Room To Grow
As any good investor knows, diversification is key to maintaining stable growth and defending against dramatic losses. With the results from this year’s Grooming Business Pet Groomer Survey, it’s clear that many groomers are taking the same approach to running their businesses. As pet owners invest more and more in caring for their pets, salons are expanding their offerings with increasingly popular specialty services, ranging from daycare to deshedding treatments to massage therapy.
But despite this proactive approach to offering new services and add-on treatments in their salons, this year’s results pointed out that almost half of groomers are not incorporating one potentially lucrative element into their business models—retail.
Venturing into selling consumer products may seem like a daunting step for a service-focused business, requiring time invested in researching products and dedicating valuable square footage to displaying them. However, groomers are not starting from scratch. Many brands that make tools or other products for professionals have consumer lines as well, so groomers can begin by looking into the brands they already know and trust for retail options. As a trusted source on caring for pets, groomers are uniquely positioned to offer their customers informed advice on quality products to use at home.
The survey also revealed that more than three-quarters of respondents use at least some natural or holistic products in their salons. With natural continuing to be a growing trend in almost every pet product category, groomers can easily extend this focus into a retail segment as well. Whether it’s between-bath cleansers and touch-up tools for owners to use between grooming appointments, or the brand of treats used in the salon to reward well-behaved canine clients, there is a range of opportunities for groomers to take advantage of the natural trend.
For those still on the fence about dedicating space or time to retail, exploring product options can easily be combined with other professional development efforts at trade shows. As this issue’s Special Report points out, now is the time to plan out which and how many shows you will attend this year. Besides the seminars and grooming competitions, these events also offer a great opportunity to talk to manufacturers about their consumer product options and take advantage of any show specials to start building a strong selection to carry in your salon. Even introducing a small inventory can provide a boost to your bottom line.
Overall, the Pet Groomer Survey results show that many saw their businesses grow in the past year and feel optimistic about the potential for more in 2017. Whether or not you choose to incorporate retail into your model, there is a wealth of opportunities to expand your business in the coming year.