Ever wondered just how big the dog grooming industry is in Australia? Well, you’ve just got to look at the popularity of dog grooming services to see that pet grooming business operators are in high demand. Perhaps it’s not surprising, either, as there are around 4.1 million pooches kept as pets across the country.
Dog grooming truly is a growth industry, and the fact that there’s already a shortage of dog groomers in Australia tells you a lot about the opportunities that exist. As such, there’s never been a better time to think about starting a dog grooming business, and in this guide, we aim to give you the information you need to get up and running.
It all starts with knowing your industry inside out.
Market Research & Analysis
In order to get off to the best possible start as a dog grooming business owner, you need to have a firm grasp of the market you’re about to enter. That means knowing what your target market looks like in terms of demographics. This will help you to understand what kind of demand exists in your local area.
There will likely be small business operators also offering professional dog grooming services in competition with you. Then there are pet stores and other outlets that represent barriers to any new business that opens in your locality, so you must know what’s what as part of due diligence before starting a dog grooming business.
Your market research insight will also help you spot trends and identify potential growth opportunities. For instance, knowing your local area might highlight that mobile dog grooming services are most suitable for pet owners.
Legal Requirements and Regulations
The good news is that there are no formal licensing or qualification requirements for dog groomers in Australia; however, if you want to attract new customers when starting a dog grooming business, you have to show your expertise.
What’s more, most successful dog groomers will have taken formal training, as it’s not just as simple as buying a pair of shears and nail clippers and getting started!
Insurance & Regulation Compliance
There is also a Code of Practice for Pet Grooming that exists in Australia, so while there are no permits needed, you are required to adhere to the minimum standards as laid out.
Another aspect you can’t forget is liability insurance, as it will protect you from being sued by pet owners for a range of reasons. No matter how good you are as a pet groomer, mishaps and accidents happen, so business insurance of this kind is non-negotiable.
Not forgetting, of course, that even if you’re running a small salon with just a couple of grooming tables, you’ll need to ensure you follow standard Workplace Health & Safety guidelines. The principles relating to starting a dog grooming business are the same, regardless of how large the operation is.
Creating a Dog Brooming Business Plan
A well-structured business plan is a necessity, no matter what kind of industry you’re in. That’s because it details everything about your proposed business, such as your business name, what your services will include, and how you’ll market to potential customers.
The following key elements need to be included in your business plan:
An Executive Summary - an overall summary of your business that allows someone to get a good grasp of your proposed enterprise at a glance. You’ll also cover what type of business you’ll run - whether you’re a sole proprietorship or a limited liability company.
A Company Description & Mission Statement - this lays out the goals of your business, i.e. why it exists and your ultimate ambition for your company.
The Services Offered & Pricing Strategy - here, you’ll describe the services you’ll offer (e.g. nail trimming, de-matting, shampooing, etc.) and the prices you’ll charge to new clients.
Your Marketing Analysis & Competitive Positioning - next, you’ll describe where you see yourself positioned as a business entity in the market & in relation to your competition.
Marketing & Advertising Strategies - when starting a dog grooming business, you’ll also need to think about how to reach your audience. Will you rely on word-of-mouth, paid advertising on social media, or something another channel?
Operations & Management Structure - you’ll also cover how you’ll be servicing your customer base on a day-to-day basis. You’ll set down the management structure, as well as how many people you’ll have styling, shampooing, and/or greeting customers.
Financial Projections & Budgeting - lastly, you’ll be listing your financial projections to show how much profit you think you’ll be generating at set points. This is an essential part of your business plan, particularly when trying to secure funding.
Securing Funding and Financing Options
Starting a dog grooming business in Australia often relies upon securing funding from a bank or other lending establishment. This is where your business plan financial projections come in. You may even be eligible for a grant or be looking for investors to purchase the necessary equipment to open your doors to the public.
Many often underestimate what’s needed...here’s a list of just some of the grooming equipment you’re going to need before you start.
- A grooming salon from which to provide pooch haircuts
- Grooming tools (clippers, brushes, conditioners)
- Ear cleaning tools & shears
- Shampooing tubs
- Grooming tables
- Dryers & combs
- Business cards
When you list out everything you need, you fully understand the scope of what’s required. It’s not like grooming your own dog at home, and you have to know your budget covers it all when starting a dog grooming business for real.
Hiring Staff & Training
Needless to say, if you’re not going to run your own business entirely by yourself, you’re going to need some high-quality staff on board. It’s not quite as simple as it sounds, as you’ll need to set out what skills your salon needs and attempt to attract the right groomers and assistants.
Once you’ve hired the right people (which is a blog all on its own), you’ve also got to think about training programs to keep your staff’s skills current and sharp.
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