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Career Advice

The Dog Groomer Salary in 2021

dog groomer salary feature image

On a global scale, 2020 was arguably the worst year we’ve lived through in decades. But now that a new year has begun, there’s hope that the next twelve months will be more forgiving, more positive, and filled with more opportunities for growth. If one of your goals for 2021 is to start your dream job as a professional dog groomer, you’re likely excited but also wondering, “What sort of salary can I expect to make?”

Before We Begin…

It’s important that we make this very clear: the projected average salaries we’re going to discuss are in no way set in stone. If we learned nothing else last year, it’s that life can be extremely unpredictable. Unfortunately, we cannot know for certain whether these numbers will prove to hold up, be less, or even be more than predicted. Only time will tell!

Secondly, it’s important to remember is that a dog groomer’s salary is very fluid and based on a number of factors. Even two groomers living within the same town can make two vastly different incomes! In a profession such as this, there are a lot of things that YOU can do to directly impact your dog groomer salary, increase your earnings, and better your bottom line.

But we’ll talk more about that later!

Global Predictions for the Dog Groomer Salary in 2021

We should probably point out that your dog groomer salary over the course of 2021 will obviously be affected by the hours you work. Logically, part-time groomers will make less than full-time ones.

The following projections are based on recent data, the salaries of individuals living within that specific demographic, income made last year, and other influencing variables. With that in mind, these are the anticipated average hourly wages for dog groomers in 2021, based on country:

black pug with piggy bank

Keep in Mind…

The above projections aren’t a one-size-fits-all sort of deal. There are LOTS of dog groomers who will make more than this in 2021. This is because, as I mentioned above, there are a number of influencing elements that also need to be taken into consideration.

So, let’s look at a few of them, shall we?

3 Factors that Can Impact Your Dog Groomer Salary

1. Your Location

Where you live can play a direct role in how much you make. For instance, groomers living in a major city will likely have countless competitors. As such, the going rate will often be a bit higher. In this sort of case, a dog groomer could potentially wind up making a higher salary than a groomer living in the boonies.

That being said, there can also be perks to working within a small town. If your area needs groomers, but there aren’t many options to choose from, you can definitely profit by offering your services in a less competitive market. Since your clients will have fewer (to no) alternatives, you’ll not only have dibs on the client base – you might even be able to charge a little more for your services, since you’ll be considered a rare commodity!

At the end of the day, your location will always come with its own set of pros and cons. The key is how you use your situation to your advantage!

white dog getting haircut

2. Your Qualifications

If a client has to pick between a dog groomer who’s been properly trained and certified, versus someone who has not, they will ALWAYS choose the person with the stronger qualifications. After all, why shouldn’t they? They love their dog. It only makes sense that they’d want to make sure whoever looks after them will keep them safe and treat them right.

If the only experience on your resume is that you’ve groomed your own dog at home, that isn’t going to be enough. I guarantee that you will make a substantially smaller salary than a dog groomer with an impressive resume, stacked with reputable certifications.

Remember: a hobby is not the same as a career – and a career comes with the necessary training. Only then can you truly be great at what you do and provide your clientele with peace of mind that they’ve chosen the best of the best!

3. Your Services

Whether you work within an established salon or start your own business, the number of grooming services you can offer will impact the number of jobs you can take on – which ultimately means a higher dog groomer salary for you. Additionally, if you know that you have a special talent for certain services, don’t be afraid to go above and beyond to showcase those specific skills.

The best kind of dog groomer is one who is not only a Jack of all trades, but an actual master of them, too!

Note: With that in mind, know where to draw the line. Never offer a service that you know you’re weak in. For instance, if you know you’re not great at grooming Poodles, don’t accept bookings to groom Poodles. It’s better to be upfront and honest to a client than it is to accept their money and give them bad results.

corgi getting blog dried by dog groomer

3 Ways to Increase Your Dog Groomer Salary in 2021

1. Adapt to the Pandemic!

What if grooming salons have to close down, or the pandemic is severely limiting your bookings?

Take your business mobile!

These days, mobile dog grooming is a popular option for pet owners looking for a convenient way to have their dogs groomed, without having to physically travel to the groomer. As a mobile dog groomer, you’ll go to them!

Not only can this option allow you to continue operating and booking appointments fairly regularly – you’ll likely be able to charge more for your mobile services, too, since they’ll be considered a hotter commodity!

Want to learn about some of the pros and cons to being a mobile groomer? Keep reading here!

2. Strengthen Your Online Presence!

Most of us were already spending a lot of time online, even before the pandemic. But since COVID-19 began, the world is living online now more than ever. So, make sure you’re getting seen!

Work on your social media channels by regularly posting unique content that best reflects your brand, mission, business goals, and most importantly, who you are. Build an official website for your business, or polish the website you already have so everything is current and accurate. Go over your online portfolio and make sure the images representing your work are of the best quality.

The better your online presence is, the more exposure you can get for your business. This, in turn, can wind up attracting all sorts of new clients, which will positively impact your dog groomer salary.

3. Get Professionally Certified!

As I discussed earlier, you’re guaranteed to book more clients and increase your profits if you have reputable training and qualifications to your name. A proper education is always going to be a sound investment that will pay back its worth tenfold, for the rest of your career! Take your training one step further by adding a First Aid certification to your resume, too.

This way, you’ll truly be a dog grooming expert and your client will never have any doubts that their dog is truly in the right hands!

Pro Tip: Thinking of pursuing your professional training online, rather than in-person? Here are 5 reasons why online schooling is the way to go!

Here’s to 2021 and the promise of better things to come. With the right mindset, the right preparation, and the right strategies, you can pursue the career of your dreams this year and earn a great dog groomer salary to boot!

Ready to begin your exciting journey? Enroll today with QC Pet Studies today and get certified in less than a year!

Is Dog Grooming Hard?

is dog grooming hard - poodle before and after grooming

When you find something you want to do for the rest of your life, you ask yourself a lot of questions: Can I really do this? Will I be successful? How do I get to where I want to be? How long will it take to get there?

You may also be asking yourself, “How hard will it be to become a success in my industry?”

This is especially true when you’re thinking of embarking on a journey to become a professional dog groomer. Between finding new clients, dealing with anxious or aggressive dogs, and learning the skills you’ll need to be the best groomer you can be, you’ll be faced with many challenges along the way.

