As of 08/21/14 I need to make a minimum of $45.00 an hour per groomer to operate the business. The profit after labor, rent, utilities, etc is not enough for me to be employed solely as an owner—I have to groom as well. Not as much as when the kids were at home, but I can’t sit and just supervise—yet.
Our top groomer salary is $17 an hour—add benefits, medicare and vacation to that and I need to budget $23 an hour. Labor for our industry should be around 50% of cost—that’s where the $45 an hour comes from—the remaining $ 22.00 per hour goes to rent, utilities, insurance, supplies, equipment, etc
Our groomers can do 5-6 dogs a piece per day by themselves and that’s it. They can’t do more and maintain quality. I can increase that production by hiring a bather-dryer and I do. When she is employed, the groomers can do between 6 and 7 dogs (but then I have an extra salary to meet).
So, the first consideration in determining the cost of a haircut is the per hour fee. The second consideration is the skill required—full coated dogs that are scissored by hand require much more skill than a clipper cut. Take a Bichon Frise for example. A scissor cut between 1.5 and 2 inches costs $68 and that’s if there are no tangles. A clipper cut to ½ an inch is $58 and takes almost a half hour less time. If you bring in a Collie and it takes 2 hours to brush, bathe, and dry him, expect a charge of $90. Add trimming of the feet, tail, and feathers—it’ll be closer to $100.
A third consideration is the density of the coat (whether it is matted or packed with undercoat). Dogs that come in once a year to be clipped short for the summer cost more than those dogs who get the same clip but come in every 6-8 weeks. For example, a 6-8 week short cut on a cocker is $58. It will be more like $62 if the Cocker has a full coat.
Another very important cost factor is pet behavior. Puppies and seniors generally require more time and patience, thus cost more. Some customers expect that since their puppy is smaller that it will cost less, but it usually takes as much time or more to get them acclimated to the grooming process.
So, there you have it—time, skill, condition and behavior are factors considered in price. Clients can get the best value for their buck by keeping the coat in a matt-free condition to reduce the labor charge. Our posted price is based on a good condition—if we have to brush your dog an extra 15 minutes, expect a corresponding increase in your bill.
This is one of the best bargains going when I consider costs per hour of other service industries—called a plumber lately?