When one ventures into a business it has been to fill a gap in the fragmented industry. However, Anthony Amos has a different story. He started his career as a professional rugby player straight out of high school in Australia. While playing football he decided to use his downtime to start his own business. At the age of 21, he founded HydroDog– a mobile dog grooming service in 1994. Back then his prototype grooming salon consisted of a second-hand hydro-bath strapped onto the back of a box trailer—which has turned into a Big Blue Dog mobile grooming truck today. Soon, the trailers started multiplying in number and Anthony realized that the employees lacked the drive or passion to battle the elements and meet the rising demand of the business. This event forced Anthony to adopt a new model and chose to franchise the business. Consequently two years later, in 1996 HydroDog started franchising in Queensland.
HydroDog has been in business for over 25 years. The expansion of the brand began with the founder spending nearly 3 years on the roads striving to grow HydroDog in the US through the bathetosave.com tour washing and rescuing thousands of rescue dogs across 48 states creating an amazing social consciousness for HydroDog.
Anthony introduced a one of its kind concept in the market and revolutionized dog grooming by inventing, designing, and fabricating a fiberglass mobile grooming salon in the shape of a big blue dog. HydroDog has become the largest franchise of its kind in the world.
In an interview with Mirror Review, Anthony Amos, Founder of HydroDog walks us through the franchise industry and sheds light on the benefits of having a HydroDog franchise. Here are the snippets,
Please brief us in detail on how Bath to Save National Tour started?
Even though pets live in nearly 80 million homes in the U.S., only 40% of them were adopted from the shelters. And sadly, that many dogs who cannot find homes end up being killed in animal shelters. In 2016, me and my family purchased and lived in a 40-foot motor couch to raise money and awareness for animal rescues by touring America and bathing rescue dogs. Thus, Bath to Save National Tour was born. These Bath to Save events serve as a model for our HydroDog events. Now, by bathing dogs in our mobile grooming stations at Bath to Save events all over the country, rescue dogs are finding happy homes at a faster rate than ever.
What makes HydroDog unique among its competitors?
I think it’s our ability to innovate and a sense of giving back to the community. Over the years, the iconic Big Blue Dog has become a familiar name in the neighborhood, as a grooming salon on wheels with 3D dimensional registered design—which are renewed every 10 years. We also have our own bathe to save events with local shelters and with the franchisees with a massive give back with the local communities rescuing & saving rescue dogs across the US every time a franchise opens up. HydroDog has its own 6 episode TV show on the animal planet with a second series in the works.
With so many businesses struggling to survive the pandemic, how did COVID-19 affect your operations?
The pandemic has drastically affected a majority of businesses but we have been fortunate. Everyone cares for their pets and this has made our company pandemic proof. HydroDog not only experiences growth with franchise sales but also the franchisees became an essential service. To be precise, we received 3-4 months booking in advance, as our franchisees will tell you they are averaging 10K+, while the franchise near North Dakota making 20K per month.
How will you describe your customer experience and are you undertaking and steps to improve their experience?
Yes, our customers love our offering and our brand like no other. One such happy customer Melissa McAtee from Kansas City MO says, “Such a good experience! Our Winnie Cooper loved it, which is huge. Normally, I have to carry her into the groomers while she whines. She ran right out the front door with Greg and never looked back. And she came back so happy, normally she will hide and pout for several days. We will never use anyone else, if my Winnie Cooper is happy, I am happy.”
Given the positive response from the customers and increasing demand, we are about to implement a full-blown e-commerce platform for the company & brand to supply customers with drop shipped pet food & products.
Please brief us on what all benefits do you provide to your franchise partners.
Our Master franchisees don’t pay any Royalties and they split the franchise fees & royalties 50/50 from the franchisees, it truly is a family environment with nothing but massive support,” the master franchisees then support the franchisees in their local territories with incredible training & systems, HydroDog’s innovation is 2nd to none, HydroDog is big on giving prospective franchisees a 2nd chance in life financially so HydroDog has its own funding & finance with great partnerships.
Appreciating the support we provide to our franchisees, Betty Borst, one of our Master Franchisee owner says, “I want the type of business that cares about me and what I am doing. With Anthony, I am on the right track. This is about being in a family, not just a business.”
What are your expectations for the coming years?
HydroDog’s focus will be on expansion and growth. The mission and vision stay intact and we will be striving to enhance the customer experience. Our company’s goal is to end euthanasia here in the US through our bathe to save events & Fureverhomefamily TV shows on animal planet. I’m highly optimistic about the future and anticipate that we will have rapid growth over the next 5 years and the goal is to have at least a thousand franchises on the ground.
As an aspiring leader, what advice you would like to give to the aspirants who are looking to make a mark in the franchise business?
As the founder, I handpick all my master franchisees and am fully responsible for the companies culture. All these years have taught me that it takes patience to build up your business. So the aspirants should be prepared for things to take twice as long and double to triple the amount of funding, being a founding Franchisor is a real privilege but at the same time, it’s no joke! You must treat every franchisee with love & respect & never forget that you are all in it together under one brand & culture.
Why Become a HydroDog Franchisee?
- Increase income and Quick ROI
- Work with dogs ALL DAY LONG
- Low start-up costs
- Give back to the community
- Control your own schedule
- Supportive family of owner-operators
- Gain financial independence
- Help find Fureverhome homes for shelter dogs
- Participate in the famous Bathe to save events
- Changing people & animals lives
Read Full Magazine:- The 20 Leaders Transforming Franchise Business of 2021.