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Starting Up An In-Home Grooming Business

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  • Starting Up An In-Home Grooming Business

    I am hoping to open up my own in-home grooming business this spring/early summer. I'm going to start applying for licenses are stuff this month, but had a few questions for people who have started their own in home business.

    I live in Western New York in a fairly rural area. Now I know most states differ on what sort of licenses and stuff are required for pet groomers. I was wondering is there another New Yorker who could tell me what what sort of licenses they had to get to open up their own in-home business. Also as far as filing taxes go what sort of things do you keep track of for filing your tax returns?

    Also are there certain space requirements? I am going to be doing the grooming and bathing in my basement. I plan on have people drop off their pets and I will take them inside. Do I need to have a waiting area for clients? Is it very rude not to bring them inside? I have groomed a couple dogs for friends and friends of friends and so far no one had a problem with dropping their dog off and setting up a pickup time or agreeing to have me call when their pet is done.

  • #2
    Are you grooming out of your own home or out of your client's homes? If its the first repost this in the "Home-based" forum and you should get more answers.
    My Blog: <a href="">In the Dogs' House Groomwise Blog</a>


    • #3
      I can't help you with the legalities of your situation, but I groom from home and tend to look at everything from a clients perspective.

      With regard to not having clients enter your home.....
      My question to myself would be.....would I ever take my dog to anyone, be it vet, groomer or animal care facility, where I was not permitted...actually invited, to see the set-up?
      No...I wouldn't. Would you?
      Often it's not what you say, but how you say it.


      • #4
        I'm a few hundred miles away from NY (Utah) lol but this is how I've handled my home business.

        [Also as far as filing taxes go what sort of things do you keep track of for filing your tax returns?]
        EVERY receipt, on every purchase!

        I work out of my garage. My clients bring their dogs to me, drop them off and I will either call or set up a time for them to come back and pick them up.
        "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face."


        • #5
          I don't know about licensing in you area but you can get all of the info you need from your city/town. It is best to have CPA take care of your biz or, at the very least, a knowledgeable tax person.
          As far as a reception area's a good idea. You cannot expect clients to relinquish dogs at the door. I sure wouldn't! Most people will want to see your grooming facility even if it's home based. There will be paperwork to fill out and money changing hands. You can't really do this on your doorstep. A lot of clients want to do an inspection before leaving their pet with you and want access to their animal without a locked door between them. Not allowing access implies that you have something to hide. If it's a privacy issue then "home based" may not be the best choice for you... I am home based and have an open door policy. There's a sign on the door that says, " Welcome. We're open. Please come right in." I had to add another requesting that Cx not knock or ring the bell because it makes all the dogs bark. Hope this helps ;-)
          Last edited by fiveoclockdog; 03-08-10, 08:00 PM.
          "The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind"-Theodorus Gaza


          • #6
            Where In western NY?

            I live in Centerville not far from Letchworth state park


            • #7
              As others have said keep records of everything. I groom out of my home on a US military base in Okinawa, Japan. All of my clients are American. My grooming area is right near my front door. I have a small bathroom on the first floor that is near the door. That is where I do my bathing and my grooming table is in my laundry room right next to that bathroom. I have a hall way right there with a hall table which I use as my reception area. I also have several kennels that I use for holding dogs. I usually book them back to back and a lot of times I have one waiting to be picked up when the next arrives. Everyone who comes in my door is immediately in my grooming area and I get a lot of compliments on it. I must say that I do clean continuously so that I don't get caught with a huge mess of hair when a client comes in. I understand that it may not be possible for your clients to enter directly into your work area if you're working in the basement. If at all possible you might set up a small table/reception area by the door your clients will be entering. I would explain to them that you are working in the basement and offer to let them take a tour. I bet most people would want to see the work area. I know I would. I would probably not want to see it on my second visit, however.

              As far as letting people know when to return to pickup their pets I usually estimate how long it will take me. I can usually finish a dog in about an hour. So, I usually tell people to return at a specific time. If dropping off at 9 am I tell them that fluffy will be all ready to go by 10:30. Some people ask me to call them when the dog is ready to go. I do that too. But, I generally tell them that I'll have them ready no later than a certain time and if they have requested I give them a call as well. I groom about 5 or 6 dogs a day and if someone requests a call I make a note of it on their card. That way when I make my grooming notes I see it and remember to call. I have never had anyone want to hang around and wait. So, having a waiting area has never been an issue.

              Hope this helps...