: Dog getting groomed at a pet grooming shop

Are you looking to start a dog grooming business in the UK? If you're a dog lover and have the experience of handling or taking care of dogs, then there's no better pet business to start than dog grooming.

Dog grooming is in high demand because many dog owners lack the skill, time, or desire to groom dogs themselves, so they hire professionals.

Planning to start a dog grooming business, but you're unsure about all the steps involved? Here's a step to step guide you can use to launch a dog grooming business in the UK successfully.

What are the responsibilities of a dog groomer?

A dog groomer is responsible for keeping dogs' coats and nails clean and in excellent condition. Dog groomers typically keep dogs bathed, dried, brushed, and clipped. Working with sharp tools around animals doesn't come without it hazards, so it's important for dog groomers to be aware of grooming injuries and how to avoid them. These professionals are also tasked with advising pet owners on diet, coat care, and grooming tips.

The good thing is the business can be rewarding if you do the right things. Also, it's a highly flexible business idea with various options. For example, you can either open a physical salon and have dog owners deliver dogs to your location or provide mobile dog grooming services to individual homes. Ultimately, the type of dog grooming business you pick will depend on your budget, preference, and many other factors.

In addition, you will also need to learn how to administer your dog grooming business correctly. Some of the administrative aspects of your business you need to master include;

  • Getting insurance for the business
  • Managing client appointments
  • Managing your finances
  • Filing taxes
  • Recruiting dog cleaners

However, not everyone who goes into dog grooming becomes successful. Most people who start dog grooming to make a quick buck, don’t stay long enough to profit from their efforts. Like any other business, you'll need lots of patience and discipline to succeed in this business. You must fully commit to the idea and be comfortable around dogs throughout the day. It's a physically demanding job that requires you to be on your feet the entire day dealing with demanding owners or stressed-out dogs. If dog grooming doesn’t quite sound like something you would like to do, why not consider starting a dog walking or dog kennel business?

A dog groomer is responsible for keeping dogs' coats and nails clean and in excellent condition.

Do you need a license to become a dog groomer?

At the moment, there are no requirements for dog groomers to obtain a license. However, in order to build a level of trust with your potential clients, it is good practice to acquire some relevant qualifications and obtain as much pet grooming experience as you can before starting off on your own.

What qualifications do you need to be a dog groomer?

There aren't any set qualifications for becoming a dog groomer, but completing a relevant course involving animal care, cleaning, and maintenance can position you as a professional in the eyes of your clients. It is important to recognise that dogs can be unpredictable, so it is essential to understand canine behaviour in order to succeed as a professional dog groomer. Professional bodies such as the Pet Industry Federation and City and Guilds provide professional dog grooming courses in their various colleges and centres in the UK. You can either train to become a dog grooming assistant or stylist, depending on the course you choose.

Here are some courses to consider, according to the UK national careers website:

  • Level 2 Certificate for Dog Grooming Assistants
  • Level 3 Diploma in Dog Grooming
  • Level 4 Higher Professional Diploma in Dog Grooming

What insurance do I need for a dog grooming business?

Getting the right insurance is essential for any pet business. There are many reasons why you need pet business insurance but it is primarily to ensure that yourself, your business and your employees are protected in the event of any accidents or injuries.

Public liability insurance ensures that you are protected if any business activities cause damage to another person’s property or injures them in any way.

Accidents and injury insurance is the best way to ensure that you are covered in the event that an animal in your care causes accidental damage or injury to another person or their property.

Equipment insurance is essential since dog grooming equipment can be a big investment for your business, so it is crucial to have insurance coverage in the case of any loss or damage.

If you plan to have any employees or volunteers work for your business, you will also need employers liability insurance. Speak to a reputable pet business insurance provider to ensure you have the cover you need for your dog grooming business.

Getting the right insurance is essential for any pet business.

How much do dog groomers make in the UK?

According to the National Careers Service website, dog groomers make between £13,000 to £20,000 per annum. However, self-employed dog groomers can make more money since they have the freedom to set their prices. The average cost of dog grooming in the UK can range anywhere from £29-£62 depending on the dog's size, temperament, condition of the coat and business location. If you're planning to become a self-employed dog groomer, you will need to work a minimum of 40 hours a week to take home a decent income.

