Is a Mobile Dog Grooming Business Profitable? (Solved!)

Yes, Mobile Grooming is quite popular, and the convenience means that you can charge a little more than you would at a salon for grooming dogs. For instance, let’s say that you can groom about 6 dogs a day, and you are charging $70 per grooming session.

This means that you would be making about $420 per day just grooming on your own. If you hire another employee, you could pay them 50% in commissions, and if they are also able to do groom 6 dogs, then your profit for the day jumps up to $630 before factoring in costs.

The hardest part is building up a client roster, but once you have a goodly amount of satisfied regulars then you can definitely make some bank as an independent mobile groomer!

In today’s article we’ll be answering popular questions on mobile grooming that are trending this week. What kind of upgrades can you get for a mobile grooming van? What kind of insurance do you need for your business? Find out the answers to these questions and more—they’re waiting for you in the sections that follow!

How much does it cost to build a mobile grooming van?

If you have some DIY skills, then you can save a lot of money, otherwise you will need to hire help to refit an existing cargo van or you can purchase a ready-made van or trailer. This means costs for getting started can run you anywhere between 10k and 100k.

Aside from your standard hand grooming supplies (brushes, clippers, hairdryers, etc.) you are going to need a tub, grooming tables, water tanks, and a generator just to get started on the basics.

What are mobile grooming van basics I’ll need?

While you won’t be paying rent or utilities, you are going to need a good amount of gear to get rolling and start your mobile grooming business. Your van needs to have the follow basics:

  • Grooming table
  • Bathtub/bathing station
  • Combs, brushes, and shears
  • Doggy dental supplies
  • Assorted shampoos and conditioners
  • Eye and ear cleaning kits
  • Toenail clippers
  • Generator for independent power
  • Good heating and AC for a pleasant environment
  • One or two 50-gallon water tanks for bathing

What are good upgrades for a mobile grooming business?

There are definitely upgrades for your Mobile Grooming van that can make an enormous difference. Cleanup is a huge problem, for instance, and so trash and linen chutes that go to special compartments are always useful. Here are a few other upgrades that can really help you to pick up the pace:

  • GPS with route planning for multiple stops
  • Bathing platform to raise or lower dogs and save your back the effort
  • Raising and lowering grooming tables
  • Diesel generator for superior power without running the engine
  • High-velocity driers for quicker dry-time
  • Drainage ports for easier cleanup

These are just a few of the upgrades out there, but this gives you a good idea of the difference between a ‘serviceable’ van and a ‘souped-up grooming machine on wheels’!

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Do you need insurance for a mobile grooming business?

Yes, you are going to need insurance for your mobile grooming business. General liability insurance is first, as you’ll need this for legal defense against any claims that might crop up when grooming or transporting dogs.

You are also going to need workman’s comp insurance for any workers that you employ as well, so you’ll need to factor this in to your running costs for your business.

Do you need a license for a mobile grooming business?

You will definitely need a business license for your mobile grooming business but beyond this, you’ll need to check with your State Department of Health. In most cases, you won’t need any special licensing, but this is handled on the state level so you’ll need to check in your specific location to be sure.

Odds are, you won’t need anything more than a business license, but it’s always better to err on the safe side to avoid potentially costly fines or worse!

Do mobile groomers make more that salon groomers?

It really depends. Mobile Groomers can certainly charge more for the convenience, but if the van is not full of upgrades, then you’ll be limited by time and this can seriously cut into your profits.

Some high-end salons report earnings of around 75k to 100k, but since you won’t be paying rent if you have a nice van, a good reputation, an excellent team, and a loyal client base then you can definitely approach numbers like this with your own mobile business.

How many dogs can a mobile groomer groom in a day?

If you are working solo, the most that you should target in a day would be 8 dogs. Anything more than that and you are definitely taking lots of shortcuts and it’s going to harm your business in the long run. You can add employees, giving them about a 50% commission, and definitely bring up your numbers.

That said, the average for mobile groomers is around 6 dogs a day for mobile grooming services.

How much can mobile groomers make?

The range for mobile groomers as far as income is around 17k per year on the lower end, with 31k on the high average, and a median average of around 21k.

Keep in mind that this is for a single groomer, so adding 1 or 2 teammates and paying them commissions for use of your van can definitely inflate the numbers to your liking.

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How can I speed up my mobile grooming services?

Preparation is key for getting more done if you don’t have a lot of fancy upgrades. You can cut trimming pads to make them ready and hire a coworker so that you can clean up after each other when one is free and the other is grooming.

This saves a LOT of time, as cleaning is one of the most time intensive tasks. Beyond this, creative scheduling can get you some days where all the dogs are small or the locations are all fairly close to one another, you’ll just need to put aside some time so that you can start optimizing your schedule routes.

How do mobile groomers get water and power?

Mobile grooming vans need 1 or 2 water tanks and you will also need a generator, so that you can have power without having to run the engine constantly and added wear and tear on it in the process.

In most cases, your water tanks should provide enough water but you may need to make the occasional trip home to refill or if you know your clients very well, they might let you borrow the waterhose!