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Membership History

Associate Member
Joined 2016

Membership History

Associate Member
Joined 2016

Company Overview

For more than ten years, We Love Pets has been providing dog walking and pet sitting services to thousands of happy customers across the UK. We are a family business, with people and their pets at the heart of what we do.

We Love Pets is an award-winning, bfa accredited, franchising company in the fast-growing pet care industry. We have been ranked within Elite Franchising’s Top 100 league table for the past four years, and recently received a 5 Star Rating from Best Franchise Awards 2021.

In the Media

Managing Director, Ryan White, has been featured on both the BBC and Channel 4 recently. See his clips here:

BBC: https://fb.watch/v/8jeu6qDPC/ 

Franchise Overview

Our franchisees all have one thing in common – they wanted to leave their old jobs behind and become their own boss, with the added bonus of working with animals. We consistently hear how much happier they are with a better work-life balance and a genuine passion at the core of what they do!

They enjoy the unrivalled support that our team of business, marketing and pet experts, vet nurse and solicitor are able to offer. We are also the only franchisor in the industry to offer the City & Guilds dog walking and pet sitting qualification (in partnership with Wiltshire College).

Training

One of the many benefits of joining the We Love Pets team of franchisees, is the initial and ongoing training that we provide, including the following:

  • City & Guilds qualification in Dog Walking
  • City & Guilds qualification in Pet Sitting
  • Dog behaviour training
  • Pet first aid training
  • Managing and motivating a team
  • Marketing and business training
  • Health and safety
  • Rotas and bookings
  • Customer care
  • Recruitment, HR & payroll
  • Legal issues, data protection & insurance
  • Accounting and finance

Daily Life of a franchisee

Each day is a bit different, but you can safely expect to start the day by answering emails and fielding enquiries, phoning customers and organising the team schedule – with a cup of coffee of course! During the day you’ll most likely get out for a dog walk or customer visit, and perhaps meet with some of your staff for a catch-up. Other tasks like social media, invoices & bookkeeping, recruitment, etcetera can easily fit in around your larger time commitments, which makes it manageable for working around your existing family life!

 

Tracey Alexander

A chance to achieve a perfect work life balance – Tracey’s story

Tracey Alexander runs our East Reading franchise and is a business owner that knows there’s more to life than getting up each day and living to work! She appreciates the freedom of being in control of her future while doing something that she really enjoys.

Prior to joining We Love Pets, Tracey worked in corporate communications for a large, local employer with a demanding job that required a lot of responsibility. After years of burning the candle at both ends, she realised that there must be more to life and started considering the idea of running her own business.

Leaving the corporate life

When Tracey finally left the corporate world, it just so happened that a nearby WLP branch was recruiting dog walkers - a perfect fit for Tracey who had always loved dogs! She got in touch with the branch director, Amy, and learned more about We Love Pets which got her thinking about taking on a franchise of her own.

Business in a box

“What really impressed me was that it was a ‘business in a box’. Everything I needed to start a dog walking and pet care business was provided, and I wouldn’t have considered it if it was not such a complete package, which overcame many of the difficulties of starting my own business.”

We Love Pets provide everything you need, including a comprehensive induction handbook that helps someone with limited experience of working with dogs and other animals, like Tracey, to get up and running straight away. It is packed with useful hints and advice from other experienced dog walkers, which gave Tracey the confidence she needed when she started. We Love Pets also has an excellent health & safety policy – we ensure that our team members are booked into pet first aid courses so that they can learn how to deal with any potential medical emergencies that may occur while in our care.

Tracey launched her franchise in 2014, and her valuable organization and management skills have since enabled her to recruit and build a reliable team of dog walkers, pet sitters and home boarders.

I feel part of a team

“What I really like is that I feel part of a team and can call on expertise and support if I need it.  Being a part of a well-established brand is a great help and the excellent website is also a big plus as this generates the bulk of my enquiries.”

In her area of East Reading, dog walking is Tracey’s most popular service. Most of her customers get to work early in the morning and require dog walks or pet visits around midday, and the concentration of custom in those few hours give Tracey the flexibility to help look after her Nan – something she couldn’t have even considered before! In addition to dog walking, Tracey offers pet & house sitting, pop-in visits and home boarding services, perfect for anyone going away on holiday! 

It has made such a difference in my life

“I would absolutely recommend for anyone who likes pets, especially dogs, and who is looking at starting up a fantastically rewarding business to look into taking on a We Love Pets franchise. It has made such a difference to my life and I’m sure it will theirs too.”

