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SWOT analysis of a dog grooming business

If you plan to turn your love for dogs and your passion for taking care
of them into a business, you’ll need to make sure you plan ahead and
see whether or not there’s a gap in the market. A SWOT analysis is a
great way to analyse the existing market and evaluate your chances of
success. With any start-up or business venture there are certain risks
and potential rewards. This SWOT analysis will focus on the dog
grooming market as a whole in order to give you a better idea of the
type of things you should be thinking about when it comes to your


The strengths of your particular business will be specific to you

depending on your brand, location, local market size etc. It’s important
to think about your brand and what business strengths you have. Here
are some examples of strengths that may apply to your brand.

 Lack of competition- If you live in an area where there are very

few or no dog grooming services available, there will be very little
competition. This means you have a large share of the market
and an increased number of potential customers.
 Experience- A lot of experience in dog grooming will mean that
you already have a high level of skill and can offer better service
than competitors. Also, if you have skilled staff it will reduce
training time and increase customer satisfaction.
 Low costs- Depending on your business model, you can keep
your start-up costs to a minimum. Mobile groomers will have little
equipment to buy and won’t have to pay for rent for a shop.
 Passion- Your passion for your work and love for dogs will help
improve customer experience and increase positive feedback,
which is very effective publicity.

No business model or brand is completely perfect but by identifying

weaknesses in your company, you can try to work on things and
improve your quality of service.

 Lack of brand recognition- It’s hard for any new business to

make a name for itself, especially if the market is full of
established brands. Advertising and clever marketing can help
improve brand recognition.
 Low budget- Initial start-up costs can be very expensive for a
new company, especially if you’re opening a shop. You can look
into things like business loans to help get your brand up and
 Lack of business experience- When you enter a new market it
will take time to find your feet as a business owner. Having a
passion for dog grooming is essentially but you will also need to
learn what it takes to be a good business person.
 No business links- Having strong links with suppliers and
business associates is essential for growing your business. You
will most likely have no links when you start out and it will take
time to build them up.


Once you get your business off the ground and you show people how
great you are with their furry friends, there are a lot of opportunities
which you can take advantage of, even at the early stages of

 Profit- Your passion for dogs will come first but the opportunity to
eventually make profit is a great incentive. Once your company
becomes profitable there are many other opportunities that come
with it.
 Expansion- After getting a foothold in the market and increasing
your customer base you will have the opportunity to expand by
opening new locations or increasing your staff roster.
 Franchising- If you build up a strong enough brand and you
developed a wide customer base you may consider franchising
and giving other passionate dog groomers the opportunity to
grow under your brand.


You can’t always predict the future but it’s important to consider any
potential scenarios so you can be prepared for the worst. These
examples of threats will hopefully get you thinking about the kinds of
things you’ll need to be ready for.

 Competition- Competition is one of the biggest threats to any

new business venture. If the local dog grooming market is
already highly saturated you may struggle to establish your
brand initially.
 Increased costs- There is always a chance that business and
material costs will increase. Utility prices could increase over
time and if you lease your building then the rent price may be
liable to change.
 Issues with the economy- Just like any other business, your dog
grooming company can be effected by downturns in the
economy. If local customers experience household budget cuts
you may see a reduction in demand.
 Sick days- Unfortunately we all get sick sometimes, which
means you may struggle to keep up with business activities if
you have to take time off. This can be particularly problematic if
you are a mobile dog groomer and you’re self-employed.
Hopefully this SWOT analysis example has given you an idea of the
types of things you need to keep in mind before creating your own dog
grooming business. The more dog groomers in the world the better,
but be sure to think about your specific situation and consider every
potential outcome.

Strengths (Helpful, Internal):

Products: We are going to use vetenarian recommended products. We can use this to our advantage in
advertising and marketing. Anecdotal industry sources report the rising rate of obesity amongst cats and
dogs. There are a range of health problems associated with obesity such as diabetes and osteoarthritis.
So we can also sell dietary supplements to improve the health and wellbeing’s of dogs. We also can
provide a top 10 products list to give customers some suggestion if they are confused about products.

Mobility: We are a completely mobile business, which means we come to the customer. This is not only
easier for them, but for us too, as we don't have to pay any rent or property fees. We can include our
business logo and details on the side of the van (Mobile hydro bathing). This will result in free
advertisement to all drivers that see the van. Because we provide a mobile or online booking service, the
customers are independent of time and place restrictions and they can save their time and money.

