Tag Archives: dog poll

Starting a Mobile Dog Grooming Business


Many newly qualified dog groomers are attracted to the Mobile Dog Grooming business.  As a new business set-up the advantages are obvious; no premises to secure, no long term lease (and rent) commitments, lower overheads, greater location flexibility, etc. etc.  There is even the opportunity to have all the business set-up work done for you by taking one of the franchises for mobile grooming.

From your customer’s perspective there is the convenience of having the dog groomer attend at their home.  Many people find this less stressful for both the dog and themselves as there is no traveling involved, no traffic, parking, leaving their dog behind, etc. etc.  A mobile dog grooming service is invaluable for any pet owners who are housebound or have mobility difficulties.

Estimates show that there are almost seven million dogs in the UK, with over 85% of owners stating that their pets are for companionship.

The mobile dog grooming business has been around for a long time, but has seen a noticeable increase in popularity in recent years, as our lifestyles have changed.  More and more dog owners have a busy life, giving a greater inconvenience in visiting the dog grooming salon to drop off and collect their dogs within normal opening times.  Obviously, many dog owners simply enjoy the convenience of having the groomer visit their home. Some owners prefer to have the dog groomer visit their home as they find their dog is much calmer and happier about the grooming experience and is out of their home for a much shorter period of time.

There are still many towns that don’t have sufficient coverage from good quality mobile dog groomers and you should research your market and potential operating area thoroughly when formulating your plans.  Even in locations that already have mobile grooming services operating, there is always room for one more!

Whether you’re at the stage where you’re just interested in the possibility of taking a course in dog grooming to enter the dog grooming business, a recently trained dog groomer or a professional groomer looking to branch out on your own, here’s ten good reasons for considering a mobile dog grooming business:

 

  1. You get to know your customers better on a one-to-one basis.  You will have time to get to know their wants and desires for their individual dog.
  2. Higher fees are chargeable.  This is a personalised service and your customers understand that fees for a mobile dog grooming service will generally be higher than those charged at a dog grooming salon. 
  3. You will be able to pick up additional business at some appointments.  Your customer’s neighbours and friends may wish to utilise your dog grooming service whilst at the appointment (your other appointment times permitting).
  4. No long-term commitment to premises.  No leases to sign, premises maintenance and repairs or local taxes to pay.  No fixed opening and closing times and your investment is going into your own vehicle and mobile grooming business.
  5. A convenient way to work.  Less interruptions from other customers arriving and leaving, less telephone interruptions.  The dog which you are grooming will be less stressed and better behaved in the one-on-one environment.
  6. Existing customers quickly spread the word about your unique and convenient dog grooming service.  Generating increased business for you and a quick growth to your determined capacity.
  7. Free daily advertising for your service.  Vehicle lettering on your mobile grooming unit is a constant FREE advertising billboard for your mobile dog grooming business, generating new interest and enquiries daily.
  8. You get a break between clients.  An excellent stress-buster, time to yourself between appointments.
  9. Take time off when you need to.  No need for excuses, just don’t book an appointment during the times that you need to be away from your business  – and if you choose to make up the time,  you have the flexibility to book other out of hours appointments to balance your working time.
  10. Satisfaction and pride.  You’re offering a unique and valued professional dog grooming service; you should take pride in your success.

A mobile dog grooming business has a good future in the UK market, either as a stand-alone business or as a profitable add-on for an existing pet grooming business.  Besides a lucrative business income, working from your mobile grooming van or trailer can offer comparatively low start up costs, lower overheads than a shop-based salon and a stress free working environment.


A Mobile Dog Grooming Business Franchise

 

The mobile dog grooming business has attracted a number of franchising companies to the market.  Buying into a franchise is an easy way to get into the mobile dog grooming business and the grooming marketplace.  You are able to follow an established business plan with start-up and ongoing support from the franchisor with training, advertising and marketing, branding and ‘head office’ back up support.

 

Many mobile dog grooming franchises offer a complete training package for the newcomer, from training in dog grooming skills and operating management right through to the technical support and marketing package that you need to run your day to day mobile grooming business.  A good mobile dog grooming franchise opportunity will provide you with a proven business model, established branding, help and support from the franchisor and a better chance of getting finance to start your business.

 

BUT…..  If you’re considering starting a mobile dog grooming business and one of your options is to take on a franchise business, then you should consider all aspects of the franchised business – often missing from the ‘sales pitch’ from the franchisors.  

 

Normally, a franchise will be granted for a given geographic trading area and if you operate outside this area, it may be considered an infringement of your operating license.  The trading area is often defined by either population/households, or by town/regional boundaries.  You will need to do your homework to determine if your licensed area will generate sufficient dog grooming business  to support you  when it is fully established and working at it’s maximum customer level.  Many franchisors quote example numbers of dogs groomed per day, per week, or per year; take the time to establish if these examples are practical and/or achievable.

Carefully consider the start-up and ongoing costs of the vehicle for your franchised business.  How much are you paying for your vehicle?  What do the vehicle costs include/exclude?  How much will you pay for continued use of your vehicle, and what is its expected life span?  What is the financial position in respect of your dog grooming vehicle at the time that your vehicle needs to be replaced?