But if you’re wondering if you have what it takes to face those challenges, we’ll break it down for you here and now. This way, you can make the right choice for you and your future career.

Is Dog Grooming Hard?

Like anything, dog grooming comes with its own unique challenges. That being said, it isn’t hard once you fully understand the skills required. From pet First Aid, to the specific grooming requirements for different breeds and fur types, there’s a lot to consider when you’re first starting out!

Dog grooming is also a career that relies on word of mouth marketing. Once you do a great job on one client’s furry friend, you may find that all of their (human) friends are calling you up for their own appointments. You’ll need to have a “hustle” attitude if you’re starting your own business. Be prepared to work hard for each and every client at the beginning of your career.

Of course, working for an existing groomer or in a salon has its own challenges, too. You’ll have less control over who your clients are, so you may have to be prepared to work with many different types of dogs from the get-go.

dog grooming, washing dog’s face

Get Prepared

One way to make sure you’re fully prepared to handle your new career as a dog groomer is by taking a great dog grooming course! Understanding every aspect of the dog grooming industry won’t just make you better at your job – it’ll also make you much more confident as you begin your career. With the help of a reputable grooming school, you’ll acquire all of the tools you’ll need to work with a wide variety of dogs and dog owners.

Understanding dog First Aid is another great way to feel more secure and comfortable in your new working environment. If you’re worried that dog grooming will be a hard career, one of the best things you can do is prepare as much as you can BEFORE that first official client walks through the door!

Am I Suited to a Career in Dog Grooming?

While there are challenges that come with dog grooming, it’s also an exciting, rewarding, and fun career that many people dream of having. If your idea of a perfect day involves spending a lot of time with dogs of all shapes and sizes, you’re probably on the right track to becoming a good dog groomer.

However, there are a few things that make all the difference between being a good dog groomer and being a great one. If you know for a fact that you possess any of the following traits, then you just might be in the perfect spot to begin a career that suits you very well!

Dog grooming expert cutting nails of small dog on grooming table

Communication

You don’t have to be a total extrovert to be successful as a dog groomer. But knowing how to communicate with your clients (both human and canine) will make a big difference in customer satisfaction. Understand what you do as a dog groomer and be prepared to explain it – in detail – to concerned dog-parents.

For example, you know what a “puppy cut” is on a particular breed… but does your client?

Organization

Whether you’re starting your own business or working for an existing one, keeping organized will make your days much less stressful. The last thing you want is to get ready for a busy day, only to realize that you’ve booked two clients for the same time slot! To avoid disappointing both your clients and yourself, you should make every effort to be extremely organized.

Confidence

Dogs know when you’re uneasy, and people do, too. Would you trust your dog with a groomer who didn’t act like she knew what she was doing? It’s completely normal to feel some jitters as you begin a new job (or even as you take on new responsibilities at a job you’ve had for years). But trust yourself and your knowledge!

Challenges of Dog Grooming

Like we’ve said, dog grooming can come with pretty specific challenges. How many other careers count “trampled by puppies” as an occupational hazard?

While there are so many rewards to becoming a dog groomer, you’ll also have to grapple with some of the less-great aspects of the job. This includes things like occupational health hazards. If you’re worried about what you’ll face as a dog groomer, look no further!

Dog grooming professional giving Spanish water dog a bath

Difficult Behavior

Even if all your clients insist that their dogs are beautiful, gentle creatures who would never hurt a fly, it’s hard to tell what a dog will actually do when faced with a new and scary situation. You’ll have to go into your career as a dog groomer prepared to deal with anxious, even aggressive dogs. Mor importantly, you’ll need to know how to protect yourself and them.

Difficult Clients

In almost any client-facing career, you’ll find more than one person behaving much worse than any of dogs you might come across! They might be insisting on heavy discounts. Perhaps they’re ignoring your shop rules, or trying to convince you to fit them in last-minute. Whatever the situation, always be prepared to professionally (and confidently) shut down any bad behavior from clients.

Erratic Schedules

Sure, you can often set your own hours as a dog groomer, but you may find that the most profitable hours don’t fit into a standard Monday to Friday model. Clients are usually busy, and really appreciate being able to take their dog to you after work or on weekends.

Rewards of Dog Grooming

Now, about those rewards we were talking about! If you’ve read about all the challenges you’ll face as a dog groomer and you feel better than ever about your career choice, you can start dreaming about all the great things that come with it!

Shih Tzu being brushed in dog grooming salon

Career Growth

People love to spoil their dogs! Taking them to the groomer is one way they love to do it. The dog grooming field is only continuing to grow. We guarantee that you’ll be able to see your hard work pay off when your career begins to take off.

Starting Your Own Business

If you decide to start your own business, you’ll have achieved the dream of millions of people around the world. Being your own boss and setting your own hours gives you a great deal of freedom.

Working with Dogs

This is probably the main reward! Most people interested in dog grooming as a career get into the field because they love dogs. Thankfully, you will actually spend a great deal of your day getting to hang out with pups of all shapes and sizes!

Whenever you start something new, you’re bound to feel nervous. You might even feel like your new career is going to be too hard for you to handle. But if you’re prepared, and you know exactly what you’re getting into, you’ll be able to handle pretty much whatever the job throws at you!

What are some challenges you’ve faced as a dog groomer? What do you love about your job? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Become a certified groomer in less than one year! Enroll in QC’s leading online Dog Grooming Course today!

3 Signs You’re Burning Out as a Professional Dog Groomer (and What to Do About It)

pup on couch, looking at window

While anyone can experience burnout, some jobs have a higher rate of burnout than others. Dog grooming is one of these jobs. While highly rewarding, it’s also a high-stress job – especially when you’re running your own dog groomer business

Burnout can be crippling. In serious cases, it can take months or even years to fully recover. But if you’re able to recognize the signs early, and take proper steps to address it, you can help minimize the effects of burnout and get back to work!

Let’s go over the top signs that you might be burning out as a dog groomer, and what you can do about it.

1: You’re physically and emotionally fatigued.

One of the telltale signs of burnout is exhaustion, in every sense of the word. 

