Thinking about opening a pet grooming school? We tell you what you need to know to get started.
Pets are a $40+ billion business in the U.S. with small businesses comprising the bulk of the industry. Americans love their animals and are willing to pay top dollar for everything from veterinary care to grooming. Some folks love animals so much they are even willing to pay someone to teach them how to groom pets themselves.
Pet grooming schools cater to both pet owners and aspiring pet salon owners. Although it's a subset of the larger pet grooming industry, pet grooming training gives talented groomers a business model for taking their game to the next level. But getting started may be trickier than it sounds.
A successful pet grooming business is a prerequisite for a pet grooming school. You can't train other pet groomers until you have proven yourself capable of launching and maintaining a profitable grooming salon.
Once your pet grooming business has become profitable, the next step is to expand your business by offering a single pet grooming class. Teaching others to groom pets requires different skills than you employ in your salon. Even though your initial class may be a scaled down version of your vision, the lessons you learn here will lay the foundation for your grooming school. A single class offering also gives you the opportunity to test the market for grooming education before you invest significant capital in a full-blown school.
If your grooming class is successful and there is room in the market for a larger grooming school, it's time to pull the trigger on your business concept. A fully operational grooming school will probably necessitate a new location and training equipment purchases. But at this point, you should also be thinking about the shape of your curriculum, your fee structure, and the scope of your certification program.
To increase revenues, consider offering discounted grooming (performed by your students), grooming supplies, and other profit centers at your school's location. Depending on your circumstances, you may also want to sell your grooming business now, keeping in mind that the success of your school could result in an influx of competitors into the local market.
Best Practices for Writing a Pet Grooming School Business Plan
As a startup entrepreneur, you're learning that small business ownership can be a lonely career path. That's especially true when it comes to writing a business plan – the seminal document that will shape the direction of your new pet grooming school.
Fortunately, you don't have to tackle your pet grooming school's business plan by yourself. These days, there are tons of great resources and solutions available to support the business plan writing process.
If you're feeling overwhelmed, take a look at Gaebler's Business Plan Help section for a list of business plan writing resources.
Don't Overlook Competitors
Long before you open a pet grooming school within your community, it's a good idea to see how you will fit in the competitive landscape. Use the link below to generate a list of competitors nearby. After clicking on the link, type in your city, state and zip code to get a list of pet grooming schools near you.
It's important to be aware of what the competition is doing. Take the time to visit the competition to properly assess their strengths and weaknesses.
A Good Source of Advice
Once you've finished assessing the competion, it's a smart move to learn as much as you can from somebody who is already in the business. It's very unlikely that the local competition will talk to you. The last thing they want to do is help you to be a better competitor.
Fortunately, somebody who runs a pet grooming school in a location that is not competitive to you can be a great learning resource for you, as long as they don't view you as a competitive threat. Indeed, many experienced entrepreneurs enjoy offering advice to startup entrepreneurs. Our estimate is that you may have to contact many business owners to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
Where do you find somebody who runs a pet grooming school who is willing to talk to you but doesn't live nearby?
Here's how we would do it. Try the useful link below and key in a random city/state or zipcode.
Pros & Cons of Buying a Pet Grooming School
Although there are significant benefits to buying a pet grooming school (rather than launching a startup), it's important to weigh the pros and cons before you commit to a purchase scenario.
BENEFITS: Acquired pet grooming schools should be profitable right out of the gate; they should also be capable of demonstrating a loyal customer base, brand identity and operational efficiencies.
DRAWBACKS: However, purchased companies can also come with pre-existing challenges and/or liabilities. Ultimately, it may be more difficult to tailor a purchased business to your ownership style.
Is Franchising the Right Option?
Your odds of achieving your top business goals immediately improve if you decide to franchise instead of doing it all on your own.
Before you consider starting a pet grooming school, you would be wise to assess whether there are good franchise opportunities available that might increase your chances of success.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding getting started as an entrepreneur may be of interest to you.
If you came here to learn about selling to pet grooming schools, you're in the wrong place. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are interested in starting a different kind of business, please browse our directory of guides below.