Franchisee Success Stories

franchisee success

Former Rocket Scientist Embraces Dog Training Franchise

Jill Griffin, writer for Forbes Magazine, was looking for franchisee success stories. Then she met Heather Gillihan, owner of the Zoom Room Dog Training franchise in Trophy Club, Texas (just outside Dallas). She didn’t need to look any further.

Heather is a former rocket scientist with the U.S. Army Space & Missile Defense Command. She discussed her life journey with Forbes. Or, since we’re talking rockets, we should probably describe it as her trajectory.

Before dogs came alligators…

After working for the Army, then the Air Force, Heather joined her husband in Israel where he was working. And yes, eventually she wound up in Georgia: wrangling alligators. But she says her most exciting adventure is the one she’s enjoying today – running her own business.

A passion for dogs

In the article, she describes how she fell in love with the Zoom Room indoor dog training gym franchise concept. It wasn’t long before she opened her own location in Trophy Club. Her story is a wonderful inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs.

One day while watching TV I saw an interview with the founder of Zoom Room, a dog training franchise. It was all about Zoom Room’s method of positive-reinforcement training and I saw them do an agility course demo. At the end of the interview, it was mentioned there were franchise opportunities with Zoom Room. I was hooked! I told my husband then and there that Zoom Room was in my future. Zoom Room Trophy Club opened its doors on June 20, 2015, and I have never looked back!

Successful Franchisee Heather Gillihan, in Forbes Magazine

The most inspiring words of wisdom to Heather were spoken by Abraham Lincoln. “Whatever you are, be a good one.”

That quotation always reminds Heather that no matter what she’s doing, “personally, or professionally, to do it (or be it) to the best of my ability.”

How to be a Successful Franchisee

To succeed in a franchise, or in any other form of entrepreneurship, Heather offers some fantastic advice for success:

  1. Treat both employees and customers as family. Says Heather: “If someone walks through our doors and feels like they’re home, they will keep coming back!”
  2. “Communicate your expectations clearly and your employees, clients and customers will rise to every challenge.”
  3. “Do no harm. Conflicts and misunderstandings will arise in every business and relationship, but in trying to resolve any issue, do so with kindness and respect.”
  4. “Surround yourself with people who will uplift, support, and encourage you no matter what is going on in your life!”
  5. “Know who you are, what you want and what you are capable of achieving.”
  6. “Do your research (extensively) and after that’s done, follow your heart!”

When I began looking into Zoom Room seriously, I graciously took in [everyone’s advice]. After analyzing every viewpoint, I knew that if it could be done, I could do it!