The pet grooming industry is roaring these days! With pet pampering becoming the norm among Americans, spending has shifted beyond food and basic grooming expenses to include premium pet products.

The ‘Purrfect’ Pursuit

According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), the spending figures for the U.S. pet industry totaled $60.28 billion in 2015 ($5.41 billion for grooming and boarding) and is estimated to grow to $62.75 billion in 2016. Savvy entrepreneurs are taking advantage of this momentum, establishing trendy grooming boutiques that offer additional unique services, such as facials, pedicures, massage, aromatherapy, teeth cleaning and a variety of pet-friendly fashions that keep their shaggy friends looking stylish.

If you’re thinking about starting a pet grooming business, there are some basic things to consider. Here are a few basic tips to help you start a successful pet grooming business.

puppy in a pet grooming shop

Puppy Love

Anyone starting out in this business should have an inherent love of animals because pet groomers fill a unique niche for enhancing a pet’s health. A groomer must have a great deal of patience. The person should be competent, observant, and effective with a firm hands-on control over the pet. Having a good rapport with animals is essential for making them feel safe and secure. You must also have the physical ability to handle a large — and often heavy —animal.

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Trade Training

Though there is technically no mandatory training, licensing, or certification requirements for becoming a pet groomer, many groomers learn their trade through on the job training. Even so, there are numerous training schools, such as the Animal Behavior College with over 3000 locations in the United States and Canada. These schools offer a multitude of certified pet grooming programs. There are also a few online pet groomer courses, such as JKL Training Academy. These programs will teach you the grooming skills and techniques necessary for servicing your four-legged clients, but obviously don’t come with a hands-on learning experience.

puppy training in a pet grooming business

Sniffing Out the Right Location

When beginning any business venture, location should be on the top of your list. Having your storefront in the right place is the single most important thing that you can do to start off on the right foot. Perform a demographic overview of neighborhood traffic. What draws people into the area?Are there schools, parks, and other types of retailers? Once you have a location chosen, make sure that the space is sufficient to accommodate everything that you have planned for your pet grooming salon.

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Beefing Up on Business Supplies

One of the most substantial start-up expenditures for operating a grooming salon is the purchase of equipment. In addition to all of the necessary tools required for clipping, trimming, and shaving, most shops are equipped with bathtubs, professional tables, and holding cages. Often, there are also washing machines and dryers on location for handling towels and blankets. You can find grooming suppliers either locally or online to get the best prices on these necessary items.

puppies in a pet grooming business

Protecting the Pack

Even the most experienced pet groomer cannot foresee all the accidental casualties that might occur on site when dealing with animals. Some insurance companies have established customized, affordable (all risk) insurance plans designed specifically for pet grooming businesses. Research your insurance options carefully. This is one area of your business you don’t want to choose hastily or skimp on.

SEE ALSO: 3 Things You Must Know to Get a Deal On Business Insurance

Promotions and Putting a Price on Your Passion

Since the pet grooming business is a repeat sales business, you must generate customers, sales, and profits to become successful. Your pricing strategy should be structured to ensure that you are neither charging too much nor too little. So, create a target market for your grooming business and stimulate interest for your services. Advertise in your community,visit local veterinarians and pet centers, and go to local animal shows to pass out fliers or brochures. You can get a good idea of pricing by looking at local competition or evaluating your potential client base.

Owning a pet grooming business is fun, exciting, and personally rewarding. You will feel needed and appreciated by both man and man’s best friend. And because the industry is expanding so rapidly, you have the ability to grow your business by enlarging your facility, services, merchandise, and staff — offering unlimited income potential.

Yamarie Grullon

Yamarie Grullon has years of experience creating helpful & engaging content for small business owners. As Director of Content Strategy at ShopKeep, a leading iPad Point of Sale System, Yamarie provides merchants with practical advice on all things related to business or point of sale.