Aussie Pooch Mobile
1. How did Christine Taylor succeed in evolving the local dog-washing service she developed as a teenager into an international franchise business? Christine turned her childhood job into an international franchise by having a few strengths to set her apart from others, one she had a brand and concept that had a few competitors at the time. Also she was able to understand what the customer wanted because of her early exposure to customer service skills. Plus she was able to see that there was a demand for this service by her customers. She was focused and determined, even when pregnant she was thinking of ways to expand, but to expand in the right way, she didn’t want to take on new services that made her into an “all in one concept.” She wanted to be the best at bath services not a “pet shop on wheels.” Finally she had a good foundation of word of mouth which then helped her to expand into advertising and advertorials. She succeeded with franchising by using a Master franchising system and passed that down to her franchisees to run their business their way but under her method. 2. Compare and contrast the tasks involved in recruiting new customers and recruiting new franchisees. In recruiting new franchisees there were newspaper advertisements, advertorials and word of mouth. She focused on four characteristics for her franchisees: self motivated, outgoing, dog lover and want to work for them. She also recruited patient, well mannered people/ customer service skills, and at least a high school education. From there once the purchasing fees were in place the franchisees had 20 weeks of local newspaper advertisements, yellow pages, 24/7 customer service line provided by the company. APM ran a tight ship when it came to advertising and marketing however, the franchisee to could develop their own strategies on reaching to new customers.
For example one franchisee wrote stories and awareness articles in the newspaper to spread the word. As for recruiting new customers the franchisees had some local marketing strategies but mostly APM attracted new customers with brightly colored trailers, referrals from friends and family, encouraging owners to increase washes or to increase their number of dogs in the household. 3. From a franchisee’s perspective, what are the key benefits of belonging to the APM franchise in (a) the first year and (b) the third and subsequent years? Some of the key benefits of being a franchisee for APM are that the owner Chris has developed this company and sees it as her first child, to me this means she is an engaged owner and still sees the need to introduce guidance to the new franchisees. Some of the perks of being a franchise owner are that each state has its own manager, training team and cultural support office. a) Within its first year the company provided 2 weeks pre opening training for all new owners. This covered operations and business procedures, the hydrobathing techniques, dog grooming techniques and basic info on dog heath and behavior. The franchisee receives a lot of marketing support from APM like distribution of pamphlets, and ads and promotions in local newspapers. They also receive a detailed operations manual, which explains the standards of the company. The company also offers ongoing training, seminars and meeting with other owners and franchise advice committees. A major benefit with in the first year is that the company guarantees weekly income of $600 for the first ten weeks, and receive a package insurance deal paid for a six month period. b) In the third and subsequent years APM offers the franchise owners still have access to help if needed but by this time they are running the mobile unit with few problems on their own.
The franchise owner is most likely profitable if they have made it to the three year period and could be looking to expand into a new territory since its marketing expenses are not as high, due to the repeat clients and word of mouth. 4. In planning for future expansion, what strategy should Christine Taylor adopt for APM and why? Chris has always had the idea of becoming international; she has a few mobile trailers in some international countries but has not been able to break into the US market. She has expanded well around the southeastern part of Australia, however there might not be much left due to the other competition of Jim’s and Hydrodog. If she expanded into the other major cities out west like Perth, Fremantle, Darwin and Alice Springs she has a market of (1,910,000+ 198,000= 2,108,000) which is not a lot if she is “playing on the numbers” for the rest of Australia’s population which totals 19,387,000. If there was 1 dog for every 25 people in that population (2,108,000/25) there would be 84,320 dogs, and let’s say about 1/3 were interested in becoming clients she would have 28,106 new clients. She could roughly make (28,106 x $25 the average= 702,666, she could roughly make. However with competition of Jims and Hydrodog she wouldn’t make the full profit, plus she would not have any new territory to expand into. I suggest that she expands into England and Eastern Europe. England’s market has excelled well and is increasing clients daily. She could also expand into a home store site that offers more than just baths, she could offer kennel services, grooming, specialty dog products and day care for the dogs while the owners are away.