Pets are a large part of our lives. We treat them like members of the family and seek out the best possible care for them. This includes finding someone to take care of them when we can’t be with them.
Snaggle Foot Dog Walks and Pet Care provides necessary care for pets when owners are unavailable. From daily walks while the owners are at work, to in-home pet sitting, Snaggle Foot has a service that is right for just about everyone.
Snaggle Foot is currently undergoing expansion and is in search of new franchisees to help them reach further into the industry.
The Basis of Snaggle Foot
Snaggle Foot was founded by Karen Cockrill in a response to a need for superior pet care. Knowing there are several options available for pet care was not enough for her. She wanted a service that was comprehensive and that went above and beyond, instead of the basic walk and drop attitude many services have.
She named the company after a beloved family pet. Her beagle, named Dixie, was affectionately nicknamed Snaggle Foot, providing the inspiration for the company name.
Cockrill envisioned Snaggle Foot as a company that provided top-notch care to pets in an easy setting for their owners. Many pets become severely stressed when they have to be boarded, which can be bad for their health and, in turn, more stressful on the owner as well. Snaggle Foot offers in-home pet sitting services to help combat those feelings of anxiety and keep everyone more comfortable.
Each employee of Snaggle Foot must go through an extensive vetting process to ensure they are fit for the job. They pride themselves on being the only nationwide pet care franchise that requires their employees to undergo such an intense process. They must all be trained in pet CPR and first aid. Snaggle Foot also requires drug screening, reference checks, and an extremely thorough background check.
Even with all of the precautions taken with selecting their employees, Snaggle Foot goes one step further by requiring all employees be insured and bonded. Because the employees go into clients’ homes, it is important that they have protections in place for both parties.
Joining Team Snaggle Foot
With pet care being a rising industry in the country, more and more companies are popping up to help meet the demand. By opening a Snaggle Foot location, franchisees are able to cash in on that industry growth and cement themselves in the market.
To begin the process of becoming a Snaggle Foot franchisee, interested parties are required to send an email to Snaggle Foot. This will prompt a member of the franchise selection team to contact them and begin the conversation.
The first things that Snaggle Foot will look for in a qualified candidate is a love of pets. Because of the nature of the business, this is a non-negotiable feature that each franchisee must have. All the business experience in the world will not make up for a lack of passion for helping pets and their owners.
Having compassion and a genuine enjoyment of pets will ensure that the highest level of service is provided to each client. Those who do not enjoy animals will not be able to provide the same level of care.
After a passion for pets, previous business experience is the next most important qualification. Running a successful business requires a certain level of know-how and those who have been through it before are more likely to be able to pull it off. It also gives them a set of skills to be able to handle the hardships that sometimes arise when owning a business.
Being financially strong is a desirable trait for a potential franchisee. Purchasing the license and launching the business will require a lot of money and Snaggle Foot needs to be sure that anyone who they approve to purchase a license is able to afford it.
Snaggle Foot does offer in-house financing for those who are in need of assistance with the purchase price of the franchising license. Even with the financing assistance, the applicant still must be able to come up with at least a down payment, and demonstrate a strong credit history.
The credit check is good for both determining the likelihood that the applicant will make good on the financing loan, as well as their ability to handle cash. A stable credit history is a good indicator that the applicant is able to make good, sound choices when it comes to managing money. Running a business requires financial responsibility, as poor management of funds can lead to a quick downward spiral and bankruptcy for the business.
Following the conversation with Snaggle Foot, they will send a copy of the franchise disclosure document to those applicants that they deem as good fits. This will contain the details of the agreement. It is important that the applicant read the document thoroughly and seeks resolution to any parts that they find to be unclear.
The law states that the conversation regarding the sale of the franchise license cannot move forward until the applicant has had possession of the document for at least 14 days. This is to ensure the applicant has ample time to read the document and understand it without being pressured into making a decision.
At this time, the applicant will also be expected to conduct a market study. This means they should be investigating the level of need for the kinds of services offered by Snaggle Foot in their area. It’s also a good time for applicants to contact current franchise owners to get the inside scoop on the relationship with Snaggle Foot.
Current owners will be able to answer questions regarding the process and the dynamic between franchisor and franchisee. These phone calls can make a world of difference, depending on the information collected during them. They can easily sway an applicant’s decision if the relationship appears to be a poor one.
Following the phone calls with franchisors and reading the disclosure document, the license will be awarded, as long as both sides are still in agreement. At this time, the franchisee will need to pay the license fee, which ranges from $11,200 to $14,400.
On top of the franchise license fee, the franchisee will also be responsible for paying additional initial investment costs. These are estimated to run between $5,0000 and $20,000.
Because a Snaggle Foot location does not necessarily require a physical space to run the location, franchisees are able to keep their costs down. This makes the franchise a much more accessible purchase for potential franchisees who have less investable income to work with.
Remaining a Loyal Companion
Both the franchisee and the franchisor have responsibilities when it comes to the franchise agreement. Each is expected to live up to their responsibilities and their are strict consequences for those that fail to do so.
