As a We Love Pets walker with the Wimbledon branch, Louise enjoyed having a flexible schedule that let her get outdoors! But she knew she wanted to do her own thing, and after setting out as an independent photographer, decided that investing in a franchise was a better fit for her longterm goals.
Why did you choose a franchise over setting up your own business?
I actually tried setting up on my own in the past, as I have an educational background in photography, but I realised pretty early on that there’s no external support network and my motivation dropped, so it didn’t really pan out. Joining a franchise, though, offers existing support and a strategic business plan, which set you up for success almost straight away.
Why did you choose WLP?
Choosing We Love Pets was easy! I worked as a dog walker with Jenny and the WLP Wimbledon branch and really enjoyed the role and the opportunity to have a flexible schedule working outdoors. After a while I wanted to do my own thing, and since I already knew I loved We Love Pets as a company, pursuing a franchise was the next step.
Did you look at any other franchises?
I did do a little bit of research, but I already knew I liked We Love Pets and wasn’t terribly interested in any other companies.
What did the word ‘franchise’ mean to you before you came across We Love Pets?
I always associated the term, ‘franchise,’ with fast food chains like McDonald’s and KFC, and never really thought about it as a model within the pet care industry. Before We Love Pets, I always thought of dog walking businesses as small companies and one-man bands!
What was your day to day like in your previous role?
My previous day to day was a mix of walking for the Wimbledon branch, and doing some administrative work for a construction company. My admin role mainly consisted of sending emails and working remotely on small tasks, which fit really well around my dog walks.
What was the final straw for leaving your previous job?
I don’t think there was any one event that was a ‘final straw,’ so to speak, and I’m kind of doing the same thing, just in a different position! I just felt like it was the right time to start something new and take on a challenge.
How long had you been thinking about changing your career?
I have always wanted to do my own thing, but it’s just been within the last year or so that I’ve been seriously thinking about it. I tried to set out as an independent photographer last summer, but it never really took off, and I started to think, “what would it be like to do what Jenny does?”
Do you have any pets of your own?
Yes! I have a 14-year-old Westie called Tinker, and a horse called Stan. But I’ve had all sorts of pets in the past; cats, rabbits, chickens, fish!
What do you love most about your area?
I really love that there are so many open green spaces, and its proximity to the city is ideal! I enjoy getting down to Epsom Downs, Epsom Common and Horton County Park for a dog walk. Plus, as an equestrian, it’s so cool to be by Epsom racecourse and celebrate on Derby Day each year.
What have you done in the past that you think will help you in your new venture?
I think my former roles have prepared me well for this position! I have an understanding of business operations from my admin post and used to manage social media channels for a creative studio company, so I feel confident about using those skills. Plus, I’ve always been obsessed with dogs, so that comes naturally.
What hobbies do you have?
I love pets, obviously, and especially enjoy horse riding, which is a big part of my life. I also enjoy photography as a hobby!
What’s an interesting/fun fact about yourself?
I make a pretty mean lasagne!
Which are your favourite animals?
Horses and dogs are my favourites, hands down, but I love all animals!
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 getting started, so I can grow my business, build confidence, enhance my skillset and measure my personal achievement.