Whether times are ‘ruff’ or maybe you find yourself just barking up the wrong tree in life, you may come to a conclusion that you would like to take your dog loving to a new level or just take on a new business venture.
Either way, you’re anxious to get your paws dirty.
Let’s take a look at the wide variety of opportunities in the world of grooming man’s best friend.
But first things first.
Before you begin embarking on this career path, you will need to decide if you want to work for an employer or run the business yourself. If it is the latter, then you will need to decide if your business will be stationary (in a salon) or mobile (going to the customer) and you will also need to acquire the necessary tools.
But even before that, you will need to make sure that you have the necessary pet grooming skills. This might entail learning completely from scratch or it might simply mean brushing up on existing knowledge and building on that.
First Become Skilled in Grooming Different Breeds
If you don’t know how already, learn how to quickly but delicately groom dogs of all kinds and all breeds.
If you are already a dog owner, then you are a few steps ahead. You may have friends who are also dog owners and you can easily make them your regular clients.
There are some online courses that can help you brush up on your skills and of course there are face-to-face courses available across the country.
Starting Your Own Dog Grooming Business
This section is for those who have decided that they want to be their own boss. That is you would prefer to set up and run your own business rather than work for another professional groomer.
Ok so you want to start your own dog grooming business. Great, Go for it! Now that the decision is made, here comes the difficult part. Actually putting forth action. Don’t get overwhelmed. It’s not difficult but try to keep a few things in mind. In particular …. IT MAY TAKE SOME TIME FOR YOUR BUSINESS TO GET UP AND RUNNING
This is because you are starting a service business which means you will need to build up clientele. And you could be operating out of an area in which …
- Lots of dog owners may already have someone to do their pet grooming so competition may be fierce.
- Perhaps many of the dog owners in your area do not have time to get their pet groomed outside of the home.
- Perhaps there is a bigger population of short-haired pooches.
- Or perhaps there is less enthusiasm for paying for grooming services.
So it can definitely be a lengthy process to build up your business and get a good reputation.
But it is worth it in the long run if you can establish yourself as a trusted groomer with a professional attitude and a knack for getting along with all kinds of dogs.
Promote Yourself as a Groomer
You can speed up the clientele-getting process and cut down time by targeting.
Go places where you will almost always find dog owners:
- Pet Stores
- Dog parks
- Dog obedience centers
- The veterinary clinic
Regardless of whether or not you have a pet yourself. Let people know about your business and build a good rapport with them. Leave your impressive business card.
Gain the trust of dog owners by proving to them that you will care for their dog as you care for your own.
They will be especially more likely to do business with you if they notice that your own dog is well groomed and taken care of.
And of course, once you are open for business, new clients will be impressed by the outgoing stylized doggy customer.
Running a Grooming Business from Home
What You Will Need Before Accepting Clients
If you want to run your service from home make sure you have a clean and orderly designated area to work. You need to decide also when you are available to work if not 24/7 and if your home is suitable and safe for pets.
Will you use the garage?
Will you have a purpose-built room?
Do you already have a veranda that can be turned into a professional salon area?
One advantage of a home service is that you can cut the cost of having to pay for space. But the downside is that you will need to supply all tools and equipment yourself.
Tools for Your Grooming Business
Some items in this category include:
- Dog Shampoo & Conditioners
- A bath tub for dogs
- A grooming table
- Grooming harness
- Ear Cleaning Products
- Nail Clippers
- Bows (for fashion)
- Water bowls
If it is your own business you will need to have appointment software or an appointment book. This one looks pretty snazzy.
You will also want to make sure you at least have liability insurance coverage for the pet owners sake and for your sake. In case of any illness, damages, accident, or injuries, you need to make sure you’re covered or it may cost you.
An animal first aid kit is essential as well.
It is also necessary to check and see if your state requires you to have a pet grooming facility license, not all states require this.
Working as a Mobile Dog Groomer
If you decide to take your business on the road, you will have a great opportunity to travel and expand your business in many different places.
With mobile dog grooming you will have a lot more responsibility and you will need to budget for travel costs, fuel, vehicle maintenance as well as licensing requirements if you are going state to state, as each state is different.
Mobile grooming may require a bit more discipline of you as well because you will need to account for travel time and traffic. If you agree to a certain time with a client, make sure you can adhere to it.
Do great work but do it a little quicker.
You may need to charge more because of the extra costs you will need to cover.
Try to establish value for your clients by showing them that you offer premium service and work with care and swift diligence.
Special Breeds Dog Groomer
Maybe you decide only to groom a certain breed or mixed breed dog that may require more frequent attention than others.
You make yourself more unique and you will look more educated and professional, not to mention reduced competition.
This field will require that you really know your stuff to a tee.
Most people who own special breed dogs take great pride in their pets and might not hesitate in taking some form of legal advice if their pet is hurt or poorly-groomed in some way.
You need to make sure that you can answer all questions anyone will ask.
It is probably best not to take on this field unless you have extensive experience or have your own special breed and know exactly what is required for that particular breed.
And here is a must-have breed grooming guide to have on hand.
Show Dog Grooming
Now working as a professional groomer, you will no doubt be asked to do this type of clipping and or grooming. But it you become skilled in this area, you can be sure that the demand will grow. You might even end up specializing in grooming dogs for show.
Party Or Event Dog Groomers
These types of groomers are definitely the face of dog grooming as you are grooming dogs to be shown off.
So people will make judgments based on the looks of the dog.
Best to bring out your “A” game if you want to take on this type of grooming.
You should also be very comfortable working in front of people and have basic knowledge of animal first aid in case of an emergency.
Working an an Employee in a Grooming Salon
Maybe you don’t have the time or motivation to run your own dog grooming business. No worries you can search for dog grooming jobs near you.
Even if you don’t have any direct experience, if you have a passion for caring for animals, you will learn everything you need to know fairly quickly.
If you are required to have experience, try and find places that may allow you to volunteer to gain experience or apply as a grooming assistant.
The pet care industry is a great industry to work in for all types of animal lovers. Don’t focus so much on the paperwork and experience. As long as you have a caring and nurturing personality, and a committed heart, it will get you a lot further.
Other Types of Dog-Related Businesses
Now it goes without saying that, if you are looking for a dog-handling career, there are many other options that you can consider as well such as:
- Dog walking
- Dog training
- House sitting dogs while the owners are away
- Selling pet training products
- Selling pet food
- Dog psychology
- Veterinary Science
- Veterinarian Assistant or Nurse
If you decide on pursuing a career as a dog groomer, then you have a lot of very happy days ahead of you as working with dogs can be so, so rewarding. And I hope you return to this blog to share your experiences and or to access required tools.
~ Guest Author ~