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Melbourne, Australia

Interview with Robyn Geelen of Aussie Pooch Mobile

An Australian Franchisee Case Study


Name: Robyn Geelen
Location: Penrith
Franchise: Aussie Pooch Mobile

Why did you go down the franchise route? And why did you choose your franchise?

I wanted to start my own business but lacked experience. I thought going with a franchise would give me the freedom I was looking for, but also the support from those more experienced to ensure my business was successful.

Aussie Pooch Mobile had a ‘try before you buy’ representative opportunity available in my local area. This option was perfect for me, as I was very interested in starting my own business, but at the time I didn’t know if dog grooming was going to be right for me. I also wasn’t in a financial position to purchase a franchise straight away.

The APM reps opportunity allowed me to get a feel for the job and also gave me time to organise my finances so I could purchase 6 months later.

What did you do before taking up a franchise?

Before becoming a franchise owner, I worked in a variety of hospitality positions – bar work, café manager, barista, functions coordinator.

How did you raise the finance?

In order to raise finance, I had some help from family and also drew from savings.

What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?

Aussie Pooch Mobile provided extensive training in all areas of the business including, but not limited to:
Dog handling
Dog behaviour
Accounts keeping/bookwork
Equipment use
Sales and customer service

Aussie Pooch master franchisees provide initial and ongoing support in a variety of ways. Phone calls, emails, meetings etc. I have always felt that help is just a phone call away. The support network is fantastic. In addition Aussie Pooch holds annual conferences where new information is shared and the focus is always on improving your business.

What is a typical day for you as a franchisee?

Primarily dog washing! However other boxes must also be ticked in order to ensure the business is successful:

Advertising – dropping flyers, parking the trailer near shops and schools, asking customers for referrals, networking with local businesses
Bookwork – recording everything for tax and GST, banking, chasing payments
Clients – following up on leads, confirming bookings, updating details
As well as – ordering solutions and products, equipment and vehicle maintenance

What challenges have you faced?

All of them! Difficult dog and customers, quiet periods, bad weather, break downs, adapting to a very physical job, learning new skills, managing funds when the bills came in, learning how to run my first business, and many more. But the great feeling I have every time I overcome a challenge outweighs the challenge itself tenfold.

Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how?

Becoming a franchisee has enabled me to start and grow a very profitable business in a relatively short space of time, something I would not have been able to do if I had decided to start an independent business. I now have a dream job with great income which is constantly increasing, all with a great work life balance.

And I am my own boss! That is the biggest and best change of all. I honestly feel that my quality of life has drastically improved since becoming a franchisee for Aussie Pooch Mobile.

What marketing/promotional tools do you use to grow your franchise?

Aussie Pooch Mobile is constantly improving their online presence, particularly within Google search. This really helps with generating customer leads as most people just ‘google it’ when looking for a service. In addition to online advertising I advertise in local gazettes, school newsletters and on social media. I really encourage customers to refer their family and friends if they are happy with the service too. Connecting with other local businesses is another great way to grow public awareness of my business. I also run occasional promotional raffles at local shopping centres, which I find to be very effective for generating leads.

What differentiates your franchise from the competition?

Aussie Pooch Mobile has many years of collective experience and knowledge that we as franchisees can draw and benefit from on a daily basis. We provide a premium level of professionalism, expertise, service and care that I rarely hear given by anyone else in the industry.

In your opinion, what makes a successful franchisee?

I believe it takes someone who is willing to work hard, learn fast, and be part of a team, whilst also being self-motivated and driven. Successful franchisees are keen to learn from others in the business, as well as share their knowledge and experience with new operators.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of buying their first franchise?

Like any business venture it involves some hard work, but if you follow the franchise business model and draw from their collective experience you are guaranteed to have a successful business that will grow rapidly.

What are your plans for the future?

To continue growing my franchise! I don’t know yet what opportunities are in store for me but I hope there are many and I intend to take them all. At the moment I am focused on generating more work for my new representative. She is currently operating 2 days a week and I would like to have her working full time within the next 3 months.

Would you do it again?

Absolutely. I don’t think I could ever do anything else.

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Aussie Pooch Mobile Dog Wash franchise