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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    2

    Smile I want to start my own Mobile Grooming Business.

    I will be going to a grooming school any day to become a certified groomer. I got a grant for $1,500 to help pay for tuition.
    I'm currently unemployed, have been since Dec. 2009. I've used this time to decide I wanted to take up pet grooming.
    I love working with animals. I've been grooming my mom's schauzer's for several years now and I also groom my 2 miniature donkeys and 1 miniature horse. I raised Pygmy goats before and I groomed them as well. They all looked professionally groomed and I got so may compliments and on how great they all looked. I have grooming talents. I need help on the baby steps of starting my own business. Where do I get financing that will get me started? How much money do I need to have saved up to put towards a mobile grooming trailer. Can I get a Small businness loan. What do they require of me first, not having worked at any salon or anyplace like that? I'm needing ANY kind of helpful advice anyone is willing to share. We are all a grooming family. I know very little about the business end and marketing ends of running a business. I'm willing to learn whatever I have to in order to fulfill my dream.
    I only have one chance to make this happen. I don't want to end up in failure. I may be able to help some of the other groomers in the forum with something too.
    Thank your, my grooming family.
    Sincerely,
    Overcomer

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Raxacoricofallipatorious
    Posts
    734

    Default

    Get a job for someone else first if at all possible, I have learned so much just in my short time as a bather and it is very true that you really have no clue what its like until you have done it professionally. Have you owned your own business before? I think that would help you get the loan, but it will probably be very difficult to get a loan without any business or professional grooming experience. If I were in your shoes I would work for someone else and save every possible penny for a big down payment.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    BonneyLk, WA
    Posts
    1,604

    Default

    I agree with Sarahliz, work in a salon for 6mo to a year to get the feel of the outside world of grooming. School isn't going to give you fine details. I personally wasn't ready till i'd been grooming in shops for 9yrs, each person is different. I've now been grooming 12yrs this month & owned my business for 3yrs now. This 3rd yr is the best yr since opening, I can't believe how busy this year is. If you can take a business class you'd be doing real good. I didn't know a thing about the business end except the little things I picked up in the 9yrs of shops. The rest has grown on me. I'm still learning too.

    Shannon
    The Soapy Puppy
    Last edited by Starshan; 06-15-10 at 04:16 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    6,800

    Default

    OK, here is my best advice. I've been grooming for 15 years now and have a successful (when the van isn't in the shop for over a week grrr) mobile business. I've had it now for over 2 years.
    First, there are a select few that can leave grooming school, open their own grooming businesses and be successful. Most are strong business people to start with. The biggest mistake I feel groomers make is thinking to have a successful grooming business they only need to know how to groom. You HAVE to be business savvy as well to make the most of your business. You have to have a solid business plan, especially if you are looking for a loan, and very good credit, and even with that it is very hard right now to get loans when you have no background in the field you are venturing into.
    A lot will also depend on what school you attend and what you are able to learn in the short time you are there. There is SO much that goes into being a great groomer and you simply cannot learn it all in the short time you are at school. The best thing to do is to work for at least 6 months, if not a year or more for someone else who can help fine tune your skills. There is more to grooming than knowing your breed standards and the haircuts that go along with it. While working for someone else you will also learn how to deal with clients, different ways of handling pets because one way does not work for everyone, different techniques they simply don't cover in grooming schools etc. Scheduling, time maintenance, safety procedures, the list goes on and on. Chances are when you first graduate your speed will not be there and you may be able to complete 3-4 dogs in a full day. Going mobile that would probably make it even less with drive time in between. You will learn shortcuts and time savers by working for someone else as well. It's invaulable information that will not only make you a better groomer but most likely a more efficient one and therefore a higher earning groomer.
    When you do go to start your business you need to have enough money set aside to cover all expenses for at least 6 months. If you buy a brand new unit you will have a monthly payment as well as other monthly expenses such as business and commercial auto insurance, fuel, phone, advertising, water, shampoo and other products used on the pets etc. Plus you will need to have money set aside for you to live on until the business is able to turn a profit where you can start paying yourself. On a one to one basis, the typical business owner makes less than the average employee because you are paying your expenses, not to mention your taxes. As an employee I think you pay 7.3% or something like that, but being self employed you pay double that.
    Of course there are great advantages to being your own boss, or no one would want to be. I also have a mobile employee and plan to have additional vehicles on the road in a few years.
    I do not want to see anyone fail which is the only reason I am giving this advice. I don't want to seem like a kill joy at all. I certainly wouldn't want to discourage you from your dream, but I do think you will increase your chances of success ten fold if you work for someone else first before jumping right in to your own business. I'd also suggest taking some business courses. Many community colleges offer them at very reasonable prices. There ARE those I know, who are on this board, who have gone right from school to their own businesses who are successes. But in general I do think my advice applies for the majority of people.
    What a caterpillar considers the end of his world, we call a butterfly.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    IN
    Posts
    393

    Default Go Mobile and Succeed!

    Ditto to what everyone else said...

    I am a little different... was a voice/data system design engineer, felt the effects of the economy and decided to go to grooming school and immediately start a mobile dog grooming business... This route isn't for every one, though. You REALLY have to know without a doubt that this is what you want to do and be confident that you will be successful, no matter what. I have been showing and breeding Great Pyrenees for over 15 years, my aunt was a groomer, my sister dabbled in it at a big box store - so I KNEW this is what I really wanted.

    Becoming a bather and truly being in the grooming environment will be a great place to start... This is a very physically demanding job, that requires alot of patience... some people have what it takes, but I would say most don't.

    Ellen's book - Go Mobile and Succeed is an awesome resource... practically a blueprint for a successful mobile business... BUY it! Totally worth the investment.

    Good Luck and I hope this helps!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,308

    Default

    Check with your nearest community college to see if they offer a business class (or two) that you can attend. Some offer online classes that would be helpful. Unless you have outstanding credit and a possible co-signer, getting a loan for your rig maybe tough. Work and save your money. You can check out SBA and see what they offer, but I understand that's no cake walk either. My best advice is to save your money, buying what you need as you go. Depending on where you live, it can take time for your business to be self-sufficient and running in the black.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Fort Wayne Indiana
    Posts
    57

    Default I'm wondering how you got the grant.

    "I will be going to a grooming school any day to become a certified groomer. I got a grant for $1,500 to help pay for tuition."

    I'm wondering how you got the grant. I have a family member thats been unemployed for a loooong time...and wants to be a groomer.

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