According to the American Pet Products Association, each household that owns a pet spends $61 on dogs and $20 on cats annually, on grooming services.
Pet groomers, trainers, walkers, and sitters are the 'in' thing today. Everyone who has pets knows that maintaining them is not very easy. That is why they are always on the lookout for people or services that help in looking after some aspects of their pets. Even if it is just taking your dog for a walk, coming in once a day, and feeding your feline, any extra help is always appreciated. Anyone and everyone who loves animals can start their own pet services. Pet grooming is an example of such a service that can be started at home or in a commercial setup.
Setting up a pet grooming business is easy. It is fairly lucrative, and you get to know many people. This business is apt for those who love animals, and want to spend as much time as they can, taking care of them. Given here, are steps to start a pet grooming business.
Taking the Course
The first step towards paving your way in any line of work is to be qualified for it. Many colleges offer diplomas or full-time courses in pet grooming. Apply for a course in pet grooming, and get your certification, as pet owners are more at ease knowing that the person grooming their pet is a certified groomer. Aspiring pet groomers can be certified through the National Dog Groomers Association of America. It may take some time, as one cannot become a qualified groomer overnight. Study well, and enjoy your course.
When you are studying to become a pet groomer, it is always advisable to get some practical experience on the side. Now, if your family has pets, you could always apply your grooming knowledge on them so that when you are done with your course, you have some work experience. Make an album, in which you document every session that you have with a dog or a cat. Take a picture before and after your session. Diligently maintain records and feedback that you get for your services. You can also work as an intern with a certified pet groomer, and get hands-on experience about grooming pets.
Mode of Operation
Once you get your certification, you need to decide whether you want to be the sole owner of your pet grooming service, or would like to join hands with a partner as a co-owner. Do you want to work from home, a commercial setup, or do you want to be a mobile groomer? All three have their distinct advantages, and are very lucrative. Once you have decided, you need hunt for a location, and begin the process of obtaining necessary permits and registration.
License and Registration
As a pet groomer, you need a license to practice or offer services. Each state of the United States of America has specific and varying laws pertaining to pet grooming. According to your location, verify if you need to apply for a license. So, select a name, and apply for a license. After you get your pet grooming license, get your business registered. Your pet grooming business has to be legally recognized so that you do not face any problems later.
While registering your business, you need to decide your location. You can work from home, or you can operate from a commercial setup. If you are selecting a commercial setup, you need to make sure that you choose a pet-friendly area that has veterinary services and pet shops nearby. Once you have selected your location, get your finances ready, either by taking a loan, or putting in your own money.
You will need to buy pet care products like scissors, clippers, combs, brushes, nail filers, buffers, bathtubs, grooming tables, towels, dryers, cages, etc. You can always take a loan for this, and remember to get everything insured. Make your center as appealing as you can, so that your clients keep coming back to you for your services.
You are done with your registration, and have your location ready. Now, you need to publicize your service. Distribute fliers that talk about your services, place ads in local papers and announce your service on the local radio network. Talk to vets and pet shops, and ask them to spread the word, send text messages to your friends and relatives about your new business, tweet and notify your friends on Facebook, etc.
Pricing and Services
Make a menu with all the services you intend to offer along with the price. Keep all your prices inclusive of all taxes, and make sure to mention it in your menu. If you are just starting your business, keep your prices reasonable, and ensure that you provide quality services. Have discounts and attractive offers, which will help you get more clients.
Pet grooming is a booming business today. You can always start small, and let your business grow. With time and experience, your small business can actually turn into a chain of pet grooming centers. Create your niche, offer top quality services, and your business will never be a failure. The key to be a good pet groomer is to love animals and be loved by animals.