How To Start A Pet Grooming Business

(You handle the cuts and nail trims, we'll help you understand the rest.)

How to start a pet grooming business

You’re passionate about styling and beautifying our four-legged friends and seeing the smiles on their owner’s faces, so you’re starting your own pet grooming business. You’ll need to plan properly from the start to keep the profits and furry clients rolling in.

When the time comes to open up shop, having business insurance for your pet grooming business is the key to maintaining smooth operations. Our partner, Thimble, offers a flexible version of Liability Insurance for Pet Groomers.

All About the Pet Grooming Industry

Pet grooming and boarding market size in the United States from 2009-2019 (in million U.S. dollars)

Pet grooming and boarding market size

The good news is the pet grooming industry has been growing steadily over the past decade and so has its revenue. In 2009, the industry made a reported $4.56 million, and by the end of 2019, that number is expected to shoot up to almost $8.4 million. Now that’s a lot of pretty pooches.

Have you ever spent money on the following things with regard to your pets?

 Non-medical pet services used by dog owners in the past 12 months

Grooming services are pretty popular among pet owners. 40% reported they’d spent money on pet grooming for their canines or other animal children.

Non-medical pet services used by dog owners in the past 12 months in the U.S. as of February 2018

 Non-medical pet services used by dog owners in the past 12 months

How to Start a Pet Grooming Business

Your ambition to start a new business is a great motivator, but it’s far from all you need to bring that dream to reality. Of course your vision will be specific and unique, as it should be, but we’ll take a look at some general steps to starting a pet grooming business:

  • Step One: Planning. No successful business can begin without a solid plan. We’re willing to bet on that. First up, you’ll need to determine all kinds of stuff like your startup costs, target market, business name, the products/services you’ll offer, and how long it’ll take you to break even and start turning a profit. You’ll also need to decide what kind of business you want to be (i.e., mobile or stand-alone office space, what kind of furry clientele you want to cater to, etc.). Last if applicable, you’ll need to scout out a location and actually purchase/rent said property once you’ve found it.
  • Step Two: Legal Stuff. Next, you’ll decide what kind of business entity you want to be (e.g., LLC, partnership, etc.), and then go through the proper channels of making it legal by registering with the government. You’ll also need to register for taxes and obtain any required permits and licenses.
  • Step Three: Money Stuff. This phase involves opening a business bank account so you can accurately monitor your business’s financial performance and make your life a heck of a lot easier when it comes time to file your annual taxes. Afterwards, it’s time to obtain your start-up costs and determine how much you’ll be charging customers/clients for any goods/services your business will offer.
  • Step Four: Define and Build Your Brand. What will your business stand for? How do you want the world to perceive it? These are just a couple of questions you’ll answer in order to define your brand. A solid, unique branding of your business will help it stand out from the competition.  Once the details have been figured out, it’s time to get to work building that brand. This generally involves designing business cards, building a website, and establishing a social media presence. If you’re clueless when it comes to Twitter or any of the other platforms, you can always hire or beg someone to take care of that aspect for you.
  • Step Five: Build Your Team. You’ve made all kinds of progress, and now it’s time to find people to actually do the work. Determine what kind of team you’ll need, the different roles you need to fill, and how many positions there are in each. Then go about hiring your staff/employees/minions. You can advertise online, in your local newspaper, or go the old- school word-of-mouth route. Once you’ve got a solid team established, it’s time to get them trained.
  • Step Six: Iron Out the Details. For your pet grooming business, this could involve ordering supplies needed to perform your services, stocking your inventory if you’ll be selling retail products, determining prices for your services offered, designing cutesy signage, putting the finishing touches on your website, perfecting your trimming techniques and then teaching them to the appropriate staff, advertising and scouting for clients, etc. Basically, any of the specifics needed to make your pet grooming business come to life will fall into this step.
  • Step Seven: Get Coverage. The final step, and perhaps the most important, is to obtain the proper coverage. You’ll need business insurance to protect not only your pet grooming business, but also your employees and yourself. Business insurance is the pièce de résistance that’ll help your pet grooming business cater to the hygiene of the furry public for years to come.

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What is Pet Groomers Insurance?

