Jon from We Love Pets Newcastle sitting with dog

Meet Jon – We Love Pets Newcastle

Feeling burnt out in a fast-paced media and advertising role, Jon knew it was time to make a change. On a whim, he Googled pet care franchises and happened upon We Love Pets. The rest, as they say, is history!

Why did you choose a franchise over setting up your own business?

For a long time, I had been thinking about setting up a business, and I knew I wanted to be my own boss rather than working for a large employer. I eventually decided that I specifically wanted a dog walking business, but I didn’t know where to start. There are already so many pet-care companies out there, and I figured that starting on my own would be really tough. So, I made the decision to join a franchise, as it provides an established brand and successful network.

Why did you choose WLP?

On the day that I was really investigating dog walking franchises, We Love Pets was one of the first companies I saw. I sent an enquiry through the site and Ryan called me back immediately. Straight away I got the sense that it’s a very close-knit, family orientated environment, and I was impressed that it ranked well in the Elite Franchise Top 100 list. After speaking with Ryan, I phoned other franchisees to ask about the network, and every single one of them spoke really highly of the company, boasting that becoming a We Love Pets franchisee was the best thing they’d ever done! After that, I was sold.

Did you look at any other franchises?

No, I didn’t actually! From the start, We Love Pets was the right fit for me.

What did the word ‘franchise’ mean to you before you came across We Love Pets?

When I think of a franchise, I typically think of the ‘big guns,’ like McDonald’s and Subway. To me, a franchise indicates a singular brand, and offers an opportunity to become a business owner within that brand. Franchises supply you with the tools you need to run the business, so it’s a great way to own a business with the benefit of being part of a much bigger network. When researching We Love Pets and other franchises, I found that they all tend to follow the same format.

What was your day to day like in your previous role?

I’m currently in a media and advertising management role for a large media company, which I got into initially because of my passion for radio. My goal was to end up working in radio production but happened to land in a sales area, and I’ve worked my way up in that field for the past seven years. Unfortunately, I’ve been unhappy in my position for a while – my day to day has become repetitive, and I’m no longer passionate about what I do. With the onset of COVID-19, I really started to feel an urge to do something different and take a risk.

What was the final straw for leaving your previous job?

Just the accumulation of it all: the daily repetition, lack of satisfaction, and the impact of the pandemic. One day I was feeling extremely unmotivated and unhappy and I wondered, “am I really going to carry on doing this for the rest of my life?” On a whim I Googled pet care franchises, happened upon We Love Pets, and that was it. It took me a while to officially decide and commit, but I thought to myself, “if I don’t take a risk, I’ll never know – and I don’t want this to be something I regret in ten to twenty years.”

How long had you been thinking about changing your career?

I had been thinking about changing my career for quite a while and had always thought about possibly launching my own business, but the idea of owning a franchise hadn’t occurred to me until May. I was thinking about what I could do differently for a career, and then the question popped in my head, “are there franchises out there?” And apparently there were!

Do you have any pets of your own?

I don’t have any pets of my own at the moment, but I definitely want to get a dog. I’m moving from London to Newcastle with my partner soon, so we’re waiting until we’re settled in before getting one. Growing up I always had dogs and cats though, and my former flatmate had a ragdoll cat – so I’m used to having pets around, and absolutely love it!

What do you love most about your area?

I love that Newcastle is such a friendly city – the people are friendly, it’s a beautiful city, and it’s just the right size. Living in London has been great, but London is so big and vast, whereas Newcastle is compact, and much closer to the open countryside. I’m from the North east, and it just made sense to go back there.

What have you done in the past that you think will help you in your new venture?

I’m currently the manager of a team of five, in a very fast-paced industry, so as you can imagine it gets quite stressful. I think that the skills that I’ve gained from learning how to adapt and adjust in managerial situations will put me in a very good position as a business owner. I know that there will be stressful times, but after learning how to handle the stress in my previous role, I feel like – ‘bring it on.’

What hobbies do you have?

I have a background in art and my degree is in graphic design, so I consider myself to be quite artistic, and enjoy drawing and being creative. I also do a lot of reading, enjoy keeping fit, and like to learn new things! During lockdown I bought a camera, and I’m excited to start learning how to use it.

Which are your favourite animals?

Anybody who knows me will say that I’m obsessed with dogs, and they’re right, I just love them! I think they’re so loyal and always there for you; it’s so nice that they’re always excited to see you. You only have to spend five minutes with a dog to realise the positive affect it has, not only for your dog, but for yourself as well. If I had to choose a favourite breed, I think I’d have to say German Shepherds.

What do you think will be the best part of your job as a We Love Pets franchise owner?

I think the best part will probably be working with a large number of dogs – I’m a huge dog lover so that’s really enticing for me. But working with all animals, in general, will be a good challenge. I’m also looking forward to running my own business and having the flexibility to be my own boss, while doing something that I feel passionate about and enjoy.