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Start-Up on Your Own or Invest In a Franchise?

If you have been considering starting your own pet sitting business or whether to invest in a franchise, we truly believe that investing in a proven concept, like The Cat Butler franchise is the best option if you are looking to get working straight away and reap the rewards of business ownership.
Added on: 31 Jul, 2022 Posted by: Sandra James 16 min read (2509 words)

In this article:

Why Can't I Just Do This Myself?

This is the question we often get asked when speaking to people who are considering starting their own pet business.

Here are some key benefits of investing in a Cat Butler franchise rather than going it alone:

A Business in a Box

When you buy a Cat Butler franchise, you are essentially buying a business in a box. Absolutely everything you need to run that business is in the box.  Talk to any independent cat sitter, and they’ll tell you that they would have given their eye teeth for the contents of our franchise box in the early days of building their business. It takes years and years to build up the collateral, reputation, and experience that you get with a Cat Butler franchise package.

An Established and Well-Known Brand With a Great Reputation 

In the pet care industry, brand history and reputation is everything. For customers to trust you with their beloved feline friends and their home, it helps to be operating under a recognisable trade name with a history of excellent care. There’s only one way to quickly accomplish this normally lengthy task – by buying a pet care franchise from a high-profile franchisor like The Cat Butler. The reputation we’ve established has allowed us to grow at an exceptional rate and our franchisees benefit from this recognition to secure new clients.


Apart from the physical things like marketing materials, branding, website etc., your franchise package also comes with the one thing money can’t buy, knowledge and experience. I have been running my own general pet care service since 2010 and founded the Cat Butler in 2015. I currently have fifteeen Cat Butlers in my team, caring for thousands of cats each year. I have spent years learning how to run the business effectively, learning from my mistakes, and I teach my franchisees how to replicate my success.  As a franchisee, you can tap into those years of experience, knowledge and general know-how.  


Our induction training programme and step-by-step operations manual covers all areas of how to run a successful cat sitting franchise business -  looking at operations, systems, marketing, financial and service management so that when you start trading, you can hit the ground running to get your cat sitting business off to a flying start. 

Pre-Existing Systems and Documentation 

If you decided to set up your own cat sitting business, you would still need the basics; a brand design, a website, social media channels, marketing materials, legal documents (contracts, agreements, insurance etc.), PR, advertising etc. These are all going to take time and a lot of money,  thousands of pounds,  to build - we know, we’ve been there and done that!  With a Cat Butler franchise, these all come in your start-up package.  

Hit the Ground Running

We give you everything you need to get your cat-sitting business off to a flying start in your local area and start generating earnings immediately. We have invested thousands and continue to invest in our website, which is highly optimised, and generates hundreds of enquiries for our franchisees from month one. Our excellent reputation - over 1,000 5-star customer reviews and personal recommendations, drive customers daily to our franchisees’ businesses.

First-Class Systems and Design

I have spent a huge amount of money on the business and franchise package. Nothing has been forgotten. The beautifully designed website is full of keywords and SEO-friendly features and is constantly being fine-tuned to keep abreast with Google's ever-changing algorithms, so we stay on top of searches. Our design and branding are instantly eye-catching and recognisable. I have designed and produced all the marketing material and stationery you’ll need and so much more.  

Successful Social Media Channels

Over the years, my team and I have built a huge following on The Cat Butler's social media channels with over 600,000 followers, attracting approximately 500+ likes, comments, and shares per post. We post every day, drawing on our natural love of cats and social media to produce some outstanding organic results. Your business will benefit from this huge boost to its brand awareness. Strong online visibility allows potential customers to find our franchisees on our website and stand out from their competition.

 Great Profit Potential

We have fine-tuned our business system and figured out efficient ways of producing our services, including how to hire and train staff, and we’ve invested in the right things to make our business highly profitable. A franchise also has the added benefit of many franchisees contributing to the system allowing it to hire the right people and test new ideas. It’s very hard for an independent start-up to compete against that. You only have to look at the reviews on Trustist to know how well the franchisees are doing. Cat owners love The Cat Butler, and I am ready and willing to teach my franchisees everything I know so their business will be just as successful as mine.

Advice and Support on Building Your Own Team of Cat Butlers

Although you can run your Cat Butler franchise on your own, to make a really successful business, you’ll need to build a team, after all, there are only so many cats you can visit in one day, so it makes sense to build up your own team to help you reach your business goals. I will teach you how to do that from day one.

A Ready-Made Business Community  

Starting a new business can be a lonely experience at times. When you are self-employed, there’s not necessarily anyone you can turn to for advice and guidance, and you’re often faced with difficult problems without obvious solutions.

In franchising, you’re in business for yourself, but not by yourself. You will have the support and experience of me and all the other franchisees in the network. They are each running identical Cat Butler businesses to yours and are happy to share their top tips to make your business a great success. No trial and error for you. You’re fast-tracked to success.

Full Franchise Support

Whatever you need, and whenever you need it, we are here to support you. Got a question? Give us a call. Not sure how to respond to a request from a customer? Drop us an email anytime. Need some extra help with something? Let us know, and we can arrange an online or a face-to-face brainstorming session. There aren't many challenges that we haven't overcome ourselves; if you do find one, though, we will tackle it together!

Banks Love Franchises

Did you know that banks are far more willing to lend you money to buy a franchise than start your own business? Why? Because it’s a safe purchase.  Banks know that a franchise only has a 1% chance of failing in the first five years, whereas a start-up business has a 60% chance. A sobering statistic, but sadly, true.

