Not all veterinary clinics offer grooming as a standard practice. However, if you are looking to start your own grooming business; this may be the perfect partnership for you.
There are usually two options for groomers, first being directly hired by the hospital/clinic, or leasing out the physical grooming space provided by the hospital/clinic. Either option may have an upfront cost for the clinic, if they do not have space already. This is where research will need to be conducted to determine if the establishment has the proper space available for grooming.
Once a list of locations has been determined, a relationship will need to be established with the clinics. This can be difficult sometimes as veterinary offices are extremely busy, so having a business plan is a necessity. The three most important points to make with your business plan are how you can create a reputable partnership together, how your plan will improve their bottom line and how you can bring in additional clientele to the clinic.
Knowing you’re the local demographics in your region is going to be important and can affect your business plan. Are there already established groomers in the area or is there a need for a reputable certified groomer? Once a clinic has met all your prerequisites and you think they might be the facility you’d like to work with, you will need to establish communication and trust with the clinic. Having a portfolio that showcases grooming befores and afters, along with client comments on your work is a requirement for any initial interview. In order for the partnership to be successful, it is important that there is a mutual respect for one another’s work and the techniques and practices utilized by you, as the groomer, are in alignment with the clinic’s ideals for healthy pets and proper pet parenting.
A sure-fire way to gain the attention of the clinic owner is to highlight the potential for additional gross revenue to the clinic. A proper business plan will show true dedication to the proposed venture and describe the desired position (employee vs. leasing space). Will you be bringing the clinic an established clientele that you’ve already collected, or will you need to grow one from scratch? Also, consider how you can customize your services to accommodate the clinic’s special offerings. For example, many locations have routine return visits from their pet clients for vaccines.
Vaccine visits and even vaccine day clinics can be very profitable for the vet offices. Come up with a plan of how you can customize your grooming services to coincide with these vaccine visits or day clinics. Some clinics allow pets to be dropped off or boarded before and after their scheduled appointments. You could use this to your advantage by scheduling the grooming session during the waiting period, which doesn’t interfere with the veterinarian’s time and allows both services to be provided before the owner comes to pick up their pet. You could also work with the veterinarian in creating promotions with services, i.e., free exams with certain grooming services to encourage owners to come back.
All these scenarios require pet owners to be able to trust both groomer and vet as they are leaving their beloved pet with the clinic and effectively, you. This in return creates a reputation for you both that will hopefully be elevated by word of mouth and a larger clientele.
As a Pet Groomer, creating a bond with vet clinics can be greatly beneficial to both parties and is a fantastic way of starting or increasing your business. Make sure to do your own research into the clinics and create a business plan that will generate a larger client base for both businesses. Most importantly, building a relationship and reputable reputation will bring success to you both.