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As life becomes increasingly busier, consumers are looking for ways to simplify their lives and get more done with less time. Pet lovers across the globe have proven that they will go to great lengths to ensure their animals are properly cared for. For the busy pet owner, a mobile dog groomer is the perfect solution, offering both convenience and individual attention for each animal.

In the United States alone, Future Market Insights reported the following in March, 2022: “The global pet grooming market valuation is poised to total US$ 1.3 [billion] in 2022. [The] growing trend of pet humanization across the globe is spurring demand for pet grooming products, which is expected to boost sales at a healthy 6.2% CAGR [compound annual growth rate]. Against this backdrop, the market valuation will reach US$ 2.5 [billion] by 2032.”

As you can see, the dog grooming sector has a lot of promise! So, if you want to start your own business, now is a fantastic time. And demand in your area will be determined by a number of factors, including population density, the number of pet-friendly families, and competitiveness.

While ongoing expenses are significantly lower, start-up costs can be high. Your first investment should be your mobile grooming vehicle. Be sure to weigh your options and facility requirements when considering what type of vehicle you’ll invest in.

Vehicle requirements include:

  • Power generator
  • Water heater
  • Water tank
  • Waste containers (both solid and liquid)
  • Proper lighting
  • Washing space
  • Table (with lift is preferable)
  • Proper ventilation and flooring
  • Sink
  • Dryer

Some entrepreneurs prefer to invest in a fully outfitted van, while others choose to invest in a trailer and convert it themselves. Initial costs range anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000, depending upon your needs and what you already have available.

If you plan to perform grooming services yourself, you will also need the following items:

  • Clippers – $100 to $250 each
  • Clipper blades – $13 – $100
  • Shears – $89 to $300 each
  • Brushes and combs – $5 to $99

As a rule, any groomer you hire will come with their own set of grooming supplies. You should, however, plan to offer a variety of shampoos, conditioners, and other “spa” treatments.

What are the ongoing expenses for a mobile dog grooming business?

Unlike a fixed location, your ongoing expenses are minimal. Standard costs include:

  • Vehicle maintenance – Oil changes, fluid top-off, and tire checks should be performed regularly.
  • Fuel costs – Specific costs vary, depending upon the radius of your service area.
  • Equipment maintenance – Blades and sheers, when cared for properly, should last several years. Set yourself up on a regular servicing schedule, which can range anywhere from $5 to $150 quarterly, depending upon your needs at the time.
  • Replenishing supplies, such as shampoo, conditioner, etc
  • Marketing costs – As word of mouth spreads, your marketing costs will go down.
  • Payroll – Most groomers work as independent contractors, which will eliminate this portion of your budget.

In order to start any business (regardless of the field), there are a few key things you’ll need to put in place first. These include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Your (registered) business name
  • A solid understanding of your business brand
  • Your business plan
  • A business bank account
  • Business insurance
  • Necessary licenses and permits

In addition to the above items, you’ll also need to invest in a few key supplies and pieces of grooming equipment. These are essential for running your dog grooming business smoothly and efficiently! The general list of what you’ll need includes (but, again, isn’t limited to):

  • A quality grooming table
  • A set of electric clippers
  • Various types of scissors (including thinning shears)
  • Nail trimmers
  • Grooming combs and brushes
  • Canine-friendly shampoos, conditioners, and other grooming products
  • Business cards
  • A grooming portfolio
  • A business website, social media accounts, and (if interested) a blog
  • Marketing materials (e.g. flyers, brochures, postcards)

A complete list of the grooming tools we personally recommend can be found here. Keep in mind that the cost of these items can vary depending on the brand, quality, etc. So, be sure to do your research before making any final decisions!

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Additionally, we recommend investing in professional dog grooming supplies whenever possible. Though they may cost a bit more upfront, they will save you money in the long run by lasting longer and standing up to regular wear and tear.

As we mentioned earlier, starting your own dog grooming business can be quite costly. Typically, there are 2 main types of expenses you’ll encounter as a business owner: (1) one-time startup expenses, and (2) recurring monthly expenses.

Let’s break down each one so you have a better idea of what they are!

One-Time Startup Expenses

These are expenses that you’ll incur when first starting your dog grooming business. They include the cost of registering your business, setting up your website, and purchasing any desired business management software. You can expect to invest the following amounts into your one-time expenses:

  • Business registration: $50-$500
  • Website setup: $100-$600
  • Business management software: $0-$200/month

Recurring Monthly Expenses

Recurring expenses are the fees you’ll need to pay on a monthly basis in order to keep your dog grooming business operational. They include the cost of things like marketing, web hosting, and (of course) supplies. You can expect to pay the following amounts each month for your recurring expenses:

  • Marketing: $50-$500/month
  • Web hosting: $15-$100/month
  • Supplies: $200-$800/month
  • Salon booth rental (if applicable): $0-$500/month

Of course, these are just general estimates. The actual costs will vary depending on the size and scope of your business!

Either way, as you can see, starting a dog grooming business is definitely not cheap. In order to give yourself the best chance at success, it’s important to be aware of all the potential costs involved before making any final decisions!

Greeting clients and their pets will be an inevitable part of each day and is a critical aspect of creating a strong client base. The rest of your time will involve care and maintenance of your vehicle, physical spaces, and your marketing and online presence. Normal duties will include, but are not limited to:

  • Performing dog grooming activities, such as: wash, dry, haircut, and nail trim. Additional services should be available upon request.
  • Since you are a mobile unit, part of each day will be spent on the road, traveling from location to location.
  • Service and maintenance of your vehicles and workspaces.
  • Administrative duties such as taking appointments, answering phone calls, accepting payments, and paying bills.
  • Implementing marketing strategies

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