Have you ever seen on NatGeo or in the wild how baboons groom their young ones?
I knew that animals clean and bathe themselves. Cats do clean themselves.
When my 4-year-old cried for a pet, we got her a dog and the Dog keeper told us, ‘You’re going to have to clean your dog at least, twice a month or weekly.
Cleaning her means brushing her hair, clipping her nails and washing her.
You’re also going to walk her as she grows.
Because she’s a tiny dog, you can walk her thrice a week from 10 minutes to 30 minutes.
I have never been shocked in my life. We also had to clean her bedding and get her food.
We didn’t know anything about pet grooming so we had to take her to the groomers.
I believed grooming a dog was so hard because Cindy loves to bite.
When I’d hear people taking their pets to the veterinary, I’d always think about medical procedures being performed on the pets.
There weren’t many pet grooming services in Kenya back in 2013. The pet grooming services were high priced.
So, we decided instead of taking her to the groomers, why not learn how grooming is done
Pet grooming is a growing business in Kenya and extremely lucrative.
No one wants to live with a smelly ragged dog that can easily spread germs and diseases or bring pests like ticks and fleas into the house.
You can begin your pet grooming services from home or you can purchase a truck then customise it and do mobile pet grooming.
Expect to make 100k a month or more depending on how you advertise or how your fame spreads.
To make more money as a pet groomer, target high-end areas or where the affluent live.
A pet grooming business is one that spreads through the word of mouth.
Proving excellent services to your customers means customers will recommend you to others.
As more people want to own pets to keep them company, the demand for pet grooming services is on the rise.
If you’re an animal lover and can talk to dogs, literally, pet grooming is one of the best businesses for you.
You can decide to make more money as a pet groomer by providing services like dog walking, pet sitting or even pet photography or by becoming a pet artist.
Pets are like bundles of joy and if you don’t mind spending the rest of your days around furry little creatures, you should think about starting a pet grooming business.
Pet grooming requires you to love animals and study animal behaviour.
You don’t need a huge amount of money to get started as a pet groomer.
You can start by advertising your services on social media platforms.
Or you can use tools and equipment your customers have for grooming their dogs.
Remember dog grooming isn’t limited to dogs.
Dog grooming is one of the most popular pet grooming services in Kenya.
The more you know about grooming other animals like horses, donkeys, cows and rabbits, the more money you make.
In this article, I will walk you through everything you need to know about how to start a pet grooming business.
I will also share tips and advice for starting a pet grooming business.
Got questions about starting a pet grooming business in Kenya?
Write to me at Gertrude dot akinyi at Gmail dot com.
I love you and appreciate your reading and commenting.
What Does Pet Grooming Mean?
Pet grooming is the act of giving pets like cats and dogs personal hygienic care.
Pet grooming involves bathing and prepping animals in order to prevent them from diseases or treat any underlying conditions.
Pet groomers are also called animal beauticians.
As a pet groomer, you will be bathing animals such as show dogs or horses, clipping them, trimming their hair and cleaning their teeth.
The pet owners will then pay you for these pet grooming services based on what you charge them.
This is how a pet grooming business works.
How to Start a Pet Grooming Business
You can start a pet grooming business today in these simple steps.
- Determine business strategy
How do you want to start a pet grooming business?
A pet grooming business has many variations.
i) You can start a home pet grooming business where clients visit your home and you attend to their pets there.
ii) You can open a physical pet grooming business location where you have space to groom the pets.
There are things which go into choosing a physical location for a pet grooming business.
iii) A mobile pet grooming business is also a great idea for a pet grooming business.
You will have to move to clients’ houses to groom their pets.
This is a good way to grow your business, although you have to factor in transportation costs.
The business strategy you choose should be based on your own personal preference and style and your financial capabilities.
I would advise you to choose a business strategy that doesn’t have too many competitors.
- Research your market
The next thing you want to do is conduct research on your competitors and the market.
Are there any pet groomers in your area?
What pet grooming services do they offer?
What makes them so reputable?
What gives them a competitive advantage in the industry?
What type of pets do they groom? Do you know their breeds?
Knowing who your competitors are is important if you want to get ahead of them.
Now, take a look at your market. This includes the people and the pets.
Who are your clients and where are they located?
What types of pets do they own?
What pet grooming services do they need?
How are they underserved in the market?
How much are they willing to pay for pet grooming services?
When you know your target market, you are able to give them the best pet grooming services and run a successful pet grooming business.
