Oscar Franchise Case Studies
Video Testimonial: Pete Wiles, East Yorkshire & Tadcaster
Rachel Jackson - Stevenage, Hertfordshire
Having purchased an OSCAR resale franchise our focus in the first twelve months of trading was to consolidate good relationships with existing customers and to reassure them that the only change to their service was a new face. The experience also helped us to learn more about the art of customer relations while giving us the building blocks towards establishing new business.
Through recommendations, referrals, canvassing and shows we are proving just how much of a difference we have made in providing a convenient, complete pet care service. Satisfaction is being able to maintain a happy, healthy lifestyle for every pet while helping other pets with underlying problems. Within six months a change of diet has not only helped the condition of an aging Collie suffering with colitis, it has also improved the quality of life for an elderly Newfoundland.
Our customers love the local, family business concept and having initially introduced our dog Heno to the sales force we have since become the proud parents of William and Bethan Grace, who are now included in our team. We have found the benefits of our OSCAR business perfect; having the flexibility of working from home we are able to accommodate family life with our customers’ needs.
Claire Taylor- Sale, Cheshire
I’m very much an outdoor person - I love to travel, I enjoy driving, I thrive on people contact and simply adore animals.
After years of independent travel, I achieved my ambition to work in Africa leading groups of people on camping expeditions. I then came home to study, gaining a first class honours degree in economic and social studies.
My long term ambition was to work for myself and it took me couple of years, while employed as a deputy manager for Coral Racing, to research the market. The British Franchise Association was my first point of contact, via the internet, followed by reading magazine after magazine. I had always appreciated that there were many benefits to franchising and could see that the high risks of starting a business from scratch were well covered.
Oscar totally appealed to me, as it would to any animal lover, and being a cat person I could see that my future could be perfect! After chasing my tail around the world it was time to settle down, connect with the local community and enjoy working with animals.
Alan and Julie Parry- Berkshire
From many different walks of life in my career - the army, the police force - I went on to spend a number of years working around Europe combining a variety of skills. But there's nothing like being back home and working from home! Timing was perfect as Julie had encouraged me to consider self-employment to ease the pressure of a very demanding and unhappy job.
Lots of soul searching via the internet led us to the BFA and ultimately to OSCAR, and an organisation that had an instant attraction. We love pets,” says Alan, “but it was very important to keep our feet on the ground. Clearly there were no stones unturned and we were able to understand the opportunity from every point of view. Credibility, from further investigation, ticked all the right boxes for us to proceed to the next stage; each step was very straightforward, thanks to a brilliant team at Head Office. Support and advice is always available, something that any new business needs to make progress, and with a product that lives up to its reputation, education is important.
We liked the honest approach from OSCAR and it has inspired us to carry this through to our customers. Technology is a tremendous asset but we enjoy the face to face customer contact because, as with our introduction to OSCAR, direct communication really puts that face to our personal service.
Bernie Taylor- Hassocks, West Sussex
Working long and unsociable hours as a publican and restaurant manager was my daily life and the need for change was highlighted all the more when my sister, who is an OSCAR franchisee, introduced me to the idea of running an OSCAR business.
The benefit of a recommendation helped me to quickly appreciate how well established OSCAR is in a strong and growing market. I could not wait, and left my job to take up this fantastic opportunity, which came with everything I needed to get started: tried and tested proven systems and the freedom to be my own boss.
Investing in a resale business brought an existing customer base that helped me to establish myself in the local area and customer referrals assure me that I have a great product. Running my own OSCAR business has put a different perspective on my past experience of working around other people's social lives at set times, where now I'm having fun working for myself. The social side of attending country shows or the local market with pet owners makes it a total pleasure to go to work.
Steve James - East Cardiff
My background has always been connected to the cycling arena, having spent some time working for a retailer while maintaining my semi-professional international cycling interests. On moving to Wales to be with my partner I had to consider my career options: either find a job outside my comfort zone or go with my instincts and build my own OSCAR franchise.
Trying to mix business with pleasure was always a challenge, but having worked for my parents in their Oscar business in Berkshire I could see, if managed properly, there was flexibility for me to do both.
I am very ambitious and positive and while I knew the basics of running an OSCAR business, I was still expected to attend the full training programme, enabling me to understand the complete process. I know I can always call upon my parents for help but to have back up support from the OSCAR support team, who are experts in business, gives me self-assurance.
