Dan J. Barton came up with an idea to revolutionize the pet industry — a membership-based dog bathing system. He created Splash and Dash for Dogs, and it was an overnight success. Barton perfected his system and took Splash and Dash on the national stage through a licensing program, so other shop owners could benefit from his success.
We recently spoke with Barton to find out more about his innovative business. We learned where he sees the franchise in the next five years, what he looks for in potential franchisees and one trend right now that really excites him: anthropomorphization. (Look it up, we had to!)
What is the idea behind the Splash and Dash franchise?
The main idea behind the franchise is to combine the passion and pride of an individual pet love with the technology and resources of a large company, to help create a structure that creates a clear path to profitability and customer satisfaction.
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What’s special about the franchise?
What sets Splash and Dash apart from the other franchises out there is the way that we have revolutionized the pet industry with the monthly bath membership. Not only does this bring in recurring revenue for franchisees, it is also a service that pet parents want.
How does it compare to its competition?
Well it is hard to compare us to our competitors because none of them have the unique service we offer. We have found that just by incorporating a monthly membership program we not only improved customer loyalty but saw an increase in boutique and grooming sales.
What do you look for in a potential franchisee?
We look for someone who is passionate, not just about pets but also about business. We are also looking for someone who has the drive and determination to be successful and not just quit when things get hard. Of course having business and managerial experience plays into the decision for franchisees. This doesn’t mean the person needs to have owned their own business before, but it is important that they have an understanding of what it takes. The idea is to find franchisees who will be successful.
Where do you see the Splash and Dash franchise in five years?
The company has experienced explosive growth over the last couple years that the next five years look nothing short of bright for us. The pet industry alone is set to continue to grow over the next five years which is good news for the franchise. We expect to be in every state, as well as branching out to other countries and have more than 100 franchises within the next five years.
Can you describe a typical day in the life of a franchisee?
Well it really depends on the franchise model that they buy. Most franchisees will be spending a great deal of time in the location. So they will get to the store to open on most days of the week unless they have a manager that can handle this. From there, it is just a matter of ensuring that everything is handled — the boutique is stocked, dogs are getting bathed and groomed, etc. A lot of the job is also customer service such as interacting with the customers, getting to know them, upselling them on items or services, adding new monthly bath members and so much more. It can be a lot of work but it is rewarding.
What’s your background?
I have always been an entrepreneurial person. As a child I had a lemonade stand to make money. My first real business venture was when I bought my first franchise, a World’s Gym Orlando, at the age of 28. From there I ended up owning five franchises and was on the board as CFO for the franchise. From there, I moved into the pet industry and opened my own pet store. While running this store, I came up with the idea for Splash and Dash and here we are today.
What motivates you to keep going?
Well I’m not going to lie money is a huge motivator for me, just as I think it is for anyone. No one wants to struggle and live paycheck to paycheck. For me, it is about getting to live the life I want and have the schedule I choose.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
That’s a hard question to answer because there have been bumps in the road but at the end of the day, I have learned valuable business lessons from every success and issue I have attained in my professional career. If there is anything I would do differently, I would have gotten the idea for Splash and Dash sooner.
Please tell us your secret to success…
Not being afraid to take on the impossible and not be afraid of going against the grain.
What is the worst job you have ever had and what did you learn from it?
Disney. I worked on the concierge level and quickly realized I did not have the ability to suck up to people. I have learned my best method of communication is blunt and straight to the point.
What is one trend that really excites you?
Anthropomorphization! Look it up.
What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
- Google Drive — Gives you the ability to share things in real time
- Inc and Entrepreneur magazines — I read them often for the helpful information
- iPhone — Gives me the ability to work 24/7 in the world
Any final words for aspiring entrepreneurs?
I learned from Donald Trump, in bankruptcy court there is no difference between $100 or $100 million. I also learned from Steve Jobs, focus groups don’t matter. So combine the two and just go for it.
Where can people get more information on Splash and Dash franchise opportunities?
Visit the website here.
Where can people find Splash and Dash on social media?
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