Now is a great time to invest in pet business franchises, as people attach a higher value to its relationships with its pets. Research from the APPA shows that 65% of U.S. households own a pet, spending over $60 billion on their pets per year.
There are a variety of different avenues to the pet industry in which to own a franchise. You may choose the service industry which includes boarding and grooming, or maybe you are more suited to the retail segment, which is really taking off as a wide range of nutritional dog food is becoming more and more in demand, as well as pet accessories and treats.
Investing in a franchise is a good choice in your steps to success. However, there are important factors to consider when investing in a franchise and it is worth doing some self-evaluation before deciding to invest in a franchise:
Are you passionate? You must be an animal lover if you are going to spend all of your working day around animals or animal products. In order to effectively sell a product or service, you must be passionate about it.
Can you acquire the proper facilities? Certain pet businesses can require a lot of space. For example, grooming services require a lot of machinery and facilities and boarding services require a lot of room for individual kennels for the pets.
Are you hard-working? It is difficult and scary starting out on your own. You must be willing to work very hard at the start and hopefully you will reap the benefits.
Here are some factors to consider in regards to the franchise itself:
Does this pet franchise have a well-recognized brand name? If a brand is well known it is easier to market. It is a well known fact that franchisees benefit from being part of a well known brand. However you must consider whether the company will help you generate business, or do you have to take care of your own marketing campaigns?
How much capital is required? Does the company offer financial support? Some companies offer finance packages. It is also worth contacting your local bank manager as they may offer you a more attractive interest rate on lending.
What kind of training and support will they provide? Most franchises provide investors with training in the various products and services; however it is worth researching the extent of the training involved and whether or not ongoing training and support is provided after this.
Are there many similar pet businesses in your area? You must make sure that there is a proven market for the product or service you will be providing, and that there are not too many other businesses offering the same or similar products or services. Some franchisors offer territorial exclusivity which means that you would have the exclusive rights to that particular franchise within a certain area, which is attractive but does not completely rule out the possibility of other similar companies operating nearby.
How strictly do you need to conform to guidelines set out by the franchisor? For instance, if you are setting up a pet grooming business – do you need to buy all the grooming equipment such as pet showers or can you use your own facilities? This equipment can often be quite expensive and it is worth researching this before making any hasty decisions. Also, some franchisors ask their franchisees to locate their businesses in retail areas, so if you are planning on working from home this might not be an option for you.
What are the company’s policies on selling your franchise in the future? In future, you may decide to sell on your business for a variety of reasons. Before investing your money, you should consult with the franchise company to make sure that their resale policy will suit your plans for the future.
Is the business model going to provide you with long term revenues? Make sure that the product or service is marketable and coherently packaged. Having passion for the product you are selling is important but, if it is not well packaged or marketed the customer may fail to see how valuable your product/service is. Ask to look at the company’s marketing literature and information pamphlets before making any decisions. Also speak to existing franchisees about their experience within the franchise. The franchise agreement and the financial disclosure document are also very important documents to read through carefully. They should clearly outline all the terms and conditions of your relationship with the franchise.
The best way to effectively research the pet franchise business is to visit existing franchisees, arrange a visit to the head-office of the franchise and to carefully read through the franchise agreement.
The existing franchisees will be able to give you real-life accounts of what it is like to invest in the franchise and their experiences with the company. A visit to head-office will provide you with the opportunity to ask all the important questions you have about investing your money in the franchise. Finally, taking the time to read through the franchise agreement and the financial disclosure document in full will ensure that you are fully aware of all the terms and conditions of investing in this franchise.
Having asked all of these questions, you will be fully equipped to make an informed decision on which pet franchise is best for you.