Deals: With ongoing business and loyal customers, we plan to provide discounts in the form of a 'loyalty
card'. For example, use our grooming service twice and receive the third at half price. We could also look
into giving treats or even clothing like a bandana. The bandana could also have our label and phone
number attached for further advertising. By doing such, we will be giving our customers an incentive to
keep using our service, making it a win-win situation as everyone loves a good deal and we will love the
business we are generating.

Wide Variety of Service: We plan to provide a number of services unique to our business on top of
simply grooming. We want to let our customers know we will take care of their dog in a number of ways.
These will include washing, grooming, clipping, massaging, walking, sitting, manicure/pedicure, flea rinse,
aroma Care and general health (Fleas, teeth cleaning, skin conditions, ear checking).The diverse sales
model can satisfy the customers' potential needs, so as to increase its market share and diversified
business model is more conductive to the rational and efficient use of the existing resources of the pet
retail stores, and reduce costs.

Weaknesses (Harmful, Internal):

Starting Capital: Starting a business is always hard; we need money to buy supplies, transport, storage
area and staff. We can’t provide service to customers without all these things. We may need to start off
with one van which can limit the amount of jobs we do in one day, as well as have less staff as we may
not be able to afford to pay them a fair wage in the starting months. This is why we will have to work hard
on our marketing as we will have major competition and we will have to be able to stand out allowing for
people to use our service as opposed to our competition. We would also have to be careful that we
always are completely stocked with enough products, allowing us to have fewer limitations as to the
amount of dogs we can wash.

Qualifications and training: Our dog groomers will be required to have some training in dog grooming
so our service is of professional quality. There is an online course that anyone is eligible to complete to
have a qualification in pet grooming. This course requires approximately 150 hours of online study and
any individual can start this course when they like. This does, however, mean that we will have to wait a
short while for our groomers to get this qualification. They will learn dog grooming techniques; learn about
different breeds and personalities, health issues and how to handle specific behaviour. Every groomer will
also need to have an Australian driver’s license so that they are able to drive the mobile hydro bath to our
customer’s houses.
New to the Industry: As we are a new business, it may be difficult to generate income as our name is
not familiar to the public. This is one reason for the vetenarian recommended products, as it should make
our service feel reliable and safe to customers. We are also going to find it challenging to find where
potential customers are and what is it that they actually want. We could survey people to find out what
they actually expect in a dog grooming service and make sure we tick all the boxes. To get our name out
there fast, we plan to hand out flyers and start a website. We will have to heavily rely on a marketing plan,
as well as word of mouth from customers. Again, with the loyalty card, we could offer some kind of
discount or deal to customers based on recommendations. For example, "With 3 customer
recommendations, you get a free wash. Just tell your friend to mention your name."

Mobility: Being mobile could also be a potential weakness. Having no permanent store front means
people won't see our business every day. Again, we need to rely heavily on marketing through things like
flyers and online advertising to get our name out there. Being mobile, this will create some extra costs
such as petrol, the cost of the car itself, registration and insurance. Customers also can't come into our
store and say, have a coffee and sit down, while we provide our service, as we have no store front. Also,
the customer will most likely have to be home to pay and things like that, which may be a weakness. We
may be able to overcome this problem by building a relationship and trust with some regular customers.
We could go to their house and access their dog in the backyard while they aren’t even home which
provides even greater convenience. This can obviously only happen if we are seen as reliable and build a
sustainable relationship with these particular customers.

Opportunities (Helpful, External):

Million Paws Walk: The million paws walk is an event held all across Australia where people take their
dogs and be involved in the walk to raise money for the RSPCA. This event is held at many venues in
each state. As there would be many dog owners at our local walk, we could set up our van at the venue.
This allows people to use the services while at the event and this also advertises our name to everyone
there. Through this we could also donate ‘x’ amount to the RSPCA which may give customers incentive to
use our service. We could also do this leading up to the paw walk so if people cannot make it to the walk
they can still do their part in donating by using our service?

High Demand: We believe that there will be a very high demand for our service for dogs. This is
mainly because dogs are arguably the most popular of pets and adequate grooming, washing and
clipping is essential to any clean, healthy dog. On top of this, we plan to target busy families who don't
have time to wash their own dog. We think there is a good market for our service and this is an
opportunity. While the Australian society has seen many changes in recent years, the value Australians
place on their relationship with their pets remains constant. Pets are part of the family in 63% of
Australian households, providing benefits to their owners and the communities they are part of.

Word of Mouth Advertising: Word of mouth advertising has become one of the most powerful sources
of advertising. It is important that we provide the best service for our customers to ensure they pass us on
to friends. We could give our clients business cards and flyers that they can pass on to their friends and
we can also give them incentives to pass us on to friends such as tell 2 friends and we will give you a
discounted/free wash or throw in a free doggy bag of treats. This would create the opportunity for more
customers and can also keep the customer satisfied.

