A Franchisee’s Journey: Getting to Know…Bob Herman

In February 2018, Bob Herman debuted as a franchise owner with Aussie Pet Mobile—essentially a mobile and roaming pet grooming service—serving Charleston, SC. Though the franchise brand originated in Australia (hence the name), Herman’s business operation was the first of its kind in a region that the state of South Carolina refers to as the “Low Country”. Before we get too deep into Bob’s story, you should know that he’s not from around these parts. In fact, the Chicago-native originally worked and resided in Iowa, but made good on a promise to himself to retire in one of America’s most charming and historic towns. Aussie Pet Mobile is just his Second Act. Herman reminisces about his previous life…

“I earned a degree in Business Administration and moved right over to Corporate America,” remembers Herman. “My expertise was marketing and I worked with dozens of Fortune 500 companies.” But as success, advancement, and salary levels increased, so did the frustrations that many a franchisee once dealt with on a ‘more-often-than-they’d-like-to-admit’ basis. “The business politics of it all was exhausting,” says Herman. “It seemed that earning acceptance into the right business circles and cliques became every bit as valuable as the effort one put into just trying to succeed.” Eventually, it became a bridge too far and Herman veered out of the rat race, purchasing a non-franchise business, which he then ran for 15 years. 

With retirement approaching, Herman sold the business, relocated, and took some time to reflect on his own goals. During this time period he was volunteering as a business mentor for SCORE, the well-known small business entrepreneurial nonprofit. At the point in which his own decision on direction loomed, he crossed paths with Cathey Petkash, FranNet’s consultant for South Carolina. “She made a pitch to me on franchise ownership and I took her up on it,” remembers Herman.  Yet, at the same time, he admittedly struggled with where he really wanted to dedicate his effort and time. But he also credits this struggle for giving him an objective view of the franchise concepts Petkash recommended.cat

“I never imagined I would be involved with pet grooming,” recalls Herman. But this quote is quite common for franchisees who have enjoyed successful pedigrees in their past corporate life. “The truth is, I fell in love with the business model,” says Herman. “Look, I’m no sales guy and I never was, but the business model was incredibly simple. I didn’t need a storefront or massive inventory. And Aussie Pet Mobile had a strong support system for lead-generation through targeted social media ads. We placed our first few specifically targeted Google Ads and boom—the phones started ringing!” It also doesn’t hurt that Aussie Pet Mobile’s onsite grooming vans are professionally wrapped—thus earning high visibility as rolling billboards when traveling from one appointment to the next. The more you see, the more you know.

It’s been just over two years of continuous operation for Bob Herman’s mobile pet grooming business in South Carolina’s “Holy City”. Has it been a successful run-up to this point? Simple math can answer this question. In February of 2018, Herman began with just one van and one employee. He currently owns and operates five Aussie Pet Mobile grooming vans, running far and wide through the Low Country Monday through Saturday of each week. His revenue projection for the close of 2020—even with the current gloomy economic outlook—is still on track to meet his goal of $500k. 

Bob Herman is thankful to have met Cathey Petkash and taken her up on her offer to explore franchising. “Cathey is—first and foremost—a great listener,” says Herman. “She took into account everything I communicated about what I was hoping to achieve in retirement. I’d already met my goal to relocate to Charleston, SC. Cathey helped me meet my goal of owning a business where I could be happy. By putting my interests first, she has proven herself as someone I consider an advocate for my success.”

And yes, Bob Herman and his Aussie Pet Mobile grooming service count Cathey as one of his steady customers. It’s not just a happy ending, but one that illustrates that every dog does indeed have his day. 

For more information, please visit Bob Herman’s Aussie Pet Mobile website on the web.

May 26, 2020