Your executive summary is the first part of your business plan, but you usually write it last because it’s a summary of all the important parts.
The purpose of your Executive Summary is to quickly grab the reader’s attention. Tell them about your dog grooming business and what stage it is in. For instance, are you just starting out, do you have a dog grooming business that you want to grow, or do you run a chain of dog grooming businesses?
Next, give a quick summary of each part of your plan. For example, you could briefly describe the dog grooming business. Tell people about the kind of dog grooming business you run. Detail your direct competitors. Describe your ideal customers. Briefly describe your marketing plan. Find the key players on your team. And tell us how you plan to handle your money.
In your business analysis, you will explain what kind of dog grooming business you run.
For example, you might run one of the following types of dog grooming businesses:
- When a business offers high-end services in a luxurious setting for grooming dogs, this is called “designer dog grooming.”
- Mobile dog grooming is when your business goes right to the client’s house to groom the dog there.
- As a franchise, dog grooming means running a network of grooming experiences with the same name in different places.
In the section of your business plan called “Company Analysis,” you need to explain what kind of dog grooming business you will run and give some history about the business.
Questions like these should be answered:
- When and why did you start your own business?
- What are the most important steps you’ve taken so far? Some examples of milestones are getting a certain number of new clients, reaching your sales goals, etc.
- Your legal structure. Do you run your business as an S-Corporation? An LLC? A business with just one person? Tell us about your legal structure.
In your industry analysis, you should talk about the business of grooming dogs in general terms.
Even though this seems useless, it can be used in more than one way.
First of all, learning about the business of grooming dogs makes you smarter. It helps you understand the market better.
Second, market research can help your strategy, especially if it shows you what the market trends are.
A third reason to do market research is to show your readers that you know a lot about your field. You do that by doing the research and putting it in your plan.
In the section of your dog grooming business plan called “Industry Analysis,” you should answer the following questions:
- How much money can you make by taking care of dogs?
- Is the stock market going up or down?
- Who are your biggest competitors on the market?
- Who are the main sellers in the market?
- What are the changes in the field?
- How quickly do experts think the industry will grow in the next 5–10 years?
- What matters is how big the market is. That is, how many people are interested in your business of grooming dogs? You can get such a number by figuring out how big the market is in the whole country and then applying that number to the number of people in your area.
In the “Customer Analysis” section of your dog grooming business plan, you must describe the customers you serve or plan to serve.
Customer segments include the Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers.
As you might guess, the type of dog grooming business you run will depend a lot on the type(s) of customers you choose. Baby Boomers, for example, would respond to different marketing campaigns and want different service options than Millennials.
Try to figure out who your best customers are based on how they look and what they think. Talk about the ages, genders, locations, and levels of income of the people you want to serve. Most dog grooming shops mainly serve people in their own city or town, so it’s easy to find demographic information on government websites.
Psychographic profiles explain what your ideal customers want and need. If you can understand and define these needs well, it will be easier to get customers and keep them coming back.
In your competitive analysis, you should list both direct and indirect competitors for your business and then focus on the direct ones.
There are other places that also groom dogs and are direct competitors.
Customers can buy things from other places that aren’t direct competitors. This includes dog walkers, pet sitters, how-to videos on YouTube, and pet stores that sell tools for grooming dogs. You need to talk about the competition to show that you know not every dog owner who wants to clean or groom their dog will go to a dog grooming business.
Concerning direct competition, you should list the other dog grooming businesses that you are in direct competition with. Most likely, your direct competitors will be the businesses closest to you that also groom dogs.
Give an overview of each of these competitors’ businesses and a list of their strengths and weaknesses. You won’t know everything about your competitors unless you’ve worked at one of their companies. But you should be able to find out important information about them, like:
- Who are the clients they work with?
- What kind of jobs do they offer?
- What are the prices (high, low, etc.)?
- What are they really good at?
- Why do they mess up?
Try to answer the last two questions from the customer’s point of view. And don’t be afraid to ask the people who buy from your competitors what they like and don’t like about them.
In the last part of your competitive analysis, you should list the ways you are better than your competitors. For instance:
- Will you provide superior services?