Snaggle Foot details their role in the business relationship in the franchise disclosure document and once the agreement is signed, they are locked in to living up to that role. They state in their documents that they will provide a high level of service and support to each franchisee, which are the major benefits of purchasing a franchise license in the first place. Without those benefits, the owner is better off opening their own business and not having to worry about paying fees to a franchisor.
Snaggle Foot has developed platforms to allow their franchisees to operate their business at the highest levels. These include online apps that allow customers and clients to schedule their services with the franchisee, personalized websites for their specific location, complete with email, and comprehensive training to ensure each franchisee is continuously up to date with practices and expectations.
By providing these services, and others, Snaggle Foot is helping each and every franchisee succeed in their industry. This is the type of guidance that should be expected of franchisors. Franchisees are paying good money to be under the tutelage of a parent company. When franchisors offer little, or no, guidance, it’s hard to find the value in the franchise license.
For the provisions that Snaggle Foot offers to their franchisees, they expect some things in return.
First and foremost, franchisees must follow all of the rules and guidelines that Snaggle Foot lays out. This applies to the hiring practices, the level of customer service, and the overall culture of the company.
Besides staying in compliance with the rules, Snaggle Foot also expects its franchisees to pay all fees in full an on time. Most franchisors charge ongoing fees to their franchisees in the form of royalties and advertising fees. Snaggle Foot is no exception.
Their royalty fees are quite a bit lower than the national average for franchisors, which is 6 percent of gross total sales. Snaggle Foot only charges 4 percent, allowing for some pretty substantial savings over the life of the contract.
The advertising fees are also slightly less than the national average. Snaggle Foot charges 1.5 percent of total sales to help recoup the cost of their advertising efforts, including their toll-free hotline. The average for these charges is 2 percent.
When factoring in the low costs and the higher level of support for their franchisees, Snaggle Foot shapes up to be a better value than many other franchise opportunities. Several other franchisors charge more and offer less in return. It’s rare to find the combination of cheaper and better in the franchising world.
Snaggle Foot’s Experience with Franchising
The value of a Snaggle Foot franchise license cannot be determined by price and support alone. Franchisees are striving to turn profits with their businesses and if a chain is not performing so well, it lowers the chance of the franchisee being able to make money. Because owning a franchise is a career and not a hobby, for most, it’s important to analyze the earning potential of the chain when factoring its worth.
To get an idea of how well Snaggle Foot is performing, there are several factors that can be looked at.
To begin with, any information regarding the average sales of the company’s franchised locations is extremely helpful in this scenario. Unfortunately, many franchisors are not forthcoming with that information, so analysts look for other ways to break down the success rate.
Snaggle Foot does not release information regarding their average yearly sales. This could be due to several factors, including limited information due to the nature of the business. Each Snaggle Foot location is run differently, with varying levels of service and reach, accounting for some pretty big gaps in revenue generation.
Because of these variances, and the differences in need for each location, finding revenue numbers would not do much to alert to the success level anyway. Instead, a look at the growth rate of the franchise.
Snaggle Foot currently has 16 franchised locations operating in the United States. This is a loss of nearly 40 percent over the last 4 years. They began franchising is 2008 and were able to reach a total franchised location count of 26 by 2014.
Since that time, they have been steadily losing locations. With a paltry 16 franchised locations left in the United States, the fate of the chain as a whole could be at stake.
There is no substantial evidence as to the reason for the decline of the franchise, but it’s reason doesn’t really matter. The fact that they have consistently lost locations for so many years and have been unable to rebound is evidence of some drastic problems within the franchise system itself. Snaggle Foot is dying and it doesn’t seem likely that it can be saved at this point.
Considering the Facts
Each franchise opportunity has its perks and costs and it is up to the candidate to determine what the worth of that opportunity is to them. Snaggle Foot is no exception.
There are plenty of perks to the Snaggle Foot system. It is a franchise opportunity that is fairly simple to run, without the need for additional office space or hiring of a large staff. This keeps costs down and is just generally an easier way to run a business.
Snaggle Foot also supplies each franchisee with every tool they may need to make a successful run at business ownership. They offer far more than most other franchise opportunities, and do so for a much lower price tag.
As far as smaller franchises go, Snaggle Foot packs a pretty solid punch.
The unknown part of their system is that which plagues it. Their continuous problems at maintaining their location count may be their final downfall. Without the ability to open new locations and maintain a steady number of functioning locations, the brand itself cannot survive.
It will take several years of rebuilding and sustaining to give Snaggle Foot a solid foundation on which to stand. With the right franchisees that have the drive and desire to help build the brand up, it is possible for them to find new successes. It won’t be easy and there will probably be a lot of setbacks along the way, but it could be done.
That being said, it is imperative that the franchisees who choose to join them are prepared for the hardships and responsibilities that will be present throughout their time with Snaggle Foot. The wrong franchisees will most certainly fail with this venture.
After much thought and consideration, those that are up to the challenge may choose to pursue a career with Snaggle Foot. Those that are not comfortable partnering with a brand that is in a fair amount of trouble at the moment should steer clear. Snaggle Foot can’t rebound on their own, they need their franchisees help to do that. Not being willing to help the brand climb back to the top pretty much excludes candidates from the possibility of being successful with the venture.