Working with animals is the dream for many people. And there are numerous pet franchises that make this possible, across a range of sectors.
In the last few decades pet ownership has skyrocketed and more than ever people are willing to spend money to ensure their companions are taken care of as best as possible.
There are millions of pets across the UK and more than a billion pounds is spent each year on pet-related products and services. Pet franchises aim to offer pet owners ways to treat or care for their animals, taking advantage of this lucrative market place.
Types of pet franchises
There are numerous areas within the pet industry where franchises exist. Below we have outlined some of the major opportunities, but more are developing all the time.
Pet care franchises – Pet owners go on holiday or away for business and are not always able to take care of their animals. Pet care offers them a place where they can leave their animals in confidence. These kennels or catteries will need to abide by animal welfare legislation and meet requirements as determined by UK law.
However, it’s not just for long periods that people need animal care. In recent years there has been a growth in animal daycare, where owners can leave their pets for the day so that they are getting stimulation while their owners are at work.
Dog walking franchises – A classic franchise opportunity, dog walking involves taking out multiple animals for exercise, having access to customers’ homes and being able to handle numerous dogs at the same time. This could either be as a one off, or more likely as a regular agreement.
Animal grooming franchises – People love their animals and want them to look good, so they will pay to have them cleaned, trimmed and otherwise pampered. This is another popular franchise option taking advantage of a growing market place.
Pet food franchises – What pets are eating is also a cause of concern for many owners. There is a move away from the generic pet food found in supermarkets, with companies offering healthy alternatives for main meals and treats.
Training – This is especially important for dog owners who may not have the time or expertise to train their animals. Dog trainers go a little further than just sit and roll over, tackling toilet training, behavioural issues and more. With a client base that is increasingly money rich but time poor, this kind of franchise is becoming more popular.
Pet supplies – As well as food and dog care, there is an expanding market providing other sundry dog supplies such as toys, animal clothes and more. This kind of pet retail often follows the standard franchise method, relying on brand identity to generate sales and custom.
Pet photography – Again, this kind of franchise is reflective of the increasing importance pets are having in the home. Specialist animal photographers can provide important mementos of beloved pets that will be treasured forever.
Why choose a franchise?
When it comes to pets people are very particular. In some cases, more so than they would be for themselves. Very often they will only go for a company with an established record or brand. Breaking into the pet market without any support or branding power can therefore be tricky. This is one of the reasons that pet franchises have had so much success over the past few years.
As part of a franchise, you not only get access to the proven business model, but there is also experience and training. The franchisor can often help you set up the premises, providing equipment and location knowledge. You will have use of marketing materials and licence to use the name and trademark. Staff can receive training, uniforms and any administration that is necessary is covered.
Pet businesses are frequently subject to legislation and the franchisor can also help with this.
All of which means you can be bringing in income from day one, without the need for a huge marketing push to get your name out there – which is often the main cause of failure for startups or small businesses.
Choosing your pet franchise
Working with animals can be a big draw, but you need to think carefully about what kind of pet franchise most suits your skill set and personality. Dog and cat care can be lots of fun, but it is very time consuming and often involves a huge amount of commitment. If animals are staying with you long term then you are responsible for them for the entire duration.
People can be very protective about their pets, so any kind of retail or service franchise is going to involve a high degree of customer service skill.
Of course, working with animals always has its risks. They are unpredictable and there is a danger, especially with animals that are unfamiliar. So there is a high degree of training involved, on top of a natural affinity for, and love of, pets. If you are unsure about how you would deal with some animals in certain situations, you need to think about how you would handle this.
With more and more pet franchises hitting the market place, this is one of the fastest growing areas of the franchise world, and is proving equally popular with franchisees.
Speak to current franchise owners and find out both the business details and the information you require about how much support and training is provided by the franchisor. You need to be 100% confident you are making the right decision for you before signing the franchise agreement.
Source: Franchise UK