An important part of your Dog grooming business, is writing out your business plan.  At the start of your venture, determine the direction.  What are your short and long term goals and end goal. This needs to be done so you can invest and set up properly at the start. Are you planning on having an assistant to help wash and dry the dogs so you can do more grooms per day?  Are you planning on having a partner with your business or set up as a sole- owner? How long are you planning to be in business? Other business expansion possibilities such as retail down the road.  As in everything we start to do, plans might change, but having a plan in place is needed to get to your ultimate goal.



Business Classification

Do you set up as sole proprietorship or partnership? Its best to weigh the pros and cons when deciding which type of business to set up.

Larger franchise type operations are likely set up as corporations. This classification depends on the number of people employed, starting capital, space and locations. As your business grows the classification may change.

Each type has distinct tax and liability implications so it’s best to do the research to best suit your needs.




Pet Groomer or Specialty Dog Shop?

As a groomer, you need to look at what type of grooming business you will be operating. Are you geared to a more spa type of grooming shop offering multiple types of shampoos, doggy facials, creative cuts? Is the business more towards small size dogs?

Or are you including all sizes and breeds of dogs, having the equipment to manage large breeds and the ability physically? Is it more towards basic pet grooms, with less emphasis on specialty services and products?

Will you be expanding to other related services such as doggy day care, pet boarding, and dog walking services, etc.

To help you decide, look at the available clients in your area to help understand the demand.  If you live in a more rural environment, it may be less of a dog spa and more general groom type business. A more upscale, artistic community may be more orientated to creative cuts and specialty services.


Pricing and Competition

Consider the prices charged in your area to give
guidelines on what your fees should be. This can be done by checking local competitors web sites, stopping in to your local shops and asking a few simple questions.

Once you decide on the services you will offer, it’s time to set your own prices. Starting out you might want to offer discounted grooms to new clients to help the business grow, or offer a discount to frequent grooming services. Having clients come in on a more regular basis such as once a month is an asset to you and the pet for grooming ease.

A lot of consideration is needed figuring out pricing, ensure you understand the supply cost and hourly rate for your time, you need to pay your bills as well. But be cautious on pricing to high when starting out, you don’t want to drive customers away.


Costs in setting up Shop

Once you are a trained dog groomer, there are the other costs involved such as:

  • The cost of renovating the space, if required.  

  • Rental or Lease:  if it’s a commercial space-how long are you locked into the agreement and what utilities are included.

  • Equipment (bathing tubs, dryers, grooming tables, etc.…)

  • Grooming supplies (shampoo, brushes, clippers, etc.…)

Those are your major expenses. These will vary, of course, depending on your particular business. If you'll be running your business out of your home, your expenses may be a little less, and if you will be running a mobile grooming van, they may be a little more.

When figuring your finances, don't forget to include your advertising costs as well as your office expenses. You will need a computer, business telephone, and other office equipment. Don't forget about the desk, chair, and other furniture you may need.


Regulatory Issues, Legal Liability, Insurance needs, Financing for Business

  • Your licensing and certification responsibilities

  • Liability waivers for your clients

  • Insurance

  • Any specific laws in your region regarding business zoning

  • Business financing requirements

  • Business accounts and payment methods (cash only/credit cards processing, e-transfers, etc.)

  • Tax planning and book keeping

As you develop your business plan, you may realize there is more to it than you thought. The plan may change and grow from what you originally started, but having a plan can help in adding to your success and direction to where you want it to be. Researching your short and long term goals helps you understand where to go. 

Writing Your Business Plan