Starting A Mobile Dog Grooming Business
Many newly qualified dog groomers are attracted to the Mobile Dog Grooming business. As a new business set-up the advantages are obvious; no premises to secure, no long term lease (and rent) commitments, lower overheads, greater location flexibility, etc. etc. There is even the opportunity to have all the business set-up work done for you by taking one of the franchises for mobile grooming.
From your customer’s perspective there is the convenience of having the dog groomer attend at their home. Many people find this less stressful for both the dog and themselves as there is no travelling involved, no traffic, parking, leaving their dog behind, etc. etc. A mobile dog grooming service is invaluable for any pet owners who are housebound or have mobility difficulties.
Estimates show that there are almost seven million dogs in the UK, with over 85% of owners stating that their pets are for companionship.
The mobile dog grooming business has been around for a long time, but has seen a noticeable increase in popularity in recent years, as our lifestyles have changed. More and more dog owners have a busy life, giving a greater inconvenience in visiting the dog grooming salon to drop off and collect their dogs within normal opening times. Obviously, many dog owners simply enjoy the convenience of having the groomer visit their home. Some owners prefer to have the dog groomer visit their home as they find their dog is much calmer and happier about the grooming experience and is out of the home environment for a much shorter period of time.
There are still many towns that don’t have sufficient coverage from good quality mobile dog groomers and you should research your market and potential operating area thoroughly when formulating your plans. Even in locations that already have mobile grooming services operating, there is always room for one more!
A Mobile Dog Grooming Business Franchise
The mobile dog grooming business has attracted a number of franchising companies to the market. Buying into a franchise is an easy way to get into the mobile dog grooming business and the grooming marketplace. You are able to follow an established business plan with start-up and ongoing support from the franchisor with training, advertising and marketing, branding and ‘head office’ back up support.
Many mobile dog grooming franchises offer a complete training package for the newcomer, from training in dog grooming skills and operating management right through to the technical support and marketing package that you need to run your day to day mobile grooming business. A good mobile dog grooming franchise opportunity will provide you with a proven business model, established branding, help and support from the franchisor and a better chance of getting finance to start your business.
BUT….. If you’re considering starting a mobile dog grooming business and one of your options is to take on a franchise business, then you should consider all aspects of the franchised business - often missing from the ‘sales pitch’ from the franchisors.
Normally, a franchise will be granted for a given geographic trading area and if you operate outside this area, it may be considered an infringement of your operating license. The trading area is often defined by either population/households, or by town/regional boundaries. You will need to do your homework to determine if your licensed area will generate sufficient dog grooming business to support you when it is fully established and working at it’s maximum customer level. Many franchisors quote example numbers of dogs groomed per day, per week, or per year; take the time to establish if these examples are practical and/or achievable (and factor in travelling times when making this calculation).
Carefully consider the start-up and ongoing costs of the vehicle for your franchised business. How much are you paying for your vehicle? What do the vehicle costs include/exclude? How much will you pay for continued use of your vehicle, and what is its expected life span? What is the financial position in respect of your dog grooming vehicle at the time that your vehicle needs to be replaced?
Some franchises will charge you a fee to start trading, followed by a monthly ‘license fee’ for continued use of their trading name and area. Some companies levy a profits-related or turnover-related charge, as well as (or instead of) the monthly fee. Establish how this works and calculate the associated costs to your business. How is it collected? …and if it’s collected in arrears, ask the questions about what happens when your license term ends. If you should decide to terminate your franchise at some time in the future what are the costs and consequences?
We are not suggesting that a franchise is wrong for a mobile dog grooming business, we are simply advising that you should enter into any such agreement with your eyes open and aware of any possible costs or pitfalls. Bear in mind that the primary interest of the franchisor must be to keep their own business profitable - if this is dependant on the profitability of your own franchised business then they have an incentive to make sure you’re as successful as possible. However, if they have built in safety measures in your franchise agreement that preserves their own income whilst not protecting yours, then the motives for offering you such a franchise business may be open to your further scrutiny.