General Business

How Women are Dominating the Pet Business Sector

Cracking the Glass Ceiling: Women in Business Continues to Rise with Growth in the Pet Industry

Amidst all the turmoil seen in headlines lately, there is good news. A force that was once marginalized, women in business are becoming a strong force. There are over 11.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States, making up 38% of all U.S. businesses, according to The 2016 State of Women-Owned Business Report. This is a 45% spike from 2007, compared with 9% increase in overall U.S. business. As the fiscal year draws to a close in 2017, many are anxiously waiting for reports of women in business statistics continuing to show growth. Women-owned businesses are vital to the country’s economy. They employ almost 9 million people and generate over $1.6 trillion in revenue every year. Just as importantly, women business leaders help spread equality in the workplace as we continue to chip away at the glass ceiling.

There is still a long way to go but the increase in women-owned business is a good sign. 61% of women in business can be found in one of four sectors—administration, professional technical services, health care, and the pet industry. Business growth in these individual sectors has widened the margins for women to own their own business. Another reason 3.5 million women-owned businesses have opened in the last decade is many women possess innate skills that make them strong business leaders. Women are often adept with priority setting, people coordinating, and communication.  Driven by tenacity and proficiency—more than half of the estimated 9.72 million new small business jobs and one-third of total anticipated new jobs will open from a women-owned business in 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A company making huge ripples in the pet franchise industry, Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique have been able to open doors for many women looking to escape the inhibitions of corporate America. Women like Natalie Dufek who worked as a nurse before opening her own shop in Meridian, Idaho. “The last few years I was in nursing I got into the management side of things, so I didn’t have as much hands-on nursing with the patients. It was more like sitting in meetings and managing. I just kind of lost some of the passion. There was an organizational restructuring in the company I worked for, and everything just kinda changed for a while. So I was like I need to do something different.”

Natalie, among other women, found a new promising venture in the pet industry, an industry that is growing itself by over 62% since 2007, and ended with $66.75 total U.S. Spending.

Women-Owned Business in the Pet Industry

Based in Portland, Oregon, The Earth Friendly Pet Company Cycle Dog is owned by Lanette Fidrych. Her company stated in 2009 and has since recycled hundreds of thousands of used bike tubes. Cycle Dog’s business model takes old bike tubes—made from rubber that would otherwise sit in a landfill—and figured out a way to handcraft dog collars and leashes. The collars are antibacterial and her line has increased to harnesses, toys, and beds. Cycle Dog is a company within the pet industry that is pioneering the way for women-based businesses with strong values.

Another company founded by a woman that is partnered with Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique is Kelly K. Ison’s company, Einstein Pets. Einstein Pets’ treats are made with only seven ingredients including the superfood Chia Seed. The aim of the company is to provide pet owners with an all-natural responsible diet that is as delicious as it is healthy.

Splash and Dash love to give back and try to do our part in not only partnering with women in business but with women-led companies who are choosing to lead with corporate social responsibility. Companies that are using eco-friendly recycled materials to make pet supplies are strong partners. Dog food supplies that use all-natural holistic ingredients in their formulas are traits Splash and Dash values. Providing both Cycle Dog and Einstein Pet products in our shops is a point of pride.

Women in Franchising

In the franchising segment, women have also been able to gain more traction. With the ‘boy’s club’ networking schematic still ingrained in the corporate ladder, many women opted out of lower salaries and condescension—in favor of the freedom of franchising. 21% of all U.S. franchises are women-owned. An additional 43% are co-owned between men and women, making two-thirds of franchises controlled by a woman in some capacity.   

What makes franchising appealing for women, is that franchising gives them the ability to choose who they hire and work with. Franchising allows one to become their own boss. The benefits of this are that a franchise owner can control life-work balance, schedule, salary, location, and other important aspects of their career. For some women in business, owning a franchise gives them autonomy in the workplace they want.

Recent Survey published by the Franchise Business Review show that female franchisees are generally happy across the board. 90% of women stated they enjoyed operating this business while 74% stated they would “do it again.” Franchising, like all business, is a calculated risk. What separates owning a franchise from traditional career pathways, is that when you sit down for an interview with a franchisor, you are assessing their values as much as they are assessing your own. A reputable franchise has a business model that operates as two-way street—franchisee success is company success.

What Splash and Dash Has to Offer

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique is a unique pet salon grooming and retail franchise. The company has proprietary software that simplifies every aspect of owning a pet store. Business operations like client booking, automated marketing, and employee management are all handled by the company’s terminal software. On top of this, an advantage Splash and Dash owners benefit from is having a recurring revenue source. The signature service is membership-based and is completely unique to Splash and Dash. This makes it a win-win for franchise owners and customers. Splash and Dash is the only franchise able to provide a recurring revenue stream with the signature service.

The company is also proud to have franchise owners from diverse professional and cultural backgrounds. Before opening their shops many of the women franchisees worked in industries unrelated to pet care. Franchise owners like Sandy Yueng who opened her Splash and Dash in Suwanee, Georgia.  “I always loved dogs,” Sandy says. “I was thinking since I have to pay someone to do this. Why don’t I  just do it?” Sandy’s inspiration to open a pet shop was caring for her three Shelties. “With the boutique, I can educate people on high-quality food, how they can help their dog’s health. I am happy to hear to when customers tell me their dog’s skin-health gets better after switching foods and getting [spa] services.”

Another woman who converted her grooming shop to a Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique is Jaime Meyer from Coppell, Texas. I was looking for a way to stay current in our technologically driven society,” Jaime says. “It was extremely hard as an independent to find that technology.” After opening her Splash and Dash, Jaime has found a new ease with owning her own small business. “The transition was fun, I really enjoyed all the additional technology that was afforded to us. I enjoyed being able to provide the friendly user experience. I thought it was nothing but positive,” she says.

