Initial Investment

£15,400 + VAT plus insurance and vehicle livery


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Work with Dogs and Start Loving What You do with a Barking Mad Franchise! 

Established in 2000, Barking Mad is the UK & Ireland’s most trusted dog sitting service, providing bespoke dog holidays through a franchise network of dedicated local professionals. Franchisees recruit a community of carefully chosen, dog-loving host families who care for pets while their owners are away. Barking Mad became part of the Franchise Brands plc Group in 2016


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About You

As long as you are keen to run your own business, with a willingness to work hard and follow Barking Mad’s processes and procedures, Barking Mad can provide all the training and support you will need. Being a real dog lover is a must though!

Training & Support

Barking Mad provides a support centre team of specialist experts to assist franchisees in starting and growing their businesses at all stages, along with comprehensive initial training. Being part of the wider Franchise Brands plc Group adds an extra layer of support, meaning that there is industry leading investment, innovation and expertise in areas such as digital marketing and I.T.

Barking Mad franchise owners are also supported by an industry-unique national call centre, working on their behalf to create a great first impression to customers and book appointments


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Financial Information

The cost of setting up is £15,400 + VAT plus insurance and vehicle livery. However, with Barking Mad’s PAYG option, you can get started with as little as £10,000 + VAT. Just 80 customers and 12 host families equate to a turnover of approximately £30,000 per annum with some franchisees now achieving over £120,000 per annum

  • Name: John and Elaine Warburton
  • Franchisee since: 2014
  • Location: Fife & Kinross
  • Last Updated: December 2019

“Barking Mad is not just our business, it’s our way of life!”

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John and Elaine Warburton, partners in both business and life, started their Barking Mad journey in 2014. In 2019 they received recognition for business success when they scooped a top title at the 2019 bfa HSBC Franchise Awards. The pet mad pair from Fife in Scotland, were named the Lifestyle Franchisee winners at a glittering ceremony at the Vox, Birmingham.

Self-confessed, ex ‘wage slave commuter’ John explains,

“Becoming British Franchise Association winners is a fantastic recognition of our efforts. With Barking Mad, we feel that we have really achieved something special. This has had a massive personal impact for us both but particularly for Elaine, really increasing her sense of self-worth. We have grown the franchise by 300% which has been a great success for us.”

The prize-winning couple’s story was so inspirational that it was featured in the national press. In an article in the Daily Mail, Elaine described how starting a Barking Mad franchise business helped her beat the depression which had plagued her for twenty years. The husband and wife also achieved fame in a four-page feature in ‘What Franchise’, offering advice to others on how to run a business together and stay married, as well as providing tips on choosing a franchise.

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John and Elaine go on to explain how they came to buy a franchise,

“Our Barking Mad journey began when we heard our local franchise was for sale. We jumped at the opportunity to change our lives and haven’t looked back. Flexible working hours were a must, to allow us to care for our daughter and furry family! Being able to be with our own dogs all the time was a massive tick in the box.

As animal lovers, the concept of home-from-home dog boarding held huge appeal. The franchise system’s tried, tested and proven operating procedures were a major factor in our decision, along with the training, support and potential for growth to an impressive six figure turnover.”

Former Marketing Director John keeps a keen eye on the figures but Elaine, an ex-police officer and fitness instructor who felt unfulfilled in her previous career, also counts doggy cuddles as part of the profits! The husband and wife team seamlessly weave professional and personal responsibilities together to create an enviable lifestyle.

When asked how running an award-winning dog care franchise had changed their lives, John said,

“I was twenty years in marketing and had become a wage slave. I was away from home from seven in the morning until seven at night and was often away travelling. With Barking Mad we love the flexibility. Every day is different, with a new challenge and new rewards.”

John and Elaine have achieved a cumulative turnover projected to be £400,000 in just five years and aspire to grow their business to a level where they can recruit more staff.

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  • Name: Melissa Sincock
  • Franchisee since: 2014
  • Location: Staines
  • Last Updated: December 2019

“A flexible, family-friendly way to be who I want to be…”

Melissa Sincock, from Staines-upon-Thames, is a busy working mum who balances running a highly successful, home-based dog holiday business with family life, in a way which just wouldn’t be possible in a corporate environment. She worked in retail management for over 15 years but felt like she was crying out for a new challenge that would fit around her family.

Her business, Barking Mad Windsor & Staines, has simply gone from strength to strength since 2014 due to her talented and dynamic proprietorship, supported by Barking Mad’s brand exposure, industry leading support systems and twenty year winning formula, as well as expertise from the wider Franchise Brands plc group. She said,

“I first came across Barking Mad when my mother used the service. She loved it and knew that I’d jump at the chance to work with dogs and run my own business. I was amazed at the response my Barking Mad business received, rewarding my efforts with a turnover increase of 50% in my first year! I can definitely say that I made the right decision.

The support I receive from head office is absolutely vital and the key to my success. I am so grateful for their guidance. Having never run a business before, franchising with Barking Mad has given me the confidence and knowledge to continue my growth, with tremendous support in areas such as IT and organisational skills.

The main benefit to running my business is that it offers me complete flexibility with my family life – something that was not achievable in my previous job. I love being part of a national network of varied individuals sharing ideas, tips and best practices at regular conferences and webinars.

We have an amazing national conference annually and along with getting to party, I get to meet lovely, like-minded people to glean great tips and experience for my own business. Home boarding has become so popular now, I have no end of customers day by day looking for our service and I love providing it for them.”

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