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Dog Grooming Business Plan: How-To Guide & Best Practices

BUSINESS  |   2/22/21 8:28 AM  |  by Gingr

Thinking of starting your very own dog grooming business, or incorporating grooming services into your new dog daycare resort or boarding facility? Maybe you’ve always been a dog lover ever since you got your first pet as a kid, or you’ve dreamed of becoming a self-made entrepreneur and owning your own business. Whatever the case may be, you’ve come to the right place!

At Gingr , we’ve helped hundreds of pet care professionals get their businesses up and running. With the help of our pet business software, groomers, boarders, and daycare owners can stay organized and efficient with scheduling tools, communication features, and a speedy payment processing program. We’ve been around the block a few times, and we know what it takes to set yourself up to become the most pup-ular business owner around town. 

We’ll cover the basics of creating a dog grooming business plan in the following sections: 

Key Questions to Ask Before Starting a Dog Grooming Business

Components of a successful dog grooming business plan.

As with any new business, starting a pet business comes with its own set of risks. But as the saying goes: nothing ventured, nothing gained. The benefit of owning your own business is that YOU have the power to make your own decisions, course correct when you face challenges, and reap the direct benefits of your hard work. 

This guide will answer key questions, provide guidelines for creating your business plan, and offer concrete steps to take to get your business underway. Let’s get started!

Before you embark on your dog-grooming journey, there are probably a lot of questions on your mind about what starting a pet care business will entail. We’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked questions about starting a dog grooming business to help address your concerns.

How profitable is a dog grooming business?

Dog grooming has the potential to be a very profitable venture, but the success of your business will depend on a few factors:

Your profitability will depend on localized aspects such as the cost of rent or how many competitors there are in the area. You also may have to factor in new costs as you grow, such as employee wages.

The good news is that the pet industry is seeing a striking growth spurt, with an estimated $99 billion spent on pets in 2020. We know that people are willing to spend piles of cash to pamper their pets. To become profitable, you must entice them to spend their money at your business rather than competitors’.

What is the best setup for a dog grooming business?

One benefit of starting a dog grooming business is that you have a few options for how you want to set up your business. 

Groomers can operate out of their homes, use buses or vans in a mobile set-up, or rent or purchase a space to set up their own grooming facility with a storefront. Home and brick-and-mortar businesses are more traditional options, while mobile pet grooming is a rising pet industry trend . Each option has pros and cons:

Home business

Brick-and-mortar store

Mobile grooming

As you can see, each option comes with advantages and disadvantages. Decide what matters most to you (having a flexible schedule, room to grow, lower operating costs, etc.) and go with the option that best aligns with your overall business strategy. 

For example, say you have a dream to expand your business into a large operation with several staff members and a vast client base. In that case, you’d want to consider a brick-and-mortar store to have room to grow.

What do you need to start a pet grooming business?

You already have one of the most important assets needed to get your dog grooming business started—a passion for pets! In addition, here’s the basic equipment you’ll need to get your business underway:

Along with your physical equipment, be sure to invest in a proper dog grooming business software system . Your business software can handle the organizational side of your business, from scheduling appointments to collecting payments. It will take much of the stress of running your business off your hands by allowing you to manage your digital processes more efficiently.

Finally, you’ll need a comprehensive business plan to give your business a solid foundation and a guide for completing your goals. Read on for an explanation of what a dog grooming business plan should look like.

Your dog grooming business plan offers a high-level overview of your business and can help guide your decision-making or help you access a business loan. If you are using this document to acquire a loan, be sure to tailor your language to be as persuasive and positive as possible to present your business as a dependable investment that will achieve long-term success. Your business plan should include these seven sections:

This template shows the seven sections of a dog grooming business plan.

Company Description 

At the start of your business plan, introduce yourself and your vision for the business. Explain who you are and your qualifications. Describe the need in your community for this service and how your business will stand out from competitors (perhaps you’ll be a fully-mobile groomer or specialize in tough-to-groom breeds such as gigantic Newfoundlands or shaggy Old English Sheepdogs).

Products and Services

In this section, describe the goods and services you’ll be offering to customers. Will you just offer dog grooming services, or will you also provide products such as leashes, bandanas, or specialty dog shampoos? Emphasize the unique features of your products and/or services (e.g., you’re the only mobile grooming company in town, or you’re the only business with a full line of boutique shampoos) that meet an existing need in the market.

Market Research

Prove your expertise in the dog grooming industry within the market research section of your business plan. Answer these questions as you research: 

Describe how your new business will fit into this puzzle and emphasize your competitive advantage . For instance, you might have special training or experience at national dog shows, a prime location, or state-of-the-art equipment. Any feature that your business will have that competitors lack gives your business an edge in the market that can draw in more investors.

Marketing and Advertising

Describe your plan to market and advertise your business to attract customers. Perhaps you’ll launch a digital marketing campaign with targeted social media ads and geofencing strategies to reach people in a specific geographic location. You may also choose to send out direct mail flyers or purchase local radio or TV ad spots promoting your new grooming business. 

Use the data you gathered while creating the market research analysis to justify your marketing decisions. For instance, if you found in your market research that your target customer is likely a suburban resident in their early thirties to mid-fifties, you can place flyers in mailboxes in neighborhoods in your area as part of your marketing strategy.

Management Summary

Provide an outline of your management structure and descriptions of the key personnel involved. If you already have a few staff members on board, explain who they are and what their duties will be. If you’re bringing on additional staff members, describe the qualifications you’re looking for in new employees and what their day-to-day responsibilities will entail.

Financial Analysis

In this section, you’ll create a breakdown of important financial information. Include profit projections, a balance sheet, and cash flow statements:

Overall, your financial section should include a profit breakdown and a more complex financial analysis for how you see your business growing over a five-year period. If you’re using your business plan to solicit a loan, be sure to include the monetary amount you’re seeking and what the funds will be used for.

