Grooming Business Costs

Most business owners keep careful records of items and products used in the course of the business, simply because it’s a business expense that can be written off on taxes. There are reasons to take that record keeping much further.

If you know in detail how much is being spent on every aspect of your business it helps decide future expenditures. If shampoo has generally cost you $160 a month and now it’s at $220, do you know why? Is it because you are buying more shampoo because you are doing more dogs? More expensive shampoo than before? Has the cost of shampoo jumped (as it has in the last year or so)? Or is it not being diluted correctly? Or used efficiently? If blade sharpening cost 30% more this year than last, is it time to try another brand? Increase blade maintenance? Or change sharpeners? It’s a good idea to know how much each aspect of your grooming expenses is costing, from prep products right through brushes and combs, bathing and drying, and finish products right down to bows, bandannas or cologne. If you need to shave expenses you can, at a glance, see where money is going which helps to see where reductions can be made.

Knowing just where your money’s going also helps to figure pricing. Figure out what each dog costs in product used as well as time. Ear cleaner and styptic powder can probably be averaged out for each pet, but there’s a big difference in how much other product will be used. A Poodle may use more conditioning and various grooming and finishing sprays than many other breeds, a Doberman much less. You may find that you are charging accurately according to the time a dog takes, but taking a beating financially on the cost of the product used on the Poodle, which reduces your profit on that dog.

It may seem ridiculously detail oriented to know how much each dog costs in terms of product, utilities (how much water and electricity is used to dry that Doberman compared to the Poodle?) but it can save you a lot of money if you price accordingly. Do the math – it’s worth it.


By Carol Visser, Journalist, Master Pet Groomer, Certified Dog Trainer, Pet Product Expert