Sophie Baldwin

Dreamt of running her own business – Sophie’s story

Sophie Baldwin joined the We Love Pets team in 2016 when she opened a branch in Stroud, Gloucestershire.

Opportunity to combine her knowledge of animals with her dream of running her own business

We Love Pets gave Sophie the opportunity to combine her knowledge of animals with her dream of running her own business. With a lifelong love for horses, and a passion for animals of all kinds, Sophie was a superb match for our team of franchisees.

“I spent two years as a nanny/groom for a family with horses and horses continue to be a big part of my life now, then I worked as a veterinary nurse, initially as a student veterinary nurse, and spent 10 years in that career. Financially, veterinary nursing wasn’t paying very well so I started working as a sales rep for pet insurance and pet nutrition companies. I went back to be a vet nurse in 2008.”

“I am used to dealing with animals and clients; I couldn’t see myself continuing as a vet nurse for the rest of my career. Business ownership really appealed to me, so I started looking into how I could run a business in the animal industry. We Love Pets just seemed like a natural progression to allow me to combine both together.”

Accounting, marketing and recruitment is all taken care of

Although Sophie joins the brand with an impressive history of working with animals, she knew she’d need help and support with accounting, marketing and recruitment if she were to start her own business. The concept of franchising was motivating as all of those details are taken care of in training and support resources.

“I came across the We Love Pets franchise website and they had their brochure available to read. I wanted to find out more, so I applied online and We Love Pets contacted me to go in and pursue the opportunity further.”

We Love Pets have been extremely supportive

“The whole business side of things, such as the facts, accounting and marketing scared me! It appealed to me that, with franchising, it was all part of the package and taken in hand for you. We Love Pets have been extremely supportive and the accountancy firm they have linked me up with has also been very good. Having never employed anybody before I know I’ll also have training, when the time comes, in recruiting people. Family members and friends asked me why I wasn’t just setting up on my own. I wanted the support of the franchisor. You have support every step of the way.”

Sophie did her homework before approaching We Love Pets, but it didn’t take her long before she made her decision!

We Love Pets have won awards and the statistics around franchising and start-up businesses were very appealing.

I gave myself a couple of weeks to make sure I had the finances and was able to commit to the business. They’ve won awards and the statistics around franchising and start-up businesses were very appealing. We Love Pets have been going since 2007, so they haven’t just started up and they’re growing.”

Sophie has found the start-up of her branch to be very successful, and offers these words of first-hand advice to anyone considering their own We Love Pets franchise:

“So far it’s been a positive experience and I have been recommending it to others. It’s a friendly company, they’re quick to answer questions and they’ve kept me up to date with my training.

“Make sure you are ready financially to start with because you’re not going to make money straight away. Give yourself a good year of finances.”

Jayne & Mike Walker

A rewarding venture - Jayne and Mike’s story

After enduring high demand careers for a number of years, Jayne and Mike Walker decided they wanted to pursue a new path, and their joint passion for pets led them to launching the We Love Pets South Oxfordshire branches: Didcot, Abingdon and Wallingford. Their diverse background experiences made them a perfect pairing to be part of the growing team of We Love Pets franchisees.

“Mike’s career was mostly spent in telecommunications and he always held management roles. I started off in the pop industry, selling space in magazines and in album manufacturing” said Jayne. “I also spent time as a swimming teacher, nanny, in retail and a dog groomer.”

“Working around dogs and knowing their behaviour was valuable. The management experience has also been great and has given us a framework around how to organise people. We Love Pets has a template and help and advice on how to do it, but our previous experience really helped with that.”

Leaving stressful jobs

Jayne and Mike both had stressful jobs and had reached a point in their lives where they wanted to do something that gave them, and others, joy. Working with animals seemed the perfect resolve! And although running a dog walking and pet care business wasn’t their initial plan, they haven’t looked back since.

“We left our last jobs because of the stress! We were under tons of it. We Love Pets is more relaxed and deadlines are not as strenuous. We Love Pets does have stresses, but it’s a different type of stress because you feel part of the business and you’re happy. If a dog needs help and assistance you feel like you’re doing something worthwhile and important.”

We liked the ethos behind the business

“I went for an interview to walk dogs for another franchise area.” explained Jayne “We were offered the franchise opportunity instead. Until we were offered the opportunity, it wasn’t something we had considered. We liked the ethos behind the business. I just wanted to be able to take the dogs out for walks and the business allows me to do that. We didn’t want to do group walks and the company don’t do that. We want to provide a personal service that the animals benefit from. What the animal needs is the most important thing.”

