A Step-by-Step Guide to Opening a Pet Grooming Service
Whether you are thinking about starting a pet grooming business as a side hustle or as a full-time enterprise, there are many things to consider. There is certainly strong demand for this service. But this business model is not for everyone. Even if you are a pet lover, it will take a lot of time and effort to set things up properly and establish yourself.
However, if you find that you like the work and are good at it, you can earn a good living as a pet groomer. In the USA, most pet groomers make around $29k, per year.
Choose the type of pet grooming business you will run
There are several ways to run a pet grooming business. Your options include:
· opening a mobile grooming service
· running your business from home
· opening a brick-and-mortar storefront
· teaming up with someone else to run one of the above business models
Put together a business plan
Once you have decided which model to use, create a business plan before you can open your business. A business plan will help you make a realistic projection of how much you will spend on your new business and what you will earn. The plan can also help you get funding.
Choose your location carefully
If you decide to run a brick-and-mortar store, the location you choose is crucial. It needs to be:
· affordable – the rent and overheads cannot be too high
· located relatively close to the type of customers you are targeting
· have nearby parking or a place owners can drop off or pick up their pets
· located in a safe neighbourhood
· not too close to residents who could lodge complaints about the noise
· in an area where you are permitted to run this type of business
Invest in your store
You need to establish and stick to a budget when setting up your store. But should never skimp on the important things. You need to invest in good quality equipment, make the store look attractive, and ensure that everything is laid out well. Don´t skimp on anything that you think might boost sales. For example, using digital signage in pet grooming shops is a proven way to generate interest in new services. Pet owners respond well to seeing images of happy animals playing with toys and gadgets. So, these screens can also be used to promote any food, beds, toys, and other items you sell. You´ll be surprised by how often someone who is waiting for their dog, will pick out a treat for him or her from your store or website.
Buy the insurance you need
Getting the right insurance is important. You should get an animal bailee insurance policy to protect your business in the event of an accident. As well as public liability, business premises, and vehicle policies. Speak to a broker to make sure you do not need other types of insurance. What you need varies depending on where you are located.
Sort out any permits you need
You will need a business license and you may also need to get a permit from your local health department or animal control agency. You will also need to get an employer identification number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service.
Promote your new service extensively
You will also need a marketing plan. When putting yours together consider other factors, such as your market and population. Make a well-thought-out plan that considers these factors. The plan needs to include cost-effective marketing strategies. You can use advertising in your local paper, coffee shops, and on social media.
Later, set up a professional website. This will help your business become more visible. If you are going to use a website, make sure it is fully SEO optimized. The site should also include a book now button and a blogging facility. If money is tight, use this guide to have a go at building your own website.
Invest in the right software
In theory, you can run your pet grooming business the old-fashioned way. Using pen and paper to keep track of appointments, outgoings, and your takings. This is OK but you will find it much easier to invest in the right software from the start. It is not that expensive and will soon pay for itself. You will need software for:
· Managing your accounting tasks
· Booking appointments
· Keeping track of your expenses
· Scheduling important tasks like renewing your licenses and insurance
Your pet grooming service can be a lucrative business. But it will take a lot of work to make it a success. Having a plan and being involved in all aspects of your business will help you succeed. You will soon build up your reputation and create a loyal customer base.