While some businesses have seen sales decline during the pandemic due to door-to-door orders and other COVID-19 restrictions on in-store activity, Keith and Patrycia Miller have welcomed an increase in the number of people wanting to use their dog in self-service and full-service. grooming salons.
“You were a lot more at home, so now you realize [the] dog smells, “Keith Miller said.” At the start of the pandemic it was ‘I just need to get out because everything else is closed’, so sometimes we were the only contact people had for the day, either by dropping the dog or going in and bathing them.
And with people staying at home for an extended period during the pandemic, pet adoptions have increased, resulting in more business for the Millers.
Now the Millers are launching their franchise option outside of the Twin Cities.
“We have always debated whether we want to do this and [asked] Now was a good time, but the pandemic has struck and shockingly, when you are stuck like home doing nothing you have time to franchise, ”said Keith Miller.
There are four Bubbly Paws locations in the Twin Cities: St. Louis Park, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Maple Grove. From June 2020 to May 2021, total gross sales to were $ 1.5 million, more than total sales of $ 1.39 million for the previous 12-month period, and up from the total sales of 1.2 for the same period between 2018 and 2019. The company only earned $ 1,321 for the month of April 2020, which was at the start of the novel coronavirus outbreak.
The Millers opened their first location in St. Louis Park in 2011. Since then, they’ve opened a new location roughly every two years. The Minneapolis show opened in 2018.
With their franchise option, the Millers plan to slowly diversify, following the same model they have used for the past 10 years. Keith Miller said the goal is to add three stores over the next 12 months, “which in the franchise world is very slow,” he said.
“For us, it’s more a question of quality than quantity.”
From the initial conversation with franchisees interested in building the salon, the process of building a franchise will take about six months, Miller said. Each salon would have between two and four groomers, up to four part-time employees and a manager.
For starters, the couple want to branch out into the Midwest. So far, the Millers have received inquiries from Chicago, Milwaukee and Fargo, as well as other cities in Minnesota like Duluth and Rochester.
Keith is from Chicago and Patrycia is from the Appleton, Wisconsin area.
“Helping others succeed and follow their passions has always been important to me, and now I can help entrepreneurs across the country realize their dreams of owning their own small business,” said Patrycia Miller.
A request to buy the franchise came from Arizona, Keith Miller said.
“Every time I see an email it’s the same level of excitement whether it’s Green Bay or Milwaukee,” he said. “It’s like, wow, that person is really interested in what we’ve built.”
In addition to launching their franchise option, the Millers began selling their house dog shampoo and conditioner in their salons, as well as a line of new bandanas.
“It’s something we’ve always wanted to do, but being more at home, you finally have time to do it,” said Keith Miller.