How to Start a Pet Franchise in the UK

date icon 7 minutes to read date icon 27th October, 2023

The global pet industry is booming with pets being considered a part of the family. Whether a cat, dog, lizard, bird or anything else, it’s undeniable that pets bring joy to our lives. If you are a savvy and entrepreneurial-minded individual, you may be looking for business opportunities in the pet franchises industry.

You’d be right to do so because not only is it profitable but it also gives you the freedom to work with animals on a daily basis. If you are interested in finding out how to start a pet care business, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we explore the UK’s pet industry, the types of pet franchise opportunities you could invest in, prior considerations to getting started, and of course, the steps for doing so. Keep reading to find out more!

Understanding the pet industry

Just five years ago, the UK’s pet industry was characterised by high pet ownership rates. Around 44% of the British population owned a pet and this number continues to rise.

In fact, most Brits spend a total of £1 billion annually on pet treats alone. This number is part of the wider total of £4.7 billion in 2018.

What’s interesting to note about the UK’s pet industry is that despite some families cutting down on luxuries, they did not stop spending on their pets. As such, the industry is growing and is showing no signs of slowing down.

Types of pet franchises

You already know that investing in a pet franchise is a good idea. That’s because franchise opportunities can require a low investment, provide great levels of training and support and offer you the flexibility you need to manage your life the way you want.

As a pet franchise owner, however, there are many opportunities to consider in the industry. It is worth noting that the more you niche down, the more success you’re likely to enjoy.

With this in mind, here are just some of the different types of pet franchise opportunities you might consider on your journey to business ownership:

Pet sitting

This involves looking after pets in a specific location during the day or for prolonged periods of time when the pet owners are away and aren’t able to look after their furry friends.

Pet food

You might be good at making healthy and nutritious treats for pets, including homemade or organic treats. So, it’s worth capitalising on this opportunity.

Pet clothes and accessories

If you can sew and have a great eye for fun designs, you can create pet clothing and accessories. Examples also include handmade pet toys that have health benefits.

Doggy day care

Doggy day care is about looking after dogs that need some TLC and attention during the day when their owners are out at work. You could take them for walks or play with them, as long as they are not alone.

Dog walking

Dog walking is just what the name implies. Your responsibility is about taking dogs for a walk so that they get the exercise and fresh air they need to remain healthy.

Pet grooming

Pet grooming is about making people’s pets look good. Whether a bath, a hairstyle, nail trimming or hair brushing and styling, you can use your skills to make pets look good.

Dog training

Dog training involves aspects such as teaching them obedience and certain commands to follow so that they are more disciplined.

Pet photography

Аnd last but not least, you can also consider pet photography if you have a good camera and an eye for creative shots

Important considerations before opening a pet franchise

Whether you’re interested in how to start a pet store franchise or any of the other opportunities we mentioned above, opening a pet franchise is much like opening any small business and requires prior consideration and research. Here are just some of these considerations you should look into before getting started:

  • The initial investment you will need to make
  • The reputation of the franchise you plan to invest in
  • The financial track record of the pet franchise business
  • Market research and competitor analysis
  • The culture of the franchise business
  • Return customer potential
  • Return on investment
  • Training and support
  • Franchise marketing

How to open a pet franchise

You are now ready to open a pet franchise business but are you ready with the initial preparations? Here is our step-by-step guide on how to open a pet franchise business as you embark on this exciting journey.

1. Do market research

Market research is crucial for every business and pet franchise business ownership is no different. You need to study the industry and determine what kind of demand there is for your specific pet niche. You also need to carefully study the competition, identify their unique selling points and then determine if you can offer something better than they do.

2. Build your brand

Building a brand is essential because that’s how you become recognisable in the industry and how your customers perceive you. The better quality your brand is associated with the more return customers you are likely to have. In the franchising space, when you choose a franchisor to partner with, you will already have access to an established brand. It’s now time to take a look at how the brand has and is performing over time and whether you are happy to align yourself with it based on its value proposition.

3. Write a business plan

Writing your pet franchise business plan is another essential step to take, irrespective of the business opportunity you are pursuing in the pet industry. Your business plan will be your roadmap to success. It is a flexible document that can change over time, but it requires certain essential elements to be included in it. Examples include a cost analysis, financial projections and forecasts, your marketing plan, the organisational hierarchy and structure, etc.

4. Create or source your pet products

In the regular course of starting a pet business, you will either need to create or source your pet products yourself. However, when you partner with a franchisor, you’re likely to have access to their pre-established relationships with suppliers in the industry, which means you can enjoy greater discounts on the products that you will be offering your clients. This can also apply to pet services and not only to products. For example, if you need a space to host pets such as pet boarding, you will also need to ensure that you have this space available and that you are able to pay the necessary costs for its upkeep and maintenance.

5. Market your pet business

The final step before you launch your pet franchise business is to market your offering to people in your local community. Using social media and other digital marketing channels is a must. However, if you partner with a franchisor, they’re very likely going to have a marketing strategy already in place. It will simply be a matter of learning how to follow this strategy and implementing it for your local market. With most of the work done for you by the franchisor, this is a major perk of franchise business ownership in the pet sector.

Pet franchise opportunities in the UK

And now, having covered the essentials of pet franchising, it’s time to explore some pet franchises for sale. The Franchise Fame franchise portal offers a lot of opportunities you could look into. However, we have identified the following as some great options to consider:

Concluding remarks

If you love pets and want to pursue a business opportunity in pet business ownership, then opening a pet franchise is the right choice. Pet franchising comes with a lot of opportunities for growth and success. It’s simply a matter of partnering with the right franchisor.

Much like any type of business ownership requires preparation and prior research, so does starting a pet franchise. However, pet franchising gives you access to proven systems and business models, which means you can scale up faster and enjoy quicker returns on your investment.

If you need help in deciding which pet franchise to choose or you simply have pet franchise-related questions, don’t hesitate to leave us a message. Our franchise specialists are here to help.

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