Lynette Higgins - Bridgnorth, Shropshire
As a lifelong pet owner I think OSCAR came to me for a reason and I really liked the concept. It had a very strong brand presence on the internet – eye-catching and professional, which also gave me confidence. I thrive on a challenge, am self-motivated and very much a people person and I could relate to the benefits of the OSCAR service.
The team at OSCAR were able to answer all my questions, and with additional research on the brand, the company, the pet food market and local pet owners, I knew I was making the right choice. How many franchisors give you the opportunity to gain a recognised qualification which adds to the success of your business? OSCAR does and I was very impressed.
Donna Harris - St Austell, Cornwall
Fulfilling my dream of moving from the Midlands to Cornwall was a turning point in my life,” Donna says, “I could not stay away; Cornwall made me realise that the corporate politics of the design, media and visual communications industry was becoming less of an inspiration.
I had a keen interest in pet nutrition because my Siamese cat, Lola, suffered with chronic kidney disease, which required nutritional support. The possibility of setting up my own business using this knowledge would not only help other owners with pets in a similar situation but also give me a base for self-employment. Searching the Internet for pet health, I came across OSCAR, only to find nutritional training with a ready-made pet food business opportunity.
Amy Seward - Walsall, West Midlands
Finishing my Masters Degree in History and Art was not going to bring me an instant future in an uncertain job market,” Amy says. “Whilst continuing with my studies I kept myself busy through charity support projects, part-time work and all things related to my education.
I researched a variety of opportunities in franchising and OSCAR instantly impressed me with their online presence.” Amy goes on to say, “I could relate to the OSCAR brand, and further investigation led me to find it a believable product, a tried and tested system, but with the flexibility to adapt the business to suit my style.
Video Testimonial: David Bass - Oscar Pet Foods, Congleton
Video Testimonial: Tom Cartmale, Stoke-on-Trent
Video Testimonial: Chris Kembrey, Newark
Video Testimonial: Steve Tubbs, Gloucestershire
Video Testimonial: Clare Muir, New Forest
Michael Cameron - Helensburgh, Argyle & Bute
Retirement is one thing but to retire and start again is another, and after serving 30 years with the Royal Navy I was not ready to stop work so I pursued other options.
Committing to the military services teaches you and your family how to cope with life together and apart – sometimes you miss out on the early years of parenthood, which puts a different perspective on how you plan your future in Civvy Street
Being my own boss allows me time for other things in life. At the same time I have a business that provides me with a good standard of living and a product and service that makes my customers happy and keeps their pets healthy.
Catherine Rudman - Stafford and surrounding area
Having given up teaching ten years ago to be at home with my family, it made sense to have a business that would fit around my lifestyle. As a trained florist, it was my decision to be self-employed, and it worked well until deadlines and special occasions became a pressure I could not manage alone.
Feeling more unsettled, it was my local franchisee who suggested OSCAR as a business opportunity. I did not hesitate to follow up and carried out my own Internet research as I could also see this product fitting nicely around my family connection with dogs. This led on to a discovery meeting and the experience of spending a day with a franchisee, which was enough for me to decide that OSCAR was made for me!
Craig Smith - Dundee /Angus / Perthshire
The subject of pets had a good feel about it: outdoors, physical, healthy and sociable. So I didn't hesitate to go online and, having already seen an OSCAR van locally, I investigated further into the realms of franchising and found a business which was for sale in my area. Since joining OSCAR I've never enjoyed life so much! A walk in the park to establish potential customers has made me realise that pet people are very approachable and more fun – noticeably different to working on a building site.
Taking on all aspects of self-employment was going to be very different and I had a lot to learn. The initial OSCAR discovery meeting and the chance to speak to other franchisees certainly encouraged me to take the next step. And knowing that this was a very big step, the OSCAR team were on hand to lead me into a very intensive training session, opening my eyes to all the elements of running a business and a product range that promoted confidence to sell.
Tom Cartmale - Tittensor, Stoke On Trent
My experience prior to Oscar was twenty-nine years in the catering business. Although redundancy forced a change, I had lost heart in the industry for a number of reasons. I decided to look at franchising and had considered three other operations prior to seeing an article in the Daily Mail that promoted Oscar.
Under strict management for the first couple of years it is possible to tailor your business to suit your time. The added bonus is that I have met some very nice people, some of whom have become good friends. What a great way to earn a living!
