In a unique position
I am currently in a unique position when it comes to starting up a grooming business. I have all the equipment, premises and a client base from a kennel business, what I don't have is experience. I am toying with the idea of asking kennel customers if I could practise on their dogs for free or for a minimal charge, as we can afford to do it for basically free until I have some experience. I have been volunteering at a dog salon, however they are unable to provide experience beyond observing and bathing dogs. My question is, is it a good idea to practise on kennel customer dogs with the owners permission and do it free of charge.
Any advice would be great.
If you are serious about becoming a groomer, a school might be the best bet, or an apprenticeship at the salon you're observing at (or will they be a competitor? Another set of problems). Grooming for free or at a discount is not a wonderful idea:
#1 Favors become expectations and people will expect those reduced charges for a long time
#2 Even if you're grooming for free, people most likely won't be happy with your first grooms because of your inexperience, therefore creating a dubious reputation down the road