Cut down, pet groomers insurance is a fully washed and styled insurance package designed to meet the specific needs of pet grooming business owners. All the coverage offered by a basic small business insurance plan as well as policy options tailored for the unique needs of pet groomers are rolled into one.

As a pet groomer, you can choose to buy a single coverage like the General Liability Insurance offered by Thimble, or you can seek a more thorough policy through another provider.

A pet groomers insurance package simplifies the process of obtaining all necessary coverage for pet grooming business owners while eliminating confusion and stress. Basically, it’s the best way to go.

What Does Pet Groomers Insurance Cover?

A pet groomers insurance policy is typically the easiest option when it comes to knocking out your extensive list of coverage needs all together in one tidy package. These policies offer the basics of business insurance coverage, including most of the liability insurance you’ll need, plus specific coverage tailored to your unique niche.

Here are several pet groomers insurance coverage options:

  • General liability: This coverage protects you against property damage or injury claims made by a third party.  Thimble offers a fast way to get this coverage.
  • Workers' compensation: If your employee(s) become ill, are injured, or die from a work-related incident, this aspect of the insurance will cover the financial ramifications. Depending on the type of work being performed, this coverage is often mandatory in most states. 
  • Property insurance: Covers loss of or damage to your physical property including your office space, and often the inventory within it. Protected mishaps include fires, storms, and more.
  • Cybercrime insurance: Covers the loss/theft of customers’ sensitive data, including credit card numbers and more. This coverage can also save your business in the event a deposit or money transfer is intercepted by cybercriminals.
  • Professional liability: Provides coverage in the event you make a professional error that causes injury or upset to the public. This could involve fudging a haircut or dye job, or trimming a pet’s nails too short.
  • Animal bailee’s insurance: Provides coverage for customers’ pets while they are in your care. Coverage is necessary because property insurance will not extend to pets that are temporarily in your possession. Animal bailee’s insurance may cover injury, death, or loss of pets in your care, including potential veterinary or lawsuit costs should an animal become injured/ill on your premises.
  • Inland marine insurance: Covers the loss/theft/damage of your equipment while it’s in transit. Mobile pet grooming businesses would need this coverage.
  • Commercial/business auto: Provides coverage for your company vehicles from things like theft/vandalism and weather-related damage. Again, coverage is necessary for mobile pet groomers. It’s important to tell your agent about all the special equipment included in your business vehicles when searching for coverage.

Your pet groomers insurance package will be assembled by selecting the coverage that works for your unique business from a big ol’ list of available options. Coverage applies to everything from lost business revenue to potential legal/court fees and beyond.

Who Needs Pet Groomers Insurance?

No matter the size or shape of your pet grooming business, if you’re temporarily housing the public’s pets, grooming critters, and paying employees, you’ll need protection. Pet grooming comes with a set of unique risks, both obvious and hidden, so coverage is essential if you own/operate any of the following:

  • Full-service grooming business
  • Mobile pet grooming business
  • Dog grooming business
  • All-creatures/exotic animal grooming business
  • Grooming and boarding business
  • Creative grooming business

Pet groomers insurance will cover all aspects of your business, regardless of the specific type you own. It’s always important to have protection for your workers, your equipment, your inventory, and your property, but protection against potential lawsuits is also crucial. Pet grooming businesses of all cuts, dyes, and trims can be sued, so don’t risk not having coverage.

How Much Does Pet Groomers Insurance Cost?

Truthfully, it depends on quite a few things. An average pet grooming business in a mid-sized town might pay less than $200 annually in combined liability insurance, workers’ compensation, and more. However, smaller businesses with fewer employees and services might pay less, while mobile or larger businesses with more employees, services, and risk factors might pay much more.