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The Big Six of Running a Small Business

Are you Ready to Start Running a Small Business?

Expanding your horizon and leaping into your entrepreneurial dreams can be one of the most liberating and difficult things one can do in a lifetime. We are conditioned to believe that stability comes in the form of a traditional career path. College, interview, office job, and a 401(k). However, many of the entrepreneurs holding positions at multinational corporations started out running a small business. Big ideas start in small places. Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Mantel, Disney, Amazon, and Google are invariable major players in the business the world. 

Another thing these companies all have in common is they started in a garage. Now, we’re not saying that quitting your job this second and finding a new place to park your car is the best way to start running a small business. The lesson entrepreneurs should take away from icons like Zuckerberg or Larry Page is that rags to riches is possible with the right variables. These variables are not an inherent thing some are blessed to be born with, while others miss out. The derivation of success is a combination of passion, tenacity, and vision.

Opening a startup, buying a franchise, and running a small business take these same three variables. Like any situation in business, without having a systematic method to determine your success, leaves things up to chance. Business isn’t a gamble.

Business is a calculated risk.

Read further to study how adopting tactics and business philosophies can help attain huge personal successes while running a small business.

1. Honing Your Vision

Proverbially, courage is 50 percent fear. Making a courageous decision in business means believing in your ideas and goals but also being savvy enough to know the risks. Believing in your idea is the belief in yourself. An entrepreneur can have what seems like a full-proof business model, to begin running a small business, but fail to execute if they don’t believe wholeheartedly that they can handle the pressure.

Visualize yourself running a small business. What does this look like? Are you running a startup software development firm? Are you working alongside animals in the pet industry?

What makes you happy?

Knowing what to expect can help channel inhibitions into actions. Once you find an industry, market niche, or concept that you are passionate about, this will help you with the initial configuration you need delineate before starting up.

2. Research & Data

Before you can begin running a small business, you need to know the ins-and-outs of the industry you choose. This means homework! Business success is contingent on writing a pristine business plan. The process of writing out a business plan forces you to organize your thoughts and imagine unforeseen possibilities. This will also come in handy if you need to pitch your small business to a loan agency or find a partnership.

Points to Include in a Strong Business Plan:

  • Industry Analysis
  • Customer Demographics
  • Demand & Needs
  • Business Model
  • Overview of Competition
  • Risks
  • Implementation Plan
  • Financial Projection
  • Financial Needs

Compiling the data and key metrics surrounding your small business is the difference between failure and readiness. Remember, your goals should more than financial profit. Goals should encompass the why of business.

3. Getting Started

Fear is paralyzing. The best way to prevent getting inhibited by fear is doing the research to know what you’re up against. Still, many continue to make excuses on why they shouldn’t get started. “It’s not the right time.” “I’m just too busy.” “I need to think about it more.”

Stop. When you justify fear, you become your own Achilles heel.

Admittedly it is hard to gauge when the right time to open is. Sometimes it’s a gut feeling, other times, seismic shifts in our lives tell us it’s time. Reliance on these situations works but also keep in the mind the timeliness of the market. An advantageous moment in the marketplace might be the best signaling that it’s time to get your operation running. For instance, if your vendors operate seasonally and are running discounts or there is high demand for your service or product, this might be your moment. Running a small business is a constant finger on the pulse to keep overhead low. Lack of cash flow is one of the biggest causes of failure, so look for strategic opportunities to get started or expand.

4. Find the Right Support

Surrounding yourself with the right people from the bottom to the top increases your chances of prevailing in the business world. Finding a mentor, attending conventions & networking, or even buying a franchise are routes to getting the training and support you will need to adequately run a small business.

Visiting your local SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) chapter, a resource partner of the Small Business Administration can help pair you with a mentor. Retired executives have an abundance of rich information to help steer your business. Subscribing to literature—business magazines like Forbes or Entrepreneur can also help you enter the dialogue of your industry. Buying a franchise is one the safest routes. A franchisor will train you and your team with proven methods for success.

Hiring the right people is also vital. Make sure the people you choose to employ are on board with your vision. Equally important, is that they possess the competent skills to be able to perform their job duties and help brainstorm around issues that will inevitably arise.

5. Kneading Out the Issues

Ask anyone running a small business, the notion of smooth sailing is a myth. Problems will arise. When they do, it’s important to be prepared for them and to act decisively. Consider this: you open a retail store in a high visibility area. A year into opening, a major construction project begins blocking access to your new store and cuts off foot traffic. Your sales start to plummet. How do you work around this?

  • What about competition?
  • Do you have the resources to begin scaling?
  • What is securing your products or services?
  • What makes your business unique?
  • Have you had a successful local marketing campaign?

Many issues are preventable. The key to working around these problems is foreseeing them and having a contingency plan. If you have your pathways mapped out it’s easier to steer around dead ends. Even unpreventable situations can be planned for. If construction begins on the street in the front of your store, this is the best time to get your e-store up and running.

6. Discipline & Accountability

Taking your entrepreneurial vision and transforming that idea into a functioning and profitable business takes discipline. Losing focus or momentum can be another huge inhibition. One of the strongest gym franchises—Anytime Fitness—stayed true to their roots and the outcome was favorable. By focusing on what they were good at, the gym franchise grew hugely. The same is true for Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique. Finding a market niche in a growing industry propelled the pet franchise company forward. Focusing on what works can take a company far.

Discipline works harmoniously with accountability. Make yourself accountable to your team, your customers, but most importantly yourself.


We at Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique wish you the best of luck running your small business! For more information on tips for success click here.


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