A former RSPCA animal carer has set up her own day care for dogs business.
While she was keen to make the most of her skills and experience working with animals, Sarah Liddell, of Consett, also had a yearning to be her own boss.
She said: “I decided I wanted to spend more time with my five-year-old daughter Jessica and have more control over my own working hours. Setting up a day care business for working dog owners struck me as a great idea. There are so many dog lovers who feel awful when they have to leave their pets alone in the house all day – not to mention the behavioural problems that often stem from doing this.
“I looked into the set-up costs and logistics and was determined to give it a go.”
Starting out on a shoestring budget without a start-up loan, Liddell established Daycare 4 Paws and set up in June last year.
She took on a unit at the Derwentdale Industrial Estate, in Blackhill, and now employs two part-time carers. She also has a full order book and is delighted with her decision to start a business.
The start-up sector is in record growth. According to recent figures, more than 484,000 people set up in the UK last year – almost 10 per cent up on 2011. The number of young people involved in early-stage entrepreneurial activity has doubled since 2010 and now more than 60% of new businesses are started at home with less than £1,000 funding.
Liddell said: “As for funding, my dad helped greatly. I needed to install gates to enclose the yard area. The remainder of the money came out of my last ounce of savings. I also found the Freecycle website really useful as it meant I could get the odd bit of plastic outdoor children’s play equipment, for free, which the dogs love playing on.”
Liddell is predicting her turnover will be around £25,000 by the end of 2013.
She will be on hand to offer advice at a start-up event in Newcastle City Library on Saturday, from 9.30am-3pm.
The event aims to offer up-and-coming entrepreneurs and firms within their first two years of trading advice on about starting and growing a business.