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Starting a Dog Grooming Business

Grooming BusinessYou love dogs. That's a given. Your family thinks that you love your dog more than you love them--and your dog is convinced that you do! But is it enough to love dogs to want to groom them professionally? The answer is, probably not. But don't despair; your love of dogs at least can get you started.

A lot of work goes into becoming a groomer. Having a love of dogs is only a small part of it. You must be willing to study hard and to work hard once you graduate. If you decide to have your own business, rather than work for someone else, that workload doubles or triples, just to keep the shop doors open.

It's not about the Dogs

No matter what service you provide in the canine service industry, you must remember one simple rule: It's not about the dogs. Yes, your goal might be to make the dogs that come into your shop more comfortable, but most of those dogs would be happy to run around with the barest minimum of grooming. The owner is the one who wants the topknots, the fluffy pants, and the spiffy bandanas. The dog wants the cookie at the end of the session. Your secondary goal should be the comfort of the dog; however, your primary goal should be the happiness of the owner, who should want to come back again and again and again. The owner pays the money that keeps the doors open.

Learning to Groom

Part of starting a dog grooming business is learning how to groom. Although that sounds like stating the obvious, it's surprising how many people think that because they like brushing their pet in front of the television they can also run a grooming business.

In order to run a grooming business you need to be familiar with more than just a couple of clips and how to tie a bow in a dog's topknot. You must be familiar with the grooming needs of over 100 breeds of dogs. In addition, you must be able to determine which kind of shampoo and cut best serves the needs of any mixed breed dog and pet owner that comes into the shop. For these reasons, you should look for a reputable brick and mortar school at which you can get both theory and practical experience. Most schools have courses of study that last for less than a year. In addition, these schools often provide grooming equipment as part of your education or provide you with the name of a supplier with whom they may have made a discount arrangement.

If you can not find a good brick and mortar school in your area, you might consider taking a course through the mail or over the Internet. If you do so, then consider doing some practical training by apprenticing with a professional groomer in your area, in order to synthesize your theoretical knowledge into physical skills.

Selecting a Business Place

Even before you get your certificate, you need to decide where you will be working. You have several options after graduation, including taking an entry level position with a pet supply store, a veterinary clinic, or an established groomer, until you improve your skills. When you work for someone else, you will not make as much money; however, you will have the freedom to come and go when your shift ends. In addition, you will be able to learn more about pet grooming from an established pet groomer. If you are interested in grooming show quality dogs, then consider offering your services to a professional dog handler. Some professional handlers have enough clients for them to need a number of assistants to help groom and exercise the dogs. It is not glamorous work, but you may be able to gain experience that you could not get at other facilities.

Naturally, one of the options open to you is to start a grooming shop of your own. If that is your choice, contact other groomers in your general area to learn what they needed to do to get started. Using this information, you will need to develop a business plan before applying for a business loan. If you do not know how to draw up a business plan, the Small Business Administration in your area will be able to assist you.

Professional Associations

Bankers, investors, and even clients will be more willing to look at you if you are a member of a professional organization or two. You might want to consider joining one local or regional association, one state organization, and one national or international association. Two examples of these kinds of organization are the National Dog Grooming Association of America (NDGAA) and the International Professional Groomers, Inc. (IPG). You may be able to get professional insurance through these organizations, too.

Grooming dogs can be an enjoyable career. Do your research and take your time learning and it can be enjoyable for years to come.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you are a business owner get listed at Best Dog Care Site, part of Localwin Network.

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