Franchises Can Be A Worker's Best Friend
A Staten Island woman let her career go the dogs, but she couldn't be happier about setting up her own pet care franchise. NY1's Employment reporter Asa Aarons filed the following report.
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These days, getting someone out on a service call is like pulling teeth. But Nicole Romagnolo makes home visits, as a trained, professional dog walker. She is part of growing number of the newly unemployed who have decided to create a job of their own.
Romagnolo chose this profession when 12 years of running retail mall stores came to an end.
"I got notice last August that my store was closing and I only had a few weeks notice," she says. "I'm 33 years old, and I really wanted to think about what would make me happy and what would be fulfilling at the end of the day."
Romagnolo plowed into a thousand different franchise opportunities, and since she wished to work with animals, she focused on a pet care franchise called Fetch.
"We did a lot of research. We studied our competition, researched what's out here - how many people have pets, who spends money on their pets," says Romagnolo.
She decided to create Fetch of Staten Island, and started to learn how to properly walk and handle dogs.
"Dogs work well with praise," she says. "If they go in the other direction, you can tug them. Then lower the pitch of your voice and say 'Good boy,' so they know that they're doing well."
Romagnolo also feeds, pet-sits and drives her four-legged clients to the vet.
Her choosing to run a franchise has many successful precedents. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the failure rate of franchise businesses is 3.7 percent, compared to the 85 percent failure for non-franchise businesses.
However, no franchise can guarantee success, and running one requires exhaustive research.
Overall, Romagnolo is pleased she went with the franchise route, but says regardless of what business one considers, people need to first size themselves up.
"You have to research within yourself to find something that will make you happy at the end of the day," says Romagnolo. "And you can make money doing it as long as you love it."
The thousands of city residents who live in fear of losing their job can know there is room for other opportunities.
"Sometimes when people get laid off from a job, they can look at it as a pitfall or a bad time, but i would encourage people to look at it as an opportunity," says Romagnolo.