A fur-tastic conference to start the year for Petpals

  1. As is customary with the arrival of a new year, it is a time for celebration, reflection, and an optimistic look into the year ahead. For Petpals, this certainly holds true in the wake of a successful 2023. Having ascended the ranks of the esteemed Elite Franchise Top 100 (EF100), the UK’s longest-established pet-care franchise’s annual conference this month served as an opportunity to come together, toast to successes and look to an exhilarating 2024.

Held at the Kettering Park Hotel and hosted by Berkeley Harris, a global trainer in sales, management and leadership, the conference offered a diverse programme for the Petpals network. Attendees engaged in round-table discussions on current issues in pet care, featuring a dedicated dog panel covering topics such as home boarding licensing, Public Space Protection Orders and XL Bully types.

Additionally, a separate cat panel led by Clinical Animal Behaviourist Claire Arrowsmith delved into discussions on feline behaviour and body language. Pets of a smaller kind were not off the agenda, as veterinary surgeon Sophie Bell hosted a talk on caring for small animals and reptiles.

The conference went beyond animal welfare, incorporating sessions tailored to the growth of franchisees’ businesses. A specific focus on expanding services was addressed in the New Business Focus round-table chat, complemented by a talk from Jill Foster – Cat Manager at Petpals Darlington & Yarm – who shared insights on enhancing franchisees’ cat businesses.

“Witnessing our network unite at the conference for a much-deserved celebration was truly amazing,” said Kevin Thackrah, Director of Petpals. “Our annual conference consistently delivers a valuable platform for collaboration, learning and fostering growth within the Petpals community. This year’s conference exceeded expectations, with talks and round-table discussions providing invaluable insights to strategically position us for sustained growth throughout 2024.”

Before the busy day of networking and knowledge-sharing concluded, the head office team took a moment to honour franchisees who demonstrated exceptional dedication in 2023. Among these outstanding individuals was James Callow, franchisee at Petpals Crawley. Despite launching his franchise just last year, James has achieved remarkable success – earning him the well-deserved title of Rising Star within the network.

“I’m so honoured to be recognised by Petpals for my efforts this year,” said James. “It’s incredibly rewarding to be part of a community that values and acknowledges the hard work of its franchisees. The support and recognition from Petpals have been instrumental in building my business, and I am proud of the strides we’ve made together in just one year.”

A testament to the brand’s commitment to excellence, Petpals achieved a position in the prestigious EF100 for the third year in a row – a title they will hold for the duration of 2024. The EF100 serves as a platform to honour the most outstanding businesses in the franchising industry. A panel of 24 specialist judges meticulously evaluates franchisors based on eight key criteria, ranging from their growth and ambition to their community contributions and innovative approaches.

In addition to securing this position, the brand has also been shortlisted for this year’s EF100 Community Builder of the Year Award. Handpicked by the Elite Franchise team, this accolade recognises excellence across all categories. The recipient will have showcased standout strategies throughout the year, affirming their exceptional contribution to the franchise community.

“We’re thrilled to have made it in the Top 100 list again for 2024,” explained Kevin. “It’s a testament to all the hard work from our head office team and our amazing network of franchisees along with their staff who are dedicated to providing exceptional customer service and the highest standards of pet care.”

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