A: I loved the fashion industry and the passion for product and customer service, but after 36 years I decided it was time for a change and to shift my passion for outstanding customer service and team it up with my other passion which is the love of cats, a winning combination!
A: I was brought up in a home where we always had pets but my dad had a particular love of cats and both my sister and I today share that passion. My sister, Ann, has five cats (one is the sister to my kitties so definitely keeping it in the family) and I have two cats.
I rescued my two gorgeous gingers George and Sophia when they were six weeks old and working out in South Africa. When they were four years old, I moved back to the UK and they travelled with me; they are very well-travelled cats now, having done two further international moves between the UK and South Africa since then!
As a cat owner I have always found cat behaviour and care for cats very interesting as they are territorial animals and can be challenging at times. I am very confident and comfortable with cats and many of my clients call me ‘The Cat Whisperer.’
A: Firstly, I decided that I wanted to take a career change and that I’d like to go into the business of caring for cats. I didn’t consciously set out to buy a franchise because I didn’t know they existed. I came across the franchise by chance when Googling ‘cat-sitting’ in my local area. After sending off for the initial registration form and information pack I then contacted Sandra (the Franchisor) and the conversation went from there. I soon realised that a franchise was the best route for me as an individual, knowing what I can and cannot do, such as building a simple website!
It took me six months of due diligence before I decided to buy the franchise. I spent time finding out everything about the franchise model and understanding the financials, speaking to other franchisees, really researching my areas and understanding the demographics. I consulted with an excellent BFA recommended franchise lawyer to finally make the decision and buy the franchise. So here I am today the franchise owner!
The support setting up the franchise has been excellent. Everything is there and ready for launch day from the website to business cards, stationery, the client portal and everything in between. There is continued support from Head Office and other franchisees, especially those who have been launched longer.
A: After several conversations with Sandra and a face-to-face meeting in the run up to launching the franchise, I attended the launch training meeting with one other franchisee who was coming on board at the same time as me. During the training session we were given an in-depth introduction to The Cat Butler brand, what makes it unique, and what makes it what it is today. We went through in detail the client communication form, from taking an initial enquiry to booking that all-important client meeting. We covered a general overview of the Pet Sitter Plus (PSP) that we use to upload all our client data and information and communicate with them. The main PSP training was done separately.
The next day we joined Sandra’s St Albans team of Cat Butlers on a day of actual client meets and cat sitting visits. It was great to see live examples and put into practice what we had been trained on the day before.
On the third day of training, we attended a brilliant pet first-aid training course which I thoroughly enjoyed. I think it’s so important to have that awareness and be confident in treating an unwell or injured cat. I already have diabetic cats as clients and administering regular insulin injections and other medication to my client’s cats is not a problem for me.
A: The support from the whole team has been great. Sandra is always there, on the end of a phone or via a WhatsApp message to answer any questions that I have, no matter how large or small. When I first started, I spoke to Sandra frequently but now, six months in, I am running the business entirely on my own, as I should be, and as my training prepared me to do, so our contact is less, however, we still have our monthly and three monthly meetings booked into the diary but I know that I can just pick up the phone to her at any time if I have a question.
A: The business is going extremely well and I am delighted to say that I made back my initial investment 2½ months after launching my business. I worked incredibly hard this summer and am building up a very solid client base with lots of repeat business. Things are going so well that now I am beginning to look for more Cat Butlers to help me look after our clients and I am really looking forward to employing my first team members.
A: I’d say ‘Definitely do it!’ My advice would always be to do your homework, fully understand the financial model and check the legals.
My parting thought is that if you LOVE cats and can successfully deliver outstanding customer service then The Cat Butler is PUURRFECT for you!
Our franchise offers an opportunity for cat lovers to be their own boss and run a local cat sitting business under an established brand.
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:
Once you've had time to read the brochure, we'd love to hear from you with any specific questions about the opportunity.