Run a successful Petpals franchise

Success Stories

Read some of the success stories in the words of our franchisees. Feel free to contact us for more information.

Petpals Sefton

We all care deeply about offering the best pet-care services possible and it’s wonderful to be part of such a caring franchise.

Former digital forensic and cybersecurity expert, Sharren Redmond, has been on a long investigation to find the perfect franchise fit. After going straight from school to join the police as a civilian, Sharren embarked on an exciting career that led to her spending over 20 years implementing vital software for the British police force, including innovative forensic and cybersecurity systems.

“I was leading the UK team as the Technical Support Services Manager. We were doing amazing work in helping solve cases, and as a result we were making a real difference to the day-to-day lives of people in this country.” However, after being made redundant in December 2018, Sharren felt that she was ready for an exciting new venture – investing in Petpals Sefton.

The strengths of the franchise model had always been an attractive proposition to Sharren, and with funding from her redundancy, she began to look at potential franchises for her new career.

“I always liked the idea of franchising. I knew how difficult starting your own business could be, so I could see the benefits of joining an established network. I started putting a spreadsheet together of all the potential franchises that I was interested in. I ranked them all on the spreadsheet, using various ratings, and by the end of my search Petpals stood out as the clear favourite. I like how it offered a clear structure but it also gave room to run the business in your own way.”

“After I decided to invest, I participated in the training, which was very insightful. From the proven systems they supply you, to the Discover days with another franchisee, every aspect is valuable. I always look back to it now, and I am so thankful for having that period of training. I look at other pet-care businesses struggling around the area, and I think, that could have been me if I hadn’t decided to go with a model like Petpals. The experience you gain from joining a proven network is invaluable to your business.”

What’s it like running a Petpals franchisee?

“In under four years at Petpals, I have built a successful and profitable business. I now have a fleet of vans outside of my house, and it is amazing to have built something so significant. In 2021, we went on 3,576 dog walks, and visited cats 626 times in the Sefton area. I now employ 12 staff members to support the business and demand is so high we’re actively recruiting. We have doubled our turnover every year since 2019, which is putting us in a great place for the future. I know this is just the start for Petpals Sefton, and I am very excited to see what the rest of 2022 has in store for us. ”

“I think the best part of being a franchisee in the Petpals network is that you feel part of a team. Whenever I have had any issues to solve, I know the network will be there to support me. Everyone wants the same thing. We all care deeply about offering the best pet-care services possible and it’s wonderful to be part of such a caring franchise. The conference is a wonderful part of this. It’s a time when we all come together to share stories and advice. When we chat at these events, the solutions that come from our natural conversations lead to exciting innovation. What I love is that you can use the success stories in the franchise network to leverage your own growth.”

What advice would you give to new potential franchisees?

“I would say you need to lean into the franchisee support. If you put in enough effort the model works extremely well. You get back what you put in, and if you work hard enough you will achieve great things.”

Petpals Darlington & Yarm

Our investment in a Petpals franchise was always an investment in our future. Our quality of life has improved no end since we signed on the dotted line 15 years ago.

Former schoolteacher and mum-of-10 – four children plus six of the four-legged variety! – Sallyann Gray invested in her Petpals franchise in 2006 after becoming frustrated with the limitations caused by a career in education. Just one year later, and having witnessed the almost instant success of his wife’s new venture, David Gray made the decision to turn his back on a career in security risk management to invest in a neighbouring territory.

“By the time I bought the neighbouring franchise to Sallyann in 2007, I’d been working for Dixons as Group Security Manager for a number of years but had been so impressed by Sallyann’s initial 12 months in business that, in all honesty, I wanted in!

“Before Sallyann invested, we’d both spent a significant amount of time doing our due diligence and assessing the apparent demand for pet-care services here in the UK. Having worked in high-power roles throughout my career – most recently for a national retailer – I’m quite astute when it comes to understanding trends in consumer spending habits. The pet-care industry was booming in the US and, knowing that the UK would most likely follow suit within the next decade, I felt safe in the knowledge that our investment would be secure. And, with Petpals’ ethical position in the marketplace, we knew the gravitas of the brand name to back us would also stand us in good stead.”

“Whether you choose to start your business as an owner-operator or decide to invest in a team from the outset, the management franchise gives you the system for success.”

