How to Start Pet Grooming Business on Wheels

You can turn your love for animals into a business by setting up a pet grooming truck

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Are you obsessed with pets? Are dogs and cats your favorite kind of people? If yes, you can turn your love for animals into a business by setting up a mobile pet grooming service.

Also Read: 9 Pet Business to Start Today

What is a Mobile Pet Grooming Service?

In a mobile pet grooming business, you provide door-to-door salon services like bath, tick and flea bath, therapy etc in a van to dogs and cats.

But why a mobile spa and not operate out of a brick and mortar salon? The biggest upside of a mobile grooming service is that you don’t have to pay rent or on utilities every month. Also, the convenience point of going to someone’s house to provide them a service is more likely to get you more customers compared to a store salon. 

How to Get Started?

The first step is to invest in a grooming vehicle. The van or mini bus must be fully equipped with a water tank, a water heater, a power generator, a sink, cleaning table and some more space for storing grooming tools. To accommodate all these requirements, a mini bus with a capacity of 12-14 people will be adequate.

Next, you have to determine the locations you want to operate in. Identify residential areas that have maximum household with pets. You can do so by visiting vets and get an idea about their clientele. The important thing to keep in mind is that the primary target audience of mobile pet grooming services is high end households with enough disposable income to spend on their pets.

Once you have established repeat customers in an area, you can look to expand your services in other parts of the city. For marketing, a website, Google ads and social media platforms are your business.

To talk about licenses and certifications, starting a pet grooming business doesn’t require a license to show that you are trained to groom pets, as is the case with human salons. You can either hire trained professionals for grooming or you can get training if you want to perform grooming services yourself.

Investment Required

One-time Investment

Grooming vehicle: A new mini-bus or traveler can cost you between INR 9-9.5 lakh or you can buy a used vehicle for INR 4-6 lakh. Alternatively, you can also lease a vehicle instead of buying.

Vehicle fittings: Fitting the van with essentials will cost you INR 2-2.5 lakh. Smaller grooming tools like brushes, clippers, combs, dryer and aprons is another INR 10,000-15,000. A basic website with SEO is a one-time investment of INR 10,000-15,000.

Grooming Course (optional): If you want to perform grooming yourself, you can take a 3-month professional course for INR 80,000-1 lakh.

Recurring Costs

Utilities: Since your business is not in a fixed location, your ongoing costs will be minimal that includes fuel, vehicle maintenance, replenishing supplies like shampoos and cleaning. All this will cost about INR 10,000-15,000 per month.

Website maintenance: If you run a website, it involves a recurring annual cost of around INR 2,000.

Marketing: Marketing on Google and Facebook to establish your web presence is INR 8,000-10,000 per month. However, we recommend spending on marketing only for the initial 3-4 months. Once you establish a sizeable customer base, word of mouth will market your business.

Staff: One of your key expenses can be payroll of groomers if you don’t perform grooming yourself. This is usually in the form of a 50-60 per cent cut from each session.

How Much can you Earn?

Charges of mobile grooming services are higher compared to regular salons. A bath and dry service for a medium sized dog is INR 1,100-1,300 that takes up to an hour. Basic grooming package that includes, bath & dry, ear cleaning, nail clipping etc is INR 1,400-1,600, whereas a premium package with extra services can fetch you INR 2,500-3,000, which typically takes 2.5-3 hours.

Going by all these charges, a back of the envelope calculation shows that for 12 bookings in a week on an average, you stand to earn between INR 90,000 to INR 1 lakh after removing operational costs. However, this is when you are the main groomer in your business. If you have hired someone, you net earnings will come down to INR 40,000-50,000.

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