Bust into franchising for under $150k

By Sarah Stowe | 29 Oct 2015 View comments

How would you define your brand?

We define our brand by the following: we are an in-home dog training company that conducts lessons in the client’s home at a time and day suitable to them, including weekends.

We offer a Life of the Dog guarantee to provide further free assistance; we also hold puppy schools, group training classes, teach young children how to avoid getting bitten by a dog, and we have canine dog safety lectures for employees that come into contacts with dogs in their occupations.

How old is the company and when did you start franchising?

Bark Busters celebrated 20 years last September. We started franchising in Australia in 1989.

How many franchises do you have?

Australia has 40 franchises but we are now in 10 countries and worldwide have 400 franchises.

How many are multi-unit franchisees?

We have five multi-unit franchisees.

Where do you expect the business to be this year?

During 2010 we are looking at a positive growth in more regional areas with several on-sells on offer; we have already sold one new franchise area. Head office continues to support to all franchisees across the board.

What are the start-up costs for a franchisee and what working capital should they have?

Start up costs vary depending on whether the franchise is a new regional area – these are sold for between $27,500 to $35,000 – or an on sell franchise business price that depends on the business success of the owner – these can range between $35,000 to $150,000.

When starting up a franchise we recommend an additional cost of $11,500 per area. This covers training, vehicle sign writing, web costs, equipment for on-sell, business cards, stationary, uniform and other incidental costs incurred in establishing a new business.

What is the length of agreement?

Five years.

What are the royalty fee and marketing levy?

The royalty fee is 13 per cent. There is no royalty fee payable on equipment sales. We do not have a national marketing levy.

What skills does the franchisee need?

We prefer people without dog training experience as we cover all aspects of training. A love of dogs and their wellbeing is of the utmost importance; self confidence, self motivation and a willingness to promote themselves in their areas at public events are necessary, so good communication and leadership skills are essential.

Selling and telephone experience is an advantage.

What will you teach them?

We give all new franchisees full time intensive training at our head office in Wollongong. This includes hands-on dog training skills daily, working with dogs in all areas of obedience and behaviour modification; as well as lesson observations, office procedures, telephone techniques, marketing, selling equipment, and how to

market themselves and their businesses.

We also educate our franchisees on how to conduct free community workshops and after a minimum period they can learn our Canine Dog Safety Program.

What is the most common mistake made by franchisees?

The most common mistake used to be franchisees not marketing themselves and their business on a regular basis nor building solid rapport with all pet related businesses.

However over the past four years we have turned this around by getting them to make a complete marketing list before they commence training, making appointments with the vets and councils and introducing them personally to vets, pets shops, groomers, dog washers, dog walkers, and local councils.