Business Insider recently caught up with Dogtopia of San Jose’s franchise owner, Peter Dufall, for “Founder Finances” – a series that highlights founders’ monthly budgets.

Motivated by the lack of freedom in his previous profession, Dufall invested in a Dogtopia franchise in 2017, and said the potential for a growing community encouraged him to take the next step. Fast-forward to today, community remains of great importance to Dufall, both franchise-wide and within his own business.

Dufall told Business Insider that each month he pays 9% of his income to Dogtopia – 7% goes toward franchise fees, while 2% is allocated to marketing spend. In total, this amounts to approximately $80,000 a year, which he said is well worth it because of the partnership with such a strong, national brand, along with their advice that he would not have access to otherwise.

Dufall said the support and services from Dogtopia were crucial for him in his early years of franchise ownership. “Without some support those first two years, I wouldn’t have had the following years being as successful as they are,” he told Business Insider.

This sense of community is also evident among other Dogtopia franchise owners, which Dufall said is another major benefit of being in a franchise group. “It also gives you a sense of community so you don’t feel quite as alone if there are any issues, personal or business,” he explained.

Alongside the support from Dogtopia, Dufall works to foster community among his employees. In addition to paying his team above minimum wage, including bonuses, Dufall said he allocates funds to employee development. “If they want to do a grooming class or a vet tech class, or are interested in learning CPR, I’ll absolutely pay for them to do that,” he said.

To find out more about Dufall’s approach to budgeting, building community, and more, click here to read the full interview in Business Insider.