Aussie Pet Mobile
The concept of mobile pet grooming saw the light of day in 1996 when Aussie Pet Mobile launched in Sydney, Australia and became an immediate success.
Today, Aussie Pet Mobile offers franchises in eight countries including the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Ireland, Cyprus, and Greece.
Aussie Pet Mobile franchise owners service more than 700 protected franchised territories daily, making the company the world’s largest mobile grooming business in the pet industry which has an annual spend in excess of US$50 billion in North America alone.
The company established the Canadian operation in 2009 with its headquarters located in downtown Vancouver. Today, Aussie Pet Mobile offers its services in Canada throughout 41 franchised territories within British Columbia and Ontario. The company assigns protected franchised territories to its franchise owners according to postal codes, each protected territory having no less than 50,000 people. Richard Avis, CEO & “Top Dog!” of Aussie Pet Mobile in Canada, said, “The majority of our franchises are currently in Mainland Vancouver and Vancouver Island where we have almost sold out. We recently launched our first Toronto-based franchise in the York Region of the Greater Toronto Area and I can report that this franchise has hit the ground running and is currently looking to add its second Pet Mobile within the next few months. The Canadian operation continues to show great growth even though it is a relatively new concept to the Canadian market. The uptake by both franchise owners and prospective clients of the service has been very encouraging. Our five-year business plan calls for 300 franchised territories across Canada with the main focus being on both Ontario and Alberta which we believe will be exceptionally strong markets for the Aussie brand.”
A frank business approach
Avis describes the company’s approach to franchising, “I have been in the franchising business for over 20 years, so I know what it takes to be a successful franchisee. I’m passionate about our franchise owners businesses, and I encourage them to understand that our working relationship should always be a win-win situation. From my perspective, I believe there needs to be a lot of motivating, so I personally speak to all the owners on regular basis and do a lot of one-on-one workshops and business coaching with them depending on their specific needs. For us to be successful, they need to be successful, so I am constantly working with them to help them better understand their business metrics and to drive home the importance of strong local area marketing and getting involved within their individual communities. Our goal is to assist our franchise owners in all key aspects of the ownership and management of their business because many of them did not have this experience before. We help them to keep a very close eye on their key metrics, and if we see that there is an area that could do with improvement, we develop an action plan and zero in on that particular business area. For us it’s important to work ‘on the business’, not ‘in the business.’ Our relationships with our franchise owners and their success are what makes us different and what makes us successful.”
“From a business perspective, compared to Australia, certain things are approached differently here in Canada. Australians seem to be far more aggressive with their marketing and branding, whereas the Canadian style appears to be slightly more conservative. Some people may find the Aussie approach to be very ‘direct.’ Personally, I have to agree because that’s how we do business Down Under. It’s all about getting results and making things happen. But on the upside, this Aussie approach sticks with people and we therefore view this as a positive. Our franchise owners see it, adjust to it and benefit from it. This is also why we look for a certain type of franchise owner. We seek energetic owners who have a passion for people, pets and customer service, and we want our owners to exceed customers’ expectations. We want people with outgoing personalities, entrepreneurs who like to think outside the box and most importantly … love to have fun! We find that enthusiasm and a high level of energy contributes strongly to making someone a successful Aussie Pet Mobile franchise owner.”
Mobile upside for the franchise owners
From a business proposition, the unique trait of Aussie Pet Mobile is its mobility and therefore convenience. This mobility undercuts the large overhead of having to pay commercial property rent and leases. At the same time it turns Aussie Pet Mobile into a very scalable business. While this mobile business requires a very low level of start-up capital, once the franchise owners’ business gains momentum, they can choose to scale up their business by adding additional vehicles (Pet Mobiles) thereby ensuring there is no ceiling on how high they can grow. Avis also shared the secret to a successful Aussie franchise owner, “We are looking for people who get up in the morning, go out and have fun, not just go to work. We want entrepreneurial people because they play an important role within Aussie — they are the face of Aussie Pet Mobile within their community. We always seek energetic positive people who have a passion for life and understand that growing a scalable business is the key to their success.”
Bandanas, ribbons and treats
Aussie Pet Mobile’s mobile Pet Spas offer and exceed the services delivered by traditional pet stores. The mobile concept brings the service to the customer and saves pet owners time. “We are in essence selling convenience,” said Avis. Between the drop off and pick up of the customers pet, the service eradicates four trips to and from the traditional bricks and mortar grooming store. Bringing the service to the customer also significantly reduces the stress on the customers pets. Being groomed at home, pets can see their familiar surroundings through the window of the Pet Mobile and after the grooming they are not subjected to being caged for the remainder of the day. Aussie Pet Mobile’s 15 Step Spa grooming service assures a complete and comfortable experience for every pet. Once finished, each pet receives either a bandana for the boys, ribbon for the girls and a treat from their professional groomer before being handed back to the owner. Aussie Pet Mobile uses environmentally friendly pet products and, as far as green initiatives go, the company recently introduced solar power to its vans, thus ensuring it is leaving a “Green Paw Print” on the planet.
For seven consecutive years Aussie Pet Mobile has been featured in Entrepreneur magazine’s TOP 500 Franchise list where it has once again taken out the No.
1 Award for the Pet Industry. In Canada, the company has recently been awarded the prestigious Franchisees Choice Designation Award in franchisee satisfaction at the annual Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) Awards. Bringing its swagger from Down Under to the Canadian marketplace, Aussie Pet Mobile continues to show its teeth in the pet grooming business.