The pet care industry has always been a popular choice for many, especially for those wishing to have a change of career; people wanting a better life-work balance, and people fulfilling their lifelong dream to work with animals. Entering the pet car industry can even be a great way for you to run your own business but also have a healthier, outdoor lifestyle.
Of course, everyone loves their own pets, so why not work with other like-minded people?
At Animals at Home, we help merge your passion for animals with an amazing franchise opportunity, so, together we can help more animals receive the care they need. In this blog, we are going to explore some of the best reasons to open up your very own pet care franchise and provide you with some useful tips and tricks to make the most out of your franchise.
- Reasons to Become a Franchisee
- High Demand
- Covid has Helped!
- A Lucrative Industry
- Franchise Offerings within Pet Care
- Rewarding for Both You and the Animals
- How to Choose the Right Franchise for You
- What to Expect When Becoming a Franchisee
- Things to Keep in Mind when Becoming a Franchisee
- Management Style or Operator Owned Franchise?
- What Does Animals at Home Offer our Franchisee?
Reasons to Become a Franchisee
There are countless reasons that you should join a franchise and become a franchisee within the animal care industry, but below we have provided the top three reasons.
- High Demand
On the pet owner side, we all seem so much busier nowadays with the demands of work and family. Pets are a very important part of people’s lives but sometimes pet owners just need a little regular help.
With holidays a must for many people, and active social lives pulling at their personal time, sometimes pet owners need a trusted person to care for their pets when they need to be elsewhere.
Although family and friends are pet lovers too, it’s a big responsibility to care for someone else’s pets, make sure they’re not forgotten and get the right care. Pet owners often don’t want to impose on relations, or have no wish to reciprocate the offer back. Often those family and friends are away with the pet owners, so can’t help anyway!
The pet care industry has therefore flourished, fulfilling this need for many pet lovers and very often allowing the pet owner to go away on holiday or spend time at work.
- Covid has Helped!
Many millions more pets joined families all over the UK during the covid period, so consequently as people returned to work, returned to holidays, saw family and friends, and generally became busy again; they needed their pets to be looked after.
Covid also made people think twice about returning to work, with the same dull routine, the same people, the same office, workshop, factory or workplace. Many people wanted a change. They wanted a different lifestyle, a different workspace, to do something they’ve always wanted to do, in a sustainable industry; ideally where they could be their own boss!
It’s a huge step to leave regular work and guaranteed income to go into business; so, many people choose the ‘safety’ of franchising, where a new business is much less at risk of failure as there’s a strong support network and a proven template of that particular business.
- A Lucrative industry
The pet care industry is expected to grow another 19% by the end of 2026, that’s in addition to the pets that arrived during 2020 and 2021, the Covid-times, which was an estimated 4 million pets!
This UK pet population is at its highest than it has ever been with over 20 million dogs and cats. Currently, 56% of UK households have a pet; showing that the UK £6.3 billion pet care industry is going strong, developing, and covering nearly half the homes in the UK!
Franchise Offerings within Pet Care
Pet care franchising has a proven track record of success, there are many different franchises to choose from, all offering a different option, different client services and different formats of training, support and ongoing assistance.
The majority provide dog walking, dog home boarding, and cat and small animal care as standard services. Whereas a franchise such as Animals at Home offers pet taxi and animal ambulance services to pet owners, pet charities and veterinary surgeries which is a unique service in the pet care franchise industry.
If you want to see all the services we offer our franchisees, make sure to check out our services page today.
Rewarding for Both You and the Animals
The pet owners are keen to provide the best possible care for their pets, and often like to replicate their pet home-life with a pet carer, either by the pet carer visiting the home to care for the pets (this is ideal for cats and a great alternative to a cattery) or dogs staying in carers or Host’s home and enjoying a home-from-home service (which is ideal for dogs that don’t like kennels, older or less boisterous dogs).
With many people moving home, emigrating to warmer climes, and returning back to the UK after living abroad, they are relying on professional pet services when they return; and indeed require pet transport by air, sea and land to get their pets where they belong. The Animals at Home franchise can provide this one-stop-stop to allow the most comfortable journey for pets.
