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Pets are an important part of the family. Pet owners spend a lot of money on their pets, which contributes to a 70-million-dollar industry. This number will just continue to grow as the demand for pet services increases. Mobile grooming salons have seen a recent surge in popularity. So, anyone that has considered dog grooming as a business venture may choose instead to open a mobile pet grooming service.
This is the right time to start and operate a successful mobile dog grooming business. But, before you take that first step, you will want to consider your finances and see what capital you may need to raise. A mobile dog grooming business may not require rent or leasing a storefront, so your costs will be low. But there are still several expenses to consider like the vehicle that will need to be outfitted with all the dog grooming equipment that you will need. Here are a few other things to consider when you decide to open a mobile dog grooming business.
Mobile Dog Grooming Experience
The most important part of opening a dog grooming business is to have the experience of grooming dogs. You will either want to have had a hands-on experience with a professional groomer or have gone through a professional training course. Certification is not required when becoming a dog groomer, but it can help to be certified as a National Master Groomer, which can be done through the National Dog Groomer’s Association of America.
It can help to work with an established grooming salon if you are considering starting out on your own. This will give you the benefit of exposure of being introduced as a groomer to the ways of grooming business. This prior experience of working with dogs in a professional role such as a pet sitter or vet tech can be a plus to your business. It familiarizes you with dog behavior, and it teaches you how to handle a dog effectively in a wide range of situations.
No one will expect you to be a jack of all trades, but you are trying to promote a very specific expertise. There are specific treatments and procedures such as nail clipping and working with certain breeds that you can promote your ability to do, but you will also want to take on other staff members who are also able to handle these services. While this can be an additional expense, it can add to your roster of experience, which you can also write off at year’s end.
Before you open your mobile pet grooming business, it’s important that you consider the different legal and business issues. Consults either an account or an experienced advisor that can tell you the disadvantages and advantages of creating a business as a limited liability or sole proprietorship or other types of entity.
You should also contact the local government regarding permits that are needed when operating a mobile dog grooming salon in your area. The requirements for operating a mobile business can vary depending on the town that you live in. You also need to consider if you should obtain a business insurance policy along with a basic vehicle insurance policy.
Mobile Vehicle and Equipment
Typically, a mobile dog groomer will work out of a trailer or large van. These vehicles are converted specifically for this type of business and will include lighting, running water, a generator, a bathtub, and grooming tables. You will need to follow the standard for vehicle manufactures as well as converters that are set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A mobile dog grooming salon also needs to be equipped with all the standard dog grooming tools like bandanas, shears, brushes, shampoos, blow dryers, bows, ear cleaning products, and nail clippers or grinders. If you think using a dog nail grinder is the best for you, check out these leading recommendations from Good Pup Life.
A Defined Service Area and Grooming Schedule
You will also need to define the area that you will be working in, which will enable you to define the service area that your clients will be able to receive mobile grooming nail services. It’s important to let the small town you will be traveling within or the suburb that you provide services in what you have to offer. You may also want to only take appointments in certain areas on a specific day of the week to separate the different areas from each other.
A mobile dog groomer may also benefit from planning a visit to an apartment complex or condo, or even office complexes and assisted living centers. This can be a huge travel and time savings for a mobile groomer.
Pricing Your Services
When you are pricing the cost of your services when performing an individual dog grooming visit, it’s important to think about the breed of the dog you are working with as well as the time it will take to complete your appointment with the dog. You may want to price the services that you offer competitively based on what other mobile dog groomers in your area are charging.
While your prices may be higher than the prices of a brick-and-mortar grooming business, which can be attributed to the added operating costs of gas, vehicle maintenance, and travel time in between your appointments. This is an extra convenience charge that is typically expected by a client that will value the fact that the service is coming to their home and saving them the time to travel to it.
When you consider advertising your business, the first place to consider is on the vehicle you will be doing mobile dog grooming in. Your vehicle gives you a prominent place to feature your grooming business logo along with your contact information on the vehicle’s sides and rear. You may want to consider large magnets that are attached to the doors or a custom paint job.
You can also advertise on bulletin boards of your local pet stores, animal shelter, pet clinics, and any other animal-related businesses in your area. Also consider creating a reciprocal referral program with your local animal services providers like pet photographers, doggie daycares, and pet sitters.
You may want to think about special discounts for a first-time customer along with customers that are referred to you by friends. Create an email newsletter and a website to create added advertising exposure, and you should also keep up with your current grooming clients letting them know of your promotional offers and available schedule.
Social media and the internet are also important ways to promote your mobile dog grooming business. It’s important to create a certain buzz on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to get attention for your business. Use tons of photos with doggie before and after photos to display your grooming prowess. You can also add videos that feature testimonials from your happy clients. Remember to also post information about your current promotions and the location of your mobile dog grooming salon so your clients are able to book appointments and plan their visits accordingly.