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FranchiseHope: How Zoomin’ Groomin’ Mobile Pet Service Is Teaching An Old Industry New Tricks

Taking your pet to a traditional groomer can be a scary experience.

Both for the owner as well as the animal.

Between getting to the store on time, shepherding a stubborn animal into the facility, sadly watching your pet disappear into a back room or basement, praying the grooming products are environmentally friendly, and returning to the store hoping pets were not mishandled, it’s no surprise mobile pet grooming franchises are an emerging business.

Zoomin Groomin, a mobile grooming franchise that currently serves territories in Massachusetts and Florida, has been branching into new markets across the nation. With their latest partnership with franchise powerhouse Loyalty Brands, Zoomin is poised to grow all around the country, serving pets and their owners in an innovative way.

I recently had the chance to watch a webinar that’s part of Zoomin Groomin’s Discovery Day. Facilitated by company founder and pet enthusiast, Donna Sheehey, and Loyalty Brands CEO John Hewitt, there were numerous insights worth sharing.

Every franchise can glean wisdom from this brand’s proven track record of success. Think about how these tips apply to your own business, and you too can teach an old industry new tricks.

Focus on sustainably minded product development

Sheehey reminds us that pet parents are always looking for better, cleaner alternatives to cleaning their furry friends. Zoomin Groomin offers an eco-friendly waterless cleansing system, which is great for pets that are afraid of water or owners looking to make more sustainable grooming choices.

Historically, grooming services are known for using excessive amounts of water, but their cleansing system offers up to ninety percent water savings, and no tubs are involved. Shampoos are non-toxic and environmentally safe.

If you’ve ever struggled to wash your own pet at home, smearing peanut butter all over the bathtub to bribe them to stay put, this option makes for a compelling value proposition.

How sustainable is your franchise’s products?

Offer a low anxiety, low friction experience

Traditional grooming experiences also tend to follow a similar customer journey. Getting your pets into and out of the car, transitioning into the grooming facility, sadly watching the pet disappear into a dungeon, and then picking them up later hoping they weren’t traumatized. Woof!

Compare that to a mobile grooming van. Zoomin doesn’t even leave your driveway. Owners can look into the van to see your pet doing okay during the grooming experience, although they can’t stick around inside the van.

But that’s good. Not unlike the terrified helicopter parent pressing their nose against the glass on the first day of kindergarten, there’s no reason to cause excess anxiety for the animal.

What friction points could you remove from your customer journey?

Tap into a massive addressable market

John Hewitt also made the brilliant observation that there’s a pet equivalent to every human need. Whatever people spend money on to care for themselves (grooming, clothes, food, exercise, friends), it’s almost certain their pets have to take care of the same needs.

What man loves he cares for, and what man cares for, he spends money.

And the data agree. Oakscale recently published an industry report, quoting the 2019-2020 APPA National Pet Owners Survey, which says 67% of U.S. households own a pet, which equates to 84.9 millions homes. Suffice it to say that pet franchises are booming, and it's no surprise as the pet market has reached nearly $100 Billion.

Is your franchise’s customer base that significant?

Amplify your physical marketing presence

Donna pointed out how Zoomin’s fleets of mobile grooming vans are traveling billboards. The van routes are specifically designed with easy to remember toll free numbers (866-50-GROOM) and (855-825-PETS).

And sure enough, the company gets calls all the time, “I’m right behind your van, can you please come and groom my dog right now?” That’s real time customer feedback that’s hard to replicate. Even when vehicles are not in service, the van can be strategically placed and working for you all the time.

If you have a toll free number, automated text messaging system, or some other form of instant, accessible communication, there’s no reason your franchise can’t book up its schedule every single workday. Amplifying your marketing presence has never been easier with the tools available to business owners.

What modern communication tools can you no longer afford to avoid?

Customer acquisition in buyer rich environments

Busy lifestyles create a high demand for mobile pet services. And because the storefront is on wheels, it’s easy to integrate within environments rich with buyers, like farmer’s markets and shopping malls.

People are out shopping with their pets, but will leave dogs in their cars, and having a mobile grooming van on premise helps keep pets cool and clean, while providing peace of mind for owners, as well as executive directors of shopping malls and farmer’s markets.

As the robbers in heist movies always say, go to the bank, because that’s where the money is.

What local venue with high foot traffic could your franchise have a physical presence?

Give owners flexibility to suit their lifestyle

Groomers can start appointments as early as customers are willing to host them at their homes. If a family is leaving town on a road trip, and wants to spruce up their pet before leaving, franchisees could be there at sunrise if need be.

Or, if customers work late, franchisees can take your last appointment whenever it’s convenient for the pet owner. Because of this scheduling flexibility, many groomers tend to work three long days and take the rest of the days off.

This setup allows franchisees to keep their day job, if it makes sense from a financial and scheduling perspective. Zoomin has many franchisees that operate seven days a week, since their demand is so high, but it’s completely customizable for each franchise owner’s goals.

How much daily and weekly flexibility do you offer potential owners?

Ultimately, if you follow these tips, you can be sure to bark up the right franchise tree.

And maybe teach your industry a few new tricks.

Scott Ginsberg is Head of Content at FranchiseHelp. His dog has more followers on Instagram than he does.

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