New OSCAR Franchisee in the Spotlight: Mark Round
New OSCAR Franchisee in the Spotlight
Oscar Franchisee: Mark Round
Which area does your OSCAR business cover?
The business operates from our base in Wordsley and covers a sizeable area of local towns and villages including Wordsley, Kingswinford, Enville, Bobbington, Wollaston, Norton, Stourbridge Town, Stourton, Whittington, Kinver, Oldswinford, Pedmore, Hagley, Clent, Belbroughton, Lye, Quarry Bank, Brierley Hill, Merry Hill, Wombourne, Wallheath, Swindon and Himley.
What made you decide on a career change to run your own OSCAR Business?
I’ve always dreamed of being my own boss and doing so in a field that allowed me to mix pleasure with business. I’ve always had a passion for animals and meeting / dealing with people from all walks of life; so Oscar afforded me all of those things in one professional package. I really enjoy meeting other pet owners and talking to them about their furry family members.
What was it that made you to choose an OSCAR franchisee business?
From the very first contact – Oscar ‘felt’ right from the outset. All Oscar staff and franchisees we spoke to were friendly, highly enthusiastic and very approachable. It had a genuine “family run business” feel to it, making communicating with them easy. Of course, the products themselves being produced in the UK and sold through local businesses was a model that suited us too. We spent a long time finding a premium quality complete dog food that our dog Rosie would eat, and she contributed her input as our ‘chief taste tester’ in helping us to decide that Oscar was the business for us.
What was your career before OSCAR?
From the age of 16 – I have always worked in Information Technology roles for a wide variety of organisations, climbing the career ladder along the way. I’d spent a lot of time educating people by building and delivering IT training for people of all skill levels from novice to experts in their own field. Over the past 10 years my focus has been in Sales / Pre-sales roles for American / Canadian rapid growth software technology start-up businesses (often these were unknown products and brands). Typically, my role saw me working 7 days a week undertaking extensive European travel to raise brand awareness of these products and build a profitable territory.
What has been your favourite part of your OSCAR training so far?
I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed all of the training – from the initial intensive training weeks, through to spending time with my field trainer Trevor in my own area. The learning is never done, and I continue to spend a great deal of time researching foods, treats, and toys.
What pets do you have?
Having grown up with dogs most of my life (Labradors, Chow-Chows, Heinz-57’s) and having previously owned Rabbits, Tropical Fish, Reptiles, other small animals (with access to other family pets of Cats, Hamsters, Gerbils etc.); when we decided to get our own family dog – it had to be a breed that matched our lifestyle and personalities. For that reason we chose the rare breed Coton de Tulear (Royal dog of Madagascar). Rosie, our Coton is small with a HUGE personality. She makes us smile and laugh out loud each and every day! Known as the anti-stress dog - the Coton has a unique way of melting away the stresses of modern life. Spend just 5 minutes in the company of a Coton and you’ll understand why. Rosie will be two years old in July, and even has her own website / blog. The Coton does require a strict daily grooming regime due to the non-shedding coat; luckily my wife Tracy and Rosie enjoy their “brush time” together, and supported by frequent visits to our local grooming parlour.
Which OSCAR food do you feed your pet?
Rosie has tried most of the Oscar Foods, but loves her Gluten Free Lamb & Rice. She also loves the Oscar treats (in moderation, of course!) – with her favourite being Oscar Chicken Bakes (she only has a small piece, never a whole one!). There is nothing more entertaining than watching her do a “Winston Churchill” impression with her piece of chicken bake hanging out the side of her mouth like a big fat cigar.
What your pet's favourite game to play and why?
Rosie is very energetic & playful and enjoys a range of games including fetch & tug; but her utmost favourite pastime is playing with a football in our garden. We are convinced that in a previous life she was a premiership footballer – she has some excellent ball skills! Now, if only England had a doggy squad…..?
Tell us a funny tale about your pet
Whenever we are out on walks, Rosie is very popular with the local people especially the children. Many of the kids come up with unusual descriptions, names and phrases for her; ranging from “SHE’S SOOOOOOOO FLUFFY!” (Think of the movie Despicable Me!), “Is she a baby unicorn?” (This is a hairstyle thing!) – to “Is she real?” (Remember those electronic dog on a leash toys?). She has the ability to melt hearts and bring a smile to the grumpiest of people…and is best known for entertaining the local drivers stuck in rush hour traffic queues.
If you could be any pet, what would you be and why?
I’d like to be a celebrity owned pooch; probably Simon Cowell’s Diddly (the boy half of his famous dog duo - Squiddly & Diddly!) as I’m a massive music fan and would get to meet all of the famous artists represented by his label.