Now that you’re a certified dog groomer, you’re probably thinking about where to best set up shop and start your grooming career! To be frank, location does matter! The type and amount of clients you’ll get for your business will change depending on where your business is. Can you really expect to accrue a long list of luxury clients who want all the bells and whistles for their pets when you’re operating in a small rural town?
If you’re aiming to work full-time in pet grooming, you’re better off in a big city. How’s about Vancouver, for instance? This Canadian city is known for its warm climate (in comparison to the rest of Canada, at least) and its higher cost of living. And with a generally higher standard of life comes a higher demand for grooming salons and spas!
Find out just how to succeed as a dog groomer in the Van-city area!
Employment & Salary Stats!
Vancouverites have a median household income of $79,930 and the city is well-known for being quite expensive even in comparison to Toronto—Canada’s biggest metropolitan area. Dog owners are more likely to spend more to keep their pooches happy and healthy, which could mean higher salary potential for groomers!
According to Employment and Social Development Canada, the median hourly wage is $13.53 for groomers. Those on the higher end can earn around $18/hour! In British Columbia in general, 41% of workers in this field are self-employed, with 54% of groomers working all year long, and 46% working for only part of the year. These are particularly favorable statistics, but aspiring groomers don’t just land these jobs out of nowhere. It takes a lot of hard work and the ability to make the most of burgeoning opportunities. More on that later…
Vancouver loves their dogs!
Every park in the metropolitan area allows the presence of dogs. There are even 36 parks where they don’t need to be on a leash at all! If you’re thinking about opening up a business that also employs dog walkers, you’re definitely in the right place.
You don’t have to meet new dogs just at the park, though! A few months ago, Vancouver International Airport has employed therapy dogs from St. John’s ambulance to greet weekday travelers for a couple hours each day. Puppy therapy has gained lots of fanfare in recent years as their positive disposition has proven to uplift and de-stress individuals who have a lot on their shoulders. You yourself will probably enjoy these benefits every day when grooming your canine clients.
You’ve heard of cat cafes made popular by Japan, but what about having a place where you can take your loveable dogs? Moonlight Dog Café is Vancouver’s first dog café and it has enjoyed immense success since opening. It’s hard to bring your pets out with you only to be told that they have to stay outside whenever you enter a shop. This café sells heaps of nutritious foods and accessories for your pets and you get to study, socialize, and hang out with your friends and other pets and their owners. If you’re looking for a place to network your grooming skills, this would be the place to start!
Job growth in this occupation is forecasted to be strong, but it will still require a lot of hard work to make it in the grooming business. Many pet-oriented businesses in the area offer grooming services on the side with a focus on being a pet shop. If they are a dedicated pet salon, they will also sell dog food, litter, accessories, and clothes to become a one-stop shop for all pet owners.
When all these stores sell the same stuff and perform the same services, how can you stay ahead of the competition?
Offer your services to rescues
The previously mentioned Moonlight Dog Café works closely with many rescues in the city. While many pet shops offer grooming services, most rescues in the city don’t. We’ve already discussed the benefits of grooming dogs at an animal rescue, but rewards reaped for rescues exceed just the health and aesthetic benefits. You’d be amazed at how fast groomed dogs are able to find a good home after a coat trim and a nice bath!
Pet day care and grooming
Obviously it can be a lot to handle if you’re thinking about starting your own business and are the sole worker for the first few years. As you expand your services, you can add on extraneous services (with the appropriate level of employees, too!). If you’re just starting out in the city, you may consider reaching out to pet daycares and inquiring about their needs for your grooming skills. If you can expand the daycare’s traffic along with providing clients with multiple services in one location, your presence would be an asset to the company!
Creative groomers aren’t the most in-demand job in the world, but there is a market for them. We’re not saying to ditch regular pet grooming altogether, but creative grooming can be a fun service to add to your arsenal. It not only fulfills a need for certain clients in the area, but you can actually earn some extra cash in competitive grooming to invest back into your business!
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!
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