So, you’ve decided to start a dog grooming business? That’s great!
Dog grooming is a lucrative and rewarding industry, and there are plenty of opportunities for success. In this blog post, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to get your company up and running. So, whether you’re just starting out or you’re looking to improve your current operation, this guide has got you covered!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Pet Grooming Businesses Profitable?
First thing’s first: you need to know if this endeavor will be worth it for you in the long run. Logically, if you’re thinking of running a dog grooming business, you also want to know how to make money as a dog groomer. It goes without saying that if the profit won’t match the effort you put in, it won’t make a very sustainable career.
Here’s the great news: professional dog grooming is a BOOMING industry! As such, you can absolutely make a killing – so long as you make the right moves, are patient, and put in the necessary elbow grease!
How Much Money Can You Make as a Dog Groomer?
Here are the average annual salaries for dog groomers, based on a few example countries:
- United States: Between approx. $29,000 USD to $65,000 USD per year (Source: Talent.com)
- Canada: Between approx. $26,000 CAD to $47,000 CAD per year (Source: Glassdoor)
- United Kingdom: Between approx. £18,000 GBP to £25,500 GBP per year (Source: Talent.com)
- New Zealand: Between approx. $37,000 NZD to $52,000 NZD per year (Source: Payscale)
- Australia: Between approx. $37,000 AUD to $59,000 AUD per year (Source: Payscale)
Keep in mind that these are merely averages and estimates, based on what other dog groomers have earned over time. It’s also worth noting that these salaries may be referring to groomers working for an employer, rather than those operating their own dog grooming business.
As such, you may very well likely end up making more than them, depending how savvy of a marketer you are, whether or not there’s high demand for grooming services within your area, how well you stand out from local competitors, etc.
If you play your cards right early on in this business venture, it’s absolutely possible to pull in a hefty profit by the end of your first year!
What Supplies Do You Need to Start a Dog Grooming Business?
Okay, so now that we’ve established that this venture is profitable, you need to know how much money you’ll have to invest to get the ball rolling. Plus, you should have an understanding of the tools and supplies you’ll need to purchase as well.
The price to open a dog grooming business can depend on a bunch of factors, such as the size of the company, the services you want to offer, etc. Generally speaking, though, you’ll need to invest in some basic start-up fees, such as:
- A computer and/or laptop
- A printer
- Telephone line and headset
- Business cards
- A professional business website
- Grooming equipment
- A grooming space (be it from home, in a mobile vehicle, or in your own salon space), etc.
Need help deciding what sort of grooming equipment to stock up on for your business? Here are 15 of our top recommendations!
How Much Does It Cost to Start a Dog Grooming Business?
Typically, it’s recommended that you save up at least $15,000-$20,000 before starting operations for any business. That said, this number may be higher or lower, depending on how big you want your company to be, whether you want to run it out of your home vs. a rented/owned salon space, etc.
In a recent blog post published by Shopify, it was said that an entrepreneur is likely to spend an average of approx. $40,000 in their first year of business. Of course, many of Shopify’s customers are business owners selling and shipping physical products from an online store. So, keep in mind that some of the data within this article might not necessarily apply to a dog grooming business owner.
However, the information they provide is still definitely worth the read, in our opinion!
Another investment you may want to consider is purchasing business management software that can help you streamline the process a little easier. Ultimately, how much you wind up investing into the start-up costs of your business will largely depend on YOUR specific needs and budget.
What Qualifications Do I Need to Start a Dog Grooming Business?
Technically, dog grooming is an unregulated industry. On paper, this means that you don’t legally need any sort of certification or licensing in order to work.
But don’t get it twisted – you will have a very hard time achieving success without proper grooming training under your belt! Not to mention, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you could be putting your clients’ dogs at risk in a pretty major way.
This is why we’d go so far as to say that the single BEST way for you to start your journey is to take an online dog grooming course. An internationally-recognized, accredited program will teach you:
- Dog anatomy
- Canine behavior
- Proper (and sanitary) grooming practices
- Popular cuts and styles
- Breed-standard cuts and styles
- How to use common grooming tools and products
- And SO much more!
Moreover, the right course can also help you get started by providing tips on effective marketing strategies and launching a thriving business.
But wait, we haven’t even told you the best part yet!
