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8 Ways to Make More Money Grooming

8 Ways to Make More Money Grooming

By: Melissa Verplank

Are you looking for ways to boost your income? Come on – who ISN’T??

What if I told you there’s a way to do it without doing more dogs?

In order to grow your business and/or your bank account, it’s important you work smarter - not harder.

Up until about 12 years ago, I never thought about offering extra services as a upsell. Sure, I always charged extra if there was excessive dematting or shedding. Specialized treatments for fleas or eliminating nasty odors (like skunk!) always cost more. Or if their pet was difficult to handle.

But I never thought about offering extra services as an option. The lightbulb went off when I was working with a private consultant. He suggested we add a couple optional items for clients to choose from. Nothing difficult. We chose three optional services. Just three. And we were to ask every client, every question, every time. 

We tested it for a week. Every client walking through the door was offered at least one optional upsell service. We didn’t push it hard – we simply offered the service. Kind of like going through a fast food drive-through and they ask you, “Do you want fries with that?”

The three services we chose were simple to administer. They did not take much time. Nor were they overly expensive. However, they made a nice impact to our bottom line. The first week we tested it, we brought in over $200 extra. Talk about eye opening! I called it, “found money.”

Today we offer quite a few extra services. In fact, nearly 100% of our customers take us up on an extra service.  Our top sellers are spa upgrades, breath freshening and nail filing. None of them are difficult to administer. None are expensive. Clients know exactly what to expect.  And none of them take much time. The added income drops directly to the bottom line.

Today our “found money” represents 15% to 20% increase in our weekly grooming revenues alone!

What does that translate to you?

If you’re a solo groomer generating $1200 a week in grooming sales – that would earn $180-$240 extra every week.

I don’t know about you, but to me that is like finding two $100 bills just sitting on the ground!

Are you ready to give service upsells a shot? Here are a few ideas to get you started. In most cases, the upgraded amount is an addition to basic grooming price.

  1. Spa Shampoo Upgrades: This is simply upgrading the cleansing products from your everyday routine. Most of the time, skin and coat enhancements are automatically built into the products along with a phenomenal fragrance. Price upgrade from $2- $10 based on the type of product, size of pet and coat type.
  2. Nail Filing: Nail trimming is typically included with full-service grooms. But filing goes beyond simply cutting the toenails. It files them removing the sharp edges. This is especially beneficial in families where young children or seniors are involved with the pet. Price upgrade from $2-8
  3. Fresh Breath Treatments: There are many options when it comes to helping the oral hygiene of a pet. One of the biggest benefits is fresher breath. Many pet parents will notice it immediately. Price upgrade from $6-15
  4. Shed Control Treatment Program: There are many ways to administer this type of program. Typically, it’s a combination of products, gentle yet effective coat removal techniques and boosting the frequency between appointments. Price upgrade from $16-$30 based on the type of product, size of pet and coat type.
  5. Mini Shed Controls: These are done weekly during the shedding season. It’s done in between full service Shed Control Treatments and typically does not include a bath. It’s simply a blowout with a high velocity dryer combined with light brushing. Price upgrade from $5-$10 based on the type of product, size of pet and coat type.
  6. Specialized Skin & Coat Treatments: Pets come to us with a wide array of mild skin and coat issues. By using a specialized product in the bathing process, often we can minimize a skin or coat problem. The pet is more comfortable, and the owner is thrilled to have a solution to their problem. Price upgrade from $2- $25 based on the type of product, size of pet and coat type.
  7. Simple Color & Bling: Colorful accents and sparkle is a large trend right now. Some of the colorful and shiny accessories are super easy to apply and temporary. They can be easily removed or washed out of the coat. Many hardly take any time to do and cost just pennies yet are super fun. Price upgrade from $2- $15 based on the type of product and time involved.
  8. In-between Appointment Touchups: These are perfect for a pet who is truly is a part of the family. If the pet snuggles on the couch, sleeps in bed with the family or the client does not have time to maintain the coat - this is a fabulous service for them. A touchup appointment is simply a bath, blowout and possibly minor trimming on the face, feet and rear.  If you’re seeing the pet on a weekly or biweekly basis, the price typically is about half of the full-service groom.

These are just a few of the many services you can offer your clients. It’s a great way to enhance the services you already offer. Plus, you can offer solutions – sometimes to challenges the owners did not even realize there were options for improvement.

Offering service upsells are a wonderful way to open the door of communications with your clients. It helps both your four-legged client and the owner. At the same time service upsells increase your bank account without working harder. Instead, you are just working a little bit smarter.


Paragon’s Distance Learning Program ( is a web-based grooming instruction solution. It’s perfect for individuals looking to make Grooming their future. It is also an ideal resource for Salon Owners and Managers who find it hard to locate groomers. It’s designed for those who don’t have the time - or desire - to teach.



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