How to Start a Pet Franchise Business

A Comprehensive Guide on How to Start a Pet Franchise Business

Learn everything about Pet Franchise Business

Fran Dev

Pets have always been considered part of the family, but over the past few years, their role in the lives of people has reached a new height. Over the past decade, the pet industry in the United States has been on a steady rise and is expected to reach $358.62 billion by 2027. As a result, the pet industry is thriving. The rise of eCommerce, the introduction of emerging pet technology products, and a shift toward premium foods have all contributed to a boom in this industry.  

According to statistics from American Pet Products Association (APPA), more than 67% of American households own at least one pet. Not only this, their annual spending collectively on their pets is over $95 billion and its most significant portion goes on food and treats. If you’re an animal lover and have an entrepreneurial spirit, opening a pet-related business is a great option you can opt for. 

And if you don’t have expertise in this industry, consider choosing a pet-related franchise as this will provide you with the back support and skilled professionals you’ll need to run and manage your business successfully. To learn more about the pet franchise industry and how to start a pet related business, make sure to continue reading our comprehensive guide. 

What is a Pet Franchise? 

Pet care franchise functions similarly to other franchise businesses. It enables aspiring entrepreneurs to capitalize on their passion by investing in an already-established and branded business that has all of its processes in place. Individual franchisors typically own, operate, and manage these types of businesses. If you want to buy a franchise, you must pay a certain amount of initial and royalty fees. In exchange, you will receive ownership of the branding, trademark, and business model rights.

When it comes to the pet franchise business, Dogtopia is one of the leading pet franchises in the United States that has continued to attract several prospective franchisees with its unique and approachable business model. The franchise provides franchisees an opportunity to spend their days playing with dogs, interacting with pet parents, and nurturing valued relationships in the local community. Presently, Dogtopia operates over 150 locations and has sold over 250 stores. In fact, in the last five years, the business has recorded double-digit same-store sales growth. In 2020, the brand recorded a systemwide sales growth of $57 million, which further increased to $114 million in 2021. Clearly, the brand witnessed an increase of 100.5 percent within just one year, which signifies that the pet industry is one the fastest growing industries of today and offers franchisees with a myriad of benefits and veterinary franchise opportunities. 

Benefits of Opening a Pet Franchise

Owning a pet care business is one of the most lucrative business investments, especially for animal lovers as offers entrepreneurs a myriad of benefits listed below: 

1. Provides an opportunity to diversify the portfolio

Running a pet care franchise business offers you the perfect opportunity to expand your portfolio. If you already own a successful business and have a love for animals, you can consider investing in this business to combine it with your entrepreneurial penchant. No matter whether you’ve any experience in the field of pet related business or not, franchising will give you the backing of a proven system and a knowledgeable team of professionals to run your business successfully. 

2. Allows flexibility in schedule 

Opting out of a franchise business allows you to be your boss, however, it completely depends on the type of business model you invest in. By working in a franchise-based model, you get a chance to work on flexible hours which enable you to take time off to pursue other things.

3. Provides unlimited income potential

If you’re working as an employee, you likely have a fixed amount of money. Investing in a pet franchise business will allow you to draw an unlimited income potential. All you need to have is a rough idea of how much you might earn before investing in a pet-related franchise business. You can easily gather this information from the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). 

4. Ensures job stability

A report published by ProShares shows that the pet industry in the United States has grown every year since the 2001 recession. The global pet care market size in the year 2020 was $207.90 billion. And as per Fortune Business Insights, it’s expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.6%. This means, if you’ve already invested in this industry or are planning to do so in the near future, this business offers you job stability and prevents you from losing your job because of lay-offs or downsizing. The growth over the last 2 decades shows that the pet care sector is a recession-proof industry. 

10 things to consider before investing in a pet franchise business 

Finding the right franchise can be a tedious and a time consuming process. Once you’ve committed to the idea of owning a pet service business, it’s vital for you to consider some of the key things before making a final decision listed as follows: 

  1. Initial investment you need to make: Like any sector, the business model you choose directly affects the cost of opening a franchise business. Therefore, it’s critical that you first evaluate the initial investment you need to make to ensure successful running of your business. Initial investment cost includes the amount you need to pay as franchise fee, marketing fee, build-out, travel, and more. Given that the pet care franchise business offers a broad range of franchise options, from daycare to pet grooming and pet essentials (food, toys, etc) to pet training, some of these will require you a larger investment than others.
  2. Reputation of the franchise you’re going to invest in: No matter whether a pet franchise business operates at 10 locations or 10,000 locations, it’s important that you associate yourself with a brand that has a positive local as well as nationwide reputation. Having a good reputation can go a long way to provide you with business from the first month itself. In addition, determine franchise history of termination and transfers. A reputable franchisor occasionally terminates an individual’s franchise agreement whose performance is not as expected and/or not operating in compliance with the franchise agreement. Therefore, if the rate of terminations or transfers is high within a certain period of time, then it’s a red flag and you shouldn’t consider investing in that particular franchise.

