Posted on Sep 16th 2020
We’re thrilled to announce that St. Louis, MO is now Dog Training Elite country! We had an opportunity to learn more about the man who is bringing our pet training franchise. to the Gateway to the West. Meet our newest Dog Training Elite Franchise Owner, Matt Willis!
Despite being hard at work ramping up his St. Louis pet training franchise, Matt took the time to share a little getting-to-know-you Q&A session with us. Here’s what he has to say about his background, his franchise education process, and his experience so far with the Dog Training Elite corporate team. Enjoy!
What is your personal/professional background prior to discovering the Dog Training Elite opportunity?
I grew up in a house in Austin, TX full of all kinds of animals. Dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, snakes, lizards. I have been in the business of wholesale distribution of building materials for the past 20 years. I started in sales, moved to management, and then became a partner and moved to St. Louis.
How did you first learn about Dog Training Elite?
A franchise broker brought it to me after I sold my business. I told him to bring me opportunities that were fun and not from my prior industry.
Why is Dog Training Elite the right fit for you?
I have had dogs all my life and enjoy their companionship. I have always trained them myself and had obedient dogs. I feel people can enjoy their relationships with their pets much better when they both understand what the other one needs, and I’m ready to help them with that.
What did you like about Dog Training Elite’s business model?
The support system and marketing appear to be top-notch, which is vital for all of our success. I also was very interested in community outreach and partnerships through the Malinois Foundation.
What sets Dog Training Elite apart, in your eyes, from other franchise opportunities in the Pet Care Industry?
They have an in-home training system that is able to roll out quickly without being bogged down due to a brick and mortar location.
What did you like about meeting Dog Training Elite’s Founders?
I’m always interested in hearing about a business’s journey from an idea to its fruition as I have developed two start-up businesses previously. It was great to hear the history behind the brand.
What did you like about the Dog Training Elite Discovery Day?
Getting to shadow the trainer in action and certifying a service dog for a young woman in need was inspiring. It was wonderful to see the newly-trained dog responding so well through the tests at a local shopping mall. It made me feel good to know I have an opportunity to help others in the same way with my new business.
Was there a particular “a-HA!” or “lightbulb” moment that made you want to franchise with Dog Training Elite?
The Saturday group session in Utah was a lot of fun. I enjoyed seeing the camaraderie of the dog owners and trainers working together.
What are your personal hobbies or interests?
I love the outdoors and enjoy hunting, hiking, camping, and going to the lake. I’m very active with biking, golf, tennis, snow skiing, and working out. I’m always up for a challenge! I have bungee jumped, skydived, heli-skiied, and I used to cliff dive quite a bit.
What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
I’ve been an entrepreneur my whole life. I began creating opportunities and selling things in my neighborhood as early as age 7!
What do you think will make you successful?
My drive and salesmanship. I love to sell something I believe in!
Now that you’ve been through the process, what advice would you give to a potential Franchise Owner?
Do your research. Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions.
How important are dogs/pets in your daily life?
Very important. They are family.
What do you look forward to about owning your own Dog Training Elite franchise?
I love building a new business. The hunt. The chase. Providing for my family and having a good time while doing it seems like a dream.
Thanks to his business savvy and entrepreneurial experience, Matt was able to spot an excellent opportunity with our pet training franchise and is now in an excellent position to earn money doing something he feels good about every day! We’re beyond excited to welcome Matt on board and can’t wait to see his success as he brings Dog Training Elite to a whole new market.
Is this the last year you spend working all day in a 9-5 corporate job? Dog Training Elite is currently franchising across the U.S. We’re looking for like-minded dog lovers who want to make a positive impact on the dogs and humans in their communities. Visit our franchise website to learn more.