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Membership History

Associate Member
Joined 2021

Membership History

Associate Member
Joined 2021

Company Overview

Animals at Home was established in 2003 to provide professional pet and animal care services to people with animal companions; and pet transport and animal ambulance services to pet owners, pet professionals and veterinary and pet charity organisations.

Franchise Overview

Animals at Home was established to be, and proudly continues to be a family of businesses; all working together to promote the health and welfare of pets, and offer first class pet care services to local clients within the franchised areas.
A small management team works directly with franchisees to build their new and established businesses, whilst also enjoying their lifestyle working with and caring for pets and animals.

Professional services for website, search engine optimisation etc are provided to franchisees via head office suppliers, as is external and in-house training. Ongoing support for new and established franchisees is continuous throughout their career with Animals at Home, and there is access to further training courses and qualifications.

Animals at Home operates throughout the UK with new, building and long-established franchised branches, but there is still room to expand the number of franchisees, as well as the portfolio of Core Services franchisees offer on their areas.
Animals at Home head office and franchisees work with many relevant partners, associates, pet organisations and pet professionals, pet charities and veterinary professionals on a daily basis; alongside their daily visits routine for their local, loyal clients carrying out their pet care services.

Training

As soon as a new franchisee joins the Animals at Home family, the set-up, training and support commences. New franchisees enjoy a comprehensive start-up, pre-trading process including pre-trading work-throughs, a Starter Pack Action Plan, links to external learning courses including a Pet First Aid for Professionals course, mental welfare, and situational awareness courses, plus knowledge courses in Pet Transportation for Professionals, Dog Walking, pet sitting and animal care. A City & Guilds qualification is gained during the first year of the franchisee’s career; this course is part e-learning and part practical.

New franchisees also attend a two-day Veterinary Hospital Experience course, where they work in an RCVS accredited training practice alongside vets and vet nurses. The course helps new franchisees gain experience and confidence in how a veterinary surgery works and behind-the-scenes procedure, so they can deal with their own pet owner clients health and welfare questions, and help promote pet health while carrying out pet taxi and animal ambulance journeys. The course also shows the new franchisee how to administer medication to pets, for the times when their owners are away.

In-house operational training is carried out on the new franchisees home area and covers all the relevant documentation they’ll be using on a daily basis, covers the routines and responsibilities of a franchisee and the franchisor and details what needs to be done to build the new business. The trainer also talks anecdotally about the daily routine and relates this to the documentation and puts this in situations a new franchisee may come across. The trainer has sixteen years’ experience as an Animals at Home franchisee.

 

Daily Life of a franchisee

The daily life of a franchisee is different every day. Franchisees manage their own bookings and daily diary and routine, so there are of course the regular pets you’ll see every day for dog walking; or the occasional animals you’ll visit while the owners are away, like home visits to cats, rabbits, small fluffies, reptiles and even paddock or hobby animals like ponies, goats, alpacas and poultry; these are the daily routine jobs within your ‘patch’.

There’ll also be routine and urgent pet taxi or animal ambulance jobs come through to you direct, either from pet owners or through the relationship you have with local vets or pet professionals like dog groomers, pet charities and your home dog boarders. These can be fitted around your daily routine and often are at the beginning and end of the day; but of course there’s always the last minute vet appointment or groomer slot to get the pet to!

You’ll also be meeting new clients, liaising with your home dog boarders or Hosts Families, arranging future services with established clients, making daily posts on your branch social media, updating your client booking and invoicing system and making sure all the jobs have been ticked off for the day.

Above all, you’ll be your own boss. You’ll be able to work out your own priorities in which pets to see and when, you’ll choose your best and most efficient routes to visit pets, you’ll be able to stop and have a break when you like and take in the views (often from the best ‘office’ in the area; your van!), but most of all, you’ll be  working with many different pets and animals every day. You’ll build up fantastic and trusting relationships with those animals, and your clients over the years and enjoy being a professional pet carer and trusted service provider for your local community!

 

Franchisee Case Studies (testimonials written in December 2021 following BFA application.

Animals at Home Hastings Ltd.

We are Katy and Lee who have been running the Hastings branch of the franchise Animals at Home since 2008. During the past 13 years we have been privileged to be part of the franchise and enjoyed looking after a varied selection of pets.

Our area is a mix of rural and urban households. The work/life balance works well for us as we have 2 children, so we tailor our daily operations around family commitments; we feel we haven't missed out on our children growing up which is important for us. Now the children are older, we look forward to expanding our business over the next few years. The support from the franchisors, should you need them is second to none, but at the same time we are able to feel in control of our business.

