Pet Franchise questions answered | We Love Pets Franchise
Dog Walking & Pet Sitting Franchise Opportunities
Be your own boss and run your own pet business

Frequently asked questions

We expect you’ll have lots of questions but we often get asked the same ones. If we’ve not answered them below then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

About We Love Pets

We Love Pets was founded in 2007 in West Berkshire. It has been franchising since 2013. This was to meet the growing demand in quality pet care, moving away from pack walking and kennels.

The West Berkshire branch. This franchise is now owned by franchisee Julie Turner and is still going strong today.

Joanne White founded We Love Pets in 2007, after studying business and post graduate Law, Jo spent eight years working in the public and private sector; in procurement, risk and project management roles.

During this time, Jo knew her passion was with animals, and so continued her personal development alongside a full-time job, to give her the qualifications she felt would assist her in creating one of the countries most loved pet care businesses. Jo’s qualifications including FdSc Canine Behaviour & Training and a first-class BSc Animal Science and Management.

You can find out more here...

We Love Pets is a family business through and through. It’s owned by husband and wife team Jo and Ryan White, who live in Norfolk with their son, daughter, two Labradors and a menagerie of animals. They run the head office from Norfolk with a fantastic team of experts including an accountant, solicitor, pet experts, marketing manager and a HR manager. The team are like one big family, as are our franchisees, as we all look after each other. The office in a great training centre and ideas hub where we continuously develop ways of supporting our franchisees and helping them to grow their business.

In 2017, expenditure rose to approximately £4.62 billion which is an extreme increase when compared to 2005 when only £2.55 billion were spent. The data is very similar when looking at consumer spending on only veterinary and other pet services in the UK within the same period.

As of 2018 it is estimated that 12 million households have pets (source PFMA Annual Report 2017), there are 9 million dogs in the UK and 8 million cats.

There has never been a better time to invest in a We Love Pets franchise.

You can find out more here...

Our unrivalled support: including a solicitor and vet nurse working within the support team. The directors have a wealth of experience and qualifications (business degree, post grad law degree, dog behaviour degree and animal science degree).

Our training is accredited by Wiltshire College and University Centre.

But most importantly our passion and enthusiasm to work together to achieve a quality brand and provide an excellent service.


Accreditation

Absolutely! The BFA’s accreditation process is very strict, so we’re very proud to be recognised as a trusted, ethical franchisor. We are very proud to have won their prestigious Emerging Franchisor of the Year Award in 2018, beating other franchises across the county.

Our award winning training is provided in partnership with Wiltshire College & University Centre, an OFQUAL accredited organisation, so you can be confident the training is of a very high standard. We Love Pets are the only franchisor to work in partnership with an OFQUAL accredited centre.


Training and support

You’ll spend a week at our training center getting hands on with animals and learning about how to run your own business. We’ll cover how to market, promote, recruit and retain a team of people.

Learning is a journey, so in addition to your initial training you’ll have regular training reviews and the opportunity to carry out training either online or via webinars – both from the comfort of your home office. Subjects will include pet first aid refreshers, dog behaviour, recruitment, managing a team, home boarding certificates etc.

We run business boost workshops where we look at helping you to get more staff and more customers. And specialist workshops in animal behaviour.

You’ll also receive ongoing support from our experts when you need it.

Franchisees usually launch the week after training, giving you some time to prepare, promote and preparation and to refresh any training.

All of our training is held in our head office in beautiful Norfolk. We have a list of recommended accommodation.

Ongoing support from our head office team in the form of calls, meetings, skype calls, mentoring, training, webinars and a support hub.

Of course! You can see our head office team here.

Nicola, our solicitor runs her own corporate firm in London. She sends out letters on behalf of our franchisees if they ever have any issues and takes legal action from head office to protect our brand.

Jodie our super-duper accountant can help franchisees to work towards profitability and financial targets.

Jo is a Director who has degrees in law, business and animal science. She runs the head office team and oversees marketing and franchisee training.

Ryan, used to teach animal care and science and still delivers our training via Wiltshire College and University Centre, is another director who runs the support and sales function.

Laura, our Head of Support is often called Terminator 3 as she is so efficient it doesn’t seem human!

Rachael, our HR Manager, has worked as a business consultant for companies including Louis Vuitton, Barclays Global and Aviva.

Jo, our marketing manager worked for Natures Menu pet food before joining We Love Pets. Jo oversees marketing and branding, websites, and manages new projects.


Fees and finances

£12,995, which includes:

  • Business set up
  • Territory license
  • Training in business management, animal handling, animal behaviour, dog training, and pet first aid for you and any partners
  • Leaflets and business cards
  • Handbook, factsheets and toolkits
  • First year insurance to cover you, pets and the public
  • Your own optimised webpage
  • Facebook and Google advertising
  • Press release
  • City and Guilds certificate in Dog Walking
  • Boarding licence for your first year
  • A set of professional pictures taken by an award-winning photographer

You can find out more about our costs here...

You can obtain full funding (for your franchise fee, VAT and working capital) through the government-backed start-up loan company Biz Britain. They have pre-approved We Love Pets franchisees.

You can find out more about financial help here...

