Franchisee Interviews: Alec, Jennifer and Alison + Kevin’s BBC 5 Live Bonus!

Podcast Barking Mad Franchise

Podcast – Click play below to listen

Our franchisees talk about their lifestyles as Barking Mad franchisees. A typical day is covered along with the benefits of the franchise training, support and the overall power of the professional market leading dog care brand.

First up is a bonus from Kevin Matthews (Preston) who was interview on 21st November 2014 by Radio 5 Live when they were talking about self-employment following a change of career.

Kevin Matthews on BBC 5 Live Daily Radio Show

Kevin Matthews says “I am pleased to be the franchisee for Barking Mad covering the South Lancashire area.

I live in Walton-le-Dale with my wife Sarah and we absolutely love dogs so were thrilled when Derby, our Border Terrier became part of our family.  For us, owning a dog is one of the best decisions we ever made and he’s very precious to us.  So when it came to booking our annual ski holiday, we decided that kennels were not an option and that Derby deserved a holiday too.  We were delighted when a friend recommended Barking Mad to us.  Derby was matched with the perfect host family who provided loving one to one care whilst we were away.  Every aspect of his daily routine was maintained, so we were able to enjoy our holiday, while Derby enjoyed his. Having been a Barking Mad customer for several years and keen to run my own business, I jumped at the opportunity to take over this successful franchise and offer the same service to others.

We’re dedicated to ensuring all dogs in our care have a wonderful time and in turn giving you peace of mind to enjoy your holiday. Our host families are very special people who have lots of experience and love to give and as a result, have a very high level of repeat business and excellent referrals from customers and hosts.

So if you are looking for a superior alternative to kennels, or interested in looking after other people’s dogs as a Barking Mad host, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Alex Cowe, Barking Mad Perthshire, Clackmannanshire, West & Central Fife.

Chris and Alex Cowe Barking Mad Franchisee of the year 2013

Chris & Alex Cowe (centre), Managing Director Lee Dancy (left) & Nikki Brown National Operations Manager.

Barking Mad 2013 Franchisee of the Year at our 10th annual national conference was Chris and Alex Cowe from Kinross.

Managing Director Lee Dancy, who founded our company in 2000, said:

Lee Dancy, Barking Mad M.D. & Founder

Lee Dancy, Barking Mad M.D. & Founder

‘We were thrilled to present this award to Chris & Alex as outstanding assets to the company who really excelled this year. Passionate and committed to their business and the brand, it is obvious to anyone who meets them that they are devoted to their customers and genuinely care about every dog holiday they organise. They have continued to grow and improve their business since launch in 2006 as well as being involved our Advisory Group and other new Barking Mad initiatives setting a fine example to our national network’.

Alex is a former Human Resources Director of a major US global manufacturer and Chris was a stay-at-home Mum who decided to turn a love of dogs into a challenging and satisfying enterprise. Previously hosts for Barking Mad, Fife, they had gained meaningful insights into the company which led them to investigate the world of franchising.

We knew that being passionate about dogs alone would not be enough, we had to be realistic, self-motivated, business-minded and determined to make this venture profitable.”

By the time Chris and Alex launched Barking Mad in the virgin territory of Perthshire and Clackmannanshire in September 2006 they had long since done their homework to ensure success. They enthusiastically describe Barking Mad as “Packed full of new things to learn, stimulating and rewarding, challenging and never-ever boring!” The couple describe one of the major advantages of being franchisees as the supportive network within Barking Mad.

They expanded their business which meant bringing additional staff on board as well as recruiting new host families to cope with the increasing number of customer enquiries. They recently hit another best ever turnover and continue to grow.

Our continuing success and enjoyment are due in no small measure to our wonderful host families, our loyal customers (old and new) and to each and every dog for whom we have undiminishing passion”.

Chris and Alex continue to look after customers providing a unique and essential service for dog lovers in their area.

YouTube Barking Mad channel JenniJennifer Hamer

Hi, we are Jennifer and Carolyn and we launched Barking Mad in Torbay, Newton Abbot, Teignmouth and the rest of South Devon in 2008.

We are both dog lovers, Jennifer has an eight year old Golden Retriever called Sidney who is full of bounce and energy and thinks he’s still a puppy. Carolyn has a mad eleven year old Doberman x Springer called Sadie who was rescued when she was two.

We feel that we have the best job possible, every day is different and we meet the most fantastic and interesting dogs and their owners.  What can be better than collecting a dog knowing that they are going to have as good a holiday as their owner, and making our host’s day by leaving the dog with them.

We work very hard to provide you and your dogs with an excellent, worry free holiday experience.  Before your dog’s first holiday, we will come and meet you and your lovely dog in your home. This gives us the chance to chat and find out all there is to know about your four-legged friend.  We think this initial meeting is so important, as it allows us to get to know your dog and enables us to make the perfect match with one of our great host families.

Our hosts are very special people who love having Barking Mad dogs to stay.  We select them very carefully and they have oodles of experience of caring for dogs. They will care for your dog as though it was their own.

When you go on holiday we collect your dog from your home and take them to their holiday home.  We ensure that they are settled and happy with the host and contact you to put your mind at rest.  When we bring your dog home after their holiday we will give you great feedback about your dog’s stay.  When you book again we will always try to place them with the same host family.

So, when you are planning your holiday.  Don’t forget “dogs deserve a holiday too”…Let us arrange that for you

Alison Gledhill

Allison-Gledhill-02.jpgHi. I’m Alison Gledhill and I am your Barking Mad representative for Blackpool and Preston. I was thrilled to win the Barking Mad award for Franchisee of the Year 2011. And can be seen in the photo accepting my award from Lee Dancy managing director of Barking Mad (I’m the one on the right).

I have two much adored and treasured two dogs, Flirty my beloved Lhasa Apso (13), and Gracie (7) my lovable Westie.

I have been running Barking Mad in the area for over 6 years and I still love everything about the Barking Mad concept. Before this I worked in the public sector for 22 years and was an IT Manager in the HMRC. I had been very successful but decided that I wanted to leave the rat race behind and spend my time earning a living doing something I enjoyed and believed passionately about. Barking Mad has given me that perfect opportunity.

There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a dog who has completely settled with their host family, being returned home obviously having enjoyed his or her own holiday. And then in turn seeing how happy the customer is to see their beloved pet has obviously had a great holiday. Its such a rewarding days work!

I still love the concept of the Barking Mad service, as do my customers who are keen to use my service repeatedly. I now have well over 400 customers and 25 host families in the region and many go on holiday several times a year. This just shows the level of confidence my customers have in the service I provide.

Providing a caring and professional service is paramount. I know only too well just how much you value your pets. Rest assured they will get all the home comforts they are used to at home while they are holidaying with Barking Mad.

I very much look forward to meeting you.



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