As self-confessed animal lovers, Sallyann and David’s number one priority was always to provide an impeccable quality of service to clients living in County Durham and the Tees Valley – something they felt was sorely missing in their community.

“From day one, we ensured our recruitment strategy centred around bringing in staff that we would happily trust our own pets with. Even now, that sits at the core of our business – providing a credible service which, in turn, increases customer loyalty.”

What’s it like running a Petpals franchise?

“From a personal perspective, our investment in a Petpals franchise was always an investment in our future. Our quality of life has improved no end since we signed on the dotted line 15 years ago – and whilst our lives have changed in that time, our franchise has been a constant source of income and professional satisfaction. We’re now proud grandparents and so look forward to the day that we can take early retirement and enjoy the fruits of our labour – Petpals has provided us the chance to do that once the time comes,”

Petpals Fleet

You have a proven model, great support from head office and the franchise network to lean on to give you confidence as you move forward.

Former database analyst, Clare Stafford, has been on an incredible 20-year journey with Petpals. After a successful career with global businesses such as Zurich Insurance, Clare was made redundant in 2002. However, instead of returning to the corporate world, she felt she was ready for an exciting new venture – investing in Petpals Fleet.

The clear benefits of the franchise model had always been an attractive proposition to Clare, and with capital from her redundancy package, she began to look at potential franchises for her new career.

“I attended a franchise exhibition in Birmingham to evaluate what opportunities were out there. I lacked the confidence to start my own business, and from my corporate background, I knew how difficult starting your own business could be. Petpals stood out as my clear favourite on the day. It was a proven concept with strong branding. At the time there was only one competitor in my area who offered pet-care services, so I knew with Petpals I could achieve great things.”

“I trained 20 years ago, but I know from being in the network that a lot of the original principles still apply. For example, I had a Discover Day to help me see if Petpals was the place for me. The team at the head office really pride themselves on making the training as clear and as applicable as possible, and I think the success stories in our network prove it’s working. I have seen so many excellent franchisees join since 2002, and they can only be successful due to the great systems we have in place. Now I am a grandee of the network, I have had the pleasure of hosting multiple Discover Days myself.”

What’s it like running a Petpals franchise?

“The best part of being a franchisee is having the backup of an established franchise. I stand out amongst the dog walkers in Fleet and the surrounding area because of the excellent support and structures at Petpals. New business often comes to me due to the power of the Petpals name. The ongoing support is fantastic. We have dedicated marketing support, which helps us implement new techniques such as Facebook Ads, and an online forum that is accessible to everyone. I think whatever stage you’re at with your journey, there’s always someone you can learn from in our network.”

What advice would you give to new potential franchisees?

“I would say you need to be confident. If you put in enough effort the model works extremely well. It takes a lot of determination to start a business. This is also true of franchising, but the difference is you have a proven model, great support from head office and the franchise network to lean on to give you confidence as you move forward.”

Petpals Camberley

The fact that I can contact anyone in the network to get valuable insight into the Petpals’ model is brilliant.

Experienced Formula One events and communications specialist Nancy Edwards has been on an action-packed road to success. During her exhilarating career, Nancy has had successful pitstops in almost every major sector since she set off on her business career in the late 90s. Her newest challenge is joining the UK’s original multi-service pet-care franchise, by investing in Petpals Camberley and West Woking.

“When the opportunity arose to invest in Petpals Camberley & West Woking, it seemed like the perfect fit. Not only did it suit my love of dogs, but it also meant that I could use my business acumen to make a difference.”

“The fact that Petpals now offers a managerial model was really appealing to me. I am more than happy to muck in – in fact, I currently have some Guinea pigs boarding with me; however, I know as I grow, I can get more people in place to manage the day-to-day operations so I can concentrate my efforts on the growth of the business.”

Joining an established brand like Petpals was an important consideration for Nancy when deciding if she would invest in the nationwide pet-care franchise.

“The pet-care market is very saturated in Surrey. However, Petpals Camberley & West Woking is very well regarded in the area, and I knew from my relationship with the previous franchise owner that it has a brilliant and loyal customer base. Doing my own research and seeing how much pet ownership has increased since the pandemic also made me confident that it was the perfect time to invest in a pet-care franchise. There are so many dog-walking companies cropping up, but Petpals stands out. Areas of administration such as DBS checks and insurance can also be quite intimidating undertakings on your own, so it was reassuring knowing I had the backing of an established network.”

