Have Wheels, Will Groom:
Mobile Pet Grooming
For busy people, homebound people, or people who simply don't want to stress their pets, a mobile pet grooming service can be a godsend. You simply drive up to their home with your specially-equipped van or trailer, work your magic on their pet, and voila! drive away to your next appointment.
According to Petgroomer.com, there are over 4,000 dogs and cats for every U.S. grooming business, and the demand for pet groomers will increase 12% by 2010.
This is a booming industry!
What a Mobile Pet Grooming Business Involves:
You'll be grooming pets from a van or trailer that you've outfitted as your mobile grooming salon - in addition to normal grooming tools, you'll need to have a tub, water supply/tanks, heating and air-conditioning. You can provide complete grooming services or do this on a smaller, less specialized scale and provide services such as nail trimming or bathing.
Knowledge or Skills Required:
You need training to become a groomer; some pet stores offer classes, or you can look at Petgroomer.com's Mobile Grooming section for links to classes or training in your area.
Other than that, the "biggie" is the van or trailer. It can easily cost $10,000 to outfit an existing trailer or van and considerably higher to buy one new. Make sure your van is easy to maneuver in residential neighborhoods and on driveways.
You'll also need to get liability and vehicle insurance (maybe $100-200/month) and, of course, you'll need gas and maintenance for the van.
Large and growing demand
May not be much local competition
It's a satisfying business - you see the results of your work right away, and leave behind a healthier and more attractive pet
Easy to add additional income by offering products such as pet food or grooming supplies
Flexible schedule, gets you away from the house
Expensive to start; requires specialized training AND equipment
Your city or state may require a special license or permit for groomers.
Resources for More Information on Starting a Mobile Pet Grooming Business
PetGroomer.com Mobile Grooming Section
Aussie Pet Mobile is a franchise (pros/cons of franchises can be found here) that has been featured for four consecutive years in Entrepreneur Magazines 'Franchise 500' issue
Be very specific about the geographic area you'll cover, or you may eat up all your profits in vehicle expenses.
And don't forget to price accordingly - many mobile groomers look at traditional groomers to get prices, then add 15% for the service charge of coming to the client's house.
Have your company name, phone number and website painted on your van or trailer, so you can take advantage of mobile advertising, too!