Before you invest your time and money in learning how to start a dog grooming business, you might want to spend time seeking professional advice from those already in the business. For example, finding someone who has worked as a dog walker, dog bather, or similar jobs in the past, can help you decide if this is the business venture you’re interested in pursuing.
This could be a smart decision. There are always dogs or pets in need of grooming services, so you won’t fail to find clientely in this niche. However, you will seriously need to start the company accordingly for this to work out.
To do so, here are some tips to help you start your own dog grooming business. But above all of them, we want you to keep in mind that there are two main options: you can open a physical shopfront which is the most common one, or provide mobile grooming services.
When deciding on one, you can start with the steps and tips below:
Define Your Dog Grooming Business Concept
A good way to start is to draw a sketch in your mind and picture how your ideal dog grooming company would look like. Writing it down is another good idea.
Consider doing some research on the already existing pet grooming businesses in your area and think about how yours could be any different.
These are some questions to think about:
- Are you perhaps looking to work with “designer dogs” in an elegant, full-service salon with chandeliers and fancy grooming equipment?
Or would you prefer to provide a self-service option for the many dog owners in your neighborhood?
- Are you looking to go mobile? Perhaps offering home grooming services for dogs may be a good idea.
- Do you have any particular ideas about the concept for your business? Maybe investing in a franchise model could be a good start if you don’t.
- Are you looking to start a retail business selling dog food, treats, and other goodies?
Keep in mind that starting a new business isn’t only about opening a new store. Successful business owners take the time to look at potential customers and fulfill their needs.
Following this line of thought, you need to consider:
What types of dogs are you most likely to see in your local community? Do they need a lot of grooming? Are they “mutts” that just need to be bathed?
It’s also worth considering the types of businesses around you, especially car washes available in your locality.
Yes, this may seem odd, but believe it or not, it provides insight into the habits and budgets of your leads.
Maybe you are living in a community where people pay others to wash their cars. Or maybe they are DIY-ers who prefer pouring sudsy water on their driveways every weekend to get the job done.
No matter the case, you should take note. These preferences give insight into your customer’s mind.
For example, the hand detail customer will likely have a more high-maintenance dog and enjoy professional grooming.
On the other hand, self-sufficient customers might prefer to take their dog to a groomer. This is great for seniors and busy families.
So, just by looking ahead to the types of people and their dogs, you can determine the best type of dog grooming business.
Before starting up, you should consult an attorney or accountant to determine which type of entity is best for your grooming business.
It could be as a sole proprietorship or partnership, limited liability company (LLC), or corporation.
Then, it’s important to decide if you will open a salon on your own or rent a space at an established salon.
Next, you need to decide whether your business will be based in a retail space or a mobile salon.
Usually, dog groomers rent a shopfront from a commercial realty company or transform property on their land to allow grooming activities.
Mobile grooming is also a good choice, but it requires significant investments to standardize the equipment and vans.
How Do You Name A Dog Grooming Business?
This is actually one of the funnier parts of setting up a new dog grooming business. After all, you have many options to choose from.
There’s so much room for creativity. The only limit is your own imagination.
Remember, when choosing the name for your dog grooming business, it should be memorable and unique.
Your business name should be web-ready [Domain/Hosting Service – Existing link is broken] to ensure that the domain name is not already taken.
Next, make sure you check the availability of your social media channels. Don’t make the mistake of registering everything because you take the risk that someone else has claimed it.
Once you are certain that your name is not being claimed by anyone else, go ahead and register it.
Another smart idea is to trademark your name. This way, you legally ensure that no one else uses your name without your permission.
Select A Good Place
Location is vital when starting up any new business. It can have a huge impact on your business’ success.
It is a smart idea to pick a spot near many dogs for your dog grooming business. Maybe a place near a vet clinic or a dog park would be nice.
Aim to get a location with lots of foot traffic. This is one way to secure visits from leads to your store.
Business owners, who set their shops near popular walking paths, tend to get customers faster.
What Type of Equipment Do You Need?
The type of dog grooming business you build will determine the equipment you need.
For example, if you offer self-serve doggie shampoo, you will need for sure large tubs with pull-down sprayers.
Plastic aprons are a must because customers need to use them in order to prevent their dogs from soaking the tubs.
