Friday, October 23, 2015

Franchisor Spotlight: Pet Supplies Plus

FranchiseWorks presents Pet Supplies Plus, the next franchisor to be featured on our Franchisor Spotlight Series. As a leading resource for prospective entrepreneurs, FranchiseWorks is dedicated to providing information that any individual can use to find the right franchise or business opportunity for them.
Franchise 500 Ranking – 2013-2015
Franchise Times Top 200 – 2014 and 2015
VetFran Discount of $6000 off franchise fee

At Pet Supplies Plus, we’re crazy for pets, too. With more than 320 franchise and company locations in 26 states, Pet Supplies Plus is America’s favorite neighborhood pet store. Each location offers a wide array of pet food, pet products, grooming services and animal expertise all at a great value, allowing customers to spoil their pets even more. Friendly, knowledgeable staff get to know each pet and their owner by name and provide playful store experiences to remind them just how fun it is to own a pet. Pet Supplies Plus stores are large enough to house an incredible variety of food and equipment, yet small enough to still feel neighborly. 

Interview with David Leonardo, Senior Vice President of Franchising with Pet Supplies Plus.
Check out the interview with David Leonardo as a podcast episode!

How has your company evolved since the first store opened in Redford, MI in 1988?

When we first opened in 1988, we had some pretty revolutionary ideas:
  • Locate our stores in neighborhoods, so they were convenient to get to.
  • Build on a smaller, more efficient footprint (5,500 to 10,500 sq. ft.) to make our stores easier to shop and less expensive to run.
  • Locate our stores around distribution centers so that we could offer customers a wider selection at more attractive prices and quicker inventory turns.
  • Over the years, those ideas have served us well. We can tout our wide array of pet food, supplies and toys, services like grooming, self-service pet washes, and adoptions. But what really sets us apart is the retail experience itself. We're neighborly, we're knowledgeable, and our customers trust our advice.

Neighbor's loved Jack and Harry's novel retailing concept. Within five years of opening their first Pet Supplies Plus pet center in Redford, Michigan, they had 30 locations. Soon, they were joined by a third partner, Harvey Solway, and the business continued to grow. In September 2010 PSP was bought by a private equity firm called Irving Place Capital. Today, there are over 320 Pet Supplies Plus pet centers in 26 states. Our goal is to grow the PSP brand significantly over the next 5-years and beyond.

What are some common misconceptions about being an owner in the pet care industry?

There seems to be three misconceptions:
  1. "Since it’s retail, I’ll need to be in the store all the time.” Not so. Our “investor model” allows franchise owners—particularly the 65% who are multi-unit owners—to supervise remotely while an on-site operations manager runs the business day to day.
  2. “Retail is a grind.”  Many retail concepts have earned that reputation. At Pet Supplies Plus, it’s not a grind; it’s a grand time. We’re Petcentric—we love pets and pet people. Our neighbors come in our stores happy and leave happier. We make the shopping experience FUN: fun for our team members, our neighbors and their pets. (Yes, pets are welcome in our stores.)
  3. “You can’t make any money—not fast food money—in the pet business.” The October 2015 issue of Franchise Times lists its Top 200 Franchise Chains by worldwide sales. Pet Supplies Plus ranks #102 noticeably ahead of many well-known food franchises. And according to the ITEM 19 in our 2015 Franchise Disclosure Document financial performance representation, the average annual gross sales of a Pet Supplies Plus store is $2,548,565*. Compare those numbers to any other franchise to see if you can make money as a Pet Supplies Plus owner.

What options do candidates have when looking into your franchise opportunities?
  • Single unit – franchisees focus on the day to day operations; staffing, marketing, inventory management, customer engagement, etc.  This is more of a hands-on roll.
  • Multi-unit – franchisees focus on working with their store managers and growing their business.  Emphasis on marketing, financial management, real estate and growth. Each store manager handles the day to day operations.

How many franchised units do you have?

148 franchised units and 175 company units.

