This past fall, we celebrated the opening of one of our newest Hounds Town USA pet franchise locations in the beautiful city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Now, to kick off the New Year, we decided to check in with its owner, Joe Allbaugh, and see how things were going! Read our interview with him below:
For how long has your pet franchise been running?
About three months. We officially opened on October 5th.
Tell us about some of the best parts of owning a franchise within the pet industry so far!
One of the best parts for me is having the ability to create your own schedule and to be in control of running the business. I love being hands-on every day with the dogs! Watching my business grow makes me very excited as well.
How has business been?
Business has been great! We just hit 24 dogs a day, which is huge!
How do you like doing dog evaluations? Are they easier or harder than you thought that they would be?
Doing the evaluations was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. For me, that was great! The same goes for grouping the dogs. The only thing that I was uneasy about was grouping the dogs into packs. But, with the training that [Hounds Town USA Founder] Mike [Gould] and [President] Jackie [Bondanza] have provided, it turned out to be a really easy thing. The training was more than sufficient!
Being in Pittsburgh, there is undoubtedly heavy competition from other doggy daycare franchises in the pet industry. Have you gotten many customers that previously went to other franchises? What do they have to say about Hounds Town USA?
We like to communicate with our customers very thoroughly. We have seen comments from our customers, saying how they would’ve never gotten this kind of service at the previous daycare that they went to. One customer, in particular, told us about how her dog was typically active in doggy daycare but would come back very tired. We found out later that her dog was being segregated from the other breeds at her previous daycare, so it was just sleeping alone all day! We were able to help her to immerse her dog into the pack here, and the dog was able to play with everyone else! This was a very rewarding experience!
Have you been getting to enjoy some of the work/life balance that Hounds Town USA can offer you?
I’ve been trying to ease into it a bit more. I’ve really been focusing on getting the employees trained during these first few months. As we’ve been open so far, I’ve been starting to slip away for a bit to go do a few errands and leave the employees on their own. Then I come back to see how everything is going. As we start to peel back, it seems to be working very well, and my employees are getting great at running the business!
Have there been any challenges since opening?
The biggest challenge for me has always been understanding the marketing aspect of things. I think that because we are here in Pittsburgh and there has never been a Hounds Town USA here before, the challenge was, “How do we get the name out there and how do we spread the word?” Jackie was great at helping with that, coming up with some great ideas, and really helping me to test the market. Now that the Hounds Town name is out there, though, business is going great!
What are you looking forward to in the coming year?
We’re looking to build this location in terms of getting it fully up and running and getting more dogs in the door! After that, I’d like to open a second location here in the city!
Want to see what owning a pet franchise looks like? Take a tour of Joe Allbaugh’s all-new Pittsburgh Hounds Town facility here:
Having always had an entrepreneurial spirit, Joe was able to find the perfect career owning a pet franchise with Hounds Town USA. It’s no mystery that things are going great for his business, and the future looks bright as the pet industry continues to boom! Joe can rest easy knowing that the Hounds Town USA support team has his back through every step of the franchising process. They will help with training new employees, finding property for his next location, and continuing to push marketing efforts in Pittsburgh! Joe embodies everything that we strive to personify within our Franchise Owners: a strong work ethic, an outgoing personality, and a passion for making a difference within his community, whether it be with dogs or their owners!
If this sounds like you, then check out our franchising site here.