Competition in the pet grooming industry is rising. Pets at Home said they saw ‘exceptional demand’ for their services during the first lockdown in April 2020. People’s pets played a big part in keeping the nation’s mental health ticking through coronavirus, and we saw a massive uprise in people buying dogs last March. Last year, Pets at Home had 40,000 dogs on their waiting list for grooming – supposedly more than owners waiting for haircuts! So, how do you stay competitive in the dog grooming industry?

1. Maintaining a digital presence for your brand

Maintaining a digital presence for your brand is one of the most important things you can do, especially as more things move online. Using social media is free and, let’s be honest, people love looking at pooches online. Using hashtags like #DogsOfInstagram and #Dogspotting can boost the views of your posts on Instagram.

Setting up a website doesn’t cost a lot, and you can increase your appearance on search engines by writing blogs or posts about dog grooming. If you already have a website, make sure to go through your content and ensure your location is incorporated in your content, so your customers (and the search engine) know where you’re based. 

You can offer online booking with a website or by using Facebook’s pages manager. Setting up social media accounts for your business is a great way to show off your branding and skills.

2. Enter your business into pet grooming competitions

There are tons of pet grooming competitions around the UK you could enter, as well as small business awards. Winning awards is a great way to show your potential clients that you’re a great dog groomer. Awards ceremonies and competitions are also a great place to network with other groomers, dog owners and potential new clients. 

3. Offer a more diverse range of services

To set yourself apart from your competition, you can offer a more diverse range of services. At GroomArts we offer improver grooming courses which cover professional pet styling, hand stripping and scissoring skills. You can also do workshops and courses in dog health and nutrition and offer your clients nutritional advice to improve their pups’ health. A top-rated course for dog groomers is the NCFE Level 3 Canine Behaviour – this course teaches you why dogs behave in the way they do, how dogs show fear and anxiety, and how to handle it. A canine first aid course is also a fantastic and vital course for dog groomers as participants learn how to treat a range of minor injuries and handle post veterinary care.

4. Expand your referral services

Expand your referral service by rewarding customers who refer their dog-owning friends. You can do this by offering a discount, something for free or a gift. You could give out reward cards for repeat customers and offer free branded treats to clients.

Statistically, customers who make referrals will do so more than once. A successfully run referral campaign can boost your sales seven times more than a digital campaign.

5. Making your business more flexible in a post-Covid market

As we (hopefully soon) start to see an end to COVID-19 restrictions, it’s crucial for you as a business owner to remain flexible in the new business landscape. While the pandemic is around, people cancelling appointments has become the norm because it’s hard to predict the future. A lot of companies have stopped charging for cancellations. It would help if you also considered being more flexible with where people want their dogs to be groomed – perhaps a mobile dog grooming business where the owners do not have to come inside or adding a drop-off gate to stop contact between humans.

6. Designing a grooming salon reception

The first thing your clients see when they walk in the door is super-important. Your reception area should be comfortable for owners waiting to drop off or pick up their dog. It should also be a positive environment for the dogs coming in. You should consider having complimentary dog treats available on arrival so that your pooch clientele associate your salon with good things. 

Lead hooks are a great idea so that owners can sign contracts and pay without worrying about their pup running off outside. You’ll also want a gate into the salon area to stop excited pooches running out of your salon.

You could personalise your reception area with a photo wall of all your past clients looking happy and clean – maybe even consider some fun props to make your customers laugh (and share on social media!).

7. Dog-friendly branding for your grooming salon

There are so many fun knick-knacks out there for dog lovers, including bone-shaped fairy lights, dog-shaped chalkboards and fun wall decals. You should also consider some dog-friendly plants in different textures to keep dogs stimulated. Choose an air-purifying pet-safe plant like a spider plant to freshen up your salon and get rid of toxins.

8. Safety equipment for your grooming salon

It can be hard to get older or bigger dogs into baths and onto grooming tables, so a portable ramp or steps could come in handy. You’ll also want to ensure you have a comfortable and secure area for the dogs once you’ve done grooming them while they wait for their owner to come and collect them. Also, dedicated PPE equipment is essential for all salons/academies

9. Adding a shop to your grooming salon

A lot of groomers make an extra income from selling products to their clients. This can be anything from shampoos to toys to food bowls – there’s really no limit. You can have basically anything branded by online stores, and this can add to your marketing too.

Having a little shop area in reception is not only a great way to make extra money but can also be a good opportunity for decor. Install some wooden shelves, or even some fun pick and mix style dispensers for treats with branded paper bags for a unique and eco-friendly twist.  There are so many fun, unique and stylish ways to refresh your dog grooming business decor, and we hope our guide has given you some inspiration on your decor journey!

10. Re-Sell other companies products in your own salon.

Many companies that produce dog grooming equipment and consumable products offer reseller bundles. These are bundles of a single product that you can buy at a lower price than they are originally sold for. Allowing you to sell those products at full price and make a marginal profit in your own salon.

We at Groomarts offer a few reseller bundles that we know fly off the shelf in other dog grooming salons. You can find all of those by clicking the link here: https://shop.groomarts.com/product-category/pet-professional/reseller-bundles-registration-required/

So what are you waiting for?

Hopefully, you now have a few good ideas on what you can do to make your own dog grooming as competitive and successful as possible in the industry. The only thing left for you to do now is get out there and give these ideas a try! As long as you’re trying your best we’re sure that it’ll all work out.

Make sure to come back and leave a comment to let us know how you got on and if you have any other questions!

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