Pets Are Inn: Keeping your pets happy while you’re away



The pet industry has come out as a pleasant surprise in the past decade. It has been growing rapidly owing to the increasing number of people who are eager to welcome a four-legged friend in their homes to love and care for. Even in times like the recession from 2007 to 2009 when the US stock market took a nosedive and snuffed out nearly $8 trillion in value, the pet industry was growing at a rate of 4% every year. As of today, nearly 70% of American households own a pet and generated over $75 billion in revenue in 2019. However, there’s a common issue that every pet owner comes across at some point in their lives which is being unable to travel with pets. In such scenarios, they often have to look for somebody they know who would be kind enough to take their pets in and care for them until they return. This arrangement soon becomes awkward for everyone involved and the poor little thing has to keep wondering if it’s in the right place. 

“No kennels, no cages, no strangers in your home! Your pet is cared for in a pre-screened/ approved private home!”

Jim Platt and his wife Ann, a couple from Minneapolis, Minnesota, were facing a similar issue as they grew uncomfortable with leaving their adorable miniature schnauzer, Maia, with one of their friends every time they had to travel. They certainly couldn’t consider a kennel due to their reputation as being poorly managed along with the stress associated with it which a domestic dog cannot handle and thrive in. Also, because of the large number of pets boarding in close quarters in kennels, they easily become a cradle for issues such as fleas, kennel cough, and other health issues. Trying to find an alternative to this which would also ensure Maia’s well-being while they are away, the Platts came across Pets Are Inn, who offered private home-like space and comfort for their customer’s pets along with personalized care and loads of love. Pets Are Inn was founded by Harry & Kal Sanders-Greenberg in the year 1982 after they realized their pet Chopin’s struggle while staying in a kennel. Thus, they established Pets Are Inn as a superior alternative for boarding pets when their families are away on vacation or a work thing, promising to deliver all the comforts of a home. The Sanders-Greenberg ran this business with a sole proprietorship from November 1, 1982, until January 9, 1985, and did not decide to franchise until January 9, 1985. Ann and Jim Platt who fell in love with Pets Are Inn the first time they heard of it, purchased the whole franchising system on 12 June 1992. By late July they incorporated the firm as Pets Are Inn, Inc., a Minnesota Corporation which has since grown into a distinguished franchise.

Making of a Legacy

When asked how they managed to grow this venture to this scale, Jim shares, “Ann had come to the point in her business career that it was time to go out on her own in business. Being raised on a dairy farm in South Central Minnesota, she was not afraid of work and had developed a genuine love for animals. A graduate with a B.S. from Mankato State University in Business, Ann had developed her sales and sales management experience with Xerox Corporation. Utilizing this experience, her territory grew rapidly to become the number one franchise in Pets Are Inn. She redefined the host family and owner profiles, to update and expand the owner and host family agreements, and initiated a computerized record-keeping system. It is through her efforts that the Pets Are Inn system has received a higher level of acceptance and success. This is why Ann assists in training all new franchise owners.” While Ann focuses on operating the franchise, Jim aka “Bucky”, has always been there as her number one support. He too, coming from a family of animal lovers and being the owner of 1st American Realty, Inc. used his firsthand experience as an entrepreneur to expand the organization nationally. He also employed his educational background as the director of training for real estate and insurance professionals for Minnesota Technical Colleges and professional skills in the field of sales, marketing, and training. Fortunately, the couple was also greeted with immediate acceptance, support, and compliance from the existing franchise owners. Ever since, Pets Are Inn is proving itself as a unique opportunity for like-minded individuals who want to take advantage of an innovative, successful, and proven business set up.

At present, Pets Are Inn franchises are available throughout the United States. They give pet owners that peace of mind they long for knowing their pets are in good hands while they are away. The pets are hosted by carefully selected pet-lover families who are desperate to spend all of their affection on these beautiful creatures by pampering them and treating them as one of their own. “Think about what really makes your pet comfortable when you leave or go away,” reads the website, “Often your pet pleads with you using that special, uncanny eye contact (that pets alone possess!) not to go. This is why Pets Are Inn boards customers’ pets in private homes! And since the great majority of pets are thoroughly accustomed to living in a home environment, the discomfort, illness, and stress normally associated with kennel boarding are absent when in-home boarding is used. Caring for pets since 1982, Pets Are Inn is the “#1 Alternative for Boarding Your Pet While You’re Away” with “All the Comforts of Home.” For their extraordinary contribution to the pet industry, Pets Are Inn has been featured on TV, Radio, and various nationally renowned publications. It has received an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and has been recognized as one of 15 blockbuster home-based businesses by Small Business Opportunities Magazine and among “The Best Home-based Franchises” by Gregory Matusky in his book. Also, it was rated as the #1 Franchise in the Petcare service industry nationwide by the Entrepreneur magazine.

Extended Support

To be a great franchise, it is crucial that the franchise owners believe in its culture, system, and leadership. This can only be attained by providing strong initial, on-going, and field support. As initial support, Pets Are Inn assists the owners to find a perfect spot to gain maximum market penetration and help them get things set up thereon. Apart from this, to prepare the franchisees for their first pet, they offer temporary accommodation and 4 days of intensive and mandatory training which includes operating skills, sales, marketing, pricing, and other topics. To further extend the support in terms of sales, Pets Are Inn helps the owners determine the pricing, advertising, and marketing guidelines based on the demographics of the audience. Also, there are regular conferences to maintain the network, and the franchise owners are given an operations manual that embodies all aspects of running a Pets Are Inn business. In terms of technical support, it provides an automated system with powerful management tools to save time on tasks such as database tracking, invoicing, accounts, sales analysis, reporting, general ledger, cash management, and much more. Moreover, to keep the business secure in the first year of operation, Pets Are Inn provides complete business liability insurance coverage for that period. As ongoing support, it offers recommendations on any aspect of the business strategy along with continual research, analysis, study, and evaluation of new marketing programs, ideas, and trends that are integral to keep up with the industry. In the end, let’s see what their franchisees have to say about them:  

“When we were told about the publicity we could expect, we didn’t anticipate it would work for us so quickly. We have been featured in Plano Profile, the Dallas morning news. We also did a radio talk show that’s listened to by almost everyone and a TV interview. The business has really taken off too — all the publicity is making our name very well known.”– Kaye Gardner, Owner, Pets Are Inn Dallas, Texas.

“We bought a Pets Are Inn franchise because we like the potential that owning our own business offers us. We chose this business because we love pets and can work well with pet owners. Another important reason we believe in this franchise is the support we get from the corporate office whenever there is a problem. There have been great savings on insurance, forms, and advertising specialties too, by purchasing together with other franchise owners.” – George & Pat Miller, Owner, Pets Are Inn Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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