Turn Your Passion Into Profit

Additional Income For a Dog Daycare Through Grooming

How to Create Additional Income for your Dog Daycare With Grooming.


The first thought that probably crossed your mind was that you have no idea how to give a poodle a haircut, I didn't either when I started to offer grooming at my first Dog Daycare either. The real truth about Dog grooming is that it is actually encompasses a broad range of basic services, that expand well beyond giving English Saddle style haircuts to Standard Poodles. The majority of Dog Grooming services are basic maintenance and health related items such as trimming dog toe nails, providing baths, cleaning dog ears, anal gland expressions and other basic health related services.  It is not at all just about providing exotic Westminster show quality hair cuts on overly pampered show dogs.


The other great thing about grooming is that you do not have to know how to groom professionally to create additional substantial income for your dog daycare with it, the only thing you need to know is how to hire a professional groomer that does. You will find a lot of groomers will be willing to work for you part time on a commission split basis if you run an ad in the paper. The main advantage that you offer potential hiring candidates is that you already have a location with a pet related business and in that location there are dogs that need grooming.  This makes working for you a much more appealing arrangement for a potential groomer as they are sure to have plenty of work from which they can make a profit. You will also find that many of your younger groomers may not have the financial ability to secure a commercial location and open shop of their own and will work at your facility full time until they gather the funds to open a place of their own.


When just starting out, while your Dog Daycare is still small I would advise that you not HIRE a groomer but let the groomer work at your location as a sub contractor. This means the groomer will have to carry their own insurance and pay their own taxes. All you have to do is provide them with a 1099 at the end of the year meaning everything you paid them is deductible and you are also free of the additional expenses associated with having employees such as workman’s compensation and social security. This generally works best when the Groomer is working for you part time and already owns a Grooming Business of their own, such as Mobile Groomers, which would mean that they should already have Liability Insurance. This arrangement will not work once your business begins to grow and requires a full time Groomer, it's very hard to explain to the State Authorities how someone working for you 40 hours a week is not an employee if they get injured on the job.



How to Groomer and Dog Daycare Owner Financial Arrangement Works.

The arrangement with a groomer is usually a commission agreement in which the Dog Groomer takes 50% as well as any tips and the Dog Daycare owners takes the other 50%, however you are free to negotiate up or down, that's business.  Your responsibility is to provide the facilities to include a tub, grooming table, dryers, shampoo, disposable items as well as a space to work comfortably in. The Dog Groomer is responsible for providing their own clippers, scissors, tools and good quality work.  This is actually a good arrangement as you are able to generate additional revenue that you would have otherwise not been able to obtain. The other great thing about offering Dog Grooming as an additional service at your Doggy Daycare is that your initial outlay for equipment will in 90% of cases pay for itself in less than six months, meaning after that you will be generating pure profit from grooming minus disposables.


How Dog Grooming Can Build Major Profit For A Dog Daycare.


Let’s use this example:


You initially spend $5000 to fully equip an area of your facility for grooming, this includes a tub $400-$1000, a grooming table $200-$700, cabinets, shelves, mirror and towels $600, cage dryers $400-$1500 and disposable items like shampoo, conditioners, alcohol, septic powder, baby powder etc. $400. Let’s say you go the extra mile and buy clippers and scissors for your own use as well $300-$700 and a used Prima Bathing System off EBAY (covered later) $400-$575. Alright we are at a grand total of $5475 which sounds like a lot.


Now let’s see what kind of additional revenue that we can generate.


The first month will be a wash as not a lot of people will know about your grooming services so let’s say we do 10 dogs the first month with an average grooming cost of $30. You’ve made $150 and the Groomer has made $150, now the second month people are finding out about your services and you Groom 20 dogs, which mind you is less than one a day. You’ve made $300 and the Groomer has $300 but you were also able to turn 10% of those clients into Daycare Customers that bring their dog once a week at $20 dollars a day. So you’ve now made $460 and the Groomer has $300.00.


Let’s continue this trend into the third month and you are grooming 30 dogs a month yielding $450 for you and $450 for the Groomer. Plus you convert another 10% into Daycare clients that drop dogs off once a week and that’s a total of 5 daycare clients or an additional $400 per month so it’s you $950, Groomer $450.


