Tim Vogel, owner of Scenthound, didn’t initially intend to turn the pet care industry on its head. In fact, it took him a while before he even considered taking the entrepreneurial leap.
What prompted him to jump? Puppy love!
Shortly after getting married, Tim’s wife, Jessica, pitched the idea of getting a dog. Initially, against the idea, Tim soon found himself bringing home an 8-week-old Labradoodle. So he educated himself about how to raise a dog.
One of the books included a tip on establishing yourself as the pack leader. The suggestion: Take the puppy to a park, set it down, and simply walk away. The puppy would then see the person as the pack leader and follow.
“I tried it, and that’s exactly what happened,” Tim said. “I was hooked!”
From that moment on, Tim and that puppy shared a special bond. And it prompted Tim to consider a career change.
“I had the grand idea of getting into the pet space,” Tim said. “Services were all happening at home, and I saw a big opportunity for mobile at-home services. The grooming space was highly fractured. I thought if I could create a brand in that space and a scalable operation, there would be a lot of opportunity.”
So in 2005, Tim and Jessica decided to move and start a business at the same time (no big deal). By 2011, Tim had grown his business to a fleet of mobile units and a brick-and-mortar salon. But he realized he couldn’t scale his current business model. He needed to try something else.
Tim participated in the incubator program at his local Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and eventually coached the program he once attended. During that time, Tim was introduced to EOS® when EOS Implementer Mike Paton visited the chapter a few times.
He loved the concepts and began applying them to his company, encouraging other entrepreneurs he coached to do the same. In the EO incubator program, Tim met Cesar Quintero, who later joined EOS and eventually became Scenthound’s EOS Implementer®.
During that time, Tim started conducting deeper research into the pet care industry, learning what customers really needed. He realized that of the 10 most popular breeds in the U.S., only one breed actually needed haircuts.
And he began to understand how simple preventative actions could measurably improve the quality and longevity of a dog’s life. For example, regular dental care could save a dog from periodontal disease, which increases the risk of experiencing heart, kidney, liver, brain, or cancer problems.
So Tim decided to completely change his business model from haircuts to offering overall pet health and wellness. He renamed his business skin, coat, ears, nails, and teeth (SCENT)hound.
Then Tim created a membership program for clients to bring their dogs in for weekly or monthly baths and nail trims. Using proprietary software, Scenthound started gathering data during each visit to build a larger health picture for each animal.
Generally, dogs see their veterinarians only once or twice a year. That means Scenthound would serve as the authority on a dog’s health, creating personalized and curated solutions based on regularly collected data.
Many people may not realize it, but the United States faces a massive vet shortage. By offering preventative measures, Scenthound supports the vet industry by reducing the number of visits for avoidable diseases.
For more than a decade, Tim perfected the Scenthound business model. He did so by conducting experiments around product marketing, testing, and scaling. In 2019, Tim took the leap to franchise the company. By the end of 2022, Scenthound grew from six locations in Florida to roughly 60 franchises nationwide.
Tim’s focus is getting as many locations open as possible in the next two or three years. He has a goal of 250 locations operating by the end of 2023, and to perfect Scenthound’s data-gathering process.
In addition, Scenthound has begun offering its own branded products all approved by the National Animal Science Council (NASC). For example, as part of their services, they tailor shampoos based on skin conditions, deodorizing, coat conditions, and preferred scents. They also bring nutritional vets to their locations to prescribe supplements for gut health, joint health, or anxiety.
By removing the intemediary and going straight from the manufacturer to the franchisees, everyone profits. Above all else, though, no matter what product they decide to offer their clients, it must benefit everyone.
“First, it has to be better for the dog and the dog parent,” he said. “It has to allow the franchisee to offer a better product or service. And finally, it has to make money for us.”
With their recent decisions, they’ve split their Accountability Chart™: one for franchising and one for innovations with research and development. This created the need for an executive leadership team to oversee both aspects of the Scenthound brand.
“When we decided franchising was the way to go, that’s when EOS really started having an impact,” Tim said. “Alignment has been one of the biggest things in creating momentum and success. EOS gives us the discipline to stay focused on the same things.”
They’ve created important communications strategies, including a franchisee advisory council, brand updates, and weekly newsletters.
Because of their rapid growth, the leadership team has instituted daily huddles. Tim sees the meeting pulse as the business’s heartbeat: the faster the heartbeat, the faster they can go. This has helped them stay on the same page while allowing Tim to let go of responsibilities.
“Learning to let go of the vine has changed everything for me as a Visionary,” Tim said. “I knew conceptually what that meant but didn’t know how that felt. It feels pretty awesome, and I still have confidence in a high level of operations.”
Most importantly, at the start of each meeting, everyone answers the following five questions:
- What did I do yesterday to advance my Rocks?
- What will I do today to advance my Rocks?
- Where am I stuck?
- What am I grateful for?
- Who can I recognize with a Core Value shout-out?
“These questions offer a great way for the leadership team to share our days,” Tim said. “How we show up is how our teams see us. Possibilities open up this way.”
Why We Run on EOS
“We wouldn’t be where we are without EOS,” Tim said. “Sometimes the system doesn’t matter so long as you have one. But I’ve found EOS to be the most powerful one for us, and we’re super grateful.”