As we navigate the pandemic, the key is to rise to the challenge and create a franchise system that proves its resiliency. When will this end? How do we continue to attract prospective franchisees and customers? What does this mean for the pet industry? There’s still a lot of uncertainty, but we need to think about the pandemic as the new normal for now and focus on plans for moving forward.
Standing out from the crowd
The $95 billion dollar pet industry in the United States is being propelled forward by pandemic puppy pandemonium. Even before COVID-19, the pet care industry was being fueled by millennials wanting to bring a new furry friend into their family, but when looking closer into pet care businesses now, the pandemic has created an explosion in the pet wellness and health space. Veterinary care, grooming, and pet supplies franchises are already seeing business increase and it’s only expected to grow. Demand for dogs has skyrocketed over the past four months, which means the need for services will be growing in a major way.
Our Florida based grooming franchise, Scenthound, is on a mission to keep your furry friend clean and healthy. We take a wellness-based approach that is dedicated to improving the quality of life for dogs. Scenthound focuses on the five core areas of maintenance: Skin, Coat, Ears, Nails and Teeth. Our Scent Techs are fully trained to give dogs of all shape, size, and coat the care they need, and our membership program offer dog parents peace of mind that their fur family is cared for on a routine basis. Customers can select the right membership plan for their budget and needs to not only keep their dog clean and comfortable, but also prevent health issues down the line. With heightened safety protocols and new procedures in place, we have been able to continue providing the essential care dog’s need throughout the pandemic.
Expanding nationwide amid the pandemic
After more than a decade running both a mobile grooming business and local grooming “Scenters”, and seeing first-hand the shortcomings within the industry and a lack of education around dog grooming, we founded Scenthound in 2015. Our mission to give dog parents a fast, easy, and affordable way to stay on top of their dog’s routine care.
We started franchising last year and have 25 franchise units and two corporate locations in varying stages of development. During the pandemic, we have sold 17 new units in four states, including six units in the Atlanta area; three units in the Las Vegas area; three units in Cary, NC; one unit in Parkland, Florida; and four units in Gainesville, FL. Additional units are in development in Boca Raton, Palm Beach Gardens, and Miami, Florida.
I believe our current growth speaks to the strength of the grooming and pet wellness sector. Despite the recent economic downturn, many people are and will be looking for a business to invest in that is “pandemic” tested and stable. Many people are sitting home right now, some out of work, thinking about their future and next steps in life. For a lot of people their pets are a passion, and when they see they can run a successful business by helping pets, they are sold on the brand.
The pandemic has forced many people to be home, giving them more time for their pets. Also, a staggering number of people have adopted dogs worldwide, which, of course, adds to the need for pet services. We want to educate all dog parents and help them understand our philosophy at Scenthound. We believe that all dogs are therapy dogs, and the pandemic is proving it.
Scenthound is taking initiatives to educate pet parents, so that they understand the importance of preventive care to keep their furry family healthy. We are excited that with nationwide growth comes more opportunity to teach people about proper dog care. We are on track to sell 40 total units by the end of the year.
Strategically positioned for success
As we continue to build on our success with new corporate Scenters and expand our franchise network to include additional markets nationwide, we continue to stay true to our passion — making sure the well-being of our canine guests are our top priority.
The Scenthound concept was born from an “aha” moment I had when chatting with a neighbor, who had a Labrador Retriever. When I explained that I was in the grooming business, the owner told me his dog doesn’t need grooming, yet I could smell the dog’s ear infection and noticed his knuckles were deformed from overgrown nails. That’s when I realized that most dogs weren’t getting proper care since there were a lot of misconceptions about grooming. The industry was focused on stylized haircuts, while the large majority of breeds don’t get regular trims. The basic care and maintenance needed to keep dogs healthy were sorely lacking. So, we set out to revolutionize the way people think about and access routine care for dogs.
Many dogs aren’t getting the care they need because, either their parents don’t know they need it, or they can’t find an easy and affordable way to get it. We’re here to change that. It’s our job to educate dog parents on the importance of routine grooming and make basic care accessible for all dogs.
CEO, Tim Vogel, spent more than a decade in the grooming business before founding Scenthound in 2015. The wellness-focused brand has a simple mission — to keep dogs clean and healthy. Scenthound began franchising in 2019 to provide dog parents nationwide with a fast, easy, and affordable way to get the routine care that all dogs need to stay comfortable and healthy.