Given that the past year has been marked by a global pandemic that put millions of people out of work and plunged the economy into a precarious position, the idea of starting a franchise business in the retail sector right now might seem fanciful at best.
But if your business is pet care, there’s less reason to feel that way. Despite the headwinds caused by COVID-19, from social-distancing regulations to stay-at-home orders, pet care businesses have remained broadly profitable and successful amidst the chaos of the pandemic. In fact, some of the conditions created by the current situation have actually boosted business.
Here’s a closer look at five reasons why now is a good time to consider franchise ownership in the pet care business.
Pet care has proven to be recession-resistant
Recent history suggests that slowdowns in the broader economy don’t always reflect reality in the pet care business. According to Entrepreneur.com, pet spending actually grew by five percent or more during economic downturns in both 2001 and 2008. Pet owners often view their animals as members of the family – indeed, those without children may treat their pets like kids – and lavish them with the kind of care and attention you’d gladly give to any beloved relative. From food and toys to training, grooming, and medical care, owners typically want nothing but the best for their pets, and will often sacrifice elsewhere to afford it.
The pandemic has boosted interest, and spending, in pets
In these uncertain times, when many of us are housebound most of the time, having a furry friend around for company and levity has become hugely popular. Pandemic puppies, in particular, are a booming trend, with breeders and shelters alike swamped by the massive demand for dogs. Amidst the troubling pandemic, people are seeking the emotional connection and comfort that pets provide, while also finding themselves with more time to devote to building loving bonds with those animals.
With pets and their owners now closer than ever, industry research suggests that one in five pet owners is spending more money on their animals these days.
The current boom might be just the beginning
The end of COVID-19 likely won’t do much to dull people’s appetites for dogs, cats, or other pets. And thanks to the innovations necessitated by the pandemic, such as e-commerce expansion and online appointment scheduling becoming standard at most pet care businesses, the infrastructure is now in place for what could be an even bigger business boom in the years ahead, as people make greater use of convenient online shopping and delivery options for every aspect of their pet care needs.
New revenue streams are emerging
Not too long ago, the concept of designer dog food would have seemed far-fetched to even the most passionate pet owners. These days, it’s not uncommon for owners to pay close attention to everything that ends up in their animal’s bowl, and cater to all kinds of dietary tastes and needs.
Besides food, animal wellness has now become a big thing, with many owners eager to give their animals helpful supplements and other specialty care products designed to make their pet’s life better. It’s indicative of the evolving nature of the pet care business, with new trends and products constantly emerging and, in turn, providing new revenue streams for savvy, responsive pet care businesses.
Demographic trends point to a positive future
For some time now, baby boomers have represented the biggest cohort of pet owners. In recent years, however, that title has shifted to millennials. That’s important, because it suggests there’s a large, wealthy customer base that still has many decades of spending ahead, a strong sign of future success for the pet care business. While boomers may be aging, they’re still passionate pet owners with plenty of money to spend on giving their animals the best.