Australian Franchise News – 02-04-10
By Glynna Reynolds
The Global Financial Crises has caused millions of talented people in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand to have their working hours reduced, resulting in growing financial pain.
In many cases one or both partners in a marriage or significant relationship have lost their job entirely.
A growing number of these people are solving their employment problems by starting their own business from scratch, or franchising a proven business model.
I recently interviewed Steven Hall, General Manager for Marketing & Business Development of Dogtech® International to discuss this trend and discover why couples are finding companies like Dogtech® International such an attractive business opportunity & solution to their income problems.
Interview with Steven Hall
GR– Steven, why would underemployed couples consider a Dogtech® franchise over starting a business from scratch, or one of the many other franchise business models?
SH – Well Glynna, it really depends on the couple – their income requirements, their individual & combined skill sets; plus very importantly, how they feel about animals – especially dogs!
GR – Obviously, but give our readers the important considerations.
SH—As a straightforward business/income solution, it is about DEMAND for services & products that makes the difference. Many people have lost hours or jobs because demand for their products or services has fallen dramatically during the financial crises.
Real Estate, Retail, Automobile manufacture & sales, mortgage brokers, bankers, advertising, restaurants, entertainment, and related industries are all feeling the pain – and experiencing a drop in demand.
The Pet Services Industry Continues to Grow
On the other hand, the Pet Services Industry continues to grow. Americans keep over 77 Million pet dogs – up from 70 Million just a few years ago. Sixty percent of single people in the UK report buying a pet for companionship – 39% of which have relaced their partner with a pet! Approximately 40% of Australian households have a pet dog—probably the highest per capita in the world.
People love their dogs for many reasons, — their dogs love them back unconditionally, they are great companions, they can provide a real sense of security, –and in many cases, they engender a sense of pride.
GR – All interesting points Steven, but how does that translate into a business/income opportunity?
SH – I’m coming to that, Glynna. Globally, the Pet Services Industry is a $60Billion per year business – growing around 3% per anum since 1993.
Locally, pet owners regularly buy food, Veterinarian services, equipment, grooming, training, and toys for their dogs. The trend is toward premium brands for all categories.
Dog owners have a set of expectations regarding how their dog should behave.
More importantly, dog owners have a set of expectations regarding how their dog should behave. People want to show their dog off in public, so he/she must know how to walk on a leash properly, not jump-up, not lick or bite other owners & friends – no fighting with other dogs, no unnecessary barking, car chasing, digging, etc.
Just like our children, our dogs don’t automatically know how to behave properly—they have to be trained.
GR—And Dogtech® provides the training?
SH – Our Dogtech® operators provide training and more.
We run Puppy Schools for new puppies, In-home Puppy set-up consultations, Adolescent Classes for dogs, and In-home Behaviour modification/training to fix all those really annoying problems that some dogs develop when the owner and the dog have not learned the secret of communicating with one another.
As well as the training, Dogtech® provides books, DVD’s, CD’s, Whisper Wise® Training Treats, and premium equipment. Our Franchisees are Pet Services professionals—the people to go to for training or even advice on which Vet or Pet store may be best for certain problems – Dogtech® can be a very rewarding experience – both financially and emotionally.
GR – So there is consistent demand for dog training & products?
There is more need for the service than qualified providers.
SH – Glynna, in most areas where we operate, there is more need for service than qualified providers. The main reasons our City Pounds, Animal Shelters, and Rescue organizations are crowded with abandoned pets is that nice people simply couldn’t cope with the unexpected problems associated with pet ownership – problems that can almost always be sorted out easily and quickly with a Dogtech® Instructor. We have a reputation for fast results.
GR – OK, the Industry is growing and the demand is there – but what makes Dogtech® particularly attractive to couples?
Couples have more ‘together time’ than in other jobs or businesses.
SH – In one word, Lifestyle.
Most of our Franchisees operate from home. This not only saves money, but also provides a lot of flexibility for the family.
Generally one of the partners handles the administration & marketing while the other deals with most of the dog training. Sometimes one partner runs the Puppy Schools & Group Classes while the other provides the In-home Behaviour training service.
The main thing is that the business is not a 9 to 5 grind. Customers are seen by appointment – and the franchise operator controls the appointment schedule – They are the bosses. This gives couples & families more ‘together’ time than other jobs or businesses.
GR – So how many hours a week does the business require?
SH – That’s the best part Glynna.
Dogtech®’s emphasis is on Group Classes – Puppy Schools & Adolescent Classes.