What are some competitive advantages of your business?
  • Buying power of 320+ stores allows the stores to offer a greater variety of products at lower prices
  • Smaller stores and local ownership allows for a much greater level of customer service and engagement, building relationships with our neighbors and their pets
  • Smaller stores mean lower rent, lower labor costs, lower prices to neighbors, higher profits.
  • Twice the selection of natural, holistic and organic foods.
  • According to the American Pet Products Association report, pet industry spending is at an all-time high with overall spending for 2015 expected to exceed $60 billion.
  • Recession resistant - More families are getting pets and they are spending more on them as pets take an increasingly more prominent role in our lives.
  • Convenience, value and fun.

What are the desired qualities of your ideal candidate?
  • Must align with PSP mission and culture: to be America’s Favorite Neighborhood Pet Store. 
  • Has strong values, is hard working, fair, honest, and caring. 
  • Should have prior retail experience customer service, food service, banking, or other service based industries. 
  • Has an intrinsic, service orientation and a natural desire to provide excellent customer service.
  • Train and lead their employees in providing and meeting exceptional service standards. Is 
  • comfortable marketing their products to customers using a product knowledge expert approach.
  • Multi-Unit franchisees should have strong management background with a history of consistent career growth achieving or exceeding business goals.

What do you hope for the future of Pet Supplies Plus?

Our goal is to grow the PSP brand significantly over the next 5-years and beyond.

What are ways to learn more about Pet Supplies Plus and how to become an owner?

Visit us at, or contact us directly:

Steve Olson
Franchise Development Manager
734.793.6532 |

David Leonardo
Senior Vice President, Franchising
734.793.6608 |

*Item 19 of PSP Franchising, LLC’s 2015 FDD provides that $2,548,565 is the average gross sales achieved by 119 franchised PSP stores during the measurement period beginning 12/29/13 and ending 1/3/15. Your results as a new franchisee may differ. Of the 119 franchised PSP stores, 44 PSP stores, or 37%, exceeded the average annual gross sales.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Franchisor Spotlight: Meet Homewatch CareGivers

FranchiseWorks presents Homewatch CareGivers, the next franchisor to be featured on our Franchisor Spotlight Series. As a leading resource for prospective entrepreneurs, FranchiseWorks is dedicated to providing information that any individual can use to find the right franchise or business opportunity for them.

The vision of Homewatch CareGivers is to be recognized as the premier provider of home care services. The mission is to preserve dignity, protect independence, and provide peace of mind for our clients and their loved ones by providing exceptional home care.

Tom Ryan, Director of Franchise Development

How has your company evolved since 1980 after Paul Sauer founded Homewatch CareGivers?

In 1980, Paul launched Homewatch CareGivers to provide people in the Denver Metro area with the companion and personal care services they needed to remain living at home.

Paul continued to refine his business and in 1994, Homewatch CareGivers added its first franchise in Boulder, Colorado. Paul and his growing staff stayed true to his founding principles and the core values he established as the foundation of the company: integrity, compassion and a commitment to delivering the highest quality service. 

By the early 2000’s, Homewatch CareGivers had a handful of locations and Paul knew he was going to have to bring in some help and reinvest in the business if he was going to truly build this into a large national and international franchise brand.   Paul’s eldest daughter, Leann Reynolds, invested in and opened our Portland, OR franchise location in 2003 as a critical step to her succession plan.  Leann very quickly became one of our top performing franchisee’s and moved back to Denver in 2006 to take over the day-to-day leadership as our company President.  When I joined the company in 2010, we had about 100 locations and here we are nearing the end of 2015 and we have nearly 250 locations throughout the America’s. 

What are some common misconceptions about home care ownership?

Many people think they need experience in the healthcare industry in order to own a senior care business. Most of our franchisees had never worked in health care before home care franchise ownership. There is no perfect background to start this type of business; we look for people with careers as leaders and managers in all types of business, who have a passion for caring for individuals in their community.

