How to Grow Pet Franchises In 6 Steps
A franchise brand doesn’t approach two decades in business without a successful formula for growth.
At Central Bark, we like to believe it’s because we provide exceptional customer service and, frankly, the best all-around enrichment dog care available.
Turns out, our clients – the furry ones as well as their owners – absolutely LOVE not only our service but are inherently on board with the very core of our brand: pairing industry-leading doggy day care with the latest in canine behavioral science. It’s our attention and expertise to dog socialization, appropriate play and rest, and enrichment activities that keep them coming back again and again.
But our founders knew back in 2003, as they know now, that a franchise can’t only grow on excellent service. Yes, it’s at our core, but our continued success as a brand is because of so many other factors. Here are the top six reasons why we’ve been able to continue our expansion and steady growth.
#1: Be Strategic
Successful Central Bark franchisees have to be willing to take a few risks, but we’ve built a system of training, marketing, business coaching, and ongoing support to ensure every franchise owner has the tools necessary to achieve success. Honestly, it’s how we’ve been able to expand from the initial two locations owned and run by co-founders Jackie Jordan and Chris Gaba in Wisconsin and Florida, respectively, to 35 locations in more than a dozen states. The mindset of systems and processes is so thoroughly baked into Central Bark that franchisees can minimize risk while simultaneously maximizing their investment using our proven methods and practices.
#2: Open Communication
Proven systems and award-winning training and support are critical to franchisee success at Central Bark but equally as important are open communication between franchisees, their employees, and corporate staff as well. With a proprietary internal communication system, Tailend, we’ve built a system that allows new and existing franchisees to engage in open dialogue with our corporate headquarters, access necessary materials, and keep updated on brand developments. Jackie and Chris are still actively involved in the business and generously share their experience and business knowledge. Furthermore, Central Bark ensures ongoing robust, positive and regular communication by facilitating local, regional, and national opportunities for skills, ideas, and information exchange.
#3: Ask Questions
At Central Bark we truly believe that you are in “business for yourself, but not by yourself.” The most successful franchisees constantly seek out opportunities to learn from others while capitalizing on the rich information available throughout the Central Bark system. When in doubt, we raise our hands and ask questions. This allows us all to advance ideas and information together on a local, regional and national level.
#4: Hard Work
No one ever promised an easy path to own a successful small business and there is no alternative to hard work. But it’s also completely rewarding – that’s why we’ve been at this for almost 20 years! Despite the hard work, Central Bark provides tools like the most updated behavioral health science and training, legal and lobbying support, technology upgrades, cutting-edge marketing, and financial support. All this helps with the heavy lifting and allows franchisees to achieve their business goals.
Successful Central Bark franchisees are committed to building the brand and driving profitability. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have millions of dog visits across our system.
#5: People Skills
Arguably just as important as the myriad of necessary business skills, the ability to deal with people is critical to operating a successful Central Bark doggy daycare franchise. While it’s certainly an attractive idea to hang out with dogs all day long – and one we totally embrace – at the end of the day, pet parents are doing the picking up and then dropping off. To build a successful front-line team, a franchisee must have excellent people skills. It’s vital to bring out the best in both employees and customers because loyalty, trust, and brand value are foundational to business success.
#6: Dog Skills
And finally, the obvious must be said. Yes, dog skills are paramount to owning a Central Bark. The love of dogs is one of the greatest parts of owning a Central Bark and the real reason why most of our franchisees are in this business: to help dogs become the very best possible part of the family – at home and at Central Bark.