An Australian Franchisor Interview
Franchisors name: Christine Taylor
Name of franchise: Aussie Pooch Mobile Dog Wash
Tell us about how/when the business was started and the motivation behind establishing the company.
I’m the Managing Director and founder of Aussie Pooch Mobile. My career began when I started an innovative dog clipping and grooming service in 1985 when I was just 16 years of age.
A few years later I expanded this service to include mobile dog wash (hydrobathing) units travelling direct to customer’s homes. The company was launched as a single mobile hydrobath in 1990, as demand increased the business rapidly grew.
After some experimentation, a huge amount of courage, a feasibility study and the full support of her husband David, I created and launched the Aussie Pooch Mobile Pty Ltd in 1991. This is where my journey within the franchise industry began.
“Aussie Pooch was the first franchise system of its kind and is the world’s first and most experienced mobile dog wash and care service, servicing tens of thousands of dogs and their conscientious owners every month. Aussie Pooch is now in its 25th year in the pet industry and there are over 200 operators worldwide.”
The company also operates under the name ‘The Pooch Mobile’ with Master Franchisees in USA, Malaysia, New Zealand and New Caledonia.
When and why did you decide to go down the franchise route?
In 1991 after I did the feasibility study and had several pilot operations up and running I researched best way to grow the business and I chose franchising to grow the business nationally and overseas.
What have been the company’s biggest achievements/successes to date so far?
• 1993 – First Franchise was sold.
• 1994 – Chris was named Qld Young Achiever of the Year
• 1995 – Chris became the Qld Inaugural Telstra Business Woman of the Year (Business Owner)
• 1998 – The company branched out to NZ
• 2002 – Winner of the Qld Franchising Sector, Australian Micro Business Awards.
• 2002 – The company branched out to Malaysia
• 2005 – Chris was the winner of FCA Australian Women in Franchising
• 2005 – The company branched out to the USA
• 2009 – Chris was named Woman in Business (Personal Services) from Qld Business Review
• 2010 – Chris was a Finalist in the International Professional of the Year
• 2011 – Highly Commended certificate for Community Philanthropist of the Year
• 2012 – Inducted into the Franchise Hall of Fame
• 2013 – Variety National Chairman’s Citation Award
• 2016 – Inducted into the Australia Businesswomen’s Hall of Fame
What challenges have you had to overcome?
Although Droughts and Recessions have created challenges we would able to turn these into positive changes in the business including our water saver approach and educating the customers on why their dogs needs regular bathing regardless of the economic environment.
The biggest challenge for us is finding enough new franchisees to keep up with the demand for our service from the customers
What marketing/promotional tools do you use to grow your franchise?
We use a wide range of marketing techniques, including:
- Pamphlet drops
- Social media promotion
- Shopping centre displays
- Local markets
- Google adwords
- Own webpage on our website
- Blog posts
- Pet expos
- Pet events
What differentiates Aussie Pooch Mobile from the competition?
The “We Care” factor with the great work our franchisees do in supporting local dog charities as well as the National RSPCA Million Paws walk and Variety Club in QLD providing assistance dogs to children with special needs.
“We are committed to providing the education, training, and support to enable our franchisees to provide a caring and affordable service to ensure the customers dogs best well-being.”
Other differentiating factors we offer include:
- Light weight and easy to maneuverer Mobile unit
- Percentage based royalty
- High Achievers incentive (Royalty Rebate)
In your opinion, what makes a successful Aussie Pooch Mobile franchisee?
Someone who is motivated, organised and willing to follow a proven system
What changes have you seen in your industry over recent year? And how have you adapted to them?
The biggest changes for Aussie Pooch Mobile in the last 5 years has been in way we promote the service. Gone are the days of local newspaper ads and printed yellow pages.
Having a business in the pet industry has enabled us to take full advantage of social media
Knowing what our core business is and sticking to the proven formula for success while also adapting to the fast changing way we marketing and advertise the business to our potential customers by embracing changes such as social media
What does the future hold for Aussie Pooch Mobile?
We are very positive about both the franchising environment and growth of the pet industry in Australia and feel very encouraged with some recent increase in franchise sales in our business.
What expansion plans have you got nationally and internationally?
Nationally Our goal for December 2017 is to have 185 working operators
Nationally Our Goal for December 2018 is 200
Ultimately to have the entire country benefiting from our service
Internationally our goal is to continue to open up more stats in the USA where we currently operate in 4 states
What advice would you give to someone considering franchising their business?
– Talk to the franchisees in the system to get a feel for the culture of the company
– Do your due diligence and financial projections
– Be prepared to trust and follow the system
If you had to do it all again, what would you do differently?
This is a really hard question. We believe we have a really solid franchisee system that has and continues to evolve as we are always looking to improve. We would not be where we are today without doing what we did!
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Aussie Pooch Mobile Dog Wash franchise