‘Not really a job’

£20,000 pre tax profit

2 days a week

I absolutely love doing this job. Not that you can really call it a job as I only go out two days a week and meet customers who over the years have become friends. I also see lots of wagging tails (I always take a treat with me).

I was advised by my specialist that after 11 years and at the age of 63 it was time to look after myself going in to retirement age. Originally coming from an admin background I did wonder about a business that looked like it was all about selling and if it was going to be the right fit. After I had a meeting with Sue at Trophy head office that idea was quickly put to bed as it was explained that coming from a sales background can actually work against you. Once I had the training I could easily see why. The food really is that good that it actually sells itself. In all my first visits to new customers when the dogs are trialling the samples I have never had a refusal. All you need is a friendly demeanour and an ability to listen to people and of course a bit of product knowledge to pass on to your customers. 

This is a very simple set of requirements and is all I have ever needed –along with support from my wife- to establish a business with over 300 customers and now only working a couple of days work a week. When we started the business we had some excellent training from Trophy head office and also some telesales leads. But mainly we got going with some canvassing and doing the local shows and fetes etc. We quickly got to a hundred customers and could see how the business could develop further as our customers were giving us referrals to other pet owners. We devised some very good schemes to attract more people and worked hard at the shows and fetes sometimes agreeing to sponsor dog shows and present prizes etc. All this led to some very good customers most of which are still with us years later. However as pets get older and pass on there is a need to replenish numbers and we are very fortunate to have a good source of leads from a local man who does behaviour work with dogs. Also our customers pass on their own referrals. 

My day begins by checking emails for any last minute requests but this is unusual as we plan everyone in advance and inform them by email or text when their next visit will be. So having loaded the van I set off to deliver to around 20 customers on a typical day and all within the designated area we have. We use postcodes to divide the two days up and this is a very cost efficient way of delivering. As all my customers are very happy that it is a free home delivery service we provide especially when we get some inclement weather. They also like the fact that in their busy lives they don’t have to worry about their pet’s food as it’s always there when we say it will be. They also enjoy the odd bit of nutritional advice and adjusting feed rates that we provide. All of these aspects will be dealt with in the few days training you will be doing with Trophy head office but its pretty simple information really and can be easily learnt. 

When deliveries are complete (usually within 5 hours) I spend around an hour completing the paperwork and planning customer’s next delivery date. I might then deal with any emails then after that the time is mine.

I love driving around the countryside and the hours I do mean the roads are pretty clear. The area we cover is West Wiltshire, East Somerset and Bath. If the customers are not home I simply leave the food somewhere safe and dry and leave an invoice so that they can pay online. 

Trophy head office give you a really good back up support including promotional literature and offer free quarterly newsletters to customers with interesting articles on pet care etc. They are always on the other end of a phone if you need them. New leads often come from the Trophy website or from their face book and Twitter feeds and these can lead to new customers for you. There are also opportunities to meet with fellow franchisees to swop ideas and practices at regular events and although optional can be very useful.  

The one thing you will need in this line of work is a garage to store the food. We currently have a pallet delivered once a week to our door and to unload takes about half an hour. The dog food comes in 15 kilo bags and the cat food in 3 kilo bags. We also sell treats which Trophy provide and although this is optional we find it can add a tidy sum to the profits. In the back of the van there is an area for a small shop to house the scales and treats, leads collars etc.

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