How to Choose the Right Franchise for You
For the person wanting that career change or life/work balance, then pet care franchising could be the answer, but how do you know which one is right for you?
You should choose a long-established franchise that has a proven track record of success, ideally choosing a franchise that is a member of a trade association such as the Quality Franchise Association. You should be looking for one that is offering the largest number of pet care services, to ensure sustainability and longevity.
Those that have unique services are a very popular choice, such as pet cremation services or pet taxi/animal ambulance services; again these extra services will help when times are quieter or the franchisee is wanting a more interesting and varied daily routine.
What to Expect When Becoming a Franchisee
Once you have chosen which franchise to approach it’s your own gut feeling, research and due diligence that can help you cement that early decision. Franchises offer Discovery Days where you can meet the management and support team, which allows you to join an existing franchisee for a day.
Top Tip: Franchises that don’t make promises of income, guarantee to earn a certain amount in the first year and push for a sale are the ones to find out more about.
The pet care franchisor’s set-up, training and support system should be discussed during your informal Discovery Day.
Once you have made a firmer decision then it’s best to seek independent legal advice or financial advice; which good franchises will suggest.
Things to Keep in Mind when Becoming a Franchisee
When looking into potentially becoming a franchisee, you should also find out the level of access to support you require.
Is this via personal meetings, online meetings, email or phone, and with whom?
Can you speak directly to a franchisor or do they have to wait in line via a call centre to speak to an unknown call-taker?
This access is vital if you have any concerns, want advice or just need a chat.
Top Tip: Potential franchisees should also find out whether the franchisor has actually done the job hands-on with pets on a daily basis. Franchisors should have great business acumen, but hands-on experience in the actual job the franchisee is doing is a priceless asset for franchisees.
Make sure that you pick a franchisor or their support team that has the experience and professional knowledge; they shouldn’t just be salespeople! These skills should be able to be readily accessed by any franchisee.
The potential franchisee should also find out what initial training is provided. There shouldn’t be any additional initial training costs once the franchisee has purchased their franchise area.
Top Tip: Future continued development training is normally chargeable but is often discounted via the franchisor’s partners.
Management Style or Operator Owned Franchise?
Potential franchisees can also choose whether to operate a ‘management’ style business or an ‘operator owned’ style franchise.
Let’s take a look at both options to find out which one could be best for you.
Management Style: The management style allows the franchisee to manage their franchise by having people work with them to provide the pet care services. The manager would ‘manage’, so look after bookings and invoicing, have the relationship with the franchisor, do the budgeting and office work; but may carry out some of the actual pet care, or not; it’s their choice.
Owner Operated: Owner operator franchises are where the franchisee is the hands-on pet carer; running their own business themselves and also carrying out the pet care daily routine; sometimes with a little help from a small team for days off, holidays, or where a team member looks after their own set of franchise clients for the franchisee.
What Does Animals at Home Offer our Franchisee?
Franchises such as Animals at Home offer various start-up options, from low-entry-cost lease franchises to full-cost franchise purchases.
Both types are aimed at different potential franchisee budgets, but all options can be discussed with potential franchisees and explained in detail; to ensure the potential franchisee gets the most suitable business for them.
There are management franchisees, owner operator franchisees and a mixture of both in the Animals at Home franchise network. Whatever business model the franchisee chooses, they still receive the same set-up, training and support from the franchisor team to ensure that all are working to the proven franchisor template.
Either ‘management’ or ‘operator owned’ franchisee should discuss their plans with the franchisor so both franchisor and franchisee are aware of franchisee goals, desired turnover, future development or expansion. This discussion should continue throughout the franchisee’s tenure.
The combination of a vast increase in pet ownership and the increasing number of pets across the UK, and an established and proven pet care franchise offering a good number of core services, with passionate franchisors and franchisees should mean very successful franchises taking advantage of this growth potential in a multi-billion £ UK industry.
If you want to learn more about what we offer to our Franchisees, check out our website now.