Physically, you feel worn out. You don’t have energy for things that used to be easy to do. You probably have trouble sleeping. Perhaps you’re starting to sleep too much or you have symptoms of insomnia (i.e. trouble falling asleep, waking up often during the night, etc.).  

Odds are, your eating habits will change. You might experience loss of appetite and find yourself skipping meals. You might also feel other physical symptoms such as gastrointestinal pain, headaches, difficulty breathing, and more. You’ll probably notice you get sick more often, too.

Important Note: Never write off sudden, new physical symptoms as burnout. If you suddenly start experiencing physical pain of any sort, you should consult with your doctor right away!

Emotionally, you might start experiencing increased anxiety. You’ll find yourself worrying more than usual, often about things you can’t control or that didn’t bother you before. You might also become more edgy with your dog groomer clients, coworkers, friends, and even family.

You could also start experiencing symptoms of depression. Common feelings associated with depression include hopelessness, guilt, irritability, or other (more serious) symptoms. You might suddenly find that you now have a shorter temper. Perhaps you’re feeling more irritable; prone to angry outbursts, both at work and at home.

2: You start disengaging.

As burnout progresses, you’ll probably start detaching from what normally brings you joy. You might find yourself waking up every morning and dreading going to work. Out of what feels like nowhere, being a dog groomer may no longer feel as fulfilling as it used to for you, and so you could begin to respond negatively to your job environment.

As your symptoms worsen, you could even find yourself avoiding other activities that used to make you happy. Hanging out with friends/family, or indulging in your favorite hobby, might begin to feel very overwhelming or emotionally taxing. As a result, you might start to isolate yourself more from others. Socializing becomes a chore you try to avoid. People around you start to notice that you have a more negative general outlook on life. 

It might be hard to notice these signs yourself, so it’s important to listen to people around you! Despite what your burnout is telling you, they do care about you!

disengaged woman in work meeting

3: It starts affecting your dog groomer work.

In the early stages of burnout, your work might go largely unaffected. Your mental and physical health will suffer, but you might still be able to perform at work; hiding your symptoms from your colleagues or employers. However, as your burnout becomes more persistent, your work will start to suffer.

Your detachment and emotional exhaustion will spill into your dog groomer career, and you’ll begin losing focus. You’ll start getting more and more irritable, and care less about the quality of your work. You might start skipping entire workdays, without giving proper notice to your employer or clients. As a dog groomer, you could even start treating your furry clients poorly.

What To Do About It

If you start experiencing the start of burnout, there are some steps you can take to help you climb out of the hole before you’re in too deep!

circles with moods

Don’t ignore the signs.

You might not experience every single thing on this list. But you’ll probably notice that something feels “off” at the start. You may notice your habits changing and you don’t know why. It’s important that you pay attention to what your body is telling you!

Admit to yourself that you’re starting to burn out.

Unfortunately, mental health issues are too often stigmatized and dismissed.  You’re not “weak” or “crazy” if you’re burning out. Ignoring or denying it won’t make the problem go away.

Eat healthy and drink water.

When you’re stressed and busy, it’s easy to start neglecting these basic things. Take a step back and return to basics: lots of fresh fruits, veggies, and water. It’s amazing how these small changes can make a big difference!

woman drinking glass of water

Build solid sleep habits.

Set a regular bedtime routine and stick to it! Remove electronics from your room and get proper sleep. There are certain apps that can help you fall asleep if you experience insomnia. I’ve been using one for a month now and it really does help!

Get some exercise.

Once you’re eating and sleeping right, try getting into a light exercise routine. It doesn’t need to be intense! A 30-minute walk every day can do wonders for your mental health – and your dog will love you for it, too!

As a dog groomer, don’t be afraid to reduce your workload.

If you can afford to, consider cutting back on your work hours a bit. I know this can be scary at first as a dog groomer, because it means you don’t have as much money coming in. But if you don’t cut back now, you might be forced to stop working entirely later.

Take a vacation.

It doesn’t have to be a week on a private island somewhere! Even a few days away from work can make a difference, as long as you use them to do something fun. Go for a hike outside the city, check out your local art scene, or just re-read your favorite book. Sometimes, our minds need that mental break. If you have paid vacation days, make sure you use them. If you’re self-employed, plan ahead to take a few days off now and again!

Get professional help.

Look, sometimes you can take all the right steps and still struggle with burnout. That doesn’t make you a failure! We all need a little extra help sometimes. Consulting with a professional to develop proper stress management techniques (or just to talk about what’s stressing you out) can help immensely!

Burnout is a serious condition and should be treated as such. As a dog groomer, you work in a fast-paced, high-stress environment that you can’t always control. Your furry clients can sometimes be unpredictable and a little frustrating.

But you owe it to your clients to be in good mental health when taking care of their beloved pets! Addressing burnout early on doesn’t only make sense on a personal level – it makes sense on a professional one as well!

Did you know that dog groomer classes can actually help improve your mental health? Keep reading here to discover why!

Investing Your Dog Groomer Salary: 3 Do’s and Don’ts

dog groomer working in salon and increasing dog groomer salary

Look, we get it: when starting your very own grooming business, you’re going to understandably excited. You’ll want to do everything possible to get your career off the ground, build a solid reputation, and make a profit. This is a great mindset to have! But there’s another consideration that’s just as important to factor into the overall equation: how to invest your dog groomer salary properly.

After all, earning revenue isn’t enough to sustain a business in and of itself. There are overhead costs and plenty of other expenses you’ll also need to take into consideration. For as much as you need to make money, you’ll also need to put money back into your business.

Knowing what you should be spending your salary on can be a bit overwhelming for first-time entrepreneurs. But don’t worry, we’ve got this handy list of Do’s and Don’ts to steer you towards the right path!

dog groomer increasing salary by working on client's dog

Tips for Investing Your Dog Groomer Salary

DO: Set Business Goals

From a business standpoint, it’s never a good idea to go into anything blindly. The more prepared you are, the better. So, determine where your business is currently at and then create goals for where you want it to be.

For instance, do you want to acquire a long list of devoted clients? Do want to operate your business out of a physical salon, out of your home, or at the client’s place of residence? What sort of marketing strategies do you want to explore in order to get your name out there?

