Hi Dave here,
I am a great believer that if you do something you love, you’ll do it better. In fact, when you are doing something you really like to do, you can often be found in “the zone”, just loving every second and being totally obvlious of time and your surroundings. Now, what if you could do something you absolutely loved for work?
Can You Love Your Work?
I’ve often heard it said in positive mental attitude circles, if you do truly enjoy what you do, the money will follow. Now, personally I’ve never witnessed it that way around. I have come to love what I’ve been doing and consequently earned a lot of money. I can certainly understand that. I can also totally pace with the idea that you will work better, harder and more effectively if you are enjoying your work.
So, after having said all of that…I am in absolute awe of people who manage to achieve this. I reckon this is as near to heaven on earth as you can get if you are in the situation of needing to earn to live. In wrote about my background in the “About Us” section of the site. And, during my time as a recruiter I often heard figures banded around about the percentage of the workforce that actually do enjoy their jobs. This figured ranged anywhere from 6-7% down to a miserable 1%, depending on where the research was based.
Those figures make horrible reading.
Pet Sitting As A Business
However, on a far more positive note, today I am looking at a business borne out of a love for animals. Well, more specifically pets. Through one of my business contacts (I Guy I knew from school quite amazingly), I was introduced to Peter and Julie Maxted who run Pets, Homes and Gardens. PHG (as they are known) is a pet sitting business that franchises out their operation.
Peter and Julie run an area around Horsham (in the U.K) and having honed the business down to the “n’th” degree, they looked at how they wanted to expand. It was my friend from school, David, who is a business process expert that cameup with the idea 0f turning the business into a franchised model.
Systems Make For Success
So, he helped “systemise” the business and the PHG pet care franchise opportunity was born.
Peter takes up the story, “we were just not business people”, he recalls. “We met David totally by chance and got talkingand I guess he was really the driving force initially. Indeed to prove it was going to work, his wife, Mel, became our first franchisee”.
By now, of course, I was intrigued by the story. They used Mel’s franchise (which was geographically “next door” to their own) to iron out the “rough spots” and to install all the proper systems. Then they had to look at the pricing model.
Getting The Pricing Right
Over to David, “Being brutal about it”, he smiles, “we knew people who would be interested in running a pet sitting/day care business wouldn’t have a whole load of money to put up front. So, we had to be very clever about how we set the fee structure”.
What they came up with is quite unique in the pet sitting franchise world. There are a few model, some in the pet sitting arena, some in dog walking and some in day care. There were twocommon factors.
Firstly, they all charged a high up front fee, running into many thousands of pounds. And, secondly, the on-going support was not wonderful.
So, they all agreed the initial fee would be small (£495) and to ensure they provided suprb support to their franchisees, they would only charge subsequent fees once profits were achieved. The fees then being charged on profits each month. Add to that each month, each franchisee gets £50 worth of online advertising paid for all included, and all of a sudden you have one very attractive offering.
A Good Year!
Indeed, the number of PHG franchises has doubled in 2014. That has to be the acid test of an excellent offering.
Final word from Peter, “we are so proud of what we have achieved”, he beams at me “we have given a lot of frustrated people a way to earn a damn goodliving doing something they truly love and that is an amazing feeling. We have become firm friends with nearly all of our franchisees and it really is like one big happy family”.
For my money, this is one of my favourite business stories. Peter, Julie and David are good people, salt of the earth, and they love helping others. But the trick is they all enjoy it and because of that every franchisee is a success in his or her own right and PHG is now making a rather nice profit to boot. What better business model is there to work to? I certainly can’t think of one.
You can find their website at PetsHomesAndGardens.co.uk get along and have a look.
Here’s Mel talking about her franchise.