If you don’t know how to get these questions answered, consider doing surveys or asking people in the neighbourhood to fill in questionnaires.
Have all the information you need about a pet grooming business during your research.
- Get the training required
In order to start a pet grooming business, you need to be trained and certified.
This is a mandatory requirement.
Pet owners want to know that you have the skills needed to handle their pets.
Having prior experience with animals is a good plus for pet groomers.
I recently watched a video on Tiktok of a woman pad shaving a horse.
I remember how she emphasised how she had to perfect her skills before she got on the job because she didn’t want to risk hurting the horse.
There are many schools that have in-person professional training for pet groomers.
It will take you around 6 to 8 weeks before you get certified as a pet groomer.
Remember, certification is good to build trust and credibility.
- Pick a niche
What is your area of interest?
Are you doing general pet grooming or do you want to focus on one specific area?
General pet grooming services allow you to have a wide customer base.
When you choose to niche down, you stand a chance to have more loyal customers who trust your work.
A lot of people believe that specialisation equals expertise.
Some of the niches you can choose for a pet grooming business include:
Cutting down hair for specific breeds.
Cleaning services like teeth and nails
Grooming show animals e.g dogs and cats
Another niche is only focusing on specific animals over the others, for example, dogs over cats.
- Have a business plan
A business plan is a guide.
It tells you what your business is all about.
When you are writing a pet grooming business plan, ask yourself:
What pet grooming services will I be offering?
What are the expenses for starting a pet grooming business?
- Cost of pet grooming equipment
- Certification costs
- Licensing costs
- Website expenses
- Marketing expenses
- Utility bills e.g water and electricity
How many pets do I want to work on per day?
How many members of staff will I need?
What is my business strategy?
What is my market strategy?
What is the startup capital needed for a pet grooming business?
How many clients do I expect?
You need to write a well-detailed pet grooming business plan so that you can have a good overview of your business.
A fully detailed business plan will also come in handy when you want to source funding for a pet grooming business.
- Find a good location
If you are opening a physical spot for a pet grooming business, you need to start thinking about location.
Location can make or break your pet grooming business.
i) Things to consider when choosing a location for a pet grooming business.
- Accessibility; your pet grooming business should be near roads and motorways to enable pet owners to pass by easily.
- Parking access; a pet grooming business should have space for pet owners to wait on their pets in their vehicles while they are being groomed.
- Zoning; make sure you have your pet grooming business in a place that has not been marked off as government property.
- Visibility; this is good for when you decide to use signage for your pet grooming business.
- Foot traffic; high foot traffic increases the chance of dog walkers knowing about your pet grooming business and visiting it.
Make sure you do your due diligence to find the best place where both the pet owners and pets will be comfortable.
7. What is the Equipment Needed for Pet Groomers?
For a pet grooming business, you need to have your equipment and toolkit ready.
i) What do I need to start a pet grooming business?
Shaving kits including shears, scissors and replacement blades
Shampoo and conditioners
Nail clippers and grinders
Grooming brushes e.g combs and undercoats
You can buy new or used equipment at affordable prices.
Make sure you buy all the equipment you need for pet grooming so that you do not inconvenience yourself once you start these pet grooming services.
- Hire skilled and trained personnel
Sometimes you will have a lot of pets to groom.
You need to have the right team on board to help you with pet grooming.
Hire skilled personnel and train them on how they can run business operations.
Your employees can do prep work on the pets or groom them altogether.
They also have to have exceptional customer service skills when they are interacting with pet owners.
Having the right staff will help you to run your pet grooming business successfully.
- Get the necessary licenses and permits
Before you start a pet grooming business, you have to make sure that your business is in full compliance with the law.
Start by registering your pet grooming business with the state so that you can operate your business legally.
Choose a business entity that suits your preferences and register your business.
Next, look for the legal documents that you need to start a pet grooming business.
If you do not know what documents you need, you can ask the local authorities for help.
i) Licensing requirements for a pet grooming business
Note: Having insurance is very important for a pet grooming business in case there are any accidents or pets get injured.
Also, really pay close attention to the zoning laws so that you do not fall on the government’s wrong side.
Starting a pet grooming business in full compliance with the law helps you to avoid paying heavy fines or having your pet grooming business shut down.
- Price your services
Do you know how to price your pet grooming services?
Since a pet grooming business is centred on rendering grooming services to pets, you need to know how you are going to charge your clients and by how much.
A good way to price your services is to look at what your competitors are charging.
