Everything You Need to Know Before Opening a Dog Grooming Franchise

Opening a dog grooming franchise merges two amazing things—making money and having fun. Of course, like opening any small business, a pet grooming shop requires some challenging work. The U.S. Census Bureau forecasts pet franchises to mirror or grow faster than other sectors in the industry through 2020. Not surprising, the pet industry has been rapidly growing in the last two decades. Last year in 2016, the total U.S. pet spending ended at $66.75 billion with 65% of households owning at least one pet. Since 2010, expenditures have grown by over a whopping 38%. The services and products provided in a dog grooming franchise—food ($28.23 billion), services ($5.76 billion), and supplies ($14.71 billion)—account for over 72% of the market. Strengthened by kinship between humans and pets, it seems that the pet franchise will continue to spiral upward.  

The ABC’s of Opening a Dog Grooming Franchise

A dog grooming franchise is typically a brick-and-mortar establishment. Some grooming franchises also have retail space and sell pet products and supplies. Others strictly offer grooming services. Lately, industry trends have shown that consumer-demand leans toward up-scale services and products. Many customers want their dog grooming services to mirror human spa services. Thus, many establishments like Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique, are filling the void with lavish pet salon services.

Splash and Dash is one of the fastest growing franchises in the grooming sector. The franchise model combines up-scale grooming services with retail, making storefronts a one-stop-shop. Unique to the pet franchise, Splash and Dash’s membership program supplies franchisees with a recurring revenue stream. The company also has proprietary technology. The software is specifically designed for a dog grooming franchise which simplifies everything. Ranked 59th in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top New Franchises List, Splash and Dash is an amazing platform to enter the booming pet industry.

Read on for a ten-point guide to figuring out how to open a dog grooming franchise!

Test The Water First

Before you dive into owning your own small business, spend some time at a pet store. You can volunteer. Volunteering research is a smart way to ease your way into what could end up as a career change. Volunteering is a no-cost, non-risk way to find out if working alongside animals is your calling.

Find a Strong Brand

One of the strongest reasons to opt for a franchise over doing independent business is brand. A brand that resonates with consumers has a strong vantage point. Outside of the pet industry, everyone knows what those golden arches mean. It’s important to pick a brand that you are proud to represent. As the pet industry continues to grow, franchises like Splash and Dash have perfected their brand. Amazing service, inviting decors, and a convenient business model just scratches the tip of the iceberg for this dog grooming franchise’s brand.

Embrace Your Niche

As you get closer to your grand opening, you will want to select an inventory customers can’t get at big-box pet stores or department stores. This gives your dog grooming franchise an edge. Many pet parents want the absolute highest quality of food and supplies for their dog. Providing an eclectic inventory of affordable first-rate products helps distinguish your shop from competition. Splash and Dash offer unique lines of all-natural dog treats and embraces eco-friendly pet supplies. The company’s services are up-scale pampering combined with a boutique-feel to the retail side of the business.

Know How Much Capital is Required

Franchises have various price tags. Some dog grooming franchises have a minimum cash requirement of $500,000 while others are as low $25,000. You will need to pay a franchise fee, sign a lease for your storefront, and buy equipment & other supplies. For information on Splash and Dash’s cash requirement, click here!

Training & Support

Many Splash and Dash franchisees came from completely different industries than the pet care industry, like nursing or government contracting. Even if this is not the case, and you have worked with animals before, it’s always a good idea to go with a franchise with strong support. The idea of franchising is taking a business model that has been proven in the marketplace. Without a comprehensive grasp of the franchise’s business model, your probability of achieving success lowers. Splash and Dash offer on-site training and support throughout the entire process of opening and onward. The company’s goal is for franchise owners to break even with six months. Refined training and support is how the dog grooming franchise is able to do this.

Can you Conform to Guidelines?

Many military veterans make amazing franchise owners because they are disciplined and can follow direction. Within franchising, guidelines are important to keep franchisees on track. Some franchises have strict policies on marketing, equipment purchasing, and territory exclusivity. As you research and speak with various dog grooming franchises, make sure you have a clear understanding of their guidelines.

Leasing & Location

You will need to find a location that is conducive to owning a pet grooming salon. Make sure you do your homework on zoning laws, permits, and ordinances involved with live animals. You will also need to discuss territories with your franchisor. A franchise that infringes on their own territory can self-cannibalize. You will also need to keep tabs on competition in the local area as well as pet-owning demographics.

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique Location Provisions:

  • 1,000 to 1,200 square feet of space.
  • Strong ingress and egress access.
  • Adequate parking to accommodate frequent visitors.
  • A 5-year base term lease with two 5 year options.
  • No percentage rent or radius restrictions

Local Competition

A dog grooming franchise has a strategic vantage point over a strictly retail store. Owners will have to physically bring their dogs into the shop to have them get their grooming. This alleviates the sharp competition with e-commerce pet stores. On the other side of this is mobile grooming. Mobile grooming has recently become popular for its convenience. A huge downside for mobile grooming is mobile businesses cannot provide the retail options a storefront can. Finally, you will need to be cognizant of other dog groomers in the area. If the local market is already dominated than you might consider looking to open elsewhere.

Big-Box Competition

Warehouse style franchises like Petco also aren’t considered direct competitors. Small-scale franchises offer niche products and services that actually give them a vantage point over impersonal big-box stores.  

Educating Your Customers

Owning a grooming salon means you will need an in-depth knowledge of animal behavior, grooming services, and health benefits. Although Splash and Dash owners aren’t the ones doing the grooming, they are often working with customers. Educating your clientele on the best options for dogs not only keeps customers and their pooches happy and healthy, it is a strong selling point. For instance, Splash and Dash offers a dog treat line called Keepin’ it Simple. The line offers treats made with 7 ingredients or less. Also, dog grooming is preventative care that can fend off veterinary visits later down the line. Explaining this to customers takes extensive knowledge of this yourself.

The Bottom Line

Opening a dog grooming franchise is tons of work but the payoff can be amazing. Splash and Dash franchise owners get the opportunity to be leaders in their community—both canine and human. Working alongside animals is an enriching experience that when done right, can also be very lucrative. It’s truly an animal lover’s’ dream.