Legal Requirements

Prove that your business is qualified and fit for operation by describing how it adheres to all legal requirements. 

First, define your business structure—whether you’re operating as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation. If you decide to structure your business as a corporation, you’ll have to register with your state’s Secretary of State office. Registering your business as a corporation establishes it as a separate legal entity, protecting you from personal liability if you were to be sued by a customer. 

Additionally, acquire any necessary business licenses issued by your state or local government and show proof of these licenses in your grooming business plan. This will protect your business from fines and ensure you can operate without any legal ramifications. 

Finally, research your options for business insurance and invest in a solution that meets your needs. Check out this guide to pet business insurance for detailed explanations of each type of insurance, including commercial liability insurance, professional liability insurance, and property insurance. 

Commercial liability insurance covers your business as a whole if an accident were to take place such as a customer slipping on a wet spot and getting injured in your facility. Professional liability insurance accounts for liabilities that are directly related to grooming businesses, such as a dog being injured while getting a haircut. Lastly, property insurance protects your business if any unexpected disasters were to occur like a tornado or fire. 

Once you’ve finalized your legal considerations, you’ll have a completed business plan to present to investors or use as a guiding force as you get started with your business. Be sure to take your time with this document. Think deliberately and realistically about your overall business strategy to create an accurate portrayal of your grooming business.

Pet Grooming Business Best Practices

In addition to creating a business plan, there are several best practices to adhere to that can take your grooming business to the next level. These include finding a niche, enhancing customer service, and leveraging powerful dog grooming software.

1. Define Your Pet Grooming Business Niche

Take the time to pinpoint your pet grooming business’s niche and how you will describe this niche to potential customers. 

First, define the breeds you will groom and how they will be served by your grooming business. For instance, will you serve all breeds, or specialize in a few such as large breeds? 

Further, think deliberately about your grooming business operating concept —the setup you choose to run your business out of. For any setup you choose, decide which unique offerings you’ll provide to customers. For example, if you choose a brick-and-mortar operation, you may decide to offer luxury doggie spa services to customers. Or, if you go with a mobile option, you can also provide dog-walking services.

However, you must also ensure the scope of your business is well-defined. You don’t want to offer too much to customers and confuse them about the purpose of your business, or offer too little and cause them to go with a competitor’s services instead. Take a Goldilocks approach and start by offering a few services that you can focus on growing and perfecting. 

Defining your niche up front gives you a focus point for all your planning as well as more time to hone your business’s concept. Once you have a clear picture of your business offerings, you’ll be better positioned to enact effective marketing campaigns that describe your business more accurately.

2. Focus On Customer Experience

As a new business owner, it’s critical to refine your customer service strategy. Providing clients with a streamlined, pleasant experience will keep them returning to your business each time their pet needs a trim.

As you gain new customers, keeping track of all customer interactions and pet information can quickly become an unwieldy task. This is where grooming business software can become a key asset to help you stay organized and give your customers an easy, hassle-free experience with your business. 

For example, Gingr’s grooming software allows groomers to develop appointment cards for each canine customer to track important information such as grooming history, behavior notes, and rates. You can use these cards to quickly access information at check-out time and schedule appointments while the customer is right in front of you.

Screen Shot 2022-01-28 at 3.25.04 PM

Further, through your dog grooming business software, you can create custom email and text messages to ensure customers hear from you regularly and know when and how they can schedule their appointments. 

Customer service is more important now than ever because you need to communicate about how you’re prioritizing customer health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic . Clients will appreciate knowing that your business has responsibly instituted social distancing measures during pet drop-offs and pick-ups and increased sanitization efforts.

3. Leverage Effective Dog Grooming Software

When thinking about ways to set your business apart from competitors, it’s clear that investing in quality dog grooming software will not only make your life as a business owner easier but provide a framework for growing your client base. Dog grooming business software has the following advantages: 

Your business software is the last piece of the puzzle that will kick your business plan into high gear and impress prospective customers. Be sure to contact us here at Gingr with any questions about how dog grooming business software can enhance your business management operations and fit into your business strategy.

Now that you have a solid understanding of how to create a dog grooming business plan and how to use your competitive advantage to set your business apart, you’ll soon be ready to open your doors to a flood of new furry friends and give them the most stylish haircuts they’ll ever receive. Be sure to check out these additional resources as you get prepped to open your business: 

Ready to put your dog grooming business plan into action? Contact Gingr today to find out how pet care software can help.

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How to Start a Mobile Pet Grooming Business in 2023

Learn how to start your mobile pet grooming business and the startup costs, equipment, and licenses associated with your new business in the pet industry.

Manage a crew of groomers? Get them where they need to go faster with Circuit for Teams .

Anyone can start a mobile grooming business — and there’s money in pampering our furry family members.

In fact, seventy percent of American households own a pet . That’s a lot of mucky friends who need regular grooming.

Mobile pet grooming businesses are on the rise . Becoming popular solutions for busy owners who don’t have time to take their pets to a traditional grooming salon.

And who can beat the convenience of having the pet salon come right to your door?

All you need is a passion for animals and the drive to be your own boss, set your own hours, and make a living doing what you love to consider starting your own mobile dog grooming business.

Below, I’ll cover everything you need to know to get your mobile grooming service startup off the ground.

How profitable are mobile pet grooming businesses?

Let’s talk money.

In general, mobile pet grooming services cost less to start up than their brick-and-mortar counterparts.

With a mobile pet grooming service, you won’t have to pay for rent, utilities, or other overhead costs associated with a physical location.

On the other hand, you will have to consider the rising cost of gas in your operational budget.

But starting a small business can be expensive, so getting started working in the grooming industry for less can be a huge win.

