When Stars Collide: Animal Lovers and Franchise Enthusiasts

Article by: Christina McAmis

What do you get when you cross an animal lover and a franchise enthusiast? It sounds like the beginning of a horrible dad joke to me, but the answer might surprise you. As the world slowly returns to “normal”, there are some things from the pandemic that are here to stay, delivery services for just about everything, telehealth appointments, and all the pets that we adopted during the pandemic. As more and more people return to work at the office, or kids go back to school, the realization that Fido, Fluffy, Puff, or Figaro still need to be cared for settles in. In the wake of all the pet adoptions and the subsequent care of those pets, there have been franchises there to offer those services riding the wave to expansion.

So what do you get when you cross and animal lover and a franchise enthusiast… well you get a stellar franchisee in the pet industry vertical. I am an animal lover, I have 4 fur babies, 2 scale babies, and 1 equine therapist (horse). As a franchise attorney, I think I have been called much worse than a franchise enthusiast, but I think you get the picture. When I think about pet franchising right now, in today’s market, I think about what an exciting time it is. Many people sought to fill the lonely void that COVID isolation caused with a fur, feather, or scale baby. That increase in pet adoptions caused an increase in the demand for pet related products and services. The atmosphere of the pandemic created the perfect environment for pet services and the delivery pet products to thrive and multiply. Whenever demand increases, supply will seep in to fill the new space. That’s exactly what we are seeing with pet related franchises. The growth is still growing, the surge in demand for pet services and products continues because those pandemic pet pals aren’t going anywhere, they have become part of our families.

If you too are an animal lover, and are considering becoming a franchisee, there are a lot of great opportunities out there. Typical top-of-mind brands such as retail brands, online supply brands, and grooming are just the type of the franchise iceberg. Consider also nutrition brands, pet walking, pet sitting, pet boarding/daycare, pet training, photography, pooper scoopers, bakeries, and each of these has within it dozens of opportunities in the franchise marketplace. The pet care industry is diverse and offers something for everyone who loves animals. Find the one that fits you and then dive deeper to explore all the opportunities in that niche.

If you are an animal lover and none of the larger animal franchise verticals tingles your spine, tray going deeper into less mainstream pet services such as exotic pet care, veterinary care, holistic pet care, pet taxi services, and even pet funeral home services. The pet funeral home is a new concept to franchising. Our client Forever Friends Pet Funeral Home and Crematory is just emerging as a franchise brand. While learning more about their concept I learned that for most children the death of a family pet is their first encounter with death. Forever Friends caters to families that have lost a pet by offering a pet viewing where the pet is respectfully laid out for families to view in a room that feels comfortable and inviting. Children can say goodbye to their pet in a non-emergency setting, somewhere comfortable away from the bright lights and white hard counters of a vet clinic, and during waking hours. If a family member is out of town, a viewing can be held upon their return, everyone gets to say goodbye. Which assists in children learning about death and the grieving process in a more constructive safe environment.

For me, learning more about this concept set off a light bulb in my head, and recalled a vivid memory. I was away from home doing an educational seminar in Dallas when my husband contacted me to tell me our beloved dog Pig had internal bleeding and needed to be euthanized, he was there in the emergency clinic with my then 5 year old daughter, my twins were at school and wouldn’t get to say goodbye, wouldn’t even know of his passing until they were picked up. The vet hospital would not in fact euthanize our Pig who was in obvious agony until the bill for their services was paid! So as my husband frantically asked for a credit card number (he had left his wallet at home in the rush to get help for Pig) so that our Pig could be out of pain, and my daughter wailed in the background I was almost 2,000 miles away trying to hold it together and calm them down over the phone. When I flew home the next night, I walked into the house (everyone was asleep) and I waited for Pig to come flying down the stairs to greet me… it hit me, Pig was gone, and I hadn’t gotten to say goodbye.

It has been years since that day, my daughter still has a hard time with Pig’s passing, and honestly, so do I. I’ve lost more pets in my lifetime but Pig hits hard because I didn’t get to say goodbye. We have an urn with his ashes and a picture of him still in our home. So, to me, services like pet funeral homes, should be available to every family.

If you’re an animal lover and a franchise enthusiast and the typical pet franchises aren’t incredibly exciting to you, I challenge you to step off the road most travelled and look into these alternative pet franchise offerings, and find a rewarding and fulfilling opportunity to serve the pet community.

Hopefully years from now many of us will look down on our truest of companions and remember the days we spent trying to shoo them away from our computer while trying to look professional during a Zoom staff meeting and chuckle. I give a very big thank you to the many brands who have made pet care their industry, so we will be able to baby our babies with services from daycare to vet care, from youth to old age, and beyond. Happy franchise hunting from my pet family to yours.

Now of course (I am an attorney, you saw this coming), whether there is a boom in a franchise industry or not, it is always wise to do your due diligence when it comes to putting your money where your heart is. Find trusted advisors in a franchise attorney, a CPA, and a knowledgeable franchise broker who will help you take a step back from the emotion and excitement of finding the “right fit” and analyze the business deal before you write that check. As always, stay safe, stay sane, and Expand Your Brand®!

Ms. McAmis is a franchise Attorney and CFE Candidate. She is proud to be part of the Shelton Law & Associates Franchise Team. As an attorney she works alongside clients offering guidance and support as they achieve their franchise goals.

Shelton Law & Associates (“SLA”) Attorneys have 50+ years of business consulting, franchise, and trademark experience. Their knowledge facilitates an understanding of a large variety of businesses, services, and technologies. They help businesses protect their Brands through Trademark, Copyright, and Business contractual transactions. These services allow SLA to “Expand their Brand®” through Franchising. For Franchisors, SLA provides full outsourced in-house counsel.

Shelton Law & Associates additionally works with entrepreneurs buying franchises by assisting with Business Creation, Industry Evaluations, Franchise Disclosure Document Review, Fairness Factors, Opinion Letters and Negotiations.

For more information or to schedule a customized consultation for your business you can write to franchising@SLA.Law or call (866) 99-FRANCHISE.

To view the full article in Franchise Connect Magazine, please visit: https://issuu.com/franchiseconnectmag/docs/24-fcm-issuu

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