Setting up a Mobile Dog Grooming Business

Check out our tips for setting up a mobile 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 Dog Grooming

When you think about grooming using a mobile facility, you need to be realistic in how much everything will cost because you don’t just need to factor in your grooming equipment, but also the running and maintenance costs to a vehicle. Being truly portable means that your client base can be as large as you want it to be and you also have greater freedom to work the hours that are suitable to you. Travel does come with a drawback in that you now have to factor in issues with traffic and must be flexible with you appointments. Clients are also aware that your overheads are low and as a result, you cannot charge the same amount as you would for a salon experience. One additional factor is that you must be aware you are only able to complete one dog at a time and as a result, if you are thinking about expanding, that will mean another van. Depending on the quality of your vehicle and your equipment, you can have an initial start-up cost ranging anywhere between £5000 and £30000. Let’s summarise the main pros and cons of mobile dog grooming.

Mobile Dog Grooming Pros:

  • Overheads are very small compared to a salon.
  • You can advertise by word of mouth purely from driving between clients.
  • You can choose when you work.
  • You can be more sure that you have clients available for you because you are driving to them.
  • You require a smaller range of equipment because you only have a small space to manage.
  • Dogs are generally lower stressed because they are groomed outside of their home environment.
  • They’re also able to generally have one groomer for each dog, which increases dog comfort and consistency.
  • Franchise opportunities

Mobile Dog Grooming Cons:

  • You are limited to the number of dogs that can be groomed at one time.
  • You have to consider the impact you have of disposing grooming waste.
  • You will spend a lot of time based in a very small space, including behind a wheel.
  • You are limited to your options of expanding unless you can invest in more vans.
  • Because you only groom one dog at a time, costs have to be high to make it worth while.
  • Travel and maintenance of your mobile salon have a big impact on your business.
  • To make substantial money, you have to work very long hours.

What equipment do I need to be a mobile dog groomer?

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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