David and Dawn Jarvis
Franchise:Oscar Pet Foods
Cost of start-up:£10,000
David and Dawn Jarvis have run their Oscar Pet Foods franchise for over six years now, after taking a radical change of direction in their careers to end up in the pet care industry.
“David was a manager at Barclays Bank for 23 years, while I was a full time mum,” says Dawn. “Our previous experience helped us immensely with our new franchise, especially with book-keeping.”
After being advised by a friend that the pet food sector “never has a recession” thanks to the animal-loving image of the British public, David and Dawn raised the £10,000 needed to take on the franchise by delving into their savings and using David’s voluntary redundancy money.
After a short period of training, David and Dawn took on their franchise just two months after they first considered becoming Oscar franchisees.
“Oscars has on-going training, so we are learning things all the time,” explains Dawn. In fact, we are trainers ourselves, so we have been able to pass our knowledge onto others.”
Life as a franchisee
David and Dawn are now qualified nutritional advisors, and have received further training in book-keeping and administration.
So what does it take to become an Oscars franchisee? Not surprisingly, if you hate the sight of all things that walk on four legs, you should perhaps look elsewhere for your franchise opportunity.
“You have to be good with pets – it’s vital,” says Dawn. “You also have to do a lot of interaction with people. We have to go and attract customers by going to pet shows and canvassing for our services.”
Dawn says the downside to her franchise is the lack of time it allows for other aspects of her life. Unlike many franchisees who work long hours to start with and then settle into a more relaxed pattern, David and Dawn decided to spend as much time as possible with their children in the early years, before gradually increasing their working week.
“We do work long hours now,” admits Dawn. “With all the hard work, sometimes you just need to smile when you don’t want to and just get on with it.”