There’s a moment, small and magical, that happens every time someone reaches for a dog’s lead. Alongside the burst of fresh air, comes a surge of serotonin, a sense of uplift, a perception of positivity. And it’s not the dog’s feelings we’re talking about here.
The health benefits of dog walking, both mental and physical, are well-known. And according to the University of Liverpool, who conducted the most in-depth study to date of dog walkers’ perceptions, walking a dog simply makes people happy.
Now imagine, on a dark and dreary evening commute home after a day in the office, a job that could do the same. Imagine a career that took you outdoors, in daylight, and by the sheer magic of brain chemistry, was able to transform your outlook too.
There’s a reason why starting a dog walking franchise is a rising trend in Britain. It has become the unexpected career move for professional people who are looking for an alternative to the daily grind and want to own their own business, doing something they love. According to the PDSA there are over 8.9 million dogs in the UK, and all of them need walking. Those people that have started their own dog walking franchises report how surprisingly easy it was to steer their lives in a new direction, and once they experienced the euphoria of working outside, running their own businesses alongside man’s best friend, they would never go back.
Of course, being a dog lover helps. But the trick for a successful transition to owning a profitable dog walking business is to find a good franchise; one that will offer long term support, training, mentoring and a swift path to earnings. It should have a well-established brand name and a highly-regarded reputation because that gets you an instant step-up. It should be a member of the British Franchise Association, and perhaps more importantly than anything else, it should care deeply about the advancement of its franchisees, and their four-legged customers.
“From the moment, I first picked up the phone to Dogknows, making the first tentative steps towards owning my own business, I was struck by how open, nurturing, flexible and focused on building a relationship they were,” explains Lottie de Verenne who became a Dogknows franchisee ?? years ago, and now operates her own highly successful operation in West London.
Dogknows is renowned for forming good relationships with its franchisees. Their clients become as loyal as the dogs they walk. Franchisees are taught not only business skills, learning how to promote, market and manage their businesses while building a customer base and, in many cases, operating with a 40% profit margin, they are also taught how to train dogs. And this is where Dogknows excels, making the company stand out in the industry.
Accredited dog trainer and founder Bobs Broadbent set out to establish a culture of positive dog training across the UK when she began her company twenty years ago. With an Advanced Diploma in Canine Behaviour Management, and listed as an Animal Training Instructor with the Animal Behaviour Training Council (ABTC), she wants to encourage cruelty free dog training everywhere.
Her ‘Dogknows Everyday Training Programme’, which she teaches herself, works on the principle that highly skilled and kind dog care makes for happy dogs and as a result, long-term Dogknows customers. It works. During the initial ten day training programme, franchisees learn about dog body language, dog behaviour and the science of the dog walk, so that every dog, whose owner turns to Dogknows, is ensured a safe, fun, consistently high standard of service.
And the franchisee development doesn’t stop there. There are business coaching sessions, practical dog training days at the Dogknows Dog Care Training Academy, and every franchisee has access to the Dogknows Helpline offering professional advice on specific dog related training and behavioural issues.
Research has shown that customers are more willing to pay for dog walking services if they can trust a brand name. That’s why Dogknows franchisees get the best training possible. The programme and its individual mentoring service ensures that the Dogknows name remains among the most respected and valuable in the UK.
Dogknows is one of only a few BFA approved dog walking franchises in the UK. It is a member of The Association of Force Free Pet Professionals and of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSA). The path from application to opening your own Dogknows business can take as little as ten weeks.
What’s stopping you? Your new future awaits.