Business Odyssey

Real Business Stories of Growth, Struggles, Resilience & Success around Denver Metro, Colorado

Part 2: The Journey from Local Pet Store to a Thriving Franchise Business Model

Written by YeeLing Lee | Operational Efficiency Specialist & Founder of BNP



Key Takeaways

  • Prioritize a store layout that can be easily replicated for franchise expansion.
  • Established a strong brand foundation with a solid product selection, efficient layout, and online presence before embarking on franchising.
  • Value franchisees with personable, hands-on qualities, prioritizing mindset over pet industry experience.
  • Select franchisees who can seamlessly blend structured systems with personalized service.



Interview with Aidan Gannon


Lone Tree, Denver, Colorado

Aidan & Jennifer Gannon

In the ever-changing pet retail industry, Aidan and Jennifer Gannon decided to expand their successful business model beyond their thriving store, PetzLove. From the inception of PetzLove, they envisioned it as a multi-store chain or franchise. This transition was driven by a profound understanding of the crucial elements required to deliver top-notch customer service and high-quality products.

Optimizing the Store Layout for Franchising

To enhance the franchise potential of their business, the Gannons took full advantage of an opportunity to redesign their store layout when the neighboring space became available. Aidan had the chance to reconfigure and optimize the store layout in line with his vision: a pet retail brand with a consistent and streamlined look and feel that could be effortlessly replicated across different locations.

Establishing a Solid Brand Foundation

With a solid product selection, an efficient store layout, a strong online presence, and a dependable home delivery service, the Gannons had built a robust brand supported by effective marketing strategies. Along with an impressive revenue track record and a dedicated, capable team, the Gannons felt confident about entering the world of franchising. The timing was ideal.

Franchise vs. Licensing: A Vital Distinction

One of the first decisions they faced was whether to opt for franchising or licensing their brand. They recognized that choosing franchising would enable them to maintain strict control over their brand standards, ensuring consistency and the preservation of the PetzLove reputation and legacy. Franchising does not just bring a well-established model; it also acts as a protective barrier against any potential drift from their rigorous standards.

Choosing the Right Franchisees

While PetzLove’s business model thrives on personal customer service, it also demands a carefully selected set of franchisees. Aidan places a premium on individuals with personable, likable, and caring personalities, who, crucially, are committed to being hands-on owner-operators. Pet industry experience is not a prerequisite, as they believe in the power of training, provided the right personality and mindset are present.

Balancing Franchise System and Personalized Service

In their search for franchise partners, the Gannons adopt a rigorous approach. Much like their hiring process, they look for individuals with the ideal personality, a readiness to learn, and the right customer service attitude. This thorough selection process ensures that franchisees not only align with the brand’s core values but also excel in delivering personalized service.

The challenge lies in harmonizing the essence of a franchise, which includes systemized procedures, with PetzLove’s renowned personalized customer service. For this reason, franchisees with the ideal personality traits, a personable demeanor, and a commitment to hands-on, owner-operated operations are crucial. This way, structured systems will blend seamlessly with their personalities, ensuring a flawless fusion of systemization and personalized service.

Retail Display Success

Appealing in-store experience to foster customer loyalty

The Family-Focused Franchise

At the heart of PetzLove’s franchise model is a desire to create a platform where one owner can effectively manage the entire business without it becoming overwhelming. Family partnerships are encouraged, as they aspire to offer franchisees the freedom and flexibility to run their business successfully while enjoying quality time with their families. It’s about owning a business without being enslaved by it.

Setting Clear Expectations from the Get-Go

During the interview process, prospective franchisees are provided with a clear understanding of PetzLove’s expectations regarding employee management and operational standards. This transparency ensures that the brand’s reputation and service quality are consistently maintained across all franchise locations.

A Franchise Model that Balances Business Ownership and Work-Life Balance

Having invested extensive effort and resources, the Gannons have crafted a PetzLove model in which franchisees can experience the joys of business ownership. Surrounded by pet-loving customers, franchisees have the unique privilege of offering superior pet products and services while also enjoying valuable time with their families.

Franchise Journey: Essential Steps and Investments

Expanding from a single store to a franchise was a significant undertaking that demanded comprehensive preparation. The Gannons invested nearly a year collaborating with franchise consultants, financial advisors, and legal experts to ensure that the groundwork was meticulously laid out. This process included gathering data to make reasonable financial assumptions and finalizing essential details, such as fee structures and royalty agreements. Substantial financial investment was made before they could even commence marketing the franchise opportunity.

Comprehensive Franchise Marketing Strategies

The process of marketing the franchise was no small feat. PetzLove utilized various methods, including tradeshows, advertisements on franchise websites, and social media campaigns. While social media generated more leads, it did not always guarantee quality. Purchased leads and a dedicated full-time marketer were also part of their comprehensive strategy.

In their pursuit to expand their business through franchising, the Gannons have navigated a challenging yet ultimately rewarding journey. It’s a testament to their dedication and commitment to maintaining the PetzLove brand’s standards of excellence, and their desire to share the joy of pet retail with like-minded individuals through franchising.

This is a Full Article. Read Abridged Version.

This article is a continuation of the Gannons’ journey discussed in the first part, and both parts are intended to be read in conjunction for a comprehensive understanding of their story. Read Part 1: Family-Centric Pet Store Business Journey


Aidan Gannon

PetzLove Food 'n Stuffz

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