Just as other forms of pet grooming businesses, such as shops and home-based, face better prospects when following a professional business plan, so too mobile grooming. One of our specialties for over 20 years has been writing business plans for hundreds of pet groomers, and now offering them software to write their own. Below you can learn more about professional mobile business plans.

If you are financing a mobile vehicle purchase, you may or may not require a formal plan for the lender. You are more likely to require one when your loan includes working capital above the amount need to purchase the unit.

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Writing a Mobile Grooming Business Plan

Starting a mobile grooming business typically involves less cash outlay than a commercial location. Most of the cash outlay is required for the down payment on the mobile vehicle, but you need to have some cash reserves while you grow the business adequate to cover your expenses, and start-up expenses.

You do need to investigate licenses carefully. Sometimes you need to get local approval from each city, town or county you groom in the form of a license or permit. Also, some housing associations may prohibit storing your vehicle in the driveway of your neighborhood. Often these associations consider commercial vehicles, especially those with custom lettering, to be an unsightly disturbance to the other members of the neighborhood association.

Do your homework for your business! You may be obligating yourself to a significant loan financing your purchase of a new or used vehicle. Protect your investment and ensure you clearly understand what your business needs to earn to cover its operating expenses, and the amount of net operating income (prior your salary or draw) it needs to earn in order to provide you with a personal income from the business income. The old saying, "It's not what you make, but what you keep" that clearly describes your goal in preparing a sales forecast and income and expense projection.

Some banks and auto financing firms absolutely require a business plan before they make a loan. It's no small task but perhaps the most important task to protect your investment in your business. You will need to project your business sales income for 3 to 5 years in advance from the day you open for business (see graph above). Then you will need to project the operating expenses and deduct them from your projected sales income thereby giving you an estimate of what personal income you can expect to earn from your business (see graph below). Going into business in the dark without knowing what you can expect to earn in sales and personal income is an unacceptable risks to banks or investors, and for good reason.


Chart generated by Pet Grooming Business Plan Helper & Sampler, a Grooming Business in a Box® product.
Copyright 2007-2012 Find A Groomer Inc. All rights reserved

The chart above shows some retail sales income. There are mobile groomers that sell flea and tick treatments, brushes, combs, toys and treats. Holistic food is also growing in popularity. Many pet owners desire the savings of buying the bulk bags but have little or no means of carrying the bag; the mobile groomer can.


Chart generated by Pet Grooming Business Plan Helper & Sampler,
a Grooming Business in a Box® product.
Copyright 2007-2012 Find A Groomer Inc. All rights reserved

How much do you need to invest? That's another question that must be answered with financial planning. Fortunately mobile grooming businesses are known for reasonable start-up costs involving cash outlay compared to a commercial locations. You don't have to deal with leasehold improvements like flooring, tiling, plumbing, carpentry and electricity. In some commercial locations leasehold improvements can cost as much or more than the cost of a new van or trailer.

The graph below shows the start-up funding required for a mobile business purchasing a new van. The business could be new or turning in an old van for a new one. The mobile owner requires about $58,000 in "start-up assets" and $3,000 for start-up expenses. Every business owner learns basic financial terms and you definitely need to know the difference between an "asset" and "expense." In accounting and tax reporting your assets and expenses are handled quite differently.

Suffice to say that assets for a mobile grooming business is major equipment like the vehicle and its contents. Start-up expenses are easy to understand. They have a short lifetime and include grooming supplies, small tools and equipment, advertising, stationery, licenses, and fees to name just a few. Refer to the chart below once more.

We know the groomer requires $61,000 to cover the purchases of assets and expenses, and some of that asset amount should be cash reserved because you run a new a business at a loss for several months until the clientele and demand increases.

The chart tells us that the groomer plans to seek a loan (light yellow) of $48,000 and her investment of her own money (light blue) will be $13,000.


Chart generated by Pet Grooming Business Plan Helper & Sampler,
a Grooming Business in a Box® product.
Copyright 2007-2012 Find A Groomer Inc. All rights reserved

If you require a bank loan or investor they are going to want to know exactly how much of an investment you need and how much you are personally putting up of your own money. Don't proceed without knowing the numbers, and have them well-documented. You are certain to be asked for that documentation. If you don't have it you will be perceived as being naive about the conduct required to start-up a business. It's okay to be naive now, but start learning more today.

There's another very common question someone is likely to ask you. Again, don't venture into business seeking loans or investors without knowing your projected "breakeven point." Below you will find the breakeven table for the groomer opening a home business above.

 
Break-even Analysis (Pet Care Services Only)  
 
Monthly Units of Services to Break-even 46
Monthly Gross Sales of Services to Break-even $2,142
 
Assumptions  
Estimated Monthly Fixed Cost $2,142
Estimated Per Unit Variable Cost $0.00
Year 1 Sales of Services $34,128
Year 1 Units of Services 736
Average Per Unit of Services Revenue $46.37

Table generated by Pet Grooming Business Plan Helper & Sampler,
a Grooming Business in a Box® product.
Copyright 2007-2012 Find A Groomer Inc. All rights reserved

Do you understand the table information? It's not too hard to figure it out once you know your projected average service fee for grooming services you expect in your business, and what your fixed costs are. Fixed costs can include interest payments on your loans to start-up the business, supplies, utilities etc.

In the example above the new business owner knows her business requires $2,142 a month to meet its fixed costs of operation. Because she knew her average grooming fee would be $46.37 it was easy to divide that number into the fixed costs of $2,142. The result is 46 services. In other words, the mobile groomer must groom 46 pets a month to meet costs of running the business. In this case, 46 pet services does not include personal income for the mobile owner (unless a small base salary was included in the in the $2,142 amount).

Impress others by sharing your break-even point. Now consider this question. Isn't it easy to count the number of pets you groom as you work through a month? Sure. Knowing that you must groom at least 46 pets to meet break-even is an easy way to track your progress at any time during the month. You will be better prepared should you not meet your goal, or to celebrate when you exceed your goal and start boosting your profit.


Mobile Grooming Business Plan Software & Sample Plan

There's no simpler way to write a professional mobile grooming business plan suitable to present to banks than with Pet Grooming Business Plan Helper & Sampler. In fact, one of the sample plans is a mobile groomer start-up plan for Doorstep Mobile Grooming. No one else has ever released similar information and tools customized to the needs of pet groomers. Take a look at Grooming Business in a Box®.

Talk with Other Mobile Grooming Business Owners

We suggest you come to the GroomerTALK Message Board and look for the MobileGroomerTALK Forum. Study the many threads and forums. You are also most welcome to register on the Message Board and start some discussions, ask for help and make friends with mobile groomers and others. Better yet, how about sharing your experiences with grooming in order to help others.

See if you can locate a mobile groomer willing to take you along with them on a working day. If not, Jodi Murphy sells a set of mobile grooming DVDs where you the viewer ride along with her in on a typical mobile grooming day. That's what PetGroomer.com is about, opening up lines of communication between groomers that is still so sorely missing from our industry.

 

 

 
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