Of course, it’s hard to offer an average figure since each pet grooming business is unique. But really, it all depends on a number of factors, like:

  • The type of pet grooming business: This involves more than just if you’ll be specializing in fur washing or nail coloring. The kind of equipment your groomers use and the services offered will affect the risk involved in operations. Also, mobile pet grooming businesses will present more variables and risks. Obviously, more danger means more money for insurance.
  • The location of the pet grooming business: Larger cities tend to have higher costs for insurance, but it goes beyond that. Depending on where you are in the country, your location may be subject to various weather-related risks. Pet grooming businesses along the Atlantic coast, for example, may have premiums up to 20% higher due to risk of hurricane damage.
  • The number of employees: The more you've got, the more workers' compensation you’ll need. Simple as that.
  • How much business you generate: Premiums are calculated based on business projections for the upcoming year. If your workload doubles, so will your premium most likely.
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Top 5 Business Insurance Claims

From potential injuries to property damage and lawsuits, business insurance is definitely a must-have. In order to keep all operations running smoothly, you’ll need to consider not only the risks unique to your trade, but also those that apply to all kinds of businesses. Here’s a quick look at the most common business insurance claims across the board:

  • Theft/burglary: Whether they’re after money, merchandise, your company vehicles, or anything else, thieves and burglars commonly target businesses. Anything you have that could be stolen is worth protecting before ever opening your doors to the public.
  • Weather-related damage: Wind and hailstorms create the type of weather damage most often reported by businesses across the map. Whether it’s shattered windows, broken signage, destroyed products, or anything else, Mother Nature can wreak havoc when she gets angry. Plan for disasters before they happen, and secure coverage up front.
  • Fire damage: Another common/costly claim is fire damage. Be it destruction caused by natural wildfires, or resulting from employee negligence such as with a kitchen fire, these disasters can be devastating. Fire damage can result in lost property, inventory, and even revenue, especially if your business is forced to close. Also, fires are obviously a huge hazard for your workers and customers alike. Take as many proactive measures as possible such as installing sprinkler systems and extinguishers.
  • Employee injury: Even the most well-trained employees on record run the risk of becoming injured on the job regardless of the line of work they’re in. Employees may become injured while carrying out daily tasks, due to the negligence of a coworker, while making service deliveries, or in a myriad of other ways. Protecting your workers with workers’ compensation is crucial, not to mention mandatory in most states.
  • Customer injury: Of course, your business’s customers are also at risk of injury while on your property. Slips and falls are some of the most commonly reported business insurance claims, but customers can also be injured due to unsafely stocked shelves, employee negligence, faulty products, and much more.

Top 5 Business Insurance Discounts

Owners of businesses of every size, color, and flavor love scoring discounts however they can. And fortunately, there are some discounts out there to help obtain a significantly lower premium, like:

  • The safety discount: Insurance companies love working with clients who put safety first. Put practices in place to keep your employees, equipment, and physical office space as safe as possible, and you'll likely be rewarded by your insurance company. Installing sprinkler systems and burglar alarms are just a couple examples of easy ways to score this discount.
  • The quality discount: Establishing a track record of quality goods, services, and customer interactions will not only keep your business running strong, but also help reduce your insurance costs. Essentially, keeping your clients happy is the key to keeping your insurance company happy, and they just might slash your premium as a thank you in return.
  • The low claims history discount: Along the same lines of maintaining a safe and efficient business, having a low claims record is another way to seriously please your insurance company. Over time they’ll likely reward you for it. Plus, if you ever need to switch insurance policies or companies, having a low or even squeaky-clean claims record will definitely help you land a lower premium.
  • The professionalism discount: Sometimes insurance companies send out inspectors to observe your business during a typical day of operation. If your equipment is clean and well-maintained, your employees are following necessary safety protocol, and your customers/clients seem happy, you’ll get a good report. A favorable evaluation could reward you with a reduced premium. 
  • The bundle discount: Purchasing multiple types of insurance with the same company is a tried and true way to save money, but so is purchasing specialty insurance packages. These packages, composed of multiple policies tailored to a specific kind of business, are designed to save you money and just generally make life easier. And since they exist, you might as well take advantage.

How to Find the Best Pet Groomers Insurance

In order to get the protection you need and deserve, you’ll want to work with a trusted expert. Independent insurance agents will not only know where to find the best coverage and price, but also help to make sense of the fine print.

Consider your business’s unique needs, then connect with an agent to help you take it from there. Have a list of your specific concerns and desires handy before you reach out, to help the process run even smoother.

Compare Pet Groomers Insurance Quotes with an Independent Insurance Agent

We all know how valuable your time is, so why spend it doing all the hard work yourself? From business insurance packages to special add-on policies, our expert independent insurance agents will help you determine which types of coverage make the most sense for you and your new business. 

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