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Is it harder to start a cat long business?

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  • Is it harder to start a cat long business?

    I can groom both, but I somehow really good with cats, but I don't want to get known for only doing cats in a business and then not have enough cats.

  • #2
    I do both too, because I've learn in a school where we had a cat groomer only and a dog groomer.
    I can count on my hands my regulars cats! The ones non regulars are owners who want to traumatize their 10 yo cats who never seen a bath!!
    I think you should advertise with different flyers/other items, one for dogs and one for cats! since I separated the services I offer for dogs to services offered for cats on my website, I get more cats!

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    • #3
      First of all, go to school and get a degree in cat grooming. Grooming cats is completely opposite of grooming dogs. Then put out the word to your local groomers that you do cats,.......90% of the groomers don't want any part of grooming a cat. Also contact your local cat rescue group and inform them of your skills. Even though I'm a CFMG, I still prefer dogs......much more complacent that cats :>)

      Happy grooming Mean Morris


      Dolly's Barking Bubbles, LLC

      www.dollysbarkingbubbles.com

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      • #4
        I groom cats. I can only speak for myself, but I do have to put effort into getting enough cats. I do house call in an area where people have enough money for private services. The problem is that some vets and other vocal people are living in the past, promoting the idea that "cats groom themselves." Nowadays, cats live to be old. They didn't used to live this long, because they didn't live inside. A cat that's 15 years old and arthritic isn't going to be able to easily groom themselves. Also, cats are fatter than ever before, which makes it harder for them to groom themselves. Then there are the cats who have been bred to have really hard-to-manage coats. So cat groomers are up against cat grooming myths that mislead owners.

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        • #5
          I have no idea if its "harder" to start a cat only grooming business. Aristocats on here has a business and they only do cats and seems like they have plenty to be successful. Advertising yourself and marketing are probably key. When I opened my shop, I went to the local vets to introduce myself and set up a relationship with them should I ever need to bring a dog in. They all asked me if I groom cats bc sooooo many of their clients ask where theres a cat groomer around here. I don't groom cats and currently cannot afford to hire a second groomer who is able to. But I have a lot of people walk in with kitty in tow or call to ask. I've tried finding cat groomers in my area to refer people to, but haven't had any luck. It's kind of an untapped market around here. (I should really learn!!)

          If you are good with cats and you like to groom them, why not set up a day once a week or bi-weekly that you only have cats. That way you can test out the waters as far as the demand for doing kitties in your area.

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          • #6
            Like others said, talk to vets and other groomers in your area to see if there is demand. I don't groom cats, and there are words "dog grooming" in my salon's name, and still we get calls and walk-ins asking if I groom cats (and then insisting, that I should!). If you are in a rural area, I think people will less likely to groom their cats, but in a bigger city you probably will find enough customers. It might take a while, but if you charge appropriately for cat grooming (it is very highly specialized, so don't be afraid to charge more, way more for cats). It is a good idea to set aside a day or two just for cats, so you can advertise that and say that there are no dogs around on those days so cats are more comfortable.

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            • #7
              Thank you Pretzel!
              The first year for me was scary, but I think that would be true for any business just getting started. I had been grooming for some time, mainly my own show cats and for the various vet clinics I had worked for, but was not certified as a CFMG until two years after I started Aristocats. The first year I would sit by the phone begging it to ring with a potential client (and not someone wanting me to pay THEM for something). The best advertising I did was to visit ALL the local Vets, Petsomethings, and dog only groomers and present my experience of cat grooming and my business card and brochures.
              After that first year (and by then in all the local phonebooks), we were doing well enough for my mother to quit her job in Insurance and join me full time in the business. Our business started becoming busier and busier. After 7 years in our original location, we had to purchase a new piece of property and built our new facility from the ground up. We learned a lot from our first location to know what worked and what needed changing. We moved to our new location the first of June and we have been loving it.
              I average 6 to 7 cats per day and have a LOT of regular clients. Today was one of those strange days in grooming. I had 13 cats on the schedule and ALL of them were boarders getting some type of grooming. While 5 were nail trims only, the other 7 were full coat grooms! It was kind of strange to be doing that many cats and not be calling clients to pick up their kitties. :-)
              We are nearing 2,000 clients and we get calls almost daily from new prospective clients. Check out our new facility at: www.aristocatshotel.com

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              • #8
                Did you offer cat boarding from the start, or did you start as a cat salon only?
                Congratulations on building a successful business caring for cats!!!


