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  • Writer's pictureTim Parmeter

Is the Pet Industry the Right Fit for You?


A dog and a cat together on the floor, showing what a pet industry franchise could look like

It is time to take a closer look at one of the amazing industries in the world of franchising – and this one might be a great fit for you. The industry we are going to spotlight today is centered around our favorite furry friends: pets.


Before we dive in, it is important to remember that there is not one best franchise. There is not one best industry for you to own a franchise in, and anyone telling you otherwise either does not know what they are talking about or is trying to sell you something. 


So instead of telling you why the pet industry is the “best” one out there, we are going to speak the truth here. We are going to give you the inside scoop about this amazing industry and why it might be a fit for you – and if not, no need to worry. With over 4,000 franchise brands in 70+ industries in the U.S. alone, there is truly something for everyone. 


Pet Industry Basics

Let’s talk about the industry centered around our wonderful little four-legged friends called pets. In the pet industry, like every industry, there are so many different niches and categories. So what are some of the things about the pet industry that might be a good match for you? What are some of the factors that will tell you whether this is the right path? 


First off, let's be clear: If you hate pets, this is not for you. Do you have to be the crazy cat lady with 14 cats, three dogs, and a chicken? Absolutely not. But you do need an appreciation for pets and an understanding of the place that they hold in so many people's lives. 


Now, do you have to be involved with the animals all day, every day? Definitely not. In most cases, in most industries, the franchise owner is not the doer. 


Let’s say you own a pet franchise and you are grooming dogs. You are not the groomer, you are not the trainer, you are not the walker… you are the business owner.


For example, there is a franchise that we work with that is cat-related. It is one of the few brands that is all cat, all day. And get this: The founder is allergic to cats. How is that possible? Well, he is not in there with the furry little creatures all day long. He is the owner. 


You do not have to be a pet owner to own a pet-related franchise. But you do need an appreciation for pets and the spots they hold in people's lives.


There are a couple of other basic considerations to look at in the pet industry… 


Location Requirements

Most pet franchises will require some sort of retail location. Are there options that are mobile from a pet standpoint? Absolutely. But typically, pet franchises will need retail space. So with that, there is the financial side of retail investments. 


Investment Range

With anything retail, whether it is in a strip mall or something bigger, you need a larger investment figure in your mind. You are going to need $100,000 liquid at a minimum – in addition to any funding options you use.


Let’s talk about the total investment. “Total investment” refers to three items:

  1. The franchise fee 

  2. The cost to get the business open on day one 

  3. Three to six months’ worth of operating capital once you are open.


If you are talking to anyone about an investment that does not include those three things, they are either hiding something or they do not know what they are talking about. So usually, in terms of total investment, you are looking at $300,000 to $500,000 as a minimum. That figure is for something in a strip mall. 


Now, let’s say you want a bigger, standalone location – think of the doggy daycare and boarding-type franchises. Those can definitely get big. For a total investment, those standalone opportunities almost always have two commas in them.


Is a Pet Franchise Right For You?

Those are the first few factors you should explore – and those are going to eliminate a lot of people. But there are amazing opportunities out there for pet franchises when you focus on boutique spaces and even the bigger standalone spots. To succeed, you need an appreciation of the pets. And of course, you need to be able to pull it off financially. 


But the story does not end there. There are some other considerations we should look at now that we have tackled the first few items.

 

Pet Franchise Staffing

Let’s talk about your staff. Typically, pet franchises require some combination of skilled and passionate staff. For instance, take a groomer. Nobody is walking in off the street saying, “Hey, I can groom the dogs. Give me a job.” Some training has to go into that. 


You will also probably need a front desk attendant. That is not so much a skilled job, but they must still be passionate. They are probably someone who likes the dogs and animals that come in all of the time. Pet franchises usually require a smaller staff. 


While it might sound surprising for a pet-related franchise, you are going to need “people persons.” This is a people business – remember, the dogs are not coming in there on their own. Their human is bringing them, so you need staff who will build relationships with the humans to drive them back. 