Completing an accredited grooming course will also arm you with a reputable certification that you can add to your resume! We’ll talk more about the type of online dog grooming training you should get a little later on in this article…
Fun Fact: We’ve actually put together the ULTIMATE guide on how to become a professional dog groomer – so, make sure to check it out!
What Does a Professional Dog Groomer Do Day-to-Day?
Now that we’ve covered some of the basics, let’s move on to what a professional dog groomer actually does on a daily basis. As a grooming expert, you can expect to be responsible for a variety of tasks and duties, such as:
- Clipping nails
- Trimming hair around the anus and genitalia (commonly referred to as a “bikini trim” or “sanitary cut”)
- Cutting and styling hair
- Cleaning ears
- Checking for ticks, fleas, and other parasites
- Booking clients for new and/or return appointments
- Cleaning/sanitizing the grooming area(s)
- Marketing your business online and in-person
- Providing exceptional customer service, etc.
Again, the specific duties you’ll be responsible for will largely depend on the services you offer and the package deals you create. But, in a nutshell, this is what most groomers do day-to-day.
How Many Dogs Can You Groom in a Day?
This is a question we often hear from aspiring groomers. And, unfortunately, there’s no definitive answer. It really depends on the size and breed of dog being groomed, as well as the specific style you’re giving them. Moreover, the more training and experience you have, the quicker your grooming time will be.
That said, most groomers can comfortably groom 2-3 dogs in an eight-hour day. If you want your business to handle more clients than that, you’ll likely need to hire additional groomers to your team.
Want to improve your dog grooming speed? Here are 10 quick tips to help you increase your efficiency, without sacrificing quality!
How Do I Start a Dog Grooming Business from Home?
Alright, now it’s time to look at the 6 steps involved in building a dog grooming business from scratch; right from the comfort of your own home!
Step One: Get Trained and Certified as a Dog Groomer!
When it comes to obtaining a solid, reliable grooming education, there’s no better option than to enroll in an accredited, internationally-recognized school! QC Pet Studies, for instance, offers a self-paced, online Dog Grooming Course that you can complete right from the comfort of home in less than a year!
This multi-unit program will teach you all the theory you need to know, as well as provide ample hands-on experience with real-life dogs. The beauty of this course is that it isn’t only geared towards those already working within the pets industry, who are looking to upskill or refine their qualifications. Rather, it’s also been carefully crafted for entrepreneurs who want to start their own business and break out into the world of professional grooming, too.
This means that regardless of your skill level or past experience, you’ll absolutely benefit from the knowledge and expertise offered in QC’s Dog Grooming Course! Not to mention, once you’ve completed graduated, you’ll become a globally-recognized International Dog Grooming Professional™ (IDGP™) AND have a certification to add to your resume as well.
Talk about awesome!
Want to learn even more about QC Pet Studies’ wildly popular Dog Grooming Course? Check out our full course page here!
Step Two: Figure Out What You Want Your Business to Look Like!
Once you’ve gotten your education under your belt, it’s time to start thinking about what you want your business to look like. For example, how will you structure it? How much money are you willing to invest to get it started up and running smoothly? Do you eventually want to hire on fellow groomers/staff, etc.?
Now is also a great time for to self-reflect! We recommend asking yourself:
- What kind of grooming services do I want to provide to my clients?
- Do I want to go directly to my clients (a.k.a. mobile services), operate my business out of my home, or invest in a retail salon space?
- How flexible am I when it comes to working evenings and weekends?
- Do I have enough money saved up to get this business started, as well as support myself while I’m in the beginning stages?
- How much money do I need/want to make?
- How many hours am I willing to work per week, month, and year?
- Do I want to provide additional services and/or products, such as dog training, doggy daycare, pet food, dog clothing, toys, etc.?
- What are my short-term and long-term goals for my dog grooming business (i.e., what do you want it to look like a few years down the road)?
Your Business Name and Brand
During this stage, you’ll also want to start thinking up some ideas for your business’s name! This can be both fun and stressful at the same time, so don’t worry if you’re struggling to come up with one at first. One option is to try out an online business name generator. There are plenty of good ones out there that, if nothing else, can help you at least get the creative gears spinning!
(Also, once you’ve chosen your company name, don’t forget to get it legally registered, so no one else can take it from you!)