Let’s get down to brass tacks.

How much do dog groomers make?

Most dog groomers make at least 50 percent of each grooming . But if you plan on doing the dog grooming yourself, you can keep more of your profits instead of hiring groomers and paying them a percentage of the fees.

Plus, mobile pet groomers can charge more for their services since coming to a client’s house offers another layer of convenience.

The average mobile grooming service charges $30 to $90 for basic grooming . Their fees normally vary depending on where a groomer is located and how competitive their local market is.

How to set prices for mobile dog grooming

First, do market research and competitive analysis to identify your customers, set fair prices, and make your business unique.

Most groomers also base their fees on the breed and size of the dog.

For example, the mobile pet grooming business Bubbles N Biscuits has a starting groom charge of $65 for extra-small pets and $95 for large pets. 

Plus, customers can add extra services, such as nail trimming, ear cleaning, and tooth brushing, for additional fees.

So it’s a good idea to research the competitors in your area to determine what fees you should charge for your services.

But let’s get down to numbers.

How much can a mobile pet groomer really make in a day?

As a mobile groomer, you should groom about four to five dogs per day on the low end.

On the high end, most mobile dog groomers get to about six dogs a day , and that’s about average.

How does that shake out (pun intended)? Let’s go through the sums:

Say you charge $65 per dog.

5 x $65 = $325 a day

If you hire a groomer, you’ll pay them 50 percent.

$325 – $162.50 (what you pay your groomer) = $162.50 a day (profit)

Of course, some days, you may groom more dogs at a higher price. It just depends on the demand in your area.

The average annual pay for a mobile dog groomer in the US is $48,278 a year .

Remember, you’ll have business expenses, such as fuel costs, vehicle maintenance, and scheduling software to pay for. 

You’ll also have to consider the cost of buying everyday supplies like shampoo, conditioner, and clippers.

In a recent survey of pet groomers we did, using the right brush is important for getting tangle-free fur. Some types include bristle, pin, and slicker brushes. 

Other essential tools respondents told us they typically use include deshedding tools, nail grinders, and quality shampoos and conditioners.

This comes out to about $100 a week. 

And don’t forget about travel. One pet groomer told us they usually travel around 25 to 50 miles a day, which comes out to $60 to $120 a week in gas — although, there have been times when it’s cost more than $200. 

How to start a mobile pet grooming business in 6 steps

Mobile grooming business owners enjoy flexibility, freedom, and the opportunity to work with some of the cutest customers around.

Still, it can’t be said that grooming is all sunshine and doggie kisses.

If you handle all the work yourself, it will be a physically demanding job. You might consider hiring a groomer for your mobile grooming shop and stick to the business side of things. 

Of course, caring for fur babies is hard work, and it can take one to two hours to groom an average-sized dog .

Bathing, hair cutting, drying, brushing, styling, cleaning ears, brushing teeth, trimming nails, and — brace yourself — expressing anal glands are all part of the job.

This means hours on your feet. And even with some comfy shoes, this can take a toll.

The grooming process includes a certain amount of risk as well.

Plus, not all puppers and doggos enjoy going to the groomer’s. Bites and scratches do happen.

You’ll have to learn to be familiar with the signs of fear or aggression in dogs to avoid these incidents.

There’s also a condition called “ groomers lung ” to be aware of. There’s a chance you’ll be breathing in a lot of tiny hairs as you groom. Wearing a mask is one step you can take to protect yourself.

Ready to get your new business rolling? Here are the steps you should take:

Step 1: Develop your mobile pet groomer skills

If you plan on being a mobile groomer, you’ll need to get started by developing your skills.

Pet care isn’t just a hobby. It’s a serious responsibility.

You’re caring for furry family members, and clients expect you to offer the best possible care.

You’ll be interacting with animals you’re unfamiliar with, so you need to learn the ropes so you can handle your responsibilities safely and confidently.

It’s a good idea to practice your animal-handling skills before you start taking on clients. 

For example, in our survey of pet groomers, one respondent said it’s important to have patience and basic obedience skills to understand the dog and guide it to work with you. 

They also found stamina to be pretty important since it’s a somewhat physically demanding job (for example, you might have to lift pets onto a table). 

You also need to learn grooming techniques and different shapes and cut styles, including: 

In the US, while there are no states that currently require licensing for pet grooming, some may eventually.

You can get a dog grooming certificate from a licensed dog grooming school — such as those from the National Dog Groomers Association of America — to give you the skills and confidence you need to succeed.

You can also apprentice at a pet spa, pet day care, pet store, or in a mobile grooming vehicle before you start your own business.

Organizations like the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education can be a good place to start to find opportunities. 

If you can practice in a grooming vehicle, you’ll get hands-on experience handling animals in a confined space.

Step 2: Legally establish the business 

Before you dive into the legal paperwork, you need to develop a solid business plan as it’ll dictate how you will make money.

Your business plan should guide you through each stage of starting and managing your business. It’s a roadmap to help you structure your business and run it in the  most profitable way.

Your business plan doesn’t need to be long, but it should account for the following costs:

Once you have your business plan in place, it’s time to establish your new business and get the paperwork you need to have a legal and successful business strategy in motion.

Next, you’ll want to lock down the legal stuff .

Start by choosing your business structure and establishing a legal business entity, like a limited liability company (LLC).

Establishing a legal business entity protects you from personal liability in case something goes wrong, and it’s a legal requirement for registering a business.

There are different types of legal business entity structures to choose from. Learn more from the US Small Business Administration (SBA).

A limited liability company (LLC) is one of the most common choices among small business owners for management flexibility, tax advantages, and liability protection.

You’ll get to choose your business name at this stage. 

Your state may have specific naming requirements . For example, an LLC’s legal name usually needs to include words like “limited liability company” or “LLC.” 

