New Hounds Town Franchises Bustle Even on First Day
Hounds Town USA, a dog franchise that offers day care, pet spa and boarding services, recently opened two more facilities. Entrepreneur Savi Iyer launched her Hounds Town franchise in Metuchen, N.J., and Scott Weikert is the proud owner of his franchise in Wilmington, N.C. With these two franchises, Hounds Town currently has more than 75 locations throughout the United States.
Iyer’s opening day, which was Dec. 1, was incredibly busy. She did more than 214 temperament evaluations for likely boarding clients and locked in 10 overnight reservations for pet owners traveling during the holidays. So she had a roaring start in a field that’s completely new to her.
Her journey into dog franchise ownership is an offshoot from her career in medicine. “I’m a nurse practitioner,” Iyer told Hounds Town USA CEO Jackie Bondanza on her “Dish on Dogs” podcast. “I deal with many different types of patients. I think dogs can be therapeutic to patients, and they look forward to having a dog around. I thought opening something related to pets or pups would be beneficial to patients and their families, and also the community as a whole.”
Hounds Town Franchise Support
As she narrowed her search and studied the responsibilities of business ownership, Iyer – like many entrepreneurs – figured out she needed backup to bring her ambitions to fruition. She came to realize that by starting an enterprise from scratch, it would be totally up to her to handle training and problem-solving while ensuring that operational needs are met. That was a huge factor in her decision to buy a Hounds Town franchise. The brand’s Franchise Owners have constant access to seasoned support and advice from the corporate team, one that has pledged to constantly keep Franchise Owners in the know about operating their businesses – particularly during the early days of operation.
In addition, Iyer recognized a void for the quality of services that a Hounds Town franchise could provide to clients in the Metuchen area. Central Jersey “didn’t have the most beneficial doggy day care. We have dog day cares and boarding facilities here, but I thought Hounds Town would provide more benefit to the community.” She also emphasized that many residents of the densely populated region adopted dogs during the Covid-19 pandemic, “so I think it’s a great market” for a dog franchise.
Hounds Town Wilmington Off to a Great start
Weikert’s first day of operation, Dec. 4, was almost as busy as Iyer’s. His Hounds Town franchise performed in excess of 150 evaluations on day one.
And like Iyer, Weikert disclosed that his career experience has nothing to do with dogs – he had always worked in restaurants. In some ways, that background translates to his new business, though, by imparting operational know-how along with the vital skill of managing a staff at his dog franchise. “I’ve been in the restaurant business since I was 14 and worked my way up into management, ran several restaurants,” Weikert told Bondanza during a “Dish on Dogs” interview. “During that time, I also owned several dogs.”
As he began planning a career change, Weikert said, “I was trying to think of something that I can do because I’ve never done anything else. And, you know, I asked myself, ‘Well, what have you been doing? What are you good at? What do you love?’ What I loved was my dogs, so it was kind of a natural combination and doggy day care seemed like a good fit.”
That prompted Weikert to study dog franchise opportunities, but there was some initial discouragement. “One franchise noted on their main page that if you don’t have at least $1 million liquid, don’t go any further. I didn’t have $1 million liquid. And the general attitude of that whole statement wasn’t very appealing.”
Hounds Town Franchise Start-Up Costs
As he quickly realized, start-up money can be an insurmountable obstacle to franchise ownership. That’s where Hounds Town presented a major advantage to Weikert: Hounds Town franchise fees and additional investment costs to launch start at just $339,300, well below most of the brand’s competition.
Weikert also was impressed by Hounds Town USA’s organization, training, support and straightforward launch process. “It’s a simple program – basically just working with the staff training, the importance of repetitively training, what to simplify, getting that back to the basics of allowing the staff to kind of have to develop an ownership of the place and have their part in the success of the store,” he elaborated. “It’s very important. They have to be invested in it as much as anybody else.”
On his Approval Day (when prospective Franchise Owners and the Hounds Town executive team meet at their Long Island headquarters for an in-depth look at the brand), Weikert took to heart one piece of advice in particular: “Without your kennel assistants and kennel attendants, you’re not going to be successful,” he was told. And he embraced that counsel: “Employees are the backbone of the operation,” Weikert said. “So making sure they’re trained properly, they’re hired properly, they have the right attitudes, and they have the same desire and love of animals is the key to make it successful.”
If you’re interested in a Hounds Town franchise, please visit https://houndstownusa.com/franchising/