A Day In The Life of – Petpals Chelmsford

19th August 2018

Peter Martin, owner of Petpals Chelmsford










  • Name: Peter Martin
  • Name of Territories:
  • Areas you work in: Chelmsford, Danbury, Maldon
  • Date territory purchased: July 2007
  • Your job before you bought your Petpals franchise: Head of Operations in a UK-based Hedge Fund.

About Petpals Chelmsford:

Peter runs his Petpals as a ‘management’ franchise, i.e. he does not do all the dog walking himself, but employs a team of full and part-time staff to run each area as independent franchise territories. Peter owns one of the largest and most successful Petpals businesses in the network.

The day begins

My day starts with checking the phone for any messages and then a walk around the fields with my two dogs Wilson and Honey (the two amigos). I get back and sit down with a cuppa and check emails and schedules for staff on the computer for the day. I can see from using our pet software system whether everyone has acknowledged their jobs for the day and deal with any late booking requests that can come in anytime in the mornings.

My staff at Petpals Chelmsford

I have 14 pet carers who do all the dog walks and other pet visits and seven further carers who just do home boarding for dogs. The pet carers vary in how much they work from doing one day a week up to those that do seven days. This gives us great flexibility and allows us to respond quickly to daily surges in demand, which often occur.

I have daily contact with my two managers, chatting through or texting about any issues and keeping ourselves updated on things.

That’s a lot of walkies!

We can do anything up to 50 dog walks, 20 cat and small pet visits and 10 home boards per day, so there is a lot to keep your eye on and deal with, as people are always changing things or forgetting to tell you things about a particular visit that has changed since you last organised it.

Open all hours? (Nearly!)

Our normal hours are from 9am to 6pm and sometimes outside of these hours for pet visits to people’s homes. The bulk of the dog walks are requested during the 11am -2pm slot. On occasions, when we have staff on holiday and it is really busy, I step out from behind my desk and get out there to help out.

Administrating Petpals Chelmsford

The rest of the day is spent responding to emails and texts and phone calls and taking new enquiries from potential new clients. I check the bank accounts daily and update records on our pet software system when payments have been received. I also look after the monthly staff payroll and tax payments.

Less walking more stretching!

I always make time to go to the gym; I started doing Pilates about a year ago and really feel the benefit, so I go to late morning classes twice a week and try to visit the gym for a couple of cardio vascular sessions as well.

Dog walk number two

Late afternoon time I take the two amigos out for another longer walk this time and I really enjoy that. Then it’s back home to deal with any new messages; generally I am finished by 6.30pm.

Looking back over a decade of owning Petpals Chelmsford

I have been doing this now for 11 years and still really enjoy it. My role has changed completely in this time though; to begin with I was out all day walking dogs and visiting animals, then dashing home to deal with all the admin in the afternoon/evenings. Now I have enough great staff to handle the daily pet care jobs, leaving me free to manage the business and all that that entails.

Personal benefits of being a Petpals franchise owner

Owning my own Petpals business gives me personal freedom to do other things and it pays me enough to go on holiday three to four times each year! Essentially it is great to be my own boss and to feel happy in a job that I love.

ENDS                                                                                                                                         August 2018


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