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How to Start a Mobile Pet Grooming Business

cute dog face with dog groomer hands

People love their pets and want to care for them the best way they can. Most pet owners know that grooming their pets is essential for quality care and keeping them clean, healthy, and pest free. Grooming is a luxury service that many people don’t have a lot of time or the ability to do on their own. They prefer to turn to a professional with the equipment, skills, and know-how to get their pet groomed while simplifying their lives.

Although pet owners will do whatever it takes to ensure their pets are properly cared for, many don’t have the time take them to the groomer. Pet owners are always looking for services that will come to them. That’s where mobile pet grooming businesses come in.

Mobile pet grooming businesses provide a convenient pet grooming service for pet owners. Professional groomers come to clients’ homes to clean their animals rather than requiring clients to come to them, which is more convenient for the clients.

If you have a passion for animals and want to become a business owner, starting a mobile pet grooming business may be a great business venture for you. Here’s what you should consider before you begin.

Benefits of Owning a Mobile Pet Grooming

Owning a mobile pet grooming business can be both challenging and rewarding. Here are some of the benefits of owning a mobile pet grooming business, can provide:

  • No Exposure to Other Pets or People – Mobile grooming is a safe option for pet owners and dogs. It allows them to avoid interacting with other people and exposing them to other pets. It’s a great option for reactive dogs or puppies who have yet to have their vaccinations. Plus, pets won’t be exposed to ticks, fleas, or other contagious conditions, which is a risk when pets visit a traditional brick-and-mortar grooming salon.
  • No Need to Rent a Space – You can save considerably on operation costs by owning a mobile pet grooming salon. The only expense you have is a monthly van payment, or you can choose to own the van outright by paying in all cash. Either way, the monthly payments for a van are much less than renting a space.
  • Set Your Own Hours – Running your own business has its advantages with how often and when you work. You get the flexibility to choose your own hours and when you take on clients.
  • Happier Clients – People love the convenience of having a service that comes to their homes instead of loading up their pets and driving out of the way to drop them off and pick them up. They are more relaxed knowing they are nearby and happier with the service and the convenience.
dog getting a bath at home

How to Get Started

Starting a mobile pet grooming business can be a fulfilling career choice that requires low overhead costs and can bring you and your client joy. You will need to consider some important things before you start.

Is this the right fit for you?

Before you start any venture, you want to ensure this is the right business for you. You’ll primarily be managing dogs and cats if you decide to take them on, and your interactions with people will be limited. As with any service profession, you’ll need to ensure you have great communication skills. You want to be able to listen to pet owners’ concerns, questions, and needs and clearly convey your services and whether you can meet their expectations. If you’re passionate about working with animals and can communicate well with their owners, you’re on the right track for a profession fit for you.

Figure out your financial situation

Are you financially ready to take on the costs associated with starting a mobile pet grooming business? Sit down and crunch some numbers to make sure you’re in a good spot. If you need financial backing, you could opt to secure a small business loan or approach friends and family. You will need more money upfront to cover some upfront costs like equipment, vehicles, and supplies. A comprehensive business plan can help you come up with an accurate estimate of what you will need so you can be prepared to justify your needs.

Gain Experience

You want to build a reputable mobile pet grooming business by gaining experience and collecting testimonials. You can go through a training course through a training center to earn certifications to boost your reputation. You can also reach out to a groomer for an internship if available. Certification is not always required, but you should check your state’s requirements.

Obtain Important Business Licenses and Meet the Requirements

To start a business, you will need to make sure you obtain the correct business license, insurance, and permits you need for your business per state requirements. Check in with your city to learn what licenses or permits you may need. They can provide helpful resources to help you make sure you check all the boxes on the list.

 Insurance is one of the most important requirements you need to ensure you meet for both your safety and your clients. Opt for a Mobile Pet Groomer Insurance that covers your entire mobile pet grooming business, from your trailer to your services.

Pomeranian getting a haircut

Tools and Equipment Needed

For a mobile pet grooming business, many of the investments will be upfront and only be required one time until you need to purchase replacements.