10% of turnover, which includes:

  • National marketing
  • Website and social media
  • Ongoing support – ask us anything!
  • Vet nurse and pet advice
  • Contract, legal and employment services
  • Intranet, guides, newsletters and weekly updates
  • Mentoring with a successful, established, high earning franchisee

It's paid monthly, based on your turnover for the previous month.

Remember that as well as the franchise fee you will have accountancy fees (including invoicing and payroll) and spend on local marketing.

Ensuring you have enough working capital to run your franchise will help keep the start of your franchise journey as stress-free as possible. This will give your new business the best opportunity to succeed.

This really does depend on how far you would like to push your business. Our average turnover figures are £4,250 by month 12, over £6,000 by month 24 and over £7,000 by month 36. However, we have one branch whose turnover exceeds £21,000 a month, another branch obtained over £16,000 by month 24 and one of our newer branches has already achieved a turnover of £3,695 by their 4th month. This goes to show with the support of the head office team, we can assist you to achieve fantastic results.

Franchisees agree to devote time and attention to achieve the greatest volume of business. This means they will have financial as well as other business targets to work towards – this is to ensure their success. We aren’t strict about meeting specific targets, but we celebrate success with awards, prizes and rewards and we coach franchisees to meet their financial, business and personal goals. All areas have to be utilised, as we don't want to turn customers away if we promise to offer services in one area.

When we meet, after you sign a non-disclosure agreement, we can show you actual figures generated by franchisees.

It’s essential to have enough funding for at least the first 6-12 months (known as working capital) to pay all bills and expenses. We recommend that you consult an accountant and write a personal survival budget for your home-running costs. This will help you to decide how much you will need to take out of the business to live.


Your franchise

You will be offered an exclusive territory in your chosen area, with a reach of between 25,000 and 35,000 homes. With 44% of homeowners owning pets, that’s a huge market to target. We will work with you to build your exclusive territory targeting demographics of our profile customers.

Dog walking, pet sitting and dog boarding. Check out the services page for more information.

Most franchisees are for 5 years then we then renew without charge.

We have legal templates, letters and the option to seek advice from our solicitor.

Poo can usually be disposed of in with normal waste, and you wouldn't be boarding lots of dogs at once, so waste would be minimal. You would need to check with licensing officer (which we can assist with).

Absolutely, most people buy a business to eventually sell it for a good profit. We can work with you to create an exit strategy and to help you to sell it. It must be valued by an approved account and the buyer would have to purchase it as a franchise.


Franchising

Good question! For franchisees, the model creates an unrivalled opportunity to get in on the ground floor of an established business and make the most of offering tried and tested services which it has already been proved that people want.

There are many benefits to buying a franchise over starting a business from scratch - see our benefits page for more information.

Absolutely! And we encourage it. Once you’ve signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement any of our franchisees would be happy to talk to you. We can put you in touch with a franchisee from a similar background, area or interest.


Recruitment process

We are looking for people who are positive, energetic and looking to leave employment behind to take control of their own future. They have to be pet owners – past or present and must love animals. They should have the same values as us and they have to meet our culture of:

  • Hard work
  • Love of pets
  • Passion for learning, improving and self development
  • Positive attitude

Everything else can be learned along the way.

It’s always a good idea to have a business plan, whether you’re getting funding or not. We will talk about financial and business goals during training.

Absolutely. This is part of the recruitment process. We recommend that you seek legal independent advice from a franchise lawyer to ensure you are happy with the terms.

Once we have a meeting deciding whether a We Love Pets franchise is the right thing for you, the process is really easy. You'll need to complete an application and we will carry out some simple checks while we set your branch up. You'll sign a franchise agreement and then receive training before we launch your branch.

Communication & Operations

We have a private platform for franchisees to help each other and share ideas and information.

Head office have a private platform for updating franchisees in real time and posting useful news, advice, promotions and campaigns.

There are regular one to one meetings, area meet ups, workshops, training courses and webinars so you're up to date with all We Love Pets, industry and business updates.

Yes, our franchise handbook has everything you’ll ever need to know about running your We Love Pets franchise and there are even more resources and guides on our Intranet.

You'll have an abundance of experts at your fingertips – whether that’s our vet nurses, marketing manager or solicitor, and they can coach you through it. Other franchisees are a great source of help, and you can bet another franchisee would have gone through the same challenge and can help you through a similar situation. That’s the beauty of franchising – someone has always been there, done that, which makes challenges feel less daunting.


Marketing the franchise

Part of your 10% franchise fee goes on marketing, which helps to promote your business both digitally and through brand awareness.

You will need to market and promote your business locally. We give you a loads of marketing assets such as vouchers, posters and leaflets, to use to attract new customers and to create awareness of We Love Pets in your area. This is an ongoing process.

Our expert marketing team carry out lots of promotion including a press release, google ads, Facebook ads and other digital marketing

You'll have lots of assets like business cards, leaflets and posters, and a marketing plan to follow, to promote your business locally.

We provide tops, jackets and smart work bags, included in the franchise fee. Additional uniform can be ordered from the shop We have a fabulous shop for your to order extra uniform and branded products from.


Expansion

We welcome new ideas and suggestions from our franchise network. We have a focus group where we discuss and trial new ideas. We have recently launched our own range of premium pet food and have two grooming salons on the network.

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