Alan has joined our growing family of dog walking and pet care branch owners; we caught up with him on one of his walks to find why he chose us.
I have been looking for a suitable dog walking/pet care franchise for a while, spotted We Love Pets during an internet search and spoke to Ryan (managing director) and Tracey (We Love Pets Reading East) and the rest, as they say, is recent history.
This business model was perfect for me.
From initial contact to our first meeting everything was professional and transparent, it was all I had been looking for.
Why do you think We Love Pets knew you were the one to carry the brand flag in Haywards Heath?
We Love Pets obviously only want the right people, and as such we have spoken on the phone, had a face to face meeting to gauge my experience, etc and have done thorough background checks.
I’ve run my own business before, but I have been wanting to work with animals, especially dogs, most of my life.
I come from a family that goes back generations as farmers, and was brought up on a dairy farm, so working with animals is in my blood. Growing up I have always surrounded myself with animals. I’ve had Labradors all my life. I’ve also had (takes a deep breath); rabbits, goats, turkeys, chickens, dogs, cats, budgies, canaries and fish to name but a few!
I have studied canine Behaviour and Psychology and have a Diploma in this subject, gaining a distinction and am halfway through a foundation in the same subject. I have a certificate in Canine Nutrition for Veterinary Nurses. Canine behaviour and nutrition have a great fascination for me.
What did the word ‘franchise’ mean to you before you found We Love Pets?
To be honest, before meeting Ryan, a franchise conjured up a picture of a cash cow for the franchisor, but looking at what you get from We Love Pets, in terms of set up, training and on going support it has changed my perception of franchise for the better.
Did you have any fears about carrying forward the successful We Love Pets brand?
Having run businesses before, it won’t be the running of the business or the interaction with clients.
I’ve always had and still do have the belief in myself that I can succeed at anything I put my energy into. It’s the uncertainty of going into a completely different field that you sometimes question yourself, but the support and expertise from We Love Pets will make the transition much smoother. The reassurance from Jo (founder), Ryan and other We Love Pets franchise owners, who have been where I am, really does put your fears to the back of your mind.
This is also where the training and support from We Love Pets will be priceless.
What do you love most about where you live?
I live in a commuter town surrounded by countryside, it’s an area that still has much beauty. I’m looking forward to making the nearby South Downs and other areas of natural beauty my new office; a much healthier lifestyle and work life balance.
I live on my own with my wonderful 12-year-old black Labrador called Monty, now in the autumn of his life. I have two wonderful daughters, Laura 25 and Kate 20, Kate will be helping me run the new business.
I am at the time of life when I want to have a less stressful life, and job satisfaction is the most important thing to me. Doing something you love is very important.
How did you fund your franchise?
I funded the franchise through BizBritain; an easy process.
What does running a business like this mean to you??
When I was 29 I had meningitis, which was touch and go for a couple of days, although that was many years ago it changed my view of life and how I deal with things, coming that close to the end allows you to filter out what’s really important and what is trivial. You re-evaluate life and filter issues differently. Since then I have wanted to change career, now I can realise that dream.
Obviously, building a new business needs hard work and commitment, and I will love the challenge.
To make a living from something you have had a lifelong love of is a dream come true, running a branch of We Love Pets will be a pleasure.