  • Commercial Vehicle – Choosing the vehicle in which you will run your business is perhaps the biggest decision you will make. You’ll likely want to choose a commercial van or trailer, but you can always start smaller while you build your brand and reputation. Many factors go into choosing the right van for your business. Still, with the equipment you need, you’ll want to ensure your vehicle or trailer is big enough to hold your supplies and allows you to work comfortably.
  • Grooming Equipment – A mobile grooming salon requires the same equipment a traditional brick-and-mortar grooming salon needs to operate. You’ll need clippers, sheers, brushes, a grooming table, dryers, and a tub if you offer bathing services. Operating your grooming equipment will require you to have a battery-powered generator, power connections, a water tank with a water heater, and waste disposal containers.
  • Pet Cleaning Supplies – If you are offering bathing services for your mobile pet grooming business, you’ll want to stock up on quality cleaning supplies. Choose shampoos, conditioners, specialty cleaning supplies for ears and pad care, and other luxury cleaning and care services you want to offer.
cat getting claws cut by woman

Create a Business Plan

Creating a business plan is essential to help you find success. A business plan helps you define your business offerings and prevents you from overspending. Your business plan should include analysis and data of your potential clients and local neighborhoods, marketing materials, cost evaluations, and service schedule and costs. A business plan can help you if you need to secure a business loan, as many banks and capital investors will ask to see a comprehensive business plan.

  • Analyze Your Potential Clients and Market – Get to know your local neighborhoods and the clients who would want to purchase your services. Create a customer profile to understand their needs. It will help you create a marketing plan and choose services that best fit your client base.
  • Define Your Services – Clearly define your services and what you plan to offer. Will you be bathing and grooming only? Or will you offer add-on services like nail trims, feal and tick removal, and more? You’ll want to determine what your services will be worth.
  • Define Your Service Area – You want to define the area you plan to serve clearly, depending on where you are willing to travel. Remember that many clients may live in apartment buildings or may not have driveways that can fit your vehicle of choice. Be prepared with accommodations for those clients to not cut off services for those who may need them.
  • Create a Budget – Prepare a budget by evaluating your estimated monthly expenses and any one-time upfront costs. Keep a list of potential ongoing costs such as:
    • Equipment maintenance like the sharpening of blades and sheers
    • Fuel costs
    • Marketing costs such as ad spending and flyers
    • Supply replenishment
    • Vehicle maintenance like oil changes, tire checks, and air pressure

A prepared budget prevents you from overspending and ensures you can earn a healthy income.

woman with cat

Create a Marketing Plan

Your marketing plan is one aspect of your business you want to spend quality time crafting and creating to reflect your values and brand. It’s a step you can work on throughout building your business and is best started once you have a good idea of your customer base and the local area you’ll be serving. You’ll want to develop a marketing plan to get your mobile pet grooming business name in the right hands.

  • Define Your Brand – Your brand defines your values and how you want to be viewed by the public. It can help you stand out with a unique logo, business name, and mission.
  • Create social media accounts, a website, and flyers to distribute to local businesses like pet shops and veterinarians.
  • Social Media Management – Social media is a powerful tool for getting your business name out there. You want to post often and create relevant content that reaches your customers and encourages them to hire you to groom their pets. Facebook and Instagram have built-in marketing tools you can use and collect valuable insights to help you pivot and perfect your marketing plan.
  • Build Social Proof and Reputation – When you first start out, you want to build up your reputation. Businesses rely on word-of-mouth recommendations, and when searching for a related business, potential clients will read reviews before moving forward. Reach out to friends and family and offer your services to them for free. They can leave honest reviews and help build your social proof that you are a respected and trusted mobile pet grooming business.
  • Visit Pet Stores and Local Veterinarians – Building local partnerships can help you bring more business to your mobile pet grooming business. Contact local vet offices and pet stores and ask if you can advertise or partner with them to get more exposure to your business.

The demand for mobile pet grooming services is growing rapidly. There’s no better time to start working for yourself and building your own business in the pet care industry. With a little hard work, determination, and creativity, you can start your journey towards creating your dream mobile pet grooming business that finds success and thrives.

Annual Mobile Pet Groomer Insurance Policy

This policy is for professionals who work in the pet care industry.

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Comparing Employee Dishonesty Coverage & Bonding

PCI’s employee dishonesty coverage is similar to a bond, but there may be some key differences to consider.

Employee dishonesty coverage:

  • Can be purchased in the same transaction
  • Doesn’t run credit checks
  • Provides $10,000 per occurrence and $25,000 aggregate coverage

Bonds may differ from our dishonesty coverage by:

  • Checking your credit during the application process
  • Having a “Conviction Claus;” Often bonds won’t pay on claims unless there is a conviction
  • Many require you to reimbursement the bonding company after a claim is paid