How to Set Up and Run Your Own Dog Grooming Business



How to Start a Dog Grooming Business

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Apr 2, 2013
woman washing dog
Courtesy of Andrea Rugg
Patrycia Miller, 32, Minneapolis, takes the mess (and stress) out of giving pups a bath at her booming business, Bubbly Paws.
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THE CONCEPT This self-service doggie day spa has everything you need to groom your pet.

EARNINGS Between 0,000 and 0,000 in sales in 2012

Her top tips:

· Scope out similar companies

In 2008, Patrycia and her husband, Keith, started a day care and boarding facility for dogs. The customers asked to use the tubs to bathe their pets because it was easier than doing it at home. "We decided to open another location for just that purpose," explains Patrycia. Before opening Bubbly Paws in 2010, the couple visited dog washes in cities like Seattle and Chicago. "We figured out what we did—and didn't—want to incorporate into our own business," she says.

· Make your store visually appealing

One lesson learned was the importance of a welcoming space. Patrycia and Keith hired an architecture firm to design Bubbly Paws, and they installed real bathtubs to create a spa-like atmosphere. "We wanted it to be both functional and attractive," says Patrycia. "Visitors are impressed by the cool look of the dog wash, which keeps them coming back."

· Personalize your service

Included in the to price (depending on the dog's size) are towels, disposable toothbrushes, ear cleaner, doggy "cologne" and all types of brushes and combs. Employees consult with the dog owners about any issues such as dry skin or allergies, and advise which shampoo is best. "The staff keeps a close eye on our customers and their pets to make things easier, whether it's helping bathe your dog or suggesting which brush is best for his coat," says Patrycia.

· Choose your location wisely

"We opened Bubbly Paws on the ground level of a large apartment complex, where a lot of dog owners live," says Patrycia. The store immediately attracted people out walking their pups. "It's important to have a location that gets a lot of foot traffic—the storefront is a great advertisement in itself!"

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· Create a community

During the summer, Bubbly Paws hosts monthly Bubble Bath Parties, which offer discounted prices, snacks and raffles with part of the proceeds going to local animal rescues. "These events are a blast for people to attend with their pets," says Patrycia.






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