Amy Nichols left the pet care area when she offered Dogtopia in 2015, however the ardour for the business by no means left her.
It’s what led her to work for the Humane Society of the USA, and extra just lately, develop into CEO of GoDog, which simply launched its franchise system. An rising firm within the pet hospitality area, GoDog affords canine daycare, boarding, grooming and coaching.
GoDog has three places open as we speak, with one in Durham, North Carolina, in addition to two in Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee. Ben Eberdt, the founder and chief advertising officer at GoDog, mentioned the method to open extra places didn’t initially embrace franchising, however that modified when funding agency Stage 5 Capital Companions got here in as a associate.
“They confirmed us an immense potential to be at a stage that we hadn’t actually thought-about,” Eberdt mentioned. “Along with them, we put in movement the launch of our franchise system, however we couldn’t have carried out it with out the encouragement of Stage 5.”
Stage 5, additionally an investor in Huge Blue Swim Faculty, Restore Hyper Wellness and KidStrong, amongst others, introduced its $20 million funding within the pet model final yr. Moreover, the agency dedicated to turning into a GoDog franchisee, with plans to open 15 places.
“One in all our core jobs in an funding agency is to supply best-in-class customer support companies,” mentioned Duane Levine, a principal at Stage 5. “We knew we wished to be within the pet service area and stumbled throughout GoDog. The model we noticed them constructing, the general tailwinds supporting the expansion and the demand for the premium supplier, that’s what excited us in regards to the enterprise.”
Working within the franchising area is acquainted for Nichols, who additionally developed Dogtopia. She mentioned having the earlier expertise is making the method at GoDog a lot smoother.
“Franchising makes all of the sense on the planet when it comes to what we’re doing, however it’s not straightforward to go in and do it nicely,” Nichols mentioned. “Having been via it earlier than, it’s a lot extra enjoyable for me as a result of I do know what to anticipate. Placing collectively the brand new franchise settlement and FDD, it’s not practically as taxing as I bear in mind it being the primary time round.”
Nichols mentioned franchising is the fitting strategy for GoDog not solely due to the power to increase shortly, but additionally the power to search out good house owners with ties to the place they’re growing.
“I beloved franchising then, and I like it now, as a result of it’s community-centric,” Nichols mentioned. “We would like the franchisees to be members of their neighborhood and it’s a ardour factor. That is for individuals who actually, actually love pets, and I believe it helps to have that native satisfaction of possession.”
Due to the significance of franchising to GoDog’s future, Nichols mentioned the management group is prioritizing making the mannequin one that may be replicated constantly.
The preliminary funding vary for a GoDog is from just below $2 million to about $4 million. The common measurement of the models is between 12,000 and 14,000 sq. toes, and places function with 15 to twenty staff.
Nichols acknowledged that it’s a bigger funding than a typical pet enterprise, and mentioned it’s as a result of the model goes after a broader base of clientele.
“GoDog is totally different when it comes to the animals we take care of,” Nichols mentioned. “We are able to take care of any kind of canine, and our amenities are a lot bigger, so we are able to present extra companies on a bigger spectrum. Now we have a wellness piece to GoDog providing higher take care of animals. The bigger image is that GoDog generally is a hub, offering every part your pet wants, from normal of care to plain of life.”
Due to the scale of the models and the related investments when franchising, Nichols mentioned she expects franchisees to come back from a pool of current enterprise house owners.
“Perhaps they’re franchisees with different manufacturers and wish to diversify their portfolio or simply personal different companies, however they’ll have a ardour for pets,” Nichols mentioned.