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Pricing Strategies for Dog Groomers: The Essential Formula to Charge Per Dog

Updated: Mar 21



In the world of Dog Grooming and Pet Grooming, pricing isn't just a number—it's a statement of your value, your expertise, and your commitment to your craft. As passionate groomers, we often underestimate our value as a trained professional, and we must understand the delicate balance between providing exceptional service and running a profitable business. That's why we're diving  into a simple formula to help you decide how much to charge per dog.  


As groomers, we often ask what should we be charging, aware that undercharging is a common pitfall. However, this question delves deeper than just setting prices. Many factors come into play, like are you running a salon from a commercial premises, home salon, mobile, or renting a table.  This isn't just about covering costs—it's about propelling your business into a future of success, sustainability and more importantly having longevity in our industry. With the right approach, outlined below, you'll not only survive but thrive in the competitive grooming industry. So, let's gear up, with Groomer Nation’s guide to success in pet grooming.



Mastering Your Costs: The Heart of Your Pricing Strategy


Navigating the financial landscape of your pet grooming business is crucial. To craft a robust pricing strategy, you must intimately understand every cost involved. Start with a thorough review of your overhead expenses—rent, utilities, ongoing education, grooming supplies, and wages. These elements are the pillars of your operation. By analysing these costs, you're not just managing numbers; you're building a foundation for a pricing strategy that ensures profitability and sustainability. This deep dive into your expenses empowers you to create a pricing plan that reflects the true value of your services and secures the future of your salon or mobile grooming business and also allows you to see where your money is being spent.

It's advisable to analyse your business outgoings at least quarterly to monitor expenses and make necessary adjustments. For new businesses or those experiencing significant changes, a monthly review may be more appropriate to maintain a clear understanding of your financial position.



The Formula:


A simple yet effective formula looks like this:

Price Per Dog = (Total Yearly Expenses + Desired Yearly Profit) / Number of Dogs Groomed Yearly


Here's a breakdown of the formula:

  • Total Yearly Expenses: This includes all your costs for running the business for a year, such as rent, utilities, wages, supplies, etc.

  • Desired Yearly Profit: This is the profit you aim to make in a year after covering all your expenses.

  • Number of Dogs Groomed Yearly: This is the total number of dogs you expect to groom in a year. ( This is based on small breed full Bath and Trim or Clip as a base price to help you get started)


By adding your total yearly expenses and desired yearly profit, you get the total amount of revenue you need to generate in a year. Dividing this total by the number of dogs you groom yearly gives you the average price you need to charge per dog to meet your financial goals.


As a basic example for a solo groomer to help you break it down, If you're able to perform a full bath and trim/clip on 8 small dogs in a day, x 5 days per week = 40 small dogs per week x 4 weeks= 160 per month x 12 = 1920 per year ( this calculation is without annual holidays or public holidays) Adjust your working days to suit and use this to calculate a price for your base price per dog, remembering the variables on sizes, medium, large, xlarge, breed types and extra charges like dematting, spa treatments, hand stripping and other add ons will increase your profit margin. 


With the understanding that during winter you may do more Bath and Tidies than full Bath and Clips, you can still incorporate this formula once you know an approximate daily rate that you need. There for instead of 8 small dogs Bathed and Clipped per day you would need to consider increasing the amount or Bath and Tidies to cover your costs.


When totalling your outgoings take into consideration these costs and any other associated costs for your business: Rent, Utilities, Phone, Supplies ( this includes products likes shampoos, conditioners, printer ink etc), Costs associated with Website, All insurances (including liability etc)Taxes, Salary, Continued Education (webinars, seminars, expos, etc.) Sharpening costs, Eftpos and banking fees, Other Misc. Expenses (online booking system, etc.)


*Please note that this is not a substitute for professional business advice. It's intended as a rough guide for a solopreneur in a salon environment to help you estimate your pricing based on important considerations all information must be adjusted to suit your current work climate and environment . This can be adjusted to suit more staff, mobile groomers and home salons also.




Integrating Your Hourly Rate into Your Pricing Formula:


Determining your hourly rate as a pet groomer is a critical step in setting your prices. It's not just about picking a number; it's about valuing your expertise and contributions to the industry. While award wages in Australia provide a baseline, as a business owner ,solopreneur or groomerpreneur , your rate should reflect your unique skills, experience, and the specialised services you offer.


Consider your professional journey, including all the training, qualifications, and certifications you've achieved. These accomplishments should be factored into your rate, along with the value-added services you provide or specialise in. 


To integrate your hourly rate into your pricing formula, begin by assessing industry standards, award wages and then tailor your rate based on your distinct offerings and the satisfaction of your clients. Your hourly rate is a vital component of your pricing formula, ensuring it covers your expenses, mirrors your expertise, and secures your business's profitability. This strategy not only showcases your professionalism and commitment but also aligns your pricing with the exceptional grooming experience you deliver.


Research the Competition: Know Your Market


Venture into the market with open eyes, examining the pricing landscape of services similar to yours within your locality. Remember, the goal isn't to mimic other grooming businesses, but to strategically position your pricing in a way that speaks to the unique caliber of service you provide. Should your salon boast of exclusive grooming techniques or a luxe pet spa experience, let your prices narrate that premium story. It's about striking a delicate balance—ensuring your services are priced to draw in clientele while firmly standing your ground on the value you bring and covering your costs. Shine the spotlight on your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) it’s not just beneficial—it's imperative for setting your services apart. What elevates your grooming salon above the rest? Find your niche in the grooming market and go with it! Engaging in this critical market analysis empowers you to navigate your business with agility and confidence.


Announcing Price Changes with Confidence and Tact


Navigating price adjustments in your grooming business requires a delicate balance of grace and confidence. Recognise that these changes are part of your growth and commitment to providing exceptional service. When it's time to announce a price increase, do so with transparency, confidence and of course politeness, highlighting the improvements in service and the value you continue to offer. Consider making price adjustments annually or smaller adjustments bi-annually so your clients become used to the price changes, ensuring you communicate these changes well in advance. This approach not only maintains trust but also demonstrates your dedication to quality. For guidance on how to gently inform your clients about a price increase, visit https://www.groomernation.com.au/post/time-for-a-price-increase-here-s-how-to-tell-your-customers-the-right-way."


Valuing Your Worth: The Key to Longevity in Dog Grooming


Charging appropriately is crucial to prevent burnout and ensure the sustainability of your business. As groomers, our empathetic nature may tempt us to undervalue our services at times even working for free, but it's essential to remember that covering costs is vital for our well-being and business longevity. You're invaluable to your clients, but you can only continue to serve them if you maintain a healthy work balance and avoid burnout due to undervaluing your work. When applying your pricing formula, prioritise your own importance and aim for a lasting presence in the wonderful industry of dog grooming.


In our dynamic world of dog and pet grooming, continuous learning and strategic planning are key to staying ahead and being profitable.  Embrace the journey of professional development with Groomer Nation as your mentor, offering courses, an academy,grooming tutorials from leading Australian groomers and informative free podcasts and blogs like this one. With memberships tailored to suit individual groomers, salons, or grooming enterprises, you have access to a wealth of knowledge at www.groomernation.com.au to fuel your passion and drive your pricing strategy with expertise. Stay at the forefront of the industry by adapting to emerging trends and regularly evaluating your services.


Future-proof your business with Groomer Nation's guidance, ensuring you're equipped to lead in grooming innovation and excellence. Let your commitment to continuous learning and strategic foresight set the stage for a legacy of success in the grooming community.

Happy and Profitable Grooming my friends!

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