Tuesday, March 13, 2012

906. Starting a pet grooming business in Singapore - my observations


It is relatively cheaper to start a pet grooming shop in Singapore as compared to a veterinary clinic. Still the following factors contribute to success or failure based on my observations of many groomers opening and closing shop in Singapore every year, for the past 30 years:

1. Location - convenient, easy to park

2. Capital - need a few thousand dollars to last one year to pay the high rentals.
Landlords have no mercy on tenants and will want more and more rentals esp. if the business is good. Assuming a small shop in a poor location rents around $3,000/month, the rental per year is already $36,000.

3. Clientele - new grooming graduate. No clientele of significant numbers to sustain the operations.

4. Marketing - not guaranteed but must be done. Cost money and time.

5. Pricing - cheap, will get many cases but can't make much. Market rates can be as low as $40 with transport and grooming/dog. Therefore, estimate maximum of 30 dogs, the maximum gross income per day is $1,200.

For new groomers without solid clientele, average 3 dogs per day, no dog transport provided, the income of $120/day x 25days worked = $3,000. This amount can't even pay the rent and utilities. Sales of dog food and puppies may attract walk-in but there is the additional cost and the need to go for a course and be certified by the AVA to sell puppies.

6. Skills - unproven for a new graduate. Therefore, no referrals of significance. Pet owners may have to try their luck.

7. Free Transport - Some groomers need to transport dog home as they can't afford drivers. Many competitors provide transport-grooming package.

8. Wrist pain. Limited number of pets to be groomed. I estimate that 20-30 dogs groomed will be the limit for each groomer. Hand sprain, tendinitis, back ache unless the groomer gets a proper table.

9. Administration. Make appointments, get payments, send dogs home etc. That means hiring one assistant whose pay is around S$1,500/month.

10. Intense competition. Many groomers have set up shop as Singapore develops. How many of those who opened 10 years ago are still around?

11. Work-life balance. Is the young groomer prepared to work the long hours and weekends?

Relationships, motherhood, financial strength, high energy levels and hard work and long hours. How many of the google generation Singaporeans can sustain through the years and be focused to build up a solid reputation and be able to survive when landlords start increasing rentals again and again? Singapore rentals just keep increasing because commercial shop spaces are seldom built and therefore in short supply, unlike in countries like Australia.

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