What are the benefits of buying a pet related franchise?
‘Never work with children or animals,’ so the old show business saying goes. Except in the real world, working with animals can be a joy. And here in the animal-loving UK, there are plenty of opportunities for pet-related franchise opportunities.
If you’re an animal lover and looking for a new career or direction in life, then a pet franchise could be the ideal way to get into something you love.
There’s also a lot of money in pets. According to the Pet Food Manufacturers Association, around 44% of British households have a pet, which equates to about 12 million homes. In total, there are around 54 million pets in the UK.
Of course, pets come in all shapes and sizes, from Great Danes to goldfish. But with the average cost of keeping a dog in the UK between £16,000 and £31,000 over the course of its lifetime, you can see that there is some serious money in the pet-related franchise industry. Cats are thought to cost about half as much as dogs, and rabbits cost an incredible £9,000 each on average.
But first, it’s worth looking at why a franchise might be the way to go.
Advantages of a pet-related franchise
Starting a new business from scratch is very hard. That’s why so many start ups fail within the first six months. Unless you have really nailed down your market research, by the time you have realised there is no market for your goods or services, you might have already invested your life savings. And without the financial or administrative clout to be comprehensive in your research, it’s always going to be a gamble.
However, with a franchise you’ve had all that hard work done for you. The business model has already been proven to work and there is a clear path to success. All the nasty surprises you get when starting your own business have been overcome, with clear strategies and support in place for making it work.
In the world of pet franchises, where it’s about keeping both owners and animals happy, a successful model is doubly hard to create from scratch.
Pet franchise support and experience
We mentioned the old adage above about never working with animals. That’s because they can be unpredictable. Every pet owner knows that their dog or cat can do the funniest (and frankly, weirdest) things. So, building a business around this can be very tricky. However, with a franchise, you get the added benefit of support and experience from people who have been there and done that. Pet franchisers have seen it all before and can be on hand to help you work your way through the unpredictability of working with our furry friends.
Plus, they have experience that counts in the human world too (some might even argue that this is even more difficult to predict). From support with finding and securing real estate to hiring contractors, you’ll have years of experience behind you – from day one.
Trusted brand name
Few nations on Earth treasure their animals and pets as much as we Brits. And while we might be willing to buy cheap and take a risk on products for ourselves, only the best will do for our four-legged friends. Which is why having a trusted brand name behind you can be so important. Pet owners want to know that they are providing their animals with the best, and a brand can carry that weight of respectability that engenders trust.
Increased buying power
Although there are some pet franchises that require little investment in products or materials (dog walking franchises for example – see more below), others require a steady stream. Pet grooming franchises, for example, will require plenty of pet-friendly products and specialist equipment, some of which is not cheap. Just think about the special shampoos, cleaning apparatus, skin care products, clippers and more you might require. But if you have the bulk buying power of a franchise behind you, it’s possible to get these items at a much better rate than if you were buying it solely for your own business.
As we mentioned above, working with animals can throw up all sorts of surprises. Training to be a vet requires a university degree and is very competitive. And any kind of animal husbandry qualifications require plenty of study. But with a pet-related franchise, you get the benefit of training as part of your programme. With corporate courses and qualifications from trained professionals, you will have a good knowledge base behind you.
Be your own boss
Of course, not all the advantages of a pet-related franchise have to do with the animals. You also get to be your own boss. And in a world of increased working hours, job instability and tightening budgets, being in control of your own destiny is a major bonus. Hard work is repaid with success, and there are no boring appraisals, promotion frustrations or nightmare bosses to worry about.
So, as you can see, there are many benefits of starting a pet-related franchise. But exactly what kind of franchises are there out there that let you work with animals? They can be loosely grouped together as follows.
Animal day care franchises
People love having pets around. But with work commitments, holidays, emergencies and everything else that life can throw at you, sometimes you need a little help looking after them. Which is where pet day care and longer-term care come in. Kennels and catteries are the most obvious examples, but there are other creatures that need looking after. Day care franchises look after pets on a short-term basis, maybe for a few hours each day, making sure they get stimulated and exercised while their owners are at work.
Dog walking franchises
Perhaps one of the most visible and recognisable pet-related franchises. Dog walkers pick up your best friend and take them out for walks, often with other dogs, making sure they are getting enough exercise if you simply haven’t got the time to give them what they need. This is a really flexible franchise opportunity that suits people who love being outdoors and getting exercise. All you really need is a van, some leads and a healthy supply of doggy treats. The franchised support comes in the form of client bases, training and brand recognition.
Pet grooming franchises
As well as feeling good, we want our pets to look their best too, which explains the rise over the past few decades of pet grooming services. From cosmetic treatments such as coat cleaning and hair cuts to more practical services like teeth cleaning and nail trimming, grooming franchises help to keep animals in tip-top shape.
Pet food franchises
Our animals’ welfare also extends to what they are eating. And with more people moving away from the generic and often unpleasant tinned food, there is a growing movement to help our pets eat healthily. This has opened up a big market for new pet food providers, and one that is being filled with franchise opportunities.
So, if you love animals and are looking for a new business opportunity, a pet related franchise could be just what you are looking for.