Is it finally time to start your dog grooming business? That’s a pretty scary leap! But deciding you want to go down this path is only the first step. You’ll have to find the ideal grooming environment for you! When you consider where a professional pet groomer works, you’re probably picturing an indoor environment such as a Petco or a shelter. While those are common places for many groomers to start their career, they aren’t the only option.
You could also open your own salon, start a home business, or become a mobile dog groomer. You’ve got many options ahead of you, so don’t just settle before you explore them all! We’ve already laid out the pros and cons of mobile dog grooming. So we’re going to tackle the pros and cons of a commercial salon or a home salon in today’s post.
Working in a salon may be the most common choice for groomers! For the purposes of this article, we aren’t talking about working for a retailer like Petco, for example. We’ll be focusing on the pros and cons of owning a dog grooming salon.
Opportunities to Hire Employees/Assistants
Unlike home grooming situations, you have the space to hire employees and assistants. Whenever your business expands, you’re opening up an opportunity to earn a higher salary. With more hands on deck, you’ll collectively groom more dogs in a day. This is a major pro of owning a salon.
Ability to Offer Additional Services
Grooming salons often add to their revenue stream by selling additional products or offering specialty services! Because you’ll have a professional retail space, you can set up dog treat displays and make a few extra bucks on top of your grooming services!
Lower Prices for Clients
Compared mobile grooming, for example, average salon grooming prices are typically lower. This is because vehicle and travel costs aren’t factored into the prices. Clients come to you, and they’re charged only for the work you do.
Ability to Reach More Clients
Most people who hire mobile grooming services face special circumstances that prevent them from leaving their home. When you run a salon, you’ll see clients who aren’t restricted by the same circumstances. As you won’t be spending time travelling from place to place, you’ll have more time to service additional clients than a typical mobile pet groomer.
Owning a salon is expensive, especially if you’re hiring employees. Consider that you’ll be paying retail rent, which can be very expensive depending on your location.
Managing Administration Tasks & Grooming
Owning your own grooming salon is no walk in the park! You’ll be managing administration tasks such as scheduling, paying employees, and paying rent on top of grooming your canine clients. Of course, administration tasks will be necessary no matter the kind of grooming business you’re running. But they’ll be even more prominent in a salon setting.
Clients May Need to Travel Further
Although you can reach clients easily in a city or large town, owning a salon in a rural or suburban area means seeing fewer clients on the whole. Some clients may need to travel farther to get to the nearest puppy salon. And if a competing business springs up closer to their homes, you may lose some clients.
Stressed-out Canine Clients
Grooming can be stressful for dogs in salon settings. Other dogs will likely be around and they may experience anxiety from being outside their familiar, home environment. It can all be overwhelming, especially for older pooches who may not be conditioned to a salon environment from a young age.
By home grooming, we’re referring to opening a salon within your home. You’d convert your garage, shed, or room to a space suitable for conducting grooming appointments. Check out these pros and cons of home grooming, and see if it’s for you!
Without the rental costs of a storefront, home grooming is very cost-effective. In fact, it could be the most cost-effective option for groomers! You would only pay for the home renovations of the space, your business license, and the tools you need for your grooms.
This option is obviously convenient for you, but it may be just as convenient for clients! You won’t have to commute to work each day, and your clients could just walk over to your house for their appointments!
Be a Side-Business
If you don’t want to be a full-time dog groomer, running a home salon is an appealing choice. You can schedule clients whenever it suits your schedule. For stay-at-home parents, people who work from home, or those with a full time job, a home salon means you don’t have to change your schedule.
Your Neighbors Are Your Clients
You likely already know the people who live in your area! These will be your clients. You’ll form close relationships with both the canines and their owners who live in your neighborhood!
This point won’t apply to everyone, but it can affect most modestly-sized homes. It’s likely your home salon will be a lot smaller than a salon in a commercial space. Keep this in mind when weighing your options!
No Work-Home Separation
Some people want to separate their work-life from their home-life. If you’re one of those people, opening a home grooming salon may not be for you. You won’t have to commute to work, but you won’t be able to leave your workplace behind at the end of the day.
Your Clients Have Your Address
This one might be a major con for some people. All your clients will have your address and know your home. If you’re someone who needs a strong sense of safety, security, and privacy, a home salon may not be right for you.
Converting a Space Can Be Pricey
As mentioned, you’ll need to convert a space within your existing home for your grooming appointments. This will require purchasing equipment and products on top of insurance and a business license. Your salon should meet professional safety and sanitation standards. These are all major investments and require a lot of work on your part to make into a reality.
Which option is for you?
Weigh the pros and cons and think about your plan for the next few years. All three of these options are great, but it ultimately depends on how you live your life and how to want to live your life. Starting a business of any sort is a huge investment, so it’s important to consider all the pros and cons.
Can you think of any other pros or cons for any of these options? Leave a comment!
If you’re set on opening a dog grooming business, you’ll need a name! Check out this post for help!
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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