Check with your secretary of state for specific requirements.

You also want to make sure your name isn’t already being used by another business. 

This could lead to difficulty forming your business entity and legal trouble because you might be infringing on another company’s trademarks.

You’ll also need to apply for an employer identification number (EIN) to register for federal taxes.

Visit the SBA website to check if your state has any specific licensing requirements. 

While you don’t currently need a pet grooming license, you may need a general business license. 

The next step is to get business insurance so you’re protected in the case of an accident or another unexpected event.

Make sure your business is properly insured by researching and getting the right coverage, such as general liability, vehicle insurance, and pet groomer insurance .

If you plan on hiring employees, your state may also require you to carry workers’ compensation insurance .

You’ll also want to open a business bank account to spend or accept money as a business. 

A business bank account helps you stay legally compliant and organized when tax time comes.

Step 3: Get the supplies needed to start a mobile pet grooming business 

Now that the legal stuff is taken care of, it’s time to get creative and work on your mobile grooming vehicle.

If you’re a DIY master, you may want to convert a vehicle or trailer with a washer on the back. You can also hire someone to do it or purchase a prefab mobile grooming vehicle .

With your business plan in place, you should have a breakdown of expenses and a clear budget for your vehicle costs. 

Pro tip : when purchasing your vehicle and supplies, consider safety, comfort, and convenience.

Remember, you’ll be spending a lot of time in this space, so it needs to be functional and safe for both you and the woofas you’ll be serving.

Here are some things you’ll probably need in your mobile grooming van:

Step 4: Market your mobile pet grooming business 

Once you’ve gotten yourself a mobile grooming van, you’re almost ready to start your business. But you need customers.

We talked earlier about doing market research as you develop your business plan . You need to understand and know who your customers are to run a successful business.

This helps with everything from setting your pricing to how you market your business.

You need to be where your customers are. Where do the pet owners in your area go?

You can hand out flyers at local dog parks, kennels, and pet boarding businesses, or offer discounts on sites like Groupon in your area.

Contact local pet stores or vet clinics and ask if you can offer your services in the parking lot.

Pass out business cards to friends and family. 

Offer new customer discounts and referral incentives, so you can fill up your schedule and maximize your income as quickly as possible.

Make sure to claim your business profile on Google My Business so potential customers can find you when they’re searching for nearby groomers.

You can advertise your hours, website, and business updates by claiming your business on Google.

If you don’t, people looking for your services may not be able to find you, get your contact info, or see your correct business hours.

Post clear photos of your services and your adorable customers too. Include information like updated pricing lists, contact information, and availability on your website and social media accounts.

You’ll also want to keep up with reviews. Businesses with more reviews make 54 percent more revenue .

Google reviews are incredibly impactful for potential customers.

88 percent of consumers read reviews to make a decision about local businesses, and 72 percent of consumers said positive reviews make them trust businesses more.

Don’t forget that word of mouth can be a powerful marketing tool. In fact, one study showed that word of mouth can spread information from one customer to 40,370 people in a year’s time.

Step 5: Offer excellent customer service 

In the pet industry, reputation is everything.

I just told you how word of mouth can spread from one person to 40,370 in one year.

Well, when someone’s beloved furry family member gets mistreated or hurt by a groomer, they tell other people .

This could result in lost business — 86 percent of consumers hesitate to buy from or use services from companies with negative reviews.

You should always strive to offer outstanding customer service and make sure your customers are satisfied with their service every time.

Some principles of good customer service are:

Pet owners love their furry family members and want to make sure they get the best care possible.

If they have a bad experience with your business, they’re not going to recommend you to their friends and family.

Make sure you have a policy on handling customer complaints or unhappy customers that’s solution based.

Be professional, courteous, and always offer a quality service that aims to surpass your customer’s expectations.

For example, be on time and greet your customer with a smile. Address their pet by name and handle the animal gently.

When the grooming is complete, make sure the customer is satisfied with the cut and style. 

You can even send a follow-up survey to gather feedback and ratings to improve your services in the future.

More than 60 percent of customers check Google reviews before they visit a business or use their services.

So it can be a good idea to offer a discount to customers willing to leave you a review.

But make sure you have an action plan for handling negative reviews .

Negative reviews can scare away potential customers. 

If you address negative comments and offer resolutions, potential customers will see that you are proactive and dedicated to customer satisfaction.

Step 6: Grow your mobile pet grooming business 

We’ve talked about marketing your business , using word-of-mouth to get your community’s attention, and other steps you can take to get started.

Some ways to get your business off the ground include: 

When your appointment schedule is full, and pet owners in your area love your service, it’s time to focus on growing your business.

You can begin this process by expanding your service area, adding vehicles to your fleet, or hiring more groomers.

With more business, you must make sure you’re ready to handle the capacity .

Potentially, you’ll have to manage multiple drivers. This means you may want to invest in route optimization software.

Circuit for Teams makes it easy to manage multiple drivers with real-time updates.

Mobile pet grooming business FAQs

Let’s tackle some of the most common questions about owning your own mobile pet grooming business.

How much does it cost to start a mobile pet grooming business? 

You can expect to pay anywhere from $15,000 to $100,00 to start a mobile grooming business .

If you have some equipment already, you’ll save money.

You also need to consider other one-time startup costs and ongoing expenses, like the following:

Can you make a living off dog grooming?

Yes, you can make a living off dog grooming.

Like we mentioned earlier, mobile pet groomers typically charge an average of $30 to $90 for each appointment.

On average, mobile pet groomers in the US make over $48,000 a year. 

And this number doesn’t account for busy days, big dogs, add-on services, or tips.

How do dog groomers build clientele?

Obtaining clientele as a dog groomer takes time and effort, but the more word of mouth spreads, the easier it will be to fill your appointment book.