You can also look at the business expenses as well as the type of grooming service requested since some pet grooming services will need more attention to detail and skills.
Price more for complex pet grooming services as opposed to simpler tasks.
- Promote your pet grooming business
To find clients and expand your customer base for a pet grooming business, you need to have effective marketing strategies for your business.
i) How to attract clients to a pet grooming business
Word of mouth marketing
Use flyers and posters
Ask for referrals
Have a website
Use social media platforms e.g Facebook or Instagram
Use local ad publications or radio and TV ads
ii) How to promote a pet grooming business
Have a loyalty programme
Network with pet owners at animal shows
Host community animal events
Use social media
Have a website
Ask for customer feedback
Get reviewed on yellow pages
Give excellent customer service
Pet Grooming Services
The pet grooming services you will be rendering to pets include:
Pad shaving for horses
Skills Needed for Pet Groomers
If you want to be a successful pet groomer, you need to possess these skills and qualities.
Communication skills with the pet owners and pets. You need to know how to understand pet language
Patience with the pets
Physical and mental stamina
Interpersonal skills; as you will be connecting with the pet owners
Pet health knowledge
Pros of a Pet Grooming Business
These are some of the benefits of starting a pet grooming business.
- You get to spend time around animals if you love pets.
- You can choose different business strategies to start a pet grooming business (mobile pet grooming or dog walking, pet sitting)
- You get to make meaningful connections with people and pets
- You can expand your pet grooming business; it has a high growth potential
- You serve a wide client base as we have many pet owners today
Cons of a Pet Grooming Business
These are the disadvantages of starting a pet grooming business.
- Startup costs can be expensive; especially getting the tool kit and the shampooing supplies.
- More than just a love for animals is needed; you need to be well trained and highly skilled to be a pet groomer.
- You need insurance to protect you from any liabilities; this is expensive.
- Building a loyal customer base takes time. Most pet owners in Kenya would rather groom their pets than use a pet grooming service.
Pet Grooming Business Ideas
When you are starting a pet grooming business, you need to be as unique as possible so that you can undercut competitors in a heartbeat.
You want to make sure that the type of business you are starting can distinguish you from others if you want to make more profit.
Here are some pet related business ideas you can start today.
Pet food business
FAQs on Starting a Pet Grooming Business
Q. Is a pet grooming business profitable?
Yes. A pet grooming business is very profitable.
Q. How long does it take to be a pet groomer?
In order to become a pet groomer, you need to go through training and apprenticeship.
This should take you around 6 to 8 weeks to become a pet groomer.
Q. How much does it cost to start a pet grooming business?
The amount of money it takes to start a pet grooming business depends on your business strategy.
Starting a pet grooming business from home is going to be a lot cheaper than a mobile pet grooming business because of the transportation costs.
Write a list of all your expenses and get an estimate of the startup costs for a pet grooming business.
On average, you can start a pet grooming business with $400 to $500 in cash.
Q. How do I make money with a pet grooming business?
With a pet grooming business, you make money from every service you render to the pets as required by 5he pet owners.
You can also sell dog treats or offer pet sitting services and make money this way.
Q. How much can I charge my customers?
The amount of money you should charge your customers depends on the services they want for their pets.
For example, if it is nail clipping, you can charge them $50 dollars for that.
Pad shaving for horses will cost a lot more.
You can also find out from other pet groomers what they charge for specific services and then use that as the standard price.
Always keep your prices fair and profitable.
Q. How much money can I make with a pet grooming business?
You can make a lot of money with a pet grooming business.
This depends on the number of pets you have groomed and the type of grooming service requested.
On a good day, you can make $100 in profit from a pet grooming business.
Resources Related to Starting a Pet Grooming Business in Kenya
Pet grooming is a great business to start today.
This business is one of the most lucrative businesses in the world today, having billions of dollars in profit.
In fact, it is estimated that the animal industry will keep on growing substantially.
If you want to start and run your own business, you cannot sleep on this information.
It’s time to get your share of profits from starting a pet grooming business.
A good way to get started as a pet groomer is to offer these grooming services to your friends and family and gradually build your business over time.
You have to gain some skills before you get started with a pet grooming business.
Certification is good to build credibility and make people trust you with their pets.
You will be spending your time with pets so find ways to bond with every animal, if you want to run a successful pet grooming business.
As an entrepreneur, you can start a pet grooming business as a side hustle or a full-time job and make a lot of money from this business.
Do you love animals?
Are you wondering how to start a profitable pet grooming service from home?