We Love Pets, a family business set up nine years ago to help pet owners balance work pressures, holidays and busy lifestyles with the care of their pets has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Emerging Franchisor of the Year Award category in the prestigious annual bfa HSBC Franchise Awards 2018.
Run by the British Franchise Association (bfa), these widely-respected awards recognise both franchisors and franchisees who have demonstrated outstanding business acumen, innovation and achievement. Franchising is the granting of a licence by one person (the franchisor) to another (the franchisee), which entitles the franchisee to trade under the brand, taking advantage of the systems and support offered by the franchisor.
We Love Pets joins two others on the shortlist for the Award for Emerging Franchisor of the Year category, which is an award for franchisors who can demonstrate they have built the strong foundations to create the infrastructure necessary to sustain growth and tackle the challenges that can occur in infancy.
We Love Pets has grown into an award-winning, well-established leader in the pet franchise market. It is a family business, with people and their pets at the heart of what it does. Services offered include dog walking, pet sitting and animal boarding, with thousands of happy customers around the country. Since launching its pilot franchise four years ago, We Love Pets has recruited 12 more successful franchisees. The business model and customer website works so well, that We Love Pets guarantee to return franchise fees if franchisees don’t get enough customer enquiries.
Franchisees also enjoy exceptional support from its team of business, marketing and pet experts and it is the only franchise to provide vet nurse and solicitor support. It is also the only franchisor to offer the City & Guilds dog walking and pet sitting qualification, in partnership with Wiltshire College, an accredited, internationally recognised education institution. This means franchisees receive practical hands-on training, as well as on-line learning.
We Love Pets has decided to tier franchisees, which is a game changer for the pet franchise industry. They took this approach as they realised that franchisees have different aims for their business. While all franchisees receive the same excellent support, the ones who are aiming for high growth will receive a relatively sized territory and specific support for this. In addition, We Love Pets will facilitate a growth club for them all to support and learn from each other.
Excellent customer service drives the business and that is delivered by strong staff training. Franchisees are trained in managing staff performance, motivating and looking after a team, and We Love Pets is currently working with Tesco’s Talent Manager to develop this training. There is also an e-learning platform for teams living further away and an intranet site providing a one-stop shop to training, advice and support.
On being shortlisted in the Emerging Franchisor of the Year Award category, Joanne White, Founder and Company Director of We Love Pets, said “We are over the moon to receive the news that we’re a finalist in such prestigious franchise awards. It’s a real credit to the team and we’re looking forward to the opportunities it will bring.”
Pip Wilkins, CEO of the bfa, said, “It’s over forty years since the bfa was launched specifically to develop ethical franchising in the UK, and I am proud of the way the sector has grown in that time, with the industry’s turnover exceeding £15bn – that’s 1% of the UK’s GDP!
“I am particularly delighted to see such a strong field of businesses in the Emerging Franchisor of the Year category as it highlights the importance of building strong business foundations to be able to sustain growth and tackle challenges while the business grows for future franchisors. I would like to congratulate all three shortlisted finalists in this category and wish them the best of luck at the Awards ceremony at the ICC Birmingham on 28th of June!”
Andrew Brattesani, UK Head of Franchising for award sponsor HSBC, said, “HSBC is delighted to be once again supporting these franchise awards. Franchise businesses are often the hidden engine of business growth in the UK and it is essential to highlight the important contribution both large and small businesses make to our economy. It is also important to showcase to people that they can run their own businesses and if you don’t want to go it alone, or haven’t got a strong business idea of your own, you can still be successful and become your own boss.”
All the bfa HSBC Franchise Award category winners will be named at an exclusive black-tie ceremony held between day one and two of the bfa Annual Conference, on 28thJune 2018 at the ICC in Birmingham.
The three finalists for the Emerging Franchisor of the Year award are:
- Angela’s Swim School – a family-run business whose teaching methods are based on decades of results, established by former Team GB swimmers
- Fitness Space – a fast-growing, boutique fitness concept developed by former Olympic 400m athlete Tim Benjamin
- We Love Pets – a family business set up nine years ago to help pet owners balance work pressures, holidays and busy lifestyles with the care of their pets