A dog grooming business is a profitable, efficient, and flexible way to generate income in the modern world, allowing you to set your own schedule and take on clients as needed. According to most estimates, Americans spend around 100 billion dollars per year on their pets, a lucrative market with genuine potential to enhance and improve the quality of the animals we share our lives with. Given a small initial investment, a dog grooming business can blossom into a revenue stream that provides not only income to live off of but the means to do what you love as a job.
Steps to Take
So, you’ve decided to move into dog grooming full-time. While careers working with animals require a special touch and someone dedicated to helping them feel comfortable around humans, you’ll also need to hone your business skills. Start by writing out a business plan that elucidates your goals, methods, and means of funding available, and make sure that your business expenses are manageable with your current income stream.
The things you will have to consider to write a comprehensive business plan are:
- Your target demographic
- The type of marketing you will use
- Employees or management structure
- Funding or sources of revenue
At this point, it’s a good idea to think about purchasing the gear you will need to make your business successful. There are a few options you can consider, like renting space in a salon versus running a mobile dog grooming setup. If you’re going to try to run a self-contained business, you’ll need:
- Dog grooming table
- Dog grooming bathtubs
- Dog grooming dryer
- Grooming hose
- Shower attachments
- Dog brushes
- Shampoo and Conditioner
If you have all of this gear and a location that you can use to perform the grooming in, you’re well on your way to being a successful dog groomer. Let’s look at some of the next steps you’ll have to take to get your business running legally and with all the necessary documentation.
Licenses and Permits
To have a fully-legal and operable dog grooming salon, you’ll have to file for the right licenses, permits, and insurance, depending on your jurisdiction. Some standard paperwork you’ll want to look out for are:
- Permit for Sales Tax
- Occupancy Permit
- Employer Identification Number
In order to protect yourself and make sure that all financial transactions are conducted appropriately and secure insurance, you’ll want to establish a separate business identity. This will also allow you to save money on taxes and write off some expenses as operating costs.
One of the main ways that people protect themselves and keep their businesses secure is by forming a Limited Liability Company, or LLC. With some simple paperwork and maybe a small fee to an attorney, you can file the necessary documents and make sure that your business is operating legally and geared towards long-term success.
Once you have reached this point, you’ll want to consider acquiring general liability insurance or an applicable plan that works for you. If you’re renting space in a salon, you will likely be covered, but many dog groomers own expensive equipment and vehicles that will need to be insured to be compliant with all applicable laws.
Marketing and Pricing
The next step towards getting your business off the ground is figuring out what pricing will be appropriate for your area and demographic. If you need to figure out where to start, check out some of your nearby competitors and set your prices accordingly.
At this stage of your business, you’ll want to look into various marketing strategies, like advertising on Facebook or Instagram. It’s important to stay active locally and get involved in community activities that will help you build a network in your local area.
Back to Business
Now that you’ve taken care of all the necessary work to get your business licensed and running properly, you can focus on the important part – caring for the animals. If you don’t have much experience with dogs, you can always volunteer some time with shelters to get a feel for the different emotional frameworks they operate in.
Some animals might be nervous when starting the bathing and grooming process, especially if the owner is not present. For these dogs, try to keep the lights low, scented candles if possible, and lots of treats handy. Give the dog positive reinforcement for good behavior, and they will get comfortable with the grooming process quickly.
A dog grooming business is a perfect way for an animal lover to turn their passion for animals into a career through which they can interact and care for the animals directly. Not only can you make a difference in the lives of animals and their owners, dog grooming is a potentially highly lucrative income stream that is available for anyone willing to work for it.