Some pet franchises are membership models, but overall, this industry is high on quality and high on repeat customers. The owners probably like their pets more than their spouse or child. So we need to make sure that the human is super happy and we are taking good care of their pet from that standpoint. 


Growth and Scaling

Can you own multiple locations with a pet franchise? Absolutely – most of the pet franchises will allow you to do single units, but this is a great opportunity to have scalability and to be able to dominate a market. 


There are plenty of full-time pet franchise owners. Part-time owners are also there. In every single industry (not just pets), you can have two franchises that look exactly the same and do exactly the same thing. One is going to absolutely require a full-time commitment from the owner. The next one is not. Those are not things that you can Google. That information is proprietary. 


So how do you know which brand is which? Well, that is where the FranCoach team comes in. We know all of these behind-the-scenes things. Our job is to help you find out if the pet space is the right industry for YOU – and if so, we will help you distinguish between seemingly similar brands. 


The Passion Myth

In the franchising world, “passion” can be a dangerous word. As a franchise owner, you do not have to own a business that you are passionate about – at least in terms of the industry. But with pets, you need to at least have an appreciation for them. You cannot hate them. 


You want to have a staff that is going to be happy, friendly, and passionate about this – after all, they will be the ones working with the animals. You also need them to be extroverted (a “people person,” so to speak). Why? Because they need to communicate with the humans and provide a high-quality experience. 


Again, pets are often the preferred family members for the people bringing them in. It does not matter how much a customer loves their kids or their spouse. Their pet is the family member that they love the most, so it is crucial to make sure that you give them a five-star experience that keeps them coming back. 


And finally, it comes down to the finances. Mobile options will allow for a lower financial barrier of entry – but if you want a brick-and-mortar space, can you handle the investment for a small retail location? Or if you are looking at one of the big standalone things, can you handle a two-comma investment? 


If you are reading those things and nodding up and down, then the pet space may be an amazing opportunity for you. This industry is never going to go away. And again, pets are the preferred family member for almost every person. So if you can provide quality service for your two-legged and four-legged visitors, you will have long-term happy customers.


In fact, pet franchises often yield even longer-term relationships than kid-related franchises. Think about it: When the kids grow up, they are not getting replaced. Those parents who brought their kids in are done as customers when the kids are done. 


But if someone is a dog person, they are going to keep having dogs. Yes, one may pass away, but after a few months, that client will have a new puppy – and then they will be coming back through your front doors. So again, the pet sector can yield incredibly long-term customer relationships. 


Finding the Right Franchise for YOU

As you consider different franchises and different industries, it is important to remember that there is no “best” franchise. There is no “hottest” industry. 


Even if you are reading this article and thinking, “Man, I am nodding up and down at all of these things, so that could mean pet franchises are right for me”...  maybe they are not. 


The best thing you can do for yourself is to have an open mind. (Actually, that is the second best – the best thing you can do for yourself is to work with our team at FranCoach.)


Almost everyone we work with becomes a franchise owner. And more often than not, they own a franchise in something that they have little to no experience in and something that was not on their radar when they came to us. 


Often, it is even a franchise they did not know existed. It requires an open mind to explore this. So if you are nodding up and down about everything we have talked about in the pet industry, then this really may be a fantastic opportunity for you. Regardless, it is important to thoroughly explore your options and vet multiple brands or industries to find out what is truly right for you. 


Work With the FranCoach Team Today

If you are ready to learn more about franchise ownership, you are in the right place. Here at FranCoach, we work with our clients to help them find the absolute best franchise for them. 


Our number one goal is to properly educate you about franchise ownership. We want to help you determine if franchise ownership is the right path for you – and if so, we will guide and support you through the process of finding your perfect match. 


And the best part? Our services are 100% free, 100% of the time – seriously. Reach out to us today to learn more about becoming a franchise owner. You have read this far… so why not take the first step today toward your better tomorrow?




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