These are all critical things to figure out! The goals you set for your business heavily impact where parts of your dog groomer salary will need to be invested.

DON’T: Neglect the Value of Proper Training

Your job quite literally revolves around having another living being in your care. It doesn’t make sense to enter this sort of profession without first ensuring that you know what you’re doing. Dog groomers who jump into their careers without a proper foundation can be known to produce poor results, mishandle their clients’ dogs, or even cause fatalities.

If you’ve already started your business and lack any sort of certification, we STRONGLY urge you to consider taking a dog grooming course.

dog groomer increasing salary by blow drying client's dog

Professional training allows you to become a true industry expert. You’ll not only learn how to groom a dog successfully; you’ll also become learned in dog behavior, afflictions, skin conditions, various different breeds and their unique grooming requirements, and First Aid training.

Not only that, but the right school will arm you with a reputable certification that you can proudly show off on your resume! By investing your dog groomer salary into a professional course, you’re investing into a better future for your business.

DO: Create an Emergency Fund

Unexpected situations happen. The last thing you want is to be unprepared for them. For instance, what if a major piece of equipment suddenly kicks the bucket? What if you or a family member have a medical emergency that requires you to take time off work?

You don’t want a time of crisis to drain you of all of your profits. This is why it’s crucial to use some of your dog groomer salary to create an emergency savings for your business. This way, you have a cushion to fall back on, in the event that you ever need it.

DON’T: Skimp on Your Equipment

In the beginning, you’re going to need to invest a decent amount of money into your grooming tools. This just comes with the territory of being a professional dog groomer. With that in mind, it’s never a good idea to cut corners when it comes to your equipment.

Because the thing is, you’ll get exactly what you pay for. While you don’t need to go broke in order to stock your dog grooming kit, you also should research into each product and ensure you only buy reliable equipment. Otherwise, sure, you’ll spend less money initially – but when that tool breaks on you (and trust me, it will), you’ll be back to square one and needing to shell out more money in order to replace it.

By investing in sturdy, high-quality tools, you’re investing your dog groomer salary the right way. They’ll be with you for the long haul and keep their value for quite a long time. Not to mention, they’ll allow YOU to do your job to the best of your ability – which should be one of your top priorities.

DO: Hire Employees When the Time is Right

If your business is booming, this is obviously great! But if you’re booking more clients than one person can handle on their own, the overall quality of your work might start to suffer. Once you hit the point where you feel you could benefit from a little help, it might be time to consider expanding your team and hiring some staff!

Yes, you will need to invest some of your dog groomer salary into this venture. After all, anyone you hire will need to be paid for their work. Other factors you’ll have to take into consideration and add to your business’s budget will include:

  • Payroll taxes;
  • The cost of training;
  • Increased utility fees in your place of business;
  • Adding more equipment to your business;
  • The cost of benefits (if you choose to offer them);
  • Insurance;
  • And more!

That being said, it’s still a worthwhile investment. In the long run, more employees mean more clients your business is able to service. With time, you’ll wind up making all that money back in the form of profits.

small dog and puppy sniffing each other's faces

DON’T: Rely Solely on Word-of-Mouth Marketing

No, we’re not saying that word-of-mouth has been rendered an obsolete marketing strategy. It still brings value to the table. But these days, the optimal way to advertise your business is by doing is online.

If your business is just starting out, or your salon isn’t located in a highly visible space, then online advertising can quickly become your best friend! By investing some of your dog groomer salary into your digital marketing strategies, you can drastically increase your chances of clients finding you and seeking out your services.

So, create a business page on Facebook and spend a little money boosting certain posts, ads, or promotional offers. Another smart idea would be to invest in Google AdWords. That way, your name pops up when dog owners perform a Google Search for grooming businesses in their area.

So long as your endeavors results in newly acquired clients and/or leads, consider it money well spent!

Note: Just make sure to keep an eye on your SEO analytics so you can adjust your spending accordingly. This data is key to knowing whether the amount of money you’re putting into advertising is too much, not enough, or just right. That way, you won’t risk over or underspending.

Can you think of other ways you should (or shouldn’t) invest your dog groomer salary? Let us know in the comments below!

Start your career with a DOUBLE certification! Enroll in QC Pet Studies’ online Dog Grooming Course and get our First Aid for Groomers Course absolutely FREE!

Mobile Dog Grooming Career: Pros and Cons

woman's dog grooming career - driving in van with black lab in passenger seat

Congratulations! You’ve worked hard to complete your dog grooming training and earn your professional certification. Now you’re ready to break into the industry, start your dog grooming career, and launch your very own business. At this point, the most important question becomes: what type of business do you want to run?

Mobile grooming has gained more and more popularity over the years, and with good reason. This growing sector of the industry could be the right path for you! Of course, you’ll need to do your research before making any decisions.

Let’s break down what a mobile groomer does, and then delve into some of the common pros and cons related to this profession.

What is Mobile Dog Grooming?

In a nutshell, mobile dog grooming is when you – the groomer – physically travel to the clients’ homes for their appointments. You might invest in a van or truck big enough to house and transport your mini salon. Another popular option is to bring your grooming equipment into the client’s home, where you can groom the dog in its own environment.

The Pros and Cons of a Mobile Dog Grooming Career

In order to decide if a career in mobile dog grooming is right for you, you’ll need to carefully consider all of the factors that influence this profession. Here are some of the most common pros and cons that you’ll come across as a mobile groomer…

Pro: It’s the most convenient option for your clients!

For starters, mobile services present a major perk for clients! They won’t even need to leave their homes in order to reap the benefits of your services. This is definitely something that can set you apart from other competitors in your area.

Mobile grooming can be convenient for you, too! Not to mention, the fact that you’ll need to work with less equipment will teach you to become craftier in your approach to grooming.

Con: You’ll need to work long hours.

As a mobile groomer, you’ll usually be flying solo. You only have two hands (we assume), and that means you can only work on one dog at a time. If you want your dog grooming career and business to make a serious profit, you’ll need to work extended hours on a regular basis. This way, you can fit more appointments into your daily schedule.

If this isn’t an appealing or realistic option for you, mobile dog grooming might not be the best career choice.

Pro: It’s remarkably cost-effective!

