This year, many professionals will return to work with a sense of discontent as they continue in their careers. In fact, a recent study has estimated that 76.4% of professionals will be looking to change careers this year1. For many individuals looking for a fresh challenge, franchising offers a road to start their business whilst being supported by an established and robust business model. However, choosing the right fit for you is not a simple task. It requires high levels of research, due diligence and self-awareness to select the franchise that best suits you and your personal circumstances.
Here, Kevin Thackrah, Director of Petpals, outlines why he believes that 2022 is the year of the pet – and the year that prospects’ should consider investing in a pet-care franchise.
A pet is for life
The pandemic has led to many people owning a pet for the first time, resulting in many owners being unready to deal with the constant demands of owning a pet. Therefore, the key services that a pet-care franchise offers are more needed than ever. From dog walking, pet boarding, cat and small pet care to pet taxis, having a professional local service available that you can rely on is an emerging need for owners. Joining a network that prides itself on putting pets first will go a long way in helping you achieve your goals. Have a look at what a franchise does to train, retain and support pet-passionate people. Many of our franchisees have experienced our services before, and due to their overwhelmingly positive experience have decided to invest in our proven business model. Creating an outstanding brand name not only helps with franchise recruitment, but it also supports a franchisee as they look to advance their locations and expand into neighbouring territories.
No pets allowed
While working from home has become the new normal for some, many professionals will still be looking to go to the workplace both full time and in a hybrid model. As a result, high levels of demand are being placed on skilled experts to look after pets as their owners return to the office. The advantage of being a franchisee is that you have an irrefutable weight of evidence on why your business works and all the marketing support to help your message get through as you develop. The British pet population has risen to an all-time high, comprising of over 20 million cats and dogs – nearly a third of England’s human population2. According to a study from industry leaders, 47.7% of households have a cat or dog in the UK3, highlighting that the £6.3bn pet-care category is assisting almost half of the homes up and down the UK4. This has created an unparalleled need for services and is a noteworthy factor in why becoming a pet-care franchisee should be a serious contemplation in 2022.
Flexibility is key
Make sure the franchise you are considering has a model that suits you. You may want to run a management franchise, where you are not as directly involved in the pet-care yourselves. Or you may want a more hands-on approach, spending time each day visiting pets, walking dogs and often boarding animals in your own home.
Essentially, there is no absolute way of operating a pet-care franchise. Your specific goals are a huge part of shaping the path you go down. You might be looking for an owner-operated model, having possibly left a stressful job. Or you may have a different vision, seeing the potential of creating a large and successful business that you can grow and potentially sell on in the future. Whatever your objective, if you are passionate about pets, and have the drive to build a business, investment opportunities in the pet-care industry offer a proven and effective franchise proposition.
Network of support
New initiatives often fail due to the owner not having the insight or resources to achieve business success. Whatever the motivations of the business owner, the back-up and support franchisees receive from their franchisor should be identical. From the initial launch to ongoing marketing, PR, training, social media and regular in-territory visits, an experienced franchisor will be able to help and support a franchisee to grow their business to the size they desire. All good franchises should have this as a minimum for a potential franchisee, and you should analyse these packages when evaluating pet-care franchises. We were elated that our model was acknowledged in the prestigious Elite Franchise Top 100 – which positioned us as an industry leader due to our complete franchise offering.
When united with unprecedented demand, I believe these proven systems make the pet-care industry a standout opportunity. At Petpals we have regular business evaluations, conferences and an active franchise forum to maintain our culture of support within our network. These offer excellent opportunities to share ideas and develop resolutions for any problems. Obviously, we’re always obtainable at head office to help with anything; however, having a network of like-minded and understanding people is a massive benefit to the franchise. Sharing this business experience offers valuable insight into all aspects of our model – supporting our franchisees’ development as they look to grow their locations.
1 CV-Library, The Great Resignation Survey, 2021
2 PDSA, Annual Survey, 2021
3 Mars Petcare, Pet Ownership Study, 2021
4 Combined Read – Nielsen – Petfood, Mintel – Petcare, Statista Grooming & Vet Services 2021