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Start your home dog grooming business: the 5 step plan

There are over 29 million pets in Australia, with around 40% of that enormous number being dogs. With one of the highest numbers of pet parents in the world, it goes without saying that Australian dog grooming is a booming industry. But have you ever wondered if you could run your dream grooming business from your very own home? Read on to find out just how easy it could be to make your dream a reality!

Working from home jobs have become the norm for many in 2020, thanks to COVID 19. Our eyes have been opened to its potential benefits; cutting pesky commutes, reducing office costs & increased flexibility to name just a few. But what could be the rewards for dog groomers?

Dog grooming from home – the benefits:

  • A great starting point for growing a business, as you’ll have the ability to combine grooming with other part-time work
  • Being able to manage your own hours around other commitments, passions and family time
  • Lower overheads than renting a salon space
  • A strong sense of community and connection with neighbours or local owners who become loyal customers
  • Word of mouth advertisement in the local area
  • Lower transportation or commute costs
  • A smaller range of equipment needed, for just you to use
  • Happy dogs who know you really well

With such an array of appealing benefits, it’s easy to see why running a grooming job from home is a great option. So how to get started? We’ve laid out a 5 step plan to start your pooch pampering business.

Step 1: Training

Pet Grooming is a highly qualified skill and you need to be trained to do it professionally. To charge great prices and offer incredible service, you have to be efficient, safe & knowledgeable with all kinds of dogs.

But training shouldn’t have to cost the earth or take away your flexibility. That’s why we are so proud of our partnership with igroomHub, where we offer the only online Professional Dog Grooming Certificate in Australia. So you can learn around other work, keep family commitments and train at whatever time suits you. 

You will gain all the theoretical knowledge and practical skills required to bathe, trim, clip & style the coats of any furry friend that comes through your doors. Including speciality coat types and a range of different dog breeds. Plus all the health and safety training you need to offer pet parents the ultimate peace of mind. 

Our favourite part? Working with video tutorials for active training, you’ll be ready to get hands-on straight away!

Step 2: Paperwork

With all the skills under your belt, you are ready to start making your dream a reality. And whilst it might not be the most exciting element, getting your paperwork in order is a really important place to start. 

You will usually need an Australian Business Number, some form of insurance and to register as self-employed. Check with your local council about what paperwork you need to set up a business at home, as they can usually provide you with all the hoops to jump through. 

It’s also a great idea to start keeping records of income and expenses for tax returns, as well as a procedure for admittance forms – so that the owner signs consent for you to groom their dog. This way you have a record system to keep track of the history of all the dogs you work with.

Step 3: Space

And now – the fun part!

Whilst most people who are working from home only require a desk and space for their laptop, you’re going to need a little more than that to handle all your four-legged customers. Ideally, you’ll need somewhere that’s separate from the rest of your home, to keep the mess to a minimum and the owners assured their dogs are in professional hands. 

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you have a spare room, garage or shed in which you can contain your business?
  • Can you get good plumbing access?
  • Where can you dispose of grooming waste nearby? 
  • How can you create a space that gets those tails wagging and leaves pet parents feeling worry-free?

Also, bear in mind you need to be considerate of your neighbours and alert them to any changes to your property that might affect them. Plus, if they have dogs of their own… they might just be your first customers! 

Converting a room or outbuilding into a grooming space that is bright, friendly, temperature-controlled and easy to clean is a great starting place from which to grow your pampering empire.

Step 4: Equipment

Creating your grooming space means you need to factor in the essential equipment that will go inside. Here’s a checklist of what you’ll need:

  • Leads & harnesses – to help keep your customers still
  • Muzzles – in a few different sizes, just in case a customer isn’t too happy
  • Brushes – consider having a range for different hair types
  • Scissors – straight, curved and thinning varieties
  • An adjustable height table – for different sized pooches
  • Hair Clippers – with a variety of blade sizes
  • Nail clippers – for those longer toes 
  • Shampoo/conditioner and other care products (you can even buy doggy perfumes!) 
  • Bath/shower tub – or wet-room style area to lather up
  • A dog-friendly hair dryer – to speed up the drying process
  • Towels – to add the finishing touches, microfibre towels are excellent
  • Crates – to keep pampered pets safe while they wait to be picked up 
  • Cleaning supplies – to keep the area and materials all freshly sterilised 
  • Mouth or eye protection – to prevent excessive inhalation or irritation from all that hair 

This list can be a little daunting, but don’t despair. 

Our course comes complete with a high-quality grooming kit with everything you need to complete the skills you’ll be flexing. Including shampoos, brushes, scissors, a grooming mask, blade clippers & nail clippers. This means you’ll already have the foundations of an amazing home grooming salon, setting you up to get started straight away.

Also, our affordable payment plans can spread the cost, meaning you are free to focus on the important things – the pups!

Step 5: Prices & Marketing

Bear in mind that grooming from home usually means you can only groom one dog at a time, so make sure your prices are well thought out to make it worth your while.

Have a look at prices in your local area and make a judgement call on what to charge based on those rates. Don’t undersell yourself, and make sure your costs are factored in. Do understand your target market and local area, and what they will be willing to pay. As you grow, keep reviewing your prices to make sure they work for you as well as your customers. 

The great part about a home grooming business is your local community. Meet dog walkers in the park and tell them about your fantastic services, flyer at a local dog show or in your neighbourhood. With word of mouth, you could soon build a loyal and happy customer base.

And, because we know it doesn’t end there, our dog grooming certificate also comes with a complimentary module on digital marketing. With tips and tricks to help build a following, we’ll help you multiply your word of mouth to find even more customers for your home salon. 

Get ready to start helping pamper pooches, and take these first steps to your home enterprise today!