- Will you offer things that your rivals don’t?
- Will you make your services easier or quicker for people to use?
- Will you be nicer to your customers?
- Will you make better prices?
In this part of your plan, you should think about how you will do better than your competitors and write those ideas down.
Usually, a marketing plan includes four parts: the product, the price, the place, and the promotion. Your dog grooming business marketing plan should include the following:
Product: In the section about the product, you should say again what kind of dog grooming you talked about in your Company Analysis. Then, say what products and services you will be selling. For example, do you offer boarding, dog spa services, and retail products in addition to grooming?
Price: Write down what you’ll be charging and how it compares to what your competitors are charging. The product and price sections of your marketing plan are basically where you list the services you offer and how much they cost.
Place is the location of your dog grooming business. Write down where you are and how it will affect your success. For example, is your business close to downtown office buildings or a busy shopping area? Talk about how people could keep coming to your location.
Promotions: The section on promotions is the last part of your dog grooming business’s marketing plan. Here, you’ll list how you’ll get people to your location (s). Here are a few ways you could promote your business:
- Putting ads in local newspapers and magazines
- calling up local websites
- Using social media for marketing
- Local radio advertising
You wrote about your goals in other parts of your business plan. In your operations plan, you talk about how you will reach these goals. Your operations plan should have two different parts.
Everyday short-term processes include all the things you need to do to run your dog grooming business, like grooming dogs every day and cleaning and maintaining grooming tools.
Long-term goals are the things you want to accomplish in the future. These could be the dates you plan to groom your 100th dog or when you hope to make $X. It could also be when you want to start in a new place or have X number of clients.
A strong management team is what your dog grooming business needs to show that it can be successful. Showcase the backgrounds of your key players, focusing on the skills and experiences that show they can help a company grow.
You or a member of your team should have worked with dogs before. If so, talk about your skills and experience. But you should also talk about any experience you have that you think will help your business succeed.
If your team is missing something, you may want to form an advisory board. The same way that a mentor would help your business, a two-to-eight-person advisory board would do the same. They would help answer questions and give suggestions about how to plan. If you have to, look for advisory board members who have worked in the pet business or who have run small businesses successfully.
Your 5-year financial plan should start with a monthly or quarterly breakdown for the first year, then switch to an annual breakdown for the next four years. Your financial statements include your income statement, your balance sheet, and your cash flow statement.
A more common name for an income statement is a P&L, which stands for “Profit and Loss.” It shows how much money you made and then subtracts how much you spent to show if you made a profit.
To make your income statement, you need to make some assumptions. For example, how many dogs will you groom every week? 25 or 50? And will sales grow each year by 2% or 10%? As you might expect, the assumptions you choose will have a big impact on the financial forecasts for your business. Try to find out as much as you can about your assumptions to see if they are true.
Balance sheets show both what you own and what you owe. Balance sheets can have a lot of information, but try to get down to the most important parts. For example, if you spend $50,000 to start a dog grooming business, you won’t start making money right away. Instead, it is an asset you can use to make money for years to come. Also, if a bank gives you a check for $50,000, you don’t have to pay it back right away. You will have to pay that back slowly instead.
Cash Flow Statement: Your cash flow statement will help you figure out how much money you need to start or grow your business and make sure that you never run out of cash. Most business owners and entrepreneurs don’t realize that you can make money and still go bankrupt if you run out of money. For example, let’s say that a pet rescue group came to you and offered you a $50,000 contract to groom their adoptable dogs. Let’s also say that you would have to pay an extra $25,000 for staff to finish the contract. Well, you would have to pay that $25,000 now for things like employee salaries and other costs. But let’s say that it took 180 days for the company to pay you. You could run out of money during that time.
Make sure to include some of the most important costs of starting or growing a dog grooming business on your Income Statement and Balance Sheet.
- Location build-out, which includes construction, design costs, etc.
- Costs of things like grooming tables, fur dryers, and bathing tubs
- Payroll or salaries given to workers Insurance for businesses
- Licenses and taxes:
- Legal expenses