Here are some things you can do to make this process go faster:

You can also offer loyalty programs and refer-a-friend discounts to encourage customers to keep coming back.

And, of course, make sure you’re getting great reviews by offering incentives for customers who are willing to leave you a review.

These strategies can help you promote your mobile pet grooming business and attract more customers.

Managing your mobile grooming business

We hope this post has been helpful in getting your mobile grooming business off the ground — we walked you through everything from legally establishing your business to getting the word out about your services. 

While it can be challenging to get started, mobile pet grooming can be a rewarding career.

And if your business continues to grow, you can add new vehicles and new groomers to meet the demand.

Best of luck with your new grooming business!

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About the author

Heather Reinblatt is a managing editor currently living in St. Louis, Missouri. She spends her free time reading, trying new recipes, and cuddling her cat Paisley. You can find Heather on LinkedIn .

Like this? Then try these 👇

How to Start a Mobile Dog Grooming Business

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.

You may also be interested in additional home business ideas .

Learn how to start your own Mobile Dog Grooming Business and whether it is the right fit for you.

Ready to form your LLC? Check out the Top LLC Formation Services .

Mobile Dog Grooming Business Image

Start a mobile dog grooming business by following these 10 steps:

We have put together this simple guide to starting your mobile dog grooming business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.

Exploring your options? Check out other small business ideas .

STEP 1: Plan your business

A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:

What will you name your business?

How much can you charge customers?

Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.

Choosing the right name is important and challenging. If you don’t already have a name in mind, visit our How to Name a Business guide or get help brainstorming a name with our Mobile Dog Grooming Business Name Generator

If you operate a sole proprietorship , you might want to operate under a business name other than your own name. Visit our DBA guide to learn more.

When registering a business name , we recommend researching your business name by checking:

It's very important to secure your domain name before someone else does.

Find a Domain Now

Powered by, what are the costs involved in opening a mobile dog grooming business.

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:

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:

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:

Who is the target market?

Busy animal lovers who have enough disposable income to pamper their pets are your primary target audience. Your ultimate goal is to build a following of repeat customers.

How does a mobile dog grooming business make money?

Mobile dog grooming businesses generate revenue from each animal they care for. Basic services are offered, with additional fees for any “extras.” There are several advantages to offering a mobile service - overhead is significantly reduced and clients are willing to pay higher fees for the convenience factor.

Mobile grooming fees will vary, depending upon where you live. Fees range anywhere from $30 to $70 (extra services not included). Most grooming fees vary, depending upon the breed and size of dog.

How much profit can a mobile dog grooming business make?

If you plan to hire a groomer, they will earn 50% of each grooming. The average mobile groomer reports grooming six dogs a day, at an average of $65 per dog. This comes out to $390/day if you are your own groomer, $195/day with an outside groomer.

How can you make your business more profitable?

There are a number of ways to ensure maximum profitability for your mobile dog grooming business:

STEP 2: Form a legal entity

The most common business structure types are the sole proprietorship , partnership , limited liability company (LLC) , and corporation .

Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your mobile dog grooming business is sued.

Form Your LLC

Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC

Have a Professional Service Form your LLC for You

Two such reliable services:

You can form an LLC yourself and pay only the minimal state LLC costs or hire one of the Best LLC Services for a small, additional fee.

Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services . You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.

STEP 3: Register for taxes

You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.

In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!

You can acquire your EIN through the IRS website . If you would like to learn more about EINs, read our article, What is an EIN?

There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.

STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card

Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.

When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil .

Open a business bank account

Besides being a requirement when applying for business loans, opening a business bank account:

Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank or credit union.

Get a business credit card

Getting a business credit card helps you:

Recommended: Apply for an easy approval business credit card from Divvy and build your business credit quickly.

STEP 5: Set up business accounting

Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.

Make LLC accounting easy with our LLC Expenses Cheat Sheet.

STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses

Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.

State & Local Business Licensing Requirements

Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a mobile dog grooming business business. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits .

STEP 7: Get business insurance

Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.

There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance . This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.

Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance . If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers' Compensation Coverage.

FInd out what types of insurance your Mobile Dog Grooming Business needs and how much it will cost you by reading our guide Business Insurance for Mobile Dog Grooming Business.

STEP 8: Define your brand

Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.

If you aren't feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners , we'll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.

Recommended : Get a logo using Truic's free logo Generator no email or sign up required, or use a Premium Logo Maker .

If you already have a logo, you can also add it to a QR code with our Free QR Code Generator . Choose from 13 QR code types to create a code for your business cards and publications, or to help spread awareness for your new website.

How to promote & market a mobile dog grooming business

When first starting out, offer your services free of charge to friends and family. If they are happy with the result, encourage them to spread the word. Approach veterinarians, dog breeders, and pet stores in your service area and ask them to display your fliers. Until your calendar starts to fill up, consider setting up shop in the parking lot of a vet’s office or pet store. This is a great way to let people know about the services you offer.

Give back to the community and build a reputation for your company by volunteering with a local rescue or shelter. Adoptable pets get a fresh new look, ready to go to their new families.

How to keep customers coming back

In this industry, reputation is everything. Each animal should be handled with respect, as should their “parents.” If an animal shies away from you when greeted, chances are their owner will seek out another groomer.

STEP 9: Create your business website

After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business .

While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that it’s out of their reach because they don’t have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.

Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:

Recommended : Get started today using our recommended website builder or check out our review of the Best Website Builders .

Other popular website builders are: WordPress , WIX , Weebly , Squarespace , and Shopify .

STEP 10: Set up your business phone system

Getting a phone set up for your business is one of the best ways to help keep your personal life and business life separate and private. That’s not the only benefit; it also helps you make your business more automated, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact you.