Stuart & Teresa Curtis - Cambourne, South Cambridgeshire
We just wanted to change our lifestyle. The long unsociable hours of working in the public transport sector had reached the point of no return for me, resulting in the decision for Teresa and I to build a business together.
It has been a long-term dream and to find OSCAR for sale in our area came just at the right time and with a product that gave us the chance to work with something we love – pets! Some years ago we were OSCAR customers in another area so we understood the benefits of the food and the excellent service. Meeting the franchise team, who were extremely supportive, confirmed that no other franchise would take our interest.
Rachel Knight - Northampton and Market Harborough
After spending 25 years in the bank as a commercial financial advisor to farming clients, I took voluntary redundancy. I went on to join a farm insurer as an 'on farm insurance agent' offering advice on the many aspects of insurance. After three stressful years of working unsociable hours and travelling around the country for little reward, I made my decision to move on.
Speaking to other franchisees gave me a positive introduction to the finer details of the business, and spending a day out in the field enabled me to assess the business carefully. Everything was well presented – not rushed, selective and with attention to every detail in relation to different experiences.
I'm far less stressed and I have time for myself, my husband and my two dogs, Ted and Hannie, while enjoying new friendships with my customers. OSCAR felt right for me and my recommendation to anyone looking at a new business is to take your time and tick all the boxes to ensure it's right for you and your family.
Jayne McGarry – Horwich, Bolton
My first contact was with the British Franchise Association but OSCAR was already on my short list, having met them at a dog show and subsequently seen their vans in different towns. With my previous experience in the franchise industry I was confident that OSCAR would be an ideal choice and after speaking to franchisees and customers I decided that the complete pet care service was my future. To work from home with the flexibility of an outdoor business and the opportunity to meet people and their pets would allow me to continue my emphasis on customer care.
As a volunteer carer for trainee guide dogs my dog walking circle has become a very social event, attracting new business via recommendations and all on familiar territory. Having the same thing in common and hearing comments such as, “The best dog food ever” confirms that I made the right decision to join OSCAR.
Lucy Morgan - Meon Valley, Hampshire
It was a sequence of events that led me to OSCAR. At the time I had two dogs to feed, and a pony, but my main concern was to find a good food that would help make a difference to my dogs. Meeting OSCAR at a local country show, where I bought an introductory starter pack, culminated in becoming a customer, and all before opening the doors to my future.
The OSCAR home delivery service was a great help to me because my work as a personal carer was demanding. Anything that helped to make my life easier was a bonus because I had to work around home and family. It was only when my care work suddenly and sadly ended that I found myself in the uncertain situation of wondering what else could I do to maintain my current lifestyle.
Not until my local OSCAR advisor announced retirement did my 'lightbulb' click! Here was an ideal business opportunity. I began my investigation into franchising via the internet and the media which helped me to understand all the benefits. There was no doubt that OSCAR made a huge impression and, for all the right reasons, it would allow me to be in charge of my future with a business that could be totally adapted to meet my personal circumstances.
Sarah Stephens – Hampshire/Dorset
I had looked at alternative employment but to work for myself became a more exciting option as I realised the benefits of franchising. Having the back up and support of a larger company and being able to tap into their expertise was ideal for me running a business as a sole trader, as well as looking for flexibility in managing my time.
OSCAR got me off to a very good start, beginning with existing customers, followed by a telesales campaign with promising results. With the opportunity to further my education in pet nutrition I also have a brilliant product range, which has already solved a number of skin and coat problems.
I am part of a local, growing and supportive network of franchisees who are willing to share experiences and work together at various county shows, and where the introductory 'Starter Packs', tailored to suit individual pets, has been a great opening for business development.
Malcolm & Laurence Slade – Folkestone, Kent
We explored all the possibilities via other franchises, covering features of marketing, social life and how best to achieve goals, and OSCAR presented us with clear and achievable targets in readiness for us to prepare a business plan. We were made to feel at ease throughout each stage of the transition; the open day at Head Office was well presented, the OSCAR team were patient and more than helpful, and we enjoyed productive days in the field with very professional franchisees.
Investing in a resale gave us a very good start as we were introduced to existing customers in the early stages. Training followed, and that extended our confidence with an abundance of knowledge. It was informative, interesting and impressive, certainly one of the best programmes that Malcolm had experienced in his career.
Lucy Kyte -Waterlooville, Hampshire
Having been given fantastic support to get started I have nothing but praise for OSCAR in making the whole learning process easy to follow. What's more, I have no worries as the backup advice and help lines are always open.