Pets deserve the best cleaning products. You need to secure soap for sensitive skin and soap for regular skin.
Don’t worry if you lack some money; you can also use used equipment as long as it is good. Remember that you can always start small and then grow your business.
What Skills Are Required to Become A Dog Groomer?
In order to become a successful professional dog groomer, there are many skills you need.
First, you must be passionate about dogs and enjoy their company.
Second, you will be dealing with clients every day, so you must be able to communicate well.
Good communication skills ensure that your business runs smoothly. You must be calm when speaking with dog owners and employees.
Sometimes dogs may be unpredictable or aggressive, so you should also be able to handle these kinds of dogs.
Make them feel comfortable by playing with them. Treat them as if they were your own pets, and don’t forget to reward good behavior.
Marketing your business is crucial in order to build your clientele. You must also learn how to market your services to attract more qualified leads.
Your sales will be affected by how you present your brand to customers. Promoting your pet grooming business is much simpler than you think.
Try taking photos of your dogs at home or pictures of your client’s dogs in the salon. Next, you just need to add a nice header and post them to social media.
Don’t forget to tell people why your services are so great and tap into the emotions of your leads.
In addition to marketing your dog grooming business, you also need to be proficient in the following administrative aspects:
- Get insurance to cover your business.
- Management of client appointments.
- Financial management.
- Taxes filling.
- Recruiting dog cleaners.
Training and Certification For Dog Groomers
An advantage that dog grooming businesses have over barbershops or human hair salons is that you don’t need to have a license or any type of certification to groom dogs.
But this doesn’t mean you won’t benefit from learning courses.
Most dog groomers are very passionate about their profession, so they don’t neglect to learn the right techniques in order to give pets the best haircuts.
Dog owners who have dogs with specific breeds will expect them to do so.
Having formal training will make you seem more professional. This will positively impact your business popularity too.
Pricing for Dog Grooming Customers
Pricing is one of the most important subjects that you need to pay attention to when starting a new business. Most new business owners make huge mistakes when trying to be competitive on price.
It may seem appealing to offer a “cheap” rate in order to attract new customers; however, this can backfire.
Keep in mind that your prices should reflect your actual costs, including taxes and insurance.
Dog grooming customers can be very demanding, and low pricing doesn’t encourage loyalty. This only causes people to bring their dogs wherever there is a deal.
In this case, dogs don’t get the chance to know their groomer, employees get tired, and your business ends up falling apart.
Never focus on quantity. You should be known only for providing the best dog grooming services. This is what makes successful business owners stand out.
Pandemics can happen, accidents can happen, and plumbing problems can occur. No matter what the problem is, you better be prepared to handle the unexpected.
Train Your Customers
As a new business owner, it’s normal to be eager to please your customers and their dogs.
Always focus on developing a bond with your dog. Pet parents are protective of their pets, sometimes, way too much, and will likely love their dogs to be comfortable around you.
Never overstep personal boundaries. Avoid sending inappropriate messages in the middle of the night or setting unrealistic expectations.
Yes, money is important. You wouldn’t start up a new business otherwise. But as a groomer is not healthy to feel that your only purpose is to make money.
You are more likely to be happy, healthy, and trustworthy if you set boundaries for your business.
Let your clients know what hours you are available and when they can expect to hear back if you are grooming their dogs. It is important that you give all your attention to the task.
If you have limited time to return messages, consider hiring a receptionist to handle all calls.
It’s a universal law that businesses thrive on returning customers. Some groomers don’t accept one-off customers anymore because it doesn’t make business sense.
This is actually true, but if you are starting a dog grooming business, you need to build your clientele. Only then can you do the same.
After all, consistent customers make scheduling your day and your income easier.
As we said before, clear communication will set the expectations for your customers. In case you fail doing your work, admit to a mistake and try to make amends.
Building Loyalty in Your Business
Branding goes beyond logos and colors; it is also a matter of personal values and how you introduce yourself to others along with the values you build and show.
But what are your personal values?
If you have no idea of where to start, just think about this: trust is key in the
care of beloved dogs and pets. A good example is to tell the owners what you will be doing during the entire process so they feel relieved and know what you will do with their dogs.
When doing this, you will notice that loyalty is built when you provide reasons for them to trust you.
