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  1. #1

    Default Opening a shop in my garage.

    I have been grooming at a private shop for 11 years and before that I was at Petsmart. I am ready to open my own shop in my garage. I have a large client base that I feel will follow me. But my concerns and questions are as followed. How much should I expect to pay for insurance and taxes? How much for start up costs? ( I was figuring about $4000 for supplies and construction)
    And for those of you that have previously worked for someone else and are now on your own...are you happier? Are you glad you made the move to work for yourself? Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Marysville, Ohio
    Posts
    2,971

    Default

    My advice for you is to go mobile......no construction costs, no requesting township if you can run a business at your residence. Mobile keeps your property clean and sellable in the future, and you don't have people knocking on your door at all hours of the day. You can make your own hours, and travel further than people would be willing to travel to you. Your expenses are far cheaper on a van vs your garage when you talk about insurance, heating/AC....large equipment comes with the van, so you don't have to purchase some items.....

    Happy going mobile

    Dolly's Barking Bubbles, LLC

    www.dollysbarkingbubbles.com

  3. #3

    Default

    Thank you for your input. I am not interested in mobile grooming where I live. I'm in western pa and the weather and all the hills and windy roads are too much for me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Michigan!!!
    Posts
    1,349

    Default

    I had an at home shop. I'm in a commerical location now. I love working for myself, but hated the home business. I didn't like people on my property, snow plowing early in the winter, people expecting me to be ok with early arrivals/late drop offs, my own dogs couldn't be outside because people would stick their hands in the fence, they would bark when people would arrive. My original garage build out was just around $2000. I used a Menards credit card and DIY'd all of it with some help from my dad. They had a no-interest for 6 months special. My township and county didn't require any permits and we're zoned agricultural, so no zoning changes were need. Kennel Pro insurance backed by the hartford is $425/year and then my home owner's required an additional rider. I don't have to pay that rider since I'm not home based anymore.

    I get walk-in nail trim traffic now that pays my overhead. I could never have done walk-in nail trims in a home based shop. I also get a ton more referrals from other pet businesses and it's so nice being able to lock up and leave at the end of the day without taking work home with me.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    796

    Default

    I love working from home! Peace, quiet, and all the money is mine! No employees! YOU HAVE TO SET BOUNDARIES RIGHT FROM THE START! I use a separate phone for my business with a recording as to my days and hours. When I leave the shop----I leave it! I do not have my address on my cards so no one can find a card and just drop by. My customers know when I work and when I don't....they respect me and my privacy. I have only had 1 person show up and want something on a day I was not working. There are lots of tax benefits for home businesses too. Everyone needs to be happy with their work environment. Some love mobile...some love storefronts.....I happen to find being home wonderful! I am also making more money than ever and have never advertised anywhere....no FB or website.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Everywhere
    Posts
    8,857

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Countrygrl View Post
    I love working from home! Peace, quiet, and all the money is mine! No employees! YOU HAVE TO SET BOUNDARIES RIGHT FROM THE START! I use a separate phone for my business with a recording as to my days and hours. When I leave the shop----I leave it! I do not have my address on my cards so no one can find a card and just drop by. My customers know when I work and when I don't....they respect me and my privacy. I have only had 1 person show up and want something on a day I was not working. There are lots of tax benefits for home businesses too. Everyone needs to be happy with their work environment. Some love mobile...some love storefronts.....I happen to find being home wonderful! I am also making more money than ever and have never advertised anywhere....no FB or website.
    ^^^^THIS^^^^ except for 2 phones......I just don't answer after hours calls (have phone set to send auto text about biz days and hours and VM states thus as well). They cannot access my property unless I know they are coming due to I have 2 bad a$$ guard dogs that WILL NOT let them in my gate.
    But Setter was right....they will try to abuse your biz hours due to you being "home"......stay firm and ignore any after hours ppl if you can keep them off your property.
    Make sure you are zoned for home salon (garage convert or small salon building) before you make any decisions. .....neighbors can and will shut you down quickly if you are not zoned correctly.
    Good luck!
    Ain't always easy to stand up for what is right.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    117