When you work in a salon, part of your paycheck will go towards covering the overhead costs associated with running that establishment. Similarly, when you operate your own business out of a physical location, you’ll encounter all sorts of additional expenses that you’ll need to budget for and pay out of your profits. But a mobile dog grooming career doesn’t work the same way!

Yes, the initial start-up cost will likely be high for a mobile business. After all, you’ll need to have a reliable vehicle, set up your mobile grooming station and invest in your tools and products. But once those costs are out of the way, maintaining your mobile grooming business will be a LOT less expensive than operating a physical salon.

You’ll have a smaller workplace to manage and you’ll need less equipment, so your business overheads will be much more cost-friendly.

Con: You may need to turn down certain clients.

Money can quickly become tight for a mobile groomer if you continuously take on jobs that don’t actually turn a profit for you. At times, you may be required to pick and choose the appointments you book. This could mean turning down potential clients to accommodate others who are willing to pay more.

For example, full-service grooms have higher rates than individual services because they require more work on your part.  As such, these kinds of appointments would be more favorable for your business than substantially cheaper, a la carte requests.

Pro: You’ll have a much LARGER clientele in general!

Think about it. You’ll increase your chances of booking more clients by offering to come directly to them and your mobile flexibility allows you to travel to clients in other towns and cities. This is a unique perk that you simply can’t offer if you work in a physical salon!

Whether you live in a small town, or simply want to give yourself that extra edge in a larger, competitive city, mobile dog grooming is definitely going to allow you to reach out to more clients.

Con: Travel, maintenance, and expansion considerations

Although a career in mobile dog grooming is cost-effective compared to running a brick-and-mortar salon, you’ll still need to take several expenses into consideration. For instance, you’ll need to budget for expenses related to traveling, such as vehicle maintenance, gas, meals, etc.

relaxed border collie lying next to owner in van

Similarly, you would need to spend more money if you ever decided to grow your business. After all, you can only fit so many people in your vehicle. If you want to expand and eventually hire a team, you’ll need to buy more vehicles. Then you’ll also need to factor in the travel and maintenance costs associated with those vehicles.

Pro: You’ll get to work with happier, less-stressed dogs!

Some dogs are perfectly happy to visit the salon, but others can get extremely anxious and stressed. By grooming them in (or near) their own homes, they’ll likely be much more relaxed and receptive to your efforts. Working with a happy dog will make your job much more enjoyable in general, and it will also help the groom to go by with far fewer hiccups. This is always a major plus!

So… IS a Mobile Dog Grooming Career Right for You?

As the saying goes, “The grass is always greener where you water it”. Whether you are a mobile groomer, operate out of your own salon, or are employed within a salon, you’ll run into ups and downs in any job. That’s just life!

jack russel terrier puppy looking up at camera from outside of van

Ultimately, a big part of your success will depend on how you choose to approach your dog grooming career. While mobile grooming may come with its own unique set of challenges, it also offers extremely rewarding benefits.

So long as you go into this career path with as much preparation and training as possible, and you maintain a focused work ethic, you’re going to do just fine!

Haven’t gotten professional training yet? QC Pet Studies can help you earn your certification and launch your dog grooming career in as little as 9-12 months! Click here to learn more!

How to Become a Dog Groomer in a Small Town

QC Pet Studies - Become a Dog Groomer in a Small Town Blog- Featured Image

We’re going to bust a myth for you: it’s totally possible to become a dog groomer and work professionally – even if you live in a small town. Despite what the stereotypes may tell you, you don’t have to move to a big city in order to pursue your dreams.

Once you’ve taken the time to get proper dog grooming training and have earned your professional certification, you’ll be ready to enter the industry. But where exactly do you start?

Well, if your area has a local grooming salon, you can always try to get a job as an in-house groomer. But what if this isn’t an option or if you don’t want to work for someone else? Then freelance and/or mobile grooming are the best options at your disposal. By starting up your own business, you’ll be able to call the shots. Much of the success you can achieve will be dependent on the efforts you’re willing to put in!

You’ll be able to work on a client-to-client basis. Although it doesn’t sound like steady work, it absolutely can be! Once you establish yourself with a list of loyal customers, you’ll become a thriving dog groomer in no time!

Here’s how to become a successful dog groomer in a small town!

QC Pet Studies - Become a Dog Groomer in a Small Town Blog- Groomer

Know Your Market

Knowing your market means considering a number of factors. Ask yourself these questions before diving into a career in dog grooming…

  • Who is your target client? Consider the demographics of your town. Would you be working with older citizens? Younger adults? These are things you need to know!
  • What types of grooming services would you like to offer? The more areas you can properly cover, the better. After all, clients will be more likely to book with you if they can have more services tended to by a single business.
  • How much competition is there in your town? Are there a number of local groomers and/or salons around you? Then you’ll need to work even harder to make yourself stand out! Research into your local competition. Find out the sort of services they provide, what their rates are, the kind of reviews they’ve gotten, and what makes them successful (or not-so-successful). This is all valuable information to help you get the edge in your own business!
  • Is there a demand for dog groomers? This is perhaps the most important consideration. There aren’t going to be any clients for you to work with if there isn’t a demand! Some small-town dog groomers consider opening up their business radius to other surrounding towns. If there’s limited demand in your immediate area, find other small towns where there is a demand for dog grooming services! (hint: this is where a mobile grooming business can make the big bucks!)
QC Pet Studies - Become a Dog Groomer in a Small Town Blog- Clippers

Know Your Competition

As I just mentioned, it’s critical that you understand what the competition is like, in order to thrive in your local industry. Here are some points to consider…

  • Determine how much experience they have. Who are the other established dog groomers in your town, and how long have they been around? Are they properly certified? Do they have experience with different breeds?
  • Look into the services they offer. Dig through online reviews of the best dog groomers in your area. Learn about all the standard and specialized services they offer, along with any packages they provide for their clients. How are they pricing their services?
  • How can YOU set yourself apart and stand out? Maybe, in addition to your primary training, you also have lots of experience grooming poodles, large breed dogs, or have extensive First Aid training. Offering clients what your competition can’t or (simply doesn’t) offer is guaranteed to set you apart and attract the attention of potential clients!
QC Pet Studies - Become a Dog Groomer in a Small Town Blog- Research Competition

Know What You Can Offer (and Start Offering)

Now that you understand your potential clientele and know what you can offer, start booking these new services! Here’s where to focus to get your dog groomer business up and running (and then keep it that way):

Marketing

Marketing is the best way to get your name out there! Even in a small town, marketing is still critical to your career as a professional dog groomer running their own business. It doesn’t have to be pricey! There are plenty of cheap (and even free) marketing tools that’ll serve you well, once you get familiar with them.

