How do I start a dog grooming business? Dave Fishwick replies


I am wondering whether to invest £6,000 into training as a dog groomer and spend another £10,000 setting up a business in my local area.

It’s a huge chunk of money for me and a massive career change. I’m currently a carer.

Any advice would be helpful and I just need that push to believe in myself but shelling out that sort of money scares the living day out of me. J.G, via email.

Barking mad? Our business doctor Dave Fishwick (pictured) shares his views on setting up a dog grooming business 

Dave Fishwick, This is Money business doctor, replies: You’re right, £16,000 is a lot of money, so I wouldn’t spend so much immediately until you are confident that you’ll achieve the earnings and customer base you are hoping for.

I think you should look at ways of reducing your initial spending or spending some of it after you start earning.

Through the Bank of Dave, I helped a local dog groomer start a business, Sarah at Rubydoo’s Pet Grooming (Named after her own puppy Ruby.)

Sarah started by going on a dog grooming course and then she got a job at a local dog grooming salon.

I think this was key to her future success, Sarah gained lots of experience from working with very experienced dog groomers, this gave her lots of confidence and helped her build up her own customer base in her spare time, which has been key to her success.

Once Rubydoo’s had a solid customer base, Sarah then left her job at the salon and went self-employed.

She sold her car and bought a little van and did mobile dog grooming and also turned her spare room at home into a salon.

By working from home the overheads were kept to a minimum. Sarah also does cat grooming, and this has been very profitable, so I suggest you look into diversifying and doing the same.

Pet grooming is seasonal, especially around Christmas, which is very busy, and in the summer months, when pets need their thicker coats removed.

It’s also worth pointing out that there has been a dog ownership boom in the pandemic, meaning more pets to groom. 

Dave Fishwick

Being your own boss and doing a job you love can be a great place to be and can give you freedom and the potential for higher earnings.

An advertising tip is to build up your positive online reviews as quickly as you can and advertise free on Google in your area, you will soon find yourself to be top of the local pages for dog grooming.

It isn’t just your furry clients and their owners you’ll have to deal with, sourcing supplies, balancing the books and promoting the business all take time.

Reading and researching all about the different animal breeds is very important. I also suggest taking a first aid animal course, just in case you cut an animal by accident, these courses can be found at the local vets and colleges.

Public liability and insurance, are also important, especially while the animals are in your care or being transported by you.

Visit some grooming seminars and conventions (there is an excellent one at the Crufts event every year) and take a look at events and webinars of the Pet Industry Federation.

The British Grooming Society on Facebook has some great information and advice all about the grooming industry.

To begin with, you will definitely find yourself working longer hours than you did before. However, I have worked for myself since I was 17 years old, and I love the freedom, I am sure you will too.

Dave shares his tips on how to find a job including how to make a CV stand out

 Dave shares his tips on how to find a job including how to make a CV stand out 

How do I make my CV stand out? 

I’ve recently graduated and am now looking for a job. However, the industry I have a fresh degree in is highly competitive and I’m not having much luck in terms of getting a foot in the door for an interview.

Are there any tips you can give me to make my CV stand out from the crowd without looking desperate?

Is it worth me thinking outside of the box and sending in a video, for example, instead of a paper CV? And Dave, how do you personally decide on who to hire? Via email.

Dave replies: Congratulations on your degree, it’s a great achievement and will hopefully help you a lot in your future career, though as you are now finding, it’s only the start of your journey.

The first thing you need to do is get your name out there and get the attention of employers, so yes think outside the box, but also pay attention to any specific instructions.

Maybe send a video as well as a written CV rather than instead of, it is best to do both. Don’t be afraid to knock on doors, for a job that is not currently advertised.

I have over the years, employed many people who have just called in on the off chance, as I have been thinking about advertising for someone new.

However, I had just not gotten around to it, due to being too busy. Remember, it’s only words, call in as many places as you can in the industry you are looking for a job in, take a deep breath and just say the words…

‘Excuse me, are there any jobs currently available now or coming up anytime soon?’ 

Communication skills are incredibly important, in writing and person, these skills can increase your value by at least fifty per cent.

You could take a Dale Carnegie Course, you have to be able to put forward your ideas in a confident manner.

Remember, if you invest in yourself, nobody can ever take it away. You must sell yourself, tell them all about you, what can you bring to the party, how can the company benefit from you being part of their team.

Write down as much as you can about yourself, tell them about your interests, hobbies, sports, and community groups, mention any extra skills you may have.

Research the company properly and the role you’re applying for, have relevant questions prepared and read and review the company’s website. Always remember, a bit of spark and enthusiasm can go a long way.

I have been employing people for over thirty years, and I remember one person, in particular, being more than ten minutes late, with no excuse.

Even though they interviewed okay, I couldn’t help think: if you are late for your job interview, that is a terrible start. So make sure you are always ten minutes early, if possible.

First impressions count and minds can be made up in the first few minutes, so make sure you dress smart, remember to smile, shake hands like you mean it and don’t be afraid of eye contact. 

Have confidence in yourself and you will inspire confidence in others.

Prioritise companies and jobs which are a good fit for your skills and personality. 

Try and find a job in an industry that you are passionate about, and work for people you admire. 

If you can find the job you love and would do for free, if you didn’t need the money, then you have truly succeeded.

Ask Dave Fishwick a business or career advice question

Self-made millionaire and entrepreneur Dave Fishwick is our new columnist responding to your questions about business and careers.

Dave has a hugely successful minibus and vehicle business based in Lancashire and rose to fame with his BAFTA-winning television series, Bank of Dave, which saw him battle the big banks.

He is ready to answer your questions, whether you own a business, thinking about starting one or have general career questions. 

In his spare time, he likes to give talks to inspire people to be the best they can. 

A Netflix movie about Bank of Dave is set to air at the end of the year/start of 2023 and he has been a friend to This is Money for the last decade. He now wants to impart some of his wisdom and advice to our readers.

If you would like to ask Dave a question, please email him at bankondave@thisismoney.co.uk 

Dave will do his best to reply to your message in a forthcoming column, but he won’t be able to answer everyone or correspond privately with readers. Nothing in his replies constitutes regulated financial advice. Published questions are sometimes edited for brevity or other reasons.

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