Setting up a dog grooming business might be a long-term ambition of yours but there are some important things to keep in mind when starting a new business venture in dog grooming.
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There are several parts of the job to consider when assessing if it is the right job for you. You need to consider that you will be working on your feet all day and so need to be sure that you are comfortable doing this.
You will also need a certain amount of confidence as you might need to deal with difficult or anxious dogs. Previous experience of handling dogs would be a distinct advantage, even if it is only as a dog owner.
Also consider that you are likely to be working alone most of the time, although you will of course have company in the form of your canine friends!
You don’t need any qualifications to become a dog groomer, however dog owners are always likely to look more favourably on you to provide a great service for their beloved pet if you are able to state that you have qualifications and of course, experience.
Get in touch with your local college who will be able to give you more information about qualifications that you can study for. Gaining a certificate in dog grooming can only be positive when you are trying to recruit new clients.
You can operate your business from a salon which has the benefit of space and a fixed site where you might get walk in enquiries. However, you also need to consider the overheads that you will need to pay to run the venue.
Costs include rent, electricity, water, gas, insurance, maintenance etc. Some dog groomers run their business from a room in their house. This has the advantage of providing a fixed premise without hefty overhead bills. But this isn’t always possible as you may not have this space available.
The alternative is that you can provide a mobile service offering dog grooming in a clients home. This has the benefit of significantly reducing the impact of the cost of overheads and enables you to provide treatments in an environment where the dog feels comfortable. You need to consider that you will need to be able to transport your equipment between clients.
The more experience you have, the better the service that you can provide for your client and their pet. Practice on your own dog or on a friend’s to gain experience in dealing with dogs of different breeds and sizes. Then, when you do a wonderful job ask your friends and family to recommend your services!
Public Liability insurance is a minimum requirement when you run your own business and this will cover you for injury or damage to third parties or their property, which may be important if your grooming business travels to client’s houses.
Care, Custody and Control cover will offer protection against the accidental injury, illness or loss of an animal under your care. You should also take out a policy covering any specialist equipment that you use as part of your dog grooming business.
There are some key items that you will need to purchase to be able to provide a dog grooming service. You need to ensure that all equipment is cleaned and sterilised between treatments. The key items to include in your kit list are:
1. Table – for grooming the dogs on. When making this investment, be sure to find something that suits your needs. Consider that it needs to be big enough for the dogs that you will be treating. It also needs to be the right height for you to be able to stand at to groom the dogs and easy to clean between pets. If you will be providing a mobile dog grooming service, then you need to ensure that the table you get is portable.
2. Clippers – these should be an essential part of your toolkit. It is worth making an investment to get the right clippers ensuring that they are comfortable to hold as well as being easy to maintain and clean.
3. Dryer – Essential for providing the perfect finishing touch, make sure that the dryer you choose is practical and appropriate for the task. For example, a tiny dryer with little output won’t be very useful for a large dog.
4. Brushes and combs – You should have these in a variety of sizes and for a range of hair types as you are likely to be handling many different dog breeds.
5. Nail clippers – these are another essential tool for keeping those nails trimmed and should be practical and easy to use and maintain.
6. Products – Such as shampoo and conditioner are essential. Make sure that you have a range of products available, taking into consideration that some of the dogs that you treat might have sensitive skin.
Put a price structure in place considering the range of treatments and size of animal. You might want to offer a pricing structure based on small, medium and large dogs and could offer packages so that clients can treat their pets to a wash and nail clipping for a standard price.
Additional treatments such as teeth descaling and ear cleaning could be offered at an additional price.