A quick and easy marketing technique is to build your social media presence! Having a website and/or online portfolio for your dog groomer business is a no-brainer. But social media is a great way to get people on your website and communicate with clients. Start an Instagram account, a professional Facebook page, and maybe even a LinkedIn profile. Most social media networks have built-in analytic tools to help you track data (like finding out who is interested in your work, for example).

QC Pet Studies - Become a Dog Groomer in a Small Town Blog- Marketing

Connections

Use those connections to build your network and obtain clients! This includes anyone from friends and family, to salon professionals, to happy customers, to other industry experts you can forge a professional relationship with, etc. A key part of becoming a dog groomer in a small town will be earning loyal clients. When you don’t have a large and loyal following right at the start, you’ll want to keep clients coming back.

Consider offering referral discounts. When a client refers someone to you, they’ll get a percentage off their dog’s next grooming appointment. You can also experiment with promotions and sales to draw in new clients. Just be sure not to give discounts forever. Know your worth!

Starting a career as a dog groomer in any town or city can be daunting. But with professional training and some helpful tips like the ones above, you’ll be set for success!

Your Dog Grooming Training: 3 Common Client Complaints (and How to Handle Them)

dog groomer training on a black poodle

Throughout your dog grooming career, you’ll have the pleasure of working with all sorts of amazing clients. Unfortunately, you’ll also come across a few who aren’t completely satisfied with the job you’ve done. That’s just the way it goes in this kind of industry! Luckily, your dog grooming training has prepared you for this.

While some negative feedback may be indicative of further improvements you can make as a groomer, other negative feedback will come from a place of ignorance. This isn’t to say that the client themselves is ignorant. More that, they simply might not understand why you did something the way you did, due to a lack of grooming or general business knowledge.

This is understandable. After all, they came to you because you’re the expert. The thing is, in these kinds of situations, there’s a right way and a (very) wrong way to handle your client’s displeasure. Let’s take a look at 3 common complaints a client may voice to you on the job, and the best way to respond to each one.

dog groomer training by working with small breed dog

“You didn’t cut his nails short enough!”

If you chose not to get proper dog grooming training, then yeah, this could be an error on your part. But chances are, you’ve paid your dues and put in the time and effort to earn a professional certification. So, it’s likelier that you chose that length for a very particular reason: to avoid cutting the quick.

You’ll encounter a lot of clients who have never even heard of the quick, much less understand what it is. In this scenario, it may just be a matter of helping them better understand why you cut their dog’s nails the way you did.

How Not to React

“I’m sorry – are YOU the professional groomer? Look lady, if I knew you were going to question every little thing I did, I wouldn’t have bothered booking with you. Why don’t you just cut the dog’s nails yourself next time?”

How to React

“While I’d love to be able to do that for you, if we go any shorter, I’ll likely cut the quick in your dog’s nail. The quick is a small nerve and blood vessel located at the core of the nail bed. I have to be very careful not to nick it, or it can cause your dog a fair bit of pain and start bleeding.  I know the nails might look a bit longer than you were expecting, but I can assure you that they’re at the right length for this breed.”

“She bit you? But she NEVER bites!”

Just because a dog shows aggression, it doesn’t mean they’re automatically a ‘bad dog’. But your client might get a little defensive if that’s what they think is being insinuated. Now, whether you choose to groom the dog again in the future is entirely your call. For your own safety, as well as the safety of the dog, you’re totally allowed to decline an aggressive dog if you worry it will be a repeated problem.

However, you also don’t want your client to get the wrong impression or be misinformed. In the event that their dog’s display of hostility is not a one-time offence, the client needs to understand the potential reasons behind her dog’s behavior. This way, measures can be taken going forward to prevent it from happening again.

How Not to React

“Oh, she didn’t bite me, huh? Want to take a look at my hand and tell that to the big chunk she took out of me? If that’s how you’ve raised her to be around people, then clearly, you’re the problem. You and your mutt can get lost and never come back!”

How to React

“The truth is, even the gentlest dog can become aggressive if they’re scared or anxious. It’s called ‘fear aggression’, and it’s quite common in dogs of all ages. She might have been startled by something I did, or maybe she had a negative response to her new, unknown environment.

Hopefully, the more exposure she gets to being groomed, the more comfortable she’ll be during the process. Should she get scared and try to bite again, one possible option would be for her to wear a muzzle during her appointments.

Either way, I think it would be a wonderful idea if you were in the room with her during her next assessment. That way, you can best determine whether in-salon grooms are the right fit for her.”

 “I thought I told you to shave him down. I don’t want to have to deal with all that hair!”

As you learned from your dog grooming training, single-coated breeds can be shaved once in a while, but they should not be shaved completely. In fact, if your client wants to rid their single-coated pooch of their hair, it’s best to clip that hair instead. This way, you can take it to a short length, while still leaving enough to keep the dog safe and healthy.

Double-coated dogs, on the other hand, should never be shaved. Period. Doing so even one single time can cause irreparable damage to the integrity of the dog’s coat. Not to mention, it can also lead to afflictions such as:

  • Alopecia in the hair follicles
  • Overheating, sunburn, and even skin cancer (as a result of unprotected sun exposure)

How Not to React

“You have no clue what you’re talking about. This is ridiculous! Everyone knows you shouldn’t shave down a dog, especially one with a double-coat! If you want to lecture me on how to cut your dog’s hair, then maybe you should take a class or two first. I’m pretty sure I’m the professional here.”

How to React

“I definitely understand how annoying dog hair can be to clean up and maintain, but unfortunately, this is as short as I can go without putting your dog’s health at risk. Dogs need their coats. Their hair is actually their greatest natural defense mechanism against the external environment. Their coat protects them from the weather, while also protecting their skin.

