‘I was going to set up on my own but the business side of it was worrying and that’s when I came across the franchise option.’
Meet Paul, Paul joins the We Love Pets family as branch owner covering Lytham and Lytham St Annes.
After researching franchises and reading everything I could about We Love Pets it soon became clear that this was the stand out franchise; with the business back up and their attitude towards animals.
How long have you wanted to run your own business?
Five and a half years ago my wife, Bev, duped me into getting a dog! She had been doing research in secret and on a supposed day out to Southport we ended up at a breeders.
Even seeing the fluffy puppies I still wasn’t having one, then an hour later we were continuing our journey and I was trying to work out what had happened, we had a puppy coming to live with us! When the wife brought him home; I came home from work and me and the cats spent ages staring at him wondering what was going on.
We called him Alfie and so began my great journey. In his five and a half years I’ve lost nine stone, write a blog on four Cavachon forums, have set Alfie up his own Instagram page, due to my progressing interest of taking photos of him, have started writing a book about his adventures from his blogs and now this is the next step in the Alfie journey.
Never in my life did I think that a small bundle of fluff I didn’t want would lead to me running my own pet care business.
We love it! Alfie needs to be listed as a director, we think!
Why did you take the franchise route as opposed to setting up on your own?
I was going to set up on my own but the business side of it was worrying and that’s when I came across the franchise option.
Taking the franchising route has given me a chance to realise something I have been mulling over for years.
We Love Pets have given me the belief that I can do this and it can be successful.
What do you think you’ll find most challenging being a business owner?
The business side of it all is the scary part for me.
But, I know I will manage it with lots of calls to head office, support from the other franchise owners, on the job learning and meditation.
I have also spoken to Caroline who has the Chorley franchise and she told me her story and her initial fears. We had a good long chat and it made me realise that I’m not the only one that worries about the scary stuff. I am going to meet her when I get back from training and go out on some walks with her and get some more advice.
Like everything, when you have never done something before it is daunting but in reality it soon becomes second nature. I will probably look back to this point in the future and wonder what I was worried about.
What have you done in your past that you think will help you in your new venture?
I’ve always worked face to face with people and after being treated less than professionally at my last job I know how people need to be treated properly! Also my Alfie journey has taught me so much about myself.
Why did you want to leave employment?
I got utterly fed up of all the political infighting that large corporations bring. I wasn’t in control of my job and it was becoming increasingly difficult to get things done. Customers were getting upset and being out on the front line I was the one taking the flak and trying to calm customers down.
I was signed off for a while with work related stress. However, the whole negative experience has definitely made me stronger and more resilient.
Thankfully we have a friend who is a reiki master and has his own paranormal and reiki business and after going to see him he taught me how to meditate properly and how to get the most from it. I always thought that it was hocus pocus but from experience it’s made an amazing difference to me.
What does being your own boss mean to you, Paul?
Being my own boss means having control of my own destiny and truly knowing how people need and should be treated. I’m a great believer of getting the job done, doing it properly and doing it with an element of fun. I think over the years some businesses have lost their way and have become wrapped up in pie charts, graphs and processes that the work has been forgotten.
Being in control of my own destiny, making any future employees feel part of something exciting and hopefully getting to a point where I can help animals in need.
I want people to come to work excited, with a smile on their face and go home with a smile on their face and look forward to coming again, which is what employees want.
You’ll be providing dog walking and other pet care services in Lytham and Lytham St. Annes – what do you love about where you live?
Family is close by and after we suffered a family bereavement it has brought us all together even more. We have recently moved into my father-in-laws house which has big gardens and I have discovered not only a love for gardening but that I’m pretty good at it! Must have been all that sitting in my mums flower beds with a neighbours dog as a child eating soil!
I live with Bev, Alfie, of course, my little doggy inspiration and Charlie and Tigger our two bruiser cats. I’ve always been a cat person and just love their attitude to everything.
Or, if you’re interested in finding out more about running your own pet care business take a look here.