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Paul Mann is the Founder and CEO of FETCH! Pet Care, the largest pet sitting and dog walking franchise in the United States, serving thousands of clients in hundreds of cities and towns from coast to coast.
Fetch! Pet Care is the nation’s largest and most trusted provider of professional pet sitting and dog walking services. With over 3,000 bonded, insured pet sitters on staff, we serve thousands of pets and their owners in over 1,500 communities nationwide.
MO: What inspired you to launch Fetch! Pet Care? Was it always your intention to franchise the business?
Paul: When I was looking for care for my pets, I found that many of the independent sitters I interviewed were loving and caring, but not as professional and reliable as I would like. So, I started Fetch! Pet Care with the mission of providing the most loving care to pets everywhere in the most professional and reliable manner possible. I knew from the very beginning that we would franchise our concept nationally, because franchising is a fantastic way to attract likeminded entrepreneurs who will see out our mission locally in the most dedicated fashion.
MO: Can you talk about the process of building Fetch! Pet Care into a nationwide brand?
Paul: We have focused hard on marketing across multiple channels to create national awareness for the Fetch! Pet Care brand. From local and national public relations, to online marketing, to creating national corporate partnerships, to customized marketing materials for local events and partnerships, we have worked extensively to use proven and new methodologies to create awareness and drive new customers to our franchisees.
MO: What were some of the challenges you initially faced when taking your business model and turning it into a franchise?
Paul: In order to successfully franchise our concept, it required we document and create systems, processes and procedures that all franchisees could easily comprehend and follow, regardless of their business background. As a result, we spent two years creating our operations manuals prior to selling our first franchise.
MO: Can you talk about why you’re so proud of your 91% Net Promoter Score?
Paul: We pride ourselves in providing the highest quality of care and safety to pets, and convenience and peace of mind to their owners. With nine out of ten of our customers positively promoting us to others, it clearly points to the success of this mission. Because customer service is paramount to us, our Net Promoter Score is perhaps the single most important basis in how we judge our franchisee’s role in managing their business and their team of pet sitter’s ability to deliver great service. Not surprisingly, word of mouth recently became the number one source of new business for our system in our ten year history.
MO: What’s the biggest risk that you’ve ever taken and how did it turn out?
Paul: We partnered with leading companies like Halo, PetCareRx, Trupanion and others to create a Customer Loyalty Club that gives our customers preferred discounts on these and other leading pet products and services. We then took it to the next level and partnered with Redbook Magazine, Halo and their donation website, FreeKibble.com, to produce exciting photo and video contests on our Facebook site at www.Facebook.com/FetchCorporate to give away 10,000 pet food meals to the shelter of our Facebook contest winner’s choice. As a result, we have created immense community and value for our customers, and have expanded our efforts to not only provide care to our client’s pets, but to help shelter pets in need as well.
MO: Can you expand on how you’re developing new business models that increase internal growth for your existing franchisees?
Paul: Our franchisees are our customers, and we are dedicated to helping them to achieve success in their individual businesses. We are investing heavily in research and technology to help our franchisees stay on the cutting edge of marketing, human resources and operations. We test new business models in our company-operated locations so we can be sure they are tried, true and tested prior to rolling them out to our franchisees. As a result, our systems, processes and procedures are constantly evolving with the changing times to be as effective and innovative as possible to ensure internal growth for our existing franchisees.