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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 business to start than a dog grooming business.

Dog grooming is a skill in high demand because many dog owners find it challenging to adequately clean and groom their dogs. Most dog owners lack the skill, time, or desire to groom dogs themselves, so they hire professionals to do it. From washing, brushing, ear cleaning, haircuts to ear clipping, a professional groomer is tasked with keeping dogs clean and good looking.

However, not everyone who goes into dog grooming becomes successful. Most people who start dog grooming to make a quick buck, don’t stay too long 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.

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 enterprise you pick will depend on your budget, preference, and many other factors.

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.

Professional dog grooming requirements

A dog groomer is responsible for keeping dogs' coats clean and in excellent condition. Dog groomers typically keep dogs bathed, dried, brushed, and clipped. These professionals are also tasked with advising pet owners on the diet, coat care, and grooming tips.

What qualifications do you need to be a dog groomer?

There aren't any set qualifications for becoming a dog groomer, but a course involving animal care, cleaning, and maintenance can position you as a professional in the eyes of your clients. 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.

Which skills do I need to be a dog groomer?

As a professional dog groomer, you require several skills to succeed in the industry. First, you should be passionate about keeping dogs and enjoying their company. Secondly, you need to be a good communicator since you'll be dealing with clients daily.

As an excellent communicator, you should be calm and patient when talking to dog owners and employees for your business to run smoothly. Besides, you should be skilled and knowledgeable in handling unpredictable or aggressive dogs. Your choice of music and how you reward good behaviour will also come in handy when handling other people's pets.

More importantly, you also have to learn how to sell your services to potential customers to build your clientele. The way you position your brand in the eyes of customers will impact your overall sales. Taking photos of the dogs in the salon or at home and posting them on social media can be the right way of promoting your pet grooming business.

The key is to articulate why your service is the best and tapping into the emotions of prospective customers. Besides marketing, you'll also do well if you learn how to administer your dog grooming business correctly. Some of the administrative aspects of your business you need to master include;

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 current market rate in the UK is £20-30 per individual treatment. However, one can charge more depending on the dog's size, temperament, condition of the coat, business location, etc. If you're planning to become a self-employed dog groomer, you need to work a minimum of 40 hours a week to take home a decent income.

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 necessary info, 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: Choose a name for Dog Grooming Business

This is one of the most manageable parts of the entire process of starting a dog grooming business. Coming up with a name for your dog business should be a fun and enjoyable process. With a bit of research, you'll find lots of pet business with cute names, which can serve as inspiration as you look for an ideal name for your business. There are several things to remember when naming your grooming business. Your name has to be simple, easy to remember, and unique.

Step3: Get Professional Training

It's not mandatory to have professional training if you're a dog groomer, but you can benefit from the various courses offered offline and online. Having official training can help you stand out among your peers even though it's not a necessity. If you're passionate about dogs and want to learn more information about the do and don't of the business, the right course will broaden your dog grooming knowledge. For example, the right course can teach you about different dog breeds, how to do standard haircuts, baths and clipping, brushing, and more. Of course, if you want hands-on experience on dog grooming, find work as an apprentice in a local salon or become a volunteer at a kennel in your area. You can also acquire further training, knowledge, experience, and support by becoming a British Dog Groomers Association member. Plus, enrolling in a professional course helps you make friends and acquaintances in the same profession.

Step 4: 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 5: 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 and social media
  • Printing leaflets and distributing them in your local area
  • Organize a local dog breeding 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
  • Promoting your business in trade shows.
  • Handing 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 into a business. 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.

Pictures references:

Pic 1: A rescue dog gets bathed
ID number: k8xJOnA3zYM
Artist: Benjamin Lehman