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From 1 to 13 Vans, Thriving in Mobile Grooming

Sharpen your pencils because Chris and Emily from The Ruff Life Mobile Grooming Salon are dishing out paw-some tips on how to make your mobile grooming business boom!

Meet the Speakers

Meet Chris and Emily Elias, the dynamic duo behind The Ruff Life Mobile Grooming. Emily, one of the founders, has over 10 years of grooming experience. She believes in treating every pet as an individual and giving them special care. She also specializes in cat grooming and is known as the "cat whis-purr-errrrr" because of her ability to handle even the most uncooperative feline clients. 

Chris, the mastermind behind the scenes at The Ruff Life, handles all the scheduling and behind-the-scenes work. Although clients may never see his face, he ensures that every appointment runs efficiently and oversees business operations. Together, they provide exceptional service to every client and offer a wealth of information for other mobile groomers looking to start or grow their businesses. 

Chris Emily Ruff Life Bio Pic

Key Takeaways 



Get ready to take notes because Chris and Emily from The Ruff Life Mobile Grooming shared some invaluable advice on how to build a booming mobile grooming business!

One of the strategies they used was finding the right pricing model, which involved charging by weight. They found that this helped them establish their prices and made it easy for customers to understand. Additionally, they noted that one of the key factors to determining pricing is supply and demand - pricing thresholds will change by city and region.  

As we all know, the pandemic changed everything, including the way people got their dogs groomed. This made reviews even more important for building customer trust. Chris and Emily emphasized the importance of quality control, which they achieved through feedback calls to clients. This approach helped them develop a strong brand with hundreds of positive reviews, which gave new customers confidence in their services as well as keeping employees accountable.

Another crucial factor they highlighted was price transparency. They advised new mobile groomers to use their own judgment when setting prices and to be transparent about pricing on their website. By being upfront about costs, customers will feel more comfortable choosing your service. Plus, don't be afraid to price high because it can allow for future growth and investment in the business.

What's really important is understanding your worth as a professional groomer and pricing accordingly. Chris and Emily urged groomers to remember that they are professionals and price their services accordingly. After all, plumbers charge high prices because they know their worth, and groomers should too.

Overall, Chris and Emily's insights provided valuable advice for anyone looking to start or grow a mobile grooming business. By focusing on pricing, quality control, and customer relationships, they built a successful business that has stood the test of time and flourished. 

Live Q&A

Who Manages the Groomers?...Do you have 1-2 Groomers who help manage groomers?

Chris and Emily explained that they only hire experienced groomers and invest in thorough training from the beginning. This approach means they don’t need another employee to manage the groomers and haven’t run into any issues since everyone is trained well from the beginning. 

Do you own a grooming school? How do you retain talent?

During their first weeks, new groomers are paid to shadow other groomers and learn about the things that make The Ruff LIfe unique - from their customer service approach, to operations, and how to use their trucks. Training is important, but hiring the right talent from the beginning and training them well is too, since they will be representing the brand when they go out solo. 

Do you require clients to be on a schedule?

Clients are not required to rebook, but groomers are encouraged to facilitate rebooking. That’s on them. A huge part of rebooking is the client relationship, which is developed by the individual groomer with their clients. 

Can you talk about the process of getting from 0 to 1 vans? Especially when financing is the biggest challenge?

Financing is the biggest challenge for sure, but pricing is the way to combat that. Price correctly, make a good first impression, and invest in a new, high-quality van from the very beginning. 

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