There has never been a better time to own a dog franchise. Nearly half of all American Households have dogs, thats an estimated 90 million dogs and growing. Pet ownership has been on the rise every year during the past two decades with no end in sight. All of the factors above contribute to strong revenue growth in the Pet Franchise and dog grooming industry
So what does this information mean for possible pet franchise owners?
Investing and managing your own pet franchise has never been easier. Pet care services is a $80 billion (and growing) industry, according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA).
Now is the perfect time to capitalize on the increasing demand and invest in one of the many successful pet franchises available. It’s not only time to achieve your financial goals and dreams, but to exceed them. The best part about owning a pet franchise is that it is one of the most stress-free careers possible, you’re dealing with adorable little doggie clients coming in for their dog grooming. No more typical office job, your daily routine will look completely different compared to corporate America.
Should I invest in a pet franchise?
This depends, are you a pet/animal lover? The most successful franchisees are in love with dogs. This isn’t a skill that can be taught, however it is one needed to be truly successful in the pet franchise industry. No matter how much franchise training is completed, you need to be passionate about animals.
Do you need previous business experience?
Although previous business ownership is not required, it is important for a prospective franchisee to have the ability to make quick decisions and show good judgement. You want to be involved in the community in whichever city you end up operating your dog franchise in. It is important to be respectful and respected by the community in order to become a successful franchise.
What are the Pros and Cons of owning a Pet Franchise?
- The biggest advantage of buying into an established franchise is the strength of the brand and loyalty of the customers.
- Marketing support, Franchises often have the support of a national campaign, as well as prepared marketing materials for a local campaign.
- The business support, there’s a saying in franchising “You’re in business for yourself, but not by yourself”, this is important because it’s less-stressful when you know you have a network of support always behind you.
- Training, this is important because they know the best techniques to become the most successful franchisee possible.
- Financial assistance, this is great because many franchisors provide loans and other assistance to help franchisees.
- Billionaire Investors such as Jimmy Buffett (Krispy Kreme) recommend investing in franchises that have the most yearly growth.
- The initial payout is always inevitable, however some Franchise fees and start-up costs can be very expensive.
- Royalty payments can be also very expensive, and as long as you are a franchisee you will have to pay some percentage of the monthly gross back to the franchisor.
- Limited Creativity can also become a factor considering most franchise contracts have very explicit standards (however this isn’t the biggest “con” considering these are usually in place for you to be as successful as possible, franchisors know the most successful techniques and they WANT you to be successful).
What is the best pet franchise for me to invest in?
Now that you have decided you want to invest in a franchise, specially a pet franchise, which one is the best franchise to invest in? We have chosen the best and most successful pet franchises available to invest in. All of these franchises have their own “pros” and “cons” so it’s ultimately up to you as the investor to choose which one best suits you.
The Best Pet Franchises (no specific order)
Dogtopia is one of the biggest names when it comes to Dog Franchises, and for good reason.
Dogtopia is an award-winning dog daycare, boarding and spa provider. Dogtopia, prides itself on being a place where pets are valued as family and dogs enjoy playtime. Dogtopia does not breed discriminate and welcomes social dogs of all ages, sizes, and abilities. The company was founded by Amy Nichols in 2002 and began franchising in 2005.
From the Dogtopia website:
“Our modern facilities provide a health, safe and fun environment for dogs to socialize and play in, supervised by a highly trained and loving team. Our multiple, spacious playrooms allow us to separate our guests by size and temperaments.”
- Their target customer is the largest demographic in North American history – the female millennial, the secondary customer is the second largest, the baby boomer.
- Strong business model with labor costs as the only key variable expense
- Best-practice sharing workshops with leading franchises.
- Being one of the biggest names means good brand recognition
- High turnover rate, which leads to owners having to constantly train more employees (quoted by a former employee)
- The main problem with accepting every breed of dog no matter what is that many can cause conflicts and this can end with dogs being injured (or worse) from fights. (quoted by a CURRENT employee)
- Overall negative employee outlook about the company and the high reported incidents of dog bites and dog fights.
- Huge Upfront Investment (Nearly 200% greater upfront investment needed compared to the competitors on this list).
Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique
Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique is a relatively new and fast growing dog franchise that has been breaking growth records along the way. Splash and Dash has been featured in the Inc. Magazine’s 500 list of the country’s fastest-growing companies, not once but three times.
From the Splash and Dash website:
“Walking into a Splash and Dash is a unique experience. A bright and eye-pleasing color palette is the first thing customers notice – an inviting, upscale ambiance. Splash and Dash offers the healthiest all-natural foods and treats for their dogs. The toys are eco-friendly. The haircuts are adorable. Remarkable, the prices are affordable and very competitive compared to other pet franchises.”
