If you love animals and know how to "speak their language," starting a mobile pet grooming business can be a fun way to make a living. While everyone wants their pet to look good, they aren’t always keen on doing the grooming themselves, and they don’t always have time to run to the grooming shop. That’s where you come in. You bring the grooming services to them. Getting set up may be easier than you think.
Licencing and Certification
Generally, you need a business licence, but licencing procedures vary from area to area so you need to investigate the specific rules in your community. If you plan to work in multiple provinces or municipalities, you may need a mobile business license that covers multiple areas.
Luckily, there aren’t any major regulations on the pet grooming industry, so you don’t need to get a specific grooming licence. However, if you want to convince prospective clients that they should trust you with their fur babies, you may want to get certified through a pet grooming organization. Both the National Groomer Association of Canada and Canadian Professional Pet Stylists have training and certification programs for people trying to break into the industry.
In addition, consider getting some liability insurance. It’s not required, but if you accidentally clip Fluffy’s ear or make another mistake, this type of coverage protects you when a client brings a case against you.
Equipment and Supplies
Unless you already have a van or motor home, your biggest start-up expense is going to be your vehicle. Once you have the vehicle, you need to fit it out with a washing tub and a grooming table. Ideally, you also need a water tank and a generator in the vehicle so you have running water and electricity on the go. If not, you will only be able to work places where you can hook up to your client’s power or water.
If it works with the budget, consider simplifying the process by purchasing a vehicle that has already been used for mobile pet grooming. In either case, you also need a few pet grooming essentials such as brushes, combs, clippers, shampoos and conditions, and a pet-friendly hair dryer.
Marketing to Pet Owners
You’ve got the training and equipment, and now, you just need the clients. The good news is that finding your target audience isn’t hard. Veterinary offices and pet stores have pet owners coming in and out all day long. Try contacting these businesses to see if they’re willing to let you park in their lot for the day. In these spots, you can meet prospective clients and offer initial grooming sessions. If they like the work, give them your number, or be proactive and book the next session in front of their home. Regardless of your industry, it’s always best to close the next deal when the client is standing in front of you. Alternatively, print up flyers and brochures and leave them with pet-related businesses in the area.
When creating your marketing campaign, don’t forget about the power of social media, either. When you buy ads on most social media platforms, you can narrow down the audience so your ads only hit pet owners in your area. In addition to buying ads, make sure to ask satisfied clients to post pics of their pooches and tag you online. That also helps you to build up a following and find new clients.
It takes some time to get a mobile pet grooming business up and running, but it’s worth it, especially if you’re an animal lover. Once you establish a group of clients, you get to spend your work days interacting with all kind of furry friends.