Let’s fast forward to month number 6 and you are grooming 60 dogs a month or roughly 2 or 3 a day generating $900 for you and $900 for the Groomer; but each month you were able to convert 10% of the new customers into daycare clients as well… picking up 4 clients in month 4,  5 in month 5 and 6 in month 6. This brings your new daycare client total to 20 per month once per week at $20/day or $1600 in additional revenue per month. Therefore the actual total is you $2500 and the Groomer $900. You have just generated over $7000 in additional revenue, all the grooming equipment purchases were paid for by the middle of month 5, and you still have the rest of the year to go! A busy facility, with a good reputation can groom an average of 6-10 dogs per day with one groomer generating an extra $35,000 to $60,000 a year just in grooming. Now take this a step further and look at another advantage that you possess that the other groomers in your area don’t.



What to do when your Dog Daycare and Dog Grooming Business Get's Big.

This is where is where you are going to have to make some big changes to maximize the profit generated by your Dog Grooming Business within your Dog Daycare Business. It's readily apparent when you have reached your current Grooming Capacity, the first sign is generally taking reservations for Dog Grooming longer than three weeks out. Although you may feel like a success at this point, you are on the verge of hemorrhaging off a lot of your Dog Grooming customers. This is a lesson that I learned not through my own mistakes but by closely monitoring and talking to new clients wishing to have their Dogs Groomed at my facility. The lesson is this, if your reservation wait times are longer than three weeks it's time to seriously consider hiring additional staffing to help meet the need. I received and kept a great many clients from Grooming shops with excessive wait times, people don't like to wait weeks for their turn, they will go somewhere else.


The first step in doing this is to see it coming, start out by taking 10,15,20% of the Grooming revenue (whatever your comfortable with) and setting it aside into a savings account that is NOT TO BE TOUCHED under any circumstance until you are ready to expand the Dog Grooming side of your business. When you have successfully managed to save around $10,000 it's time to integrate some changes and hire the additional staff. The purpose saving the money is that you will utilize this to pay your Groomer and Dog Bathers Payroll shortages until the client load increases enough to create a surplus cash situation.


Ideally you would want to completely eliminate the commission structure in it's entirety and place the Groomer on a set Salary. Although this may not seem like a good idea it actually helps you and helps the Groomer by guaranteeing the Groomer a source of income in the slow times, it allows the Dog Groomer to make more accurate financial decisions in his/her life as they are certain as to how much they will make each month. It also provides you with a lot of additional revenue during those peak holiday periods and starts to standardize your payroll practices into a more predictable figure that you can use to plan you future business expansion.


You also need to hire a bather to take some of the load off of the Groomer and let him or her concentrate solely on the trimming/cutting portion of their job. The bathers responsibilities upon pet check in for grooming would be to brush the pet out removing any matting and tangles, clip the toe nails, and clean the ears. The Groomer would the perform the rough cut on  the pet after which the bather would bathe and dry the pet. The Groomer then takes over and completes the finish work required to make the pet look great. By utilizing this method you are beginning to create an assembly line effect that allows you to Groom an additional 4-5 dogs a day, while taking a lot of stress of the Groomer.  This also serves to free you and your daycare staff up from interruptions such as those dogs that the Groomer needs help restraining to complete her work, now there is a bather for that.



The Advantage of Being a Dog Daycare That Offers Grooming.


You’re a dog daycare, your facility is designed to be a dog daycare, and it’s laid out as a dog daycare, meaning that you do not have to cage the animals that you groom. You can sell a one time temperament test (another $20.00 for your facility) that allows the grooming customers to let their pets play the day away before and after being groomed with no charge or a reduced charge for the daycare that day. The other groomers in your area cannot compete with you here, they would have to redesign their facilities, hire additional staff and have a myriad of other hurdles to overcome to provide this kind of service to their clients. This is a service that sells itself, no one likes the idea of their dog sitting in a little wire cage with hot dryers and hair flying around, especially when they have the option of letting their dog play the day away and have fun receiving the same great service at basically the same price.


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