Lee and Katy, Animals at Home (Hastings) Ltd, franchisees since 2008.

Mel, Animals at Home (West Leicestershire) Ltd, franchisee since 2018

Before I purchased the franchise for Animals at Home West Leicestershire, I ran a successful voice teaching practice. This career spanned over 25 years. I felt I had covered everything within the occupation, leaving me feeling that I needed a new challenge, something that would equally feed my passion for leadership and job satisfaction. Animal welfare was something that I already had a passion for, therefore working in this field was greatly appealing to me.
I was particularly interested in running a business that offered a multiple pet care service. After researching this various franchises in this field, I decided to invest in buying a franchise with Animals at Home.

My decision was based on Animals at Home already being an established Franchise company, covering England and Scotland. The training and start up package offered was also appealing and reassuring.

My franchise area (Animals at Home West Leicestershire Ltd) is a rural/urban mix of households, which fits in well with where I am based, as I live central to both the city and countryside. The hours of work can be tailored to lifestyle and home/work balance.

What I enjoy about running and operating my franchise is predominately offering a care service for my client’s pets. Especially the pet ambulance service, which is a wonderful service for those who need transport for their pets either in an emergency or for routine appointments with their vet.
Taking care of my client’s pets when they are away from home is also a lovely part of my work. I formed a beautiful bond with the pets in my care which offers both work satisfaction and personal enrichment.

Lynette and AJ, Animals at Home (King’s Lynn & West Norfolk) Ltd, franchisees since 2020

Before Animals at Home came into my life in May 2020, I was in Sales for over 30 years. Various types of sales including radio, publishing, hotels, IT and many others. I have also been an IT trainer for several years. I usually got bored after a few years and moved on, looking for that special "something" that always seemed to be missing.

Buying into the franchise was entirely the best thing I have ever done in my working life - I was told it was a "lifestyle" job, and boy it sure is! I don't think I really knew what that entailed, except I really wanted to give it a go.  This franchise utilises all my skills in customer service, sales and marketing and training. I have gone from working for other people; to their timescales, demands, agendas and pressure - to still having all that - but doing it for ME! My area has a vast coverage, West Norfolk is very rural with medium sized towns and many small villages, with a huge coastline along the east side. It would take at least an hour to reach all boundaries - so we have to work hard to ensure efficiently spaced appointments and utilise our vehicles and time accordingly.

In the early days I spent most of the time pushing the new business and building my brand in the area. There was a lot of downtime but being persistent and following the franchise plan I was given, has paid off and we are now very busy with business in all aspects of the franchise offerings, often exceeding expectations from Head Office. My business partner came on board full time after only a few months, we live together so the business and home life do overlap.  We are still learning how to work this out and give ourselves days (or half days!) off, but this will come in time and when we can get more people on board.

It is brilliant running my own business, but so helpful and comforting knowing that I have expert advice and guidance just a phone call or email away. Our Directors have done everything to help me to succeed and encouraged progress and development, and by following their strategy we are now proud to be one of the chosen franchises that is recommended for new franchisees to contact for an insight when enquiring about coming into the business.

Without Head Office we would not be as successful or confident as we are today.

Jason, Animals at Home (Cornwall) Ltd, franchisee since 2021

All my career has been in Customer Service and for the last five years within logistics, managing a depot for a well-known parcel delivery company. The hours were long and hard work, and my home – work life balance was almost non-existent.  I needed something to do which would keep me busy and allow me more time to do the things that I enjoyed.

So my journey began with Animals at Home! I still travel, spend time with people but most of all I am able to use my knowledge of pets from all my years! dogs, cats, snakes, rodents, birds are all now part of my weekly schedule and time now to spend training my two working German Shepherds with Cornwall Search Dogs.

The support I receive from the team at Animals at Home is always available and I am proud to be part of this with my Franchise coving the whole of Cornwall, a mixture of very rural and towns and of course, a beach for every day of the year! Whilst still very new to this, I am enjoying going to “work” every day, with new challenges and new friends to meet both two and the four-legged variety.

Jules, Animals at Home (Taunton & South Somerset) Ltd. Franchisee from 2020

I own the Taunton and South Somerset branch of Animals at Home.  I joined Animals at Home as a franchisee in September 2020.  I left my position as Practice Manager for an orthodontic practice and although I enjoyed my role I haven’t looked back since joining Animals at Home.
Initially I spoke with the management team and also a couple other franchise owners, and I instantly knew I wanted to be part of this wonderful team, spending my days with animals which is my idea of heaven.
I love that there is plenty of support throughout, and even a franchise private Facebook group where everyone is always happy to offer support and advice when needed along with humorous stories from their furry companions.