We are a lifestyle business, — our operators have the potential to earn an excellent income by running well-attended Puppy Schools & Adolescent Classes, which only take a few hours each week and provide a substantial return for time spent.
Adding a couple more days each week taking care of Marketing & In-home appointments, –plus providing clients with exclusive Whisper Wise® products—can bring the income into six figures in some cases.
The demand is there – it’s all about time management – and following the Dogtech® system, of course.
GR – So Dogtech® is time flexible and the money is well above average if operators follow the system. What about long-term financial security?
SH – I think we are all looking for financial security, but the Global Financial Crises has demonstrated there isn’t much security in traditional jobs these days. That’s why so many quality people are currently underemployed – or unemployed.
Couples are building equity in their business
Owning a Dogtech® franchise means you own your own business in a growing industry, with an exclusive area. As couples build up the business, they are not only increasing their revenue, but also increasing the value of the business for the day they may want to sell – say because of health, retirement, — or maybe they want to relocate overseas.
The important thing is couples are building equity in their business – they are the bosses – They are in charge of their own destinies and have a very experienced business partner to help them – Dogtech® International.
That said, going into business is not for everyone. It’s important couples are comfortable with the business concept, and confident of their ability to learn & operate the business, have the ability to work together, and can develop the discipline to work for themselves – if you are going to be your own boss, you want to be a good one!
GR – Aren’t couples that have been working for someone else nervous about being in business for themselves?
SH – That’s actually another reason many people — men, women, and couples – join the Dogtech® system, — our training and support. We have a simple, proven system that allows Franchisees to become operational very quickly.
We provide the training and support to help our Franchisees set-up their marketing & administration systems, plus learn the secrets of how to communicate with and train dogs using our exclusive Whisper Wise® training methods – including puppies, adolescent dogs, and dogs with behaviour issues.
On-going training & support continues throughout the Franchisee/Franchisor relationship.
The program is simple, provided you are willing to learn and apply a few new ideas. The on-going training & support continues for the life of the franchise agreement – Dogtech® franchisees are in business for themselves, but not by themselves.
GR – All right Steven, I am going to put you on the spot. If Dogtech® is such a good deal for couples, I would think you would have a lot of couples operating Dogtech® franchises – what is your percentage of couples to individual operators within the Dogtech® system?
SH – I guess it depends on how you look at it. In many of our franchises that are operated by people in a relationship, both parties have something to do in the business.
In some, both partners are committed fulltime; in others one partner may also work in a regular job and work the ‘family’ business part time; others divide the child raising/home making duties in various ways and work the ‘family’ business around that.
Dogtech® is a family business existing to help families.
Dogtech® itself is actually a family business, and the whole concept of the business is to help families communicate better with their dogs—who are mostly considered part of the family!
GR – I see how getting involved with Dogtech® could be a solution for both underemployed couples and couples looking for a different lifestyle. If my husband and I wanted to look into Dogtech® as a couple, how should we proceed?
SH – It’s really simple, Glynna.
First, you visit the Dogtech® International website – www.dogtech.com.au to familiarise yourselves with what we do – our Services & Products.
Then read about our Founder, John Richardson, author of the best selling books, ‘The Dog Whisperer®’ and ‘Whispers of Wisdom®’, to gain an understanding of our philosophy, experience, and credentials.
After that, I recommend couples read the Profiles of our Australian franchise operators. Many of them are couples, and we have great people from all walks of life. Pay attention to the Testimonials from very grateful clients. These will help you to understand the importance of the work we do.
Lastly, if you like what you learn, go to the franchise business opportunity section and complete the Franchise Information request.
When we receive your completed form, we will send you a Dogtech® Business opportunity pack so you will have enough information to determine if you should go to the next level, which will be a confidential discussion with Dogtech® Founder, John Richardson.
Once you have spoken to John, you will have a fair idea if Dogtech® is for you.
GR – OK – now this is really the final question: A business costs money, how much is a franchise and do you provide any finance?
SH—Important questions, Glynna. The franchise fee depends on the type of franchise and the area. It does require some capital to get into business, but with Dogtech® it is modest compared to other franchises – and insignificant as a percentage of the potential income/return on investment likely to be achieved.
We can assist applicants on how and where to find a business loan or line of credit, plus we offer In-house finance to approved purchasers (TAP).
The most important things are to determine if the business is the right solution for your situation, and you are right for the business. If both of those are right, the money will most likely be available.
GR – Sounds like you have thought of everything. Thank you for your time today, I can see why couples are selecting Dogtech® International as a solution to their income & lifestyle challenges.
SH – You’re welcome Glynna. I’ll watch for your Information request form!