base can be as large as you want it to be and you also have greater freedom to work the hours that are suitable to you. Travel does come with a drawback in that you now have to factor in issues with traffic and must be flexible with you appointments. Clients are also aware that your overheads are low and as a result, you cannot charge the same amount as you would for a salon experience. One additional factor is that you must be aware you are only able to complete one dog at a time and as a result, if you are thinking about expanding, that will mean another van. Depending on the quality of your vehicle and your equipment, you can have an initial start-up cost ranging anywhere between £5000 and £30000. Let’s summarise the main pros and cons of mobile dog grooming.
This option is generally the most expensive but also the most profitable business option. Planning permissions, usage classes, equipment, rent and staffing all mean that this is a big investment that requires a lot of knowledge and probably the additional service of an accountant to manage your funds. This is because this option will have the biggest outgoings but also the biggest income. Having a salon boutique in a separate premises allows you fantastic options to make your business a huge success. The additional management and marketing skills needed for a salon are a consideration but if done properly, can help your business be a success and this can include taking in money, even when you are not there.
|Equipment||What it is for?||Approximate average cost (£)|
|Shampoo||You’ll need a range of shampoos to deal with skin conditions and coat types.||£25 per 4l bottle(prices range between £10 and £80 per bottle)|
|Clippers||Whether you go for corded or cordless, clippers are an essential tool for every groomer for quick, effective consistent grooming.||£200(prices range from £130-£350)|
|Clipper blades||You’ll need a range of these, including 30, 10, 8.5, 7F, 7, 6F, 6, 5F, 5, 4F, 4, 3F, 3, 2F, 2.||£30 per blade|
|Comb attachment||Comb attachments will attach to blade number 30, 15 and 10 and using attachment size 1-8.||£20-£50 per set|
|Clipper Oil||To make sure your clipper blades stay working well.||£7 per 500ml|
|Colognes and Perfumes||To give each dog a fantastic smell that each client can associate with your business.|
|Ear Powder||To help clear out and disinfect ears.||£6.50 for 25g|
|Nail Clippers||To keep their nails clipped and free from infection||£18 for a set of 3|
|Blood stopper||To manage little nips and cuts to the dog.||£8|
|Slicker brushes||To brush out and de-matt hair||£12-£25 for 3|
|De-shedding tools||To help remove the undercoat in short and medium coats||£40 for 2|
|Combs||To help de-tangle and brush hair when it is needing to be styled and is less tangled||£8.50|
|Coat King||To remove the undercoat on longer coated dogs.||£15-£20 each|
|Finishing Dryer||To dry the dog after a wash and removing excess water, ready for a groom.||£400-£700 each|
|Blaster||To remove excess water after an initial wash before using the finishing dryer.||£200-£800 each|
|Scissors||This can be a huge range but to cover the basics of a straight, curved and thinning pair to help style and shape.||£250 for 3, however, with experience this can be over £1000|
|Grooming table||This can be hydraulic or set to a particular height. Having one that moves is useful for your back and the health of the dog, but is up to you.||£100-£500 (non-hydraulic)£400-£1000 (hydraulic)|
|Bath||Once again, there are a huge range available and the cost is affected by bath size and material used.||£400-£1000|
|Steriliser||To sterilize your metallic equipment.||£80|
|Leads and Nooses||To restrain and maintain safe control of each dog||£80 for a set|
|Cages||This is dependent on how long you wish to hold your dogs and the space you have to hold the dogs in.||£35-£350 per cage|
|Bath equipment||This would including a mitt, a sponge, a jug and combs specific for hygiene areas||£50 for a set|
DON’T be the cheapest or undersell yourself
DO understand what other businesses in your area are charging
DO understand your target market and local area
If customers are pampering their pooch, why not give them the option for a pristine finish and protection of their dog’s nails with a fantastic varnish. You can even style them further with a fantastic range of colours and patterns, all of which will be acetone free. It’s a great way for customers to show they care without piling on the calories for their furry friend. It is also a great way of adding a sense of style and additional service to the overall groom.
Clipping a dog’s nails is an essential part of it’s maintenance and something that can be a clear add-on opportunity. If a dog’s nails are left to grow too long, it can affect their foot formation and also how their quick grows. This can be uncomfortable for the dog and as a groomer, is a service that you can offer very quickly, even for those dogs that aren’t in for a full groom.
Ear cleaning is very similar to clipping a dog’s nails. This is really imperative for certain breeds of dogs because they are much more likely to collect dirt and create the environment for breeding bacteria and holding parasites in unclean ears. For a dog’s health, this can be part of the standard grooming process.
This is an optional service that is given to dogs that are unable to release the build up of fluid; they would usually use this to mark their territory. This is usually when a dog has been spayed or neutered. To reduce this build up, which can cause an uncomfortable, smelly, compacted area, you as the groomer can externally clear the glands.
A dog’s teeth are fundamental for their health and a build up of plaque can lead to issues with eating and infection. You can make sure your customer’s dog has a healthy set of gnashers by offering a descaling service. This is something that requires specialist knowledge, equipment and training.
Perfume and a quick freshen up
This is a service that most people will jump at the chance to have and will choose to have time and time again. People respond strongly to smells and having a distinct smell can say a lot about you as a brand and also help associate a good cut and service with your name and that specific fragrance.
Brushes and combs
Most pet owners could and should be encouraged to do a bit of maintenance within their own homes. Unfortunately, lots of owners will be happy to use their own hairbrush or to buy one specific for humans. This isn’t effective in being able to groom a dog’s hair properly and can actually add to the knotting and matting that a dog has. By using specialist brushes and combs, you are ensuring that your owners are happy and the dog’s coat condition should generally be better.
Although severe treatment should be carried out by vets, flea treatment and flea kits are commonly needed for dogs, especially those that regularly come into contact with other dogs. This is something can be easily used and shows that you are concerned for the welfare and give the customer an easier option than going to the vets.
This is a fantastic choice. Find me a dog that doesn’t like treats or even more importantly, find me a dog that won’t eat! Consumables are easy options that can be matched to your brand and in a similar way to parents with children, owners will want to purchase a treat for their pets. This can be bought time and time again, which makes it a smart choice for your business.
Perfumes are luxury items for both humans and dogs and are a great way of giving every dog that comes into your business a sense of identity. Owners will like to have something that helps their dog smell clean and fresh and give them the chance to be seen as “I get groomed here”.
For owners, the idea that they are stimulating their pet is hugely important. Using toys to play with them and to help socialising skills are highly effective. This commodity is a great way of helping in still an active lifestyle for the dogs and the owners that come through your doors plus also work really well as gifts for other owners too.