Becoming a self-employed dog groomer is a wonderful way for you to do what you love for a living, while also getting to be your own boss. As the owner of your very own business, you have the unique freedom to:

  • Set your own hours
  • Choose where you work
  • Offer the services you enjoy doing most
  • Tailor your services towards specific niches within the industry (i.e. competition grooming, large breed grooming, etc.)
  • Book your own clients
  • Determine your own rates
  • And so much more!

But what will your income actually look like? Well, there are many factors that can affect the self-employed dog groomer salary. On the one hand, this means that it can sometimes be difficult to anticipate a concrete annual income. But on the other hand, it also means that you have a lot of opportunities to increase your salary through the right strategies!

So, what are some of the biggest factors that can impact your self-employed dog groomer salary? Here are 4 of them!

1. Are you Certified?

This is a big one. Technically, little to no education is actually required in order to be a self-employed dog groomer or start up a business. In fact, many dog groomers don’t even have an actual certification on their resumes! But just because you don’t need to have this level of training, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get it anyways.

Think about it: would YOU get your hair cut by someone who had no professional training? Probably not.

In the world of self-employed groomers, there will be plenty of competition. But the fact is, many of them will be self-taught. You can give yourself a major edge by taking the time to learn the craft the right way, by a real industry professional. Clients will always choose the groomer who has a proper certification over one that doesn’t.

Your rates can reflect your level of training, too. If many of the other self-employed dog groomers in your area aren’t actually certified, you can afford to set your rates a little higher than what they’re charging.

Don’t worry about scaring off potential customers! You’ll quickly come to find that many pet owners are happy to pay a little bit extra, if it means their furry family member is in the hands of a true expert.

2. What Types of Services Do You Offer?

Are you a one-stop-shop for clients, or do you only offer particular grooming services? It goes without saying that the more services you provide, the wider your clientele will be – which means more profit for your business. While plenty of clients will want a la carte services, there will also be just as many who want to give Fluffy the full treatment.

If you limit the kinds of services your business offers by too much, you’ll also be limiting how financially successful your business can ultimately be.

All we’re saying is, don’t sell your career short. Research into the most popular grooming services needed in your area and make sure your business offers them. If you wish to only specialize in certain areas of the grooming industry, that’s totally your right. But unless there’s a strong demand for it where you live, just be warned that it can negatively impact your salary.

3. Where Do You Live?

Where you live often plays a big role in your self-employed dog groomer salary. For instance, if you’re in a small town, there may not be a very high demand for dog groomers. Of course, on the other hand, the demand could still be there – just with less local competition for you.

If this is the case, you’ll not only have primary access to the majority of local clients; you might also have grounds for charging a little bit more for your work compared to the going rate.

self-employed dog groomer shaving dog on grooming table

Depending on the demand for your services, living in a small area can either work for or against you. It’s all a matter of how YOU approach the situation, and how well you use your circumstances to your advantage.

The same can easily be said for large cities, too. While largely populated areas will often equal a higher demand for dog groomers, it typically also means a lot more competition in your area. However, if you play your cards right, this can wind up being a very good thing for your business.

Find ways to set yourself apart from the other groomers in your city. Continue to pursue further training and education, so you can always remain current and build upon your qualifications. The stronger you are as a groomer, the more clients you’ll attract – and the more you can justify raising your service rates.

4. What Sort of Equipment Do You Use?

The thing about being a self-employed dog groomer is that you’re the one responsible for financing the entire business. In addition to the day-to-day workings of running this business, another thing you’ll need to budget for is your actual grooming equipment.

This will obviously require some sort of investment on your part, but it’ll be worth it in the long run. Make sure you invest in high-quality, reliable tools. You can be the best groomer in the world, but if your tools are falling apart or not properly maintained, you won’t be able to do your job!

Not to mention, clients will rarely want to hand their dog over to someone with sub-part grooming equipment. In their eyes, the state of your tools reflects your skill level. Bad equipment will likely mean a bad groom.

It makes sense, then, that the more well-kept and up-to-date your equipment is, the more customers you’ll attract to your business. This means a higher income as a result of regular bookings!

Note: This isn’t to say that you always have to pay top dollar in order to have the best equipment, though. Here are 5 affordable ways to stock up your grooming kit with excellent equipment, without going broke in the process!

Are you ready to become a self-employed dog groomer and launch the career of your dreams? There’s no time like the present, so get started today!

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