IN these tough economic times people are feeling the pinch, but one area where they are reluctant to cut their spending is on their pets.
The passion that pet owners have for their animals is one of the reasons why the pet care sector of franchising has remained buoyant throughout the prolonged economic downturn.
That resilience has also made pet-related franchises popular with those looking to invest in their own franchise business.
These range from holiday pet care providers like Barking Mad and Animals at Home, to Trophy Pet Foods, a nationwide pet food company specialising in complete premium dog, cat and small mammal foods, plus a range of treats and accessories.
Sue Reid, sales and marketing director at Trophy Pet Foods, said: “This is a franchise that appeals to people who have a real passion for dogs and cats and know how to provide exceptional customer service. Everything else they need to know about running their own Trophy Pet Foods franchise, we can teach them.”
The franchise offers plenty of flexibility, while spending time with people who love their pets brings a lot of job satisfaction.
“Many of our franchise owners are also pet owners themselves and have a natural affinity for their customers and their pets,” she added.
If you are considering buying a pet franchise, those with membership of the British Franchise Association (bfa) offer a good starting point for your market research.
Tom Endean, marketing manager at the bfa said: “A bfa member has had all of the crucial documentation checked, including their accounts, franchise agreements and marketing literature. The business has to offer a real proven opportunity for someone to run a successful business, which they own and are able to sell at the end of the term.
“Franchisors put themselves forward for close and careful scrutiny, which demonstrates their commitment to investing in an ethical and sustainable business model. Only if they successfully pass accreditation are able to join the bfa as a member.”
FOURTEEN years ago Neil and Lorraine Stapleton, from Honiton in Devon, started their Oscar franchise with the aim of enjoying a better standard of living and having more quality time to spend with their young family.
“We stuck to that belief and having focused on how to save our customers time and money, our business is still growing in an economy that is struggling,” said Mrs Stapleton.
“Our quality pet nutrition products help to reduce feeding rates, offering greater value for money, and also help to reduce unnecessary veterinary bills and combined with the home delivery service, we have also made a difference to the fuel costs of shopping for pet food,” she added.
Asked if she and her husband would do it all over again, her answer is an emphatic, ‘yes’.
She said: “Oscar has enabled us to enjoy a very special lifestyle. We’ve been able to work together and be there to see our children grow up, and that is something we would not have missed for the world.”
Oscar Pet Foods 0800 068 1106 www.oscars.co.uk
Trophy Pet Foods 01367 243 434 www.trophypetfoods.co.uk
British Franchise Association www.thebfa.org