                Originally posted by Aristocats View Post
                Thank you Pretzel!
                The first year for me was scary, but I think that would be true for any business just getting started. I had been grooming for some time, mainly my own show cats and for the various vet clinics I had worked for, but was not certified as a CFMG until two years after I started Aristocats. The first year I would sit by the phone begging it to ring with a potential client (and not someone wanting me to pay THEM for something). The best advertising I did was to visit ALL the local Vets, Petsomethings, and dog only groomers and present my experience of cat grooming and my business card and brochures.
                After that first year (and by then in all the local phonebooks), we were doing well enough for my mother to quit her job in Insurance and join me full time in the business. Our business started becoming busier and busier. After 7 years in our original location, we had to purchase a new piece of property and built our new facility from the ground up. We learned a lot from our first location to know what worked and what needed changing. We moved to our new location the first of June and we have been loving it.
                I average 6 to 7 cats per day and have a LOT of regular clients. Today was one of those strange days in grooming. I had 13 cats on the schedule and ALL of them were boarders getting some type of grooming. While 5 were nail trims only, the other 7 were full coat grooms! It was kind of strange to be doing that many cats and not be calling clients to pick up their kitties. :-)
                We are nearing 2,000 clients and we get calls almost daily from new prospective clients. Check out our new facility at: www.aristocatshotel.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Frenchie View Post
                  I do both too, because I've learn in a school where we had a cat groomer only and a dog groomer.
                  I can count on my hands my regulars cats! The ones non regulars are owners who want to traumatize their 10 yo cats who never seen a bath!!
                  I think you should advertise with different flyers/other items, one for dogs and one for cats! since I separated the services I offer for dogs to services offered for cats on my website, I get more cats!
                  We don't do a lot of cats but I had not heard that having regular cats was more a challenge. Interesting.

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                  • #10
                    Maybe but you can try to get them in appointment scheduling programs and ask them for more referrals. You can become so specialized, and definitely get an article about your specialty in the local newspaper. Look how many groomers have articles written about them that the admin posts here almost every day. Being cat only really separates you from other grooming businesses I am sure you can convince local media. Write a press release.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by violet2 View Post
                      We don't do a lot of cats but I had not heard that having regular cats was more a challenge. Interesting.
                      Especially in a rural area like mine!

                      I forget to ask, do you go to cat shows ? Maybe you could rent a stand, you could get breeders (but the show have to be in your area, because you don't want to run at 100miles away), or even cat owners as visitors who don't know cat needs grooming!

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                      • #12
                        It could be but listen to the ask a pro call with Danelle and admin, I was on that call some years ago. FABULOUS help, ask Admin where to find it.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by coldnose View Post
                          It could be but listen to the ask a pro call with Danelle and admin, I was on that call some years ago. FABULOUS help, ask Admin where to find it.
                          She recently did a new one too! http://petgroomermagazine.com/radio/

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                          • #14
                            Great link, lots more shows!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Emma123 View Post
                              Did you offer cat boarding from the start, or did you start as a cat salon only?
                              Congratulations on building a successful business caring for cats!!!
                              Hi Emma, sorry to take so long, I was at a 3 day cat show in Corpus Christi over the holidays. One of my resident greeter cats was highest scoring household pet and got a plaque in the Best of the Best presentation!

                              I started with both at the same time. I wanted as much diversification as possible, I have clients that I do both boarding and grooming for, but I also have those that only come for grooming and those that only come for boarding. Wanting to do both is one reason I have a 45 minute commute every day to work. I wanted to have boarding that included windows for the kitties to see outside and put bird and squirrel feeders out to attract "kitty TV"! At the time I was looking to start my business, my town would not allow any "salon" (unless grandfathered) to be in a free standing building. It had to be in a strip mall type place of at least 10,000 sq ft because of perceived parking requirements. My clients are in and out and rarely come all at once, so lots of parking is not especially important. I wanted to convert a small "house" so I could have windows for some of the rooms.
                              I live in a suburb of OKC called Norman, so I started looking in the larger city of OKC and found my original facility. It was originally a residential property that had been converted to commercial many years before. It was an antique store before I bought it, but had been a human salon sometime before that. We were in that facility for just over 7 years. We moved in June to our current facility which is only a mile from our previous location, so I kept all of my base clients.
                              We expanded our boarding capacity from 26 rooms to 40 (plus two rooms for our resident greeter kitties). On Labor Day, just a couple of months after moving, we booked out 41 rooms and Thanksgiving we had all 42 rooms booked out. Christmas is already 3/4 of the way booked out! Since all rooms can accommodate at least two kitties (from same household), we can potentially have about 100 kitties stay with us. Most tend to be singles though, but we did have four sets of 3 over the Thanksgiving holiday. I think we had around 65 cats stay with us.
                              Originally, the grooming income far exceeded the boarding, but the boarding income caught up pretty quickly and may now be a bit more than the grooming income since I am still the only groomer. I will be looking into training someone to at least do bathing starting this coming spring and that should help increase the grooming side. Right now I am at capacity, so with me alone, there is no way of expanding it other than price increases.

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