Pet Store Franchises

The Best Pet Franchises to Invest In Now

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 dog groomer franchise

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.

dog groomer investments

What are the Pros and Cons of owning a Pet Franchise?

Pros:

  • 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.

Cons:

  • 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.

franchise investment dogs

The Best Pet Franchises (no specific order)

 

Dogtopia

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.”

Dogtopia Pros:

  • 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

Dogtopia Cons:

  • 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).

pet groomer franchises comparison

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.

 

5 Ways to Make Your Local Pet Store, The Most Popular Spot in Town

How to Distinguish Your Shop From Other Local Pet Stores

Today standing out is more important than ever. Not only are small businesses competing with the other local shops in the area but the ubiquity of e-commerce makes store uniqueness indispensable. Those in the pet grooming industry have a big advantage. The service portion of this business will naturally build a clientele list. But standing out from other local pet stores still has its challenges.

It all starts with location. Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique owners premeditate location based on profitable key metrics. A local pet store’s location needs to have high visibility with tons of foot traffic. Neighboring businesses in the vicinity is also crucial to engage with prospective customers. Even with a phenomenal location, shop owners can make adjustments to strategize factors that lead to more customers and higher sales rates.

The trick is to against the grain. Whether you’re planning a local marketing campaign or decorating for the holidays it never pays to copy other local pet stores. Why be the same when you can be different and set the precedent? When you post on social media about new products don’t use language and media that mirror your competitors. Post things that represent what makes your shop special. Instead of organizing signage that emulates the competition—find new creative ways that you know your customers will resonate with.

This article offers some guidance on ways to make your local pet store the best one in town!

1. A Sight for Sore Eyes

It’s an old trick in an unwritten book but window displays are your first line of offense when it comes to getting foot traffic to come into your store. Bolstering your curb appeal.

  • Is your window display engaging?
  • Does it spark interest in potential customers?
  • Is it on brand and look inviting?
  • What makes a good window display?

The same effect that a mannequin has on shoppers is the methodology behind window displays. Customers visualize ownership. This is a part of influential merchandising. Themed window displays tell the story of what you sell inside and services your small businesses provide. For Splash and Dash shop locations it reads upscale, clean, and charming. Banners displaying the company name and brand also help distinguish local pet stores. Think about those famous golden arches and you can almost taste the french fries. This same evocation can happen by displaying your company banner.

Appealing to other senses is important too. Shops need to smell inviting—not like dirty dog water. Most local pet stores and grooming salons have that wet dog smell permeated into the walls. Not Splash and Dash!  Also make sure your store is always clean and well lit. Avant-garde merchandising isn’t effective unless the other elements of your store match the caliber of your displays.

A final thought is that when associates look busy, this image is psychologically welcoming for customers. When your employees looked bored, your store looks boring.

2. Unique Store Layout & Merchandising

The Splash and Dash brand carries a detailed and notable store layout and merchandising schematic. Everything from the color palette of the walls to the positioning of peg boards is all unique to the pet franchise. Display fixtures are made in-house and are complementary to the theme of the boutique.

Visual merchandising is the force that prompts people to pick up a product. The way shop owners purposefully organize product aisles to entice shoppers. For instance, think of holiday cards. Almost no one goes into a specialty shop to specifically buy a holiday card. But, when you get to the line to check out, and there’s the cutest card staring at you in the face, that you just have to get your friend—this is merchandising magic working.

The key to merchandising is having your store be in a constant flux of product positioning. You want items your repeat customers have never noticed to pop-up at them. You want items customers are readily looking for to be accessible and point them toward other items of interest. There is a lot of amazing literature out there for local pet stores. “Merchandising Theory Principles and Practice” by Grace Kunz is amazing. For those in the pet industry, “Quit Your Bitchin’ and Start Making Real Money” by Dan J. Barton gets straight to the point on more than just store design.

3. The Millennial Customer Experience

The buzz in all the local pet stores has been the recent announcement from the APPA, that Millennials have replaced the older generations as the primary pet owners in America.

Millennials have different shopping tactics than their generational predecessors. Millennials are much more experimental. The generation is less skeptical than their frugal parents but is also armed with mobile. Smartphone accessed consumer reviews and FAQs on products aren’t quite making old fashioned sales teams obsolete. A knowledgeable and friendly sales team is still vital.

Marketing to this consumer in your brick-and-mortar store will look different. This generation wants an experience. A personalized experience should be one that is easily shared on social media. Updating the tech in your shop may not be as difficult as you think. Simple low-tech things like selfie-boards and treat tastings are ways for your customers to interact with your brand.

4. Dazzle Them With Legendary Service

Mark Levy, shop owner in La Verne, California, describes his shop as a place “where a cold nose is treated with a warm heart and everyone is treated like royalty. ” Treating your customers like royalty is not as hyperbolic as you think. Thinking that customer service and building relationships are limited to the service industry is precarious thinking. According to BizReport, 75% of customers state that they consider customer service as a true test of a company’s competency. Why shouldn’t they? This is the segment of a company that interacts the most with customers.

Your employees need to be knowledgeable, honest, and fair with customers. Treating customers as fellow humans is simple and smiles go a long way. Remember, you are dealing with someone’s pet, and many pet parents are particular.

Splash and Dash help set a precedent for our customer service by setting a guarantee. The company guarantees full satisfaction with the quality of any product or service and Splash and Dash will do everything possible to set things right if complaints arise.

5. Embrace Corporate Social Responsibility

Local pet stores in your area have social responsibility just as much as the big guys in other industries like Microsoft. Arguably, a pet store is held even more accountable since the business is centered around animals. Focusing your business tactics on giving back to society not only betters the world but has massive consumer appeal.

Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique do their part by hosting adoption events, providing meals for local charities, and shrinking the carbon pawprint.

We hope you found this article helpful to make for all the local pet stores out there!

 

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