What also excites me about my business is the value of social media. It's been a great marketing tool, enabling me to keep in touch with customers and introduce my pet care service to like-minded people.!
Shows are family days out where I can enjoy the best of both worlds – working with children and animals, and spending time Charlie, our happy, OSCAR-fed Labrador!
Richard Hebden - Hawarden, Flintshire
My road to OSCAR was through the British Franchise Association and my own Springer Spaniel, Oscar, who was in need of some good quality food. But more to the point, as an animal lover and with a passion for the outdoors, the opportunity was very appealing. I could not be complacent when choosing my next career as this was to be long lasting for the sake of my young family, and although my wife is a primary school teacher, I had to be totally confident before making a final decision.
OSCAR provided brilliant support to get me started and now some months into my franchise it continues. Despite doing lots of research, planning, speaking to financial and legal contacts as well as franchisees, constant reassurance is what I need as my business continues to grow. I have given myself tough targets in terms of turnover and profitability and my business is everything I want it to be: flexible, with less stress; it is a pleasure to go to work.
John Leith - North Allerton, North Yorkshire
My advice for anyone wishing to join the OSCAR network would be 'Know your territory and tailor your knowledge to suit your needs.' For me, with many isolated areas of distribution, I'm now considered to be a 'local' pet food supplier because my customers have the reassurance of never running out of food – with the added benefit of free home delivery – and that means a lot!.
Allison Wright - Gateshead, Tyne & Wear
For the last 27 years I have been office based, working for a family business in the building trade. Interaction with pets has been my life but interaction with people was becoming scarce and the desire for a new challenge was pulling me in all directions.
Working with pets had an appeal and when I heard that my local OSCAR franchise business was for sale I took the necessary steps because here was a product and a service that I knew I could believe in.
Although working in a family business, I longed to have something of my own and being able to offer a personal service linked to the long-term loyalty of pets meant that my success would be down to my passion. Going through the process of purchasing my franchise I was already sold on the business, and introductions to existing customers who were very well supported by OSCAR gave me a great start.
Peter Houghton - Bath, Somerset
Wanting a new challenge inspired me to work for myself, but most importantly for my family. That includes my wife Lucy, my five-month-old son Charlie and our pet dog, Sophie.
OSCAR came recommended via family connections, which led me to investigate more about franchising and more about the company, via the website. I had seen a number of OSCAR vans on the road and this assured me that here was a business opportunity that was well established with a brand that offered potential growth.
My life has been a complete turnaround and having relocated to an area where, by chance, an existing OSCAR business was for sale things were about to change even more. I had no hesitation in making an enquiry, and the initial introduction gave me confidence in the service and the opportunity. I went through all the avenues of research, discovery day and days out with a franchisee to a final interview. Everything worked out so well, and I could not wait to get started.
It has taken just over a year to reach my total comfort zone, but everything has fallen into place. It was all meant to be, and from that first meeting with OSCAR I have benefited a great deal from working with a supportive network that expands my family business, albeit at arm's length.
Nigel & Berni Woodall - Northwich, Cheshire
OSCAR gave us both, as pet lovers, an exciting opportunity on how to mix business with pleasure.
Thanks to our Jack Russell, Mollie, we had connections with OSCAR since 2008 as she had grown up enjoying a pet food that is second to none, and through Lesley, our local Nutritional Advisor, we had the benefit of a pet care service that was very personal and supportive. It was Lesley who initiated the introduction to a business opportunity that gave us total control and the freedom of choice, but to also fulfil our passion for pets.
As Berni said, “We are active people, we love the great outdoors and the principle of the business, combined with Nigel's qualification as a dog trainer and Kennel Club examiner was ideal.”
We had no desire to consider any other business opportunities and everything with OSCAR fell into place. Overwhelmed by the professionalism of the OSCAR team they were thorough in guiding us through the process – step by step and no hard pressure.
The comprehensive training covered every aspect from start-up through to daily routines, giving us even more faith in their extensive range of quality products and services.
Shaun and Dawn Brigden, Brighton, Sussex
Building homes for people and giving a home to rescue dogs has been our life. Thirty years in the building industry, and thinking long-term future, would I be fit enough to continue climbing ladders in another thirty years? Nevertheless the temptation to change only came when our current OSCAR pet food supplier was planning retirement.
