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7:01 PM   March 30, 2015
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Grooming Neighborhood Support
You may have done your homework, purchased your equipment and finalized your first-year’s net gain numbers, but if you’ve failed to consider the most important factor of bringing dogs into your home salon, your efforts may be doomed from the start.

Above all, if your neighbors don’t support your entrepreneurial endeavors, your home-based grooming business can hit the skids as soon as it gets off the ground. The fact is, even a single well-phrased complaint about dog noise or excess street traffic can send your business into a tailspin. Unless you’re comfortable with regular visits from the police and city council member, make sure you discuss your business plans with the Joneses.

The more populated the suburb, the more likely you are to encounter opposition from neighbors looking to preserve their piece and quiet. Furthermore, the law may be on their side. Newer developments, in particular, may have agreements with the local authorities prohibiting home-based businesses.

  • First, consider attending your local zoning commission’s regular meeting. Public officials welcome inquiries prior to your business opening and can inform you about the specific restrictions on the books for your neighborhood. A special license or business plan presentation may be required to proceed with your plans.
  • Next, start asking the neighbors how they feel about you setting up shop a few doors down. Households with dogs are not likely to object, but others may want more specific information about what to expect in the way of noise, traffic and environmental impact. Be prepared to answer lots of questions and represent yourself professionally.
  • Recruit a friend or family member to play the part of devil’s advocate. Rehearse your pitch with as many people as possible before taking your plans door to door. Gather as much information as possible, right down to the types of cleansers you’ll be using and how waste water will be disposed.
  • Seek out other in-home groomers to find out how they deal with neighbors near their businesses. Chances are a seasoned home-based groomer has already encountered every possible concern and dealt with issues appropriately over the course of many years. Use experience to your advantage. One false move or misplaced response to a valid concern could de-rail your business before it even begins.

Show up on your neighbor’s doorstep well prepared and well in advance of opening day and your chances of success increase dramatically. <HOME>

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