“Pet Care Pioneers Since 2000
Established in 2000, Barking Mad is the UK’s most trusted dog sitting service, as independently verified by TrustPilot. Bespoke dog holidays are provided through a franchise network of dedicated, local professionals. Franchisees coordinate dog holidays and recruit a community of carefully chosen, dog-loving host families, who care for pets whilst their owners are away.
Part of Franchise Brands plc Group
Franchise Brands plc is an international multi-brand franchisor with a combined network of over 450 franchisees in 12 countries, but predominantly in the UK. The Group’s current principal brands are Barking Mad, Metro Rod, ChipsAway and Ovenclean. Franchise Brands’ vision is to create a group of market-leading franchise businesses that benefit from sharing the same support services, with huge commitment to investment and innovation.
Fully Insured, Licensed & ISO9001 Canine Compliant
Barking Mad has been fully insured and worked with all relevant UK Local Authorities and Councils since 2000. The Barking Mad system is the only dog care franchise to achieve ISO 9001 certification, the world’s most recognised quality management standard. This allows consistently high implementation of a robust quality system and for us to be fully compliant with all laws.”
Turn the dream of working with dogs and dog loving people every day into a successful career. Established in 2000 we have grown because of the success of our franchisees and power of the brand.
Profitable greenfield and resales available based upon quality customer service and regular repeat business. Many years’ of multi-award winning experience.
Passionate about dogs and excellent customer service. If you think you’d like to join the team, we look forward to hearing from you!
Initial classroom practical in-house training with support in all areas.
Guidance throughout term. Training / support ongoing with regular points of contact and events every year. We involve your employees providing ‘Supporting Success’ training day.
We provide a comprehensive in house training
Covering all aspects including:
Every day is different, whether it’s being out and about visiting customers and hosts (taking advantage of doggy cuddles along the way, of course!) working flexible hours in your home/office, or marketing your business in your local area. You will also fulfil the role of ‘dog chauffeur’ and organise community events for dog lovers in your territory such as: coffee mornings, afternoon teas and shopping centre promotions. As your business grows, you will recruit staff to assist with operational and marketing tasks.
Name: Kevin Matthews
Franchisee since: 2014
Location: Central Lancashire
Last Updated: September 2019
“A highlight for me is seeing the hosts’ faces when the dogs arrive.”
Kevin Matthews is the owner of Barking Mad Central Lancashire. He lives with his wife, Sarah, in Walton-le-Dale. Before buying his Barking Mad franchise in 2014, Kevin was a retail manager for a large high street chain. This career history yielded skills which have been transferable and instrumental in running a successful dog home boarding franchise.
When asked what made him opt to go down the franchise route and choose the dog care industry, Kevin said,
“I loved all the interaction with customers and the hustle of a job in retail but after nine years, I decided I wanted something I could call my own. I also wanted something that would fit in with my lifestyle and I’ve never looked back. I had been a
Barking Mad customer for several years and jumped at the chance of running my own successful pet care business, offering the same great service to others.”
As a Barking Mad business owner, Kevin has received initial and ongoing expert training and support in all areas of running and managing his business. Franchisees benefit from the autonomy of setting their own schedule, working full-time flexible hours.
“What I really like about Barking Mad is that you are in control of your business and the growth is down to you. It’s great because you reap the benefits and you get a great feeling of satisfaction. I now feel in control of my job which is wonderful.
What makes it work well for me is the franchise support. All the elements of the business that I was less experienced in, I could be taught and get support for, whereas at the same time I could make use of the skills that I did have to grow my business.”
When asked how becoming a Barking Mad franchise owner has changed his life, Kevin explained,
“A highlight for me is seeing the hosts’ faces when the dogs arrive and them running around wanting to play. It’s also lovely to see the customers happy and knowing the system works so well. On a summer’s day there is nothing better than being out and about chauffeuring dogs through the countryside and working with my laptop in the garden, rather than being stuck in an office all day! I love the freedom to work the hours that suit me and the fact that no two days are the same.”
Name: Barbara Frater and Caroline Bradshaw
Franchisee since: 2019
Last Updated: September 2019
“We fell in love with the concept of Barking Mad when we came across a business opportunity that cared about dogs as much as we do.”
Barbara Frater and Caroline Bradshaw have recently made the change from senior teaching roles to their “dream job” with the Barking Mad self-employed franchise opportunity. They said, of their decision to purchase the already established Barking Mad Alnwick business as a resale:
“We have recently swapped 20 years in the classroom for the stunning countryside of the Northumberland Coast, relocating to run a Barking Mad business full time. We love the county of Northumberland and the beautiful scenery makes chauffeuring of dogs to host families on their holidays a real new pleasure. We are crazy about dogs, especially collies, because we have a rescue collie called ‘ Ailsa’ but we love all breeds large and small.”
The dog loving duo attended a comprehensive initial training week at Barking Mad’s head office support centre, in the Lake District, completing modules in dog behaviour, business essentials, customer care, service and operational delivery, marketing and brand building, accounting and finance. A bespoke launch programme, delivered by sales and marketing experts, also ensured they were well equipped to take over the reins of an already operating business.
As well as initial support, Barbara and Caroline were attracted by Barking Mad’s award winning ongoing franchise support, business development and technical assistance. They are benefitting from advice and support from an APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers) accredited in-house dog behaviourist, an in-house licensing and compliance professional on hand and a UK based call centre, staffed by knowledgeable dog lovers, ready to answer their calls and make appointments on their behalf.
Barbara and Caroline bought the business from outgoing franchisee, Tina Young. Tina had successfully operated the Northumberland territory for fourteen years, even being crowned the BFA HSBC Franchisee of the Year in 2014, a prestigious, national award.
Name: John and Elaine Warburton
Franchisee since: 2014
Location: Fife & Kinross
Last Updated: September 2019
“Barking Mad is not just our business, it’s our way of life!”
John and Elaine Warburton, partners in both business and life, started their Barking Mad journey in 2014 and have recently scooped a top title at the 2019 bfa HSBC Franchise Awards. The pet mad pair from Fife in Scotland, were named the Lifestyle Franchisee winners at a glittering ceremony at the Vox, Birmingham.
Self-confessed, ex ‘wage slave commuter’ John explains,
“Becoming British Franchise Association winners is a fantastic recognition of our efforts. With Barking Mad, we feel that we have really achieved something special. This has had a massive personal impact for us both but particularly for Elaine, really increasing her sense of self-worth. We have grown the franchise by 300% which has been a great success for us.
Our Barking Mad journey began when we heard our local franchise was for sale. We jumped at the opportunity to change our lives and haven’t looked back. Flexible working hours were a must, to allow us to care for our daughter and furry family!
As animal lovers, the concept of home-from-home dog boarding held huge appeal. The franchise system’s tried, tested and proven operating procedures were a major factor in our decision, along with the training, support and potential for growth to an impressive six figure turnover.”
Former Marketing Director John keeps a keen eye on the figures but Elaine, an ex-police officer and fitness instructor who felt unfulfilled in her previous career, also counts doggy cuddles as part of the profits! The husband and wife team seamlessly weave professional and personal responsibilities together to create an enviable lifestyle.
When asked how running an award-winning dog care franchise had changed their lives, Elaine said,
“Running our business isn’t a job but a way of life! There isn’t a typical day, just typical activities to complete whilst striving to implement excellence.”
John and Elaine have achieved a cumulative turnover projected to be £400,000 in just five years and aspire to grow their business to a level where they can recruit more staff.