    Default

    I, too, LOVE working from home. We built the shop off the back of our garage for $2,500 ourselves & it is beautiful. The commute is super convenient. I sked by appt only. No signs, no website, no advertising, not visible from the street. My new clients come from existing clients & the high-end retail dog supply store. Personal referrals have led to mostly wonderful clients. Only ever had 1 prospective client try to find me without calling, and he ended up at the hair salon next door & they called me! I have a tall, decorative wood fence & can always lock the gate (which I haven't done yet) or put up a "closed" sign (which I haven't done yet). Not only do I not pay rent, I get write-offs. This cost less than mobile for me...but the real decision was that I DONT LIKE to drive! I charge more because I do "1 at a time", but the multi-dog families prove that lumped drop-offs is more efficient & profitable. But I've been happy with the simple life, since 2008.

  8. #8

    Default

    THANK you all For Your Input. These forums have been very helpful.
    I'm just so afraid and unsure of the overhead with me being the sole groomer.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,089

    Default

    I cannot even begin to tell you how happy i am that i do not work fpr anyone else! Are you the sole money maker? Basic equipment is all you need to start. You already have your tools. Start simple then add other things later. Buy the best you can afford. Insurance isn't super expensive. I went through state farm. The policy covers everything I feel it should. $50 month. Taxes, be diligent. I can email pics 9f my shop if you want. We all have ours a little bit different. One of the wonderful things is you can design it how you like it. What works for you. Go for it. If you are ok without having someone to talk with ALL DAY it is great. Of course you talk to clients but hey that's the money honey. Later if you get 5 a point where you have a lot of bath dogs get a bather, heck your child if ya have one. My 15 yr old dries for me and my 8 yr old daughter is setting up client tickets and running cards. Just started this week. (She is only allowed to check out cards not cash yet. And because I work for myself at home only people I feel comfortable with are clients. She is expected to tell every client thank you we appreciate your business ) also made her sit and watch a 50 minute poodle groom video today cause she asked if I thought she should be a groomer when she grows up. There are prod and cons working for yourself. Make sure you price for what you need to make set next appointments and you'll be fine. Enjoy the low stress environment. I happen to do "issue dogs" so no one else in shop keeps distractions down to a minimum.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Midwest U.S.
    Posts
    1,072

    Default

    Well, after 40+ yrs grooming and 3 business'... we were forced to sell the last one. Its all my fault really, severe osteoporosis. My Dr said I was in physical danger if I continued to groom larger breed dogs (yea, I miss them) so we built a small salon here in our garage and I only groom small breeds, I book only about 4-6, 2 days a week... I know its a HUGE cut back to my norm of 10-13 a day I used to do at the shop but I had to because of my health. I had always specialized in the special needs pets anyhow and older pets with health issues.

    Its been a change but it is really nice to be able to walk 15 feet out my back door and go to work. Clients already knew me and things are going well. Yes we have a separate phone line and we book accordingly, the build out was really pretty simple actually and we did it ourselves in less than a month. It can be a challenge to get up and plow the driveway when it snows but Im a northerner born & bred and I have to admit I love snow, I make sure during the winter months I go out & turn up the heater in the shop about an hour before anyone is due to arrive and I give the towels a 30 turn in the dryer to warm them up. As far as retirement goes for me... I have to say, I am content... I just couldnt imagine NOT being able to work in this wonderful field after so many yrs and for those who worry about advertising?... word of mouth is ALWAYS your best thing. At all my previous business' I never advertised, all word of mouth. Customer service is the basis of our profession just after good grooming so when I have tried to share that what you say AND how you say it matters most - it can mean the difference between success and failure. Honesty and professionalism is the hard rock upon which this glorious profession survives. Good luck to all those who choose to strike out on their own

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    1,646

    Default

    Though I don't have my shop at my property I made sure that I am less than a five minute drive from my business. With all the extra work that goes into running a business, not facing a morning and evening commute of more than 5 minutes keeps me really happy.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Humboldt
    Posts
    1,733

    Default

    I know of a garage shop completed with less than $5K complete. Depends upon how much you can do yourself or get help from reasonably priced handyman type help.

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