There are many services available to entrepreneurs who want to set up a business phone system. We’ve reviewed the top companies and rated them based on price, features, and ease of use. Check out our review of the Best Business Phone Systems 2023 to find the best phone service for your small business.

Recommended Business Phone Service: is our top choice for small business phone numbers because of all the features it offers for small businesses and it's fair pricing.

TRUiC's Startup Podcast

Welcome to the Startup Savant podcast , where we interview real startup founders at every stage of the entrepreneurial journey, from launch to scale.

Is this Business Right For You?

While you will have some interaction with pet owners, much of a mobile dog groomer’s day is spent alone with the animal. Therefore, this business venture is best suited for the individual who is comfortable working solo a majority of the time. If your plan is to manage the business and hire an experienced groomer to care for the animals, it’s important that you understand the intricacies of the industry and carefully consider a groomer’s portfolio during the hiring process.

Want to know if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur?

Take our Entrepreneurship Quiz to find out!

Entrepreneurship Quiz

What happens during a typical day at a mobile dog grooming business?

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:

What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful mobile dog grooming business?

While no formal eduction or licensing is required in most states, it is critical that you gain hands-on experience before opening a mobile dog grooming business. Either for your own personal knowledge, or to help in the hiring process, you must understand how to read an animal’s signals. Each personality is different and dictates how the grooming session proceeds. Since the mobile dog groomer is working alone, they must be able to pick up, move, and handle dogs of every size, requiring both strength and patience.

The National Dog Groomers Association of America, Inc offers a variety of workshops and classes. They are also a great resource for marketing your business and networking with other grooming professionals. Industry leaders also recommend gaining experience through volunteer work at a local shelter. This will help in becoming familiar with different breeds, what goes into running such a business, and will help you build relationships with potential customers and business partners.

What is the growth potential for a mobile dog grooming business?

Since space is limited in your mobile unit, one groomer is the most you will want for each workspace. This does not, however, have to limit your business’ growth. As profits increase, consider building a fleet, with at least one unit for each area of town. You could also increase your business to include permanent locations, based on the area’s demands.

Not sure if a mobile dog grooming business is right for you? Try our free Business Idea Generator and find your perfect idea.

TRUiC's YouTube Channel

For fun informative videos about starting a business visit the TRUiC YouTube Channel or subscribe to view later.

Take the Next Step

Find a business mentor.

One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.

Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.

Learn from other business owners

Want to learn more about starting a business from entrepreneurs themselves? Visit Startup Savant’s startup founder series to gain entrepreneurial insights, lessons, and advice from founders themselves.

Resources to Help Women in Business

There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:

If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.

What are some insider tips for jump starting a mobile dog grooming business?

Since this is usually a small, independent business in the beginning, work to keep your overhead costs low. Additionally, have a business plan and prioritize your needs to become successful and well-known within the industry relatively soon.

How and when to build a team

With limited space, your business usually only needs one groomer per vehicle. Many entrepreneurs opt to handle administrative duties as well, eliminating the need for a team. If you do not plan to groom the animals yourself, carefully consider each grooming candidate. Check out their references and work history, requesting a portfolio when available.

Useful Links

Industry opportunities.

Real World Examples

Further Reading

Have a Question? Leave a Comment!

How to Build a Dog Grooming Business Plan

by MoeGo Nicole on Mar 21, 2023 1:01:28 PM

Thinking of starting a pet grooming business? You're definitely barking up the right tree, but getting started can be a real paw-stopper. Lucky for you, we've dug up all the essential elements of a pet grooming business plan and put them together in this blog post. Sit, stay, and read on!

Types of Business Plans

There are two types of business plans:

In this blog, we’re focusing on the second type of business plan to give you the practical tools and information you need to build a successful grooming business.

What to Include in Your Pet Grooming Business Plan

Your dog grooming business plan should include the following elements. Don't worry, we’ll get to all of them below!

Your Customer Focus

Pricing Strategy

👋 New to grooming? Kickstart your business and apply for the MoeGo Care Program ! 

Choosing the Right Business Model

There are three types of dog grooming businesses: at-home, mobile, and brick-and mortar.

Each type of dog grooming business provides unique advantages that cater to different pet owners' preferences and schedules. At the end of the day, the "best" business model boils down to your preference, needs, and lifestyle as the owner.

🐶 Unleash the power of MoeGo and watch your grooming business grow!  hbspt.cta._relativeUrls=true;hbspt.cta.load(21611652, 'eb91c94e-4850-455e-a993-b1a59040199c', {"useNewLoader":"true","region":"na1"});

Business Model Pros & Cons

At-home business

Brick-and-mortar store

Mobile grooming

🐶 Check out our in-depth look at each grooming  business model: Salon vs. Mobile vs. At-Home

Grooming Supplies & Equipment 

The exact supplies you need will depend on your business model. That said, here's a checklist of some essential items you will need to include in your business plan:

The cost of each item on this list can vary widely. If you're just starting out, look into mid-range or affordable options so that you can figure out what your preferences are for certain tools. As your business grows, look into upgrading to tools that include the features most important to you.

Your customer focus will help you answer the two critical questions when it comes to your target market: "Who do you want to buy your grooming services?" and "Who is your ideal customer?" By identifying your target audience, you can tailor your marketing efforts to attract them effectively.

This might include understanding their dog's breed, size, and personality to offer grooming services that meet their unique needs. It could also include targeting specific neighborhoods to reach high-earning pet parents.

If you're just starting out, you may not know who your ideal customer is yet - and that's okay! This can change over time as you build your customer base and launch various marketing efforts.

Tips to Build Your Customer Base

Also, remember that retaining clients is just as important as getting them through the door the first time. Create a pawsome customer experience by handing out new customer welcome bags, for example.

