If you’re at a point in your life where you’re considering a change in career direction, why not consider becoming a franchisee with a leading pet franchise? Most people associate owning a business with routes chocked with costly mistakes, time-consuming branding design and expensive marketing. But did you know, franchising is not only a safer and more secure way of owning a business, it also means you get full training and are backed by a supportive franchise network?
What is Franchising?
Franchising doesn’t just apply to pet businesses, it applies to – and can apply to, any commercial business which has proven to be successful. In the context of business format franchising, franchising is where an established business grows by opening up their business model to entrepreneurs looking to run a business in their own area. Some such successful franchise examples would be Dial a Dog Wash, OSCAR/Trophy Pet Foods and McDonald’s.
The owner of the original business (the franchisor), having made the decision to franchise their business, will look for franchisees to run the business in their own exclusive territory. In exchange for a franchise investment, usually several thousand of pounds, the franchisee will get the rights to trade as the franchisor’s business.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons to invest in a pet franchise, rather than start up a pet business alone.
1) A Business in a Box
First up, when you invest in a franchise, you’re getting a proven business model with everything you need to get started. If you started to switch off when we said an investment of several thousand of pounds, be aware that this isn’t just for the brand license. Usually, the initial investment covers everything from full training and support, right up to your starting stock and materials. If you’re investing in a dog grooming franchise, this might include equipment and cleaning products, as well as branded flyers and business cards. On the other hand, if you’re investing in a dog-walking franchise, the investment may cover vehicle sign-writing and your own website as well.
The investment required will vary considerably, but typical pet franchises are usually less than £15,000. If the pet franchise business requires a van and you do not have one, the franchisor will likely have agreements in place with vehicle finance companies of which will be able to offer a competitive rate.
2) A Fully Supported Sector
From the moment you start looking for a franchise to invest in, right up to signing the franchise agreement and running the business, support is with you every step of the way. Did you know, subject to good financial history and a well-constructed business plan, most UK banks can lend up to 70% of the franchise investment? Thanks to the generally-successful nature of franchises, banks favour franchises over new start-ups. The franchising sector is also very well supported by franchise associations. In the UK, the most recognised is the British Franchise Association. Many pet businesses in the UK are BFA members, and being a part of the BFA means the franchise has been thoroughly investigated and proven to be a secure and profitable business model.
In terms of finding a franchise, there are many franchise directories out there to help you with your search. You’ve also got a wealth of franchise shows and exhibitions to choose from – many of which are free to attend. There are usually around 3-4 franchise shows per year, some national, some international, whilst others are open to businesses in general. Franchise exhibitions attract tens of thousands of visitors and are a great way to learn more about franchising through the stands and seminars which are on offer.
In terms of franchise training and support, your franchisor will usually get you up to knowledge with everything there is to know. Whilst helpful, you won’t actually need any past business ownership experience either. Aspects such as finance, business management and marketing – will all be taught to you. Ongoing, you can expect regular calls and R&D from a head office team to ensure you’re keeping up with the latest trends.
3) Group Marketing and Purchasing Power
Just like if you were to run a business by yourself, you’ll still have ongoing costs as part of a franchise, and one of these costs will be the monthly management fee. A fee paid to the franchisor, not only contributes to a group marketing fund but also grants you continued access to the franchisor’s supplier and partner network.
Think about it: if you were to start up a business alone, you’d need to find suppliers and partners yourself. SEO agencies to help your business stand out; Marketing companies to help design a logo and marketing materials; suppliers who can provide you with goods at an affordable price. When you join a franchise network, you get access to the franchisor’s supply network. This includes: being able to purchase things like equipment, cleaning products, pet foods, all at a discounted rate. Because all franchisees use the same supplier, the supplier benefits from their business and in exchange is in a position to offer better prices compared to solo business owners.
Going back to the group marketing fund, how many individual business owners do you think can afford a national TV advertising campaign? If they’re a small and local business, it won’t benefit them much either. As franchisees contribute to a group marketing pot, the franchisor can use this collectively to buy powerful marketing that benefits the entire franchise network. From radio and TV ads to newspaper and local media inclusion, franchises can deliver a powerful message through these channels. This helps to generate local business for franchisees, helping you to find clients. This way, you’ll spend less time finding clients and spending more time doing something you love – working with pets.
4) An Established and Recognised Brand Name
Every franchised business started off as an individual solo start-up. McDonald’s started life as a small burger stand in the USA and has since grown to one of the biggest and most recognised brands in the world.
By becoming a part of a franchise network, you’re being a part of – and helping to grow – a widely recognised brand. There are many pet franchises for sale, from mobile dog wash and walking to pet food suppliers. There are even more diverse franchises such as cat sitting and dog training. As these franchise businesses grow, their brand resonates louder across the UK and the marketing is more impactful.
5) A Career You’ll Love
Why not turn your passion for pets into an income? If you have a dog or cat at home, they’ll love your new career too! Many pet franchises are either van-based or can be run from home. This means they often come with low overheads and high returns. Discover a business where you can spend every day with your pets while enjoying a flexible work-life balance. Business owners can enjoy a lot more flexibility around their working day. For example, dog walking and grooming franchises will enable you to book clients around your own schedule. It might be taking your kids to school, or it might be around your favourite TV programme.
Pet Franchises In Summary
Franchising is widely considered a safer way to business ownership. You’re buying the rights to trade as a proven business model, bypassing a lot of the mistakes associated with starting up a business from scratch. Thanks to the support offered not only by the franchisor, but franchise associations and banks, more and more people are getting into franchising. Many franchises are recession-proof as well. Even if you’re not looking to run a pet franchise, there are many other franchises for sale in the UK which offer a better work-life balance. When the franchise agreement ends, and you choose not to renew, you may wish to then sell the business as a franchise resale.
From mobile coffee to home improvement, franchises unlock flexibility and a work-life balance many can only dream of. Why not take a look at franchising today? Being your own boss could be more affordable than you think.