Is a dog grooming business profitable in the UK?

There is growing demand for dog grooming services in the UK. According to Statista, pet ownership has drastically increased in the UK since the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. The share of households that own a pet has increased from 41% in 2020 to 62% in 2022. As a result, the number of pet dogs has increased from 9 million in 2020 to 13 million in 2022. This increase in dog ownership will drive demand for dog grooming services, especially with dogs being the most popular pet owned in the UK.

With this in mind, the dog grooming market was valued at over £4 million in 2022 and is predicted to nearly double by 2033 with an annual growth rate of around 5.7%. As demonstrated by these figures, dog grooming is in high demand in the UK and is expected to increase over the coming years.

There is growing demand for dog grooming services in the UK.

Can I start a dog grooming business from home?

There are a few options to consider when it comes to finding the ideal location to run your pet grooming business from. Working from home has several benefits, including lower overhead costs when compared to opening a high street salon. You will have the flexibility to choose your working space, whether in the garage, in a garden shed or converting a spare room. It is important to ensure you have planning permission for any alterations and keep your neighbours well informed to avoid any problems.

Steps to Establishing a Dog Grooming Business

Step 1: Research your industry

Researching your industry to find out what the specific dog grooming businesses look like is key to breaking into this market. After gathering the information you need, you can develop a clear idea of how you wish to run your dog grooming business. You want to state all the things that make your business different from the competition. During the research phase, ask yourself the following questions;

  • Do you want to open a full-service dog salon or start a mobile dog grooming business?
  • Do you want to start a business from scratch or buy a franchise?
  • Do you plan to sell dog-related products in the future?

For best results, understand your customers' needs like the back of your hand and work hard to satisfy them better than your competitors. For instance, know the type of dog breeds in your area, understand the best tips for cleaning different dog breeds, and the expectations of your clients regarding how they want their dogs to be groomed.

Live in a community full of older people or busy families? Mobile dog grooming will do well in such a location since such customers may lack the time or effort of physically bringing dogs to the salon.

Step 2: Pick a niche

The location of your dog grooming business is crucial. If you pick the wrong location, you'll not fulfil your business's potential due to a lack of customers. There's no point setting shop in an area with minimal business potential; ensure the area you choose has many dog owners. You can also assess your location's potential by estimating its population size. An ideal location should have high foot traffic.

Step 3: Register your business and get insured

Firstly, you can easily register your business as a sole trader, limited company, or partnership on the HMRC website. Each option will have different rules and regulations, so it is best to do your research and find the option most suited to you and your business.

Secondly, you should find a reputable pet business insurance provider to get your business protected from any accidents and unforeseen circumstances for peace of mind.

Step 4: Promote your business

As a startup, you need to make people aware of your offering in the market. You can use plenty of ways to promote your dog grooming business and achieve your targeted sales and revenue. Some of the promotional methods you should experiment with include;

  • Advertise in local directories and newspapers.
  • Design a professional website and promote it on search engines.
  • Printing leaflets and distributing them in your local area
  • Organize a local dog grooming show.
  • Forming mutual partnerships with industry players such as vets and exchanging business information.
  • Promote your business on social channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Promote your business at trade shows.
  • Hand out business cards and leaflets about your business.

Rounding it up

Professional groomers are tasked with cleaning and enhancing a pet's appearance. The demand for grooming services is on the rise because many dog owners find grooming to be challenging or lack the time to do it.

Your love and passion for dogs can turn a profit. So long as you're experienced at dog grooming and willing to acquire further training, there's no reason why you cannot start a successful dog grooming business. Plus, there's no better feeling than earning money doing what you love.

Let us help you find the insurance you need

At Pet Business Insurance we are proud to offer 20 years of expertise. If you are unsure about what insurance you need for your dog grooming business, get in touch with our team on +44(0)1284 736 874 or email us at info@petbusinessinsurance.co.uk.

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