Jayne and Mike didn’t take running a franchise lightly, they knew they wanted to have a better way of life than they had before in their stressful jobs, but equally they knew that they would need to put in effort to continue the work of the brand. But why did they choose to go for a franchise rather than setting up their own business?

We just wanted to have a work/life balance

“With a sales background, we didn’t want to do something that was too in depth. The reason we wanted to do it was for the animals. By the time we’d set up a business by ourselves, we might have lost the animal side of things. We’re not involved in the legal, paperwork or technicalities; head office supported us with all of that. Without that there would have been a lot more stress and we would have lost focus. We can call someone for support and help with moving the business forward. We just wanted to have a work/life balance.”

Benefits of running their own business, without the worry of being alone

Ongoing support and direction, when needed, has aided Jayne and Mike to grow their business without pressure. They have all the benefits of running their own business, without the worry of being alone when they come up against things they’re unfamiliar with.

“We’re learning that we can’t do everything ourselves. We had lots of support from We Love Pets and they have a huge amount of information on their main intranet page. We have guidance and advice from both Laura and Jo in almost anything we need. We can call them and they’ll talk us through over the phone or visit us at home to run through any issues or progress in the business.

“They’re always on hand when we need them. They let you run the business your way, so if you don’t need the support they leave you to run the business yourself. There’s no micro-management. If you’re doing well, you can just call them when you need them. They keep an eye on the business without interfering.”

Jon Bond

Pursuing a dream in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic – Jon’s story

Feeling burnt out in a fast-paced media and advertising role, Jon knew it was time to make a change. On a whim, he Googled pet care franchises and happened upon We Love Pets. The rest, as they say, is history!

 

Stuck in a rut

 

After working his way up in media advertisement and sales for 7 years, Jon’s day to day slowly became repetitive, demanding, and unrewarding. Along the way he lost his passion for the industry and started to consider making a change. When the Covid-19 pandemic struck, it really hit home for Jon just how unhappy he was in his job.

 

“One day I was feeling extremely unmotivated and unhappy and I wondered, ‘am I really going to carry on doing this for the rest of my life?’ On a whim I Googled pet care franchises, happened upon We Love Pets, and that was it. It took me a while to officially decide and commit, but I thought to myself, ‘if I don’t take a risk, I’ll never know – and I don’t want this to be something I regret in ten to twenty years.’”

 

Be my own boss

 

With an entrepreneurial spirit, Jon wanted to take control of his future and find a way to be his own boss.

 

“For a long time, I had been thinking about setting up a business, and I knew I wanted to be my own boss rather than working for a large employer. I eventually decided that I specifically wanted a dog walking business, but I didn’t know where to start. There are already so many pet-care companies out there, and I figured that starting on my own would be really tough. So, I made the decision to join a franchise, as it provides an established brand and successful network.”

 

And when considering which franchise to pursue, We Love Pets stood out to Jon for a multitude of reasons.

“On the day that I was really investigating dog walking franchises, We Love Pets was one of the first companies I saw. I sent an enquiry through the site and Ryan called me back immediately. Straight away I got the sense that it’s a very close-knit, family orientated environment, and I was impressed that it ranked well in the Elite Franchise Top 100 list. After speaking with Ryan, I phoned other franchisees to ask about the network, and every single one of them spoke really highly of the company, boasting that becoming a We Love Pets franchisee was the best thing they’d ever done! After that, I was sold.”

Using transferrable skills

It can be quite daunting to start in a new career after establishing a different path, but Jon found that his previous experience was well suited to becoming a franchise owner.

“I’m currently the manager of a team of five, in a very fast-paced industry, so as you can imagine it gets quite stressful. I think that the skills that I’ve gained from learning how to adapt and adjust in managerial situations will put me in a very good position as a business owner. I know that there will be stressful times, but after learning how to handle the stress in my previous role, I feel like – ‘bring it on.’”

 

With the added support from our expansive franchisee network, team of marketing and pet experts, high-quality training materials, and experience in the industry, you’ll have all the tools and resources you need to be successful.

Best part of the job?

“I think the best part will probably be working with a large number of dogs – I’m a huge dog lover so that’s really enticing for me. But working with all animals, in general, will be a good challenge. I’m also looking forward to running my own business and having the flexibility to be my own boss, while doing something that I feel passionate about and enjoy.”

Resales

 

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