How to Write a Dog Grooming Business Plan + Free Sample Plan PDF

Elon Glucklich

Elon Glucklich

Elon Glucklich

8 min. read

Updated February 20, 2024

Download a free one-page dog grooming sample business plan

The bond between humans and their canine companions has always been strong. But spurred by increases in dog ownership across the U.S., household spending on pets has risen in recent years.

The $5.4 billion global pet grooming services market is projected to grow at a 7% annual rate through 2030, creating new opportunities for dog-loving entrepreneurs to turn their passion into a business opportunity.

Whether you’re starting a boutique grooming salon or a mobile grooming service—a business plan can significantly increase your chances of success.

Download a free dog grooming sample business plan and complete it as you work through this guide.

What should you include in a dog grooming business plan?

Here are the common sections to consider when writing your dog grooming business plan.

  • Executive summary
  • Market analysis
  • Services and products
  • Marketing and sales strategy
  • Operations plan
  • Milestones
  • Company summary
  • Financial plan and forecasts

The details of your plan will differ based on factors like the services you offer, whether you hire full-time employees or contractors, and whether your business is based in a brick-and-mortar building or goes to clients’ homes.

Check out our step-by-step guide to writing a full business plan for more details.

A sample dog grooming business plan outline.

Brought to you by

LivePlan Logo

Create a professional business plan

Using AI and step-by-step instructions

Create Your Plan

Secure funding

Validate ideas

Build a strategy

The 8 elements of an effective dog grooming business plan

Don’t make your dog grooming business plan longer than it needs to be. If you’re writing it for yourself, stick with a few pages and cover the aspects that will help you run your business.

But if you’re writing the plan because you’re seeking a bank loan or investment, it will likely need to be more detailed.

1. Executive summary

The executive summary is a concise overview of your dog grooming business plan. The executive summary should briefly touch on your company overview target market but shouldn’t be more than 2 pages long.

Its purpose is to highlight the mission and unique aspects of your business, whether that’s to provide superior pet care or introduce innovative grooming techniques to your market. 

2. Market analysis

What’s the opportunity that exists for your business? 

The market analysis section is a detailed assessment of the market you’re entering. In this case, you should cover current trends in the dog grooming industry, such as increasing pet ownership rates and a growing emphasis on pet care and wellness.

You must also identify your primary customer segments. Include demographics that help define who your customers are and what they want. Maybe you target pet owners in urban areas, busy professionals, or families seeking convenient and comprehensive grooming services.

Be sure to list out key competitors in your region, noting their service offerings, pricing, and market positioning. This analysis will help you identify opportunities to differentiate your business. For instance, your research might lead you to realize there are a lack of options in your area for mobile grooming services, or specialized care for anxious pets.

3. Services and products

The products and services section is where you detail the full range of grooming services and products you plan to offer. 

Consider writing them out as a list, like this example:

Basic services

  • Washing and drying
  • Hair trimming
  • Nail clipping
  • Ear cleaning.

Specialty services

  • Breed-specific grooming
  • Skin care treatments
  • Flea and tick treatments

Also, consider incorporating related products for sale, such as dog shampoos, conditioners, brushes, and other grooming tools. Whatever mix of products and services you choose to offer, connect them to your market opportunity. At its most basic, running a successful business is about identifying customer problems and providing solutions.

Detailing these services and products gives your customers a clear understanding of what your business provides and its value proposition.

4. Marketing and sales strategy

Your marketing and sales strategy turns your market research into a set of marketing strategies you can execute to attract customers. 

Through your research, you should understand how your target customers find dog grooming services — online, in print advertisements or commercials, through social media or word of mouth, etc.

Based on what you think are the most relevant marketing channels, develop strategies to make your business more visible. Strategies to consider include:

  • Advertising online or in local publications
  • Creating a website and establishing a social media presence
  • Interacting with the public at community events
  • Pursuing partnership opportunities with local pet stores

You may also want to consider discounts or special offers for repeat customers to build loyalty. 

Whatever tactics you deploy, it’s crucial to measure the impact of your marketing efforts through key performance indicators, and adjust your strategies based on what delivers value.

