How to start a dog grooming business

A dog grooming business may be the right choice for someone who love dogs and have an entrepreneurial spirit. Many people love their pets so much they are willing to pay high prices to keep them happy. Cash in on the ever-growing market of dog grooming.

It's a hard road to own your own dog grooming business, but these steps will get you in the right direction.

You must love dogs. An underlying love of dogs must be there for a person to have the patience and care to deal with sometimes nervous animals. Animals can often sense that a person is tense and will react on that.

Learn the art of dog grooming. There are accredited dog grooming schools that offer pet grooming programs. You might want to try a community college or a local trade school, but you best bet will be a specialty pet grooming class. These courses, depending on your state, will take you around 300 hours in the classroom.

Choose a location to work from. Maybe start small with an outdoor set up for neighborhood pets. Work out of the home, rent a booth at a grooming salon or open a shop.

Your best bet might be to start off small--get a couple of clients and work out of your home (or travel from client to client). Get a feel for being a dog groomer on your own. Working small will give you a taste of your future. This stage might be where you realize this career isn't exactly for you.

When you do decide to start taking clients (either in your home or at a brick and mortar shop), make the setting comfortable. Make sure the area is well lit, welcoming and safe for the dogs. There should be little distraction for the dogs, not a lot of noise or people.

Advertise a lot. There are many books to be found and classes to take to teach about advertising. It is a crucial part to any business no matter how big or small. Spend a lot of time thinking about the right advertising techniques for the size of the business. Start local: Daily newspapers, ads at pet shops, Craigslist and of course, word of mouth.

Offer multiple services. This will keep people happy and they will return for more. A wide range of services will greatly increase the market range. Offer shampooing, drying, shaping and cutting--even nail painting.

Keep prices low at first. People pay for experience. Don't expect to charge top fees with no experience. Find out what your competition is charging and price your services just a tad under what they're charging.