Buying A Dog Walking Franchise vs. Doing It Yourself: A Comparison
Comparing and contrasting why you might want to join a dog walking or pet sitting franchise versus why you would "do it yourself" is a big topic. A book could probably be written on all the things you might want to think about. But, to keep it brief, let's look at two of the biggest things we think you'd want to consider:
- Your pure, natural entrepreneurial drive
- Your appetite for risk (aka: losing it all)
No matter if you invest in a pet franchise or start it up yourself, we'd consider you an entrepreneur and congratulate you for taking the road less traveled. Where we see a difference in "levels of entrepreneurial drive" is in how much you love the challenge of facing the problems you're sure to encounter when you start something completely unique. So...
You might want to do it on your own if:
If you have a passion to constantly reinvent the wheel, even when the wheel works perfectly fine as it is, then there isn't ANY franchise that will be a good fit for you. You're probably born to do it on your own. A franchise's rules and guidelines will probably drive you crazy and make you feel constrained.
If you love running into a brick wall head first and think it's fun to figure out how to climb over it, doing it yourself is for you.
If you dig thinking through problems and enjoy the process of always trying to build a better mousetrap, you'd be better off starting something on your own. The process of inventing as you go is part of what makes this route fun.
Some people love finding themselves in a deep hole and having no clue how to get out. Figuring out a solution usually takes a lot of time, money, patience, and effort.
These same people are also generally OK with the possiblity that they won't figure out a solution. Or, at least won't figure out a solution before they run out of money or time. They are willing to accept the fact that they might lose everything they put into the business. They're willing to lose it all. Yes, all of it.
Now, on the other hand...
You might want to join a franchise if:
If you don't have the time, money, inclination, or patience to make lots of expensive mistakes and learn as you go, then joining a dog walking franchise could be a much better option for you.
Any GREAT franchise, no matter what industry they're in, gives you the proven processes and procedures to get you rolling in the right direction on day one. A GREAT franchise gives you the templates to avoid mistakes and do the right thing immediately.
Now, before we go any further, we have to mention that we're not going to generalize about all pet franchises. There are lots of them and they're all different. Some may be a fit for you and some might not. Instead, we're going to stick to what we know and give you details specifically about how Dogs Love Running! works.
So, assuming the franchise route sounds better to you than the risk of reinventing the wheel, then what can we specifically give you?
To begin with, this business is not rocket science. However, it's WAY, WAY, WAY more sophisticated than most people would expect. If you're looking to build a full-time business with lots of clients and a full roster of staff members, then our sophistication will come in very handy.
Not only do we help in getting you started in the right direction, but you'll also get continual support. Inevitably, you'll have questions on what to do in certain situations. That's when you call us. That's when being with our franchise is worth it. One of those situations is when to do certain types of marketing and the biggest marketing question we hear is:
"how do you get clients?"
We have the answer to that. And our marketing knowledge is another reason to join our franchise.
On marketing "experiments" alone (before we were a franchise company and were just doing it by ourselves), we wasted a ton more money just on things that didn't work than what our entire franchise fee is. We can save you thousands in trial and error. Even if you're a marketing person yourself already, do you know specifically what works for this type of business? We do. That's what we can help you with.
Don't forget about all the money you will cost yourself in lost time trying to figure things out in all areas of the business, not just marketing. There's a lot to know.
So, in summary:
If you already know how to run a pet business or would enjoy taking the time to figure out what you don't know, starting on your own might be the way to go.
But, if you don't have a few years and tens of thousands of dollars to play around with while you figure out how to scale things up beyond yourself and 1 or 2 staff members, we could be the right choice instead.
There's a lot more we think you'd want to know about the differences in starting on your own vs. joining up with us. Contact us and we can talk about it.
Found this article interesting/entertaining/educational? Subscribe to the Dogs Love Running! blog for free via RSS and get live updates of new articles as they're posted.