If your dog were to be shaved down, his coat would likely never grow back to the same way again. His skin may also be at risk of serious, harmful damage as well. At this length, the hair will be easier to maintain, and your dog will be happy and healthy.”

We’re willing to bet that one major thing you learned from your dog grooming training is the importance of remaining respectful towards your client. Part of being an industry expert is recognizing when a client’s complaint may be stemming from a lack of knowledge about your craft. As the groomer, you can use this as a positive opportunity to teach them more about their dog’s health, body, and overall safety.

No matter what, never respond rudely. No complaint is worth damaging your business’s reputation. Always maintain your composure, be professional, and treat the customer courteously. Even if they refuse to listen to what you have to say, you’ll know you did everything you could to make their experience a positive one.

First Aid training is critical for any professional groomer. Start your dog grooming training today by enrolling in QC Pet Studies’ leading online Dog Grooming Course – and we’ll give you our First Aid for Groomers Course absolutely FREE!

How to Become a Dog Groomer When You’re Introverted

dog groomer cuddling with dog

Do you have a love of dogs, and dreams of revolving your professional career around them? Then you’re in luck! Dog grooming is not only an extremely rewarding career; it also happens to be a perfect path for those of us on the introverted side. Now, if you’re wondering how to become a dog groomer in the first place, never fear. We’ve got all the answers you’re looking for!

Let’s take a look at why dog grooming is such a great profession for introverts – and how you can earn your certification, plus start your own business, in a way that works best for YOU!

What’s an Introvert?

The biggest factor that sets introverts apart from extroverts is how they charge their internal battery. Extroverts thrive best in social settings. Their internal batteries tend to deplete when they go too long without human contact of some kind. Quite simply, introverts are the opposite. Their internal batteries charge from time spent alone, in their personal comfort zone.

Why is Dog Grooming Perfect for Introverts?

Of course, you’ll still be expected to interact with your (human) clients throughout the day. But these interactions will only make up a small percentage of your daily work! For the most part, your time will be spent with the pooches. This means minimal contact with people, and maximum contact with dogs!

dog groomer blow drying pug on grooming table

Could there be anything better?

Keep in mind that if you’re employed within a salon, you’ll also be surrounded by your fellow colleagues on a regular basis. However, for many introverts, this won’t be a problem. Friendships are often formed with ease in this kind of industry, so there will usually be at least one person around with whom you enjoy spending time.

Pro Tip: If you prefer to work on your own, or focus best on your job when it’s just you and your client’s dog, another option is to launch your very own grooming business! That way, you can be your own boss and create your optimal working environment.

How to Become a Dog Groomer in 4 Easy Steps

1 – Do Your Training Online!

These days, in-person schooling is still not entirely safe. Many aspiring students don’t want to risk their health for the sake of getting an education, and understandably so. Luckily, the same high-quality dog grooming education can be found online!

how to become a dog groomer - woman training from home on laptop

There are plenty of perks to online learning that particularly benefit the introverted. For example:

  • You don’t need to attend a physical classroom. You can work from the comfort of your own home!
  • You aren’t required to learn in the company of other students. Instead, it’ll just be you and your virtual tutor for the entire duration of the program!
  • You won’t be forced to adhere to set deadlines or schedules. Not everyone learns at the same pace, or has the free time needed to abide by strict due dates.
  • You’ll still get hands-on training. Just because the schooling is online, doesn’t mean you won’t still get plenty of practical experience. Gain real-life training by working on dogs you know and people you’re already comfortable with!

2 – Use the Internet to Network!

Once you’ve earned your certification, you’ll likely already have built the beginnings of your network; courtesy of the tutors, fellow students, and graduates in your school’s community. Going forward, the internet can also serve as a powerful tool to allow you to keep networking and expanding your connections!

two dogs cuddling on cushion

Establish a presence on social media. Follow and comment on the work of other groomers in your area, and even reach out via private messenger. Ask your friends and family to recommend your services online, and join all sorts of chat rooms, grooming groups, and forums.

3 – Start Your Own Dog Groomer Business!

We mentioned it before, but it’s worth mentioning again. If you happen to be an introverted dog groomer, why not be your own boss?

Set your own hours, choose which services you want to offer, and operate from wherever you choose! As a self-employed groomer with their own business, you’ll have tons of options as your disposal, such as:

  • Working out of your own home
  • Providing mobile grooming services and traveling to clients’ homes
  • Contracting your services to other businesses, salons, etc.

You’ll get to set all the boundaries and terms. This way, you can ensure that you’re always working under circumstances where you can best shine!

4 – Offer Virtual Services!

It goes without saying that if you want to be a successful dog groomer, you’re going to have to, you know, actually groom. This service can’t exactly be provided online. However, there are plenty of other related services that CAN.

From a business perspective, offering additional services is always going to be a plus (so long as the extra efforts don’t detract from the most important aspects of your business). Here are just a few ideas of virtual services you can offer, that are likely to increase your online presence and attract more clients:

  • Virtual consultations
  • Writing and/or vlogging for dog grooming companies, blogs, and publications
  • Start your OWN dog grooming blog and/or vlog
  • Become an authority on dog grooming on social media
  • Sell dog grooming products and/or tools online
  • Teach virtual dog grooming classes

For the common introvert, these are all awesome ways to continue growing your business, making a profit, and appealing to new clients – without ever depleting your internal battery!

close up of dog getting haircut from dog groomer

So, what are you waiting for? The world is your oyster, and it’s time for you to make the most of it by pursuing the career of your dreams!

Want to earn TWO professional certifications for the price of ONE? Learn how to be a dog groomer by enrolling in QC’s leading online Dog Grooming Course, and we’ll give you our First Aid for Groomers Course… absolutely FREE!

My Top Tips for Increasing Your Dog Groomer Salary

professional groomer increasing her dog groomer salary through excellent customer service

QC Pet Studies graduate, Casey Bechard, works as a full-time dog groomer and shop manager at Off The Leash Pet Grooming in Regina, Canada. Today, she shares her top 2 tips for boosting your dog groomer salary.

It’s no joke when I tell you that you can make quite the dog groomer salary in this line of business! Admittedly, though, there are factors that can affect your level of success. Depending on location, the demand, local competition, etc. some groomers might make more than others.