5. Operations plan

The operations section outlines how you will run your dog grooming business efficiently day to day. 

Whether you’re operating out of a brick-and-mortar building, a mobile van, or in clients’ homes, include details on the physical setup of your grooming salon, equipment needs, and staff requirements.

You should also discuss the process for booking appointments and managing customer relationships. Detail any software or systems you’ll use for scheduling and record-keeping. Also, outline your plan for meeting regulatory requirements and maintaining a clean, safe environment for pets.

6. Milestones

Outlining the key milestones for your business can help you determine how long it will take to meet your goals. You can keep these brief, even writing them in bullet points. Milestones for a dog grooming business could include:

  • Obtaining initial financing
  • Securing relevant permits
  • Initiating marketing efforts
  • Acquiring a certain number of clients
  • Reaching specific revenue benchmarks

Each milestone should have an estimated completion date and designated team members responsible for achieving them.

7. Company summary

Summarize the history of your business, including its legal structure and location. Also, highlight your background in pet grooming and your reasons for wanting to start a dog grooming business.

If you’re just starting out, discuss the initial startup costs required to get the business off the ground. If you’re writing your business plan to secure a bank loan, state how much funding you need, what you will use it for, and how it will benefit your grooming business.

8. Financial plan

The financial plan is where you provide a look into your dog grooming business’s financial projections, including sales, costs, and profitability.

Remember, financial forecasts are really just educated guesses created to give you a sense of how your business can be profitable over the long term. 

They’re meant to be adjusted over time as your actual financial numbers come in, helping you determine which aspects of your business are performing as expected and where you might need to adjust your strategy.

Your financial plan should include a cash flow statement, income statement, and balance sheet.

Tips for writing a dog grooming business plan

Understanding pet owners’ needs and how you can best serve them is vital for writing a dog grooming business plan that you can actually use to help your business grow.

As you write the plan, give some attention to these key points.

1. Consider your business structure

Choosing the right structure is pivotal. When writing the company overview section, consider factors like taxation, liability, and business growth potential to determine whether an LLC, sole proprietorship, or corporation best suits your needs. This decision will influence your operational flexibility, financial management, and legal obligations.

2. Develop a pricing strategy

Establishing a pricing strategy that balances market competitiveness with profitability is essential. As part of your market analysis, take the time to explore pricing tiers and client expectations. Offering a variety of service packages can cater to different customer needs and enhance revenue streams. Connect those packages and pricing tiers to your projected revenues and expenses as you create your financial forecasts.

3. Create an online presence

A strong online presence is non-negotiable. So, even if you plan to leverage traditional marketing channels, you will still want to have digital marketing efforts be part of your plan. 

At a minimum, invest in a professional website, optimize for local search, and engage actively on social media platforms. This visibility attracts new clients and serves as a platform for showcasing your work and customer testimonials.

4. Highlight your credentials and training

Highlighting your credentials and commitment to ongoing professional development can set your business apart. 

Regular training in new grooming techniques, customer service excellence, and pet safety reassure clients of the quality and reliability of your services. Start by mentioning the qualifications of you and your team and include any supporting documentation, like resumes or awards, in your appendix.

5. Build on success with client referrals and reviews

Encourage satisfied customers to refer others and leave positive online reviews. Word-of-mouth and digital endorsements can significantly impact your business’s reputation and trustworthiness. Consider implementing a referral program to incentivize clients to share their positive experiences.

Download your free dog grooming one page sample business plan

Download your dog grooming business plan sample now for free. You can also explore Bplans’ collection of over 550 sample business plans to find other examples.

Writing a business plan for your dog grooming business helps you stand out in a crowded market. It’s one of numerous reasons that a business plan increases your chance of success. 

The plan is essential for getting your business funded. But even if you don’t need a bank loan, thinking through each aspect of your business will help you make the best strategic decisions and use your limited resources effectively.

LivePlan Logo

See why 1.2 million entrepreneurs have written their business plans with LivePlan

Create Your Plan
Content Author: Elon Glucklich

Elon is a marketing specialist at Palo Alto Software, working with consultants, accountants, business instructors and others who use LivePlan at scale. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and an MBA from the University of Oregon.