Barking Up The Right Tree: Wacky Hounds Off The Leash As Franchise Drive Starts

Wacky Hounds Wacky Hounds, Scotland's first nationwide dog walking franchise, is up and running following a carefully calibrated launch programme supported by Alexander Sloan Chartered Accountants, which specialises in franchise opportunities.

Although there are numerous small businesses which offer localised dog walking services, Wacky Hounds, based in Ayr, is the first to offer a fully structured and cohesively planned means for potential business owners to enter the market.

The venture, started by 37-year-old local businessman Richard Gibb four years ago, offers a full range of canine services, including dog sitting, dog boarding and dog transport. It has already attracted a full-time franchisee, also based in the Ayr area.

Richard Gibb's father David, who is the company's Finance Director, said: "It has been an intensive year of preparation, but now that we are fully launched, our target of 100 franchises in Scotland alone is well within the bounds of possibility."

David Gibb said the Wacky Hounds board selected Alexander Sloan Chartered Accountants out of a number of potential professional advisers because of their detailed knowledge of the complexities and pitfalls of the sector.

He said: "We had an immediate rapport with Kevin Booth, partner at Alexander Sloan, who not only dealt with franchises in the firm but had considerable experience of the sector from his previous professional positions.

"While others had reservations about the business plan, he was able to see the potential of a professionally run service with consistently high standards which would give dog owners complete peace of mind."

With Kevin Booth's support, Wacky Hounds is now offering prospective franchisees five-year agreements with estimated gross earnings of up to £40,000 within three years of starting their businesses.

The Gibbs are looking for people who will be motivated not only by the excellent potential cash rewards but who also have an intrinsic affinity with, and knowledge of, dogs and a fundamental enthusiasm for the outdoor environment.

David Gibb continued: "As Richard knows, it can take years to build a dog walking business up, by slowly making local contacts, leafletting and so on. This is an opportunity to walk into a ready-made business with an already established reputation."