You could also consider offering loyalty programs that provide customers  with special discounts or perks if they return for repeat business. Providing a personalized experience can help build stronger relationships and positive word-of-mouth referrals for your business within your pet-loving community.

Marketing & Advertising 

As a dog groomer, marketing and advertising can help you attract new clients and is an important part of your business plan. Social media, online advertisements, and your business website are all ways to help your business stand out from the competition. Here, we'd like to focus on two of the most important ones: your website and Google. 

Your Website

Your business website is like a digital business card. You can use it to feature your services and pricing, offer discounts, and as a landing page for paid ads (if you want to invest in them). A few common website builder platforms include Wix, Squarespace, and Wordpress.

Pet grooming website best practices:

The cheapest way to build a website as a dog groomer is to do it yourself. However, this can take a lot of time - something most new business owners don't have a lot of. That said, hiring someone to build it for you can be expensive, not to mention maintenance or changes to the website you may want to make. 

If you want to avoid the cost of a website altogether, consider using a grooming software like MoeGo that includes a website landing page in its online booking portal. This can help you show up when people search for your business on Google.

🐶 No website? No problem! Book a demo to see how MoeGo's online booking portal can help - plus a bunch of other cool features, too!  hbspt.cta._relativeUrls=true;hbspt.cta.load(21611652, 'eb91c94e-4850-455e-a993-b1a59040199c', {"useNewLoader":"true","region":"na1"});

Your Google Listing

Google listings (Google Business Profiles) are a great way to help customers find your business online. Plus, they're free! A Google listing will allow customers to find you through Google searches and Google Maps, so it’s an important (but often overlooked) part of your new business plan.

Here are some steps for setting up your Google listing:

Having a Google listing also allows customers to leave reviews and feedback, which can help establish your credibility in the pet grooming industry.

Google Ads can be used to target potential customers who are looking for pet grooming services in their area, as well as those searching for specific services such as dog washing, nail trimming, and styling. Here are some tips for setting up Google Ads and maximizing your budget:

To fund a pet grooming business, you can use personal savings, credit cards, bank loans, or angel investors. Most pet grooming businesses rely on personal savings and bank loans for funding. But, to get a bank loan, you must submit a convincing business plan that ensures loan repayment with interest. The loan officer will assess your business plan and financial projections to see if your business can thrive.

Just like any business, pet groomers need to have a strong brand to stand out from competitors - especially at the beginning. Here are a few things you'll want to have in place as part of your business plan to create a strong and memorable brand:

Setting the right prices for your dog grooming business is crucial for success, so include it in your business planning. Not only does it play a role in gaining and retaining customers, but it also affects your profitability. 

Creating a pricing menu that outlines each service's cost and how those prices vary based on the dog's weight is usually the best approach. Weight-based pricing is more effective because it eliminates confusion between owners about what size category their pet falls under.

It’s important not to undervalue your services to attract new business. Charging what's fair for your valuable grooming services is best for long-term success, opposed to setting the precedent that your services are worth less than competitors.

Here are a few tips for creating a pricing strategy that works:

If you like this post, check out our tips for starting a dog grooming business ! 😍

How Profitable Can a Dog Grooming Business Be?

While dog grooming has the potential to be a very profitable venture, there are multiple factors that may impact your success. These factors include:

The Growing Pet Industry

Despite these potential challenges, the pet industry is experiencing remarkable growth. In 2020, an estimated $99 billion was spent on pets. In 2022, 2 out of 3 U.S. households had a pet and  $124 billion was spent on them - roughly the net worth of Bill Gates. In other words, the pet industry is growing and so is the need for pet care professionals, including groomers. 

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Writing a Mobile Grooming Business Plan


Starting a mobile grooming business typically involves less cash outlay than a commercial location. Most of the cash outlay is required for the down payment on the mobile vehicle, but you need to have some cash reserves while you grow the business to adequately cover your operating expenses recoup and start-up expenses.

You do need to investigate local business licenses carefully. Sometimes you need to get local approval from each city, town or county you groom in the form of a license or permit. Also, some housing associations may prohibit storing your vehicle in the driveway of your neighborhood. Often these associations consider commercial vehicles, especially those with custom lettering, to be an unsightly disturbance to the other members of the neighborhood association.

Do your homework for your business! You may be obligating yourself to a significant loan financing your purchase of a new or used vehicle. Protect your investment and ensure you clearly understand what your business needs to earn to cover its operating expenses, and the amount of net operating income (prior your salary or draw) it needs to earn in order to provide you with a personal income from the business income. The old saying, “It’s not what you make, but what you keep” that clearly describes your goal in preparing a sales forecast and income and expense projection.

Some banks and auto financing firms absolutely require a business plan before they make a loan. It’s no small task but perhaps the most important task to protect your investment in your business. You will need to project your business sales income for 3 to 5 years in advance from the day you open for business (see graph above). Then you will need to project the operating expenses and deduct them from your projected sales income thereby giving you an estimate of what personal income you can expect to earn from your business (see graph below). Going into business in the dark without knowing what you can expect to earn in sales and personal income is an unacceptable risks to banks or investors, and for good reason.

Chart generated by Pet Grooming Business Plan Helper & Sampler, a Grooming Business in a Box® product.

Copyright 2007-2015 Find A Groomer Inc. All rights reserved

The chart above shows some retail sales income. There are mobile groomers that sell flea and tick treatments, brushes, combs, toys and treats. Holistic food is also growing in popularity. Many pet owners desire the savings of buying the bulk bags but have little or no means of carrying the bag; the mobile groomer can.

Chart generated by Pet Grooming Business Plan Helper & Sampler, a Grooming Business in a Box® product. Copyright 2007-2015 Find A Groomer Inc. All rights reserved

How much do you need to invest? That’s another question that must be answered with financial planning. Fortunately mobile grooming businesses are known for reasonable start-up costs involving cash outlay compared to a commercial locations. You don’t have to deal with leasehold improvements like flooring, tiling, plumbing, carpentry and electricity. In some commercial locations leasehold improvements can cost as much or more than the cost of a new van or trailer.

