Before you hand over your hard earned money for a Home-Based Franchise in the Pet Industry, perform your due diligence and get the answers to the following ten questions.
1. Is the business model scalable and will the franchise opportunity allow for multiple streams of income?
The answer to this question will help you determine whether buying the Franchise Opportunity means you will be self-employed or a business owner. If the franchise model requires that you personally do most or all of the work then you are buying a job. Great if that is your goal. But if you want to be a business owner earning your income through employees and multiple service offerings then a franchise that limits your ability to do this may not be what you are looking for.

2. What is the total investment required to open your franchise?
Understand and reconcile all the franchise fees so you are aware of the full cost to you. In addition to the royalties what other ‘ongoing’ fees will you be responsible for? Find out if there is a separate training fee in addition to the franchise fee and what is included in each. Determine which fees are mandatory and which are optional.

3. What is covered in franchise training? Ask about the franchise training, how long the training is, where the training is performed, who is conducting the training, where you will stay and what kind of expenses will you incur during the training period.

4. Does the franchise offer a purchasing and fulfillment system? One of the benefits of joining a franchise is being part of a business community that has the power of many. This should translate into preferred vendor purchasing agreements, lowered operating expenses and thus more profitability for your business.

5. Are the franchise systems proprietary? Find out if the franchise system includes customer service data base management systems. Determine what is specifically unique about the Franchise you are considering.

6. How will the Franchise and Franchise owners stay current with industry developments and innovations? When purchasing a pet care franchise recognize that the industry is continually developing so any Franchise business you may be considering should have a process to help you stay at the forefront of the industry. Is the franchise allied with the leading professional organizations and affiliations in the pet industry?

7. What is the website presence like for the franchise and are you provided with a landing page to promote your locally owned business?
A marketing driven service business must have strong web presence not only for its corporate office but for each of its franchise owners. The website must be professional and attractive for your clients and not just a tool for the franchisor to sell franchises.

8. Are you provided with the use of a unique toll free number? A strong toll free number adds value to your franchise, especially a vanity number. Ask if the toll free number is answered by real people during business hours?

9. When you purchase your franchise are you provided with a franchise start up package?
Make sure the franchisor provides you with a start up package with everything you need to open and launch your business. You don’t want to be left to determine what you need in terms of equipment, tools, marketing collateral and retail items when you need to be focusing on building your business.

10. What is the Franchise Marketing Plan. The greatest products and services in the world will not succeed without an effective marketing plan. Determine how extensive the franchise prescribed marketing plan is. A strong franchise operation will not only provide you with a prescribed tactical marketing program they will also review the strategy and tactical marketing activities with you.

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Author's Bio: 

Niki Tudge is the owner and founder of The DogSmith, America’s Dog Training, Dog Walking and Pet Care Franchise.
CPDT, E-Nadoi, CBC,AABP- PDT,DIP. ABT, Pet Care Services CPCT, CAPCT, AKC “CGC” Evaluator
You can reach Niki via email at
To learn more about joining the DogSmith visit