 

Louise, Animals at Home (Perth & Kinross) Ltd, franchisee since March 2016

I am Louise and I am in my 6th year as Director of my Animals at Home Franchise within the Perth & Kinross area which is a mixture of both rural and urban client base. I live with my husband Doug and 3 energetic cats Missy, Ichabod and Sal.
I started my career in the Hospitality sector then I took a break to backpack around Europe, North Africa, Egypt and volunteered for 10 months in a Kibbutz in Israel.
I worked for Safeway Stores Plc as a Human Resources Manager and after my redundancy I worked as a Food Retail Manager for various National Food retailers. The time came where I looked to change career and after research for a career working with animals, I found an advert for an Animals at Home Franchise.
I enjoy my Franchise where I now have a work/life balance. I organise my daily schedule for dog walking, home care visits, transportation, house sitting where no two days are the same, and I have built up regular client base and over the last five years I have cared for cats, dogs, small furries to exotics i.e. snakes, bearded dragons to rare breed pigs and sheep to chickens, geese and emus.

I enjoy working as part of a Franchise as it suits my background where I have autonomy to run my business and I also have regular support and best practise guidance from the Franchisor and the camaraderie from my fellow Franchisees, especially over the Covid-19 lockdowns I have been kept informed from head office with up to date with the ever changing Governmental Legislation and Guidance. Any questions I may have or feel I just want a chat I can pick up the phone and someone is always there.
I also enjoy regular training and have had the opportunity to achieve my City & Guilds Technical Competence in Dog Walking and Technical Competence in Pet Sitting organised through the Animals at Home Franchise at the Wiltshire College.  I do not think I’d have known about the City & Guilds training opportunities if I were a single entity business.

My working week can vary from day to day but my regular clients include two beautiful horses and lots of dogs.  A typical day will start with cat, rabbit or even chicken and rats feeds followed by the horses and then several hours of dog walks finishing up with evening cat feeds.  One of my favourite things to do is house stays in which I have looked after dogs, cats, horses and sheep.   I love being with animals and being outside in the fresh air so joining the AAH Franchise for me provided me with my dream role, I get to spend all day with animals with plenty of walks in the countryside, what more could a girl want!!!

 

 

 

 

Resales

Animals at Home (National Forest) Ltd

A profitable, thriving and well-established business providing consistent cash flow and regular income. The franchise provides a good mix of services, including dog walking, cat care, small pet care, pet transport and pet cremation, ensuring a regular income stream throughout the year. Our motto is, ‘large or small, we care for them all!’

Begun from scratch in 2011, the franchise has grown steadily, and has a well-established, large and loyal clientele, as well as still attracting regular new business through referrals and on-line advertising, ensuring continuing growth opportunities. The business already has future bookings into 2020.

The current owners have built a business that benefits from an excellent reputation for caring, reliable and professional pet care with clients, local vets, pet charities, other pet service providers and social services in the area.

Relationships with vets across the area is excellent and provides regular referrals for pet taxi and other pet care services.

The franchise is geographically compact, allowing business to be obtained across the area, which consists of a diverse mix of urban and rural settings including Derby city outskirts, Burton on Trent, Swadlincote and surrounding towns and villages.

The sale includes a fully sign-written Renault Kangoo Animal Ambulance, fully serviced through a Renault service plan, and benefiting from a fitted dog cage, air-conditioning, integral Bluetooth and Tom Tom Sat Nav. If required, a second sign written vehicle may also be available for an additional fee.As our retirement age approaches with attendant changes in family circumstances, the sale of the franchise offers the new owners an excellent opportunity to consolidate the existing successful and respected business, with further expansion if required, and the attractive benefit of an established income stream from day one.

This is a life-style changing opportunity, providing the chance of financial independence, personal job satisfaction, a varied daily work regime, an outdoor life and a never-ending stream of lovable pets to brighten up each day!

As well as the excellent training and support provided by the Franchise head office team, full support from the existing husband and wife team is available to the new owners, including introductions to our regular clients, their lovable pets and local vets (also quite lovable!), as well as business working practices and administration.

Postcode Area:

DE11, DE12, DE13, DE14, DE15, DE3, DE23, DE65

All Resale Training and Franchise Package is available from Franchisor.

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