Love Animals? Become a Travelling Dog Groomer

by J.B. Maverick

2 min read

If you love dogs, and you’re looking for a way to translate that passion into a part-time or full-time income, dog grooming could be the ideal small business for you. A university degree isn’t required, but you should spend time researching the field and immersing yourself, whenever possible, with other professionals who work with dogs. Working as a travelling groomer entails certain requirements and factors you need to take into account before you can start generating an income.

Registration and Licencing Requirements

When opening your mobile grooming business, there are municipal, provincial, and federal registration and licencing requirements you must adhere to. Handle this early so you can register your company’s name, get a business number, and a goods and services tax/harmonized sales tax account – elements you will need as you establish your business. This process is simplified with the Canada Revenue Agency’s Business Registration Online, where you can find the registration and licencing requirements. If you plan to operate your business in Quebec, you’re also required to register through Revenu Québec’s Business Portal.

Startup Costs

Dealing with initial or startup costs for your mobile grooming business is arguably the most challenging part of such an occupation. Paying for testing courses and pet grooming certifications is not always a necessary startup cost, but customers are generally more likely to use your services if you’ve been certified. Space to perform your services is another cost that is not always necessary for a travelling groomer. As a mobile groomer, you have the option of grooming dogs in their owners’ homes. This can save you – or at least postpone until you’re generating regular income – paying all the initial fees you’d shell out to rent space or purchase a truck or trailer with enough room to work on your clients. Startup costs that are unavoidable include fees to register your business, licence fees, and costs of supplies. When you’re first starting out, you have to stock up on shampoo, combs, brushes, scissors, shavers, blow dryers, buckets, leashes, collars, toys, protective gear (for you and for the dogs), and any other miscellaneous items you use on a regular basis. After you’ve been operating for a period of time, you’ll probably be able to work with vendors to get better deals on products you regularly use, or you might be able to buy items in bulk to cut down on per-item cost.

Advertising and Marketing

Because you’re starting a new business, and because you won’t be operating out of one specific location, you need to to introduce yourself and your services when you advertise. Social media marketing can be your best solution, because it lets you market yourself and your services without paying a penny. Another inexpensive marketing step you can take is visiting local vets, pet salons, and other establishments that cater to dogs. Leave business cards with your name, number, website, and social media profile names, and ask employees to share these cards with their customers. Word-of-mouth marketing is still one of the strongest ways to bring in clients. As you develop a customer base, word-of-mouth marketing opportunities increase as you have more clients to share their favorable experiences with you. An understanding of the basic job requirements and an entrepreneurial spirit will help you achieve success as a travelling dog groomer.

References & Resources

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