The graph below shows the start-up funding required for a mobile business purchasing a new van. The business could be new or turning in an old van for a new one. The mobile owner requires about $58,000 in “start-up assets” and $3,000 for start-up expenses. Every business owner learns basic financial terms and you definitely need to know the difference between an “asset” and “expense.” In accounting and tax reporting your assets and expenses are handled quite differently.

Suffice to say that assets for a mobile grooming business is major equipment like the vehicle and its contents. Start-up expenses are easy to understand. They have a short lifetime and include grooming supplies, small tools and equipment, advertising, stationery, licenses, and fees to name just a few. Refer to the chart below once more.

We know the groomer requires $61,000 to cover the purchases of assets and expenses, and some of that asset amount should be cash reserved because you run a new a business at a loss for several months until the clientele and demand increases.

The chart tells us that the groomer plans to seek a loan (light yellow) of $48,000 and her investment of her own money (light blue) will be $13,000.

If you require a bank loan or investor they are going to want to know exactly how much of an investment you need and how much you are personally putting up of your own money. Don’t proceed without knowing the numbers, and have them well-documented. You are certain to be asked for that documentation. If you don’t have it you will be perceived as being naive about the conduct required to start-up a business. It’s okay to be naive now, but start learning more today.

There’s another very common question someone is likely to ask you.It’s financial. Don’t venture into business seeking loans or investors without knowing your projected “breakeven point.” Below you will find the breakeven table for the groomer opening a mobile business above.

Do you understand the table information? It’s not too hard to figure it out once you know your projected average service fee for grooming services you expect in your business, and what your fixed costs are. Fixed costs can include interest payments on your loans to start-up the business, supplies, utilities etc.

In the example above the new business owner knows her business requires $2,142 a month to meet its fixed costs of operation. Because she knew her average grooming fee would be $46.37 it was easy to divide that number into the fixed costs of $2,142. The result is 46 services. In other words, the mobile groomer must groom 46 pets a month to meet costs of running the business. In this case, 46 pet services does not include personal income for the mobile owner (unless a small base salary was included in the in the $2,142 amount).

Impress others by sharing your break-even point. Now consider this question. Isn’t it easy to count the number of pets you groom as you work through a month? Sure. Knowing that you must groom at least 46 pets to meet break-even is an easy way to track your progress at any time during the month. You will be better prepared should you not meet your goal, or to celebrate when you exceed your goal and start boosting your profit.

Mobile Grooming Business Plan Software & Sample Plan

There’s no simpler way to write a professional mobile grooming business plan suitable to present to banks than with Pet Grooming Business Plan Helper & Sampler . In fact, one of the sample plans is a mobile groomer start-up plan for Doorstep Mobile Grooming. No one else has ever released similar information and tools customized to the needs of pet groomers. Take a look at Grooming Business in a Box® .

Talk with Other Mobile Grooming Business Owners

We suggest you come to the GroomerTALK Message Board and look for the MobileGroomerTALK Forum . Study the many threads and forums. You are also most welcome to register on the Message Board and start some discussions, ask for help and make friends with mobile groomers and others. Better yet, how about sharing your experiences with grooming in order to help others.

See if you can locate a mobile groomer willing to take you along with them on a working day. If not, Jodi Murphy sells a set of mobile grooming DVDs where you the viewer ride along with her in on a typical mobile grooming day. That’s what is about, opening up lines of communication between groomers that is still so sorely missing from our industry.   ♦

business plan expenses income loan mobile grooming operating expenses projection revenue



Member of the pet grooming industry since 1961, Webmaster of and creator of Grooming Business in a Box.

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  1. Dog Grooming Business Plan Template [Updated 2023]

    In developing your Income Statement and Balance Sheets be sure to include several of the key costs needed in starting or growing a dog grooming business: Location build-out including design fees, construction, etc. Cost of equipment like grooming tables, fur dryers, and bathing tubs. Payroll or salaries paid to staff.

  2. Dog Grooming Business Plan: How-To Guide & Best Practices

    Pet Grooming Business Best Practices. In addition to creating a business plan, there are several best practices to adhere to that can take your grooming business to the next level. These include finding a niche, enhancing customer service, and leveraging powerful dog grooming software. 1.

  3. How to Start a Mobile Pet Grooming Business in 2023

    How to set prices for mobile dog grooming. First, do market research and competitive analysis to identify your customers, set fair prices, and make your business unique. Most groomers also base their fees on the breed and size of the dog. For example, the mobile pet grooming business Bubbles N Biscuits has a starting groom charge of $65 for ...

  4. How to Start a Mobile Dog Grooming Business

    Start a mobile dog grooming business by following these 10 steps: Plan your Mobile Dog Grooming Business. Form your Mobile Dog Grooming Business into a Legal Entity. Register your Mobile Dog Grooming Business for Taxes. Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card. Set up Accounting for your Mobile Dog Grooming Business.

  5. How to Build a Dog Grooming Business Plan in 2023

    There are three types of dog grooming businesses: at-home, mobile, and brick-and mortar. At-home dog grooming services generally take place in the groomer's residence, providing a personal touch and comfortable environment for pets. Mobile dog grooming services, on the other hand, bring the grooming services to the client's doorstep. This ...

  6. Writing a Mobile Grooming Business Plan

    The graph below shows the start-up funding required for a mobile business purchasing a new van. The business could be new or turning in an old van for a new one. The mobile owner requires about $58,000 in “start-up assets” and $3,000 for start-up expenses. Every business owner learns basic financial terms and you definitely need to know the ...