Expansion: Starting as a mobile business leaves great opportunity to expand in the future. If the
business appears to be succeeding, we could also open a permanent shop. This would allow us to have a
permanent shop front where customers can bring their dogs to us. We could also introduce grooming of
other pets as well as dogs. Having a permanent shop front means that people will always see it and could
bring many more customers. We could also expand our business by including more services as well as
the grooming which will set our business apart from other businesses. We could include dog walking and
dog sitting services. We could organise with the customer to pick the dog up from their house and walk
them while they are at work. Alternatively we could organise for customers to drop their dogs to come to
us (at a house or store front if we eventually have one) and we can watch them for the day, this could be
handy for dogs who tend to be destructive or who acquire more attention. We could also potentially
expand to a training programme if we can gain qualifications.

The promising whole markets: According to the Contribution of the Pet

Care Industry to the Australian Economy, there are an increasing number of dogs in Australia, of
Australia's 8 million households, about 2.9 million or 36% own a dog, which can be observed from the
table below. Plus, with the improving positions of dogs in families, consumers placing greater value on the
health and well-being of their pets. This trend has led to growth in premium pet foods as well as more
specialised foods and health care products for pets. In conclusions, the market is promising. This could
be the advantaged background for developing business.

According to the law, the average GDP of one country is between $3000-8000, the pet industry will
develop quickly and most of family's income in Australia is over this number, and people regard their pets
as their family member or one kind of spiritual sustenance to rich their life, so the mobile grooming
industry will have a big market in the future.

Threats (Harmful, External):

Competition Services: An obvious threat to our business would be other dog grooming services. They
would automatically be at an advantage over us due to the fact that we are new to the market. Our name
is not known yet. But we plan to find out what the other business's service involves and combine it with
what people expect in a dog grooming service. We will then use this information to ensure we provide the
highest quality service, covering all and more of what is expected, at the lowest price possible. Another
potential source of competition would be dog owners that simply wash and groom their own pets. We
need to reach these people through flyers and pamphlets and make sure they know we can save them
time and do a better job. Also, since the promising market is easier to access and the initial outlay is not
high, there is an increasing number of people who want to join. Which means that our competitors are not
only the mature ones but also the new ones. This must be a big threat for us.

Customer Desire: One potential target market for our business is families who own pets, but are too
busy to groom them personally. Being a busy family, the home owners would have bills, expenses and
kids, as well as other important things, that would, without a doubt, outweigh getting their dog groomed. A
threat to our business is the degree to which these families hold our service. We need to ensure our
market views our services as a necessity.

Regulations and Qualifications: There may be a few regulations that our business will need to follow to
operate and be successful. Firstly, we would have to ensure our products are safe and do not contain any
hazardous chemicals that could potentially harm the dogs. We can make sure this is the case by
purchasing professional standard products that have been tested to be successful and safe. We would
also need to make sure our hydro-bath and our pet groomers meet health and safety standards. This
would require constant maintenance and cleaning of the hydro-bath and grooming tools and also ensure
that the groomers wash their hands etc. before and after every dog that they groom.

Our business will be operated from a home office so we will not require a store front. For our mobile
business to operate in the City of Joondalup, we will need to follow The Trading in Public Places Local
Law 1999.This law applies conditions to license holders relevant to our business such as;

 As there are businesses who are permanent and provide the same goods and services, traders
must not trade within 500m from these businesses while they are open.
 Annual licenses must be renewed or have been applied to be renewed prior to the expiry date.
These licenses have to be reassessed by the City of Joondalup and there is no guarantee of
 Single Day traders are only permitted to operate on the nominated date of their application. To
continue trading, an annual license must be applied for or submission for further applications for
proposed dates must be made.
 Traders are required to hold Public Liability Insurance cover for a minimum value of $10 million.

Multiple fees are required for the operation of a business in our area.

Application Fee: $30.00

Daily License Fee: $62.00

Annual License Fee: $620.00

Transfer of License: $38.00

Seasonal Demand: One possible threat may be the fact that demand will fall in winter seasons or other
cold periods of the year. In summer or hot periods, dog owners are probably more likely to groom their
pet, as they get hot and uncomfortable with a thick coat. But in winter, sometimes a thicker coat is left, to
warm the dog. We predict demand for our service may fall due to these reasons. To compensate, we are
thinking of products to add to our service, like treats, food and teeth cleaning, to make our service needed
and profitable all year around.