Trust can be built by being trustworthy, relatable, open-minded, and telling them what you are doing every step of your journey.
It doesn’t matter how smart or hard you work. Your mindset is the key to your business’ success. So, if you believe it’s possible, it will surely make a difference.
You need a lot of hard and soft skills if you are thinking about running a business. Strong communication skills and a basic understanding of accounting are a must-have.
Promoting your services is the main source of leads for your business. Marketing knowledge and management skills are essential, and a positive attitude towards customers.
In the beginning, you may think this is just way too hard, but this can all be learned and practiced over time.
Resilience and perseverance form the cornerstone to get through difficult times. Do not falter and keep trying to obtain success.
Seasoned business owners can offer support, give you a slap on the face, and point you in the right direction when you need it.
Getting the Word Out
Try targeting specific demographics via social media. Facebook or Instagram are some good options.
They allow you to connect with potential and current customers. You can upload photos of your grooming business, furry clients, or even videos.
Remember that actions speak louder than words, and if you can show people how good your services are by showing them pictures and videos, you are more likely to attract high-quality leads.
On the other hand, social media isn’t the only way you can attract customers.
When you start, you need to cover as many people as possible. Visiting local pet shops and vet clinics is an excellent way to introduce yourself and your services.
Invest some time making flyers and giving local pet shows and fairs information about your services.
You can also start building an email database so that you can use email for marketing purposes when it comes.
Online reviews are also another way to build your reputation. Ask your customers to leave reviews online. By doing this, your dog grooming business will get even more attention.
Tips for A Successful Dog Groomer
Do you love dogs? Are you perhaps looking for a new business opportunity? Well, dog grooming may be the answer to your questions.
However, it takes more than love to be successful in this field. These are our top 6 tips for becoming a successful dog groomer:
Customer Service Skills
Although it is great to start a dog grooming company because they don’t pay the bills because you love dogs, your relationships with clients will determine your business’ success.
It’s small things such as being friendly on the phone, communicating well to ensure that you deliver the groom they desire, and making sure customers feel valued and punctual can make a big difference.
If you make sure that customers enjoy your services, they will for sure leave positive reviews and rave about your business to their friends.
Word of mouth marketing is what you should aim for. They will also engage with your social media posts.
You will indeed spend most of the day with dogs, but you must be able to communicate with their owners to make sure their pet is safe and happy.
Excellent Hand-Eye Coordination and Attention for Detail
Some dog breeds require a lot of technical skills while grooming them. It can be stressful, especially if your dog is wiggly.
Remember that you have to manage energetic dogs while also using scissors, blades, and hair dryers. Be patient and avoid accidents at any cost.
Invest some time and try to learn how to deal with more difficult dogs and how to stay calm, collected, and cool.
In the beginning, you may take several hours to get the job done, but soon enough, you will become more skilled and confident as your experience increases.
Dogs are very dependent on their groomer. This is why it is so important to be constant and build a long-lasting relationship with them.
Good Training and Knowledge of Dogs
You may be new as a dog groomer, but as you grow your business, you will continue to learn new skills and business knowledge.
A professional grooming school could help you improve your skills faster. It is actually essential for your business’ success. However, a great first training course can help you get started.
Remember that dog grooming is not only about cutting hair. It is also important to understand the basics of dog anatomy and health.
This way, you are prepared to deal with any problems you might encounter, basic dog first aid is essential.
Make it a top priority to check on each dog’s health at every visit, especially if they are regulars. Who knows? You might discover a new lump or fleas that need to be treated.
Ability to Manage Temperamental Dogs
Hey, not all dogs are perfect. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that every dog is the same.
You need to be able to read their body language and anticipate their behavior. Pay special attention to the dog’s ears, posture, teeth, and expression.
These visual and audible cues could indicate aggression, fear, anxiety, and happiness.
We assure you that if you can manage these signs, you can keep your doggie client happy and allow you to improve your role as a professional dog groomer.
You should always consider safety first. So, if you feel uncomfortable working with aggressive dogs, please inform their owners that they might need to visit a vet.
Get Good Advice and Support
In order to not exhaust yourself, try connecting with other dog groomers to get advice about handling different breeds and issues or just to talk to someone on a difficult day.
