Setting up a High Street Salon

Check out our tips for setting up a High Street salon dog grooming business

Which business is right for me?

Each year we train hundreds of beginners from all different walks of life; career changers from finance & banking, insurance, logistics, the hotel industry, lawyers, medical staff, ex police force, ex army, and career mums who have been looking after the family and now want their chance to shine,  those who are passionate about animals and those just starting out on their career journey. All of our students become successfully qualified. Out of those, 98% will end up successfully running their own business whilst others will work in a Salon.That’s really great news if you are looking start a new career or want to run your own business.

So just what are your options after the course?

Mobile, Salon or Home?

When you are thinking of your business options, one of the main choices that you will consider is what type of business do you actually want?  Do you like the idea of being on the road and going to find your business at their doorstep? Do you like the idea of starting small and keeping things comfortable, setting up in your own home or do you feel the desire to have your own salon and making your mark with a brand that can take over the world? 

Even if you’re not planning on global domination, knowing your options is key. There are definite benefits and drawbacks to each one, so let’s have a look at the options of each one to help guide you on the path that’s right for you.


This option is generally the most expensive but also the most profitable business option. Planning permissions, usage classes, equipment, rent and staffing all mean that this is a big investment that requires a lot of knowledge and probably the additional service of an accountant to manage your funds. This is because this option will have the biggest outgoings but also the biggest income. Having a salon boutique in a separate premises allows you fantastic options to make your business a huge success. The additional management and marketing skills needed for a salon are a consideration but if done properly, can help your business be a success and this can include taking in money, even when you are not there.

Salon Pros:

  • You have a big opportunity to make a significant profit quickly.
  • You can hire other groomers and expand your business.
  • You can groom multiple dogs at once.
  • You are generally lower priced than mobile groomers because you don’t have to factor in travel costs.
  • You can also upsell additional services if you have the space or products in-line with your brand and business.
  • If designed well, clients feel they are taking their dog to a reputable place and expect a high professional standard.
  • You can have a fairly structured grooming routine that is essential for dog compliance.
  • Significant franchise opportunities.

Salon Cons:

  • Your overheads are significantly bigger than the other options.
  • You need to be aware of planning permissions and usage categories when renting or owning a salon for business.
  • How you design your brand needs to be very carefully thought out to target the market that you are after. In a salon, this appearance can either gain or lose business.
  • There is generally a bigger area to manage.
  • You will have to multitask the running of administration and reception tasks with grooming.
  • Salons, with multiple dogs and more equipment can be a lot noisier.
  • Your market will only be as big as those that can pick up and drop off their dogs unless you choose to expand the service you offer.

What equipment do I need?

Starting up can feel like a never-ending list of items and an ever-increasing investment into your future. To help you understand the full extent of your costs, here is a list of equipment that is useful to your start up and an approximate cost for each item.

EquipmentWhat it is for?Approximate average cost (£)
ShampooYou’ll need a range of shampoos to deal with skin conditions and coat types.£25 per 4l bottle(prices range between £10 and £80 per bottle)
ClippersWhether you go for corded or cordless, clippers are an essential tool for every groomer for quick, effective consistent grooming.£200(prices range from £130-£350)
Clipper bladesYou’ll need a range of these, including 30, 10, 8.5, 7F, 7, 6F, 6, 5F, 5, 4F, 4, 3F, 3, 2F, 2.£30 per blade
Comb attachmentComb attachments will attach to blade number 30, 15 and 10 and using attachment size 1-8.£20-£50 per set
Clipper OilTo make sure your clipper blades stay working well.£7 per 500ml
Colognes and PerfumesTo give each dog a fantastic smell that each client can associate with your business.
Ear PowderTo help clear out and disinfect ears.£6.50 for 25g
Nail ClippersTo keep their nails clipped and free from infection£18 for a set of 3
Blood stopperTo manage little nips and cuts to the dog.£8
Slicker brushesTo brush out and de-matt hair£12-£25 for 3
De-shedding toolsTo help remove the undercoat in short and medium coats£40 for 2
CombsTo help de-tangle and brush hair when it is needing to be styled and is less tangled£8.50
Coat KingTo remove the undercoat on longer coated dogs.£15-£20 each
Finishing DryerTo dry the dog after a wash and removing excess water, ready for a groom.£400-£700 each
BlasterTo remove excess water after an initial wash before using the finishing dryer.£200-£800 each
ScissorsThis can be a huge range but to cover the basics of a straight, curved and thinning pair to help style and shape.£250 for 3, however, with experience this can be over £1000
Grooming tableThis can be hydraulic or set to a particular height. Having one that moves is useful for your back and the health of the dog, but is up to you.£100-£500 (non-hydraulic)£400-£1000 (hydraulic)
BathOnce again, there are a huge range available and the cost is affected by bath size and material used.£400-£1000
SteriliserTo sterilize your metallic equipment.£80
Leads and NoosesTo restrain and maintain safe control of each dog£80 for a set
CagesThis is dependent on how long you wish to hold your dogs and the space you have to hold the dogs in.£35-£350 per cage
Bath equipmentThis would including a mitt, a sponge, a jug and combs specific for hygiene areas£50 for a set

Quick tips

DON’T be the cheapest or undersell yourself
DO understand what other businesses in your area are charging
DO understand your target market and local area

Price guides

These pricings are a suggestion and a rough guideline to where you can price your services. This doesn’t factor in the price difference in your local area or the time or overheads that you will need to think about when sorting your price structure. This also doesn’t include up-selling and additional services that you may wish to charge for. If you haven’t thought of this option, please see our adding services section.

  • Extra small dogs from £25 to £35. For example, Pugs and Pomeranians
  • Small dogs from £30 to £40. For example, Shih Tzu, Miniature Schnauzer and West Highland White Terriers
  • Medium dogs from £35 to £45. For example, Cocker Spaniels, Cockerpoo’s and Schnauzer
  • Large dogs from £45. For example, German Shepherd, Samoyed and Standard Poodle
  • Extra large dogs from £65. For example, Bernese mountain dogs, Newfoundland, Saint Bernard and Great Dane
  • Hand stripping from £40

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