Tired of being desk-bound, and itching to find a career she was passionate about, Kathryn stumbled across We Love Pets through an Indeed listing. After learning more about the franchise opportunity, she realised it was the perfect way to combine her business background with her love for animals – and finally get out from behind the desk!
Why did you choose a franchise over setting up your own business?
So, for me, I think it was a case of speaking to other franchisees that really helped make the decision! Previously I had thought about setting up my own dog walking business, but I liked the “business in a box” concept that We Love Pets offered. The model is scalable and there’s opportunities to expand, whereas if I went into it as a one-man band there’s a limit to my growth.
Why did you choose WLP?
I first came across We Love Pets through an Indeed job listing for the Eastbourne branch, and then I found the website and franchise opportunities. The idea of a franchise interested me, and I thought it was worth exploring, so I sent a request for a brochure. Ryan got back to me immediately, which impressed me! Then after learning more about the company I realised it stands out above other pet care franchises, I loved the website and the branding.
Did you look at any other franchises?
Yes, I looked into several from the British Franchise Association (bfa) list, and one with very similar service offerings. After enquiring with them, it took them a couple of weeks to get back to me and I was asked to fill in application forms before actually speaking to someone. It just didn’t feel right, and didn’t have the same spark as We Love Pets.
What did the word ‘franchise’ mean to you before you came across We Love Pets?
I was already familiar with franchising as I did business studies at A level and had worked previously with a franchising business model. And I had considered getting into a franchise myself but wasn’t sure in what sector. For a while I kept an eye on what was available, regarding different franchises, and knew that I wanted to go into business somewhere down the line, but only if it was something I really loved doing.
What was your day to day like in your previous role?
So previously I worked as a recruitment consultant, and my days included a mixture of tasks relating to the candidates I was recruiting. I was responsible for finding candidates to fit finance and accounting positions, building relationships with the clients I recruited for, met with candidates and clients, etcetera. I also helped create an interim desk where I managed a team of temporary workers who I offered support and resources for.
What was the final straw for leaving your previous job?
I really don’t think lockdown helped the situation, but even prior to lockdown I found myself stuck behind a desk and computer for 10+ hour days. I was desperate not to be tied to a desk and liked the idea of running my own business. And once finding a business that ticked all of the boxes – working for myself, getting outdoors, and working with animals – I knew it was a now or never situation, so I took the leap!
How long had you been thinking about changing your career?
I had been considering a change for the past couple of years, trying to find something that I really wanted to be doing. I think some people go through life without stumbling across “it,” that one career they really want. I asked myself, “what do I enjoy?” and “what do I see myself doing?” but my research never brought me in the direction of We Love Pets. Just in the last several months I’ve realised that We Love Pets ticks all of my boxes – it’s the perfect fit!
Do you have any pets of your own?
Yes! I have two terrier mixes, Ricky & Eva, who I adopted as my nan wasn’t well enough to look after them. And I always grew up with dogs, specifically golden retrievers!
What do you love most about your area?
I absolutely love living in this part of the world; I’m on a main trainline to London, 20 minutes from Brighton, and there’s still so much beautiful Sussex countryside on my doorstep! I’m so lucky to walk out my door into fields.
What have you done in the past that you think will help you in your new venture?
I suppose the recruitment element that I’ve done for the past few years will really help when I’m recruiting a team for the branch! I also think that I’ll be good at motivating a team with my managerial experience, and my interpersonal skills from working between clients and employees. Plus, I’ve done a business studies course so I should be well equipped to run the branch successfully.
What hobbies do you have?
I really enjoy playing netball for a local team, and love getting out in the countryside – exploring new places with the dogs!
What’s an interesting/fun fact about yourself?
When I was at university, I used to always watch the game show, “Pointless,” so I applied to be on it and got the chance to play! Unfortunately, I was knocked out in the first round, I fell down on a question about Aesop’s fables.
Which are your favourite animals?
I’d have to say that dogs are my favourite, but I also love horses! I grew up with dogs, and although I never had my own horse, I have been riding since I was 8 years old.
What’s your biggest achievement in life?
I think I’d have to credit this journey as my biggest achievement; finally working out what I love and taking the leap to pursue something that I’m massively passionate about!
What do you think will be the best part of your job as a We Love Pets franchisee owner, and what are you most looking forward to?
I’m really looking forward to not being desk-bound all of the time, but instead getting out and about more, meeting with customers and working with their pets.