We know that being a business owner is not easy. A great support system of family and friends can help you stay motivated and healthy.
If you feel that your efforts alone are not enough to develop your own brand, you may seek help from another established franchise.
This way, you are more likely to be successful in your dog grooming business because a support network is available from the beginning.
The Local Lead Generation Process for Your Dog Grooming Business
All right! So, everything is about building properties and generating leads. But how does the process actually take place? Are there other steps I need to know?
The steps I mention below are what students from our local lead generation program follow to generate leads for businesses like yourself. So I’ll help you see what we do. And how if you join our program, you can simply generate leads for your own business (unless you want to start a side hustle and build a laptop lifestyle business).
Essentially, our lead generation can be divided into four steps:
The first is prospecting. You need to take the time to do market research on a niche (industry) and determine how many phone-driven businesses are there.
Keep in mind that this is local research as you need to know how many companies need leads. For example, you may search for “plumbing services Youngstown OH.”
You will find dozens or even hundreds of businesses trying to get themselves in front of the customers by ranking on Map Listings, organic results, and even Ad.
The second step, building. When you find a niche (plumbing, tree services, a software company, real estate…), you will need to start building your digital properties. You don’t need to be an expert in HTML or coding. It can be easy with the right tools.
The third step is now taking time to rank your lead gen website. With the site done, you need to work on SEO strategies and start dominating those Google search results. If you’re new to SEO, it stands for Search Engine Optimization.
To keep it simple, it consists of the entire process of growing a company’s visibility on search engines like Google and generating organic traffic. And remember this, local lead generation is part of the strategies.
Moving on to step four, once you rank the site, you will start getting your ROI and profits. You only need to rent it out to a local business interested in the leads the site generates. You can offer a couple of free leads to their move on with the actual pay per lead.
To review steps 1-4 above, I described it to a normal student who is building a lead gen business to help local service providers generate more calls. But replace the student with you as the business owner. And replace sending the leads to a business to simply siphoning the leads to your personal business.
By the way, fun fact, about 20% of our students in our local lead gen program are actually business owners who went through the program. And they use the skillsets we teach to generate leads for their own business.
An Example of Lead Generation: Home Advisor
You must be thinking, “if lead generation sounds so good so far, how come I haven’t seen any company?” That’s the thing; there are many out there. You just don’t know they are dedicated to it.
HomeAdvisor is one of the best examples you can find on the Internet as it is a top lead generation company that has spent millions building its brand but also earned even more zeros for this same reason.
They started small as everyone else but invested in building their brand awareness to make people who are looking for home services go to their website and find what they need. They are over 75% of people’s first choice when they need those services.
If you don’t get HomeAdvisor that much or need a refresh, users need to submit their information to request a service and get a professional or expert who can provide it.
HomeAdvisor’s job is to share your information, which makes you a lead, with local companies so they can contact you and offer the service you’re requesting. For sharing this lead information, HomeAdvisor gets paid by the companies. This happens for every single lead they send to multiple businesses.
Business owners who don’t have marketing skills or don’t even know how to have any online presence will always rely on those pages to list their services. They will save time and effort, but companies like HomeAdvisor can make them spend lots of money as leads aren’t exclusive (one lead is sent to multiple companies after all).
Using Facebook Ads aka Paid Ad Platforms: Do They Generate Leads?
They DO generate leads. If not, no one would use them.
However, you need to remember two facts:
- Paid ads or platforms can be expensive.
- They don’t generate “natural” leads.
Whenever someone sees or clicks in one of those ads, over 80% of them did it by accident or are trying to close/report it.
Why? Because they aren’t looking for those services. At least not at the moment.
What those ads do instead is interrupt their time on the platforms. Users aren’t there to find companies or businesses unless they are searching for a specific company’s user, and for that, there’s a search bar. This is why it is hard to convert them to actual customers who will show interest in the companies’ services. Also, you’re limited by a budget.
When using lead generation, everything is organic. You aren’t forcing others to pay attention to your business but rather being there when they need you. This is why Google’s organic traffic will always beat paid ads, and the reason companies continue investing in it, which is a lot cheaper as well.
What Is Local SEO?
Don’t worry… I didn’t get it at first either. Following the short explanation, local SEO focuses on scaling businesses’ visibility on search engines. However, this is only for those who serve their communities face-to-face.
