What’s the best way to proceed? Start your own dog walking, pet sitting business or buy a franchise?
This is perhaps the biggest decision any would-be pet sitter, dog walker or pet services provider will have to answer. On the one hand you have the opportunity to set it up exactly how you want whereas on the other, you can call on the support, advice, experience and knowledge of a tried and tested formula.
Looking to buy a pet care and pet services business?
If you are considering entering the ever growing market for providing pet services you may find it helpful to read on.
When We Love Pets started over 8 years ago, we really had to go it alone as there were no ready-made pet sitting or dog walking franchise businesses that gave us what we wanted and so we know the pro’s and con’s of both options.
The first thing we discovered was that finding someone who wanted their dog walked or their pet looked after was the easy part – one of the reasons we went into the business was that we saw there was huge potential from busy pet owners whose lifestyle meant they couldn’t walk their dog during the day or those that couldn’t take their pet with them when they went away.
Setting up a pet care business from scratch
What was really daunting was setting up the business itself. Choosing the name, organising stationery, getting a website, working out the best ways to market the business locally, checking the laws and getting the correct accreditation, putting policies and procedures in place, understanding the finances, …the list was endless and costly too.
Not only that but we had to do it on our own and that can be a lonely and scary journey at times. Often we would think if only someone else had done the hard work, made all the mistakes and learned the best ways to make it work as a business (not just a hobby) and then all we would have to do was to look after the pets!
Which is of course the real benefit of buying a franchise. Someone else has done all the hard work for you, leaving you to concentrate on building up the business and enjoying your new found freedom.
Not only that, but there is a huge amount of support there for you throughout your journey. We’re big enough a company to provide you with all you need, but we’re small enough to care and be there. You’ll also have advice and support, when you need it, from our other franchisees, their knowledge, experience and success is also invaluable’.
How to grow your Pet Care Business
The other real consideration is how to grow your new business. Word of mouth and personal recommendation is fine but it takes a long time to build up a loyal customer base and the trust in the brand that is so important for expansion. And when you start offering new services, such as puppy care or pet home boarding, it costs time and money to let everyone know.
Buying a well-known franchise means that you get access to an established marketing operation, with a good, highly visible website, which generates sales leads and new customers for you as soon as you are ready to start. Other franchisees also act as your sales team, passing on enquires they get for your area. The overall result is that your business will develop at a much faster rate than if you were going it alone.
At We Love Pets we quickly realised that we could help many dog walkers, pet sitters and dog home boarders to realise the dream of setting up their own business without having to go through the trials and tribulations we did.