The UK is undeniably a nation of pet lovers and the most popular type of pet is our canine friends. From cute Chihuahuas to loyal Labradors, approximately 26 percent of UK adults own a dog (PDSA). One of pet owners’ biggest concerns is what will happen to their precious pooches when they go on holiday. For this reason, dog care franchises that owners can trust are a big business. In this article, we consider five things to remember before buying a dog care franchise.
Research suggests our oxytocin levels actually increase when cuddling an animal, which, in turn, makes us feel happier. For many dog owners, their pets are loyal companions and are considered to be part of the family. For this reason, it’s hardly surprising that dog boarding and care is deemed to be a growth sector with colossal, untapped potential. Currently, 90 percent of UK pet owners keep their pets in the kennels when they go on holiday (Compare Your Life, Channel 4) and the average rate per night is £17.
>> Read more:
Despite the current economic climate, dog owners continue to spend their hard-earned cash on their companions. In fact, British dog owners spend an average of £240 each month on food, treats, grooming, insurance, vet fees, dog walking etc. (PaymentEye). If you’re considering buying a dog care franchise and entering the pet care and boarding industry (that generates £4.3 billion every year), make sure to consider these tips before you give the go-ahead.
Starting a dog care franchise
If you are passionate about dog care and want to make a career out of it, the next big thing to consider is whether to open an independent business or invest in a dog care franchise. Either way, you will enjoy all the perks of being your own boss - one of the most appealing is being able to strike a healthy work-life balance.
>> Read more:
However, investing in an existing dog care franchise provides entrepreneurs with significant advantages. Operating in the dog care sector is not as simple as just looking after dogs all day and whilst, on a basic level, this is the premise of the job, potential franchisees must be equipped with business management skills and the determination to succeed.
5 things to consider before buying a dog care franchise
Because dog care franchises are able to offer a well-known brand name, successful business model and support with other important decisions such as the location and the website, they are a tempting choice to make the set-up process much simpler and easier. But what should I think about before starting my own dog care franchise?
1. Am I right for the job?
While for animal lovers owning a dog day care franchise where you are surrounded by pooches all day every day sounds like heaven, you need to consider whether you’ve got what it takes. Dogs have very different personalities, and some can be a handful to manage. Therefore, in order to be a successful dog care business owner, you need to understand canine behaviour and know how to manage difficult situations. To get more of an insight into what it will entail, it’s a good idea to volunteer at your local kennels.
In order to be able to communicate effectively with dog owners and expand your network, you ned to have strong interpersonal skills. Being physically fit and not being afraid of the outdoors is also important so you can walk and entertain the dogs, and because you’ll often be outdoors in all weather conditions. However, this isn’t always essential for some types of dog care businesses and if you plan to take a more managerial role.
Of course, there is a wide range of dog care franchises that offer a different type of service. For instance, some involve setting up creche-style centres, some take more of a traditional kennel form and others involve managing dog sitters who enter customers’ homes. Make sure to conduct thorough research into the perfect dog care business for you and choose one that matches your personal skills and goals.
2. Do I need any checks?
If the nature of the dog care business involves entering your clients’ homes, you’ll need to get a Criminal Record Check.
3. Do I need any training or qualifications?
It usually isn’t essential to have participated in any training or received qualifications to own a doggy day care business. However, if you do decide you want to develop your knowledge and expertise, you could choose training in animal behaviour, animal care and animal first aid.
4. Get to grips with the rules and regulations
NarpsUK (National Association of Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers) has heaps of information about starting a dog care business and understanding the rules and regulations. Some of these include not walking more than four dogs at a time, meeting owners before the first booking and, of course, cleaning up any faeces.
5. Do I need any business insurance?
Dog owners will want to feel like they can rely on your dog care franchise to provide an excellent level of care. Therefore, you could get a tailored business insurance policy to demonstrate to clients how serious you are. Business insurance also gives you peace of mind too. Public liability would provide protection if, let’s say, a member of the public is injured because of something to do with your business (i.e. one of your dog walkers).
Dare to start a pawfect dog care franchise?
So, there you have it – these are our top tips to remember before starting your very own dog care franchise. If you’re sure that this is the right sector for you, have a look at another one of our articles about the top dog care franchises. We have plenty on our books at the moment at varying investment levels. Find the one that suits your budget, shares a similar philosophy and provides the most attractive training and support package. You might also want to read more about 10 steps to follow when opening your own pet business.
Becky Martin, Point Franchise ©