Lastly, you’ll also want to figure out your business’s brand. How do you want people to perceive you and your company? Are there any colors you’d like associated with it? What kind of vibe(s) are you going for (e.g., fun, elegant, modern, etc.)?
Do your research and figure out what would work well with your target audience. The key here is to develop a brand that you feel comfortable with, while also allowing you to stand out from the crowd!
Step Three: Come Up With a Plan for Your Business!
By this point in your venture, you’ve got your education under your belt, decided what kind of business you want to start up, and have figured out how it’ll be branded.
So, now it’s time for step three: putting your official business plan together!
A good business plan will help you outline all of the important details about your company. It’ll outline the services you’ll offer, how you’ll market yourself, and what your expenses and revenue will be. It’ll also help you determine who your target clientele are.
In many ways, your business plan will act as your roadmap. When done properly, it’ll help you figure out what your next steps should be as you progress forward. It’s also worth mentioning that banks and other financial institutions will usually require a business plan from you, if you’re looking to take out a loan out for your company. So, you can also think of it as the blueprints for your business, too!
Never written a business plan before? No problem! There are tons of great online resources – such as this one – that can help you get started.
Step Four: Build Your Dog Grooming Business Website and Social Media Presence!
Now it’s time to start building your website and social media presence! This is where you’ll be able to showcase all of your amazing grooming work for the world to see. Furthermore, it’ll give potential clients a little taste of what they can expect from you and your business.
If you’ve never built a professional website before, or run social media channels for a business, we have some EXCELLENT tips in this blog article that can guide you in the right direction!
Just remember: your long-term goal is to make sure that both your website and social media accounts give off the right impression and are up-to-date at all times. Plus, they should always reflect the brand that you worked so hard on in step 3!
Step Five: Establish How You’ll Get Clients and Market Your Dog Grooming Business!
By this step, you’re ready to think about how you’ll actually get customers. The most IMPORTANT question to ask yourself is: “How will people know that I’m a professional groomer – and more importantly, that they should hire ME for their pet’s grooming needs?”
You should also be asking yourself what kind of marketing materials you’ll need to create (i.e. a website, business cards, online ad marketing, social media profiles, etc.), as well as how often you’ll need to keep these vital items updated.
One great way to kick off this step is by creating a list of potential referral partners or affiliates. Do some research and compile a list of other local groomers, as well as breeders, dog trainers, doggy daycares, pet stores, veterinarians, etc. You can also meet with these businesses in-person to discuss how you can help each other out!
Also, when it comes to getting your business seen, know that online marketing will be your BEST FRIEND. After all, that’s the entire point of a website and social media presence in the first place! Establishing a budget for your marketing efforts is always a smart idea, too.
Start this by asking yourself how often you’ll be able to put money aside for advertising. From there, come up with the answers to these additional questions, too:
- How much money do you have available each month and each quarter?
- How can this allotted amount of money help get people interested in what you’re offering?
- What do you know about Search Engine Optimization (a.k.a. SEO)?
- Are you willing to learn about it, and put in the efforts required to maintain a high-ranking for your business?
- What sort of online marketing are you interested in maximizing?
- I.e. paid ads on Google and/or social media, email campaigns, monthly newsletters, etc.
- Are you interested in creating a marketing budget at the start of each new year, so that you have time to plan ahead?
Step Six: Start Networking and Getting Real-World Experience as a Dog Groomer!
Last (but certainly not least), it’s time to start networking and getting hands-on experience in the real world. Luckily, there are all sorts of ways you can put your skills to practice, such as:
- Attending industry events, workshops, and meetups.
- Participating in online forums and/or communities related to the pets industry and professional grooming.
- Volunteering your time with local animal shelters.
- Offering free grooming consultations (and even services) to friends or family whose pets are in need of them.
- Collaborating with other industry experts, etc.
The more you put yourself out there, the more people will know about your business – and the better your chances will be of landing some wonderful clients!
We hope this article has been helpful, and has outlined how YOU can start a dog grooming business from scratch (and even from the comfort of your very own home). Just remember to be patient, do your research, and more than anything, have fun!
As the saying goes: “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Neither, too, shall your grooming business be! But so long as you follow this 6-step process, you’ll be seeing success in no time!