It’s quite rare these days that employees commit to companies for decades, and that stood out for us when Adrian first got in touch.
Having dedicated 30 years of his working life to Marston Agricultural Services Adrian worked his way up from shop floor assistant to works director.
In-between deciding his future after Marston Agricultural Services closed Adrian worked as a delivery driver for Wiltshire Farm Foods, providing an invaluable service to the community.
‘It was a rewarding job, but I longed for more responsibility and a bigger challenge.’
In times of change being employed isn’t always the most satisfying way to spend the majority of our days and as we see in the press with household names closing stores (House of Fraser, Homebase, Marks and Spencer to name a few) it’s no longer the most secure option either.
Over 5 million people are now registered as self-employed and that figure is set to rise.
What made you look into running your own business?
I am approaching a significant milestone age next year and I wanted a change from an engineered environment or stuck in an office, and I miss being my own boss. My wife, Julie, suggested combining my love for animals and my experience as a manager and that’s when we started searching the internet for ideas.
Julie and I both love animals and regularly donate to animal charities, including Jersey Zoo. We even adopted an orangutan but aren’t expecting to be looking after one of those in our new business!
What made you decide on running your own We Love Pets franchise?
I initially looked at dog hotels that I could play an active part in the running of. This developed into trying to find a dog hotel for sale around us which further developed into dog franchise and up popped We Love Pets.
I thought I have nothing to lose by contacting them. Within minutes Ryan had replied to my email and told me he would give me a ring in half an hour which he did. I liked his instant enthusiasm and efficiency.
Ryan was able to answer my initial questions calmly and enthusiastically. There was no high pitch sales talk.
Julie and I spent the next day checking out the We Love Pets website. One thing we really like about it was that other franchise owners are people just like me, with similar stories. I could really relate to them. They are ordinary people and not all are from a business background. I thought this could be my opportunity to achieve a happier working lifestyle.
Julie and I decided to ‘take the bull by the horns’ and contact Ryan once more.
We arranged to meet him on a Sunday.
How did you raise the funds for the franchise?
When Marston Agricultural Services was in business, I was on a good salary. When the factory went into liquidation our circumstances and lifestyle had to change. We moved to a smaller house so we could adapt to our new financial situation. The house we have moved into is a lovely house with lots of character. It is a grade 2 listed semi-detached house in the quiet village of Quarrington near Grantham.
Fortunately, through the sale of our old house, we were left with some surplus money. I was able to put some of that towards the funds for We Love Pets.
What other factors helped you make the decision to invest in a We Love Pets franchise?
Ryan was very approachable, honest and passionate about We Love Pets. We felt perfectly at ease with him. And, as I said there was no high pitch sales talk and he was quite willing to answer all of our questions.
I was also impressed with their no pack walking policy. For me it is the most responsible way of walking dogs. Walking fewer dogs makes them easier to control and safer for all park users. You can keep an eye on all dogs individually, especially when walking the dogs off their leads and give them equal attention.
Do you have a family supporting you in your new adventure?
Julie has been a tremendous support. Without her I wouldn’t have got to this stage. She is very enthusiastic over the whole new venture and has given me plenty of assistance and ideas. She has even offered to give out business cards and flyers to local vets, garden centres, etc.
Julie is also coming with me on the training course in two weeks time!
As well as Julie, is there anyone else in the house who will be supporting you in your business journey?
Yes, we have a two year old Newfoundland/Labrador called Bentley and an eight year old Alaskan Malamute called Prince.
The Sleaford branch of We Love Pets offers dog walking and pet services in Sleaford as well as the surrounding towns and villages.
For more information about the services Adrian offers or if you have any questions, visit here.
If you’d like to find out more about running your own dog walking and pet care business we’d love to hear from you.