Thinking about opening a pet grooming and boarding business? We tell you what you need to know to get started.
Pet Grooming & Boarding: Industry Snapshot
It's no secret that pets are big business in the U.S. and in other parts of the world. But many consumers and prospective pet entrepreneurs are still surprised to hear just how big the industry has become.
According to recent estimates, there are more than $75 million dogs in the U.S. If you remove veterinary, breeders and other pet care providers from the mix, grooming and boarding services alone represent a $3 billion a year industry -- a huge enticement for entrepreneurs interested in making their mark in the grooming and boarding field.
But the key to success as a pet grooming and boarding business owner is to know your market. Grooming and boarding are highly localized business services, so what works in another market may or may not work in yours. Before you launch your pet grooming and boarding business, it's critical to understand pricing models, pet owner needs and the competitive pressures in your area.
Three Tips for Breaking Into the Pet Grooming & Boarding Business
No matter where you are located, one thing is for certain -- you won't be the only pet grooming and boarding provider in your market. From the start, you will face competition from entrenched businesses with existing customer bases. Here's what you need to know to break into the industry and capture market share from the competition.
- Strategic Location. The selection of a location is a primary concern for pet grooming and boarding startups. For many pet owners, convenience is a major consideration in their choice of a boarding and grooming provider, so it's important to situate your startup in a residential area that is currently underserved in the area of pet services. The caveat is that some commercial landlords may be reticent to lease space to a tenant that may come with the baggage of excessive barking.
- Top-Notch Facility. The facility itself is another concern for pet owners. It doesn't take truckloads of cash to transform a leased space into a clean (and fresh smelling) grooming establishment with kennels designed to provide security and stimulation for your furry residents.
- Service Orientation. Pet grooming and boarding consumers are extremely concerned about the welfare of their pets and are willing to invest bug bucks in their wellbeing. Yet some pet groomers and boarding providers don't share their customers' devotion to their pets. To differentiate your startup, develop and maintain a customer service model that puts pets' needs first, and consistently demonstrates your company's innate love of animals.
Core Characteristics of Pet Grooming & Boarding Company Business Plans
Every business plan is unique, yet the most effective plans share a handful of essential traits.
If your plan lacks required elements like an executive summary or marketing plan, it could jeopardize its potential to deliver real benefits to your startup.
To discuss the external factors that will influence your startup, consider dedicating a section of your business to a PEST (Political, Economic, Social & Technological) analysis.
Don't Overlook the Competition
Before you open a pet grooming and boarding business in your area, it's worthwhile to find out what the competition looks like. Try our link below to generate a list of competitors nearby. Complete the form by entering your city, state and zip code to get a list of pet grooming and boarding businesses that are close by.
Prior to opening your doors for business, be sure you fully understand the competitive landscape and where your new business will fit in.
Turning Competitors Into Collaborators
After you've evaluated your local competitors, it's a smart move to have a conversation with someone who is in the business. If you think your local competitors will give you advice, you're being overoptimistic. Why would they want to educate a future competitor?
Thankfully, an owner of a a pet grooming and boarding business on the other side of the country will be much more likely to talk with you, provided that you won't be directly competing with them. Indeed, many experienced entrepreneurs enjoy offering advice to startup entrepreneurs. In my experience, you may have to call ten business owners in order to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
Do you know how to find a pet grooming and boarding business owner on the other side of the country to talk to?
No problem! Just use the link below and try a random city/state or zipcode. Then start dialing for advice until you are successful.
Advice for Acquiring a Pet Grooming & Boarding Business
If you've made the decision to buy a pet grooming and boarding business instead of pursuing a startup, you're on your way to a successful ownership experience.
Yet for many entrepreneurs, financing represents a major hurdle to buying a pet grooming and boarding business. The good news is that it's easier to finance an existing company than it is to finance a startup business. However, there is still some distance that needs to be traveled before you can secure enough funding to put your name on the letterhead.
Our Business Acquisition Financing Tips have the information you need to successfully navigate the challenges of financing your new business.
Don't Rule Out Franchising
Your chances for making a success of your new business are substantially improved when you franchise in lieu of doing everything yourself.
As part of your process in starting a pet grooming and boarding business, you ought to determine whether buying a franchise could be worth investigating.
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.
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If you already are in business and came here to learn about growing an existing pet grooming and boarding business, these resources will come in handy:
If you came here to learn about selling to pet grooming and boarding businesses, we've got better information for you elsewhere on our site. Try these resources instead:
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