Another common misconception is that potential franchisees think the market (their market) is already too saturated by other providers/competitors. The need for home care services, through home-based initiatives driven by the Affordable Care Act, as well as by the growth of the aging population, is far outpacing the number of competitive senior care franchises nationwide. In fact, direct care workers – such as Certified Nursing Assistants and Home Health Aides – are expected to be the largest occupational segment by 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

How many franchised units do you have?

We have just over 230 franchised units and are projected to grow to over 250 in 2016.

Are you available in Canada and Internationally?

We are available in Canada currently, and have 7 Canadian units in Ontario. We’re really focused right now on growth in the United States and Canada and are not entertaining international inquiries in Europe or Asia at this time. We do have master franchisees in Central America focused on increasing the footprint there.

What are some competitive advantages of your business?

We provide full-service care for people of all ages. By full-service, we mean that while we don’t cross the boundary of providing skilled nursing services, we provide a full continuum of care up to that threshold.  90% of our services go above and beyond companion care so our clients can stick with us as their care needs grow over time.  

Our clients see the value/differentiating factors of our business to be largely in the quality of our team and our approach to care. We have always believed that “caregivers are the heart of this business” and have tremendous systems and training in place to ensure our staff is responsible for the highest level care to our clients and that we don’t get stuck solely focusing the “tasks” being delivered.  At Homewatch CareGivers, we employ a person-centered approach to care by understanding the social and emotional needs of our clients.

What are the desired qualities of your ideal candidate?

We really look for business-savvy leaders who are good at managing teams, delegating tasks, and are focused on the strategic direction of their business. We also know that our most successful owners have a passion for helping others in their communities, and many have personal experience with a loved one needing extra care in the home.

What do you hope for the future of Homewatch CareGivers?

I would love to see the company grow its footprint in the United States and Canada so that we can continue to provide the in-home care services that people need in their communities. I also look forward to helping build more awareness of the home care industry itself, so that consumers and other health care providers fully understand the quality services we can provide and the impact we can make to help people stay healthy and in their homes as long as they desire.

What are ways to learn more?

We have a very robust, informational website, including a franchise blog. Once you’ve gathered some information and you’re ready to take the next step you can fill out the Request for Information form and we will contact you to begin discussions about franchise ownership. You can also reach out and give us a call at (800) 472-2290 and we can start our conversation right away!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

So You Want To Make It Big? Here's How.

The fact is, many of today’s wealthiest, most successful entrepreneurs or small business owners did not follow a specific plan that led them to their riches. Life is not predictable and no matter how much you wish for something, crossing your fingers can only do so much.

This doesn’t mean you can’t make it big. A six-figure income is not just handed out, but real people have attained their ideal paycheck and so can you. It just takes a dream, some curiosity, and self-trust.

Listen– Don’t ever think your view on something is the only good opinion out there. Your co-workers, friends, family and everyone in between have value. Respecting those opinions will get you far.

Make your own luck– An opportunity can appear at any time, which means you have to be prepared. “Luck” is nothing you can control, but how you track down and prepare for opportunities is all up to you.

Trust your gut BUT make smart decisions– Sometimes you just know, and that gut feeling could be the golden ticket. Still, there is a good reason why smart people do well in this world. Good things come to people who make good calls.

Don’t fear risk- You need to make good calls and part of that is understanding when to take risks and when not to. Don’t take the easy way out or follow the path of least resistance. You don’t make it big that way. Ever.

When you feel like saying no…say yes-There is no moving forward when you or anyone else thinks you can’t do the work. Even if you think you can’t, figure it out. Your limits are self-created. You can thank the word “no” for keeping you where you are.

Work hard– This one may seem obvious, but people with wealth work their tails off. Let go the expectation that mediocre work equals mountains of money. Mediocre work is just that. You have to do the work well.

Lastly, just do it. Success is not accomplished through a lack of action. What did we just get done saying? Work hard, value knowledge, listen, trust your gut, take (thoughtful) risks and make yourself say “yes.” Apply these to your life and your bank account will thank you.