Barking mad or up the right tree?
Dog creche entrepreneurs invest in travel franchise and sell £70k-worth of holidays in first month
Nathan and Candy have never worked in travel before.
But they do have a great track record of making a success of a new business and franchise in a sector in which they have no experience.
After Nathan, 46, retired from the police force, Candy, 53, wanted a quieter life and left her high-powered HR job in the city.
But rather than putting their feet up, they launched a canine creche, dog grooming and pet hotel ‘as a hobby’.
Now welcoming 300-400 dogs a week and also owning a doggy daycare franchise, they barely have time to ‘paws’ for breath’,
Nonetheless, they still decided to invest in a travel franchise with us in December.
“We love our holidays and want a business we can run from the beach or the balcony,” says Candy who says they have travelled the world from Dubai and Iceland to the Caribbean.
From dude ranching and snorkeling with stingray, they simply love organising the next adventure.
“We wanted to work in an industry that was exciting. Running a canine business is unusual and we wanted to replicate that with our new business”.
The dog-loving couple have three Dalmatians of their own, but time management is clearly a strong point.
While Candy continues to work in the canine creche business, Nathan is heading up the travel business and it’s a partnership that is working rather well.
The couple completed their training on 16th December and started selling holidays the next day.
Just one month later they had sold £70k-worth of holidays with Nathan working full time and Candy contributing part time, working across both businesses.
By the end of January, the figure reached over £80k.
“When you consider that we have no travel experience whatsoever and can come up with those figures, it’s so exciting!” says Candy adding that they really liked The Travel Franchise’s business model.
“We felt it attracted a better quality of franchisees than other brands. And with no travel experience, we wanted to make sure we had the right support.”
Candy admits life has been supremely busy.
“My job is to get Nathan the enquiries and I handle all the sales and marketing. Nathan does all the searching and sourcing and builds exceptional itineraries.”
Candy and Nathan are both determined to achieve our Money-Back Challenge, where we refund new franchisees if they hit a certain sales target in their first 12 months.
“It’s a nice hook that really motivates us. We believe we will secure that and our personal goal is to sell much more – £500k in the first year.”
So is the franchise a blueprint for success?
“You have to have a ‘get on and do it’ attitude, but as the support is so good it really is quite easy, assuming you work hard.
“People buy into people, so if you can come across as genuine and knowledgeable, it builds trust.
“Of course it’s essential to provide inspiring service levels, attention to detail and provide extra things to go one step further.”
The couple’s first customers go on holiday in a few weeks and they have designed and created Welcome Home boxes which include coffee, teabags, milk and sugar which will be waiting for clients when they return home as a thank you and reminder to book their next holiday with them.
“We spent a fortune on holidays over the years, so we know what good service is,” says Candy.
“Now we want to offer it to others and enjoy sourcing and booking it for them.”