Dan Barton: The Ultimate Petentrepreneur and Grooming Industry Disruptor

Dan Barton

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What would the world be like without music or rivers or the green and tender grass? What would this world be like without dogs.” – Mary Oliver

It has been evident for years that pet owners lead a more fruitful and healthy life as compared to others. Pets have had a life-changing effect on their owners. Similarly, Dan Barton (Founder of Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique), shared an affectionate bond with Yorkie, Mercedes who led him towards a great pet entrepreneur venture.

Early in his career, Dan was part of an already successful franchise as an owner of several World’s Gym locations in Orlando. Building on to his experience in the franchise, World’s Gym brought him on as CFO of the brand. In 2007, he became a dog dad. Though he was inexperienced to care for a pet, he ensured she would receive the utmost comfort and care. He struggled to find an appropriate grooming center Mercedes. Soon he was inspired to leave the corporate world and venture into the pet industry. Dan established Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique in 2009 and began franchising the concept 5 years after. From an inexperienced pet parent to a successful Pet Business Coach, Dan’s journey has been highly inspiring.

Safe, Convenient, and Eco-friendly

Splash and Dash is unlike 99% of mom and pop groomers, with spaces specifically designed to provide a premium experience for both owner and the dog. The company has a uniquely designed set of spa-treatments that cater to the dog. “These unique sets of treatments will leave your dog feeling relaxed, refreshed, and energized every time they leave our spa,” said Dan.

The core of the Splash and Dash model is its signature memberships which include unlimited bath and brush services for one monthly cost. Each location also offers full grooming services, a range of premium spa services including facials, pawdicures, and aromatherapy treatments. In addition to this, the boutiques carry human-grade treats and sustainably sourced toys. Interestingly, it also offers free haircuts for the dogs. If accidentally the dog gets a “bad haircut” at any other groomer, the team will fix it completely free, within the 7 days of the original grooming.

Dan understands that the modern market demands the conveniences of modern age commerce. Thus, with a uniform approach for grooming and the technology to make this approach systematic, Splash, and Dash locations owners and their patrons alike enjoy the benefits and convenience of this innovative membership model.

Big Box Profits in a Mom & Pop Package

Dan had started his entrepreneurial venture to revolutionize pet care. Today, he is expanding his vision with his network of location partners. He has rich experience in the franchise business and is nationally recognized as the Pet Business Coach. He has leveraged those insights to turn Splash and Dash into a successful venture. Splash and Dash offer the lowest franchise fees in the pet business. As a Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique location owner, one will enjoy several benefits such as a corporate support team, powerful branding, and a proven business model.

Accompanied by innovative strategies, franchise owners are also benefited with,

  • Full Bookkeeping Services: By integrating this service the owner can produce timely financials, real-time bank reconciliation, cash flow management, and standardized general ledger accounts. From filing for local and state sales tax to a seamless two-click payroll process—Splash and Dash provide a comprehensive bookkeeping program as the foundation of your business.
  • A suite of Sophisticated Technology: Its proprietary POS system manages everything from reporting to appointment booking, and even the employee schedule. From the inception, this tech has helped Splash and Dash position as best-in-class for the grooming industry. This tech has recently been integrated with AI learning, which is essentially an invisible employee analyzing data and providing recommendations to help increase overall efficiencies and therefore maintain budgets.

Dan believes that every Splash and Dash franchise owner becomes an ambassador for its brand. He adds, “The more dedicated you are to your own storefront, the more benefit your fellow franchise owners will receive.”

Dan Barton

Tête-à-tête with Dan Barton:

The current unprecedented crisis has been comparable to the financial crises of 2001 and 2009 respectively. While other industries are encountering challenges, the pet service industry did not face any abrupt halt of services. However, 2020 has introduced several unanticipated hurdles for pet business owners and other pet professionals.

Due to the COVID-19 impact, consumer preferences have forcibly shifted. However, Splash and Dash Franchise has navigated the unchartered waters incandescently. Furthermore, Dan Barton has conversed about the approach they undertook that has kept the company resilient. Here are the snippets,

  1. Being one of the noticeable leaders in this franchise business, how will you distinguish the franchise business from the traditional one?

There are two main factors that distinguish franchised businesses from traditional ones. The first is a recurring revenue model. Second, a network of support including access to unparalleled resources, suppliers, and vendors. This has proven to be increasingly valuable during the pandemic.

  1. What makes the pet industry better than the other industry verticals?

I believe the pet industry is booming and has huge untapped market potential. The fact is, people, continue to treat their pets like members of their families. There is $59 Billion in revenue in just one year! Despite the economic depression in 2008 and 2010, there has been a 19% growth in the industry. Besides, grooming, supplies, and pet food make up about 50% of the pet industry. So in my opinion starting a franchise with Splash and Dash may be the smartest financial decision one can ever make.

  1. In regards to the COVID-19 outbreak, how did Splash and Dash Franchise adapt to the changes?

2020 reinforced the great importance of having in-house digital development. Given this flexibility, it was a swift shift to adapt our software to the contactless and curbside services. These features are not just beneficial for us but also allow our location partners to change the service model and all with a click of a button. The integration of terminal-based texting for appointment scheduling and customer notifications has proven to be a great communication aid for customers and staff alike. I can confidently state that as an essential service, we are more prepared for the future of pet care than ever before!

  1. What are your opinions on remote working?

I think that people—like dogs, need social interaction. Although keeping the wellbeing of employees at the center everyone pivoted to remote working. But I think remote working is sufficient for some businesses and industries but it will recede to what it was Pre-COVID. If you ask me, I would prefer to be in-office interacting with coworkers and working together creatively and collaboratively again.

  1. In regards to the anxiety and uncertainties around, what has kept you motivated?

I believe that sourcing motivation is of the utmost importance. I fuel my desires through regimented workouts and guided meditation. I think that having such a busy schedule can affect us hugely so this makes the physical and mental escapes as a source of balance and inspiration.

Beyond that, I love to cook, and am always planning my next venture in the kitchen. Lastly, I am motivated by playing with dogs and further exploring that irreplaceable bond that exists between pet & pet-parents!

Advice for the readers:

Don’t wait for an opportunity to knock on your door. I couldn’t find a clean space with good customer service, so I knew there had to be a better way. I never found it, so I built it.

Dan Barton

Read Full Issue: The 10 Leaders Transforming Franchise Business 2020

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