How long have you been doing what you do and how did you get to where you are now?
I guess it was always inevitable that I would work within the animal industry and I am sure if you asked my family if they knew the path I would take, their response would be a resounding YES! Early part time jobs, whilst at school were at riding schools or kennels/catteries or providing a pet sitting service in the local village. These followed a natural path for a child hood surrounded by cats, house rabbits, parrots and horses.
My next step after school was to continue my education. Officially an adult and what to do next? I stuck with my passion and signed up to Bishop Burton college and completed an HND in Zoology and Behavioural Sciences. From there I topped up to a BSc in Animal Behaviour at the University of Chester. During this time, I started a part time job with large UK based pet shop chain, Pets at Home.
In 2005 I took a sabbatical and moved to Scotland to read Aquaculture PgDip at the industry leading University of Stirling.
When I returned to Manchester, over the next 12 years I worked in many roles for Pets at Home including management of a marine aquatics centre, store manager of a 2.5 million superstore.
I spent 4 years in a regional position within the pet team looking after 100 stores at a time before finally spending three years with The Groom Room as a regional operations manager with responsibility for 80 cat/dog grooming palors.
For the past 7 years I have been writing policies, procedures, developing training, writing audits, driving charity fundraisers, looking at innovation, social media & experience days. I have spoken at events, annual retail conferences & planned and delivered get togethers for Pets at Home & The Groom Room. I was also a charity ambassador for Support Adoption for Pets and led two fundraising drives that made over £60k in The Groom Room during 2016 for The Air Ambulance and Hounds for Heroes.
In late 2017 I decided I would like to bring the skills from my education, corporate career and interests to business within the pet, equine and aquatic industry. Since then I have been working on a freelance basis offering support for companies and individuals within the pet and equine industry.
Who are your clients exactly?
I work with all kinds of clients from fledgling business helping them establish and promote their brand all the way up to large companies who require industry experience to create new ventures. A significant part of my work Is dedicated to innovation and training. I help companies to see what the next step is, how they can move their product or service across to other subjects.
My clients are also companies who hire me to help with trade shows. I am currently working with a company who are starting shows in 2018. I work for others who are established but need an extra pair of hands that are customer focused and knowledgeable about the industry.
What happens if you haven’t yet worked with people in my field?
I work in the same way that many freelancers do. I bring the added bonus of corporate, academic and personal experience. Please feel free to call or email to see how I may be able to help you or your company. I also have a weekly blog which you can obtain by signing up to my email subscription (CLICK HERE).
How are you different from other freelancers?
Freelancers are typically from a specific corporate background for example, HR, marketing, accounts or PAs. I blend a real-life interest in the industry, an educational background as well as several corporate roles. I look far more at the overall picture and have a broad spectrum of knowledge across the animal industry.
What do you offer and what does that involve?
Project Consultation – I provide contractual work looking at specific projects for clients. These range from creating and delivering training, to customer service reviews and improvement. I can help with innovation & operations across different sections of the pet & equine services and product industry.
Day business service: Trade shows, site visits and customer experience reviews. It is important to keep close to what consumers want, believe in or most importantly, what they are spending their hard-earned cash on! For this reason, I like to dedicate a percentage my work to directly connecting with the customers to our trade.
I have worked at Dogfest, Crufts, Family Pet Show, UK Groom Off, Olympia, Hickstead, Equifest, West Country Equine Fair, BETA, Cotswold Show and Royal Windsor. I have experience from providing stand in day assistance to organising the main sponsor stand with over 50 colleagues, 8 stage talks and 30 demonstrations.
I provide and write product training and can also give a full site review to look for opportunities and threats to a business. A fresh pair of trained eyes is extremely useful for any company.
What results can I expect?
Give me an outline of what you need and I will go and create or I will work with you to develop your project plan or your next step. I like to simplify process. I will always look to find the most cost vs effective route for the project and provide a solution that works within your company ethos. An investment into experience is one that should generate a more revenue for your business. This is always my aim no matter the project or company direction.
Can I contact any of your past clients?
How long have you been doing what you do and how did you become an expert in your field?
I am in a very fortunate position to have been able to merge my personal interests with my career and education. Not only do I hold qualification at postgraduate level. I also have a number of industry recognised qualifications such as Advanced Ornamental Trade Association Diploma, Pet Care Trust Diploma and I am a qualified SQP. The past 13 years have been spent in a corporate environment in many varied and challenging roles. I have led many projects that have been used in the operations of Pets at Home and The Groom Room. I am trained in mediation and presenting/public speaking as well as human resources subjects such as investigations and disciplinaries. As a keen pet person, I also have many hobbies within the industry which gives me a great insight.
I have 3 Spanish Mustang horses whom I compete in Endurance & Horse Agility. I have previously been a sponsored rider and I won the 2013 World Real Time Horse Agility championships. I also keep and breed rare breed poultry. I try to promote the breeds plight with regular volunteering at shows. In the past I have kept reptiles, fresh and marine fish & inverts, rabbits, guineas, hamsters and I share my home with three cats.
What sort of person do you work best with and what is expected from me?
I work really well with people who need someone to take a concept and really pick it apart to see how and if it’ll work. I am used to driving my own projects so can easily be relied upon to deliver. Simply outline your thoughts and time line and I can work with you and your company to find a solution to an issue/expansion plan. When I consult for a company it is not uncommon for projects to change throughout our contracted time together and I pride myself on having the adaptability to deliver across a wide variety of subjects.
How long are your contracts?
Due to the nature of the work I can complete as little as 2 days a year for a company or run on a contracted basis of several days or more a month. I am flexible to suit both the company and individuals. I also have a monthly subscription which is suited to sole traders or small business who benefit more with access and regular contact to someone experienced within the industry.
How do I get started?
Please give me a call or send me an email and we’ll have a chat to see how I can help you.
What are your payment terms?
I work on an invoice payment system with a 14-day payment terms or a monthly subscription with terms outlined in advance.
If I’m not sure I’m ready to get started, how can I sample your work at low cost to see if it’s the right solution for me?
Your best bet is to sign up to my newsletter. I send regular video blogs so you can get to know me as well as publishing free hints and tips throughout the year.
I have a business and a busy life. Although I want to get these results badly, I don’t have much time to spare. How much time do I need?
I can very much run with a project with as little or as much input as you would like to put in. You would need to be able to outline the work and we would need to agree a timescale for that. Depending on the nature of the project there may be other resources that are required but we can look at that during our initial phone call or email if you wish.
I’m ready to do this for myself, but I have a couple of additional questions. Can I call you?
Of course, I would love to hear from you.
Contact Ravensford Consultancy!
It will only take a minute
Contact Ravensford Consultancy! It will only take a minute