|Crafts - Craft and Skill Businesses|
What will I be doing?
If you enjoy dogs, consider joining the nearly 20,000 full-time pet grooming shops in the U.S., many of which work from their home. A pet groomer offers services such as washing, trimming and grooming dogs, cats and other pets for owners. Learnable skills are required, as is a concern and interest for the health, beauty and temperament of these animals.
What will I need to start?
To be a professional pet groomer you must have knowledge and training in a variety of areas. There are schools, books, videos and other resources for learning these skills. The best is on-the-job experience. If you don’t already have experience, get it now by working in a pet grooming shop in your area.
To offer pet grooming services you’ll need a convenient location where people can bring their animals for care. If your home is difficult to find, consider making your business mobile and going to your customers. You can set up shop in a travel trailer or mobile home that visits your customers.
You’ll also need some tools (clippers, trimmers, etc.) and supplies (shampoos, detanglers, flea sprays, etc.). Most pet groomers also carry pet-grooming products to sell to customers—much as a beauty shop carries a line of beauty aids.
Who will my customers be?
Customers for your pet-grooming services include pet owners, veterinarians and pet stores. If you have many potential competitors, look for a unique service or unserved customers that you can build your business around. For example, specialize in caring for dogs that most groomers don’t like to handle. Using safe restraining equipment, you can serve these specialized customers and probably get a higher price than for grooming most dogs. Or consider specializing in services for older dogs or even for cats. They don’t all groom themselves!
How much should I charge?
The rate for a pet groomer is $35 to $45 an hour, priced by service and size of pet. Shampoos for dogs weighing more than 20 pounds, for example, will be priced higher than for those under that weight. The price for a package of services will be lower than for a single service because you can work more efficiently. To find out what your competitors are charging, start calling around for rates.
How much will I make?
There is no record of anyone getting filthy-rich as a pet groomer—just filthy. Even so, you can make a modest income. An established pet-grooming service can bill for about six hours a day with an overhead cost of 25 to 50 percent, depending on equipment. So a one-person pet-grooming service can earn a net income of $25,000 to $45,000 a year before taxes.
How can I get started?
You can develop your pet-grooming skills on your own pets and with some training, but try to work at a groomer’s shop for at least a year. Along the way, gather your tools and equipment.
Consider locating your pet-grooming shop in your garage or home. A utility room may have the needed plumbing and electrical service for your grooming area. Of course, make sure that local zoning allows you to operate this business from your home.
Join local dog and pet associations, advertise in local newspapers and phone books and tell your friends and neighbors. Once you’ve developed a steady clientele, your pet grooming service will be a fun and profitable home business.
The SIC code for pet groomers is 0752-04..
How can I use computers to increase profits?
Pet groomers don’t have time to keep good records. An appointment book is all most of them use. The more profitable ones also use a computer to not only track appointments but also customers, individual pets, costs, and profits. This information is used to fill out the appointment book on slow days, to sell related products and services based on customer needs, and to help personalize service.