Where you provide your services can play a part, too. For instance, your dog groomer salary might be a bit different for brand new groomers freshly entering the industry, compared to a seasoned expert. Similarly, you might see a different income when you operate out of your own home vs. in a salon.

All that to be said, I have some tips and tricks that may help you increase your dog groomer salary! While the following may seem like little, easy things, you’ll find that they’ll actually go a LONG way for your business…

dog groomery cutting dog's hair

1 – Get Your Name Out There!

You might think this is pretty straightforward. The problem is that most people don’t understand the level of work that actually goes into this marketing strategy.

If you’re thinking, ‘I just have to talk to some people, hand out a few business cards, and I’ll start racking in the clients‘ – then you’re already on the wrong track. I wish that’s all you had to do! But in reality, the process requires a lot more effort than that.

Now personally, I didn’t start my own salon, and I didn’t provide grooming services out of my home. Rather, I work alongside other people at an established grooming business. When I first started, I was lucky enough to have a mentor to guide me and lift me up. It also helped that they could put in a good word about me to clients.

But although all that was nice, I still wanted to do my share. I wanted to play an active role in growing my career, and increase my dog groomer salary myself. So, I started taking action! Here are a few things I did that I found to be extremely effective:

Promoted Myself on Social Media

These days, everyone lives online. It’s basically an unwritten rule that if you want to succeed in the modern world, you NEED to have some sort of online presence. The greater that presence can be, the better.

With that in mind, I made an Instagram account and followed everyone in my area who had a dog. (Okay, maybe not everyone, but you get the idea.) From there, I began posting photos from my grooming portfolio. Making use of social media is a fun – and constructive – way to get your name out there and show people what you can do.

If potential clients can’t see your past grooms for themselves, or see what you have to offer them, then you’re just another groomer trying to make it. There won’t be anything unique setting you apart from the crowd. If you want to stand out from the competition, then it’s important not to fall into this trap. Showcase your best work for everyone to see!

Make your account your own. Once it’s ready, get your friends and family to follow and like your posts for a while, until your channel reaches more people. With my current Instagram account, I’ll have people follow me and then the next day, I’ll see that they booked their dog in with me. SO COOL!

Focusing some of your efforts on your social media strategies will be a great way to grow your clientele, get more bookings, and increase that dog groomer salary of yours.

Encouraged Word-of-Mouth

Word-of-mouth is something you can successfully establish through your level of high customer service. The longer your customers know you as a groomer, and trust your quality of work, the likelier they’ll be to recommend you to others.

Because let’s be real: your clients will often become like family after a while. Customers who are happy with your services will typically return back to you every 6-8 weeks. When you treat them (and their dogs) right, they’ll grow to trust you. Often, they’ll want to work with only you.

When you achieve such a fantastic reputation as a groomer, your clients will be guaranteed talk about you to their friends and family. That’s just the way she goes! As a result, you’ll hopefully get more bookings out of it, from people who can become long-term clients as well!

Another thing you can do is offer incentive and/or referral programs. For example, you can provide brand new customers the opportunity to get 10% off their first groom if they book with you. As another example, you can reward existing clients with discounted services, gifts, or a free groom whenever their personal recommendation results in you booking a new client.

I really, really appreciate the clients who continue to come and see me – and only me – to groom their dogs. It makes you feel good inside! Plus, long-term clients mean long-term bookings. These are people who can guarantee you that you’ll continue to make a dog groomer salary for the foreseeable future.

Talked to EVERY Client

This one is especially important!

Whether the owner is dropping off or picking up their pooch, you want to make sure that you talk to them each and every time. More importantly, establish that contact when they come to pick up their dog. Some things you can discuss with them include:

  • Telling them how their dog did during the appointment
  • If you have any concerns, based on what occurred during the appointment
  • Health issues that you wish to bring to their attention
  • If you have any recommendations (i.e. upkeep) for the owner once they’re back home, etc.

I feel that communicating with the client is a fundamental part of the grooming process as a whole. By chatting with you, the owner can better decide if they vibe well with you and like the work you did on their dog. Sometimes, they’ll want to book their NEXT appointment with you right then and there!

Of course, that’s always great because then you’re guaranteed another groom from them – which means money for you.

2 – Add Extra Services to Your Business!

In our shop, how we charge for things might be a little different than others. The initial price is determined by the breed of the client’s dog. Then we build off of this base rate with ‘add-ons’, as chosen by the customer.

So, if a client wanted their dog to get their teeth brushed, or have a blueberry facial, those would be extra charges (or add-ons). By adding extra services to the appointment, it all adds up pretty quickly. For every appointment, my co-workers and I then get a commission for the total amount rendered.

This is an example of a smart, effective way to set your rates, package your services, and add extra services to your business. That being said, your rates should always be set in a way that’s realistic, and won’t alienate all of your customers. While you should always charge for your worth, it’s important to remember not to get greedy either – otherwise it can have a negative impact.

It’s important to be transparent about your prices, too. Don’t try to hide your rates, or sneak them up on clients. When first making these changes in your business, don’t be surprised if some customers aren’t sure how to feel about them. They may be hesitant at first, and may have questions.

Honesty is always the best policy! Answer all of their inquiries to the best of your ability – but don’t hesitate to also tell them the awesome benefits of your extra services, too! There are plenty of clients who will be happy to pay a few extra dollars to spoil their pup. For others, even if they don’t plan to purchase those services, the fact that you offer them in the first place can still look great on your part!

dog groomer holding dog's paw while shaving its stomach

Earning a reliable dog groomer salary is understandably important. But it’s also important to remember that it’s not the main priority. Instead, your job is about interacting with the clients and their dogs in a way that leaves a positive impression. It’s about putting in the effort to assure them they’re in good hands. It’s about keeping an open line of honest communication at all times.

Above all else, the #1 priority of your career should always be the health, safety, and satisfaction of your client’s dog!

That being said, I hope that I’ve been able to show you that there are many ways to make money in this industry and boost your dog groomer salary. So, take care, and as always, happy grooming!

One major way to increase your dog groomer salary is by earning a reputable certification! Start your training with QC Pet Studies today!

4 Factors That Affect the Self-Employed Dog Groomer Salary

self-employed dog groomer holding boston terrier after bath

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!