What advice would you give to new potential franchisees?

“It’s been beneficial being able to pick the brains of established franchisees who have built incredibly profitable businesses. Being in the company of a network of franchisees who have grown the Petpals brand to become one of the leading pet-care providers in the UK has made marketing my franchise a lot easier. The fact that I can contact anyone in the network to get valuable insight into the Petpals’ model is brilliant.

“I’m really enjoying the challenge of running my Petpals franchise. It’s hard work, but I’m on the right course to fulfil my aspirations,” said Nancy.

“Eventually, I hope to free up time for my personal life through the Petpals management model. I know this is achievable and I’m very excited for the future.”

What advice would you give to new potential franchisees?

“My advice for anyone starting at Petpals is to ensure your business model is realistic. Focus on what services you can provide. Do you have the functionality to home board, or do you have people that can do it for you? How will you manage holiday and sick cover? Have you ensured that you have enough working capital for when you’re starting to invest in marketing? Utilising modern marketing techniques such as Google Ads and Facebook is vital to drive enquiries as you seek to grow your business. However, my most important piece of advice would be – you must love pets. This is at the centre of everything we do as a franchise network, so it’s vitally important.”

Petpals Chislehurst

The level of comradery at Petpals is brilliant, and I feel so lucky to be a part of a network that shares the same passion for caring for pets as I do.

Former lorry driver and karate black belt, Ray Hipwell, has been on a long and winding journey to becoming a Petpals’ franchisee. After not securing the grades to pursue his initial passion of becoming a vet, Ray embarked on a diverse career that ranged from working in the navy to training the fire brigade in London. However, despite his unquestionable success, Ray felt that he was ready for an exciting new venture – investing in his Petpals Chislehurst franchise in 2017.

“I saw a Petpals advert posted on Facebook which piqued my interest. My wife, who is an accountant, gave me the sound business advice that 80% of franchises succeed, which is true to this day.”

“I looked at many different offerings from many different franchises; however, I kept going back to Petpals as my top option. I loved how the setup of the business worked, and it allowed me to pursue my passion for working with pets. The more I looked into the model, the more I loved the package on offer.”

“After much research, I decided to invest. This led to a meeting with Petpals MD Kevin, who talked to me about the model before I signed. What I loved about the meeting was Kevin’s honesty. I didn’t feel like he was selling me the franchise, but instead, he really cared about who was joining the Petpals’ network. Throughout the meeting, he asked me poignant questions – essentially, he wanted to see if I was for real. He really saw me as a long-term asset, and I knew if I joined Petpals I wouldn’t be left to squander. He didn’t want my money, but my commitment.”

What’s it like running a Petpals franchisee?

“It has been a rollercoaster for sure. I now employ 10 staff members to support the business, and demand is so high we’re actively recruiting.”

“I’m 62 years old now, and at some point, I’ll be looking to slow down; however, the business is definitely not. I am in the process of strengthening my team to enable me to step back a little whilst continuing to enjoy the business that I love so much. I am certainly passionate about continuing to see the business grow as it’s on an incredible upward trajectory. We’ve built a very loyal customer base that relies on the services that we have developed at Petpals Chislehurst.

“I think the best part of being part of the Petpals’ network is the level of support you receive. Whenever I have had any issues to solve, Kevin and the head office team have always been available to help offer advice and solutions. At Petpals, everyone is on the same page. We all love pets, and it’s wonderful to be part of such an inclusive franchise. The conference is a wonderful part of this where we all come together to share stories and advice. The level of comradery at Petpals is brilliant, and I feel so lucky to be a part of a network that shares the same passion for caring for pets as I do.”

What advice would you give to new potential franchisees?

 “You really need to love animals if you’re going to be a Petpals’ franchisee. That may seem obvious, but at the end of the day, you need to put them first. It is not like other occupations where you can leave a job and come back to it later. You have an animal’s life in your hands, and that is a responsibility that you need to live up to. I love pets so for me every minute spent in the business is worth it, and as you can see from my business, if you put the work in you can grow something very special.

Hear what our Chislehurst franchisee thinks!

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