So you finally decided to start a dog grooming business, good for you! But, having good wishes alone is not enough, if you want your dog salon to have success, you have to do things right. Stay with us, and we’ll tell you everything you need to know to get off on the right foot.
Before You Start a Dog Grooming Salon Business
Besides being passionate about your work, the budget is what will really keep your business afloat. So, before you launch yourself into the pet grooming market, make sure you have the necessary capital to get started. But how do you know how much is enough? Well, your capital will depend on different factors.
For example, if you have no experience as a dog groomer, you will have to invest in educating yourself or hire a trained and skilled dog groomer. Of course, there are many other factors that will affect your initial budget. In addition to having the capital to start, you should keep in mind that starting is the hardest part. As long as your business is not known, it may not be very popular. So you will need an emergency fund that allows you to continue with the business and promote your services.
According to GroomArts Academy, the UK spends over £10 billion a year on their dogs. Therefore, it is safe to say there’s a market for dog groomers in the UK, but how about your area or state? Are cats more common than dogs in your area?
Perhaps you know an area with numerous pets at home so you can open your dog grooming salon there. The location of your business may seem unimportant, but if there is no demand there is no income, therefore the business will go bankrupt. We don’t want that to happen. Establish your business in a location where you know the pet owners will bring their dogs to your doorstep. Or you can choose to offer your services at home and go to the door of your customers, choose the option that is most favorable for you.
Define what you are going to offer
Before starting a dog grooming business, surely you’ll want to specify what services your grooming salon will provide. Detailing your target audience is a good start. You can offer grooming services to different pets like dogs, cats, and guinea pigs. Yet, you can also choose to focus only on dogs.
You don’t need a license to groom pets, but course certificates won’t look bad on your wall. Besides, every dog breed has a standard style you should follow. Therefore, if you are not knowledgeable in the area, you will need to invest a bit in dog grooming education. Among the services you can offer, there are the basics such as combing the dog’s coat, bathing it, and giving it a standard cut. Nevertheless, you can also offer other services such as brushing their teeth, eliminating any parasites in their coat, expressing the anal sacs, among others.
There are no specific licenses that apply to pet grooming establishments. However, there is an Animal Welfare legislation designed to protect animals. Under this legislation, you will be responsible for the physical well-being of all pets in your care while you are doing your job. For this reason, you should proceed with care not only when using the dog grooming implements, but also with all the chemicals, you may use to bathe the dogs.
Your salon must also comply with the health and safety and fire safety current legislation. Keeping up with the legal side of your business will protect you and your employees if you have any. For more security, be sure to buy a dog grooming insurance.
How to Get Started
Ask for help
Venturing into the world of pet grooming can be very difficult if you don’t have any experience in the business. Don’t lose hope. The Pet Industry Federation (PIF) is at your disposal. Groomer members of PIF automatically become members of the British Dog Groomers’ Association. They can display the BDGA’s sticker in their workplace and wear their membership badge, showing their customers that they can expect the highest standards of customer care and animal welfare from them. By becoming a member, you can access all courses and educational services for PIF certified pet groomers.
You will receive not only advice from experts, but also get to know a whole community of pet enthusiasts, so you won’t have to start from scratch and count on the support of others.
Make a plan
Behind every successful business, there is good planning. So don’t leave things to chance. Once you have decided what services you will offer your clients, you can think about acquiring the different materials, supplements, and necessary equipment to start your project. Within this plan, you have to include all the necessary steps to make your business legal, like registering it in the Companies House.
Another thing you should include in your planning is the preparation and decoration of the space where you will start your grooming salon. Your strategy will totally depend on your goals, whether it is to be the most famous and popular pet grooming salon in London or just your community’s favorite. With good planning, you will be able to make your business happen step by step until you have achieved it.
Dog grooming insurance
There is a reason why we dedicate a spot in this article to talk about this topic. It is important. Every dog grooming salon should have public liability insurance. Of course, since you will be working with dogs and other pets, these cute little animals could unintentionally generate an accident. Even if that is not the case, unforeseen events occur all the time, things that could hurt a pet or an employee. Therefore, having insurance will protect you and your new project from possible legal consequences. If you are or soon will be a member of the PIF, you will have insurance provided by the federation. But if that is not the case, you can still hire an insurance company to protect your business.
The power of marketing
Marketing your business can take you from zero to hero, in the dog grooming world. This is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal when you start a business. The reason is simple … you are a complete stranger. By using good marketing you will not only make your salon and your services noticed, but you will also generate sympathy and gain popularity. This is something you can do on your own or you can hire someone to do it for you. As for the methods of marketing, these are infinite. You can hand out flyers in your work area, promote your services on radio, television, or social networks, you can also use the oldest method of marketing in existence: tell all your friends and acquaintances about your new business.
Appearance and prices
First impressions are worth a lot. Your salon’s aesthetics will be the first thing that catches the eye. All the care taken in the design of the salon, quality, and condition of your instruments will speak for the quality of your services.
If you need help setting your prices, check out our post on dog grooming prices in UK.
Starting a business is an adventure and a dog grooming salon will bring you moments full of tenderness and fun. Research well, make a plan, surround yourself with experienced dog groomers, dog enthusiasts, anyone who can help you make your project a reality. Take into consideration our recommendations, and you will start with the right foot!