Determining Whether Business Ventures are Successful with an Accurate, Honest, and Practical Entrepreneurial Approach in the Pet Franchise
People invest themselves in the pet franchise industry because of the love of their pets. This is the main incentive behind plunging into a new and exciting challenge. The hard part is developing business savvy practices that are less glamorized, or delegating these practices in order to succeed. Understanding success in terms of economics involves gauging your grooming business on fiscal indicators. Calculations are just important as our love for our pets.
The alarming statistic is true. One-half of all business start-ups fail within one year of opening the doors according to the Small Business Administration (SBA). Another statistic from our friends at the SBA that is less known, but scarier, is that 95% of businesses fail after the first five years. As scary as these numbers are, in order to measure success you need to look at these numbers with positive inference. How do I get my pet franchise to be one of the 5% of successful stories? How do you even quantify this success? And most importantly, how do you improve? This pet franchise, Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique, synthesized the answer down to 9 easy to digest tactics, and will show you how our own strategies are working.
Are you able to pay the bills?
Staying organized is fundamental. Part of the organization is determining whether the amount in your business account is enough to cover both current and future bills. In order to establish this, you need to calculate whether you are operating at the net profit.
Total Revenue – Total Expenses = Net Profit
What are your bills or gross income of all costs? All consumables include anything paid for as a business expense must be added into the equation. Even small expenses like shampoo, ear cleaner, and clipper oil must be accounted to be thorough. Larger expenses like labor, rent, utilities, payroll, and equipment are also added. Careful recordkeeping through paper trails and saving receipts help to make additions to your business ledger a simpler task.
Find a system that works for you. Some pet franchisees keep records on a daily basis, others on monthly basis. You may look into delegating tasks to a certified public accountant (CPA). There is also software available to make this tracking easier on owners.
If you are part of the Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique franchise, all of this is provided with our state of the art prosperity POS system. Which in turn helps you track customers payroll, sales reports, billing etc. It is easy to use, and support is always provided upon request.
What are your goals?
Once you have figured out your net profit you can ascertain whether or not this is part of your benchmark goals. Are you generating enough revenue to make a net profit sizable to what you set out to reach? In order to figure this out, you need to have an outline of written clear financial goals. Your goals may start off small, like filling an appointment book list with groomings. Then as your business advances, so will your goals. Your new goal might be expanding the store-front or setting up a retirement plan. Establishing a business plan with succinct and practical goals is a tangible way to observe success in the pet franchise.
Are you following your business plan and keeping it current?
Business goals–part of the business plan–need to be updated at least every six months, or more often if needed, especially for new business owners and entrepreneurs who are less inclined to the business aspects of owning a pet franchise. A business venture is an adventure. When you follow a road map detours and route changes take you on different paths. This is also true as an entrepreneur. Innovations in the pet franchise like premiumization or different scissor finish based on trendy styles can affect your business. Adaptability is key. Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique will help you on every step of the way through this process.
Do you have specific benchmarks to meet that will translate into business success?
If one of your goals is to reduce overhead costs for the year, are you seeing this happen on a monthly basis? Are you striving to cut costs on a daily basis, and what do you need to do as a franchise owner to cut costs? An example might be that you are employing both a bather and groomer since you offer both services separately along with package deals. You may consider cross training employees to reduce costs and increase efficiency so both employees can do both tasks.
Are your benchmark goals an accurate indicator of success?
The number of dogs groomed each day, or even the number of appointments booked is not always a reliable way to quantify business success. If overhead is too high, and your prices are set to low, you may not be able to groom enough dogs to make ends meet. This goes back to the organization. Before launching do your research into price points per grooming and operating expenses.
Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique has differing price points for walk-ins, but maintains the same price packaging for customers at every location. Also, Splash and Dash helps investors research demographics in their area to set service and product price points.
Do you know your customers are? The demographics in your area? Why are they patronizing you?
It is important to know who your main clientele base is and if your patrons are the main demographic you are trying to reach. Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique aims at households between ages of 34 and 65 with an average yearly income of 85,000 or above. Depending upon your storefront location and your own goals this can differ. Why are your customers patronizing you? Convenience, speed, cost, scissor finish, and loyalty are reasons customers choose a grooming service and repeat visits. Knowing what specifically draws customers to you, and knowing what you can do to maintain or change customer perception is crucial. The projected image of your business should be intentional.
Are your customers happy?
The old expression the ‘customer is always right’ is a true adage. This is even truer in the pet franchise because you are providing a service to customer’s pet who they love, and if they are not happy, they will not return, or refer your franchise to friends.
Ask customers to take surveys on their visit to help you make adjustments. Online survey generators are often free and easy to use. Prize drawings are good incentives for customers to complete surveys and also increase employee loyalty.
Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique has a built in survey feature in our terminal system which uses a star rating system. Any ratings below 3 go to shop owners for adjustments. Star ratings 4 and above are redirected to sites where they are encouraged to write a review or share testimony via social media.
Do you know the industry?
The pet franchise industry is constantly under construction. Innovations in both services and products take place constantly making staying updated imperative. Marketing trends are a direct correlation to consumer wants and needs and it is important to update inventory to meet these wants and needs. This applies to services too. For example, if a new style of scissor finish emerges from a specialty show for Bichons and clients are beginning to want this style for their dog, are your employees receiving training on how to achieve this cut?
Another way to research and stay modernized with innovations of the industry is to attend trade shows and conventions. The Global Pet Expo, Super Zoo Conference, Pet Industry Leadership Conference, and many other workshops are happening year round and finding out which ones will be the most beneficial for you is important.
Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique conducts an annual training program called Splash and Dash University (SDU) in which franchisees are invited to come to headquarters to undergo training on goods and services. The training including all updates to the pet franchise. Splash and Dash also publish Newsplash which helps franchisees stay updated monthly. SDU will take place Sept. 18-25 this year.
Are you happy?
The last and arguably most important question concerning success is not as easy as calculating gross revenues or receiving positive customer remarks. It is more of a spiritual question, and could possibly be the reason for getting into the pet franchise in the first place. Are you happy? Do you find your daily work load rewarding? This ultimately becomes the true measure of success once the bills are paid, the retirement fund is secure, and you have a thriving grooming business.