Q&A with Bill Gray, Scenthound Multi-Unit Franchisee

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Q&A with Bill Gray, Scenthound Multi-Unit Franchisee

Name: Bill Gray

Title: Multi-unit franchisee

Brands: Scenthound

No. of units: 3

Years in franchising: 1


Bill Gray owns three Scenthound franchises, all in Georgia. His first location opened in Dunwoody in March 2021, followed by Chastain last November. His third location is set to open in Tucker this June.

Why did you choose to franchise with a service brand?

I chose a service brand because my family has had a long history of providing service to others. Three generations before me served as church ministers, my father was a public servant in government, and most of my maternal relatives were teachers. The thought of giving back to the broader community has always motivated me. Owning a service brand franchise is a continuation of that mission.

How did you choose the sector and brand you did?

I started my career in the pet industry as a brand marketing intern at Friskies Pet Care. Returning to this sector several years ago was like coming back home. I found the Scenthound brand appealing because it brought a health and wellness approach to dog grooming. Scenthound’s membership model, customizable services, and recurring appointments all help remove barriers for dog parents to love and care for their dogs.

What different skill sets are required for service brand franchising?

I think working with a service brand requires a deep ability to inspire and motivate employees. In a service franchise, the quality of your business is based so much on the people who are performing that service. In a product-based business, the quality of the product is what people are buying. In those businesses, your technical skills may be more important than your leadership qualities.

What are the advantages to choosing a service brand?

Service brands are always in demand because the services help fulfill a need that is central to people’s lives. One of the primary advantages you provide is convenience for others. Service brands are designed to improve the consumer’s quality of life in a convenient manner. A product can be substituted or bought through many different avenues, and that can make the franchisee’s ability to control their destiny more difficult.

How does having a service brand benefit/complement your other brands?

I only operate these three Scenthound franchises.

What would you recommend to anyone considering a service brand?

People need to do their homework in several areas. They need to know what the brand is truly about and if it fits with their values and interests. They also need to ensure that the franchisor’s values about the service and the employees aligns with theirs. They also should do their due diligence on their financial assumptions and around the people side of the business. What are the types of people needed, and how will they be developed? Franchise prospects should also look for others who want to do this as their passion on a daily basis, because they are the ones who will provide the service. If you cannot find those people, the franchisee will be the one who ends up doing that work.

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