  3. Financial track record of the business: Before choosing a pet franchise business, it’s always worth digging deeper to understand  the franchisor’s profitability record. Doing so will enable you to know whether the business has maintained its financial strength. Not only this, it’ll also give you an in depth understanding of the fluctuations it has gone through.

  4. Market research and competitive analysis: While many franchisors have already conducted the market research to determine the ideal locations for their business, it’s equally vital for you to conduct your own research before investing in a business. By getting a clear understanding of the areas in which a business is doing well and which areas seem to be in a bad position, it’ll be easier for you to focus on identifying the type of pet franchise business that you’ll be able to run successfully in your community.

  5. Litigation history: Make sure that you read the item 3 of the FDD (Franchise Disclosure Document carefully. This section of the document outlines the details of ongoing litigations the franchise business is involved in or bridging against other parties such as a franchisee. If you find that the franchisor has a history of litigation and involves other franchisees as well, investing in such a business is not at all a good idea.

  6. Understand the culture of franchise business: Every pet care franchise has its own unique culture. Before investing in a business, it’s important that you determine whether it’s a great fit for you or not. And to learn this, you must understand its core values, if the business lives out those values, and if those values align with yours.You can easily gather this information by speaking with the franchisor as well as existing franchisees.

  7. Return customer potential: Having an idea of the potential of returning customers enables you to get a clear picture of whether the business you’re planning to invest in is a successful one or not. Acquiring new customers takes a lot of time for any business, but if a business is able to retain existing customers, they act as brand ambassadors and get your business new customers with the word-of-mouth marketing. 

For example: Scenthound, a dog grooming franchise business offers its customers a unique membership model to provide their pets reliable services, which keeps them coming back  and gives repeat business to the brand.

  1. Training and support: Most people who decide to invest in the pet franchise industry are already pet lovers, but if you’re someone who has no background and knowledge in pet care, then you must consider a franchise business that offers a comprehensive training to their franchise partners. Also, a business that has a well-structured education program for staff members is worth investing in. This helps you ensure that all your staff members are fully trained and prepared to run the business and provide the pets of your customers with the best in class service.

  2. Offerings in terms of marketing your business: One of the major incentives that a franchise business in the pet or any other industry can offer is a guaranteed support from a winning team of marketing professionals. Unlike establishing your own business, owning a franchise based business comes with the support of a well-recognised brand and its team of experts who’re always available to guide you run a successful business.

  3. Return on investment (ROI): You must always read and review the FDD carefully and gain a clear understanding of every item listed in it. If you want to get a sense of ROI that you can expect, make sure that the franchisor has included Item 19 in the disclosure document. This item gives you detailed information about the overall system of the franchise, including the financial performance. 

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5 remarkable tips to market a pet franchise business

Having an effective marketing plan in place is critical to running a successful franchise business. Whether you operate a dog grooming business, retail pet store franchise, pet daycare business, or veterinarian office, it’s critical that you have an intelligent marketing strategy to reach out to your target audience, create awareness about your business, acquire customers, engage them with your brand, and retain them by building a long lasting relationship with them. 

Despite the fact that the pet industry is crowded by competitors, its demand is still on the higher side. Therefore, if you wish to achieve your desired business and profitability goals, you must include the following in your marketing plan: 

1. Talk your business up

As an entrepreneur or a franchise business owner, you can’t be an introvert. Whenever you get an opportunity, make sure that you talk about your pet franchise business’ name and what it does. Indulging in a casual conversation with your friends or acquaintances can be a good start to this and will definitely help you market your business and bring customers to it. 

2. Leverage social media to promote your business 

In this era of digitalization, where everyone has access to the internet and smartphones, social media is known to be one of the best tools business owners have today. As per the Backlinko statistics, a whopping 4.48 billion people across the globe use social media. Therefore, using channels like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, etc. to market your business can help you reach your customers faster. Posting on these platforms will give you ample opportunities, such as: 

  • Raising awareness about your brand
  • Attracting and acquiring potential customers
  • Promoting your new products, services, and deals quickly 
  • Marketing your business location to draw in local customers 
  • Boosting your offline as well as online sales, and more.

