Being your own boss is one of the best feelings in the world – every entrepreneur can attest to this. For certified dog groomers, running a dog grooming business is a long-term goal. And with good reason – dog grooming is a wonderful career, and it’s even more enjoyable if you can set your own hours, rates, and choose your clientele!
Dreaming of owning your own pet business is one thing, but it’s quite another to get it off the ground. You’ll need a dog grooming course under your belt, and hands-on experience. You’ll also need a bit of collateral to start, and of course, some good old-fashioned ambition and drive.
Follow this guide on how to start a successful dog grooming business, and get ready for your next big adventure!
If you’re considering becoming a professional dog groomer, you already have a love of animals and a deep concern for their well-being. This is a great start! Any dog groomer who has started their own business will tell you that their career began with the desire to care for animals – and then the real work began!
In order to become a dog groomer that clients will happily trust with their pups (and who is successful in the industry), you’ll need to have some serious training.
Enrolling in a dog grooming course is the first step for aspiring business owners. A grooming class will make sure you’re prepared for medical emergencies, and you’ll learn the proper techniques for each groom you perform. You’ll also come to understand different breeds and how to groom them through hands-on assignments. You’ll master clipping, trimming, bathing, brushing, and so much more.
Never underestimate the value of a professional dog grooming certificate! With proper training, you’ll set yourself apart from other dog groomers, as clients will feel confident in your knowledge and education.
The right education is key, but it goes hand-in-hand with experience. The great news is that dog grooming courses allow you to practice your skills on a variety of dogs, providing you with loads of practical experience. Before you can start a dog grooming business, however, you’ll need as much experience as you can get.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to all the dog owners you know and offer to groom their pups – let them know that you’re recently certified and need some one-on-one time to build your grooming skills (for free!). They’ll be happy to oblige. Just as well, spend time honing your skills as an assistant at a local pet salon. All professional groomers need to start somewhere, and you never know who you may meet – and who can help you out – along the way!
Pro Tip: Be sure to do your research into dog grooming courses and find one that offers business training. Once you obtain your dog grooming certificate, you’ll be equipped with skills to run a successful business, from building your brand to constructing a business plan, to setting your grooming prices.
Business Launch Requirements
With your dog groomer certification in hand and the right experience behind you, you’re well on your way to a successful business. However, there are many details to iron out and this process can be rather tricky (especially if you’re on your own).
But don’t fret – check out the list below of what you’ll need to get your business off the ground:
- Choose a name for your dog grooming business
- Meet with an accountant or attorney to evaluate which type of business you want to create (sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation to name a few options)
- Figure out the space you will use – this can be a retail salon, a mobile-based one, or even in your home!
- Obtain a business license (if you need one)
- Determine your pricing structure, through competitor research and breed considerations
- Find and purchase the right dog grooming equipment
- Get business insurance!
All of these items should be covered in a detailed business start-up plan, which you’ll learn more about in the business training unit of your dog grooming course.
This is a basic checklist of items you’ll need to keep in mind before starting your dog grooming business, but more items will come up as you work through it. That’s all part of the process, so enjoy it and be sure to ask questions so you can stay organized!
While the skills and characteristics of a great pet groomer can be learned, some people are just born with them. Education, experience, and attention to detail are all important, but it takes a special kind of person to be a successful dog groomer.
Here are a few of the top personality skills for dog groomers who want to start their own business:
If you consider yourself to be a “people person”, you’ll thrive as the owner of a dog grooming business. You’ll be working closely with all kinds of pet owners, since they’re the ones who know the details behind their pal’s specific needs. Therefore, great customer service skills are a With a personality like this, you’re sure to provide both your client and their pet with a great grooming experience, and maintain a strong relationship going forward.
Attention to detail
Clients will be paying you for quality services, and they’ll expect that quality to apply to every aspect. Taking great care and paying attention to what clients want/need will show a sense of pride in your work that clients will love seeing. This is what will keep them coming back to your salon, and will help you become the most successful business owner you can be!
If you consider yourself to be a fun person, your dog grooming business is going to benefit from this! Bandanas, bows, and haircuts are just some areas of dog grooming in which you can let your creativity shine through – finishing touches are some of the most fun aspects of grooming. You’ll also need to make sure that you can adapt a breed cut to each pet’s lifestyle and personality.
Setting goals and meeting them, managing your time, and working really hard are all part of starting a dog grooming business. If you already set goals for yourself and see them through on a regular basis, you’re set for a successful career as a business owner. Think about it – you’ll have multiple grooming appointments a day, so you’ll need to manage your time exceptionally well. If you already have a strong work ethic, you’ll shine in this role!
No matter how stressful your day becomes (and trust us, you’re bound to encounter chaos in any business), you need to maintain a calm and patient demeanor. Not only does this give a professional impression to your clients, it also keeps the pups calm while you groom them. And if you can keep your furry clients happy and relaxed, you’re truly a successful dog groomer! We know it’s tricky to not become overwhelmed in difficult situations, but patience will serve you well. Work on it if you need to, and be mindful of how you present yourself to clients.
Once your dog grooming business is up and running, get creative and attract new clients with these tips!
You have options when starting your dog grooming business!
Casey Bechard of Off The Leash Pet Grooming is a QC Pet Studies graduate. Read all about her favorite breeds and pet haircuts as a certified groomer!
Incorporating your dog into your Halloween plans is a great way to celebrate the holiday. Here are 6 pet safety tips to ensure they’re safe during the fun!