For some, owning and managing a pet store is a dream career. For some lucky franchisees, it’s a reality. If you’ve always wanted to run a business, the franchising system may be the answer. Here, we take a look at 10 of the most important steps you’ll need to consider before you open your own pet franchise.
Online pet store franchise?
There are various types of pet stores and an incredibly diverse array of pet franchises. Prospective franchisees are almost spoilt for choice. While this is most definitely a good thing, it does mean you’ll have to think about the specific type of pet store you want to own. Are you looking to get into retail or would you prefer to care for animals? Do you want to sell pet supplies or are you more interested in offering grooming services? These questions will allow you to narrow down your choices and give you a better idea of what your options are.
How much do you want to work?
Pet franchises often offer flexible work options, and franchisees will need to think long and hard about what type of business they want to own. Do you want to own a full-time franchise that’s profitable enough to support your entire family? Would you rather operate a part-time franchise that means you earn less but have a more flexible work schedule? Consider which is the best option for you and then begin looking for a franchise that suits your needs.
Examine your motivations
Whenever you begin a new business venture, it’s a good idea to take a step back and consider your motives. Are you in it for the money? Is it because it’s a rewarding line of work? Is it a personal passion project? There is no right or wrong answer in this regard, and all of these motivations can form a legitimate basis for starting a new business.
However, it is essential to distinguish between sustainable motivations and short-term whims. If your motives extend solely to a love of animals, you may want to consider other ways of fulfilling your urges. Starting a franchise is a long-term commitment that requires a great deal of dedication and determination. It should not be undertaken lightly.
Do your research
As we’ve already mentioned, the pet industry is vast and diverse. It’s also incredibly diverse. Franchisees will need to ensure that they perform thorough research and take an in-depth look at a select few franchises if they’re to fully understand what they’re getting themselves into.
Contact the franchisor
Prospective franchisees should contact all of the pet franchisors they’re considering applying to. It’s vital that franchisee open a dialogue with any franchisor they’re interested in signing up with, as they’ll be working closely with the franchisor team in the future. A strong working relationship is a feature of all high-quality franchises, and the only way you’ll know whether you’ll work well together is by talking.
Speak with existing franchisees
It’s also a good idea to speak to existing franchisees. You should avoid any pet franchisor that tries to stop you talking to their franchisees or that only permits you to speak to one or two cherry-picked franchisees. Franchisors that give you free access to all franchisees have nothing to hide. Most franchisees will provide you with an honest account of what it’s like to be part of the pet franchise and will often be able to provide particularly useful financial information.
Attend a discovery day
As you become more convinced that you’ve found the right franchise and get closer to signing the franchise agreement, you’ll need to attend a discovery day. Most franchises offer some kind of discovery day experience. This involves inviting interested individuals on-site and into the business to see how it’s run and what day to day life is like as a franchisee. It can provide invaluable insight and should be one of the most influential factors in any decision you make.
Examine the Franchise Disclosure Document
The Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) will only be made available once it’s clear that you’re seriously interested in becoming a franchisee. In the vast majority of cases, you’ll have to sign a non-disclosure agreement before you can read it. The FDD details everything you need to know about the franchise and will provide you with all of the financial information you need to make a decision. It’s vital that you take your time to read over this document properly as it should contain information about processes, procedures, and systems that you have not yet had access to.
Begin drafting your business plan
Having decided on a specific pet franchise and researched all the necessary details, it’s time to begin drafting your business plan. This will act as your guide through the first year or two of business and will help you make sure that your pet franchise is financially viable. It should include financial considerations, marketing strategies, and your long-term aims and objectives, amongst other things. It will also play an essential role in your finance application.
Apply for finance
Once all is ready to go, and you’re preparing to sign the franchise agreement, you’ll need to submit your finance application. Depending on the franchise, you’ll find that major lenders are willing to finance anywhere up to 70% of your pet franchise. However, your financial history and your ability to put together a comprehensive business plan will have an impact on the decision, too. In most cases, your franchisor will help you draft a suitable business plan.
To open your dream pet store, you’ll need to jump through a lot of hoops. However, as long as you’re sure that you’re making the right decision and that a pet store is the business for you, the process will be worth it in the end. As with any business venture, the most important things to remember are the need for thorough research and access to trusted advisors.