‘To simply be doing something I enjoy every day.’
Andrew has an impressive background and an undeniable love of animals. Grab a cuppa while we take you through what he’s been up to before he got in touch with We Love Pets and how his journey to business owner has gone…
‘I previously carried out volunteer work for a few years as a weekend dog walker for the RSPCA in Bath. I also worked for a few months as a volunteer at the Barn Owl Conservation Trust in Gloucester. When I lived in Canada I worked as a volunteer dog walker for a winter (walking dogs in -30c was a challenge!!) and I also carried out volunteer work for 8 months in Africa. I worked for 7 months on a lion breeding and release project, helping to raise and then release, in stages, lions back into the wild. I looked after cubs from 4 weeks to 16 months old and every day I was walking lions in the African bush, getting them used to the sights and sounds. I also worked for a month on a black rhino conservation project, which was an amazing life experience too.’
How long have you wanted to run your own business?
I have previously been self-employed but wanted to run this type of business for about 9 months so it was just about finding the right franchise.
What made you decide that We Love Pets were the right franchise to enable you to be your own boss?
I did a lot of research on other similar franchises but WLP offered more in terms of training (dog walking and pet first aid) as well as their online presence. There is also the fact that so far no existing franchise has decided to sell, and the money back guarantee that is offered. Both of these gave me confidence that the business model was successful and offered me the long term goals I was looking for in a business.
How did We Love Pets make sure you’re the right person to carry an award-winning brand forward?
I had many phone calls with Ryan (Franchise Director) before we met up and had a long chat. He went through the history of the company, gave me lots of info and asked plenty of questions.
What did the word ‘franchise’ mean to you before you came across WLP?
I have run a franchise before (different sector) so already understand generally, to me it means having the flexibility to run my own business but with the advantage of an already (in WLP’s case) successful business model, along with initial and on-going training, support and backup.
What does it mean to you now?
Chatting to Ryan confirmed that WLP offers all that I expect from a successful franchise.
What do you think you’ll find most challenging being a business owner?
Finding the customers.
How will you overcome this?
One of the reasons I chose WLP is their online presence, being top of Google in organic searches for dog walkers. This is a huge advantage as most people will initially carry out a search online.
What have you done in your past that you think will help you in your new venture?
I have previously been self-employed and understand the hard work that is involved in running a business however I am very confident in the WLP business model and the training and support I will receive from Ryan, Jo, all at head office and the other franchisees.
How did you fund the franchise?
I got a loan for the full amount through BizBritain
What will being your own boss mean most to you?
Time flexibility, a better work/life balance. The ability to grow the business at my own pace.
What lifestyle changes are you hoping to make when you’re up and running?
To simply be doing something I enjoy every day.
Why did you want to leave employment?
Having previously been self-employed I wanted that again but to be doing something I enjoyed, so it was just a case of finding the right franchise to support me.
We knew Andrew was right for We Love Pets. Swindon and the surrounding towns and villages will love him!
Andrew offers dog walking and pet sitting in the following areas of Swindon: Blunsdon, Chiseldon, Cricklade, Liddington, North Swindon, Oakhurst, Old Town, Purton, Redhouse, Shrivenham, Taw Hill, Wanborough, West Swindon, Wroughton.
He offers dog walking and pet sitting in the following postcode areas: SN1, SN2, SN25, SN26, SN3, SN4, SN5
Get in touch to find out more or make a booking: We Love Pets, Swindon