East Northamptonshire is an area of growth and change although there is still plenty of historical places and open countryside to enjoy in my new outdoor office.
I had looked at a number of pet service franchises via the British Franchise Association. I liked the We Love Pets management focussed business model, the professional enthusiasm of the franchisor team and the fact that We Love Pets has acquired industry recognised awards – they’re clearly doing something right!
How long have you wanted to run your own business?
As I have grown older, the urge to run my own commercial venture has strengthened. I had worked as a freelance business & facilities manager for four years now. Previously I had looked at other potential business options.
Franchising has never been in better health than it is now.
Why did you choose a franchise over setting up your own business?
Franchises provide you with the opportunity to try something new but based upon an established and well-tested model. Franchising has never been in better health than it is now and the nurturing on-going relationship between franchisor and franchisee is a tremendous bonus in terms of knowledgeable support.
The people I have spoken to have been very open and honest.
How have We Love Pets made sure you’re the right person to carry the award winning brand forward?
Ryan and his team provide exceptional advice and support when you are making initial enquiries. The family feel of the organisation is noticeable and enables you to get a feeling for whether or not you will fit in successfully. Speaking to other We Love Pets franchisees also helps greatly. The people I have spoken to have been very open and honest.
What do you think you’ll find most challenging being a business owner?
Getting the business off the ground within your territory.
How will you overcome this?
By working hard; by providing exceptional service; by liaising with other We Love Pets franchisees; and by following the business model which is based upon years of collective experience and success.
Did you at any time during the process worry that you can’t do this?
Of course, there is some uncertainty, this is a new venture and positive outcomes cannot be guaranteed. A lot of people will dream of running their own business; however, it is still a leap of faith for most of us.
The We Love Pets head office is a slick operation which provides the confidence to pursue this franchise opportunity towards the training period and launch date.
I am looking forward to a completely new working experience with plenty of outdoor activity and with the opportunity to work with and look after pets.
What lifestyle changes are you hoping to make when you’re up and running?
I want to grow the business as quickly as I can and that will mean bringing on board additional team members. Once this stage is reached, I am anticipating that the old work-life balance will tip in my favour.
I have worked at management level for a considerable length of time and anticipate that the skills derived from this experience will transfer over to the needs of running a customer-driven business franchise.
A bit more about Carl and his family
Jayne, my wife, and I have a ten year old Jack Russell Terrier called Betty. She is a rescue dog from the Dog’s Trust in Loughborough.
Betty is a typical Jack Russell Terrier – small but with bags of personality. Embarrassingly, she has become a bit of a fur baby in our home and even has her own bar stool in the local pub. Previously, I’ve shared homes with a corgi (Dusty); a long-haired collie (Jason); and – for a while – eleven Great Danes including Flint; Samantha; Sabre & Paris.
I then hadn’t been in a house with dogs for a number of years. With Betty I now cannot imagine a home being complete without her.
Finally, what would be your top tips for anyone considering running their own We Love Pets franchise?
I had a good understanding of the concept of franchising before joining We Love Pets. I would strongly recommend attending a BFA exhibition and completing their certification course so that you know generally what you are getting yourself into.
Since pursuing this venture with Ryan and his team, I can see the importance of finding a franchise that you feel comfortable with and can ask questions about the business knowing with confidence that you will receive prompt and reliable support.
Find out more about Carl and his dog walking and pet sitting business in Wellingborough.