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How to Open a Grooming School
Opening a good pet grooming school can be a time-consuming process, which is probably for the best. It is no task for the unmotivated. Few grooming schools in the United States are billed as such; and as an owner, you are expected to maintain a high degree of professionalism in order to help students reach their vocational goals.
On the other hand, if you are expert in this field and passionate about helping people and pets, opening a grooming school can be a very rewarding move. If this is truly your dream, don’t be discouraged by the work involved. Just take it one step at a time and think of all the students who will graduate from your program with the knowledge and inspiration to launch their dream careers.
Determine in which location you’d like to open your school. As previously mentioned, there are few schools of this type; and if you live in the same area as one that has already been established, that school might pose a strenuous amount of competition for you. Other deciding factors might include how densely populated the area is, what the average household income is and how many pet owners there are. You can obtain statistics for most areas on local government websites.
Research what it takes to legally open a business of this kind in your area. Call or visit your state’s licensing bureau and say that you’d like to start a new vocational school. It will give you some paperwork to fill out. The amount of paperwork necessary will vary from state to state.
Find a space. If you already own a grooming studio or kennel, this might be a little easier for you; but keep in mind that you will need a classroom as well as areas dedicated to practical study. It is not recommended that you run this practice out of your home. If you do not yet have a space, decide whether you will rent or own. Aspiring school owners with small start-up budgets might consider forming a partnership with an existing studio or kennel that has adequate facilities.
Assemble your teaching materials. The classroom will need a blackboard or whiteboard, and your teachers/administrators will need a method of keeping detailed student records. These include but are not limited to liability waivers, grades/notes on progress and account documents. If you feel confident in your ability to create a logical, smoothly flowing program of study in the desired language, you may want to write all academic text yourself. If not, you may wish to outsource to a consultant who specializes in writing and editing.
Market your school as soon as you are ready to accept students. Make use of techniques such as passing out fliers in your neighborhood, advertising in local publications, creating a school website and participating actively in relevant blogs. Many sole proprietorships fail because owners are not willing to put the necessary time into marketing, so don’t be afraid to assert yourself in your community and beyond.