Splash and Dash Pros:
- The signature service membership is one of a kind and easily the biggest advantage when investing in a Splash and Dash franchise. No other franchise has anything like this. The signature service offers customers unlimited monthly bath & brush for a fixed price, which means a shop owner profits from the signature service with a recurring revenue stream.
- Top of the line IT support and Proprietary software, this allows the owner to know that a franchisor is always 100% behind you. Their proprietary software helps a franchise owner run and operate their business, a key element for success. Shop owners receive extensive training to learn the Splash and Dash terminal software and have the corporate team at their disposal for IT support.
- The marketing resources provided by Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique allow the franchises to be backed with a proven business plan. The company aims for franchisees to break even, six months after opening.
- The online reviews are always 4 & 5 star unlike many other dog groomers. This is because of the extensive training and small business-type model Splash and Dash have created. The best thing that comes from these online ratings is that your Splash and Dash will rate the highest on Google Search so that customers will always see your business at the top naturally.
- Modest overall investment compared to the competitors on this list. Low initial franchise fee.
Splash and Dash Cons:
- Being a new and growing company means that Splash and Dash doesn’t have the highest name recognition yet.
- Strict guidelines that are emphasized in order to keep franchisees on track, although this has been very successful for Splash and Dash dog franchisees in the past.
- Big-Box competition from warehouse pet stores like Petco, although these type of dog groomers don’t offer niche products and services like small-scale franchises.
Camp Bow Wow
Camp Bow Wow provides a fun, safe and upscale environment for dogs to play, romp and receive lots of love and attention. They provide doggy day camp for clients wishing to drop their dogs off in the morning and pack them up in the evening, as well as overnight boarding for travels.
From the Camp Bow Wow website:
“Overnight campers play in the day camp program during the day and have their own individual cabins at night. Some of our camps also offer a variety of other services including grooming, training, and an assortment of retail items, including Camp Bow Wow branded dog bowls, collars, clothing, bandanas and more.”
Camp Bow Wow Pros:
- Overnight dog boarding is a great service provided by Camp Bow Wow that isn’t common for many dog franchises.
- Facilities are monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Great business model that comes with good brand recognition.
Camp Bow Wow Cons:
- Unfortunately the biggest “con” on this list is that the CEO Christina Russell has one of the worst ratings (2.6 out of 5) on Glassdoor. This can negatively impact the outlook possible future consumers can have on your franchise.
- “Not a good screening program for dogs so some were very mean and hostile, breaking up dog fights and not being allowed to get band-aids from bleeding”. (quoted by a former employee).
- Similar to Dogtopia and Woof Gang Bakery, there is a very high turnover rate which involves more training needed for new hires, and more bad reviews by former employees which gives your franchise a bad name.
Woof Gang Bakery
Woof Gang Bakery is a specialty retailer of pet food, pet-related supplies and pet grooming. The company is committed to the well-being, health and happiness of pets. Woof Gang Bakery is considered a dog spa while maintaining the dog franchise tag within local communities. Woof Gang Bakery Dog Franchise is mostly located in the South-Eastern part of the United States, with many of those locations being in Florida.
From the Woof Gang Bakery website:
“At Woof Gang Bakery, we know that pets are a part of our families, our faithful companions and they bring us great joy. We’ll help you show your love and appreciation for their unconditional affection and devotion.”
Woof Gang Bakery Pros:
- Woof Gang Bakery offers quality products and a unique concept that aligns with a growing, million dollar industry.
- Extensive training provided so that you can operate your own successful Woof Gang Bakery dog spa.
- Woof Gang Bakery dog spa assists you with site selection.
Woof Gang Bakery Cons:
- Brand recognition is very limited to only the South-Eastern part of the united states which is already overpopulated with Woof Gang Bakery dog spas.
- Similar to Camp Bow Wow and Dogtopia, there is a very high turnover rate which leads to the need for owners to consistently train new employees. “Owner is very unprofessional, the high turnover rate with show that” (quoted by former employee).
- Although it’s a small-business pet spa franchise, the CEO operates Woof Gang Bakery pet spa like it’s a corporation with very strict guidelines that owners must follow. “and to corporate, it is dangerous to put clueless people in charge of an animal’s well being, you should be fully educating your franchisees”. (quoted by a former employee).
The Final Say
Before deciding to own a pet franchise or dog franchise, one should do their due diligence and research prospective companies from inside out. Understanding how consumers already feel about a certain pet franchise and brand should be very important to a prospective franchisee. Also, understanding how current and former employees feel about the franchise should give you a great inside look on how operating a specific dog franchise will be like.
Investors should have a comprehensive understanding of local store marketing and community involvement to drive sales and a clear understanding of the real estate development process. Owning a pet franchise can be a very rewarding experience for an investor who is passionate about animals.