1851 caught up with the franchise development professionals of various brands to learn more about the state of the industry and their predictions for the year ahead.
1851: Who is buying franchises right now and what type of activity are you seeing?
Todd Haavind, VP of Franchise Sales for Camp Bow Wow: We are finding that our buyers come from many different backgrounds. Primarily, our franchise owners have a passion for dogs, may be looking for a career change, and know that owning their own business would realize a lifelong dream. We have seen an increase in interest this year from both new prospective owners and existing Camp Bow Wow franchise owners about additional locations. The pet care industry and pet owner spending continue to rise, which has translated into an increase in investors looking into our franchise opportunity.
1851: What's the number one thing franchisees are looking for in the conversations that you're having with prospects?
Haavind: Our franchise prospects are first and foremost interested in where and how territories are available to develop. While we have many markets and territories open or being developed, we still have numerous attractive territories available throughout the U.S., Canada, and internationally.
1851: Do you have an ideal franchisee in your system, and what are their qualities?
Haavind: We do not think there is an ideal franchise owner. Many of our successful franchise owners have very diversified backgrounds, professional experience and behavioral traits. We find that a successful candidate would likely have marketing experience, business acumen, be good with people and, of course, love dogs.
1851: What's the biggest challenge facing franchise development right now and how are you overcoming it?
Haavind: The biggest challenge we face these days is the increase in options for an entrepreneur looking to invest in a franchise business. This does not only include an increase in pet care franchise concepts, but all types of franchise concepts including food, fitness, healthcare, salons, education and retail services. If an investor is not set on a particular segment, we may be competing against several different types of business models. To overcome this, we educate prospective franchise owners on how the pet industry is growing quickly and how Camp Bow Wow consistently leads the pet care category in franchising. Our franchise owners enjoy being part of a low-risk, high-growth industry with high rates of repeat customers.
1851: What's one thing prospective franchisees should know about your brand, and franchising in general, before buying?
Haavind: We are the original and largest dog daycare and boarding franchise in the U.S. We pride ourselves on our strategic and thoughtful growth, strong economics, and comprehensive support resulting in the strongest partnership with our franchise owners. This is the key to creating a successful franchise system and helping our franchise owners realize success.
1851: Why should franchisees invest in your industry and in your brand specifically, and why should they invest now?
Haavind: The pet care industry is a $72 billion industry with 48% of U.S. households owning a dog. This industry is growing at about 7% annually, while our brand experienced 12% growth in 2018. The time is now to join the No. 1 franchise brand in the pet care category in Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 ranking for the last four years. We have many premier development territories available in the U.S, Canada and internationally.