We knew the product and our three dogs, Vegas, Max and Freddie, were enjoying the benefits of a complete pet care service and nothing but quality food. We were tempted and applied for an information pack. The purchasing experience was thorough and all at a pace to suit our needs.
Having been self-employed without the support of a much larger enterprise, I was capable of handling the ups and downs of business while Dawn’s work at pre-school, for the last ten years, still gave us the chance to enjoy family life. A change of career could not disrupt our lifestyle and OSCAR, as we see it, will allow us the chance to run a successful business with even more time together.
Pippa Crow, Bideford, North Devon
From London to Devon to OSCAR – and to my ideal way of life. I was a legal secretary for over twenty years spending the majority of this time in London. In search of a better quality of life a move to Devon, by the sea, was a dream come true. For a time I pursued the politics of the legal profession and at the first opportunity I found work at the Royal Horticultural Society - only to be made redundant. Redundancy forced me to rethink my future; to have a fulfilling and flexible job that allowed me more time to spend with my husband and two children meant working for myself.
Moving to Devon introduced my three Greyhounds and four cats to OSCAR - changing their food made all the difference both in looks and fitness - I was delighted. And when it came to my notice that an OSCAR resale franchise was available in my area I did not hesitate in making contact. Buying an existing business was a good start because certain elements were already in place but before making a final decision I researched the business opportunity fully, via the internet and locally.
Sue Watkins, Baltonsborough, Glastonbury
My voluntary work for Greyhound rescue set the scene for my future, although working on the front desk at the local police station taught me all I needed to know about dealing with people. I wanted to bring a better balance to my life, and having five dogs, all in need of love and attention, led me to Oscar and the idea of working for myself. Searching the web site strengthened my desire to become self-employed and by learning from other people’s experiences confirmed that it was now time to be my own boss. Oscar’s quality products helped make up my mind and I intend to involve my family of pets to promote the business, especially when it comes to displaying prime examples of a good diet.
Tim Ives, Horsham, West Sussex
Coming from a family devoted to animal welfare, I was drawn back to my roots on deciding that the stresses and strains of 20 years in the education sector had taken their toll. I yearned to build a successful business for myself with a healthier lifestyle and more time to enjoy family, friends and the great outdoors. I was drawn to Oscar because of its ethos and proven track record. From day one, I was impressed with their honesty and support and, having dismissed several less attractive options, it was such ‘humanfactors that finally convinced me to purchase an Oscar franchise.
Brian Hulme, Stockport, Greater Manchester
I spent twenty-seven years chasing my tail in search of a product that was worth promoting, and a job that would be totally rewarding. Getting out of the rat race gave me time to consider a number of options, all of which led me back to Oscar. Hence, I fitted into the job with a realistic approach. This helped me to exceed proposed targets in my first year, taking advantage of making sure that I was noticed in all the right places. I have found something I really believe in, while offering a guaranteed personal service to my very deserving customers.
Lesley Lavin, Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire
As a qualified Midwifery Sister I worked two nights a week in the Neonatal Unit. In longing to end the night work I needed an escape route and the only way out was to have my very own small business. The Internet was a very good avenue to explore and very quickly I found Oscar, I guess because I am an animal lover - I have two dogs and two rabbits. It appealed immediately for a number of reasons but certainly the outlay suited my budget. My husband, Barry, is a Consultant Catering Advisor and he kept his workload to a minimum in order to help set up the business. We have worked hard towards our current situation, where he has now gone back to work full-time and I take responsibility for juggling home life, family, pets and the business.
Neil and Lorraine Stapleton, Honiton, Devon
We started our franchise in anticipation that its eventual success would provide a good income, enabling us to enjoy a better standard of living and have more quality time to spend with our young family. My job working as a multi-drop delivery driver involved long, unsociable hours. Lorraine was also working from home as a typesetter, juggling work between managing the home and family. We made a point of reading franchise magazines and features detailed in the Daily Express before attending the main British Franchise Exhibition. Our decision to go with Oscar was based on the affordable entry level, a range of well-priced products and the potential for repeat business. Our success is due to determination, hard work and ability to work as a team. I currently deal with the active selling, canvassing, taste-trials and deliveries, while Lorraine keeps the accounts and paperwork up-to-date. We have found our Oscar franchise very easy to tailor around our changing lifestyle and being self-employed allows us to choose the hours we wish to work.
Thank you for your interest in OSCAR. To find out more you can apply for our free no obligation information pack by completing the application form on Contact Us