What does this mean?
Experts and professionals like painters, plumbers, and dentists (but not only them) offer their services to their local customers. Why? Because they can’t deliver them unless they are located in the same area of their customers.
To make sure those businesses get more leads, you need to rank them locally by claiming the business listing on Google to place them on Map Listings. Local SEO also involves online reviews, citation management, and how you manage your entire online presence in the local area.
If you are going to bet on lead gen, you need to adapt yourself to today’s world: The Internet.
Keep in mind that although traditional channels and methods like billboards, warm calls, and pamphlets still work, they aren’t part of your tools. Whenever someone needs a service, they go to Google and search for it.
“Dentist in Miami” or “plumbing services in Orlando,” etc. And you can keep coming up with services or professionals people need and look for. Thus, you need to make sure you’re using Google to get the companies in front of their clients.
Users will always click on the first search results (those near the top), and many of them will be either Ad links (people paid to place their websites there), Map Listing, and then you get websites. Almost all of them are your goal and where you should always aim to place yourself.
Can My Dog Grooming Business Utilize a Local Lead Generation Strategy?
If you want customers, you better know you need it. Following the previous explanation, lead gen is all about placing businesses in front of their customers, choosing them over their competitors.
Put it simply – it’s all about closing deals and having clients for those companies to make money. The main difference with the usual methods companies use for this is how lead generation approaches different channels to get them in the right place of the market to get customers.
Those channels are all focused on the Internet as most people are searching for products but also services across the net. The issue is that the Internet is way too broad, and businesses don’t know how to place themselves. They usually try, but they get one common result: losing money and time.
How Powerful Are Organic Dog Grooming Leads from Google?
For companies looking for customers, it’s everything. For you? Pretty much the same. When you build a business with digital properties, you get to make thousands of dollars a month.
This isn’t a “get started today and get rich tomorrow” thing, but it is HIGHLY scalable, and ROI + positive results are guaranteed. Learning a fairly decent and very needed set of skills to create your digital properties and start ranking them on Google is required.
I have invested in several online businesses over the years, and if there’s something uncertain, whether you will get your ROI or not, even more than the actual profit.
However, this business moved my earnings from five figures a year to a month in ONLY passive income while sitting comfortably at home.
On my laptop. Anywhere. Anytime.
You can look at one of the first sites I built back in 2016, and it continues making me over $1.000+ every month. The best part is that I don’t need to touch it or the rest I’ve built over the years, just like this digital property.
What Makes Lead Generation SO Alluring?
Here it goes: you can work from home.
The main issue with regular business opportunities is how much you need to invest in staff, equipment, or rent to have a place to sell your products or offer your services.
We all know the hassles of traditional businesses that involve regular expenses, which are extremely high. Can you afford it? I don’t think so, and even if you can, is it worth it? Now, it isn’t only about the money. You also need to put in a lot of work, and it isn’t only during the first couple of months or years. Usually, it is as long as you continue running it.
You can save yourself those headaches and bone-breaking tasks and expenses with lead gen since it is more about generating leads with digital channels—mainly websites.
Websites can be VERY cheap to build, and with many tools online, you get to do it in a couple of hours instead of days. Any virtual or digital business is scalable and won’t need constant maintenance.
So, let’s summarize this:
- You save money in regular expenses with traditional and most online businesses as what you need is yourself and digital properties (websites).
- You can bet on passive income.
- There’s no need to hire more people to get started.
- You can generate leads in multiple industries, which allows you to work on any niche you want.
How Can I Get Started in the Local Lead Generation Program?
Anyone can start and learn. That’s the beauty of this business model. I knew nothing about SEO, Map Listing, and everything I’ve mentioned so far. It is all about learning the skills, gaining experience, and deciding to take the step.
Remember that this business model will never get old as business owners are always looking for leads. They need to do business and scale their companies. Why not do the same while helping others and still making money?
You can start with this local lead generation course highly recommended for anyone wanting to grow in the business. It is a close training that will take you through each step and make sure you are able to get your ROI, profits and take control of your life.
You will be added to an incredible lead generation family ready to help you 24/7 when asking questions on the group. Anyone is welcome who’s willing to put in the work. Click here to watch the lead gen webinar.