Resale Options

When you are ready to sell, successful franchisees will find it easier to sell their businesses and for a higher price than independent businesses. That’s because these types of businesses are more attractive to potential purchasers than most independent, stand-alone businesses.

A BFA (British Franchise Association) Accredited Franchise Member 

When buying a franchise, you want to make sure you are buying into a business that is reputable and can work. We have been accredited by the British Franchise Association. To become a member, the association takes a very close look at our business, our franchise agreement, our bank accounts and our franchise opportunity. They want to make sure that the franchise we are offering is ethical, professional and, most importantly, sustainable. We are proud to be members of the BFA and to uphold their standards.

 The thing to remember is that with a franchise, it’s all about the experience and support, not just from the franchisor but from the franchise network as well. We will be beside you, every step you take, helping you to build a successful business.

If you are unsure whether franchising is right for you, here’s a quick checklist you can use to see if you’d prefer to be a franchisee or start a business from scratch*

Starting an Independent Business

Buying a Franchise

  • Decide on a business name and create brand style and identity from scratch
  • Develop your own website and digital marketing systems from scratch.
  • Develop your own marketing and advertising materials from scratch (leaflet designs, social media adverts etc.). 
  • Make your own mistakes.
  • Innovate and create processes and systems.
  • Develop/write sales/marketing and business contracts.
  • Create all business management and admin systems from scratch.
  • Source finance as a business start-up.
  • 60% failure in 5 years.
  • Have the use of an existing brand with the potential for brand recognition in your franchise area.
  • Have the use of an existing website completely optimised for local search engine optimisation and with a
    mini-site for your own franchise area. 
  • Have access to a full range of marketing collateral that has been proven to be effective for this business. 
  • Learn from others.
  • Use tried and tested methods.
  • Use the documents and procedures that are already part of a system and which are updated and maintained centrally. 
  • Have immediate access to online management tools.
  • Source finance as part of a franchise system.
  • 1% failure in franchise systems.*

* Source: 2019 NatWest Bank/BFA survey

As a Franchisee, You Will Benefit From the Following

  • Access to our systems and brand materials. This includes our operational software/online client booking system and the use of our current and future marketing collateral - flyers, posters, banners, promotional video and video clips and professionally designed illustrations with eye-catching cat and butler cartoons that are replicated throughout the brand.
  • Access to all our recruitment materials and staff contracts, which have been put together by legal professionals.
  • Your own mini-site on The Cat Butler website - our website is bespoke, responsive on all devices and features location search functionality/postcode entry for customers to find their nearest Cat Butler.  Our website is optimised on an ongoing basis to help generate hundreds of new client enquiries for your business from month one. 
  • SEO activity – search engine optimisation on a national and regional level to promote the Cat Butler brand and service.
  • Digital advertising - pay-per-click and targeted social media marketing to grow your customer base in your local area and on a national level to strengthen brand awareness to your customer base and entice them to seek services from your business.
  • High online visibility and social media presence - regular posts, blogs, news articles, cat care guides and newsletters to position The Cat Butler as experts in cat care. We work hard to maintain our high visibility online presence and on various social media platforms,  where we have combined over 600,000 followers on a regional and national level. HQ will take care of all the social media posting with a dedicated team, leaving you to grow your business.
  • Over 1,000 5-star customer reviews - via our online review platform (Trustist), which will drive customers to your business.
  • Access to the online member franchisee portal where you can access your operational manuals, marketing and brand materials so you can network with your fellow franchisees and share top tips to make your business a great success.
  • Ongoing HQ support and advice and mentoring from the founder of The Cat Butler, Sandra James, to help you grow your Cat Butler business. 

Your Initial Start-Up Package Includes

  • Exclusive use of The Cat Butler® brand in your franchise area
  • Comprehensive induction programme covering all aspects of running a Cat Butler franchise business
  • Step-by-step operations manual with guidance on how to replicate our business in your area
  • Accredited Cat Care and First Aid training
  • Your own mini-site on The Cat Butler website that is optimised to generate hundreds of business enquiries in your local area from the first month
  • The Cat Butler email address
  • Professional PR launch in your area
  • Initial supply of promotional leaflets, branded stationery and business cards
  • Two-month business launch marketing programme including 1st page Google listing
  • A pack of branded clothing
  • Branded livery for your vehicle
  • 12 months subscription to the operational software to manage the business

The ongoing support services provided to franchisees are funded by the management and marketing fees, which are paid monthly (not payable for the first three months of trading). Our ongoing fee structure is turnover-related. We do not charge any fixed monthly fees. 

The Cat Butler Franchise

If you would like more information on becoming a franchisee with the Cat Butler, fill in our short form below to request a brochure and learn more about our unique cat care franchise opportunity.

Sandra James

Sandra James

Owner & Founder

The Cat Butler was set up by Sandra James in recognition of the fact that a stay in a cattery can be unsettling for many cats and also their owners.

Request a Brochure

If you're a cat lover and you're interested in our opportunity to run your own local cat sitting business, we'd love to hear from you.

Please complete our contact form and we'll send you a copy of our brochure by e-mail which includes:

  • Comprehensive information about The Cat Butler franchise
  • Key components of the franchise including training, marketing and business tools
  • Franchise package costs and financial support information

Once you've had time to read the brochure, we'd love to hear from you with any specific questions about the opportunity.

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