Dog Training Blog
Post by: Kim on May 8th 2020
Ballard Family Brings Dog Training Franchise to Denver!
Dog Training Elite is proud to welcome the Ballard family to our franchise family! Sarah and Bert Ballard, along with their daughter Adria, are gearing up to open the first of their five Denver, CO Dog Training Elite locations within the next few months, and we couldn't be more excited! We sat down with the Ballard family recently to chat about their experience so far with the Dog Training Elite Corporate team and to get to know them better.
The Ballards will be relocating back to the Mile High City from California to open their Dog Training Elite franchise. Along with their 18-year-old daughter Adria, who will be serving as Training Director, Bert and Sarah also have a younger daughter, Kyla, and a son, Jayden. Both Communication Professors at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Bert and Sarah grew up in Colorado and set their sights on moving to Denver and embarking on a new adventure. "We wanted to do something different in terms of a career, like owning a business," says Bert.
Entrepreneurship runs in the Ballard family- until recently, Sarah's parents, who live in the Colorado mountain town of Estes Park, owned a paint store in Grand Junction, and have been involved with a variety of business ventures throughout their lives. Hearing their stories about the hardships and struggles associated with owning an independent business made Sarah and Bert think hard about what they would do differently as business owners to alleviate some of these challenges. Franchising with an established company seemed like the best route for the Ballard family to embark on their entrepreneurial journey.
"We started looking into businesses that would do well in Colorado," recalls Bert, who will be overseeing the accounting and business management side of the family's dog training business. After investigating several franchise opportunities, Dog Training Elite stood out as an ideal choice for the Ballards. Not only did the Dog Training Elite opportunity check the boxes on their 'must-have' list for franchise opportunities, such as a low investment with potential for high revenue, but also aligned perfectly with the family's combined passions for dogs and making an impact within their community.
The family was also impressed with Dog Training Elite's people-first approach to business and the warm, engaging personalities of Founder John Mestas, CEO Kelley Rosequist, and the rest of the corporate support team. "From the moment we started to work with [Dog Training Elite], I was just so impressed with their kindness," says Sarah Ballard, who will be acting as the face of the family's business by meeting with prospective clients and promoting Dog Training Elite in their community. Sarah and her family were bowled over by what she describes as "their authenticity, their willingness to educate, their openness to any of our questions, however odd or minuscule or off-the-wall they may be," adding, "They're just super great people."
The Ballard family also shares a special connection with Dog Training Elite and the work we've done with service dog training through our partnership with The Malinois Foundation. "We're really excited about the service dog piece- that's obviously a huge deal to our family," Sarah says.
Adria credits her service dog, Snickerdoodle, for helping her overcome obstacles in her personal life, and is excited to make a similar impact on someone else's life. "We got Snickerdoodle when I was going through a really rough time," she explains. "I'm really excited to give that back to somebody. Snickerdoodle absolutely changed my life more than I even know. The ability to give that back to somebody just means a lot."
Snickerdoodle also played an important role in the family's recent trip to Phoenix to meet with the Dog Training Elite corporate team and help participate in a home and garden show where they were showcasing our proven training method. "We took Adria's service dog with us, and just getting to watch how they were with her, how they were with their own dogs, with the dogs they were training," Sarah remembers. "Their people-first philosophy, as well as how awesome they were with animals, how open they were with us- that was super cool!"
In addition to meeting John, Kelley, and several other members of the Dog Training Elite team, the Ballards got their first taste of our training method by working with their own dogs for four days on basic commands and a few fun tricks. How did they do? "Our dogs had been training for literally four days, and we were working with our dogs out in front of their setup," says Sarah. "People would walk by and say, 'I wish my dog would act like that,' and I'd say, "This dog has literally been training for four days!" The family will be heading to Salt Lake City in the next month for a more comprehensive two-week training program as they gear up for their Grand Opening.
Meeting the corporate team during Discovery Day was also memorable for Sarah, as it showed her just how much emphasis the Dog Training Elite Corporate team puts on treating Franchise Owners as part of their family. "We went out to dinner after a long day, and the first thing out of the Founder's mouth was to turn to Adria, who is our business partner but also clearly younger, and say, 'What did you think?'" she recalls. "That struck me as somebody who was really respectful to appreciate her opinion."
As the first Dog Training Elite Franchise Owners in the Denver area, the Ballards look forward to growing their dog training franchise empire responsibly. Sarah explains, "We're able to buy into the whole Denver Metro area with first right of refusal for Ft. Collins, Greeley, Boulder, and other cities along the Front Range."
We are thrilled to welcome the Ballard family to our dog training franchise and wish them the best of success in the Mile High City!