If your dream career involves working with dogs, why not turn that passion for pets into a profitable franchise business and become a dog groomer? You could meet new dogs every day and provide clients with a range of helpful services, enjoying plenty of repeat custom. Here’s where you should start.
Running a franchise isn’t always easy. It can be demanding, time consuming and challenging just as it can be rewarding and enjoyable. That’s why a real passion for what you do is a great thing. If you love dogs, and you think you have the passion to become a dog groomer and build a successful business pet grooming franchise, you’re already halfway there.
What does a dog groomer do?
A dog groomer is responsible for brushing, washing and cutting the coats of their furry clients. Grooming is essential for many breeds of dog as it ensures that the dog’s skin can breathe, that there’s no irritation, and that they’re able to stay as healthy and clean as possible. Many UK customers see the benefits of professional grooming over doing it at home. Benefits such as:
- Reduced time
- Reduced risk of the dog getting hurt
- More hygienic and professional cleaning practices
- Reduced chance of ear infection
- Less coat shedding
- Early detection of skin/health issues
Because many customers see the benefits of professional groomers, more customers are turning to these services than ever before. And this means that demand for these pet grooming services is only going up. So much so that 27% of UK dog owners now confess to purchasing ‘spa-style’ treatments for their dogs [One Poll].
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How to start a dog grooming franchise
According to the PDSA, the number of times that dogs should be groomed on a yearly basis largely depends on their breed, but for long-haired breeds more prone to matting, grooming should occur four to six times a year. Multiply that by a full roster of clients, and you’ve got a strong, regular flow of demand, and the opportunity to build your successful franchise business into a profitable business. Start that journey with the following steps…
1. Assess whether you’re suited to the work
Though you might not need a specific qualification or any industry experience to succeed as a franchisee with a dog grooming business, you will need certain transferable soft skills and abilities in order to thrive over the long term. These skills and abilities, which you should assess whether or not you possess, include:
- A love of dogs and other animals
- Attention to detail
- Customer service
- Business acumen
- Organisation and management
2. Research the industry and the options available to you
Your next step should be diving into the industry and the options that are available to you within it. During lockdown, UK households purchased 3.2 million pets [BBC News]. This caused a rise in demand for services like dog grooming, but also a rise in the level of competition. Being one step ahead of the latest industry trends is just one way that you can outperform your competition.
Consider trends like combining services - could you also run a doggy day care, or a dog walking service? Consider the cross-industry move towards mobile businesses, and the possibility of running a mobile grooming business. What are the pros, what are the cons, and what kind of franchise networks are out there in this area?
[Though cost-effective,] running a business out of your home can limit growth opportunities, making expansion both in physical and staff size difficult. A growing trend is the mobile dog grooming business. Mobile dog grooming is convenient for pet parents and provides freedom for the business owner. While there are benefits, operating out of a van presents issues like faulty equipment and the cost of fuel.
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3. Find the right franchise fit and do your due diligence
Franchising comes with an upfront cost, no matter the industry. In 2018, the average cost of starting a franchise was £42,200 [British Franchise Association], but this figure is very much an average and subject to change based on everything from brand name to industry of operation.
When you’re evaluating opportunities to find your fit, be sure to consider not just the minimum investment, but the ongoing operational and royalty fees, as well as the costs of things like receiving legal advice on the contents of the franchise agreement. It might be a cost you’re tempted to skip, but doing your due diligence is extremely important, and if you fail to do so, you might come to regret it down the line.
Franchise opportunities in the pet grooming sector
There are many franchise opportunities available to you in the pet grooming sector. One of those incredible investment options is Dial a Dog Wash. Dial a Dog Wash is a famous, well-loved dog grooming service provider in the UK. First established by Andy and Helen James in 1999, it’s grown substantially since this time. The franchise prides itself on providing a low stress environment for dogs, keeping owners coming back time and again.
- Becoming a Dial a Dog Wash franchisee: You don’t need any specific experience within the industry to become a franchisee - just a genuine and natural love for, and a desire to care for, dogs.
- How much you need to invest: You’ll need to make a minimum initial investment of £14,999.
- What you get for your investment: In return for your investment, you’ll receive an extensive training programme (including grooming, marketing, franchise operations and much more). You’ll also receive a great deal of ongoing support, 12 months of public liability, discounted rates with grooming suppliers and some promotional materials to distribute in your operational area.
Enjoy working with dogs and running your own business as a franchisee
If this article has left you more determined than ever to work with some perfect pooches, don’t forget to consider pet franchise opportunities outside of grooming, like dog walking business Dogknows and pet sitting and care company Petstay.
Cara Squires, Point Franchise ©