The route to becoming a professional groomer is varied. Very often, people enter the profession through learning how to groom their own dog, and the interest grows from there.
There are also those who have a romantic view of cuddly dogs that will look clean and fluffy with an imaginary wave of a wand, without understanding that such results are achieved only with effort and dedication. Such people usually fall to the way side after a week or two of grooming neglected and filthy dogs, realising trimming that hair from the dog involves a lot more than using a pair of clippers.
Fact: 50% of those who actually complete their grooming schooling quit within a year of graduation, finding that the work is too hard.
Grooming Seminars For those contemplating a career in grooming, it is worthwhile to attend at least one of the seminars or road shows that take place throughout the year. At seminars qualified, highly - experienced dog groomers are on hand to offer advice and to give trimming demonstrations on many different levels.
These seminars are great for picking up on tips and ideas, as well as professional hints on running a salon and turning out best-dressed dogs.
Additionally there are scissor clinics, with special advice for those with problems, but if you can't make a seminar then please talk to us. 07508 188437
If you are unsure about starting out as a trainee, then do make the effort to attend events as groomers love to chat and to tell you how they got started.
The initial and basic training for a groomer is tremendously important. The better the salon, by way of professionalism and a caring attitude to dogs, the more competent and successful the trainee groomer will eventually become. There are colleges that will teach grooming, and courses are also available at kennels and grooming establishments. Short courses offer only an introduction to grooming. It is impossible to learn the individual requirements of different breeds in a matter of weeks, let alone to get to grips with how to trim them all.
Improving Grooming Skills Training in grooming can follow many paths, one being sitting examinations at various levels to achieve a certificate of merit. The Pet Industry Federation has details about courses as well as accredited training centres where groomers can take their City & Guilds Level 2, Level 3 and Level 3 Diploma.
The course includes the following mandatory areas of dog grooming preparation.
preparing and grooming dogs before bathing
brushing and cleaning dogs
cleaning and maintaining equipment for grooming
drying dog's coats and preparing the coat for styling
maintaining the cleanliness and bio-security of the working environment
Cost Considerations Before you set up in business, it is important to consider all the costs you will incur. Firstly, where are you going to do it? Many groomers set up a business from their home, even using a spare bedroom. This may suffice for a while, but can be impractical and does not give a professional impression. In the long term, you should consider either finding business premises or building an extension to the home where the facilities are more convenient and hygienic.
How much you charge for your services will have to take account of outgoings, or you will end up working hard for nothing. All aspects must be considered, such as rent, electricity and other running costs. Eventually, word of mouth recommendations should provide most of your business.
It is a good idea to start keeping a strict order of accounts from day one.
One book for your outgoings
Another book for your income
If you decide to venture into adding some retail lines, you must keep an accurate inventory as well.
It is also essential to have a professional accountant, or to undertake self-assessment for tax purposes.
Insurance There are insurance companies that have specific packages for the groomer. Being self-employed, anything could happen. Accidents can happen and for just a little expense a year, one can be covered for all eventualities. With time, word of mouth recommendations will help to build your reputation.