The Benefits of Running Your Own Pet Care Business as Part of a Franchise

We all have that dream of “one day, I’ll start my own business”!

Many people, both new in the workplace, and those with years of experience in their chosen work will have that thought during their working lives.

To some it’s just a fleeting wish when their boss has asked them that same question for the fifteenth time, or their work colleague has dropped crumbs on the shared workspace.
To others it’s a constant nag in their mind, when they’re just not enjoying their job, the people they work for ad with, or are stuck in a role they never planned to be in.

There are of course benefits in working for someone else; but its always that someone else who’s making the decisions, choosing their work hours, telling others what to do and where to go; it never seems to be the one that’s working the hardest and not being appreciated.

It’s a big step going into business on your own. There’s the choice of industry, looking for and researching then buying stock, market research, applications for funding or loans, website and email set up, social media set up, designing a logo and sourcing workwear, trying to find the best van or equipment to use, looking for a unit or shop to rent. Designing the forms and documents you’ll need for the daily business, finding accounts and business databases and software; the list goes on and it is endless!

All this takes a huge amount of thought, time and expense.

Lots of people want that complete change in their work, and want a better lifestyle to go with it. Sometimes its not for better money (although that helps), but to have a healthier lifestyle and better work/home balance; after all they’re the things you’ve wanted!

So, what industry should you choose? That’s the big question!

The UK’s pet industry is booming! It’s growing year on year and there is a need for good, trusted, trained and qualified pet carers.

The pet industry is very attractive to people that want to work for themselves, have that choice, that healthier lifestyle and the better work/home balance, and they get to work with animals!

There’s so many services that pet carers can offer their clients, such as dog walking, dog home boarding, pet visits, cat care, pet taxi and even animal ambulance and smallholding care services!

But, it’s still very hard work setting up a proper pet care company. There are thousands of independent pet carers in the UK, many do it very well indeed and are an asset to their community and their clients and pets love them.

But, unfortunately there are many that do not do it very well…It’s easy to do it badly but much harder to do it well, as there’s so much to know, learn and understand, not just the business side, but the pet care side too.

Those that do it badly, or don’t do the research or training will at best go out of business, but at worst harm someone’s beloved pet!

There are hundreds of social media groups for dog walkers and pet carers, but many of these groups give conflicting advice, and often aren’t the best places to be, after all your dog walking and pet care competitors are on that same group or forum; there’s not many places to get independent, trusted and correct advice.

So, where do you go? That’s another big question! Well, pet care franchisors will have the right answers and the right information, because it’s their job to make sure pet carer franchisees have all the information, they need to run their franchised branch legally, ethically and sustainably.

Many people that want to run their own pet care or dog walking business will eventually come across a pet care franchise during their research. There are quite a few in the UK so there’s a bit of choice. A great starting place to find out about UK franchises is The Quality Franchise Association, a trade association for ethical and sustainable franchises.

But what’s the benefit of joining a franchise, after all, they’re expensive to buy into aren’t they??

Well, the short answer is …….. no!

Franchises in all industries have different costs to buy, depending on the franchisor (the franchise owner) and the industry itself. Whether a premises is required (restaurant or takeaway, workshop or garage), or an equipped mobile unit/van (drain clearing, motor parts delivery, coffee or snack van); and whether stock needs to be purchased and held (retail shop, motor showroom, parts supplier).

The huge advantage of a pet care franchise is the relatively low start-up cost, typically less than £20,000, plus a relevant van, with one major UK pet care franchisor Animals at Home offering a ground-breaking leased franchise branch at a very low start-up cost.

This brand-new lease system offers a very low start-up cost but with exactly the same set-up, training and support as a ‘full price’ franchise branch. The lease system is possibly the first to be used in UK franchising and offer a great deal of flexibility for those wishing to start up in the pet care industry. Animals at Home also works closely with franchise-friendly banks to secure either lease or full-purchase funding.

So, it can be much more expensive to set up a proper independent pet care company, as the owner will need an interactive website and domain names, email handling system, social media presence, a client database system, source a suitable van and kit it out, attend training courses, have ongoing training, utilise a business support mentor or group and have ongoing support and advice.

Or, choose a reputable pet care franchisor that does the majority of the work for you. You’ll also ‘buy in’ to the long-established and very desirable company reputation and be part of a trusted and recognisable service provider.

Whatever path you choose in to the pet care industry; the ultimate aim is to do it with animal welfare, ethics, sustainability and profitability in mind; will that happen as an independent trader?