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With thousands of franchises in the sea, how do you know which is the one for you? See if the chemistry is right with these businesses. by jim gold

bark up the right tree when david george decided to leave his corporate career of 31 years to go into business for himself, he explored a variety of opportunities but found the right partner in Dogtopia. “The ability to combine my love of dogs and love of business resonated with me,” says George, who plans to open his Dogtopia dog daycare, boarding, and spa franchise this spring in South Elgin, Illinois. His wife, Susan, will be his business partner, and he will run the day-to-day operation. “I’ll be in my own business and work as part of a very organized franchise, serving those folks who want to provide premium care for their pups,” George says. He was drawn to Dogtopia’s branding and marketing, and its promise to give dogs their “most exciting day ever.” “Dogtopia stands out in a crowded field,” George says. He praised Dogtopia for employing a veterinarian, a biologist, and a canine behaviorist. Dogtopia provides superior training to canine coaches who will care for and play with the dogs in Dogtopia’s care. Dogtopia’s dedication to safety, security, and cleanliness, as well as its support for franchisees, also impressed George. That support includes

help from real estate specialists who can evaluate potential store locations fit to handle play spaces for dogs. Dogtopia focuses on placing its locations in high-end retail centers. That emphasis on accessible storefronts is a boon for brick-and-mortar businesses in the age of online shopping, George says. Landlords welcome Dogtopia because its presence can draw customers to shopping centers. Customers can conveniently drop off their pups at Dogtopia, and then run errands or go to a restaurant knowing their dogs are being safely social-

ized and professionally cared for, George says. Like George, many Dogtopia franchisees are former corporate workers looking for support and a proven system for their first business venture. Dogtopia gives franchisees the tools they need to make their business successful. In franchise owners, Dogtopia looks for transferrable business skills, a passion for dogs, and the willingness to embrace a proven system. Perhaps most importantly, you should have a desire to be in business for yourself, but not by yourself.

Dogtopia is a leading franchise in the booming pet care industry.

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Profile for Southwest: The Magazine

February 2019