The pet industry is surging. But there are still some markets where it’s hard to find quality dog walking, pet sitting and grooming services.
The founders of Woofie’s experienced that gap in the marketplace with their own pets. So they decided to do something about it. Read all about their story in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.
What the Business Does
Offers pet sitting, dog walking and mobile pet spa services.
Co-Founder and Co-CEO Amy Reed told Small Business Trends, “Each client’s pet is matched with the best pet sitter, dog walker or groomer in order to offer a truly exceptional experience. Woofie’s holds multiple fundraisers on an annual basis to raise money for local animal shelters.”
Business Niche: Personalized Pet Care
A focus on customer service.
Reed says, “We built our business on this approach from day one and we have never deviated from it.”
How the Business Got Started
Because of a common interest.
Reed and Leslie Barron were neighbors and friends who shared a love of animals. Over time, they realized the lack of a quality pet care service in their area. So they thought others might appreciate what they had to offer as well.
Getting their first two franchisees to invest in the brand.
Reed says, “I can’t think of a higher honor and validation of the Woofie’s business model, our team members and the Woofie’s brand.”
Narrowing their service area.
Reed explains, “While all of the other pet sitting companies in our area had large service areas, we scaled ours down so that we had a small, highly concentrated service area. We gave away a lot of business to our competitors who were in those other markets (which was especially tough to do in the early days of our business) but we felt it was the right thing to do for our long term strategy.
We made this decision because it allowed us to know our clients on a much more personal level, thus providing them with a better customer experience. It also enabled us to be an integral part of our local community and it gave us the opportunity to support our team members better by keeping them close by. This resulted in our business growing quicker and more efficiently over the years than our competitors who had large service areas. This is also why we ultimately decided to franchise our Woofie’s business. We wanted to give other pet lovers the opportunity to invest in a Woofie’s franchise in other markets.”
Automation saves time.
Reed adds, “[If I could do it over again] I would automate more of our business processes from the very beginning and I would document all of those processes in detail.”
How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000
Building tech for clients and franchisees.
Reed says, “We would use it to help build our Woofie’s University grooming school and to make additional enhancements to our customized client software system.”
Interacting with dogs.
Reed says, “We always have dogs in our office during employee interviews to see how the applicants interact with the pups. This allows us to see if the applicants are a good fit with our company and how they would treat our client’s pets. All applicants and any vendors who work with Woofie’s must be 100% dog-approved!”
“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” – Mark Twain
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Images: Woofie’s; Top Image: (rom left to right) Caroline Murphy (VP of Franchise Development & Support), Renee Ventrice (VP of Marketing), Amy Reed (Co-founder & Co-CEO), Jack Ceschin (Golden), Maggie Cruz (VP of Recruitment Operations), Leslie Barron (Co-founder & Co-CEO)