How to Evaluate a Dog Sitting Franchise Opportunity
Do you love dogs? Have you got an entrepreneurial spirit, and are itching to start your own business and be your own boss? Then why not combine your two passions and invest in a dog daycare franchise? The market potential is huge, and pet services are among the best franchises to buy.
In this article, we examine what to consider before buying a franchise ─ the pros and cons of owning a dog sitting franchise.
What is a dog daycare franchise?
A dog daycare franchise, or dog boarding franchise, is a lot like a daycare for children. Busy dog owners leave their furry friends with you while they go about their lives. You’ll be responsible for taking care of all the dogs in the daycare, feeding them, walking them, and playing with them.
How big is the doggie daycare market?
In a word, big. In America, around 48 million households own around 76 million dogs between them. In 2019, the dog daycare industry generated around $4.5 billion (at an average of more than $280k per dog care firm), with revenues growing in the pet services industry for 20 straight years. During the pandemic between 2019 and 2020, pet ownership grew by 7% ─ and it’s forecast to continue to grow.
With more people now returning to work, the opportunity to own and operate a successful dog boarding business has never been greater.
Owning a doggy daycare franchise: The good and the bad
Owning a doggy daycare franchise is a terrific way to make money. But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. It takes a lot of hard work, patience, and dedication to be successful. There’s a lot to consider.
Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of the franchise business model.
The pros of owning a dog sitting franchise
A pet sitting business is an idyllic choice for many. You get to spend time with amazing dogs every day. Plus, there are several advantages or operating a franchise business rather than starting a business from scratch.
Here are the pros you’ll benefit from:
You work with dogs every day
If you want to follow your passion for pets, what better way to do so?
Multiple options from different franchise offerings
What do you like best? Dog walking? Dog grooming? Overnight dog boarding services?
There are franchise opportunities in all of these, or you might decide to buy a franchise that offers a combination of pet services (such as Fetch Pet Care).
It’s a tried and tested business model
It’s not as risky as starting your own pet sitting business. Doggy daycare franchises are a tried and tested business model, with thousands of successful owner-operators as evidence.
Help from experienced and dedicated mentors and tutors
The franchisor’s success depends upon your success, so they invest in you, too, by providing training and coaching. You’ll benefit from the experience of dedicated mentors and tutors who all want to see you succeed.
Access to marketing and business materials
To help your business succeed, you’ll get access to the franchisor’s marketing and business materials. It’s like having a national marketing team working for your local business ─ logos, brochures, marketing materials, and more all done for you.
A pre-existing customer base and trusted reputation
A pre-existing customer base and trusted reputation are two of the key factors when considering whether to buy a doggy daycare franchise. With a large customer base, you can be assured that there will always be customers who need your services. And with a trusted reputation, you can be assured that your customers will come back for more.
Excellent financial options
Many franchisors offer help with financing your business. And if this doesn’t appeal to you, or is unavailable with your preferred franchise, there are many ways to finance your business (including partnering with a family member or leveraging your 401(K)).
The cons of owning a dog sitting franchise
Owning a pet care business may sound exciting, and it is ─ but you should always consider these disadvantages before you purchase your business:
Working with difficult clients
Working with difficult clients is no walk in the park. You must learn how to deal with their demands and often be able to read between the lines of what they are asking for. This can be especially frustrating when you’re dealing with a dog that isn’t trained.
Not receiving enough training/support
Not all franchises are equal, and this includes the level of training they provide. You should be certain about what training you need (either with caring for dogs or on the business side of things), and choose a franchise that matches your needs.
The insurance for a doggy daycare franchise is a bit different than the insurance for a normal business. The main reason is that, as the owner of the franchise, you are liable for all the dogs that come into your facility.
Startup costs may be high
It’s true that you can start a dog-sitting business from scratch for little outlay. When you buy a dog daycare franchise, you’ll have a lot of extra costs, such as the initial franchise fee. But these costs are your ticket into a business made for you.
Think of it like owning your own home. Buying a plot of land and building your dream house would be far cheaper than buying your already constructed dream home. And far more complicated and riskier, too.
Ongoing royalty fees
The franchisor will command ongoing fees or royalties from your business revenue. This will eat into your profits. However, this also helps to pay for things like ongoing training, marketing, and business support ─ all costs that you would otherwise need to fund in a standalone business.
No room for flexibility/creativity
One of the main problems with owning a dog daycare franchise is that there is not much room for creativity or flexibility. As the franchise owner, you must follow strict rules and regulations set by the franchisor. Then again, the success of their business model and how their business operates is part of the reason the franchise excites you ─ why would you want to fix something that isn’t broken?
Contract agreements can be complex. If you don’t have legal advice, you may find yourself in hot water. The good news is that all your legal responsibilities are explained in the documentation provided to you by the franchisor.
Are you ready to profit from owning a dog daycare franchise?
The dog sitting industry is booming and it’s not hard to see why. People love their pets as they do other family members (often more so!), but people get busy. They wouldn’t leave a child to fend for himself or herself, and they won’t leave their pet alone.
Owning a dog daycare franchise can be a rewarding business move. You get to spend your days working with dogs and interacting with people. And you get to profit from a proven business model and the reputation of the franchisor, as well as the training and support provided.
Of course, there are disadvantages to owning a franchise business, too. But if you understand these before you invest in the franchise opportunity, you are prepared for them and to mitigate them through effective business planning.
Is the dog daycare franchise model right for you?
Take our franchise assessment to begin your journey to successful franchise ownership. It takes less than five minutes, and you’ll be stunned by how much information it provides.