A decision to develop multiple income streams is often the start of profitable companies. Learning to take a calculated chance to fetch a profit is one of the best decisions an entrepreneur can make. Often, if you are looking for a way to build secondary income you don’t have to look that far – it may be a play date away … a pet play date that is.
William Pitcher, the owner of Fetch! Petcare took a chance on man’s best friend. Learn how opening a franchise can present unique opportunities and how to build success on what other people don’t want to do.
Company: Fetch! Petcare
Founder, Age: William Pitcher, 27
Location: Fairfield County, Connecticut
Startup Year: 2007
Startup Costs: $15,300
How I Got Started
I grew up in a house with two Golden Retrievers and I often took care of friends’ and neighbors’ pets while the families traveled, so dogs have always played an important role in my life. I never imagined that I would make a living from pet-sitting and the idea came about randomly more as means of secondary income.
I subscribe to several entrepreneurial magazines, and while reading them all is another story, I fortuitously happened to peruse one that profiled low start-up cost franchises. Working within someone else’s business model never really had any appeal to me, but the corporate management seemed good and the initial investment to open a Fetch! location was reasonable enough to take a calculated chance.
Biggest Startup Challenge
Finding competent independent contractors who were passionate about the work and not just the pay. There were plenty of people who applied to work with us, but the first and foremost requirement is love of dogs, and not just mediocrity while waiting for the next paycheck.
It was also difficult as a business owner to trust that your staff will uphold the same personal standards that you do, but without delegating confidence in my team, I would never have been able to focus on the logistical side of the business and continue first-rate customer service. It is unreasonable for an individual to expect to run each and every aspect of a business well, and it was difficult to juggle so many things at once until we brought on our first sitters.
#1 Tips for Entrepreneurs
Don’t be afraid to try something different. Sure, many people suggest that prospective entrepreneurs try to fill a niche or improve an existing service or product, but there is much to be said for making a business of simply doing something that others do not want to do.
Yes, essentially we do get paid to play with dogs, but we also pick up a lot of poop and spend lots of time in the rain. Along the same lines, do not let naysayers discourage you, they are generally too fearful of thinking outside the box and express that anxiety through pessimism. It is of course empowering to prove them wrong through your success, but the greatest satisfaction comes from doing work that makes you happy.
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