3. Incentivize your customers for loyalty 

Another great way to market your pet franchise business and attract new customers is to turn your happy and loyal customers into brand champions. A happy and satisfied customer acts as a marketing asset for every business and helps businesses by bringing in new customers by sharing their great experience with others either by spreading a word of mouth, leaving a positive review about your business on your Google Business Profile, or sharing their experience by posting on social media. This not only retains your existing customers but also attracts new ones. Incentivizing your loyal customers by offering them services at discounted prices can further elevate their experience and make your happy customers even happier. 

4. Stay on top of pet industry 

Every business owner wants to reap the benefits and rewards from their pet franchise business. If you want to run your business successfully and stay ahead of your competition, it’s necessary that you’re aware of the latest trends in the industry. Therefore, make sure that you’re staying abreast of your research into the pet-related industry by keeping up with the trends, being innovative, and improving your products and services to provide your customers excellent experience. 

Implementing these marketing strategies won’t only help you create awareness about your business, whether it’s a small scale pet shop franchise or well-established pet grooming franchise, or any other, it’ll also help you generate more leads, boost your sales, drive higher revenue, and maximize overall ROI.

5. Go omnichannel to expand your reach

 In today’s technologically advanced world, digital has become the top channel for customers to reach out to a business and vice-a-versa. In order to create a true brand experience for customers, it’s paramount for you to combine your physical store with new-age online marketing tools and features in order to cater to the ever-changing demands and expectations of your customers. In the pet industry, you must integrate your business with innovative and advanced franchise management software and platforms. By doing so, you’ll be able to streamline all your business processes and keep a real-time track on your sales, inventory, customer information, etc. 

This means, linking the different technological solutions together, from payment system to website, mobile app, social media, etc, can help you run and thrive your business in today’s highly competitive business landscape. Also, by implementing such tools, you’ll be able to reach a huge set of customers fast, provide them with a great customer experience, manage your sales, make your business process effective and efficient, and ultimately take your business to the next level by maximizing your revenue. 

The Future of Pet Industry 

Morgan Stanley, a leading American multinational investment management and financial services company has recently conducted research on the fast growing pet industry. The research shows that there are presently 5 million more pets in the United States than there were in 2019. Therefore, Morgan Stanley predicts that the pet industry is anticipated to see an annual growth of 8% by 2030. Surprisingly, this is one of the highest return rates in any retail industry. 

Infact, as per one of the surveys, pet ownership has seen a significant increase in 2022, and most of the survey respondents are between the age of 18 to 34 years. They tend to spend more on their pets as compared to older pet owners, especially on premium, organic food and services. Also,the survey reveals that Americans are increasingly attached to their pets and they’re ready to spend more money for their pet’s health. It can be said that pet insurance is also one of the areas that can witness strong growth. The segment saw an annual growth of 26% in just four years, between 2017 and 2021.

Source: Morgan Stanley 

Keeping in mind this significant increase, it can be said that there are no signs of slowing. Therefore, if you’re considering starting a pet care franchise, now’s the time to choose the right franchise business and start making an investment to drive immediate profits and growth. 

Top Pet Franchise Business Options 

The pet industry is vast and there are plenty of franchise business opportunities available that you could own that focus on providing products and services for pets. Some of the top franchise options related to pet include: 

  • Pet care services 
  • Pet training franchise
  • Pet sitting
  • Pet daycare / boarding 
  • Pet food supplies 
  • Pet essentials i.e clothing, toys, accessories
  • Mobile pet grooming
  • Pet training
  • Pet store franchise
  • Pet wellness
  • Cremation/funerary services for pets 
  • Vet supplies, and more.

To sum up! 

Owning a franchise business is a crucial step. You decide to put your hard earned money to grow it further. Whether it’ll be a success or a failure, it’s difficult to predict and probability for both are equal. So if you’re sure enough to start your own business offering pet services or products, then it's always best to do due diligence of the business you’re going to invest in. 

However, the best part of starting a pet franchise business is that it’s a low-cost, high-profit venture. You don't need a specific educational degree, an expensive setup, or a well-equipped outlet. All you need to do is find the right pet care franchise business to invest in, broaden your knowledge base about the industry, keep yourself updated with the trends, and make use of the right resources and technology to keep your business running efficiently throughout the year. We hope this guide will help you pursue your dream and achieve your desired entrepreneurial goals.