Some franchises will charge you a fee to start trading, followed by a monthly ‘license fee’ for continued use of their trading name and area.  Some companies levy a profits-related or turnover-related charge, as well as (or instead of) the monthly fee. Establish how this works and calculate the associated costs to your business.  How is it collected?  …and if it’s collected in arrears, ask the questions about what happens when your license term ends.  If you should decide to terminate your franchise at some time in the future what are the costs and consequences?

We are not suggesting that a franchise is wrong for a mobile dog grooming business, we are simply advising that you should enter into any such agreement with your eyes open and aware of any possible costs or pitfalls.  Bear in mind that the primary interest of the franchisor must be to keep their own business profitable  – if this is dependant on the profitability of your own franchised business then they have an incentive to make sure you’re as successful as possible.  However, if they have built in safety measures in your franchise agreement that preserves their own income whilst not protecting yours, then the motives for offering you such a franchise business may be open to your further scrutiny.

 

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Understanding Dog Body Language and Verbal Clues

Have you ever wondered why your dog makes those strange muttering sounds at the dinner table? Or why he lays his ears back when confronted with a stranger? Dogs speak to us, but in a different language. Unfortunately, there’s no Rosetta Stone DVD to help us learn “dog talk.” So, instead, we must analyze it ourselves, keeping it in context, avoiding asserting our own interpretations, and remembering that dogs were once wild animals.

The best way to start is to look to the dog’s ancestor, the wolf. Wolves live in packs and dogs do the same with other pets in the household and their humans. There must be a leader of the pack and that leader should be you. And to be an effective canine leader, you need to know what your dog is trying to tell you.

Dogs communicate in many ways with each other, using verbal cues, body language and facial expressions. They also try to communicate with humans using these methods. Humans, of course, communicate with dogs with commands and phrases. Dogs can learn hundreds of human sounds but they can’t string them together. Thus, the need for short comments such as “Sit!” and “Come!” Many of our communication tools are lost on dogs, such as sarcasm (to indicate frustration) or closed body language (to indicate you’re uncomfortable) or a look of surprise. So, to enhance our communication with our canines, we must learn to get back to the basics and speak “dog.”

Dog Body Language/Facial “Expressions”

Confident and Relaxed

  • Stance – erect
  • Tail – wagging slowly
  • Ears – pricked up but with a relaxed look
  • Eyes – small pupils
  • Mouth – closed or slight parting of lips
  • Stance – lowered
  • Tail – tucked under
  • Ears – down
  • Eyes – a wide-eyed look with the whites showing
  • Mouth – panting
  • Stance – rigid
  • Tail – straight up or out behind, very rigid
  • Ears – pricked up
  • Eyes – intense, focused stare
  • Mouth – lips are pulled back and some teeth show
  • Hackles – this is a line of hair that starts at the base of the neck and runs down the shoulders. It is raised if a dog is feeling aggressive and lowered if he is relaxed.
  • Stance – dog is pulled into himself
  • Tail – tucked completely under
  • Ears – lying down
  • Eyes – wide-eyed and trouble focusing
  • Mouth – lips pulled back slightly or heavy panting
  • Stance – lying down or standing without any alertness
  • Tail – up and wagging or lying naturally
  • Ears – at their normal state, depending on the breed (A Terrier’s would be up but relaxed, a Hound’s would be down)
  • Eyes – normal pupil dilation, focused but not staring
  • Mouth – open and lightly panting or closed

Fearful or Anxious

Aggressive

Fear-Aggressive

Relaxed

Dog Verbal Cues

The Howl
This is an attempt to locate someone, perhaps you or the dog down the street. When you leave for work, it’s very possible your dog howls in an effort to get you back. When one dog starts howling in the neighborhood, usually many others join in – it’s sort of like a conference call.

The Growl
This means “back off.” You’ll see a dog growl when another dog gets interested in his food. Your dog may growl at a stranger he doesn’t like or he may growl at you when you try to take his toy away. It’s actually a very effective way of communicating and actually signals that you can probably negotiate that toy away. When a dog is in an aggressive stance and silent, there is the most danger.

The Grunt or Mutter
This is usually to indicate that your dog wants something. It’s an interesting sound because it’s almost manipulative – your dog knows if he barks, he’ll get into trouble but the more subtle “grunt” might get him wants he wants. It is also heard when dogs greet other dogs or humans.

The Whimper
Dogs whimper when they’re anxious or hurt. Sometimes they figure out that they get attention when they whimper and use this to their advantage.

The Whine
This indicates frustration. They are in a sense “complaining” about something.

The Bark
There are many different types of barks. A high pitched bark indicates excitement and happiness. A low pitched bark indicates aggression and is possibly a threat. Dogs bark to get attention, to respond to other dogs, to indicate that they’re happy, and to alert their human to a problem. Unfortunately, your dog may detect a “problem” that you can’t see or hear, such as a siren miles away or the neighbor’s cat hiding in the tree outside the window.

Remember when Lassie sprinted off down the road to find help because Timmy had fallen into a well? Through her verbal cues and body language she was able to lead the rescuers back to the disaster scene. By understanding our dogs’ language, we can better communicate with them and avoid common misunderstandings. And you can be assured that your dog isn’t going crazy when he’s muttering to himself all the time.

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